EXCLUSIVE: Gersh has signed Kelley Kali, the filmmaker best known for co-writing, co-directing, producing and starring in the 2021 dramedy I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), which garnered her SXSW’s inaugural Special Jury Recognition for Multi-Hyphenate Storyteller upon its world premiere at the Austin, TX festival.
Currently streaming on BET+, BET Her and Showtime, I’m Fine tells the story of Danny (Kali), a recently widowed hairdresser who finds herself living on the streets with her eight-year-old daughter Wes (Wesley Moss). As Danny works to secure the funds that will allow her to lock down an apartment, she also aims to protect her child from the reality of their situation. The film was released theatrically in the UK and Ireland, also selling to HBO Europe.
Kali also recently completed the documentary short I Am Not Your Hero, focused on health inequities and the high rate of physician suicide that plagues America’s medical system, which was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the Pan African Film Festival.
She previously wrote, directed and produced the live-action short Lalo’s House, which went on to win the 45th Annual Student Academy Award and was in consideration for the 91st Academy Awards. The filmmaker was prior to that selected to work with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s New Form to develop her web series, The Discovery of Dit Dodson.
An alum of Howard University and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Kali’s mission is to using the art of filmmaking to address issues within marginalized communities, creating dialogue and action towards positive change. She gained her first experience in television while working for National Geographic Television and Film, following her time at Howard, and launched her career by becoming the only woman selected to direct on Belize’s first Creole dramatic series, Noh Matta Wat.
A recipient of the 2021 Academy Gold Fellowship for Women in directing, Kali has also seen her work recognized with the Actors’ Equity Foundation’s Paul Robeson Award, the DGA Student Filmmaker Award, the KCET Fine Cut Award, Shadow & Act’s Rising Award, the Programmers’ Award at the Oscar-qualifying Pan African Film Festival, and the Jury Award at the Diversity in Cannes Showcase sponsored by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, among other accolades.
She recently finished directing the feature Jagged Mind for 20th Century Digital/Hulu, is currently in post on the MPI/BET Original Feature Kemba, based on true events, and continues to be represented by manager Capella Fahoome and Del Shaw Moonves.