Faith and Family: Filmmaker looks to make positive impact

Published 1:39 am Saturday, September 30, 2017


By Morgan Mizell

NATCHEZ — For one Natchez artist, making films is not just about telling a story, but making a positive impact and shining a light on God’s creation.

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Devonte Demby, has been writing, directing and filming his own pieces for about four years now and said he hopes to one day make his passion a full-time venture.

The name of his company is Impactful Films. While much of the content is spiritual in nature, Demby said he does not want it to be labeled as “Christian” because he believes it may hinder his work from reaching those who may truly benefit from the message or be able to relate to it.

“I like to make spiritually centered films that can have a little edginess and weirdness to them,” Demby said. “My goal has always been to make an impact in the world of film by making strong stories that would give God the glory while also being relatable to everyone, not just Christians. That is also the reason I chose the name I did for my company.”

Demby currently has five short films under his belt. He does all of the work on his projects alone and uses volunteer talent from the area as he has virtually no budget.

He started filming after taking a film class at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campustaught by Galen Mark LaFrancis.

“I was already interested in film and storytelling,” Demby said. “I learned most of the basics in this program and after I graduated in 2013, I purchased my first camera and made my first film, ‘Call Me Home.’ I was not happy with the results as I needed much improvement but the feeling of creating that work of art was astounding, and I will remember it the rest of my life.”

He has another story he is nearly ready to start filming and other stories he is working on as well. Finding time to film can sometimes be difficult with work as a concierge at Natchez Ford, locations to film and the weather. Usually, he can produce something fairly quickly.

“If I am not procrastinating, it takes me three to four weeks to make a short film,” Demby said. “This includes writing, casting, scouting, filming and editing. Most of the money I spend on films goes toward the equipment.”

While he does not have the budget to pay his talent yet, he does provide all of their costuming needs, food and beverages on set and an end-of-filming meal he provides for the cast. In the future he hopes to have a budget allowing him to pay his cast and crew.

Demby’s work can be viewed on YouTube or Vimeo by searching the name Impactful Films.

Those who wish to find out more information about his work can email him at