EXCLUSIVE: Affinity Artists Agency has inked actor-producer-writer Nollis Dewar.
In film, he most recently starred in XXenos, which was directed by Gordon Greene best known for his Gemini Award-winning performance as “Sheriff Wood Jackson” on Disney’s highly rated original hit Television series, ” The Famous Jett Jackson”.
On stage, Nollis previously performed to a sold-out crowd in the stage play titled Poetic Dancehall: at The NoHo Performing Arts Center.
Nollis is also the Executive Director and Creative Director of La Familia Mvts, which has a diverse slate of projects in development across different media.
Affinity Artists Agency is a bi-coastal licensed, bonded, SAG-AFTRA-WGA-DGA-AEA-AFM union franchised Talent Agency located in Los Angeles, California and New York, New York. Affinity Artists Agency represents both established and emerging talent in multiple facets of the Entertainment Industry including Film, Television, Literary (Screenwriters and Screenplays, Teleplays), Print, Music, Comedy, Fashion and Live Events.
Hi Nollis, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself. Saint James is a parish on the island of Jamaica located on the west end of the island. This is where the vision for La Familia Movements was born. Over the years poverty, crime and violence have increased drastically throughout the communities in Saint James, Jamaica.
In the year 2013 residents held a general parish meeting in our capital city Montego Bay and we decided that working together to alleviate the issues we were facing was the only solution. The meeting went well and everyone was very motivated to make a change. In the next few months, I noticed that many residents were trying their best to help improve our communities but everyone had an individual plan.
Personally, I made a decision to move to Hollywood, California to pursue filmmaking. I felt that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If things didn’t work out in Hollywood I would move back to Saint James, Jamaica. I enrolled in the Beverly Hills Playhouse and began networking throughout Hollywood. While getting to know multiple filmmakers and actors I started to notice that many of them were involved in the Non-Profit Sector.
I started to do more research and learned about the power of a Non-Profit Organization. I remember thinking to myself this is exactly what we need in Saint James, Jamaica. I wrote a letter to every community leader, business establishment, and school in Saint James, Jamaica with an outlined plan to unite in order to build a strong foundation.
Four men (Joval Stewart, Clayon Reid, Andre Rutherford, and Worrell Moxam) responded to my letter along with three schools (Somerton All-Age, Sudbury Primary, Dumfries Primary). We scheduled a meeting that summer in which we created our name, vision, and mission statement. The mission statement we created is to “set free disadvantaged communities from indifference, lack of knowledge and opportunities”.
In the next few months, we held three events throughout Saint James, Jamaica and we were able to attract approximately 50-100 families from multiple communities. Everyone had a great experience and at each event, we hosted more families began to attend. The positive atmosphere that we created during this difficult time was a major factor in attracting mothers, fathers, and their children. We provided free food, music, live performers, and educational awards for students from the schools we partnered with.
In January 2014, I was offered my first acting job in California. It was a commercial for LAX and this was the first time I was paid a large sum of money for five hours of work. The money that I received from that job, I spent on strengthening La Familia Movements. We were able to get care packages, our first logo, better medals/awards for students, T-shirts, and funding for our upcoming events in 2014.
As the year went on, I began to work more and I was able to buy more essential items for our events and programs. As time went on we began to attract more schools to our programs and our community events doubled in capacity.
At this time, we realized that we needed to develop stronger boards and I recruited my former classmates whom I met during my undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut Ricky McCollum, Jaime Randle, Vanessa Petersen, Marle Brown, Shamara Scott and O.B Amaechi. A lawyer from Mexico Dario Lopez whom I met in Hollywood, California helped us submit the legal documents to the State of California.
Other nonprofit organizations also began to reach out to us and that is how we transitioned our programs into California. The Marcus Garvey Elementary school in Los Angeles was the first school in America to open its doors to our foundation through a “Read Across America” program in which it partnered with the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, Inc.
That program was very successful and we decided to continue expanding our services into South Los Angeles (Watts, Compton, Gardena, and Lawndale). We currently operate in five countries; Jamaica, USA, Canada, Mexico, and Spain.
We are partners with seven schools and have impacted the lives of over ten thousand households. Sports programs, educational awards, community building blocks, senior care programs, job training, college preparation, lunch programs, after-school tutoring, youth advocacy, and arts programs.
The programs that we have created are developed so that each member of the household is able to reach their maximum potential for personal growth, and realize their dreams in a healthy environment. We strongly believe if a child’s social needs are met, that child is likely to develop into a healthy, confident, responsible, productive, competent, and independent adult.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome? The road has been smooth and we have surpassed all the goals we set for the first ten years in eight years.
In our first year, some residents did not believe we could achieve our mission but that was due to the fact that we did not have the finances to produce the results they envisioned for us.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work? I am an actor and filmmaker based in Hollywood, California. I have worked on fourteen films thus far and multiple other projects throughout the entertainment industry. My most successful project thus far is ‘Xxenos’ which won Best TV Pilot Drama at the OMNI Cultural TV Fest Award held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California.
I have had the honor of working with artists that I grew up watching as a child. I am most proud of being able to return home to Jamaica and help the country build its Film Industry with the knowledge I have acquired in the past ten years in Hollywood.
What sets me apart from others is that I have a diverse cultural upbringing and theater training. My grandmother’s parents fled Cuba to Jamaica in 1930 and I was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1985. I was adopted in 2001 by Rosa Sanders and granted the opportunity to move to the United States to attend school.
I earned an Athletic Scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in psychology. I studied Theater in Florence, Alabama at the University of North Alabama and at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills, California.
Can you share something surprising about yourself? My great grandparents fled Cuba and built a home in Saint James, Jamaica where I was born and raised in.
For Nollis Dewar’ selecting projects has been a simple process “Trust great writing and work with talented directors”. This untitled project is an American crime drama television series, created by Everton Dennis set in Los Angeles in 2020, the series revolves around the migration of a Jamaican musician and his impact on the culture of the city of angels.
Nollis and Everton “E-Dee” Dennis have collaborated multiple times in the past “It’s constantly shifting, but in a very subtle way. The intensity, quality and creativity is building over time,” explains supervising sound editor Arden Shirley. Due to Covid-19 it has been a difficult time for filmmakers in California. Movie studios are scrambling to shift large chunks of their film release slates in response to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cinema closures. China made the decision to shut down movie theaters and theme parks as far back as January in an effort to contain the outbreak, and production companies have closed down indefinitely across the world. While many smaller films that had day-and-date theatrical and on-demand debuts are proceeding with the digital parts of those releases, huge tentpole movies out of Marvel and The Fast Saga, to name just a few, are either moving to next year or delayed indefinitely.
“There is this innate joy and concern of being at the maximum level of potential in the the thing you love to do your whole life, together safely with a group of people who are in the same place at this point” says Nollis. The location helped ease the small production crew’s concern, Considered the recreational crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park has over 8,000 acres of rolling tallgrass plains, oak savannahs and dramatic peaks. It’s no wonder many call it “The Yosemite of Southern California”. The park, formerly owned by 20th Century Fox Studios, opened in 1976 and has welcomed millions of visitors since. The stunning terrain here that has been seen all over the world in movies and television awaits you. Come hike, ride, climb and explore L.A.’s most spectacular park.
The innovative award-winning mini-series THE COCONUT HUT has been nominated for best web series and is a finalist in the Palm Beach International Mini Movie and Film festival on December 9th, located in Palm Beach, Florida. The Coconut Hut is a Caribbean sitcom set in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The series stars Lyriq Bent , Nollis Dewar , Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter , Ray Campbell and Saskia Garel.
On the Gold Coast of Florida, the Palm Beach International Mini Movie and Film Festival combines with art to celebrate culture and entertainment. It includes neighboring communities West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Wellington, and Delray Beach and debuts December 9th, 2019.
Attendees will be able to meet filmmakers, industry experts, film distributors and owners, producers and international celebrities in prestigious beach proximity locations.
Grants and awards will be awarded to winning student filmmakers. Awards and gifts will be presented to winning filmmakers.
The Epic Award will be presented to individuals making a significant impact in the entertainment industry.
The Legacy Award will be presented to legends in the entertainment industry.
The Artist Awards will be presented to American artists for their outstanding contributions to the arts.
Xxenos won Best TV Pilot Drama at the OMNI Cultural TV Fest Award. The award show was held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California. It was a well-organized and visually magnificent. The festival was lead by the hard-working and multi-talented Kiki Melendez, her co-founder Cindy Cowan and their amazing team. Unlike your normal film festivals, this event focused on projects created by filmmakers, and the opportunity for all the selected content to be screened by the TV industry. Xxenos was one of many sensational pilots shown throughout the event.
Xxenos takes place contemporary time in Coastal West, New Land a fictional American angel city. Paul Sinclair, an escapee from the most feared warlord of the city of Yabogetnom, Indies of the West, finds asylum in his new homeland. Heir to an old tribal bloodline which contains unimaginable powers, he struggles to accept the unknown. Unfortunately, his past remains his present.
This is the third pilot I have been apart of in my career and I feel honored we won this award. The Omni Cultural TV Fest is a one of a kind opportunity for independent content creators and producers to showcase their ideas for television and Over-The-Top (OTT) distribution.
Excited to announce that XXENOS has been selected into the OMNI CULTURAL TV FESTIVAL on MAY 1st, 2019 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California. For more info please click link below. https://www.omniculturaltvfest.com/
This film is about a young man who’s afraid to accept an ascribed gift that he believes may destroy him and loved ones around him.
I recently joined forces with filmmakers Gordon Greene, Marcel Jones and Howard Green in shooting a superhero short film titled, XXENOS. This film is about a young man who’s afraid to accept an ascribed gift that he believes may destroy him and loved ones around him.
After a lengthy phone conversation with Mr. Greene, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to do this film. It has always been my dream to portray a super villain (Stylo) and this was my opportunity. Actor, Emmanuel Kabongo, recently celebrated as Canada’s next young rising star is the perfect fit for the protagonist (Xxenos). The story creator himself, the talented DeVon Haughton created very strong characters. This story shall keep the audience on the edge of their seats as the plot builds in the new world.
I’m pleased to say that we have completed the film and will release the trailer December 25th 2017. It was an honor working with such a talented cast and crew.
Set in Los Angeles, California this mini-series centers around the city’s inner-city. Myron Henry Gallimore who is obsessive, possessed, and sometimes violent. Gallimore has paid a heavy price for his dedication. The job always comes first. His dedication is a curse and a blessing, both for him and those that love him.
LOS ANGELES-BASED, model-cum-actor Nollis Dewar is awaiting his big Hollywood break.
The 29-year-old — who is from Montego Bay — is currently a host on his own show Caribbean Kaleidoscope which airs on KEE TV in LA. The programme looks at Caribbean personalities and related issues.
He, however, has his sights set on a bigger screen.
“I consider myself a principal actor, but each week, I do accept background roles so that I may obtain the experience of being on a major set and learning more about the environment. I strongly believe it is a matter of patience, building your résumé and truly learning the craft,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Dewar has enjoyed roles in many short independent films such as Rebellious, which tackles the issue of date rape.
As a model, Dewar has strut his stuff on Los Angeles Fashion Week, appeared in Mary J Blige’s video A Night To Remember, and featured in commercial for Tom Bradley Terminal (International Shopping Wing).
Migrating to ‘The City of Angels’ in 2002, Dewar said he keeps close ties with the country of his birth. He said he hopes to, one day, give back to the Jamaican film industry.
“The more I continue to grow here in Hollywood, my network increases along with my knowledge of the film industry in general. The teachers whom I am studying with are teaching me valuable lessons that I can bring to the Jamaican film community and have a very positive impact,” he said.