Q&A: Musicbed Film Challenge Winner Kyndra Kennedy

By: Lifestyle Syndicated Content Desk

Musicbed, a company that provides highly curated music for filmmakers and creatives used by companies such as New Balance, Adidas, McDonald’s, Google, Netflix and more, issued a challenge to filmmakers urging them to get back to work and “Make a Film, Make a Difference.”

The company received over 1,000 entries and filmmakers scored over $100,000 in prizes.

The first-place winner ($25,000) went to independent filmmaker Kyndra Kennedy for her film, Black.Matters. She tells us more about being a black filmmaker and her next project:

Q: Describe what it is like being a black business owner in filmmaking?

Kyndra: I, fortunately, chose a good time to be a black female filmmaker, as the industry is starting to open doors for underrepresented people. The industry has been under fire for being predominately white and male for so long. Other filmmakers are speaking up and speaking out, demanding more inclusion and representation. So my journey has been encouraged and welcomed. I am mutually fueled by my creative passion for filmmaking as well as the need to represent black female voices and stories in the industry.   

 Q: What hurdles have you overcome in starting your own company and what are you proud of that came out of that process?

Kyndra: The first hurdle I had to overcome was back in 2018 when I decided to quit my day job for a creative career. That was not an easy decision I had a lot of fear and uncertainty about being able to survive financially. I had a crazy plan to make 2 short films. I bought a plane ticket for a cinematographer from Orlando, FL to come to Los Angeles to shoot two short films. He ended up moving to LA and wanted to continue making films with me.  I remember having 4 months saved up and willing to just live off of savings and credit cards to try to get my company off the ground. I was prepared to get a part-time job if things didn’t work out. I was juggling fear and faith. But things fell into place, and I didn’t have to get another job. I was able to put all my focus and energy into starting our company.

Q: What’s the hardest part?

Kyndra: I would say the hardest part is getting started. I reached out to people who knew my potential and believed in me, and I let them know I was a filmmaker now, I had a little reel and was able to use my contacts and content to get clients. I’m proud that my partner, Kenneth Cuadrado, and I were able to make something out of nothing but a vision and a dream. I’m proud that our films have been so well-received so early in our careers. I’m proud that I took a risk on a crazy idea that has resulted in countless blessings and opportunities.   

Q: What’s your advice to other entrepreneurs?

Kyndra: My advice to other entrepreneurial women is to make a plan, make a list of people who believe in you, and who can help you get started. Show, don’t tell. Have something tangible, something people can see so they know what you’re capable of and what you can do. Don’t be afraid to do it yourself, more people and resources will come. Just get started with what you have. Invest in you, belief in you, and other people will be inspired by your belief and investment and in turn will believe and invest in you. 

 Q: What is your next project topic?

A: I have a couple of projects in development right now, not sure which one will be the next to start filming. I’m working on a documentary about my childhood friend, Jensen Ramos who has recently been released after serving 18 years in prison. My best friend, Jennifer married him while he was in prison, I was the maid of honor.  It’s a beautiful love story and a story about prison reform as well as the programs and people who fought to get him out of prison, and the people they’re still fighting for. 

Black.Matters has been well received for the most part, I have been getting tons positive feedback, and have been encouraged to keep pushing the film. Many people are sending me heartfelt messages about how the film touched them and open their eyes, many people thanking me for making the film. It’s really incredible to see the response. So I’m submitting the film to different film festivals. Hoping more people can see it and maybe open some eyes and enlighten people about how many of us are feeling and why systemic change is so urgent and necessary. 

What’s next for Kyndra:

Kyndra will use the $25,000 prize from Musicbed to begin work on her next project. She’s been asked to direct a documentary about racial disparities in economics and black wealth.

You can view all the winning films and learn more about Kyndra’s film, go here.