Cinetic Media Signs ‘Songs From The Hole’ Filmmaker Contessa Gayles

EXCLUSIVE: Cinetic Media has signed New York-based documentary filmmaker Contessa Gayles for management across all media.

Most recently, Gayles took to SXSW with her film Songs from the Hole, which garnered strong reviews and won the festival’s Visions Audience Award. Described as a documentary visual album, pic follows musician James “JJ’88” Jacobs as he writes about his innermost struggles while serving a double life sentence.

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Up next for Gayles is the Tribeca Festival debut of her documentary The Debutantes, made in collaboration with NBC News Studios, Westbrook Studios, and BET Studios. Through personal video diaries and dance, the doc watches as teens Amelia, Dedra, and Teylar navigate identity and gender norms while pursuing dreams of college, medicine or business.

Gayles’ documentary short, Founder Girls, exec produced by Queen Latifah, premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Festival and was broadcast on BET. Previously, she was a producer at CNN, where she created, produced, directed, shot, and edited award-winning original series and documentaries, including the feature doc The Feminist on Cellblock Y, shorts Women Who March and Women Who March: The Movement, series This Is Birth with Lisa Ling and the News & Documentary Emmy-nominated Feeding America’s Most Vulnerable Children. Gayles has additionally contributed to Vice, PBS NewsHour, PBS Frontline, CBS, Time, Al Jazeera, Vox, Wire, and documentary features including Netflix’s Emmy-nominated Convergence: Courage in a Crisis, Disney/Hulu’s Anthem, Showtime’s Surge, and Black Mothers Love & Resist.

Other notable filmmaker clients of Cinetic Media include Richard Linklater, David Gordon Green, Todd Haynes, Babak Jalali, Killer Films, World of Wonder, Lana Wilson, Betsy West & Julie Cohen, Carla Gutierrez, Yance Ford, Petra Costa and Peter Nicks, to name just a few.

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