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Exclusive Clip: Chanelle Aponte Pearson and Rae Leone Allen’s 195 Lewis

195 Lewis, a web series directed by Chanelle Aponte Pearson and created by Rae Leone Allen, premieres tomorrow night at 8:00 PM at the show’s website. Last year, when the series was in production, we interviewed Pearson, and she discussed her own motivation for joining the project:

At the time of joining the project as director, I used to watch The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and The Couple, so I largely understood the format to work best for comedies with episodes ranging from two to five minutes. Despite knowing this, I still entered the writing process not focusing on genre or episode length. My co-writers and I were just focused on plot, character development, style, and tone. So there we were, at the end of the writing process, with an eight-episode dramatic comedy series that was the length of a feature film. And even though we haven’t seen models of successful dramas and dramatic comedies in this format, we’re still determined to launch the series online. The web continues to be home for stories and characters you just don’t see on mainstream networks, and we’re not going to wait for someone else to do it for us. Our core audience (queer women of color) are hungry for a show like 195 Lewis and we’re committed to delivering.

Now, as part of their press notes, Pearson and Allen discuss further their soon-premiering project:

Made by a team of predominantly Black queer women artists in the context of 21st century America, the work is inescapably political. 195 Lewis captures the intimate spaces of New York’s queerest borough. According to Director Chanelle Aponte Pearson, “Brooklyn is a queer mecca.” Show Creator Rae Leone Allen feels most at home in Bed-Stuy and believes 195 Lewis reflects the reality of these spaces for people who may feel out of place because of their sexuality or gender expression all over the world—particularly in the middle of the country in these tumultuous times. “Thinking about my younger self, coming up in Mesquite, I know that there are young people all over the world that can really identify with this and understand—wherever they are—that there are people like them, there are places for them to go.”

The greatest ambition of the series is to bring the audience into the safe space that these Black queer women have carved for themselves. “Chanelle always talks about how beautiful Brooklyn is, how beautiful our community is and how important it was to pull people into that world. She wants you to feel like you’re at the party,” says Allen.

She continues: “[We] are very interested in intimacy and the ways that Black women do that… I watch a lot of media, I don’t think there is enough images of Black women loving on each other and supporting one another the way that I know that we do.”

Check out the exclusive clip and above and head to the site tomorrow for the show’s premiere.

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