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Young Tampa filmmakers create new web series merging fairy tales with social issues

Cymiah Alexander and Britnee Blake are showrunners
Posted at 3:41 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 09:00:39-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Young Tampa filmmakers Cymiah Alexander and Britnee Blake have a bold vision.

With a small indie crew filming around Tampa, the women are creating fairy tales featuring strong Black characters dealing with modern social issues. One title? Hansel and Ghetto.

It is all part of a larger web series called "Once Upon a Crime."

"It's a chance for Black people who are not usually represented in these fantastical lands to step into that space but still keep conversations going about everything that's happening recently," says Cymiah.

"We wanted to show the black community inside the fairy tale realm, but also explore modern problems, like police brutality," adds Britnee.

The women received acting and technical training at Tampa's Blake High School, which excels at the performance arts.

Cymiah is a recent graduate. Britnee is a senior.

They aim to make seven or eight different installments of Once Upon a Crime. You can now watch clips, behind-the-scenes stills and related cool stuff on Instagram and YouTube.

"Because we don't really see enough positive light on the Black community, that inspired the whole thing," says Cymiah. "Representation is huge for us, so is having diversity in our films."