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Meet Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua of Downbeat Entertainment in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua.

Anngelica-Marie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I discovered my love of writing, acting, and filmmaking at eight years old, as I watched my mother single-handedly create her award-winning short film, “In God’s Shadow”, a story about the prejudices she faced during her career as a Haitian lawyer. Our home was transformed into a set before my eyes, as complete strangers gathered together to bring my mother’s story to life. To my excitement, I even had my own little cameo in the film! I remember going into my mother’s room to watch her work tirelessly at her computer, learning how to edit and compose the film as she went along. I was her little assistant, helping her put everything together to tell the story of her life to world; injustice and hardship would not break her, but make her stronger. My childhood was marked by struggle, as my mother and I battled the life-altering effects of gentrification in Miami, forcing us to rebuild our lives in Upstate New York–with no family or support to help us. Initially, these struggles stifled my creativity, but with my mother’s support and faith in me, I re-embraced my talents and learned to turn my personal pain and struggle into art.

When I write, I am able to tell my story; through writing, I can inspire, create, and learn more about myself, other people, and the world around me–all at once. My mother put her filmmaking pursuits to the wayside in order to support me, and it is her sacrifice that fuels my desire to become a successful writer and actress. Because writing and acting have opened up a world of self-expression and freedom for me, I am further inclined to embrace my passions and positively affect others. Throughout high school, I worked hard to gain admission into my dream school, the University of Southern California. I came to USC with a mission to develop my skills and join a community of creatives that challenge and inspire me, and I am proud to say I have done that and so much more. Above all else, I want to write and act for film and television to fulfill the dream of a better life that my grandmother envisioned for her family when she came to America.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Because we started Downbeat as students, it was hard to manage cohesively growing the business while managing our educational lives. Because Downbeat is not yet at a stage to support ourselves financially, we have had to balance growing Downbeat while holding jobs that can financially support ourselves. However, our communication and belief in Downbeat’s potential for success have allowed us to transcend these obstacles.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Downbeat Entertainment – what should we know?
At Downbeat, we are known for our engaging digital short-form content with a message for millennial audiences. We collectively we bring a balance of millennial and traditional mindsets and perspectives to the table, as we fill a gap in the entertainment industry that is arising with the boom of the digital video marketplace. Because we have a vast network of young creatives (many from the top film school in the world), we are aptly prepared to support business and artists that need to engage online audiences.

Our unique value from the socially conscious content that we generate is evidenced by the awards and recognition we have received for our work. Our film, “Safe Haven” (2018), about a young Latina woman struggling with her mental health, was a Sundance Ignite winner and was recently featured on Issa Rae’s short film studies. We recently created a fundraising video for the Drew Child Development Corporation, a non-profit that provides early childhood education for under-served kids in the Watts-Willowbrook area. As we continue to grow as a company, our core differentiation will always be our love of and service to our communities through our content.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
John Tallichet – My personal mentor, he provided a banquet space from his business at a significant discount for our 1st Annual Downbeat Fundraising Gala. The gala launched project upbeat, our social responsibility program that allows us to provide digital content for non-profits at a discount.

Loretta Powell – The mother to one of our co-founders, she has done our business taxes every year, lent her house for several productions, and overall has been a great source of support for us.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brandon Le, Rudy Pesci, Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua, Yasara Gunawardena

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