top of page

Sacramento Filmmaker Imani Mitchell "Sprinkles" Bits of An Edgy Tale In "Whirlpool&qu

.Imani Mitchell is going to make a name for herself and the city of Sacramento with her film, "Whirlpool."

.Sacramento, Calif.

.Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. July. 18, 2019.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. — .Without shedding too many details, the central character in local filmmaker Imani Mitchell’s soon-to-be-released film, “Whirlpool,” is a man, a Black man with a hidden issue that could bring down his world.

.Mitchell wrote the script and directed the film entirely in the region of Sacramento. A single mother of one child and an individual of many artistic talent, Mitchell chose to tell the story of “Malik Johnson” from a man’s perspective.

.Johnson is portrayed by actor, web series producer, political activist and motivational speaker Craig Stokes.

.In and of itself, the ideal was a strategic one considering many films related to the Black American experience, usually starts with the Black woman. Mitchell didn’t buck a trend of sorts, but said it was essential to go Johnson’s direction.

“It is about a man named Malik Johnson. He’s a family man and he has a secret that he’s keeping from his family,” Ms. Mitchell, 26, told The OBSERVER during an interview at Underground Books in Oak Park. “Basically, at any moment, the secret could come out and destroy his family. The film follows him trying to maintain his lie.”

.Ms. Mitchell looked as it was a “challenge” to write a script about the opposite sex, she said. When she wrote the first draft, Ms. Mitchell allowed other men view it to get their opinions.

“There were sometimes when they said, ‘this part doesn’t really sound realistic,’” she said of the males reading of the script. “So, I worked with them a little bit to make sure the dialogue was real for men, specifically, Black men.”

.Whirlpool is an all-Black cast, just the way Ms. Mitchell designed it. She wants to be one of those filmmakers that really gets into the Black man’s true existence and bring it out on the big screen.

“I think Black men deserve to have more complex and vulnerable stories in the medium,” Ms. Mitchell said. “Often we have these monolithic, stereotypical, same roles, over and over. They (the Black men) deserve more complicated and nuisance roles. Malik is a complicated role. It has a lot of layers to him.”

.There are strong women's roles in the film too, Ms. Mitchell added. But the film does revolves around a leading male character.

.If there is anyone who knows about character study in performance arts, particularly in film, stage, and television, Ms. Mitchell definitely has that background. She herself is a thespian that has appeared in stage plays, a few in Celebration Arts production under the direction of James Wheatley.

.Whirlpool is her first shot at filmmaking. The story for the film entered Mitchell’s psyche a couple of years ago. At the time, she didn’t know how “to sit down and execute” the script, Ms. Mitchell said. But she didn’t have to go far to pull it all together.

.Whirlpool has traces of Mitchell’s life “sprinkled” she specified, in the script. Largely fictional, the film also represents certain occurrences known to Ms. Mitchell.

.The inclusion of life experiences is nothing new to story development, Mitchell said. The film is not about her, though providing some aspect of reality was a must.

“There’s bits of me woven throughout the story,” Mitchell said. “It’s not autobiographical but certain characters that represent people from my life or certain situations that happened in my life. I’m sprinkled throughout it, but it’s definitely not a piece about me or my life. It’s just bits of me and how I grew up in the film.”

.Imani Mitchell is trying to make something happen with Whirlpool and she is going to do it right here in her hometown of Sacramento. She just wrapped up a successful fundraising campaign that helped her production company I AM Studios.

.Produced by Ms. Mitchell and Stokes, Whirlpool also stars Taylor Celine Vaughn, Moshiu T. Knox, Kiara Downs, Betty Nash, O-Naje Tyle, Courtney McKinney, and James Ellison III.

.The film is currently going through the editing process and scheduled reshoots with a planned premier in the near future.

“I’m shooting for late fall of this year,” Ms. Mitchell said of when the film could be ready for viewing. “If these reshoots go well, we're able to edit it and put it altogether, we should be able to have local screenings.”

For more information, visit


To view an exclusive clip of the film, visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for Part II of PUBLICITY AGENTS's conversation with Imani Mitchell when she discusses the adventure of shooting a film on location.

Meet The Filmmakers of "Dolores"

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page