Woman to Watch! Lisa Durden

Woman to Watch! Lisa Durden

Provocative. Truth Telling. Myth-buster. Powerful storytelling of OUR Stories, that’s who Lisa is. Newark NJ native, Lisa Durden, is also an award-winning director, producer, content creator and multi-hyphenate media maker. In 2010, Ms. Durden took the leap and launched, Lisa Durden Unlimited Productions, a Multi-Media Company, specializing in developing content for film, television, streaming and live audiences, with a focus on telling compelling stories about underserved communities, featuring big, entertaining, characters!!

Lisa is a national media contributor, committed to shaping narratives that speak to the diversity of underserved communities, not just the trauma.  Often, when we think of social justice, we think of people protesting in the streets. However, there is a more nuanced element as well, and that is media, content and the power of telling our own stories…in front of and behind the camera! Lisa’s voice is her activism! She’s best known as brilliantly outspoken social justice journalist, thought leader, and the voice of the people, whether she’s producing award-winning films about issues that matter to the Black community, or seen as a contributor on such elevated, national platforms as - Revolt TV’s ‘Revolt Black News;’ Fox Soul’s ‘Being Black With Tammi Mac;’ CBS’ The Dr. Oz Show#APlusPanel Contributor on #TheOpinionZone for the former Chasing News Series on the My9 Network;  and ‘The African American Leadership Forum,’ to name a few. In February 2021, she was SwagHer Magazines, “Wednesday Wonder Woman” and Glambitious Magazine’s “Making Black History Month” highlight. September 2015, Ms. Durden was also featured in Rolling Out Magazine, as the months “Black Intellectual,” who has blazed a trail in news and media with her straight-no chaser commentary.

Lisa has committed her life’s work, to holding those in power accountable for highlighting varied perspectives and experiences within the Black community. Whether it is a story about a new dynamic Black mayor of a big city with a bright political future, like Cory Booker, where Lisa served as Associate Producer of the Peabody award-winning, Prime-Time Emmy and NAACP Image awards nominated, Sundance Channel’s, docu-series, Brick City 1, or Director of the powerful short documentary, Girls Matter, that highlights young girls in a positive light, which also WON Best Animation at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival ’21 - for it is her belief, representation matters! Her efforts were the focus of an NJ Spotlight interviewReel Sisters PROTECT HER Filmmaker Q&A, and Bloomfield College’s Center For Student Leadership film screening and live chat. Ms. Durden’s freelance projects  includes, Associate Producer of the A&E Network Series, Neighborhood Wars Season 2Assistant Director of the Verizon Commercial, Conversations With MomProducer of award-winning PBS 2019 Online Festival Short Film, Paris Blues in HarlemSenior Producer of ImageNation’s star studded Revolution AwardsCo-Producer of the provocative, award-winning, feature film TITLE VIIConceived & Produced PBS Maya Angelou Film’s successful Live Twitter Chat, which garnered 8 Million Impressions; The former Broadcast Manager with the Black Public Media, AfroPoP SeriesAssociate Producer of PBS’ award-winning documentary, Soul Food Junkies to name a few.

In her continued quest to tell untold, universal stories that represent the complexity of our community, she created The Ultimate Soul Food Cook Offher reality sitcom in development, set on an authentic soul food tour, which also garnered her selection as an Everywoman Studios 2021 Propelle Finalist; a content accelerator program for women-owned production companies. Additionally, concerned about the racial unrest, during the summer of 2020, Lisa launched her new podcast, Stop Brutalizing Black Bodies, also serving as host and producer. As WINNER of the Lightbeam TV National Pitch Competition at the 2021 African American Women In Cinema International Film Festival, Lisa is currently leading the production of Blind Divas,’ a documentary that explores the lives of Krystle Allen and Naquela Wright-Prevoe, two Black women, entrepreneurs, determined to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes about the blindness community. Her journey is featured in such media outlets as The PatchWBGO Journal, and Newswires respectively.

In 2017, My Sister’s Keeper & Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, honored Lisa with the “Phenomenal Business Women Award" for her resilience, tenacity and unwavering ability to persevere despite adversities. The previous year, Lisa received the “Vanguard Award for Excellence in Communications” from her alma mater, Seton Hall University’s Black Alumni Association; the “Outstanding Journalism and Community Service Award” from Project Redirect Youth & Family Services; “The Woman On Fire Award For Outstanding Dedication To Media” from the Newark Circle Of Sister;  “The Leadership In Communication Award” from Progressive Achievers; given the "Women Who Clap In Media Award” by Girls; Live, Love, Laugh Inc.; and was the recipient of the 2014 “Outstanding Contributions & Service To The Community Award” by Essex County College’s Women’s Empowerment Forum.

Ms. Durden has spent her entire career, ensuring that the power in our truth gets told from concept, to execution! She recently earned her Masters In Fine Arts Degree, in Social Documentary film, from New York’s School Of Visual Arts, with her sights set on teaching the next generation of media-makers.