top of page

Lights, Camera, Diaspora!
South African Producers
Upskilling Program



free women films



------- SOUTH AFRICA -------





is an award nominated producer, principal attorney at Newell Law Firm PC, founder and owner of content production & distribution company TwentyOne14 Media, an author, and a college professor. 


Mr. Newell’s career in entertainment and media spans over 30 years. During this time Newell has shaped business, marketing and distribution strategies for Rhino Entertainment, Ventura Distribution, UrbanWorks Entertainment, Vivendi Entertainment, Codeblack Entertainment, Codeblack Films, and mini-major Lionsgate. 


Newell helped to launch video distributor UrbanWorks Entertainment, the #1 independent producer and distributor of urban home video, with more than $200 million in revenues under his leadership. 


In 2006, Newell co-founded Codeblack Entertainment and served as General Manager. Newell directly managed the release of over 50 titles including such notables as KEVIN HART’S independent box-office hit “LAUGH AT MY PAIN”, where Newell was also responsible for overseeing all facets of the production and creative direction for the film. Newell produced T.D. Jakes’ “WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED: ON THE 7TH DAY”, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.


Joining forces as a writer and producer, with Rhino Entertainment and Robert Townsend to produce “WHY WE LAUGH: BLACK COMEDIANS ON BLACK COMEDY”, a 2009 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL selection, which premiered on the SHOWTIME.


Newell Producer on stand-up comedy specials featuring ARIES SPEARS, DERAY DAVIS, COREY HOLCOMB, BILL BELLAMY, MIKE EPPS and GARY OWEN. Newell also served as Producer on the popular SHAQUILLE O’NEAL PRESENTS: ALL STAR COMEDY JAM, Newell’s specials have aired on the SHOWTIME, BET, TV-ONE and COMEDY CENTRAL. 


At Lionsgate he oversaw operations for Codeblack Films as its EVP & General Manager, producing and releasing Kevin Hart's $32-million hit “LET ME EXPLAIN”, and Shola Lynch’s 2013 NAACP Image Award winner “FREE ANGELA and ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS”, George Tillman Jr. and Alicia Keyes’ critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award nominated “THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER & PETE” starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, the independent thriller “REPENTANCE”, starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie and Sanaa Lathan, and the Golden Globe nominated film “FRANKIE & ALICE” starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Newell directly developed and managed all theatrical campaigns for Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films.


Based on the critical acclaim and ratings success of Newell’s 2009 documentary “WHY WE LAUGH: BLACK COMEDIANS ON BLACK COMEDY”, Showtime networks contracted with Newell to produce a follow-up documentary for the network. In partnership with producer Sheila Ducksworth and the late comedian Joan Rivers, Newell produced the documentary “WHY WE LAUGH: FUNNY WOMEN”, an uncensored look into the lives of the female stand-up comedian. The documentary was hosted by JOAN RIVERS and premiered on the SHOWTIME network in March 2013.


In 2014, Newell developed and lead the marketing campaign for the theatrical release of “ADDICTED”, based on the erotic novel by best-selling author Zane. Addicted generated over $17-million at the box-office in 850 theater locations. Newell then partnered with Shakim Compere and Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment to acquire, finish and release the romantic comedy “THE PERFECT MATCH”. Newell most recently lead the marketing campaign for the much talked about biopic of late rapper Tupac Shakur, “ALL EYEZ ON ME”. Released in June of 2017, All Eyez on Me went on to generate over $45-million dollars at the box office. Newell served in his role with Lionsgate from April 2012 to December 2017.


In June of 2017, Newell added author to his resume and released his first book, "INSIGHTS: If Boys Never Learn, Men Won't Know" with the goal of offering words of mentorship to young men of color seeking guidance in their lives.


In 2018, Newell served as Executive Producer of the short form digital series “COMEDIANS & COCKTAILS” and “TRUTH TO POWER” as well as the feature length action drama “BLOOD BROTHER” starring Trey Songz, China McClain and Jack Kesy. Blood Brother was a co-production with WWE Entertainment. The film was theatrically released by Lionsgate in November of 2018.


Newell’s TwentyOne14 Media has provided strategic business advisement to Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s prolific production company Significant Productions, Robert Alonzo’s Dynamic Action Design, The Cato Project, Inc., Chocolate Chip Media, the estate of the late Richard “Little Richard” Penniman, and the estate of prolific figurative artist Ernie Barnes. Newell currently has strategic partnerships with distribution company Shout! Factory and its film production studio Shout! Studios, iTV America, Fuse Media and is currently serving in an advisory capacity with Hidden Empire Film Group as its COO.



Newell is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and is a board member of the OTT.X trade group. Newell earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, where he is also a board member. Mr. Newell was awarded the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2018. Newell also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in Los Angeles, CA. 


In his spare time, Newell serves as a part-time Adjunct Professor at Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology, in Santa Monica, CA, and Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business and Seaver Schools, in Malibu, CA.





is the founder and editor of international film website Screen Anarchy (formerly He lives in the northlands of Canada with cats and children and a woman who puts up with him for unknown reasons and curses the winter weather while taking solace in universal healthcare.





is an agent in the TV International dept at Creative Artists Agency.  Buoyed by 5 years of training at CAA across Motion Picture Marketing, Lit, Talent and Media Finance, Ozi stands to leverage his expertise in film into the vast and ever fluctuating TV space.  A child of immigrants from Africa, Ozi first found his love for entertainment when he was introduced to Nollywood while completing his high school education in Nigeria. 


Today, Ozi heads CAA’s Africa Initiative, working closely alongside CAA’s entrance into the Middle East.  With an invaluable perspective of both African American and African culture, he stands positioned to bridge the divides between the vast and illustrious worlds of entertainment and culture.  


Ozi attended Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland where he studied Mass Communications and Political Science. 

Akin McKenzie.jpg




attended UCLA film school. He has worked as a prop stylist, set designer for fashion photography. Fashion and photography clients have included Christie's Auction House, Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Levis, Diesel, and Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. At a point he worked as producer’s assistant at NBC where he oversaw budgets and managed the day to day of film shoots.


Mr. McKenzie has a full portfolio of work as a production Designer in Feature Film, Music Video, Television and Commercial. Highlights include; The Emmy Award winning  'When They See Us' for Ava DuVernay and Netflix. Space Jam featuring NBA superstar LeBron James and Don Cheadle for Warner Brothers, airing on HBO. Native Son, by Susan Lori Parks and Richard Wright, with Sanaa Lathan and David Alan Grier. The groundbreaking show 'Random Acts Of Flyness' for director Terrance Nance also on HBO.


Akin joined the Sundance Institute as an advisor to the directors lab. He has also returned to UCLA as a Professor tasked with inspiring a new generation of Production Designers.

bottom of page