Janice L. Walker: A Journey of Faith, Love, and Hope in Filmmaking

FilmmakerLife Magazine Presents

Janice L. Walker: A Journey of Faith, Love, and Hope in Filmmaking

Discovering the Passion

In 2016, Janice L. Walker embarked on a remarkable journey with a mission—to create films that inspire, uplift, and delve into spiritual themes of faith, love, and hope. Her foray into the world of filmmaking commenced with the drafting of her first feature screenplay, “Earth’s Last Warning,” which initially took the writing form of a novel rather than a traditional movie script. That wasn’t going to work. She had to learn, and seeking filmmaking knowledge became her objective and a priority.

Janice Walker

Educational Odyssey: Dov Simen’s Film School

Driven by a thirst for knowledge, Janice delved into the intricacies of filmmaking through Dov Simen’s world renowned 3-day film school. Notable Hollywood greats like Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jackson, Queen Latifah, Will Smith, and Damon Wayans had walked the same path, and Janice found the experience enlightening, educational, insightful, and a jumpstart to independent filmmaking. Armed with a newfound understanding, she emerged with both Producer and Director’s Certificates, laying the foundation for her cinematic pursuits.

The First Triumph: “The First Time For Penny”

Janice’s debut feature script, “The First Time For Penny” (2017), made an indelible mark by clinching an impressive array of 14 awards, including Best of the Fest, Best Inspirational Screenplay, and other multiple First Place Awards, Honorable Mentions, Silver Awards, and Bronze Awards and recognitions in Film Festivals. Janice’s short scripts and short film have won awards at Film Festivals in the U.S and internationally, e.g., LA Independent Film Festival (LAIFF), Los Angeles Film Awards (LAFA), New York Film Awards, Independent Short Awards, Top Shorts Film Festival, Festigious Film Festival (LA), Five Continents International Film Festival, International Independent Film Awards, Marina Del Ray Film Festival, American Filmatic Arts Awards, Singapore International Film Festival, etc. 

Continuing the Streak: “Mary’s 7”

Undeterred by success, Janice’s second feature film, “Mary’s 7,” offered a contemporary interpretation of the Biblical narrative of Mary of Magdala. This feature script also garnered acclaim, winning multiple Awards, including Best Feature Script.

Learning Through Observation: A Turn of Fate with Brian Nichols

A chance encounter with director Brian Nichols proved to be a turning point. Invited to observe the rehearsal and filming of his short biopic, “Room Enough for Me,” Janice seized that first-hand knowledge to absorb some of the intricacies and nuances of filmmaking. This experience not only led to her appearance as an extra in the short film but also kindled the belief that she could helm her own projects.

From Observation to Creation: “Always Hope”

Inspired by her time on Brian’s set, Janice penned the short script “Always Hope” and went on to produce and direct the corresponding short film, which was filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio starring Kay Tolbert and Dawn Niles. The result was extraordinary—both the script and film earned approximately 20 first-place awards at various film festivals. 

Expanding Horizons: “The Last Bridge” and “Cold Tommy” Series

Continuing to travel down the independent filmmaking road, Janice continued to diversify her portfolio. “The Last Bridge” explored themes of heartbreak, faith, and resilience, while the “Cold Tommy” series tackled the heartbreaking subject of child suicide, winning multiple first place awards at numerous film festivals globally with each individual short film in the series.

A Call to Awareness: “Before and After: By Madison”

In July 2023, Janice desired to focus on awareness of the critical issues of teen depression, anxiety, and suicide with the short script “Before and After: By Madison,” which is scheduled to be in production in 2024 in Dallas. This short film is part of a Teen Time Project developed by Dallas-based Executive Producer, Thea G. Walker. This short script about teen bullying, body shaming, failing to cope, and coming out on top won more than ten First Place Awards at film festivals in the U.S. and internationally. 

Scene of Panhandler

Acknowledging Influencers: A Tribute to “Big Mike” and Others

Janice extends a special acknowledgment to filmmaker Brian Nichols, and M. Legend Brown a/k/a “Big Mike,” a self-taught and seasoned filmmaker and movie producer whose experience, knowledge, and success have been truly inspirational. His films include ”Hiding in Plain Sight,” “Steps of Faith,” and “A Heart That Forgives.” Contributors to Janice’s filmmaking journey include award-winning filmmaker Brandon Lampley, and editor Rajon McCall, both were an integral part of filming “Always Hope.” 

Corporate Attorney by Day, Filmmaker by Night

Balancing her role as a corporate attorney by day, Janice Walker seamlessly transitions into the realm of an aspiring filmmaker by night, embodying the spirit of determination, commitment, and passion.

A Future Unwritten: The Best Is Yet to Come

Although Janice’s screenplays, scripts, and produced short film to date have won more than 40 First Place Awards, more than 60 other Awards, have been selected as Official Selections in more than 100 Film Festivals, being marked by an impressive array of wins, trophies, certificates, and accolades, her journey in filmmaking is still nascent and in its infancy. Undoubtedly, the best is yet to come, and she invites potential collaborators and enthusiasts to join her on this incredible filmmaking odyssey.

Premiere Showing of “Always Hope” at Night To Remember Event

Acknowledgments:  Thank You!

First and foremost, Janice thanks her husband, H.L. Cleveland for his continued and unwavering support and encouragement. Thanks to her Mom, Carrie Walker, who’s 98 years young, and who was also an extra in the short films, “Room Enough for Me” and “Always Hope.” Thanks to her brother Warren Walker and best friend Dawn Niles, who both read all of her scripts hot off the press with a critical eye providing invaluable feedback. Thanks to her sister, Thea G. Walker, who was responsible for the production of the short film, “Always Hope-Dallas”. Thanks to her Photographer for the fabulous cover photo, Tracie Jean Photo Studios, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Makeup Artist, Julie Niesen of BRIDEface. Lastly, thanks to Filmmaker Life Magazine for bringing her anonymous film journey to the independent filmmaking community, which is the impetus for going stronger, bigger, better, and further!

Guest Elementary School Choir Performing for “Night to Remember Event”

For inquiries, partnerships, or to explore Janice’s award-winning screenplays, contact her at [email protected] To witness her prowess, request a screening link to her first award-winning short film, “Always Hope.”  She’d be happy to share with anyone who’s interested.

Janice L. Walker’s story is not just one of cinematic success; it’s a testament to the unwavering belief that the pursuit of dreams knows no boundaries!

Janice L. Walker stars on our special edition cover, revealing her remarkable journey!

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