Former inmate turns his life around and now a filmmaker with 9 films for Amazon Prime and Tubi

Dollita Okine August 16, 2023
He recognized a tremendous calling to affect positive change and create possibilities for those facing similar challenges after regaining his freedom. Photo Credit: Instagram, Kwende Ried

Based in Detroit, ex-prisoner-turned-indie filmmaker Kwende Ried founded Cheddaboy Films and has produced nine films that are available to stream on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

According to Black News, his life took a surprising turn when he embraced filmmaking to empower his community and give aspiring actors a chance to pursue their goals after his firsthand experience with the difficulties of the criminal justice system as a result of selling marijuana.

He felt he had been called to create possibilities for those facing similar challenges after regaining his freedom. So, Ried launched Cheddaboy Films, a global independent film company that offers a unique combination of film distribution, commercial production, music video production, and film production, its website says. Its stories look at inner-city challenges and how people can overcome them.

His personal experiences in prison had a significant impact on his outlook on life. Among his notable films are “One More Flip,” “Cheddaboys,” “5 Minutes,” and “Off the Porch.” Ried in “One More Flip” created a touching portrayal of a young lady attempting to leave the drug trade and pursue a brighter future. The significance of making wise decisions and looking for alternatives to the criminal road is stressed throughout the movie, which has more than a million streams.

He explored the lives of kids growing up in drug-dealing homes in “Cheddaboys”. These kids are driven to improve their neighborhoods via music and abilities. He used the movie to encourage viewers to use their passions as tools for change by showcasing the strength of friendship, community, and artistic expression.

In the movie “5 Minutes,” Ried encourages discussion on social change and brings attention to the problems that underprivileged groups face. Additionally, he looks at familial connections and the effects of mentoring in “Off the Porch.”

“I’m kind of liking the independent route. I’m in control of my own destiny and collecting my own data and where I can know my target market, who I can market to and grow,” Ried said to CBS.

Besides his films, Ried is an outspoken supporter of criminal justice reform who uses his position to spread the word about the pressing need for rehabilitation and second chances for individuals who are affected by the justice system.

He is increasingly in demand as a speaker at gatherings and roundtables on criminal justice reform and community development.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 16, 2023


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