Production team impacts community with short film

Crime-suspense drama "Jeremy" is slated to be a beacon of light for a city already impacted by tornadoes and the pandemic.

Posted: Dec 29, 2020 11:48 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2020 9:15 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) — Two Columbus screenwriters are using a short film to inspire, motivate, and represent residents of the city.

Jonathan Durrah is a writer, producer, and the leading actor in the crime-suspense drama short film “Jeremy.”

He auditioned and was cast for the character, Jeremy.

"Jeremy” is about a local drug dealer who meets a mentor and successful businessman, Chris, and wants to turn his life around.

Things take a turn when Jeremy’s best friend, Zaybo, wants to make Chris a target for a break-in.

“It’s about everyday life that people like us face and I just wanted to shed light on the type of things that we endure,” said Durrah.

Paquita Hughes, Co-Writer and Executive Producer for “Jeremy”, said Jonathan Durrah emailed her the story idea a few years ago.

Hughes teamed up with Durrah to adapt the story to a screen film.

“This message needs to be told and I’m glad it’s coming from someone like you- a young black man in this town,” she said about Durrah.

Hughes moved to Columbus when she was five years old. She became neighbors with Durrah and was close with his family.

She said it was no surprise when Durrah became an aspiring screenwriter, especially after watching him grow up and read books all the time.

Hughes graduated from Mississippi State University and was stationed in California while serving in the military. After attending film school, she eventually traveled back to Columbus.

"When you do a film like this you’re going to show people what’s capable of happening with community support of Columbus natives who leave, become successful and come back," said Hughes.

The film crew flew in a team from Los Angeles and hired local vendors and businesses in Columbus to invest back into the community.

“I hope to motivate people like me that come from Mississippi,” said Durrah. “We don’t see these types of things often around here, so I hope it motivates the youth, I hope it motivates people my age and the elderly.”

Hughes said the production of “Jeremy” is a great opportunity for visitors to learn the culture of Columbus and for natives to see themselves represented on the big screen.

Both Durrah and Hughes said they hope this film is a beacon of light to residents in Columbus because the city endured natural disasters and a global pandemic all in a few years.

“Dreams do come true, you just got to chase it,” said Durrah.

Hughes also said she hopes this short film opens the door to more film festivals, more funds to make bigger productions, more opportunities for minorities and ultimately investing back into the city of Columbus.

Tuesday was the fourth day of filming. The production team allotted five days to film the motion picture. 

Rock Violet Motion is accepting donations through its website here.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 25°
Columbus
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 30°
Oxford
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 26°
Starkville
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 29°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather