Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee (‘Ruby Dee Story’) explores the life stories of iconic actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as it pertained to lasting love, undying art, and tireless activism. Directed by their grandson, Muta’Ali, produced by Jevon Frank and co-produced by DreamDevelopment the film is the 7th highest funded African American-related documentary on Kickstarter. The film stars pioneer Ruby Dee and also features Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Phylicia Rashad, Alan Alda, Danny Glover, Spike Lee, and others. The documentary was acquired for broadcast by Viacom/BET and can be viewed on YouTube.
About the Filmmakers
Muta’Ali is an award-winning writer/director who is captivated by the human experience and dedicated to inspiring others through his work. He has been a filmmaker since the age of twelve when he saved up his money to buy a Hi-8 camera and filmed everything from stop-motion animation to live-action shorts. Muta’Ali has appeared on NPR, ABC, Fox News, PBS, Sirius Radio the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and has been covered in The Daily News, Essence, Ebony, Newsday and The New York Times.
Jevon Frank’s creative expression has been molded through work within various genres of filmmaking. After his studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Journalism he began making a name for himself producing projects for clients including AAA, CBS television, and Atlanta Motor Speedway. He has produced segments for Johnson Publications’ Ebony & Jet Magazines as well as promotional projects for Universal Music and Atlantic Music Recording artists. Jevon creates entertaining, socially conscious messages for diverse audiences.
HBO released the team’s most recent feature documentary, “Storm Over Brooklyn (the Yusuf Hawkins Story)” in the Summer of 2020. Storm Over Brooklyn will bring audiences back to the turmoil of 1989 in New York City aftermath of the murder of a 16-year-old Yusuf Hawkins.