Talibah Newman is the co-creator, co-writer and director of First Dates, the web series.
Born in Dallas, Talibah first came to New York City as a freshman attending Columbia University. After receiving her bachelor’s in Film and Creative Writing, Talibah braved New York City and landed several internships and production jobs in her field with companies such as Ted Hope’s This is That Production Company, Jonathan Demme’s Clinica Estetico, Malcolm Lee’s Blackmaled Productions and Optomen Productions. While devoting long hours to her internships, she worked tirelessly on a short film about her late Grandfather and acclaimed jazz musician, David Fathead Newman, titled American Treasure.
Talibah then went to pursue her Master’s in directing at Columbia University’s MFA program. As an M.F.A. student, Talibah sought to tell stories of familial relationships, precocious children, single character journeys into recreating identity, prejudice, and the complicated mosaic of religion and faith. Her graduate films Our Father, Alterations, Busted on Brigham Lane, and Sweet Honey Chile’ are a testament to her mission and fervor as a budding director and writer. In addition to her narrative directorial work, Talibah is also helming a documentary titled Hair Once Sacred, which chronicles her mother’s life work and activism as a natural hair care stylist in Dallas.
In 2013, Talibah released season one of a comedic web series titled Famous Farrah on Youtube and is currently chiseling her directorial debut feature script and working on an original television pilot. Talibah is the 2012 Director’s Guild of America winner in the African American Category for her film Busted on Brigham Lane, which was licensed to HBO for exhibition in 2012. HBO also licensed Talibah’s Sweet Honey Chile’ , which also won the Martha’s Vineyard Short Film Award Competition and was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Bahamas International Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival, The Chicago Black Harvest Film Festival, The Palm Springs LGBT Film Festival, The American Black Film Festival, The Underground Film Festival in Minneapolis, The Pan African Film Festival, Rooftop Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival–among others.
Talibah’s work on First Dates is likely just the beginning of her episodic career. As mentioned, Talibah is currently working on a pilot for an hour-long drama, and she is also in pre-production for another internet-native series set to go into production before the end of 2015.