Documentary Filmmaker & Media Scholar
Marquise Mays is an award-winning filmmaker and media scholar based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Experienced in an array of media and arts practices—from cinematic storytelling to exhibition curation—Marquise brings imagination, technical expertise, and cultural awareness to entertainment productions, journalistic undertakings or media-rich events and civic engagements.
He holds a M.A from the University of Southern California (USC) and a B.A from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). As an independent filmmaker and film studies scholar, both Marquise's films and research are careful renderings of individual Black life on and off screen.
Whether it be a sweeping study of one woman’s blindness and insight (Blindspot, Director, 2020); or surveying the intimate history of Latasha Harlins, an often-overlooked figure in the L.A. riots depicted in the Student Academy Award Winning Film, The Dope Years (Associate Producer, 2019); or interrogating the unrequited love between Black kids and the city of Milwaukee (The Heartland, Director, 2021), Marquise seeks to capture the humanity of individual subjects with precision and integrity. Indeed, Marquise’s films and multimedia work evince a sympathetic depth and clarity of voice.
The Heartland, specifically, has been featured on BET for their Black Film Friday Social Media Initiative. It was also selected to be a part of an emerging filmmaker series entitled, Nō Boundaries, curated by John Ridley, founder of Nō Studios and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave.
Adding to Marquise’s abilities as a media practitioner is his experience working in studio settings. He has held a number of coveted internships that have provided him with an enviable skill set that includes media curation, research, development, and documentation at Franklin Entertainment, State Street Pictures & Red Wagon Entertainment.
Marquise is a recipient of the 2020-2021 Brico Forward Fund Grant & a 2021 cohort member of the Focus Finder Accelerator Program, both presented by Milwaukee Film in support of the National Endowment for the Arts. Alongside this, he is currently the co-teacher for Milwaukee Film's High School Filmmaking Program. Nationally, Marquise was selected for the inaugural Sony and Video Consortium Mentorship Program.
Marquise has enormous creative energy, technical expertise, and critical insight—all of which are indispensable for working effectively and innovatively in media and entertainment industries.