Cornell Hubert Calhoun III

Cornell Hubert Calhoun III is the former Arts & Culture Coordinator for Mayor Frank G. Jackson and the City of Cleveland, Ohio. He is an accomplished and widely applauded actor, producer, film maker, director and an award-winning playwright. His play, The Mighty Scarabs (An East Tech Story), received its World Premiere at the Karamu Performing Arts Theater in 2015. The play was selected by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of the Top Ten Plays during the 2015-2016 Theater Season and was selected for Outstanding Achievement by the Cleveland Theater Critics Circle. Mr. Calhoun also received Special Mention for his portrayal of Cleveland from the Cleveland Theater Critics Circle. The Mighty Scarabs was selected as the Top Play by a Local Playwright by Scene Magazine in 2016 and is published by the Original Publishing Company in Los Angeles, California. It was their top selling play in 2016. TMS also is part of the Cleveland Public Library System.

Mr. Calhoun received a writing fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnston, VT. He is a winner of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for his play, Bloooz 4 an Early Autumn. Two of his plays, Rae of Autumn & Portraits of November were featured at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center and Paul Robeson Theater in Los Angeles, California. He is an eight-time nominee for the Cleveland Art Prize for Literature and three-time semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in New Haven, Connecticut. His play, Blues Theme for Talladega was selected for a reading at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Laurel was a semi-finalist at the Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco, California.

His films A Raging Silence, Van’s Ice Cold Lemonade, Silent Story and Paradise were selected for the Cleveland 48 Hour Film Festival, Cleveland Short Sweet Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, Indie Film Festival, San Diego Black Film festival, San Francisco Black Film Festival, International Black and Diversity Film Festival, Boston International Film Festival, Best Shorts Film Festival, Los Angeles, Calf, Kids Video Connection Children’s Film festival and the Jolly fest Film Festival 6.
Most recently his TV Pilot, Longwood was selected for the Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France. The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Among a long list of acting credits, Mr. Calhoun was last seen as Cutler in the 2021 Karamu Performing Arts Theater’s Production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His portrayal of Caesar in Gem of the Ocean, also a Karamu Performing Arts production, and, also, a memorable performance in Wilson’s King Hedley II bring him closer to his goal of performing in all ten August Wilson plays. Of his role as Elmore in King Hedley II, the Cleveland Scene Magazine’s 2007 Production of the Year, the Cleveland Jewish News deemed Calhoun a “smooth operator,” while called his portrayal “mesmerizing.” Mr. Calhoun credits much of his success to his mentors, Cleveland Theater legends Dr. Reuben and Dorothy Silver.

What topic do you discuss in your script? And why?

I believe that film is an excellent forum for teaching. It informs, entertains, encourages, and inspires audiences. Film imparts vital messages about life, truth, despair, and hope. In the many films, I have written in my career, I always focus on social and cultural issues, most often from my vantage point as a native of Cleveland. Themes relative to concerns of families and communities in my hometown have had life-long impact, and they intrigue me so much. My films address such diverse subjects as imminent domain, health care, child abuse, adultery, abandonment, betrayal, racism, and immorality in the clergy—all found in urban cities like Cleveland.

How do people feel after reading your script?
Encouraged! Thrilled! Inspired! Entertained! They are typically motivated to act—laugh, cry, change their hairstyle, get a new outfit, and so forth!

Do you think that films can change people for the better or the worse?
I think films can help people to come to terms with who they are, films help people examine themselves for better or worse.

According to 3-act dramaturgy, how would you define your film?
A 15-year-old exchange student, Aliyah Rose Dunay of South Sudan was murdered near the campus of Cleveland International University and Paradise Park Projects in Cleveland, Ohio. Aliyah's death. Chess Longwood, nephew of the powerful Longwood Drug Cartel leader, Cash Longwood is a prime suspect in the murder. Cash Longwood, University President, Dr. Carl Longwood, Chess’s mother Carla (Queen) Longwood and Chase Longwood, who oversees Cleveland Police Department’s Homicide Unit stand loyal to defend the Longwood family name,

How does the Main Character develop?
The main character in our TV Pilot is deceased when the story opens. We see her only in flashbacks as a vibrant, intelligent, lovely 15-year-old Exchange student from South Sudan, attending the local university.

We learn more about her in future episodes, and begin to understand how who she had the potential to be contributed to her death …. maybe.

Why do you think that your script should attract a director?
My TV Pilot Longwood was selected as a semi-finalist at seventy-six film festivals to date include thirty-seven (37) countries from all over the world. It was selected as the overall winner at four film festivals including Sweden, Switzerland, and Chicago.

At Which festivals did you receive an award?

Seventy-Six total, Thirty-Seven internationally. Some of which were Hong Kong Indie Festival, Paris International Film Festival, Cannes Cinema International Film Festival, Sicily Art House Film Festival. Rio de Janerio World Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Stockholm Short Film Festival, Brussels World Film Festival, Munich Film Awards, Amsterdam Film Festival, London New Wave Film Festival.

Which Screenwriters are your favorite and why?
Robert Townsend, John Singleton, Shonda Rimes, and Jordon Peele.
They show successful black people in all occupations who are staples within the Black community. They empower viewers black and white through thrilling and exciting, layered storytelling.

About what topics are your screenplays?
Urban issues, such as housing, healthcare, violence, etc., coupled universal issues such as love, loyalty, and encouragement.

What motivates you to write screenplays?
I have been a writer all my life. My love for theater and writing inspired me to
become a playwright. Since it is so difficult to have plays produced in our
country’s theaters, I chose to become a filmmaker, start my own production
company, shoot my own films, and then reach for the stars.

What are your plans in future careers?
I am a TV Talk show Host. My master plan is to continue perfecting my craft, which will land me a job with a huge news network!