How a Community of Mentors Inspired a Miami Filmmaker

Growing up in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, Deondre Marshall never thought he’d explore much beyond his hometown until he was connected to mentors who supported his love of filmmaking.

“If I told my 15-, 16-year-old self, ‘You’re going to be doing film and directing stuff,’ I would not believe it at all,” said Marshall, 24. “The reason why I can actually see myself outside of Miami is because they can see me outside of Miami.”

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At age 16, Marshall began his filmmaking journey at Urgent Inc., a nonprofit that offers young Miami creatives classes in digital media arts, workforce education and community mentorship. Over his eight years at Urgent, Marshall has connected with several mentors in the industry, including a producer-editor at NBC through the company’s Creative Impact Lab

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and mentor Deondre,” said Justin Peach, an NBCUniversal creative and marketing senior producer and editor. “He has such a rich creative vision and that shines through in his work.”

Watch the video above to see how mentoring has come full circle for Marshall, as he now inspires young creatives in Miami.

Jay Valle

Jay Valle is an NBCU Academy Storyteller. Previously, he was an embed at NBC Out. His investigative reporting on a series of robberies targeting NYC’s LGBTQ community has earned him several GLAAD Media Award nominations.