Wali & Zuri
Directed by Derrick Woodyard
Type of Project: Drama
Producer: Derrick Woodyard
Editor: Derrick Woodyard
Cinematographer: Rashad Frett
Sound Designer: Barttolo Labescau
Wali, 13, attempts to make a new group of friends after being invited to play basketball. When his pesky younger sister Zuri, 10, forcibly tags along, he sacrifices their relationship to fit in and ultimately learns what is most important.
As a visual artist Derrick's work stems from his early beginnings, learning to draw and interpret the world around him. He attended a creative and performing arts high school in Baltimore, Maryland where he was given the tools to expand his artistic talents. During this time Derrick developed an interest in film and would follow that path into undergrad. While studying digital filmmaking in college in Philadelphia he began learning the documentary process. Through this Derrick was able to explore individuals and their stories. While working as a documentary filmmaker he directed a feature length documentary film which was awarded the “Best Documentary” prize by the Philafilm Festival in 2015 and went on to become a selection at the 2016 Newark International Film Festival. In 2018 Derrick was selected as one of forty to study in NYU's prestigious graduate film program. Currently a 3rd year student, he continues his exploration of film but in the narrative space. His work tends to focus on the bonds of family and the interpersonal relationships that develop from that. He works with the goal of crafting impactful stories and developing characters that are nuanced and able to show the complexities of the black experience within society. While attending NYU Derrick has been advised by legendary filmmaker and alumni, Spike Lee, on his most recent short film, Wali & Zuri and is the recipient of the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmakers Scholarship, the BAFTA NY HBO Scholarship, and the Peter D. Gould Scholarship.