Kahleem Poole-Tejada is something of an anomaly as a film maker and cinematographer. Both his cultural background, as an African-American of Puerto Rican descent, and his training, as a video game designer and graphic novel artist in the Manga comic style, make what he brings to film-making highly individual and give him a unique perspective on how movies should be shot. His approach to film-making might be described as freestyle urban photo-journalism. Raised in the tenements and projects in New York, and intermittently on the street, Kahleem has developed the opportunistic eye of someone familiar with long subway rides and lobster shift jobs. He can work his way easily into the mindsets of the strangers he often chooses to film, and he has an ability to see through the chaos of the streets to the small moments and gestures that tell a story. His film narratives are built around these visually and thematically strong moments.
His unique style of cinematography is the result of varied influences. On the film side, these include the Japanese Manga artists Ryoichi Ikegami (Crying Freeman), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), and Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell). And, on the photographic side, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindberg, among many others.
Music, particularly early and indie Hip Hop, has played an important role in Kahleem's development as an artist and as an individual. But many genres have influenced his work, including The Prodigy, many J-pop and J-rap artists, Nujabes, Boom Boom Satellites, Nirvana, Mos Def, The Chemical Brothers, Beethoven, Joey Bada$$, Tchaikovsky, to name a few.
- written by Monique Witt/ One Trick Dog Productions