Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Nia has been a writer since the day her mother first put a pencil in her hand. Although writing has always been Nia’s passion, her mother’s emphasis on education led Nia to become an elementary school teacher. She has taught children for more than sixteen years, and raised her own two children along the way. However, Nia’s passion for storytelling cannot be quenched.
After years of writing for national magazines, completing two anthologies of poetry, writing children’s stories, drafting a novel, writing short stories, short films, and completing two feature film scripts, Nia made the bold move to Los Angeles in 2005, to pursue the dream of reaching global audiences with her writing.
Created in 2006, the short film Temporary Loss of Power, which explores the human dynamic of power, was her first foray into filmmaking. In 2007, Nia worked on a short sci-fi film, called F*ck you, Pay Me, with indie writer-director Chris Derrick. Since then, Nia has been writing, and planning projects for her own independent production company, Audaz Entertainment. In 2008, Nia received a surprise birthday present in the announcement of her being matched with her requested mentor, Catherine Hardwicke through the Women In Film Mentor Program. Since Ms. Hardwicke’s film Thirteen, Nia has been following Catherine as a source of inspiration for her own filmmaking career.
Under the banner of Audaz Entertainment, in April of this year, Nia hosted the 1st Annual Muslim Artists Expo in Baltimore, MD to feature the work of graphic artists, photographers, spoken word artists, and musicians. In the same month, Nia’s script, Chrysalis, a feature-length, crime drama, was selected as a Quarter-Finalist in the 13th Annual Fade In Awards. It received high marks for premise, structure, characterization, dialogue, and overall storytelling. This year, Nia has also worked as Associate Producer on the indie documentary, Deen Tight, a film that explores the world of Hip-Hop and Islam. Nia is currently shooting a documentary in both L.A. and her hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Not Your Average tells the story of her venture into filmmaking as an African-American, Muslim Woman.
On June 12, 2009, Nia was recognized for her participation in the Women In Film Mentor Program at the 2009 Crystal + Lucy Awards held the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. Catherine Hardwicke, Nia's mentor, was honored with the Dorothy Arzner Director's Award, along with many other women recognized that evening including Jodie Foster, Holly Hunter, and Elizabeth Banks. To read more about Nia's experience at the 2009 Crystal + Lucy Awards, and to see photos, visit her blog: thetelevisedrevolution.blogspot.com/ Nia was also featured in The Hollywood Reporter on June 12, 2009 in the article, "Girls Just Wanna Have Funds."
Created in 2006, the short film Temporary Loss of Power was her first foray into filmmaking, yet it is the first in a long line of ground-breaking, thought-provoking, and entertaining films to come. Temporary Loss of Power demonstrated her talent and skill for directing and producing quality motion pictures. You can watch it here: youtube.com/watch?v=BAA34TAG0fs.
On Christmas Eve 2009, Nia wrapped principal photography on her latest short film, City In The Sea. Shot on location in Venice, CA, the film explores the plight of a homeless man and his struggle with tragedy and relationships. Watch a clip at: vimeo.com/13897121
Nia is a finalist for the AFI 2010 Directors Workshop for Women, and is preparing to shoot her next short film in the fall of 2010. Currently, Nia works with her mentor, Catherine Hardwicke, whose film The Girl with the Red Riding Hood received the greenlight from Warner Brothers and will begin shooting July 2010. Catherine Hardwicke and Nia were interviewed for KCET, in February 2010 to reflect upon the Oscar nominations of Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director and Best Picture. To watch the interview, visit kcet.org/socal/2010/02/celluloid-ceiling-women-directors.html.