Press release provided on behalf of Troy Pryor’s team:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TROY PRYOR EXPANDS XL FEST TO PHASE 2
It is abundantly clear that Troy Pryor has built a machine with Creative Cypher.
After a successful launch of XL Fest with Robert Townsend, Louis Carr, and others, XL Fest phase 2 expands content and event programming to partner festivals around the US and UK, this October.
Creative Cypher was built to function as a self pollinating ecosystem while XL operates as the mechanism to accelerate a creator’s process. The concepts are not new, however Pryor’s vehicles are creating access to many who have been dismissed for a long time.
In order to streamline filmmakers’ journeys Cypher either covers submission fees, gets fees waived, and or programs events for them at other festivals. Content from the Creative Cypher/XL ecosystem and programs can be viewed at:
Chicago Public Library Blocks Oct 7-15th in Edgewater, Rogers Park, Back of the Yards, Vodak, and Humboldt Park, curator by Gutiérrez
Gary: Gary Black International Film Fest – Oct 12
LA: Proof Film Festival/ American Cinematheque – Oct 20-22
London: New Black Film Collective – Oct 25
Indianapolis: 4SCENE in Indy – Oct 25 & Quarterly
Others include Chelsea Film Festival, Black Harvest Film Festival, Music Box Theater, Puerto Rico Film Festival, Catalina Film Festival.
“4SCENE Film Festival collaborating with CypherXL enables our platform to reach more rising storytellers in Indianapolis and the Midwest; presenting them with more resources, opportunities, and a vast audience that now has the chance to experience their productions. This collaboration opens the path for more independent creators to burst into the industry.” – Tai Payne, 4SCENE Founder
Pryor’s eye for talent and ability to execute on the bigger picture thinking is beneficial to a variety of parties, including creators, festivals, distributors, and studios. This also extends to the city of Chicago as the XL scales. His capacity to speak various creative languages allows for connections that many are just now understanding.
“I’ve always been a connector so after Creative Cypher became autonomous, we pivoted to do the same with the festival circuit. I was fortunate enough to collaborate with a few partners at Sundance years ago like the International Screenwriters Association and Black House Foundation. Sundance included us on their National Inclusion Resource List a few years ago so I quickly realized scaling Creative Cypher via festivals was possible.” I want to be the greatest Executive Producer of all time. Media is much bigger than entertainment for me. It’s a ministry.” – Pryor
Mister Abbot by Patrick Wimp, about the founder of the Chicago Defender screens in London this fall with The New Black Film Collective
Most independent creators choose that path because they’re trying to eliminate the need to ask permission and maintain control over their process. When we can eliminate those gatekeepers, we get more authentic forms of creative expression, and lift up unique voices. – Patrick Wimp, Creator for Mr. “Abbott”
TNBFC are excited to be partnering with XL Fest for their foray into the UK to introduce talent at our Black History Month season (TNB BHM 2023). We understand the importance of exchanging ideas and storytelling across the Atlantic. Together, we aim to build communities and extend opportunities in film for the African Diaspora on a global scale. – Priscilla Igwe, Founder
Hindsight, A film by creator Kimberly Michelle Vaughn, was one the most recent projects to go through the entire XL Lab.
An Outfit by Isaias Torres, is another stand out project making its rounds in the festival circuit.
Cypher projects are also in rotation on rising platforms like Mansa. Pre-strike, an entire slate of projects were pipelined to the platform. “When I Wake” was one of the first projects Pryor brokered for Mansa.
Writer & Director Julian Thedford stands under a Chicago billboard for his project When I Wake. “Seeing a billboard with my work in my hometown felt surreal. Knowing I created the film for Chicago, it was a very full circle moment.” – Julian Thedford
Pryor who also serves as national delegate and VP for SAG-AFTRA Chicago says.. “There are so many talented creators from Chicago and I feel privileged to represent our city around the map. Let’s empower them and put the money in their hands.”
The Cypher XL model also includes a fund for indie creators. Although this year’s pitch competition was axed due to union strikes, Pryor agreed to support each of the creators that were scheduled to pitch. Cypher has already funded the next project, “Rudy” by creators Jonviere Jordane and LaTaryion Perry.
XL Fest returns to Chicago summer 2024…