It’s official: Qadree Holmes is a “Game Changer”

AUG 18

Quriosity founder and executive producer Qadree Holmes will be honored as a “Game Changer” at the Global Mixx Music & Film Forum this weekend. He is one of ten recipients who will claim the title during the 11th annual two-day music and film conference at the Illinois Institute of Art in River North.

“A Game Changer is someone who has impacted in some way and given back to the community through his or her talent,” says Global Mixx founder Mary L. Datcher. “Q has a great deal of success on the filmmaking side, but he also has mentored younger kids.”

Datcher particularly cited Holmes’ work with Free Spirit Media, the nonprofit dedicated to providing underprivileged youth with access to the film industry, as a reason for his recognition.

Besides serving on the board, Holmes is an active volunteer for the organization’s 12-week mentorship program, Industry Pathways Certification.

One of the highlights of this year’s Pathways effort was the completion of Drive Slow, a film written by 23-year-olds Ryan Thomas and Terrence Thompson.

Drive Slow is the story of a middle-class African-American teenager who deals with “disparate opinions, racist news narratives, and the threat of lingering danger” as he completes a 500-word essay about “how his environment influences his worldview” for a college application.

After premiering at Free Spirit’s annual Focus Celebration in the spring, Drive Slow was selected to screen at the Siskel Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival this month and the New York Television Festival in October.

Much of the film’s editing was completed at Quriosity Productions, the company that Holmes launched in 2013 when he noticed, “a generational gap in entertainment and advertising (and) a lack of diversity in the market.” Although it qualifies as a minority-owned business, most of Quriosity’s recent workload has been for general market projects.

Although the film may not have been possible without the benefit of Holme’s personal time and professional facilities, he is humbled about appearing among this year’s exceptional group of Game Changers.

Among them are Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown, who helped clarify the process by which deserving citizens can expunge their criminal records, and WGN Producer Tyra Martin, who has consistently provided a major media platform for up and coming as well as established artists.

“I, literally, was honored just to be in a lineup of people of that caliber,” says Holmes. “I was like, ‘wow I’m just me.’”

The Global Mixx Music & Film Forum was founded by Mary L. Datcher, who is also senior staff writer and arts and entertainment editor for the Chicago Defender. Dedicated to “Creative Media for the Urban Mindset,” its annual two-day event this weekend will feature several conferences, presentations and speakers at the Illinois Institute of Art, 350 N. Orleans. For more information, click here.


Drive Slow

Produced by Free Spirit Media in association with Runaway Train and Endangered Peace Productions

Executive producers

Lucia Palmarini

Alex Thompson


Locations Manager: Todd Hieggelke

Director of Photography: Zoe Lubeck

Music Supervision & Wardrobe: Raphael Nash

Co-Writer, 2nd AC, Assistant Editor: Ryan Thomas