Channing Godfrey Peoples and Neil Creque Williams on ‘Miss Juneteenth’

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Nicole Beharie (left) as Turquoise and Alexis Chikaeze (right) as Kai in “Miss Juneteenth.” The coming-of-age drama was directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples and produced by Neil Creque Williams. Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment.

Today, director Channing Godfrey Peoples and producer Neil Creque Williams finish each other’s sentences. More than a decade ago, they were just two graduate film students at USC. They’d each heard about the other’s work, but didn’t actually meet until a chance encounter in an elevator 11 years ago. They've been working together ever since. 

Now married, Peoples and Williams have made their first feature, the mother-daughter coming-of-age drama "Miss Juneteenth." The film is nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards. 

Peoples and Williams tell us about overcoming the many obstacles to making “Miss Juneteenth,” beginning with the fact that a lot of people had never heard of Juneteenth. 

They also explain their strategy of entering the screenplay in as many competitions as possible. And they address the hottest controversy of all: North Carolina vs. Texas barbeque. 



Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker