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Dion Strowhorn was born in Chicago, Illinois and studied at Chicago Filmmakers (film/video), The Second City (acting/improv) and Refuge Productions (acting). He received his Bachelor of Arts from Chicago State University (Liberal Arts) and is currently employed as a Cook County Juvenile Probation Officer. Dion is a member in good-standings with SAG-AFTRA and he is a recent Diverse Voices in Docs fellow, a partnership between Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop. Dion is the producer and director of the upcoming documentary: ‘Divorced… Now what?’ This project is a documentary which addresses the issues and effects that men of color deal with after divorce.
Dion’s passion to be intricately involved in the film industry begin in 2008, he has no regrets and has never looked back. Dion’s experience as an actor has had its ups and downs. Dion was honest “There are times when the auditions are abundant and then there are times when you wonder if people have actually forgotten about you. The roles that I’m generally casted for are police officers, priest, pastors and dads. Two film projects that come to mind are Dark Shield where I played the character of Detective Aaron Clay and another project was Island of Man where I was cast as Reverend Taylor.”
Dion is founder of an innovative film company called Totally Free Productions (TFP) which focuses on the development of shorts, web series, documentaries and music videos. Totally Free Productions works with artists that think outside the box and allow their mind to think beyond the norm. TFP has produced four (4) projects and three (3) are currently in development.
And as if Dion’s plate isn’t already full enough, Dion started the Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival (CMFF) in 2014. The CMFF was launched to create a platform for individuals from all cultural backgrounds to showcase their gifts and talents through the media of film. CMFF is a festival that was born to be here in Chicago based on Chicago’s rich cultural backdrop.
The motivating factor for launching both Totally Free Productions and the Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival was giving filmmakers, like himself, a voice to express themselves and connect with like-minded individuals in the industry.
Dion’s vision is for CMFF to resonate not only in Chicago but throughout the industry while serving as an instrument that unites the global community and emphasizes our similarities for the love of film and filmmaking.
For the length of time that Dion has been in business, he has established rapports with individuals and partnerships with companies that have supported, mentored and groomed him where he believes he can accomplish just about anything he conceives. Dion smiled and then replied “The few hindrances that I have encountered are not being aware of the difference between whether it is business and whether it is personal.”
While on the set of Chicago PD, Dion had the opportunity to speak with Jon Seda and most recently while attending a Chicago film festival he met with ‘Chicago Fire’ Eamonn Walker. When Dion reflects on the body of work of Charles Chaplin The Great Dictator, Robert De Niro, A Bronx Tale, Omari Hardwick, Power and Morocco Omari, (Mis) Leading Man he is encouraged and motivated to continue achieving the outcome he desires. Dion has had the great opportunity to work and really speak with Morocco Omari; the insight and advice Morocco shared was priceless.
Reflecting over his career, Dion has had some really great moments, but the one that is most significant is when his film, Overcome was nominated for Best Picture by the African American Arts Alliance in 2010. Not only was the film nominated, but it was also accepted and screened at The Black Harvest Film Festival where Dion was interviewed by Dick Johnson of NBC News.
Dion is optimistic about his future aspirations. He’s going to continue to write, direct and produce film projects, as well as, use the film festival platform to bring attention to groups and individuals who are making a positive difference in our society.
Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival (CMFF) http://www.cmfilmfestival.org
Totally Free Production (TFP) http://www.totallyfreeproductions.com