Meet Cultural Innovator Datari Turner

Government name:Datari Turner

Code name:The Mastermind

Listed as:Executive, Producer, Actor, Model

Résumé highlights:Oakland, California, native Datari Turner broke into the entertainment industry as a model, having appeared in advertising campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Sean John, Abercrombie & Fitch, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Kenneth Cole. But that life only served as the prologue to the creation of Datari Turner Productions. Since its 2010 inception, Turner has produced close to 30 feature films, inarguably earning himself the crown as the hardest-working independent producer in the game.

The mindset:“I am so passionate about movies that I would literally do this for free … and for a while, I did it for free. What people don’t understand about being a producer is there are a lot of projects that you have to work on for four or five years before it finally sees the light of day. There is so much time and energy that goes into it that when you finally break down the hours, you might be earning a minimum wage based on the [number] of hours that you devoted to a project. So you really have to have a sincere love for movies to be a producer, and I certainly have that.”

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