A Year in the Life of HONEY CHILE, an Independent Media & Production Company

Dec 28, 2023

The UTA event where we screened “Look Back At It” kicked off 2023!


This is a behind-the-scenes look at a full year of building HONEY CHILE, an independent media + production company. One that is run by Black women, and that develops, creates, and produces content by, for, or about Black women 40+. Honeys, as we like to call them.

HONEY CHILE was founded and is run by Felicia Pride, a TV writer/producer and award-winning filmmaker. We’ve been in business a couple of years now. It is completely bootstrapped, and run by a small but mighty HONEY Hive — our core team + side hustle queens who believe in the lofty vision to help Honeys get free, through the irrepressible power of storytelling and media-making.

This year was tough for many reasons, including the Hollywood strikes. But we are proud of what we were able to accomplish despite everything. Including:

  • We setup two television projects at studios that are based on books by Honeys and kicked off a project at Amazon based on a NYT-bestselling romance by a Honey.

  • We released our proof of concept and short film LOOK BACK AT IT on the film festival circuit and it won the Audience Award at BlackStar Film Festival and was nominated for a Humanitas Prize in Screenwriting among other honors.

  • Our debut podcast CHILE, PLEASE was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

  • We co-hosted the first HONEY CHILE Fest, where hundreds of Honeys convened in Baltimore, Felicia’s hometown.

  • We launched our services for strategy, consulting, and creative production.

  • We survived the 2023 writers’ and actors’ strikes. Our Head Honey, Felicia, was on the picket lines as a proud member of the WGA.



Celebrating our NAACP Image Award nod for our podcast, Chile, Please

Those are a few of the highlights, and we are amazed at what we were able to do.

But please believe — this sh*t ain’t easy. It takes resilience, strategy, flexibility…maybe even a healthy touch of delusion, to tell Hollywood that we exist to serve the voices of Honeys, behind and in front of the camera. We tell stories that expand the ways in which Honeys are seen, on film and in society. And negotiate to retain creative agency and / or ownership in those stories as much as possible.

Audience building is a foundational principle here at HONEY CHILE, and we believe in bringing our Honeys along on our journey of independent creative entrepreneurship. In fact, our Honey Insiders are a tier of supporters we call “our co-conspirators in this work.” Inspired by artistic patronage, and the role it played during the Harlem Renaissance, we wanted to create a system where our audience supported us, and we would find a way to add value and develop a relationship with them. For a one-time contribution of their choosing, starting at $25, our Honey Insiders received: updates + access to HONEY CHILE projects, happenings, and plans; Invites + discounts to select programming; and they were added to the Honeycomb, our public slate of supporters.

We are looking to retool our Honey Insiders program in 2024 to ensure we are really enriching our Insiders and nurturing this relationship. We also want to launch campaigns throughout the year to recruit more Honey Insiders.



So here’s a transparent look at what we did IN 2023, how we did it, and what it taught us.



The year started off on an absolute high. We held an industry launch event of sorts at our agency, UTA in February. In addition to a discussion about HONEY CHILE with our core team, we also screened our proof of concept LOOK BACK AT IT for the first time and engaged in a Q&A with cast and crew. Actress, producer, and activist Kelly McCreary of GREY’S ANATOMY was our moderator.

We saw the event as an opportunity to take our narrative into our own hands and let executives, producers, and collaborators know who we are, what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we’re cooking up. We created a sizzle reel in advance to premiere at the event, and we planned our main talking points in advance, which focused on the market potential of Honeys and our core capabilities.

The event culminated with a reception where guests were able to engage with us and each other around ways to work together and push the industry forward.

The event served as an industry validator in a sense. It showed that we are serious. It allowed us to share our vision and work, and it planted us in the minds of potential partners. We’re finding that months later, the event is helping to bring projects and opportunities our way.



Our UTA event was such a great way to kick off 2023. Credit: Avery Archie

Off such an energizing start, we continued with the work. We evaluated film and television opportunities that were pitched to us, and we developed original content ideas that we wanted to pursue, aka our “slate.”

Books and IP

Championing books and authors is core for HONEY CHILE. Felicia is a published author and started her career as a journalist covering books. Her deep relationships and knowledge of the publishing industry makes authors comfortable that we will adapt their stories and move them through the development process with care — and so we were successfully able to secure shopping agreements for more IP in 2023.

We secured a shopping agreement for a scintillating story by a Honey author for a television series, then worked with UTA to set up meetings with potential partners, which were more established production companies. During the nine or so meetings we had, we shared an overview of our vision for the project and articulated what we were looking for in a partner — help with packaging and positioning the series for sale. After the strike, we decided to partner with a Honey actress’ production company and were able to quickly set the project up at a studio.

Also in books, we kicked off a television project that we sold to Amazon with two production company partners, based on a Honey’s New York Times bestseller.

We’re also attached to produce an original series that Felicia will write, for a studio based on a book by none other than… the icon, the legend… Terry McMillan!

This year, we also deepened our role as book lovers and advocates, having Honey writers on our podcast CHILE, PLEASE and doing our first giveaway for our newsletter subscribers, with WaPo writer Helena Andrews-Dyer’s memoir THE MAMAS. We went on to develop custom sponsorship packages to promote book releases by two Honey authors across our social media and newsletter engagement channels.

Original Series + Film

This year, we sold an original television movie to Lifetime that Felicia will write and HONEY CHILE will produce. We’re excited because it’s a genre project which expands our storytelling chops.

HONEY CHILE’s mission includes creating opportunities for talented Honeys in front of and behind the camera, and we were excited to get started with this in 2023. We started developing film and TV projects by on-the-verge Honey writers, including amazing writers who are transitioning to writing from law and other fields. We plan to take our initial two projects, one a Christmas movie, and the other, a true crime series, out to market in 2024.

One of our competitive advantages is that Felicia is a working film and television writer who understands the unique needs of writers and what it takes to pitch a project, sell a project, and make a project studio / network ready. This is tremendously valuable in developing the work of other writers. We’re proud of our ability to offer timely guidance to get these stories in the best shape to take out to the market. And the fact that we actually respect and care about writers.

There are a few things we can point to that have helped us achieve these wins with our slate:

1. Taste. We know. Sounds snooty. But by taste we mean seeing the potential in something and knowing good stuff when we see / read it (maybe it is snooty?!).

2. Doing great work. Some of these projects came our way because we did great work previously with these production companies.

3. Delivering at every stage. That means being prepared. Putting in the work (we don’t think folk really understand what it takes) to deliver a dynamic pitch, a thorough outline, a studio-ready script, etc.

4. Confidence. We are confident in our ability and the value that we bring to the table.

Now these projects are all in early stages. And in Hollywood, as we’ve seen even more acutely this past year, projects with momentum can go away with the blink of an eye. It’s the reason why we stack several projects at a time. And it’s also why we keep one foot in an independent space.

It’s also important that we’re passionate about all the projects that we pursue. In 2024, we plan to be even more proactive about going after IP, and developing our own original ideas (or those of other Honey writers) and taking the lead on bringing a project to the market versus waiting for projects to come to us.




We had a time at HONEY CHILE Fest! Credit: Kham Owens

We loooove ESSENCE Fest. It’s always a good time! But with a team of three people, planning our own festival seemed like something that was far down the road for us.

We just wanted to host a local screening in Baltimore, Maryland for LOOK BACK AT IT (LBAI) for cast, crew, family and friends and make it special, because it’s Felicia’s hometown and it’s where we filmed the project.

We got in touch with Nia Hampton of the Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival (BFSF) in Baltimore who screened our first short, tender. Nia, who is experienced in organizing Black femme-centered film fests, encouraged us to think bigger. Still, an event of this scale was no easy feat. HONEY CHILE Fest was part Baltimore premiere of LOOK BACK AT IT with local cast + crew Q&A. Part curated film fest screening local filmmakers’ art. Part first-ever live edition of our podcast CHILE, PLEASE with special guest Ty Alexander. Culminating in an afterparty that Ty also DJed!

So how did we plan a sold-out event in August with over 200 attendees at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore? Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Partnership: It was invaluable to have Nia and her team on the ground. Her local team and our LA squad held biweekly virtual meetings for months to coordinate, which helped to keep us organized and maintain momentum.

2. Focus on local programming: We involved as many Baltimoreans as possible, from host Sheila Gaines, to CHILE, PLEASE special guest and afterparty DJ Ty Alexander, to Q&A moderators Jess Solomon-DaCosta and Mecca Verdell, to the filmmakers who screened during the “Discover Baltimore” programming block. HONEY CHILE Fest was designed to center Baltimore voices, which called for authentic representation at every touchpoint.

3. Intergenerational: Honeys of all ages pulled up on us! We’re talking Black women from 40 to 80 years old, as well as our slightly younger Honeys in Training. It was a wonderful confirmation of the breadth and diversity of our audience.

4. Marketing: We started about six weeks in advance through a mix of social media on our HONEY CHILE accounts and BFSF accounts, paid social ads, and publicity. Big shout-out to HONEY CHILE team member Jasu Sims, a fabulous publicist who helped us get featured on WJZ and in the Baltimore Banner. And thanks to Nia’s connection, we were also featured in Baltimore Magazine (a dream of Felicia’s).

We also wanted to find creative ways to involve our networks. We personally invited folks and incentivized them to join a Host Committee. We created a Host Committee Toolkit with sample social media posts and assets. We also crafted a series of shareable emails to keep the fest top of mind for potential sponsors and participants.

We are still so grateful to everyone who made the inaugural HONEY CHILE Fest unforgettable! It left us inspired to expand our capacity and get more sponsors, so that we can hopefully make HONEY CHILE Fest an annual event.




The journey our short film LOOK BACK AT IT took this year exceeded our wildest expectations. This project is very personal to our Head Honey and tells the story of three generations of women in Baltimore, rediscovering their power emotionally, socially, and sexually. Since the premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in February, our baby had a terrific run, screening at 27 film festivals and winning eight awards!

It was also nominated for the prestigious 2023 Humanitas Prize for the Arts in Screenwriting. This recognition “honors and empowers film and television writers whose work explores the human condition, in a meaningful way,” and so it is incredible for our work to be viewed in this light.

Most important, it resonated with audiences across age, gender, and race. We were able to attend several of these fests, where we got to enjoy our film with new audiences each time, and hear directly from them afterward.

When Felicia couldn’t attend festivals, our cast members would show up and show out! We made sure to send out regular emails to cast and crew about upcoming screenings and coordinate ticket / badge retrieval for them.

We also sent regular communications to our five Co-Producers and Executive Producers, who were financial backers of our project. As part of their contribution, they received behind-the-scenes insight, advanced updates, tickets to screenings, and one of them was even able to make a set visit. Our producing program was instrumental in offsetting some of our production costs as well as developing a network of supporters who were invested in helping us grow the reach of our project.

The affirmative feedback from audiences led to our biggest takeaway: Make the project you want to make, and put all your heart into it.



Ms. Tina Knowles awarding our Head Honey, Felicia Pride, and our LBAI Lead Angel Laketa Moore, the top prize at Plan A: Black Women on the Rise Festival

One of our most impressive feats was winning top prize at the Plan A: Black Women on the Rise fest. This award came with a $1,000 production grant, and the check was presented to our Head Honey and lead actress Angel Laketa Moore by Ms. Tina Knowles!

We are also particularly proud of winning Outstanding Comedic Directing for a Short at the Micheaux Film Festival. Felicia began directing in just the past few years (one time for her directorial debut, tender!) So, being honored for directing is further validation as she gets set to direct more projects for HONEY CHILE and others.

And we must mention the joy of winning the Audience Award for Best Short Narrative at the iconic BlackStar Film Fest in Philly, because this award is voted on directly by the people. Our film fest journey showed us the importance of sharing the work in community with the audiences you make it for, as well as the importance of recognition by institutions that were built with you in mind.



Here are all the festivals LBAI screened at, along with awards won:

Black Women Cinema Week
Afrikana Independent Film Festival
Atlanta Film Festival
Bentonville Film Festival
Black Bottom Film Festival
Black Harvest Film Festival
Black Women Cinema Week
Black Women Film Network — Winner: Best Screenplay, Audience Award, and Best in Festival
BlackStar Film Festival — Winner, Best Short Narrative Audience Award
Charlotte Film Festival

Chicago International Film Festival — Nominee, Hugo Award, Best Narrative Short
DC Black Film Festival
DC Shorts International Film Fest
FilmGood Film Festival
Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival
HollyShorts Film Festival
Imagine This Women’s Film Festival — Winner, Best Narrative Short Film
LA Diversity Film Festival — Winner, 2023 Diversity In The Arts award
Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Micheaux Film Festival — Winner, Outstanding Comedic Directing for a Short
Milwaukee Film Festival

Newark Black Film Festival
Pan-African American Film Festival
Plan A Film Festival: Black Women on the Rise — Grand Prize and $1000 production grant winner
Prince George’s Film Festival
PROOF of Concept Film Festival
Seattle Black Film Festival
TIDE Film Festival
Urbanworld Film Festival

Thank you to every festival, programmer, judge, audience member, journalist, etc. who helped this project soar all year long. The next step for LBAI will be one of our biggest priorities as a company in 2024 — raising money to turn the proof of concept into a feature film. We want to make this movie on our terms, and that likely means independent financing… because another HONEY CHILE operating principle is that we don’t wait for “the industry” to get the vision.

We’ll be releasing our proof of concept online in early 2024 and launching a fundraising campaign for the feature film. Stay tuned!




Our debut podcast CHILE, PLEASE, hosted by Ivy Grant and Felicia celebrated its first birthday this year!

Felicia, Ivy, and producer Di McGuire record this pod remotely, from different states, and handle all the guest booking, promo, sponsorship and everything else it takes. But the feedback from dedicated listeners let us know we were on the right track. We are busy recording Season 3 and working to raise our profile with even bigger guests and sponsorships.

Not only did we get to bring CHILE, PLEASE to life for the first time with a live show during HONEY CHILE Fest, but we received some recognition that truly inspired us to keep going: Our independently produced, financed, and marketed baby, CHILE, PLEASE was nominated for Outstanding Lifestyle/Self-Help Podcast at the 54th NAACP Image Awards! We didn’t win, but we got to attend the ceremony and all its lovely hoopla, and to be nominated along some of our favorite podcasters — with more experience and more listeners — showed us that there is value in our personal and fearless exploration of the pleasures and pains of being Black and women of a certain age.

Social Media + Newsletter

Having a television writer as our founder meant the onset of the writers’ strike in May did impact operations. We couldn’t take meetings about our slate, so we were nimble and focused on other aspects of the business that we could build, such as audience engagement. Our biweekly newsletter for subscribers called A TASTE OF HONEY sees higher-than-industry-standard open rates, and reached 40 issues in September! We felt so affirmed with subscriber feedback like this: “So many newsletters in my inbox and yours is the one I read most fully and share the most.”

In addition to our newsletter, we saw growth across our company and Head Honey social media channels on TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads, and Twitter. And this month we joined YouTube @honeychileent! We love using our platform as a way to connect directly with our audience and share content we hope they’ll enjoy, need, or identify with.

As an influencer with the expertise + network to reach Black women 40+, we intend to continue to secure thoughtful opportunities with brands and entities for sponsorships / partnerships.


The Create Daily

We also utilized the strike time to revamp our sister brand The Create Daily. TCD has a similar mission, to help historically excluded storytellers get free creatively and professionally, and we see it as a platform that could offset the costs of operating HONEY CHILE. So we turned our focus to revenue-generating operations, and launched our signature 21-Day Creative Comeback Challenge. The challenge did so well that we ran it back, then turned it into a book that we released in November! We are proud of THE CREATIVE COMEBACK WORKBOOK & JOURNAL BY FELICIA PRIDE and see it as a quintessential resource for storytellers like us who are looking to reignite their creative mojo, in the vein of the standard, THE ARTIST’S WAY. We plan on spending all of 2024 engaging in traditional and out-of-the box marketing and sales activities for the Workbook.

We also moved our long-running Opportunity Roundup newsletter to Substack, added a paid membership called the We Create Daily Community, relaunched our website, and hosted our first in-person mixer + celebration this November in LA. The mixer was phenomenal! We met so many creative storytellers and heard directly from them about what they need at this point in their careers. And the room was so warm; check out this lovely feedback from one attendee: “#Community is everything, esp. for those of us who have been marginalized! Thank you @thecreatedaily for providing the space for creatives to dream, prepare and take action at the #Mixer + #Celebration. It was an absolute pleasure meeting some social media folks in real life, many of whom I am inspired by.”

We’ll be building upon all of this, and evaluating what’s the most impactful for our community and our goals, as we expand this brand concurrently with HC in 2024.



Grateful to all the storytellers who came out for The Create Daily’s first ever mixer. Credit: Craig Stanley





In 2023, we were grateful for some amazing press coverage sharing what we do and who we are, primarily garnered by our publicist Jasu Sims.

In particular, we appreciated the way this Spectrum News piece featuring Felicia and one of the stars of LBAI, Hadiyah Robinson — by a Black journalist! — captured our efforts to make sure Black women over 40 are represented authentically on screen.

Other outlets including Reuters, The Hollywood Reporter, Shondaland, Moveable Fest, and Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper featured HONEY CHILE and our Head Honey.

We believe in the power of publicity. Felicia (who was a publicist for a very short stint in a former life) has been building press relationships for the past several years. We see it as seed-building and we believe in reaching grassroots, smaller publications in addition to more mainstream media.





So that’s a look at the running of an independent media + production company, run by Honeys and Honeys-in-Training, for Honeys and our supporters. We wanted to be transparent about our process in hopes of encouraging others to pursue creative entrepreneurship. We’re all in this together!

And speaking of together, if you’d like to join our journey, here are ways to get involved:

  • In 2024, we’re looking to work and collaborate with more like-minded partners, producers, financiers, and supporters who want to help us do the work and expand our mission. If that’s you or if you know someone, please get in touch!

  • You can also contact us for strategy, consulting, and producing services for brands + campaigns.

  • Learn more about joining the Hive and becoming a Honey Insider.

  • Reach out to us for producer and sponsorship packages; we’re happy to customize something for your needs.

  • Subscribe to our biweekly newsletter, A TASTE OF HONEY.

  • Dig into the archive of our NAACP-nominated podcast CHILE, PLEASE — rate and review!

  • Follow us on the socials, and holla at us! We’re @itshoneychile on Instagram, TikTok and Threads; @honeychileent on YouTube; and we’re on LinkedIn.

We couldn’t have done any of this without the ongoing support and encouragement we’ve received from Honeys, those who love us, audiences, partners, and folk who understand what we’re trying to do. So grateful.

Here’s to a sweet 2024!

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