Native Detroiter kA’RAMUU KUSH (pronounced kah-rah-moo) earned his reputation as a consistent creator of independent underground short form cinema, with a focus on women’s stories, before earning top honors at AFI CONSERVATORY. His graduating class was ranked the #1 film school in the world by HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
At heart, he is a guerrilla filmmaker with roots in NY theatre, evidenced by the dramaturgical core and classic precepts of character and conflict in all of his work. Working under the aegis of the legendary theatre producer Woodie King, Jr, his earlier theatre work is marked by a number of directorial assignments and lead roles in plays that include ‘Malcolm X’ in the 15th anniversary production of Laurence Holder’s WHEN THE CHICKENS CAME HOME TO ROOST, originating the role of ‘TJ‘ in Robert O’Hara’s INSURRECTION and portraying ‘King Akhenaten’ in his own solo drama kA. After completing studies at AFI and upon the encouragement of his mentor Sir Sidney Poitier, he made his critically acclaimed return to the stage in the title role of Shakespeare’s PERICLES followed by the lead role of ‘Elijah McCoy’ in the U.S. premiere of Andrew Moodie’s THE REAL MCCOY, both at The Black Rep in St. Louis. He flows seamlessly between the worlds of theatre and film by maintaining work in both.
Performing at the top of his class while at AFI, he earned numerous distinctions inclusive of the Frances Williams Artists Grant, Hewlett Packard Scholarship, Daniel J. Petrie Fellowship, Fujifilm Production Grant and Caucus Foundation Post-Production Grant for his AFI thesis film SALVATION ROAD. His award-winning work as an actor and/or director has toured internationally in film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Hamptons, Tribeca, and LA Film Festival and screened on the CBS, BET, HBO and CINEMAX networks. He holds his BFA in Literature, Writing and The Arts from The New School University, MFA in Classical Drama from Sarah Lawrence College and MFA in Film Directing from AFI Conservatory. He is also a Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab Alum, New Federal Theatre Artistic Associate, 2nd Stage Theatre Van Lier Directing Fellow, NBCUniversal Directing Fellow and a finalist for the ABC/DGA Directing Fellows Program.
To date, SALVATION ROAD has garnered the DGA Jury Prize, the Caucus Foundation Gold Circle Award and premiered in the HBO Short Film Showcase at the 2011 AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL. Subsequently, it was acquired by HBO and made it’s television debut on the network in 2012, continuing to screen on the network and at film festivals internationally. He would follow SALVATION ROAD with his provocative internet hit, AND THEN… winner of the SHADOW & ACT filmmakers competition which received it’s bi-coastal simultaneous premiere screening in NY and LA before premiering on the INDIEWIRE network in 2013. His most recent short SUNDAYS AT NOON featuring Lyric Anderson and Tami Roman went viral on Facebook with over 1.9 million views.
When not crafting, he keeps himself immersed in the work as a Lecturer/Professor on the Theatre Arts faculty at HOWARD UNIVERSITY in Washington, DC and as a Lecturer/Professor on Theatre, Film and TV faculty at Cal State Los Angeles.
He is an avid practitioner of VIPASSANA MEDITATION.