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Meet the Formerly Incarcerated Filmmaker

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Kwende Ried

Nationwide — Kwende Ried is an African American independent filmmaker and also the founder of Cheddaboy Films. Based in Detroit, Michigan, he has already released nine different films that can be seen on Amazon Prime and Tubi, a huge accomplishment for anyone, but especially for a person that has been formally incarcerated.

Kwende, who describes himself as a resilient and positive Black man, is a beacon of hope and transformation. Having faced the challenges of the criminal justice system due to selling marijuana, his life took a remarkable turn as he embraced filmmaking to empower his community and provide aspiring actors a chance to pursue their dreams. Some of his impactful movies include “One More Flip,” “Cheddaboys,” “5 Minutes,” and “Off the Porch.”


His personal experiences during his time in prison profoundly impacted his perspective on life. Upon regaining his freedom, he recognized a profound calling to effect positive change and create opportunities for others facing similar challenges. Embracing his passion for filmmaking, Kwende founded Cheddaboy Films, a platform dedicated to telling authentic stories that shed light on the realities of the inner city, inspiring residents to rise above adversity.

In his debut film, “One More Flip,” Kwende crafted a poignant portrayal of a young woman navigating her way out of the drug trade, determined to pursue a better future. The film conveys the importance of making positive choices and seeking alternatives to the path of crime.

In “Cheddaboys,” he delves into the lives of individuals growing up in drug-dealing families, determined to uplift their community through music and talents. The film celebrates the power of friendship, unity, and artistic expression, encouraging viewers to channel their passions into vehicles of change.

“5 Minutes” passionately explores the impact of one bad decision on loyalty and friendship, igniting a chain of events that can alter lives forever. Through this film, Kwende sparks conversations about social change and raises awareness of the issues affecting marginalized communities.

In “Off the Porch,” he skillfully navigates the complexities of familial relationships and the impact of mentorship. The movie portrays the journey of a troubled young man, who finds solace in music and violence, ultimately affecting everyone around him. “Off the Porch” resonates with viewers, emphasizing the importance of positive role models and fostering a sense of community.

Kwende’s filmmaking prowess and dedication to his community have not gone unnoticed. Through “Cheddaboy Films,” he provides a nurturing space for aspiring actors from all walks of life, enabling them to hone their craft and pursue their dreams in the industry. Several talents discovered through auditions for Kwende’s movies have gone on to receive accolades and recognition on both local and national stages.

Beyond the camera, Kwende actively advocates for criminal justice reform, leveraging his platform to raise awareness about the urgent need for rehabilitation and second chances for those impacted by the justice system. His voice resonates, and he has become a sought-after speaker at conferences and panel discussions on criminal justice reform and community development.

His journey from incarceration to illumination serves as an inspiration for countless individuals facing adversity. Through his films and dedication to the community, he has become a powerful force for positive change. His legacy continues to grow as he passionately pursues his mission to illuminate lives, empower dreams, and transform the inner city one film at a time. All his movies are available to watch on Tubi right now, and three of them are available on Amazon Prime.

For more information, please visit his official website at