“I have good friends that support me,” said Anthony Michael Hobbs, co-founder and co-executive producer at Imagination Lunchbox, LLC, a film production company in Maryland that’s a small ripple making big waves.
“I have an anti-social personality so if people come to me [with ill intentions] it’s not working because my personality won’t allow it,” explained Kerri Hobbs, mother of the 12-year-old filmmaker, when asked how she handles the entertainment industry sharks that try to hinder or benefit from her and her son’s hard work.
Kerri is also co-founder and co-executive producer at the company that she formed for her award-winning son. Anthony Michael Hobbs, as a successful child actor and model, wanted to produce his own films that he could star in. His most notable role as an actor is as a young Frederick Douglas in the Emmy-nominated PBS special “The Abolitionist.”
He represented PBS at the 2013 Emmy Awards and has also starred in DreamWorks “How to Train Your Dragon: Dragons and Dinosaurs.” As a model, he has appeared in national marketing campaigns for companies that include Finish Line Athletics and Toys-R-Us.
Imagination Lunchbox, LLC, was named after Anthony’s dog and has already produced three short films for him: “One Nation,” “Naga Pixie” and “Agent Hollywood.” The films, collectively, screened at over 15 international film festivals and won a total of six awards. Recently the production company held its first annual Imagination Lunchbox International Children’s Film Festival (ILICFF)) where 15 films from Spain, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan, and the U.S. were screened. The films were made by or for children or have children in starring roles. ILICFF also offered a panel discussion where the audience had plenty of serious questions.
Kerri said helping youth achieve the dreams remains one of the company’s main goals.
“I think we inspired the kids at Anthony’s film festival. We had a lot of submissions and half the audience that came were children.”
Imagination Lunchbox is currently in the production stages of a documentary film made in association with the Smithfield Foundation in Virginia. Kerri sits on the foundation’s board and their film production company was hired to produce several projects. This current project is about the interactions between the Preston family, owners of the Smithfield plantation, and one of their enslaved families — the Fractions of which the Hobbs are descendants.
When asked about who makes the final decisions in a company that belongs to 12-year-old Anthony Michael Hobbs, the youth said: “If something happens it’s my decision. [My mother] tells me if it’s good or bad … if she says something is bad, but I say it’s good, we do it.”
“You have to support them,” Kerri said about letting her son lead the way. “Parents ask me how do you make him … I say I am not making him — he’s leading. We talk about it. The only time I do not let him have his way is if it’s detrimental to him. I don’t let that happen.”
Anthony Michael’s circle of friends all have roles in his movies though very few want to be actors or filmmakers.
“They only do it for me,” Anthony said. “Stace is getting more into acting. My friends Josh and Robert both want to get into the NBA.”
Hobbs is also an award-winning athlete. He was recently chosen out of hundreds of youth trying out to be on the Maryland AAU team, the Ravens.
Learn more about Imagination Lunchbox, LLC and its projects by logging onto www.ImaginationLunchbox.com or www.Anthony-Michael.com. Imagination Lunchbox’s third project “Agent Hollywood” will be screened at the Ocean City Film Festival (June 8-11) on Sunday, June 11.
Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates and promotions director for The Baltimore Times.