Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Marchelle Thurman

By Katie Chambers 

Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to new member Marchelle Thurman!

Marchelle is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from NYU with a BFA with honors in Theater. She is a New York-based actor, writer, producer, director, and voice over artist.

The 10-time award-winning feature film Black White and the Greys, which she acted in, wrote, directed, and produced, recently became available on Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube.  Some of her favorite acting credits include FBI, Law & Order, Dynasty, NCIS: New Orleans, and How to Tell You’re a Douchebag (2016 Sundance Festival). She loves traveling, baking, and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Marchelle shared her insight into her award-winning films, juggling multiple hats on set, and her favorite baking recipes!


NYWIFT Member Marchelle Thurman


Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch! 

I’m an actor, writer, producer, voiceover artist, and director who believes in the importance of shining a light on new stories and voices. 


Congratulations on winning the NYWIFT Award for Excellence in Directing at the 2022 SOHO International Film Festival! Tell us about your film Black White and the Greys, and why it’s especially relevant to the times we live in now.

First off thank you so much. It was truly an honor, and to win for my first feature was really special. Black White and the Greys is about an interracial couple trying to keep their marriage and family together during a turbulent year. Ultimately our film is about compromise. When Casey Nelson (co-director, co-writer, and co-star) first approached me about the film, I knew it would be something special. And in creating this film there were times we too had to compromise, but we locked arms and did it together. 

We are in a time where the world feels so divided, and it’s easy to alienate those who don’t think or feel the same way as you do. It becomes much harder when that other person is someone that you love. We aimed to explore a couple, who through the events of 2020, started to realize that they weren’t on the same page about a lot of things. And the question is – can they compromise and save their marriage?

What’s been exciting is that festival audiences from all backgrounds have really embraced the film and so many have felt seen and related to it. The whole team – Casey Nelson, Jay Jablonski, Jessica Mathews, and myself – are all really proud of the film.


Marchelle Thurman at the SOHO International Film Festival


You wear a lot of hats, as an actor, writer, producer, director, AND voiceover artist – wow! What is your advice for other folks that might want to pursue several creative paths at once?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there are times when you have to take off multiple hats to focus on the task at hand. For instance, when I’m on set acting I can’t also be thinking about producing or writing. You have to compartmentalize at times for your sanity and for the integrity of the work. But I will say that having multiple roles gives you a better perspective on how each position serves the whole.


Still from Black White and the Greys


And of these hats, do you have one you gravitate toward more than others? 

Acting for sure. That is my primary passion. As of now, writing, producing, and directing have all been done in service of more acting opportunities. I eventually want to branch out and produce projects where I’m not an actor or writer. I want to help bring other people’s stories to life – not just my own.


Still from Black White and the Greys


What kinds of projects excite you? 

New stories and female-led projects. The second season of my web series was all female, from producers to PAs, and there was something really special about that. I would like to do that again. 


Marchelle Thurman on the set of NCIS: New Orleans


OK – I saw on your website that you’re in the fifth year of your “baking challenge.” Tell us about that! And what are some of your favorite recipes?

I love to bake and I’ve been doing it since high school. I find it relaxing and I also have a huge sweet tooth. I decided in 2018 to challenge myself to try a different gluten-free recipe each month.

One of my favorite recipes is a five-flavor pound cake. It’s actually a recipe my great aunt has been using for decades, and I just adapted it to be gluten-free. I make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also make an amazing German chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies.



What is next for you? 

I am still working on Black White and the Greys. We thankfully received distribution and are now on streaming platforms. So we are now in the process of continuing to spread the word to get as many people to see it as possible.

Additionally, I’m writing a short film that I will produce and act in with the hopes of completing by the end of this year. I also just shot a commercial as well as recorded VO for another TV commercial campaign. And as always, I am continuing to audition for acting and VO roles. 


Connect with Marchelle Thurman on Instagram at @marchellethurman and on her website www.marchellethurman.com.


Katie Chambers

Katie Chambers Katie Chambers is the Senior Director of Community & Public Relations at New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). She also serves as the Communications Chair of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs and is a freelance writer, copyeditor, and digital marketing strategist. Follow her @KatieGChambers.

View all posts by Katie Chambers

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