Joshua Luke, the CEO and Founder of Monarch International LTD, strives to change the world’s perception of the Black gay community one day at a time. After college, Joshua began his journey as a philanthropist and Assistant Director of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. He helped companies merge from the European business standard to the American.
Spending ten years in consulting, Joshua opened his firm specializing in African-American LGBT corporate and nonprofit companies to build revenue and expand their reach. As the President of Black Gay News Network and BGTV+, a streaming service targeting the African-American LGBTQ+ communities, his ultimate goal is to build the networks into household names and a major media powerhouse.
On October 8, he will launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his film project, SHADOWS OF EUPHORIA, the first ever Black LGBTQ+ Fantasy/Romance/Action series. Here’s what he shared about his bold new venture.
PrideIndex (PI): What is SHADOWS OF EUPHORIA based on? A story you created? A book? Etc.
Shadows of Euphoria is based on a story I created. This is a poignant story rooted in the theme of true love, portraying various forms of it. It explores the profound love within a family for their son, the powerful love between two men, and the complex relationship between the individuals and the society they inhabit. The narrative delves into the unique challenges faced by those at the intersection of being Black and gay, shedding light on their experiences, perceptions, and societal acceptance. It’s a compelling exploration of love in its many dimensions within the context of the Black LGBTQ+ community.
PI: Did you start a production company to help with this project? If so, who are some of the others involved?
Yes, to bring this project to life, I established a production company, BGTV+. This show stands as the inaugural original production of BGTV+. While collaborating with a talented team, BGTV+ aims to be a trailblazer as the first African-American LGBTQ+ media streaming app and content creator portal globally.
PI: Is this your first foray into film? If so, why did you go into animation?
This is my first venture into film. I have had experience in filmmaking before behind the scenes; however, in this particular project, I chose animation to develop the story because it offers a direct and authentic way to portray the characters and narrative. I intend to film this as a Live-action TV series that allows us to capture the nuances of human emotions and interactions within the Black LGBTQ+ community, which are essential for conveying the essence of this story.
PI: Why did you decide to make this project?
I chose to undertake this project because I felt a strong connection to the themes it explores, particularly in the context of Black LGBTQ matters. The story delves into issues and experiences often underrepresented or misunderstood, and it’s crucial to shed light on these topics. Through this project, I aim to provide a platform for authentic representation and storytelling within the Black LGBTQ community. It’s my passion for filmmaking combined with a commitment to addressing these important matters that drove me to create this project.
PI: Talk about your background and ultimate goal for (a) this project and (b) as a filmmaker.
I am the founder of Monarch International LTD, and I have a background in consulting, with a focus on African-American LGBT corporate and nonprofit empowerment. This project aims to address pressing issues within the LGBTQ+ community. As a filmmaker, I seek to amplify underrepresented voices and drive positive social change.
PI: Talk about the level of support you want people to give and what they will get in return (e.g., A $10K gift will provide me with a producer credit, etc.)
We have several levels of support on our Kickstarter campaign, each offering unique benefits to our backers:
- Digital Special Edition ($20): Backers at this level will receive a digital special edition of the project with an estimated delivery in December 2024.
- Blu-Ray Special Edition ($30): This tier includes a Blu-Ray special edition of the project, shipped to the United States, with an estimated delivery in December 2024.
- SIGNED BLU-RAY BUNDLE ($50): Backers will receive a signed BGTV+ Media Blu-Ray Special Edition, a BTS Experience (Secret Invite), and a digital soundtrack.
- Digital Complete Edition ($60): This package includes a digital special edition, an exclusive 4K BGTV+ Media digital download, a digital soundtrack, a BTS experience, and more.
- BLU-RAY COMPLETE EDITION ($80): Backers will receive a signed and dedicated Amicus Blu-Ray Special Edition, a BGTV+ Media Stitch Patch, an exclusive 4K BGTV+ Media digital download, and more.
- COLLECTOR’S SIGNED POSTER BUNDLE ($150): This tier includes a collector’s signed poster, a certificate of authenticity, and the BLU-RAY COMPLETE EDITION.
- THANK YOU CREDIT BUNDLE ($220): Backers at this level will receive a thank you credit in the movie and IMDB, a choice of BGTV+ T-Shirt, Polo Shirt, or Crew Cap, and a variety of other physical and digital rewards.
- ‘Be in the Movie’ Reward ($950): This reward offers backers the opportunity to be in the movie, with an acting credit in the film and IMDB, along with all the rewards from the Signed Blu-Ray Bundle.
- ‘Act in the Movie’ Reward ($1,500): Similar to the previous tier, this reward allows backers to act in the movie, with an acting credit in the film and IMDB, along with rewards from the Signed Blu-Ray Bundle.
- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER ($1,850): This tier includes an Associate Producer credit in the film credits, IMDB, and various physical and digital rewards.
- Executive Producer ($6,500): Backers at this level will receive an Executive Producer credit in the film credits and IMDB, along with several rewards, including an optional thank you credit for their business.
- BGTV+ CO-PRODUCTION ($9,500): This top-tier package offers a BGTV+ CO-PRODUCTION credit in the film and IMDB, along with various rewards, including an Executive Producer credit and the opportunity to play a minor supporting role.
Each support level offers unique rewards and a chance for backers to be part of this exciting project.
Your support means the world to us and helps us bring this important story to life. Check out our Kickstarter campaign @ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadowsofeuphoria/shadows-of-euphoria for more details on each level and the incredible rewards we offer for your support.