Roxanne Avent Taylor is reshaping the very definition of independent production. In partnership with investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith, alongside her husband, director Deon Taylor launched Hidden Empire Film Group (HEFG) sixteen years ago. Emerging as one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, Taylor’s creative voice stretches beyond all entertainment platforms including linear television, streaming, and radio; therefore, placing her amongst a select few.
Her lifelong passion for storytelling mirrors her fearless dedication to social justice. Taylor has led several community and national initiatives over the years. In partnership with Robert F. Smith, the Taylors have co-produced the digital series Be Woke. Vote - a social media philanthropic initiative to engage young people in political issues impacting our communities. The bipartisan series was hosted by CNN political contributor Van Jones, journalist Roland Martin, and GRAMMY Award® winning singer/songwriter Tameka “Tiny” Harris and features interviews with Kim Kardashian West, Jamie Foxx, and Chelsea Handler. The Be Woke. Vote series won two Webby Awards in 2020.
Growing up understanding the value of mentorship, Taylor’s work in youth advocacy through her C.L.I.M.B (Community, Learn, Inspire, Motivate, Build) mentoring program provides vital resources that help foster clear paths to advance educational opportunities for thousands of underserved young women. Additionally, the Taylors have partnered with non-profit organizations like The Baron Jay Foundation to provide opportunities for youth to gain on-set experience. Taylor received that organization’s prestigious Trailblazer Award in 2019. This is the same year Hidden Empire Film Group was recognized with the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) organization. Other awards and honors for Taylor includes, most recently receiving the 2022 Building Change Award at the 13th Annual African American Film Critics (AAFCA) Film Honors. In 2018, Taylor was the recipient of the NAACP’s Women in Leadership Award.
Roxanne credits HEFG’s success to her willingness to find comfort in going left when others are going right. Having developed, packaged, and produced an impressive slate of films, Roxanne was the driving force in the company’s recent expansion into distribution.
Notable theatrical releases from the producer includes Hidden Empire’s House Next Door starring Mike Epps and Katt Williams (2021), Lionsgate’s Fatale (2020), starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank and Golden Globe® nominee Michael Ealy, Sony Pictures Black and Blue starring Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris, NAACP Image Award® winner Tyrese Gibson, and Frank Grillo, The Intruder (2019) with Golden Globe nominee Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy, and NAACP Image Award nominee Meagan Good, NAACP Image Award nominated Traffick starring NAACP Image Award nominee Paula Patton, SAG Award® nominee Missi Pyle, and NAACP Image Award winners Omar Epps and Laz Alonso, Meet the Blacks (2016) starring NAACP Image Award winner Mike Epps and ALMA Award® winner George Lopez, and Supremacy (2014) starring two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali, Spirit Award® winner Derek Luke, and SAG Award nominee Julie Benz.
Up next, Taylor is producing the psychological horror film FEAR, starring Joseph Sikora, Terrence Jenkins, Andrew Bachelor, and Tip “T.I.” Harris. The film is scheduled to premiere January 27,
2023. Other projects slated for production this year include Freedom Ride, the John Lewis biopic, Free Agents, and the Floyd Mayweather documentary.
When not making magic on screen, Taylor can be found in Granite Bay, CA making memories with her family.