What a time to be alive for a filmmaker. Simply having a good idea and iPhone can afford a storyteller to make movies. And some, when they risk it all, make their dreams come true on a grander scale.

“I was born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and I’ve lived throughout NYC all my life,” said Dafina Roberts, the creator of Giving Me Life (In The Land of the Deadass).

The new web-series focuses on six Black and Latinx friends navigating a post-gentrified New York as a millenial. For the series Roberts grabbed from her own experience. 

“New York City can be a wild, fun and exciting place in which to grow up, but it can also be really harsh and unrelenting,” she said. “I’ve had some crazy experiences in my time, and I wanted to create a series that shows real New York characters and stories.”

Selected for the New York Television Festival, episodes focus on everything from unaffordable rent and finding employment, to dating sexually fluid people. For the project that she wrote, directed and produced —after quitting her job to pursue this— Roberts was made a creator-in-residence with Kickstarter. 

“Viewers can expect a raw, funny and light-hearted look at the existential crisis of being a young minority in this world,” Roberts said about the show. “You will see characters who are oftentimes not seen on TV because we’re not allowed to show our complexity or diversity.”

“As a woman of color it was important for me to show complex female characters. From a sexually-open but militant female activist to a prudish bisexual to a charismatic stem (feminine stud), we are all in here.”