When the pandemic brought his career to a screeching halt, indie filmmaker and comic Amaru was scouring the state for a good place to hatch his next plan.
That plan—to launch Greenwood District Studios (GDS), Michigan’s first Black-owned independent film studio—came to Amaru when he got back home to Lansing. He was grabbing a meal with his girlfriend when an old, colorful building grabbed his attention: the Lansing Mall Cinema, vacant since 2014.
“I was like, ‘check, please,’” Amaru recalled.
The next day, he signed a lease, moved into the building, and began hatching his grand scheme.