Nothing builds a person better than his experiences. The principle is true for Paul Eliacin, founder and CEO of Up In Harlem, LLC, who learned the ropes of the film industry by learning through actions. For Paul, filmmaking is more than a career but a way of life, as he amplifies the heart-wrenching narratives of people who have long been hidden in the shadows.
Paul Eliacin has worked with some of the biggest directors and producers in the industry today. He was part of several Hollywood films such as Matty Rich’s Straight Out of Brooklyn. Paul also worked on blockbuster films, including Boomerang, One Fine Day, Conspiracy Theory, Men in Black, and the First Wife’s Club. Additionally, he became a Theatrical teamster with local 817 in 1990.
Aside from film, Paul has worked on other television shows such as New York UnderCover, Sopranos, Law and Order, Law and Order Criminal Intent, and Law and Order SVU. Paul has been in the industry for over 30, years He was a crew member of the highly rated political talk show called The Week In review, which aired on WRKS-FM in New York City featuring Bob Slade, Bob Pickett, Peter Noel, James Mtume, and Charles “The Cut Man” Etheridge.
With his extensive contributions to the film industry, Paul Eliacin felt a deeper responsibility to use his talent and skills to put forth stories that change lives. His company Up In Harlem LLC took its name from his independent movie entitled Up In Harlem. The film tells a coming-of-age story featuring the rapper-turned-actor Ice-T.
Up In Harlem is a film set in the 1990s featuring a family struggling to make ends meet in the ghetto. It follows the story of Fay Mulberry, played by R&B singer Milira Jones, who strives to overcome her draining lifestyle centered on drugs and violence. This issue envelopes the Black community she calls home. Fay held on to the promise of a college scholarship, hoping that the opportunity will turn her life around. Still, she loses sight of her vision after a romantic episode with a drug dealer named Robert Laney.
Following the rise of Black filmmakers and stories across the country, Paul Eliacin saw an opportunity to lead the revolutionary film movement. “Black viewers, who are transitioning from their boycott of the Hollywood blackout, now make up a large percentage of the growing army of eyeballs,” said Paul. “They want to see more people who look like them and more inspirational as well as reality-based plotlines that are reflective of their lived experience. That is why streaming services like Amazon Prime Video have been building some of the largest libraries of Black-themed TV shows and movies,” he added. See Paul Eliacin movie “UP IN HARLEM” now streaming on Amazon prime.
Besides sharing the struggles of the Black community, Paul Eliacin also shared that he experienced the dark tragedy of 9/11 at Ground Zero. He was one of the first respondents of the disaster, capturing over 300 rare and never-before-seen photos and over 5 hours of footage of the unfortunate event.
“I was part of history in the making,” said the filmmaker. “Not that I am proud of this horrible tragedy. I wish it had never taken place. A lot of people died. And the 20th anniversary is a few months away. I am still traumatized.”To learn more about Paul Eliacin and Up In Harlem LLC, visit their website, Instagram, and Twitter.