Critical Crop Top Media is a production company based out of Atlanta, Georgia that develops and produces films, web content, and screenings that amplify the stories of women and non-binary artists. Critical Crop Top Films uses its platform to elevate these stories beyond typical tropes to create multidimensional characters that echo the diverse and complex experiences of the people around us. We believe it's vital to create space in the film industry for women and non-binary creators and to hire them in key leadership positions.
Critical Crop Top Media was formed in 2016 by Nicole Kemper, Hillary R. Heath, and Sarah Alison Hodges with the goal of producing content from an intersectional feminist perspective and to create opportunities for women and other underrepresented voices to provide social commentary in a comedic light. In their first three years, Nicole, Hillary, and Sarah produced and released comedy shorts and web series including Vera’s Workplace Sensitivity Training, Dick Pic Professional, 80s Dating Video Remix, and PYTs Webshow. Nicole, Hillary, and Sarah also hosted a weekly podcast, The Feminine Mistake, which took a critical and comedic look at how women have been portrayed in film.
In October 2016, Critical Crop Top produced its first live comedy show - a program comprised of sketches written in a collaborative effort between eight artists, and which also included performances by spoken words artists and guest musical performers. More live shows followed, including Artificially Intelligent, Critical Crop Top Does Real Theatre, Afterlife, Feminine AF, Critical Crop Top Enters the Multiverse, and Critical Crop Top Saves America. Each show was written and developed by the ensemble and showcased a diverse cast of socially conscious comedians, actors, writers, and directors.
In 2020, our sketch comedy web series, Critical Crop Top’s Sketch Comedy Web Show, was written by an ensemble of five writer/director/performers and featured a diverse cast of some of our favorite Atlanta actors. Due to Covid-19, everything was shot virtually with some additional footage being shot by actors or our prop master in their homes. During this period, Nicole and Sarah also co-hosted The Adam and Andy Podcast, an irreverent look at fame and fandom focusing on the filmographies of Adam Driver and Andy Samberg.
Critical Crop Top Films
Now overseen by writer/executive producer, Nicole Kemper, Critical Crop Top Films has a renewed focus on developing and producing films and creating screening experiences that celebrate women and LGBTQ+ voices in film. Our short film, The Parts That Stay completed a successful festival run in 2022, winning Best Comedy Short Film and Best Georgia Short Film at the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival in 2021. We currently have two films on the festival circuit, Could This Have Been An Email and A Grim Diagnosis. We are also in development two feature films, Mr. Pleasure, and The Legend of Bog Man.
Could This Have Been An Email premiered in From Atlanta With Love at the historic Plaza Theater in July 2022. The hour-long showcase featured some of the best of the Georgia film community with a program celebrating women and LGBTQ+ creatives. The event was a co-production between Critical Crop Top Films and Studio Vosges. A Grim Diagnosis premiered at our second year of From Atlanta With Love in March of 2023. Organizers Nicole and Ava Davis look forward to producing similar events in the future.
On producing an event that highlights the Atlanta film community, writer/executive producer Nicole Kemper says, “Georgia has been a big destination for filming but I don’t know if Hollywood sees the immense talent that is here writing, directing, creating - we really wanted to celebrate that. The work that’s coming out of this community is really exciting.”
Photo credits: Julie Jones Ivey, Lola Scott, and Seth Tatum
Photo credit: Mark Morin / markmorinii.com
About Nicole Kemper
Nicole is a writer/creator/performer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She received an MFA in Directing for Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago in 2010. She is active in the Atlanta film community and has studied improv and sketch writing with Dad’s Garage, stand-up comedy with Lace Larabee’s Laugh Lab Comedy Class, and the Meisner Technique at Drama Inc. She frequently performs with the improv team, Au Guys. She enjoys writing, producing, and directing films for Critical Crop Top Films and believes strongly in advocating for stories by women and LGBTQ+ creators.
When not hustling to get her next project off the ground, she teaches film editing at The Georgia Film Academy, is Mom to three kids, and works locally as a casting director.