From Tragedy to Triumph
Purpelle Tramble is a dynamic Filmmaker, Curator, Film Critic, Teaching Artist, Singer-Songwriter as well as the CEO and Founder of Purple Reels LLC. Born in Seattle, Washington into a family that relished in the arts, naturally it was evident where the anchor would center for Purpelle. Family road trips and movie nights sparked a deep passion for “God’s Green Earth” and movies based on a true story.
A number of experiences in high school only fueled her deep desire to pursue a career in media. Purpelle Tramble is a proud graduate of Howard University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Film. Attending the Cannes Film Festival opened her eyes to the Global Film Market & the business side of film. This inspired the birth of Purple Reels Productions (PRP). Since its inception PRP has been honored to work with companies such as Human Rights Campaign, Zenful Bites, National Children’s Center, Reel Grrls, WHUT-TV, Bembry Consulting Services etc.
In 2013 Tramble served as Artist in Residence at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute where she launched, ‘Eras of Black Film Contest’ and ‘The Truth Unchained Film Festival.’ Tramble also traveled to community centers and schools in the Seattle area screening films to students to generate critical thinking.
Purple Reels Productions has continued to evolve and adapt with the changing times. In 2013 PRP received a leadership award from Northwest Asian Weekly’s ‘Women of Color Empowered.’ 2014 marked triumph and heartache. That year Purpelle Tramble’s film ‘The Proposal’ was the Official Selection for the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, she had finished writing her first feature length screenplay and then she got news her sister died. Tramble believes it is important that her heart speaks through whatever art form or project she chooses. The loss of her sister to 18 year battle with Neuromyelitis Optica hit her so hard she couldn’t even produce the video for her memorial. This sparked the birth of ‘Gateway Reels’ (G. Reels) a service that creates unique ‘celebration of life’ videos for memorials and(or) funerals.
2017 marked a significant milestone as Purpelle nearly died in a house fire at her residence in Washington DC that November. That experience alone opened the door to a painful experience with homelessness that nearly shattered her dreams and will to live. In spite of this, Tramble is resilient and never backs down from any challenge in life. Despite the pain she fought and overcame her battle with homelessness.
In 2019 Purpelle launched, ‘Purple Reels Pop Up Cinema’ which was honored the same year with a Proclamation from the Mayor of Seattle. Purpelle Tramble’s Traveling Pop Up Cinema focused on classic films such as Paris Blues, Cornbread Earl and Me, Malcolm X: Make it Plain etc. Since the pandemic hit Purpelle has been busy sharing movies through her show, “Purple Reels is Watching” (PRIW). In 2021 Purple Reels is Watching opened the door to another venture, where-in the show served as a platform for Independent Filmmakers to share their stories and current projects.
The times are uncertain and constantly changing. We cannot change that. Purpelle Tramble’s vision is to be the alternative to the madness and sorrow by focusing on inspirational movies, “Purple Reels is Watching” (PRIW) and helping those who mourn.
Currently Purpelle is wrapping up documentary, "Mommy! What's a Funkateer? The Untold Stories of Parliament-Funkadelic Fans." It is a passion project, music documentary very close to her heart. The idea came after the passing of Prince in April 2016, first as a documentary about fans of Prince. Tramble decided upon a different route with a broader focus, one that encompasses even fans of that of Prince's influences of Funk. Video submissions from Parliament-Funkadelic Fans answering the question, Mommy! What's a Funkateer? being accepted through May 23, 2022. Submissions are now closed but Purple Reels LLC is actively looking for a Cartoonist and original music for the project (preferably from Funkateers).