Robert Darwell is a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, working as the head of global media at Sheppard Mullin in LA. He has facilitated deals for major companies like Disney, Amazon MGM Studios, Nickelodeon, and Meta, contributing to the production of numerous films, including acclaimed works like Brokeback Mountain and Selma.

In addition to his legal career, Darwell is also recognized for his work as a documentary filmmaker. His latest film, Black Uniform, has garnered critical acclaim for its poignant portrayal of patriotism, racism, sacrifice, and service through the stories of 12 Black veterans. His first documentary, The 90s Club, won the Best Documentary award at the Manhattan Film Festival in 2022, highlighting the lives of near-centenarians.

Darwell’s inspiration for The 90s Club stemmed from a desire to explore ageism, a topic he felt was overlooked in discussions of social justice. By interviewing individuals from diverse backgrounds and including notable figures like civil rights litigator Fred Gray and actor Dick Van Dyke, Darwell aimed to shed light on the experiences of older adults and gain personal insights for his own life.

The idea for Black Uniform emerged during the filming of The 90s Club, as Darwell reflected on his father’s military service. Inspired by the stories of veterans like Fred Gray, Darwell decided to focus his next documentary on the experiences of Black men and women who served in the military.

When it comes to funding his documentaries, Darwell chooses to finance the projects himself to maintain creative control. While the expenses can be significant, he views his filmmaking as a form of pro bono work, allowing him to explore meaningful stories and themes.

Despite his busy schedule as an entertainment lawyer and filmmaker, Darwell also finds time to pursue his passion for music as a DJ. His journey into DJing began as a challenge, and he has since performed in various cities around the world, infusing his sets with thematic elements and personal touches.

Darwell’s transition from international law to entertainment law was sparked by a research paper he wrote during law school, exploring child labor laws in the entertainment industry. His fascination with entertainment and the ever-evolving legal landscape in the industry have kept him engaged and motivated in his practice.

While Darwell’s career has had its share of exciting moments, such as attending film festivals and working on high-profile deals, he also emphasizes the importance of practicality and adaptability in the fast-paced entertainment world. Balancing legal expertise with a practical approach is crucial in navigating the complexities of the industry and staying ahead of the competition.

As a mentor to aspiring entertainment lawyers, Darwell values proactive and informed interactions, appreciating individuals who bring unique insights or contributions to the table. He emphasizes the importance of research and personal connections in networking, highlighting the value of meaningful engagement over generic requests for advice.

Darwell’s multifaceted career serves as a testament to the intersection of law, creativity, and storytelling in the entertainment world. From brokering deals for major studios to capturing the untold stories of veterans, he continues to make an impact through his diverse pursuits in the industry.