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Odessa’s Reign

Directors

Robin N. Hamilton

Producers

Robin N. Hamilton

Editors

Ed Reinsel

Cinematographers

Ed Reinsel

Odessa Madre, nicknamed Queen of the Underworld, was a prosperous numbers runner and a key figure in a lucrative gambling ring in Washington, DC in the 1950s. Leading the paper chase gave her prestige within the mob, power in her neighborhood, and control over the men charged with enforcing the law – all while being an African American woman in a segregated city.

A biography woven with a cautionary tale, Odessa’s Reign delves into the story of a multi-faceted woman who became one of the most powerful women in DC’s history and challenged the idea of what a lady could be and how far she could go.

Robin N. Hamilton

Director, Odessa's Reign

Robin Hamilton is an Emmy-award-winning television host, producer, and moderator for town halls and forums. She is the founder and principal of the ARound Robin Production Company, where she creates videos for non-profits to help with fundraising, marketing, and messaging.
Working at the intersection of media and policy, Ms. Hamilton’s work is guided by the principle of providing information that can promote transformation.
Her company has produced four documentary films. This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer chronicles the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. Her second documentary, Dignity and Defiance: A Portrait of Mary Church Terrell, was awarded a DC Humanities Grant and released in 2017. Our Alexandria, her third documentary, was awarded a Virginia Humanities Grant and won Best Documentary Short for the DC Independent Film Festival in 2020. Her fourth film, Odessa’s Reign is about a Black female gangster crowned ‘Queen of the Underworld’, who ran the most lucrative gambling ring in D.C. in the 1950s.
In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to Myanmar to create a communications campaign between local citizen organizations and the Burmese government.
She received two master’s degrees, one from New York University, with a concentration in broadcast journalism, and a second in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, focusing on public policy and media.