GRAFTON, Va. (WAVY) — A local teenager is making his mark on the television and movie industry. Jakobe Brownlee is a 16-year-old junior at Grafton High School.

The straight “A” student managed to juggle his classes, basketball and national acting gigs. He said he started in commercials when he was 10, and then things took off.

“After that, I went to TV/Movie series [such as] Swagger on AppleTV with Kevin Durant,” Brownlee said. “Then, I did ‘Your Honor’ on Showtime which was a great experience.”

He has worked with a number of actors including Chet Hanks, the son of Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, Brownlee said. He most recently starred in the short film “Recovery Chain.” It was written and directed by Norfolk native Quamé Hamlin.

“It’s about a teen,” Brownlee said. “He just got evicted from his mother’s home, and he is forced to build up his relationship with his dad who was distant in his childhood. So, it just details that. It’s just really symbolic of Quamé’s relationship with his father and his upbringing.”

In August, Brownlee won Best Actor at the DC Black Film Festival for his role in “Recovery Chain.”

“I was very surprised to win Best Actor in the entire film festival,” Brownlee said. “There was a lot of talent there, and it wasn’t really a competition for me. I just wanted to see other actors perform and directors show their stories. When I got the news that I won, I was like, speechless. It was a really big accomplishment, but like I said, it wouldn’t be possible without Quamé, the cast, the crew — everyone I worked with.”

Brownlee said he has more acting to do, but he does have life goals that go beyond acting.

“After I graduate high school and go to college, I really don’t want to pursue acting like that,” Brownlee said. “It’s really fun. It’s something that I love, but I actually want to be a biomedical engineer when I get older. I love helping people out. I love the medical side of it, and I just feel like it’s a great way to give back to people in need.”

Keep up to date with the latest news on