Tag: black tv and film collective

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Nielsen VP Charlene Polite Corley on “The Download”

Join us for a conversation about diversity and representation in the TV industry with Charlene Polite Corley, VP of Diverse Insights & Partnerships at Nielsen.

 

You don’t want to miss thisvirtual FREE, LIVE insiderconversation and the opportunity to discuss the findings of the latest Nielsen report on diversity and how it impacts and informs representation in Hollywood!

 

On Mon. December 20th at 7:30PM ET, Charlene Polite Corley, Vice President, Diverse Insights & Partnerships at Nielsen will discuss her role as VP of Diverse Insights and Partnerships at Nielsen, the findings of the latest Nielsen diversity report and how it directly impacts Black screenwriters in the film and TV industry.

 

Charlene is passionate about representation in media. As a part of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Team, Charlene is responsible for thought leadership and research development leveraging Nielsen data that enables the perspectives, needs and value of historically excluded groups to be more fully understood. In her current role, Charlene also collaborates with media industry and advocacy organizations to drive equity and awareness for diverse communities.

 

Ron McCants(BTFC Board Member, Co-Founder of The Parity Project) will be moderating this conversation. Ron holds his MFA and is a TV writer, award-winning playwright and WGA member who has written for Speechless. His plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York and London.

 

Ron was a writer for the Disney/ABC Writing Program and a recipient of multiple playwriting awards and the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship for children’s television. He was most recently a staff writer on Chicago Fire, has written a music video for Nas and worked on Marvel’s Falcon and Winter Soldier. Ron is a Board Member of the Black TV & Film Collective. He also co-founder The Parity Project, an organization aimed at improving the career outcomes of marginalized writers through data.

 

This discussion will also include a roundtable featuring BTFC members, Laura Fielder (Screenwriter, BTFC Co-Founder and Board Member), Monique Hazeur (BTFC Producers Fellow, “I Won the Lottery”), April Guscott (BTFC Member, Screenwriter), and Dafina Roberts (BTFC Member, Writer) and providing them with an opportunity to ask our guest pressing questions.

 

This is your opportunity to educate yourself on what the present data says about the future of Hollywood and diversity in the entertainment industry!

 

Interested in becoming a member? Visit www.blacktvfilmcollective.org/join

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Sound of Metal: Discussion Circle

Let’s talk about the highly acclaimed film, Sound of Metal. 

On Thursday, May 27th; we’re discussing the highly praised film,  the Sound of Metal. Come ready to dive into what makes this film that won the BAFTA Award for Best Editing, the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, the Academy Award for Best Sound…the Critic’s Choice Movie Award for Best Editing – to name a few – resonate with audiences across the globe.

We’ll be discussing:

  • The Protagonist
  • Characters
  • Themes
  • Three Act Structure

The Sound of Metal has reinspired filmmakers to take a creative leap in storytelling and owning diverse narratives. Please watch the film and read the script prior to our discussion.

About Sound of Metal :

The life of an itinerant punk-metal drummer (Riz Ahmed) begins to unravel when he suddenly loses his hearing, and with it, his identity. Directed by Darius Marder with an original screenplay by Darius and Abraham Marder; story by Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance.

Genre: Drama

Watch the trailer:

 

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Breaking Into Directing

On Thursday, Aug. 5th at 7 PM ET; join us for an interactive conversation on breaking into directing whether it be film, television, digital – or commercial.

 

Did you start out as a Writer? An Actor? Maybe you were on a tight budget so you directed your own short or series. No matter what your journey may look like, many of us find ourselves in the lauded Director’s chair.

This panel will be moderated by Daytime Emmy nominated Filmmaker, Dui Jarrod (“King Ester,” Issa Rae Productions) featuring Okema T. Moore (Creative Director/Producer, OWN; Netflix, Fox, BET),  Stacey Muhammad (Director, “Queen Sugar,” “First Wives Club,” “Being Mary Jane”), and Quincy G. Ledbetter (Director, 2021 Webby Award Winner “Alieu the Dreamer”).

Our discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A – see you there! 

 

ABOUT DUI JARROD

Dui Jarrod is a Daytime Emmy nominated & award-winning screenwriter, director, and playwright residing in Brooklyn, NY best known for BROOKLYN. BLUE. SKY. It is the first acquired web series for BET Networks after winning the Xfinity Best Web Series Award at the American Black Film Festival. His new series, “King Ester” has been nominated for 4 Day-time Emmy Awards. Jarrod’s work focuses on the power of human connection in the landscape of America. duijarrod.com 

 

ABOUT OKEMA T. MOORE

Okema T. Moore is a passionate multi-genre producer turned director who never thought she’d be here! Starting as an actor/singer, she found the roles for Black women stereotypical and monolithic and vowed to figure out ways to change that. Leaving a cushy finance job at 36 to start all over, she worked her a** off to become a PGA Producer and Creative Director working with the likes of OWN, Netflix, FOX, BET, TLC, and more. Okema is committed to proving that good stories come from all corners of life and deserve to be told by the most unlikely people! And as development becomes more and more her calling, she presently revels in bringing the ideas of these unlikely people to the masses. moorethanenuff.com 

 

ABOUT STACEY MUHAMMAD

New Orleans native Stacey Muhammad is a multi-hyphenate artist who has received rave reviews for her cinematic approach and distinctive style to storytelling and for creating emotionally charged character-driven stories. Since directing her first episode of TV on the groundbreaking series, Queen Sugar for OWN, she’s gone on to direct the season premiere and 2nd episode of Tracy Oliver’s First Wives Club for BET+ as well as episodes of the forthcoming Amazon series, HARLEM, starring Meagan Good and Whoopi Goldberg. She recently wrapped episodes of the forthcoming CBS / Paramount+ series, Guilty Party (starring Kate Beckinsale), and is currently directing two episodes of the second season of Love Life for HBO Max. 

Stacey is an alumnus of the esteemed Warner Brothers Directing workshop and was one of thirteen directors chosen by the Directors Guild of America and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers for the inaugural Commercial Director’s Diversity Program. She’s since gone on to direct three commercials for AARP. 

Stacey is currently in development with Malcolm D. Lee’s Blackmaled Productions on her first feature film titled, THE RETURN. staceymfilms.com

 

ABOUT QUINCY G. LEDBETTER

Quincy G. Ledbetter is a filmmaker, musician, photographer, and artist from Brooklyn, New York by way of Woodbridge, Virginia. As a self-taught jack of all trades, Quincy excels in writing, directing, editing, cinematography, and music composition. His work in digital media has won an Edward Murrow Award and an ASME Ellie Award for News Documentary (2018), an Emmy Nomination for Short Format Daytime Program (2017), and a Webby Award (2016 and 2021). Quincy has worked with notable organizations such as BET Networks, Paramount Players, NPR, Color of Change, Mashable, Mic.com, HuffPost, Vox, and The New York Times. qledbetter.com

 

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‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’

On Thursday, Aug. 26th at 5 PM PST | 8 PM EST; join us in a conversation with editors of the hit Emmy-nominated HBO comedy A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW

 

This panel features the women making history:  Daysha Broadway, Stephanie Filo, and Jessica Hernández. This is a panel you don’t want to miss, hosted by Hollie Harper the creator and co-exec producer of Hella Late! with Hollie Harper on BRIC TV and a co-host of the nationally trending Twitter Storytelling Chat “BlerdDating.” Daysha, Stephanie, and Jessica make up the first-ever all-women of color editing team nominated for an Emmy and want to tell you their stories of how they got into the business, the highs and lows of Hollywood, and how to find your passion and tribe. Expect a hilarious evening with these ladies!
Our discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A – see you there! 

 

ABOUT HOLLIE HARPER

Hollie Harper is a comedy nerd from South Jersey. She is currently the creator and co-exec producer of Hella Late! with Hollie Harper on BRIC TV and a co-host of the nationally trending Twitter Storytelling Chat “BlerdDating.” Hollie has been featured on NY1 and in Black Enterprise Magazine, Thrive Global, and Confessional Magazine.
Her popular sketch comedy show AMERICAN CANDY has played the Comic Strip, Gotham Comedy Club, BAM Café as well as the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.  Time Out Chicago named them one of the five groups to watch.
Hollie is a regular host for West Side Comedy Club and works with Gold Comedy and Stand Up Girls, two programs that empower young women by teaching them standup comedy. She is also the Creative Director of the very successful Black Women in Comedy Laff Fest. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel

 

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Building Your Network

On Thursday, Oct. 28th at 7:30 PM ET; join us for another conversation on directing – and this time, we’re talking about building your network – and netWORTH! 

Building your network can be trivial if you’re unsure where to start. Is film school still a better option than going the unorthodox route? How do you distinguish yourself – better yet, how do you even find your voice and brand in such a saturated market? We’re taking the guesswork and self-doubt out of your journey with this panel of creatives who have taken different paths in their journey – but all meet here at the BTFC Director’s Chair!

This panel will be moderated by award-winning filmmaker, musician, photographer, and artist, Quincy G. Ledbetter (Director, 2021 Webby Award Winner “Alieu the Dreamer”). Quincy will be joined by other multi-hyphenate creatives who have chartered unknown territory but are still Making Their Work! This panel features Denzel Whitaker (NAACP Award-Winning Actor & Filmmaker), Lisa Janae (Actor, Filmmaker & Founder of TERRA Visuals LLC), Craig T. Williams (Writer/Producer/Editor), and Yhá Mourhia Wright (Award-Winning Filmmaker & Actor, “#LoveMyRoomie”).

Our discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A – see you there and come ready to take notes!

 

ABOUT QUINCY G. LEDBETTER

Quincy G. Ledbetter is a filmmaker, musician, photographer, and artist from Brooklyn, New York by way of Woodbridge, Virginia. As a self-taught jack of all trades, Quincy excels in writing, directing, editing, cinematography, and music composition. His work in digital media has won an Edward Murrow Award and an ASME Ellie Award for News Documentary (2018), an Emmy Nomination for Short Format Daytime Program (2017), and a Webby Award (2016 and 2021). Quincy has worked with notable organizations such as BET Networks, Paramount Players, NPR, Color of Change, Mashable, Mic.com, HuffPost, Vox, and The New York Times.  qledbetter.com

 

ABOUT DENZEL WHITAKER

Born in Torrance, California, Denzel Whitaker is best known for his award-winning role in THE GREAT DEBATERS, performing opposite of his two namesakes, Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Numerous film and television shows list Denzel’s name including fan favorites: BLACK PANTHER, CUT THROAT CITY, BET’s ALIEU THE DEAMER, THE PURGE TV series, WARRIOR, U SHOOT VIDEOS?, and TRAINING DAY.In 2011, Denzel simultaneously began developing his skillset behind the camera as a filmmaker. Since then, he’s garnered millions of views in the music video space, worked 5 years at Cartoon Network on hits shows including BOONDOCKS and BLACK DYNAMITE, and is a published fashion photographer. His latest film ‘5150’, is an official selection at this year’s Hollyshorts Film Festival and Tribeca NOW Creators Market. Co-written and directed by Denzel, starring Jovan Adepo and executive produced by David Oyelowo, the film is currently being developed into a TV series. Denzel is a dynamic, young filmmaker with a unique voice and a burning desire to tell stories about people of color we haven’t seen before. View Denzel’s work

 

ABOUT LISA JANAE

 

Lisa Janae is a director, cinematographer, actor, and editor from Los Angeles, CA. She has most recently co-starred on CBS in the shows FBI: Most Wanted and Law and Order: Organized Crime. Lisa moves with intention and is drawn to create art centered in the black, LGBT+ cultural experience. She is a SONY Alpha Female+ grantee, and her film work behind the lens has been featured on Amazon, Hulu, TedED, AfroPunk, The Los Angeles Herald, and other outlets. terravisuals.com

 

 

ABOUT CRAIG T. WILLIAMS

Craig and his extraordinarily beautiful and patient wife are approaching their 20th wedding anniversary. They have a spirited 16-year-old son and they make their life in the heart of New York City. Craig serves on the Board of Directors of FilmShop, a Media Producers and Independent Filmmakers Collective. He is also a member of the Harlem Dramatic TV Writers Workshop and the Black TV and Film Collective. Craig is a screenwriting mentor for the Craft Institute, the Writers 50/50 Screenwriting Fellowship, and for Reel Works, a teen filmmaking program in Brooklyn. Craig’s one-hour TV pilot “How Ya Like Me Now”, about the 80’s rap rivalry between Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J, won 2nd Place in the 2020 Page International Screenwriting Competition. It was also a finalist in the 2020 Film Independent Lab, 2020 Cinestory TV Retreat & Fellowship Competition, and the 2020 Stowe Story Lab Fellowship.  It was also selected for the 2019 IFP Episodic Lab. And was a finalist in both the Sundance 2019 Episodic Lab and the 2019 Tracking B TV Writing Competition. His feature screenplay “Hanging By A Thread” is about a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder who doesn’t believe in taking medication, but when he discovers his 11-year-old nephew has the same condition, he kidnaps his nephew to show him a life free of pills. This project will be directed by Rosalyn, Craig’s wife and it has Viola Davis attached as Executive Producer. “Allergic” a 30 minute comedy, won the ABFF/Turner best original 30-minute comedic pilot in 2018. It also made the 2nd round of Austin Film Festival. His latest 30-minute pilot “Call Me Daddy” about an emotionally stunted 40-year-old Black man, tired of waiting for Mrs. Right, who decides to have a baby on his own to be the father he never had,” has won praises from industry execs. He is currently working on a new Black family drama and a Christmas movie musical. Craig has traveled the world. He loves tennis and makes a kick-ass Mac and Cheese that has brought guests to their knees. redwallproductions.com

 

ABOUT YHÁ MOURHIA WRIGHT

Yhá Mourhia Wright is a bicoastal, multi-hyphenate artist from San José, CA. In May 2016, she graduated with her MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School. Upon graduation, she founded her production company, YháWright Productions, and developed the company’s first original series, #LoveMyRoomie, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. During her previous time as the Senior Video Producer for MadameNoire, she simultaneously led production for three digital shows: Listen to Black Women, In This Room, and Healthy Her.

Yhá Mourhia has had the pleasure to interview beloved talents such as Kim Fields, Robin Givens, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Ester Dean, and Emil Wilbekin. Additional Credits Include Spot A True Period Piece (Short Film, Producer, Assistant Director); Pillow Talk streaming on BET+ (Supporting); It Stays Here (Short Film, Writer/Producer); The Basement (LABryinth Theater Company, Writer). Her most recent podcast, Inside Out Podcast, can be found on iHeart Radio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast. She is currently the Programs Director of the Black TV & Film Collective. YhaWrightProductions.com

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BET Studios Aaron Rahsaan Thomas

On Wed. October 27th at 7:30 EST, join us for a conversation with acclaimed television and film screenwriter and producer, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (S.W.A.T., Cover, Assassination Games) and partner of BET Studios.

 

You don’t want to miss this FREE, LIVE insider conversation and the opportunity to learn about the newest studio on the block – BET Studios! Aaron has been working steadily in the entertainment industry as a screenwriter and producer and he has ventured into a partnership with Kenya Barris (black-ish, grown-ish) and Rashida Jones (#BlackAF, Parks and Recreation) to create BET Studios.

 

BET Studios is a newly launched studio venture that offers equity ownership for Black content creators. BET Studios will create premium television series and films from leading and rising Black creatives for various internal buyers such as Paramount+, SHOWTIME, CBS, Nickelodeon, BET+, in addition, to selecting third-party platforms.

 

Our Moderator, Yhá Mourhia Wright (BTFC Programs Director) will be joined by Craig T. Williams, Bethel Dixon, Gem Little of our 2021 Black Producers Fellowship as they go live and have the opportunity to ask Aaron questions – so take notes. Aaron, our esteemed guest, will discuss his role at BET Studios, the goals and intentions of the studio, and how Black content creators can be prepared for opportunities when BET Studios are scouting for content. 
This is your opportunity to learn, grow and prepare for the next best thing in show business, BET Studios!

 

NOTE: You will receive a separate email with the YouTube and Facebook links up to 48-hours before the live event starts. 

 

 

 

AARON RAHSAAN THOMAS

Aaron Thomas in Los Angeles, Ca., on July 5, 2021. Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas is an acclaimed television and film screenwriter and producer from Kansas City, Kansas. Most recently, Aaron was the co-creator and executive producer of the procedural series reboot of S.W.A.T., which airs on Friday nights on CBS. Aaron is currently developing new projects. Aaron has had two screenplays produced as feature films: Cover, directed by Bill Duke and Assassination Games, starring Jean Claude Van Damme. He has also directed an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the USC football team during the Pete Carroll era, entitled, Trojan War.

Aaron began his professional career as a writer’s assistant on Soul Food: The Series and went on to work on the staff of such TV series as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, for which he received a Peabody Award, as well as CBS procedurals, such as Numb3rs and CSI:NY. Aaron has also served as a Co-Executive Producer on TNT’s SouthLAnd, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and Netflix’s The Get Down.

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, developing a love for storytelling after completing a fifth grade assignment to create his own original Greek myth from scratch. As time passed, Aaron developed his passion for storytelling visually and attended Morehouse College. Aaron would also matriculate through the University of Kansas, earning honors in English Literature, before moving to Los Angeles and attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts for graduate school. After graduating from USC, Aaron was selected for the prestigious CBS Writers Mentoring Program. Aaron is represented by Mickey Berman at United Talent Agency and Andrew Seth Cohen at Impact24 PR.

 

BLACK PRODUCER FELLOWS 

 

Craig T. Williams

Craig T. Williams and his extraordinarily beautiful and patient wife are approaching their 20th wedding anniversary. They have a spirited 16-year-old son and they make their life in the heart of New York City. Craig serves on the Board of Directors of FilmShop, a Media Producers and Independent Filmmakers Collective. He is also a member of the Harlem Dramatic TV Writers Workshop and the Black TV and Film Collective. Craig is a screenwriting mentor for the Craft Institute, the Writers 50/50 Screenwriting Fellowship, and for Reel Works, a teen filmmaking program in Brooklyn.

Craig’s one-hour TV pilot “How Ya Like Me Now”, about the 80’s rap rivalry between Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J, won 2nd Place in the 2020 Page International Screenwriting Competition. It was also a finalist in the 2020 Film Independent Lab, 2020 Cinestory TV Retreat & Fellowship Competition, and the 2020 Stowe Story Lab Fellowship.  It was also selected for 2019 IFP Episodic Lab. And was a finalist in both the Sundance 2019 Episodic Lab and the 2019 Tracking B TV Writing Competition.

His feature screenplay “Hanging By A Thread” is about a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder who doesn’t believe in taking medication, but when he discovers his 11-year-old nephew has the same condition, he kidnaps his nephew to show him a life free of pills. This project will be directed by Rosalyn, Craig’s wife and it has Viola Davis attached as Executive Producer.“Allergic” a 30-minute comedy, won the ABFF/Turner best original 30-minute comedic pilot in 2018. It also made the 2nd round of Austin Film Festival.

His latest 30-minute pilot “Call Me Daddy” about an emotionally stunted 40-year-old Black man, tired of waiting for Mrs. Right, decides to have a baby on his own to be the father he never had,” has won praises from industry execs. He is currently working on a new Black family drama and a Christmas movie musical. Craig has traveled the world. He loves tennis and makes a kick-ass Mac and Cheese that has brought guests to their knees. Redwallproductions.com

Bethel Dixon

Bethel Dixon is a writer/producer focused on creating a body of work that tells authentic and moving stories centered upon the lives of people of color around the globe. Bethel is a first generation Ethiopian-Eritrean American filmmaker, who brings a distinct voice and vision to her work drawn towards the exploration of humanity, family dynamics, women, immigrant life, and film as a vessel for social impact. In 2021, Bethel was selected as a Black Producers Fellow by the Black TV & Film Collective and Wavelength Productions. As part of the inaugural class of fellows, her short film HERE, will tackle the subject of the black experience of education in America told from an immigrant lens. Bethel co-wrote and produced the short film CROSSROADS, which premiered at BronzeLens in 2020 and screened at the 2021 Pan African Film Festival. A former screenwriting mentee of the 2012 Women In Film Mentoring Program, Bethel studied feature film writing with the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. 

Prior to shifting her career towards independent filmmaking, Bethel served as Development Manager for Investigation Discovery developing content for the leading true crime network on television and the #1 network for women in all of cable. During her time with ID, Bethel co-developed seven series and specials, including the documentaries SUGAR TOWN, BLACK AND BLUE, and THE ATLANTA CHILD MURDERS. Under the ID Films banner, she championed six issue-based documentaries challenging timely narratives spanning hate crimes, wrongful convictions, juvenile sentencing and more. Prior to her time with ID, Bethel spent one year in programming with Discovery Channel, preceded by four years with Sony Pictures Television.

Gem Little

 

Gem Little, a Chicago native, is a writer and creative producer based in Los Angeles. She currently works as an independent producer and development consultant helping to identify unique stories and voices to cultivate. When she’s not doing that, she teaches at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts in the Cinematic Arts department.

Gem is a recent MFA graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory and in her time there she held internships with MACRO and Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks.

Aside from her work as a filmmaker, Gem is best known for her work in social impact, having started Indiana’s state-wide program that helps justice-involved people start their own small businesses. In 2018, Gem received an MA in urban planning and moved to Los Angeles to assist with strategic planning at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Gem was recently tapped as one of six producers to be part of the Wavelength Productions and Black TV & Film Collective’s Black Producers Fellowship Program to produce a short film that she wrote about the school-to-prison pipeline, PENS & PENCILS.

YHÁ MOURHIA WRIGHT, Moderator

Yhá Mourhia Wright is a bicoastal, multi-hyphenate artist from San José, CA. In May 2016, she graduated with her MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School. Upon graduation, she founded her production company, YháWright Productions, and developed the company’s first original series, #LoveMyRoomie, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. During her previous time as the Senior Video Producer for MadameNoire, she simultaneously led production for three digital shows: Listen to Black Women, In This Room, and Healthy Her.

Yhá Mourhia has had the pleasure to interview beloved talents such as Kim Fields, Robin Givens, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Ester Dean, and Emil Wilbekin. Additional Credits Include Spot A True Period Piece (Short Film, Producer, Assistant Director); Pillow Talk streaming on BET+ (Supporting); It Stays Here (Short Film, Writer/Producer); The Basement (LABryinth Theater Company, Writer). Her most recent podcast, Inside Out Podcast, can be found on iHeart Radio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast. She is currently the Programs Director of the Black TV & Film Collective. YhaWrightProductions.com

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