Tag: Oprah Winfrey Network


The Download: Creating Safe Sets

On Thurs. May 26th at 4:30 PM PT | 7:30 PM ET, join us for another edition of The Download – a special virtual guest conversation series featuring impactful filmmakers who provide insider knowledge to help Black creatives make their work.


This edition will be held in partnership with NYWIFT (New York Women In Film & TV) and features a discussion centered on mental & physical health, wellness, and advocacy on sets.

Get ready to take your production to the next level and create a SAFER SET!

Meet Our Moderator – Octavia Pride

Octavia Pride is a Brooklyn-born & raised (Bed Stuy Do or Die) Short Form Branded Content Production Professional. Over the last eight years, she has tackled projects of varying scale, complexities, and budgets.

After spending time at Temple University, she decided that the traditional route was not for her. She began experimenting in commercial retail as a Manger and Visual Merchandiser at some of NYC’s most popular stores and eventually transitioned into leasing and selling apartments and condos as a licensed NYC Real Estate Agent.

In 2013, Octavia was presented with an opportunity to be a part of the ‘Made in NY Production’ Training Program, which led her to become a location coordinator and eventually manage a few major network scripted series. She then moved into branded content, music videos, photoshoots and web shorts – working her way up production ranks.

Octavia has executed many short form branded content projects for brands such as Adidas, Lyft, Paypal, Verizon, Rayban, Puma, Apple Music and more.

Meet our Panelists

Rocio Mendez is an award-winning Actor, Fight and Intimacy director and a proud New Yorker committed to building confidence in brown and black girls through storytelling. Rocio has done multiple independent films showcasing their talents in martial arts and comedy. Rocio has worked on and off-Broadway with a range of theaters including The Shubert Theater, The Metropolitan Opera,The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Classical Theater of Harlem, among the many. Rocio has been nominated for multiple awards for their work in Fight Choreography and Movement. Rocio is a team member of UNKLE DAVE’S FIGHT HOUSE – a collective of fight/intimacy/movement directors serving theater, film and educational institutions.

G Stone is a Certified and Board Approved Clinical Sexologist, Certified Master Sexpert, Founder of “Straight”… But Not Narrow Ladies™, Relationship, Intimacy & Business Coach + Thought Partner, Intimacy Coordinator, Influencer, Speaker, Cornell University Women’s Entrepreneurship, Generational Curse Breaker, Brand Ambassador and Event & Travel Experience Curator. G’s very passionate about entrepreneurship, relationships and intimacy. She enjoys helping people go deeper within, transform and experience more intentional, meaningful, aligned and purposeful interactions, relationships and experiences to achieve their goals.

Eldonie Mason, a native of the Caribbean Island of Antigua, established Mason Firm, LLC with the idea that legal services should be personal and accessible. She works with her clients to position them for long-term success by advising them on their legal risks, protecting their rights and interests and anticipating situations or activities that may negatively affect their careers and the bottom line. Additionally, Eldonie advises her clients on copyright, trademark, branding and contractual issues that often arise and help them establish a solid legal, insurance, financial and tax foundation.

Since establishing Mason Firm, LLC, Eldonie has represented an array of clients across the entertainment, media and fashion industries. These clients have included individuals and companies such as, film and music producers, film production companies, DJs, actors, photographers, directors and fashion designers and more.

Olivia Troy, known as Troy (she/her), is the founder of Reps On Set, which advocates for better representation of historically marginalized identities in film and television and helps create safer sets through intimacy coordinating, cultural coordinating, and on set mental health wellness. Troy is a screenwriter (Bonding S2 – Netflix), consulting producer (Billions, Showtime) and certified intimacy coordinator (Love Life S2 – HBOMax, Run the World S2 – Starz). Her IC and consulting work is grounded by 15+ years of experience as a BDSM professional. Troy is deeply invested in bringing her expertise in intersectional, consensual, communication-driven intimacy to film and television productions.

The Download

Offered multiple times a year, The Download is a live-streamed (YouTube and Facebook) special virtual guest conversation series hosted by the Black TV & Film Collective. It features impactful filmmakers who provide insider knowledge to help Black creatives do their work.

First, our guest participates in a 1:1 conversation with our host about their journey and current career.

Then, we provide selected BTFC members with an opportunity to take a seat at the table with our guests and ask questions and advice of this industry veteran. In turn, our members are provided with an opportunity to engage in conversation with someone whose career might inspire them. Those who attend are also further encouraged and motivated to make their work!

Recent guests on The Download have included Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Charlene Polite Corley, the editing team of A Black Lady Sketch Show and Janine Sherman Barrois. 


Join us at this edition of The Download and get the information and inspiration you need to #MakeYourWork! This event will be recorded and the recording will be provided 48 hours after the event! RSVP today!

**Members, don’t forget to get use your SPECIAL CODE for your FREE ticket!

Questions? Contact [email protected]

Become a member and get discounts for BTFC events! Visit www.blacktvfilmcollective.org/join


The Download feat. Janine Sherman Barrois, “Kings of Napa,” “Claws”

On Thurs. February 10th at 4:30PM PT | 7:30PM ET, join us another edition of The Download, a special virtual guest conversation series featuring impactful filmmakers who provide insider knowledge to help Black creatives make their work. 


This edition features a one-on-one conversation on the foundations of becoming a working showrunner and building a career on your terms featuringJanine Sherman Barrois, an award-winning writer and showrunner under an exclusive multi-year deal with Warner Bros. to create and develop new series.

Barrois was an Executive Producer on all four seasons of Claws, the hit TNT dramedy starring Niecy Nash, and was the Showrunner for the first three seasons. In addition, she was the Co-Showrunner and Executive Producer of Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker, the award-winning Netflix limited series starring Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer.

Currently, Barrois is the Creator/Showrunner of the highly anticipated The Kings of Napa, a drama about an influential family who runs one of the most prestigious Black-owned vineyards in the world. The show premieres on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network at the beginning of 2022. Barrois has numerous other projects in various stages of development at Showtime, Apple and HBO Max.

We will also feature BTFC members who will have an opportunity to take a seat at the table with Janine and ask her questions and advice.

Meet Our Moderator

Avril Speaksis serving as our moderator for this insightful conversation. Avril Speaks has been carving out her path as a bold, innovative content creator for several years, not only as a producer and director but also during her former days as a professor at Howard University. Avril produced the award-winning film Jinn, which premiered in Narrative Competition at SXSW and won Special Jury Recognition for Writing. Jinn gained distribution through MGM/Orion Classics and continues to be seen throughout the world. She has also produced several films including Hosea and the upcoming comedy Dotty & Soul, starring Leslie Uggams, Gary Owen, David Koechner and Margot Bingham.

Avril’s latest projects include the South African film African America, which was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding International Motion Picture and is currently streaming on Netflix, and the docu-series Black America Is…Currently, Avril serves as Director and Showrunner/EP of the upcoming docu-series Uprooted: The Untold Keith Warren Story, which will air on Discovery+.

A Seat at the Table

This conversation will also feature screenwriters Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika. Olu and Tolu are currently in the writer’s room for their original series ZULU. The show was picked up straight-to-series at Showtime off of their pilot script.  Antoine Fuqua will EP the series along with Propagate and Spencer Medof. It will shoot later this year. They served as Executive Story Editors on the upcoming Amazon series THE TERMINAL LIST, which stars Chris Pratt. The pilot was directed by Antoine Fuqua. They previously wrote on both seasons of the upcoming AMC series 61st STREET, from creator Peter Moffat and producer Michael B. Jordan. In features, they recently wrote A WHITE LIE for Tristar and Hello Sunshine, with Zoe Kravitz set to star. They previously wrote the psychological thriller ORIGINS for Paramount and Bad Robot. 

Their upbringing as children of first-generation immigrants, both having lived in Nigeria during their formative years, influences the unique views and sensibilities they bring to their stories.

A Seat at the Table

We will also feature BTFC members who will have an opportunity to take a seat at the table with Janine and ask her questions and advice.

Okema T. Mooreis an EMMY nominated, PGA producer as well as a director, writer and actor. She has worked on projects for OWN, Netflix, FOX, Food Network, TLC and more. Most recently she produced on BET’s Klutch Academy, Showran and Directed BRIC TV’s first late-night talk show and was featured in Variety Magazine speaking on the need for Black Producers to have access to finances to support their work. Okema serves on the board of both NY Women in Film & TV and The Black TV & Film Collective and has committed to lifting while she climbs these industry ladders.

As the Executive Producer & Director at third & wonder production house,Diamonde Williamsonis responsible for developing, producing and directing nonfiction formats for and about Black women. Formats include, documentary series, documentaries, competition shows and branded content.

Over the last 10 years, she’s worked with brands like Amazon, CNBC Make It, Essence and Google and networks like OWN, USA and TVOne while continuing to develop and execute creative unscripted formats and stories for entrepreneurs, brands and networks.

Yhá Mourhia Wright is a 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. She has produced for MadameNoire and interviewed beloved talent 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). Yhá Mourhia recently completed her first short film, Don’t Be Desperate, slated to release in 2022. Her most recent podcast, Inside Out Podcast, can be found on iHeart Radio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast.

Join us at this edition of The Download and get the information and inspiration you need to #MakeYourWork! 


Become a member and get discounts for BTFC events! Visit www.blacktvfilmcollective.org/join

Members, don’t forget to use your code for your discount on admission to events!