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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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"Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves" Filmmaker Showcase

The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) presents: the 15th Annual Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves: See Their Images… Hear Their Stories…
Saturday, March 29, 2008 starting at 2:00 p.m.
A Filmmaker Showcase and Discussion at Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Avenue (650 Bronson Ave.), Hollywood, CA (Melrose & Van Ness / across from Paramount Studios) Chaplin Screening Room (Reception to follow). To RSVP – 310.284.3170. The cost is only $10.00 and parking is $4.00 or street parking is available.

Vanessa Williams - This beautiful and talented actress singer director, is a performer who always delivers. From her memorable performance in the cult classic film New Jack to her sexy no nonsense portrayal of Maxine Chadway in the Showtime and BET television series Soul Food, Vanessa Williams is magic guaranteed.
These Sistas' will change the way we think of Black Cinema by daring to challenge the stifling conventions of the traditional "Hollywood Black Experience." These Sistas' aren't gonna wait for the entertainment industry to recognize their talents. They are moving forward. These Sistas are doin it for themselves!!! "Sistas…" began fifteen years ago as a call to the entertainment industry to acknowledge that there is grand talent amongst African American women filmmakers. What began as a simple screening and discussion became one of the most recognized inspirational and emulated events of the Black filmmaking community. It is a clear-cut concept; a screening of short films written and/or directed by some of the nation's top filmmakers with a dialog following.

Past "Sista filmmakers" have included early works of Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou), Yvette Freeman (ER), and Dianne Houston (first Black Female to be nominated for an Academy Award / Short Film category) just to name a very few. Many of these filmmakers have received high honors and recognition for their achievements and breakthroughs in filmmaking. Special invited guest will get a rare chance to have an open dialogue and hear the awe inspiring stories of how these Sistas did it for themselves…

The Black Education and Resource Center was formed in 1996 as a non-profit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop and preserve the history, as well as the future of Blacks in film and television. The BHERC produces, organizes and funds diverse cultural art, film and theater projects in order to capitalize on our rich foundation established in Hollywood. We not only promote more African Americans as artists, but have begun a "New Era" in the documentation of African American images.

For event information, contact Program Director Ralph Scott at 310 284-3170


MEET THE FILMMAKERS

BHERC Presents it’s 15th Annual
Sistas Are Doin’ it for Themselves!!!

Moderator…Vanessa Williams

This beautiful and talented actress singer director, is a performer who always delivers. From her memorable performance in the cult classic film New Jack to her sexy no nonsense portrayal of Maxine Chadway in the Showtime and BET television series Soul Food, Vanessa Williams is magic guaranteed.

Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn New York she became a member of the New York City Opera’s Children’s Chorus at age 11. After graduating from New York’s famed High School of Performing Arts she earns a Bachelor’s degree in theatre and business from Marymount Manhattan College.

Vanessa arrives in LA in ’91, “just to check it out.” She makes her west coast move official and becomes one of the stars in the Fox TV hit Melrose Place. She earns a Daytime Emmy Nomination for her extraordinary work in Our America a Showtime original movie directed by Ernest Dickerson. As hot mama, Maxine Chadway, in the hit Showtime series Soul Food, Vanessa secures the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. As filmmaker, Vanessa, wrote, directed and produced the short film, DENSE, which aired on Showtime Television and is a favorite among film festival goers.


Yesterday’s Today – 15 Min.
Kendra, an intelligent 8th grader calls on her best friend, Rashad to help her with her science project. After having a brief disagreement, Kendra and Rashad quickly call a truce. The following day, Kendra comes home to find saddening news, that Rashad had been killed. Although she does not get a chance to say goodbye, she must decide whether or not to fall apart or try to cope with her loss. A story of a young girl’s grieving process after the loss of her closest friend.

Falena Hand – Writer / Director
Falena is a recent graduate of Temple University’s Film and Media Arts program and a proud native of North Philadelphia. She was chosen out of many senior film students to complete a short film as her senior thesis. “Yesterday’s Today” was Falena’s first major directorial debut, and its success amongst community and non-profit organizations has compelled Falena to seek out graduate school to obtain her masters degree in film. Presently Falena is teaching videography classes to inner city youths, seeking out filmmaking opportunities in order to further her knowledge in the field, and writing her second screenplay “Illa DELPH,” which is her first feature. Her ultimate goal is to direct mainstream films of all genres, especially those that tell compelling stories.


Fat Girl’s Guide to Yoga – 12 Min.
Oversized and with a knack for wise cracks, Wendy turns to yoga to lose weight. Insecure at first about whether she’s cut out for all the bending and balancing, Wendy is a disastrous combination of self-consciousness and misplaced enthusiasm. She undergoes a series of challenges, giving audiences a comical glimpse into the skewed mind of a woman trying to find her "Om."

Tajamika Paxton – Director
Ms. Paxton’s career has included positions in film, television and music. She was the head of Forest Whitaker's SpiritDance production company for three years. She was an MTV Films Executive, supervising "The Wood" and serving on the development team for "Election" and "Varsity Blues." She managed acclaimed recording artist Me'Shell Ndegeocello during her Grammy nominated 2nd album and was also an Associate Producer on Star Jones' first TV show. Taj's writing was published in the groundbreaking collection of essays edited by Rebecca Walker entitled What Makes A Man: 21 Writers Envision the Future.


Ties that Bind - 24 Min.
Inspired by the true story of Sandra Daniels, who used abuse to motivate her success. The film looks at how child abuse plagues the adult, threatening their happiness until they are willing to cut “The Ties That Bind.”

Angela E. Gibbs – Writer / Director
A native of Detroit, Angela Gibbs attended NYU’s intensive Sight and Sound program graduating top of her class before become a directing fellow at the American Film Institute, where she garnered the Mary Pickford scholarship. She studied Theater Arts at Howard University and in 1982, went back to Los Angeles to Co-found Crossroads Arts Academy and Theater with her mother, Marla Gibbs. Currently Gibbs is working on the feature film Hard Knocks, due to go into production late 2007. Whether it’s film, television or stage, Angela Gibbs is passionate about the dramatic arts and the potential of its impact on the quality of life for everyone.



Apt. A – 10 Min.
Chronicles the lives of three sisters immediately following the 9/11 attacks as they await word about their missing father. The father and one sister both left home for the towers that morning but only one has made it back so far. With their dad potentially gone, the girls must now deal with what is left of their lives, including a manic depressive mother, an overbearing older sister and unsaid truths. Set against the backdrop of that tragic day.

Michelle S. Baxter – Director
Nkechi Okoro - Writer

Michelle S. Baxter
Michelle began her professional career in the fashion world as a Production Manager and Consultant for Gap, Inc. Michelle left Gap to obtain her MFA in Film Producing from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program. Michelle holds a B.A. in History and Theater Arts from Princeton University, an Associate's Degree from the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and a MFA in Film Producing from USC.

Nkechi Okoro
Nkechi Okoro is a vibrant, Meisner trained actress, writer and producer. Originally hailing from Nigeria, Nkechi was born in New York and grew up all over the world. Nkechi began writing in 2001 after becoming very frustrated with the lack of quality roles for women of color.


Spin – 30 Min.
Once one of L.A.’s top publicists is a woman who could spin any story to the benefit of her clients and to the detriment of her enemies. Her whole world changed the day she met JAMES. Alex was sprung. Joining forces, they set out to write the next NY Time’s Bestseller. Two days before a big press conference, there is a horrible betrayal. In the end, Alex comes to awful realization that every lie has a consequence and no matter how much you spin the truth, you can’t change it.

Tamika Lamison - Director
Camille Tucker, Keta Brown & Sheilah Brooks - Writers

Tamika Lamison
Tamika Lamison graduated from The American University’s Department of Performing Arts, went on tour and moved to New York where she co-starred in the award winning Off Broadway revival of “For Colors Girls…” directed by it’s author Ntozake Shange.

While living in New York, Tamika was determined to translate her love of the written word into a cinematic medium. After winning the Gordon Parks Indie film award and $10,000.00 for her first screenplay she enrolled in and graduated from The New York Film Academy where she was able to experiment in a controlled environment and gain knowledge of the nuts and bolts of film making.


Keta Brown
Growing up in Compton, Keta graduated with honors from historical Black college, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee where she received a B.S. in Fine Arts. Following graduation, a “tour of duty” as a segment producer for various community shows and commercials on local cable, lead Keta to produce the home video for “Ziggy Marley Live in Concert at The Universal Amphitheater.”

Camille Tucker
Camille Tucker wrote her first poem at the age of 11 and she has been in love with words ever since. Growing up in Compton, CA, Camille has always had strong influences in politics, literature, education, art, charity and community. A graduate of UCLA with a degree in English/Creative Writing, Camille’s first job in the Entertainment Industry was as a runner at Walt Disney Studios. In 1992, along with her former writing and producing partner, Kim Greene-Williams. Presently, Camille is President of Production of Pneuma Entertainment, LLC. Pneuma is an independent production company and screenwriting consulting firm.



Beyond the Pretty Door – 18 Min.
Reese Turner was nearly twelve-years-old before she realized that worthless slut was not her middle name. She and her siblings had to endure the misery and late night tirades of their manic depressant mother. Reese, Angel, and Joey had no choice but to find solace in each other. However, they quickly discovered that their lives were anything but normal. Does anyone really know what happens Beyond the Pretty Doors?

Bobby Boermans – Director
Renee McClellan - Writer
Khadija A. Brockington – Producer

Renee McClellan
A Chicago native, Renee has made the transition from stage and screen acting to writing, directing and producing film projects. A graduate of Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production, she also has an MFA in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. Currently a Long Beach, California resident, Renee produces a children’s talkshow, ASK AURI, which received the LB Award for Best Children’s Talkshow in 2004.

Khadija A. Brockington
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Khadija earned a Bachelors of Arts in Africana Studies at University of Pittsburgh. She also has her MFA in Producing from The American Film Institute. Upon graduation she created culturally relevant media at MEE Production Inc. Currently in Los Angels, California, Khadija continues to produce commercials and PSAs for non-profit public health/socially responsible organizations.



Pariah – 28 Min.
A Bronx lesbian teenager juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from friends and family, but
pressure from home, school, and within corrodes the line between her dual personas with explosive consequences.

Dee Rees - Writer/Director
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Dee Rees is a graduate of New York University’s graduate film program and has written and directed several short films including ORANGE BOW, which screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Her most recent film, PARIAH was awarded NYU’s highest honor-- the 1st Prize King Award for Excellence in Filmmaking and premiered at the 2007 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. Dee worked as a script supervision intern on Spike Lee’s films “When The Levees Broke” and “Inside Man”. Dee holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and slaved away at three different, successively more soul-crushing FORTUNE 500 companies in a far, far distant former life.



Drawing Angel – 19 Min.
Lonely and new to the city, Samantha meets Levi, a nine-year-old boy displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Rosalyn Coleman Williams – Director
Craig T. Williams - Writer

Rosalyn is the director of the award winning short film ALLERGIC TO NUTS written by husband Craig and partner Craig T. Williams. ALLERGIC TO NUTS has been seen on several TV stations nationally and screened in over 50 film festivals in the US and around the world. In 2002, with her husband Craig Rosalyn formed Red Wall Productions, a film Production Company. Rosalyn has created and directed over fifty film projects. Including industrials, promo videos, educational videos and actor demo reels. Rosalyn is a member of New York Women in Film and Television, the East Coast Writers Collective and a lifetime member of the Actors Studio.

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