NEW VOICES IN BLACK CINEMA FESTIVAL 2017
FILMMAKING AND ACTIVISM!
WHAT ARE WE CREATING
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
South Oxford Space, 138 S. Oxford Street
Brooklyn (Trains to Atlantic Center-Barclays)
$10 in Adv.
Tickets at www.NewVoicesActivism.eventbrite.com
DOES ART imitate life or life imitate art?
DO AGENDAS, political or social, have a place in narrative film?
WHAT IS the purpose of a documentary and how effective are they today?
HAS OUR role as a storyteller changed under Trump Administration?
IN THE NEW ERA of distribution, how far will our community's reach extend over the next 10 years?
BABATUNDA ODESANYA, Founder and CEO, Black and Latino Filmmaker's Coalition
MUSTAFA MAJEED- Community activist, advocate, and film and media critic
RONI WHEELER- Independent and commerical Film and Television Producer
RACHEL WATANABE-BATTON-- IIndependent Producer and Vice Chair, Producers Guild of America East and PGA Diversity Chair
Babatunde Odesanya is an independent film and television producer. He hold titles of the founder and CEO of trade association Black and Latino Filmmaker's Coalition, (BLFC) and Executive Producer of African Studios, an independent production company. BLFC is currently produces Business of Indie Film Seminar, BLFC Film Series at MIST program and Black and Latino Film Awards. African Studios is developing a slate of original programming for the Amazon. Under African Studios, Mr. Odesanya has earned TV credits with Bravo, Centric, and TV One. He has also earned feature film credits for “Black is Beautiful Documentary” and “Chapter and Verse”.
In 2005, Mr. Odesanya founded Black and Latino Filmmaker’s Coalition, (BLFC), a trade association of independent producers, directors and writers formed with the purpose of promoting the growth and progress of Black and Latino independent filmmakers.
Watanabe-Batton has over 20-years experience producing content globally and locally that is as diverse as her own cultural heritage. She began her career in development at Spring Creek/Warner Brothers for producer Paula Weinstein and assisting Australian director Peter Weir, and has produced narrative films for writer/directors Tanya Hamilton, Polish Brothers and Mo Ogrodnik. She co-founded Department of Film at Goldcrest in the late ‘90s producing hit videos for artists like Nas and PDiddy, and independently hundreds of ads, videos and show opens across the Americas, Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Her non-fiction producing includes the barbershop doc "Cutting Edge" (HBO), series "Insider Trading With Gabrielle Reece" (Discovery), and reality show "I Pity The Fool" with Mr. T (Lionsgate). As a Producer/Director, she has created content for Martha Stewart, hybrid-cultural-identity projects, a doc on infant mortality for Office of Minority Health, and a narrative short on undocumented Irish immigrants marrying for papers. She is currently producing the documentary "Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl" with acclaimed writer/director Julie Dash on the life of culinary griot Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor; and developing a limited television series on race mixing with writer Lara Stapleton entitled "1850."
As an African-Asian-American woman she views herself as a part of a cultural global majority and mentorship as essential. She programs panels regularly and is on the Executive Boards of Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Producers Guild of America. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Music & Art High School. Since becoming Chair of the Diversity Committee for PGA East in 2008, she has created partnerships with NALIP, Tribeca Film Institute, Central Park Conservancy, Blackhouse, NBPC and NBC Universal, and launched a veterans initiative. She is co-Chair of the PGA Women’s Impact Network and serves as Member-at-Large for the PGA East.
Roni Wheeler is an eclectic film and television producer whose projects have ranged from independent to big budget. She has worked as co-producer, line producer and associate producer on both film and television.
She recently produced White Men Can’t Rap, which had its premiere at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in April. Wheeler was also supervising producer for the Heritage Networks, managing Showtime at the Apollo’s production budget of close to $6 million.
Her other film credits include Vote for Me, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, My Angel is a Centerfold, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop, Open Season and the short, The Legend. She has produced in television for Nickelodeon, the African Heritage Network, Entertainment Studios and Namaste Productions.
Wheeler has extensive experience as a first and second assistant director in both film and television. Her credits include Waiting to Exhale, Ghost, White Rain, Sugar Hill, New York Undercover, Cosby, Law & Order, The Chris Rock Show and To Be A Man.
She also has worked on commercials with a wide-range of directors, including Ted Demme.
She is former Chair of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Eastern Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager’s Council and served as a member of the DGA’s National Board.
Armed with a sharp tongue and a even sharper wardrobe Mustafa Majeed wrecked havoc on the New York Film and Construction Industries during the 1980's and 1990's. His goal was to find jobs for the city's Black and Latino citizens, who were capable, able bodied people who were shut out of the mafia controlled construction and institutionally rackise world of Film and TV Productions. For decades, these industries only hired workers and the only people allowed in the union where white men.
Mustafa, horrified by the impoverished conditions of many of his Black and Latino brothers and sisters, wanted to do something about it. Rather than mere protesting and singing We shall Overcon” Mustafa took a more direct confrontational approach. This would make him imfamous among the people in power, but make him an invaluable leader to the oppressed and inpoverished minority workers he fought for.
FILMMAKING & ACTIVISM PANEL
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