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Black Women Film Network Summit 2018 (Pictorial)


Black Women Film Network Summit 2018 (Pictorial)

By Brianna Boatswain

Honored, privileged, intrigued, and “out of body” , are the words I would use to describe how I felt while in attendance at the 2018 Black Women Film Network (BWFN) Summit. I used these words because while at this illustrious event, I gained knowledge, skills, connections, and most importantly genuine guidance. I truly feel as though that I will be able to say for the rest of my life that I witnessed and participated in a significance piece of the world’s history at the 2018 BWFN Summit.

The Black Women Film Network was founded in 1997 to assist women like myself, and those of all other cultures in the film industry and related areas. It is now 2018 and BWFN is doing that and more, successfully.

Attending The Black Women Film Network (BWFN) as an “In Da House Media” representative was an opportunity of a lifetime. I
emphasize this because I was able to connect with over 300 actors, film makers, and creatives. I find this to be mind-blowing because this year, the summit broke records in the short film submissions. “What A Time”- additionally, more than 70 short films were submitted to the festival.

My mind, soul, heart, and eyes are satisfied – and, my energy is pure and captivated after celebrating the work of women of color in film and television, being able to network and obtain opportunities from the elite (those in attendance), and gain information and resources that can further not only my career, but others in many different areas such as film-making, directing, acting, etc..

The opening night of the BWFN Summit introduced and recognized a screening titled “A Wrinkle in Time”. This movie was chosen to celebrate the premiere of Ava DuVernay’s creation by purchasing a theater and supporting this historic release during its opening weekend. Of course, this was magnificent!

The BWFN Summit continued at the Atlanta Technical College beginning at 9am “on the dot”. Light refreshments were offered, actors, film-makers, celebrities, all of the above were present. I would describe this day as “the of teachings”. My God- I walked away from this event feeling like a new human being. I say this because I learned information from those in attendance that opened my mind and elevated my vision. Personally, I was able to connect and learn from “Cocoa Brown” and Mauricia Grant (and, those on the panel). One thing that stood out to me was when Mauricia Grant stated, “stay consistent, and always be thankful- even when you feel as though you may be doing a lot work for very little- you never know what could come out of consistency and passion”. That shook my soul. It made me want to be and do better in everything that I do. I felt the energy in that statement. Additionally, after hearing her say that, I vowed to be efficient and success in my work/writings. There were several informative classes that took place on March 10, 2018 at the Black Women Film Summit

Listed is just a few of the panels offed at the summit
“Finding Your Funny with Cocoa Brown” – Actress Cocoa Brown shows you how to incorporate funny into any situation. Also how to create your funny through developed improv skills.

“Kids Acting Class” – For kids ages 7-17. Actors will gain confidence for audition and study using the Primal 5 tool of the Chubbuck Technique.

“Protect Your Legal Work” – Learn from attorney Zakiya Watson-Caffe on how to protect your brand/work from legal issues or theft.

“Marathon Mindset for Actors” – Would you rather be a trend or you rather be Ralph Lauren? Actress Jasmine Burke shares how she has sustained 10 years in the film industry using her mind set. This conversation is for SERIOUS ARTISTS ONLY.

“Red Carpet Hosting” – Broadcast journalist Summer Jackson will give you tips on how to host and interview celebrities on the red carpet.

“Hair, Makeup & Wardrobe for Film & TV” – Learn from experienced professionals on how to enter and be successful in the film industry for hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Guest panelists are Gocha Hawkins, Denise Tunnel, and Moe Grant.

“Audition Tips with Rhavynn Dummer” – Learn from a professional casting director on the correct and effective techniques for auditioning.

“Screenwriting with AZ Yeamen” – In this two-hour workshop, writers will learn how to create dynamic 3-dimensional characters, the superhuman antagonist to intensify your story, and the science of loglines to master your 90-second pitch.

“A Conversation with Zane” – Best-selling author Zane talks about future projects and will answer your questions on selling your work.

“How to Pitch to Network Television” – HaJ House shares her experience pitching to Networks and production companies from the creator perspective.

“All You Ever Wanted to Know About SAG-AFTRA” – Learn the benefits and what it means to be a part of the Screen Actors Guild. Registration for this session is FREE.

To wrap this up, I want to give a special thanks to the Founder/CEO, Sheryl Gripper for MAKING THE BLACK WOMEN FILM NETWORK POSSIBLE ! I was honored to be in the presence of this CEO. She truly opened my eyes to all of the possibilities that exist in the universe. Additionally, I want to say thank you to Saptosa Foster for managing and putting together such a splendid and well organized event.

Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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