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(ATLANTA) – March 12, 2019 – This past weekend, the 2019 Black Women Film Network Summit – sponsored by Georgia Power, HBO, Atlanta Technical College and Oz Magazine – took place in Atlanta and drew a record 800+ attendees from all over the country, making this the largest Summit in BWFN history. The event kicked off on Thursday at the Georgia Power corporate headquarters with an invitation-only Welcome Reception and Scholarship Awards Presentation, where BWFN founder Sheryl Gripper announced the three college students who each received $1,000 scholarships to further their pursuits in film and television: * Kayla Jones – Georgia State University* Morgan Johnson – Baylor University* Amberlin McCormick – UNC Charlotte 

The Welcome Reception also featured an insightful discussion with award-winning director Deborah Riley Draper, who shared wisdom gained from her research as director of Versailles ’73 and Olympic Pride, American Prejudice. The Q&A was moderated by BWFN Board Member Jaunice Sills McSwain. Draper penned and will direct her upcoming film adaptation Coffee Will Make You Black, produced by Octavia Spencer and Gabrielle Union, who also stars in the film. 
We celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday with theBWFN Short Film Festival sponsored by HBO at the World of Coca-Cola Theater. Seven incredible films were screened – all selected out of 104 entries from Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. Flight– the story of an inner city youth in Jamaica who dreams of flying to the moon – took home “Best Screenplay,” “Audience Award” and “Best in Festival.” First-time writer/director Kia Moses, producer Tashara-Lee Johnson and cinematographerGabrielle Blackwood traveled all the way from Jamaica to the Summit to present their film. As “Best in Festival” winners, they received a $1,000 cash prize and a meeting with HBO executives. The full list of BWFN Short Film Festival winners is below:

 * Best Actor – Raney BranchBlack Girls Guide to Fertility (directed by Crystle Roberson)
* Best Director – Kelly KaliLalo’s House
* Best Screenplay – Flight (directed by Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald)
* Best Cinematography – Novella (directed by Terayle Hill)
* Best Editing – Utopia (directed by Aimiende Negbenebor Sela)* Audience Award – Flight* Best in Festival – Flight Additional festival selections were The Check List (directed by Bobby Huntley; written by Kaye Singleton), Oath Bound (directed by Ola Laniyan) and The Cure (directed by Kristian King). The Summit concluded on Saturday at Atlanta Technical College with a full day of standing-room-only workshops along with the BWFN Book Festival hosted by actress Cocoa Brown. Over a dozen authors shared their stories as writers, including Georgia Dawkins, Niya Brown Matthews, Burma Thomas, Marsalis Higgs, Danielle Tuwano, Carla Miles, Mary Parker, Monyetta Shaw, Jasmine Burke, Simone Edwards, Kiana Dancie, Africa Miranda and Ruth P. Watson. The day also included a special talk-back and screening of the PBS show “A Seat at the Table” hosted by Denene Milner, Monica Pearson and Christine White. Special thanks to our Summit instructors AZ Yeamen, Jonna Johnson, Summer Jackson, Jasmine Adams, Tahira Wright, Lexi Felder, Hope Searcy, Kelvin Myers, Kash Howard, Armani Martin, Breion Moses, Deanna Nowell, Reece Odum, Dennis L.A. White, Alicia Hailey Daniels and Ruth T. Paul. This year’s Summit would not be possible without the tireless dedication of our members, especially Summit executive producer Larry Cooper; BWFN Chair Saptosa Foster; Short Film Festival jurors Mercedez Springer, Jaunice Sills McSwain and Alexa Harris; BWFN Board Members Tomika DePriest, Deidre McDonald, Donna Lowry, Ronda Penrice, Natana Denzmore; BWFN members Denise Armstrong, Tish Glover, Judi Rogers, Veda Mcneal-Wright, Dr. Renita Stamper, Dana Kimbrough and many others. 

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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