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Gina Prince-Bythewood, Danielle Deadwyler, Tabitha Brown are among this year’s roster of industry leaders to be celebrated.

(l-r) Gina Prince-Bythewood, Danielle Deadwyler, Tabitha Brown
(l-r) Cas Sigers-Beedles, Tammy Williams, Latasha Gillespie

(ATLANTA) – February 24, 2023 – Black Women Film Network (BWFN), celebrating 26 years of preserving the voices of Black women in film and television, is announcing its 2023 class of honorees who will be recognized during an in-person awards luncheon at the annual BWFN Summit – powered by Cvent – on Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 8AM – 5PM at the Loudermilk Conference Center in Atlanta, GA. Early bird registration is now open at

This year’s honorees are:

  • Gina Prince-Bythewood (Award-Winning Director/Writer/Producer – “The Woman King,” “Love & Basketball”) – RainmakHER Award * who will be accepting the award virtually 
  • Danielle Deadwyler (Actress – “Till,” “From Scratch”) – Black Woman Rising Award
  • Tabitha Brown (Actress, Author, Social Media Personality) – InfluenceHER Award
  • Cas Sigers-Beedles (Writer, Director, Producer – “Scheme Queens,” “Unthinkably Good Things”) – StorytellHER Award
  • Tammy Williams (Owner, Cinema South Studios and CS145 LED Production Facility) – TrailblazHER Award
  • Latasha Gillespie (Executive Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility for Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb) – Beacon Award

The Summit’s theme is “Her Mic is On: Black Women Owning the Moment,” a tribute to the many high-profile moments of powerful speeches and words of wisdom that Black women have given to the world in recent years.  

Launched during Women’s History Month, the BWFN Summit, now in its 8th year, returns to Atlanta as an in-person experience and will feature a full day of expert speakers, panels, master classes, fireside chats, and the awards luncheon where, in addition to highlighting our honorees, we will announce the recipients of our BWFN Scholarship. 

“We are thrilled to have yet another opportunity to produce the BWFN Summit, thanks to the support of Cvent,” says BWFN Board Chair Saptosa Foster. “In recent years, we’ve witnessed iconic remarks from women like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lizzo, Viola Davis, Michelle Obama and countless others. Those moments are part of a rich tradition of wisdom that is the magic of Black women, and we wanted to honor that uniqueness with this year’s Summit theme. Furthermore, there aren’t many places you can go in the film and television industry to network, gain knowledge, and access resources all in one space that is created specifically for Black women. The Summit is that space, and we are fortunate to be able to bring it back to Atlanta in person.”

“Twenty-six years ago, my Georgia State University film teacher told me the world needed to hear stories told by Black women,” says Sheryl Gripper, who founded BWFN in 1997 in Atlanta. “He asked what I was going to do about it. With the help of a visionary group of women, I formed the Black Women Film Network. That vision continues today with the leadership of our Board Chair Saptosa Foster.”

To register for the BWFN Summit, visit [Early bird registration discount lasts until March 20!]

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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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