Opening Keynote Speaker
Nina Holiday Entertainment
CAS SIGERS-BEEDLES is a professional writer of twelve years. Some of her written works include twelve sold & produced screenplays and eight television stage plays for various television networks and production houses. She also served in the script department for BET’s The Mo’Nique Show and, TD Jakes Presents and Comedy Central’s Hart of the City starring Kevin Hart. In 2014 and 2015, Cas produced four feature documentaries for Moguldom Studios. She’s the annual script supervisor for Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards and the story producer for the 2016-2017 season of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Atlanta.
Opening Keynote Speaker
Terri J Vaughn
Nina Holiday Entertainment
TERRI J VAUGHN first stole America’s heart with her lovable portrayal of Lovita Jenkins on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Terri has been honored with three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on “The Steve Harvey Show." She was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the groundbreaking series “Soulfood.” Terri has produced multiple projects under her independent production company, Nina Holiday Entertainment.
Closing Keynote Speaker
TV & Film Director
OZ SCOTT is an accomplished and award-winning television, theatrical and motion picture director. In his two decades plus years of experience, Scott has directed hundreds of television episodes along with dozens of stage productions, made-for-TV movies and motion pictures. He has had a great year doing episodes of UNFORGETTABLE, and CSI NY. And he has returned to the sitcom world by directing episodes of ARE WE THERE YET. This summer Oz’s film HOME RUN SHOWDOWN starring Matthew Lillard, Dean Cain, Barry Bostwick and Annabeth Gish will be released in the Detroit area.
ADAM PINNEY is a writer/director who's 2016 film, The Arbalest, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, and was previously selected to participate in the 2015 IFP Narrative Labs. Adam was the cinematographer for Joe Swanberg's 24 Exposures, and for Adult Swim's viral short, Too Many Cooks. He is also an illustrator and Graphic Designer who has created posters for Jeremy Saulnier's "Green Room" and Macon Blair's Sundance winning film, "I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore."
B. Lawrence Watkins, Esq
B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC
BERNIE LAWRENCE-WATKINS is a seasoned transactional attorney and principal in the law firm of B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC, concentrating in the areas of Entertainment, Copyrights and Trademark and more. Throughout her career, she was able to establish a niche practice representing multi-platinum selling music producers who have created hits for notable hip-hop artists such as T.I., Ludacris, 50 Cent, and P. Diddy, and R&B and Pop artists such as Usher, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, and Beyoncé. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, School of Law.
Ball of Fire Consulting
BERNADETTE BOAS is a ‘ball of fire’ speaker, radio host, business coach, screenwriter and author who equips professionals with the mindset and skillset needed to achieve success. Bernadette is the founder of Ball of Fire Consulting, a leadership growth company, and Ball of Fire Media, an entertainment and educational practice that provides pitch coaching, workshops and pitch events to Creatives + Investors to accelerate Georgia’s growing industry. With what she called her ‘pink slip to freedom’, Bernadette authored her first in a series of books, Shedding the Corporate Bitch, which she adapted into a film screenplay, Confessions of a Corporate Bitch.
Brad Lee Zimmerman
BRAD LEE ZIMMERMAN is an animation editor and Atlanta native recently completing over 70 consecutive episodes of the Emmy Award winning series Archer and is known for his years of work with Adult Swim and Hulu among others (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, The Awesomes).
B.R.E Productions International Inc. and The Art Of McGee
BRIAN MCGEE is the Director of the management company, B.R.E Productions International Inc. and The Art Of McGee. A self- proclaimed cinemaphile, Brian busied himself with the idea of becoming a storyboard artist, thus marrying his 2 passions. In 2004, Brian came and settled in Atlanta, GA as a digital illustrator with Turner/Cartoon Network. Upon venturing out once again as a contract artist, his talents and experience were called upon for such animated productions as the “Boondocks”, “Archer” and “Black Dynamite.” Brian's experience spans over 20 years working in the film, Television and entertainment industry for Disney, Nickelodeon, Turner Network, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Sony Entertainment and many more.
Bryan A. McBrien
BRYAN A. MCBRIEN began his career in Hollywood California as a young Greensman.,. With over 50 Feature Film credits and 20 years in Hollywood, Bryan has worked on almost every budgetary tier, dozens of distant locations for extended periods, blizzards, monsoons, searing heat, and even Alien planetary conditions! In 2013 he partnered with Jeff Brown and Ford Jones of the newly formed CINEMA GREENS in Atlanta, GA. Cinema Greens has become the one and only source for Greens rentals in the Southeast. Brian retired as a Greens Coordinator after 21 years in I.A.T.S.E local 44. Brian is the CFO and Art Director of Cinema Greens.
PACS and WIFTA
CHERYL JENKINS is the principal and founding partner of Atlanta-based Production Accounting and Crew Services (PACS). Since launching PACS, Jenkins has served as a key resource in the Atlanta market to the Georgia film and television community, and as a key connection between Hollywood-based productions filming in Georgia. Recently, she was recruited by the Georgia Film Academy to create production accounting courses at accredited universities throughout the state. She lends her expertise not only professionally, but philanthropically; specifically, through her work with WIFTA (Women in Television and Film Atlanta). Jenkins is the organization’s President Emeritus after serving as president for five years. With Jenkins as president, WIFTA grew exponentially.
Wakhisi & Douglas Attorneys at Law
CHUCK DOUGLAS is a clever and creative lawyer, with exceptional technical skills and a knack for problem solving. Chuck focuses his practice on entertainment-related business including tax incentives, financing, and intellectual property matters for film, television, music and videogame clients. Chuck has served as production counsel for numerous scripted and unscripted television productions, and for films with budgets ranging from $580,000 to $16 million. Chuck received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Georgia Tech in 1998. He later earned a Master’s in Business Administration, with a concentration in finance, from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, and a Juris Doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law.
Adult Swim Digital
DANYA LEVINE is an award winning Senior Producer for Adult Swim Digital. In just 3 years, AS Digital has seen their monthly viewership grow threefold, with more than 2 million people registering for their chat feature. The team has also been to 2 successful Comic Cons, providing fans with a chance to interact live with talent, and produced a live soap opera that fans called into, to help contribute to the outcome of the plot.
Prior to her role at Adult Swim Digital, Levine worked for CNN Marketing, where she developed successful strategies for branding and messaging across CNN’s multiple platforms.
DARLA MCGLAMERY has worked for the IATSE for the last 8.5 years. First, as a Business Agent for the Studio Mechanic Local 491 covering NC, SC, and Savannah GA, and for the last 4.5 years she has Represented members of the International Cinematographer’s Guild, Local 600. Prior to joining the IATSE, Darla worked on various electoral campaigns in NC, NY, and CA. Darla spends her free time hanging out with her very active almost 3 year old son, and very patient wife, Sonya
David Ryan Kennerly
DAVID RYAN KENNERLY is the Director of Location and Digital Production at Turner Studios, creating content for Turner brands like CNN, Turner Classic Movies, and NBATV. He and his team are most well-known for producing live multi-camera webcasts, quick-turnaround content for digital and social platforms, and special events for Latin America. Some examples include red carpet coverage for the Oscars, movie premieres like Wonder Woman, sports like NBA All Star, and presentations like TEDx Atlanta.
David has been with Turner for 12 years. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, he graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Film Studies.
DEANNA RASHELL is an Actress and Producer who has recently also been wearing the Directors hat in a few short films. She is known for NCIS New Orleans, Elsa & Fred, iKllr, Dragula, #1 Cheerleader Camp, and Entourage. After graduating from Sacramento State University, she went on an audition and booked her first role! At that point the world turned and she packed up and moved to New Orleans to begin her career. She’s now living in Atlanta, GA.
Deanna is a budding filmmaker, with 2 web series launched, and a total of 17 short films under her belt. She is the President of Outlook Productions.
Deborah Riley Draper
Coffee Bluff Pictures
DEBORAH RILEY DRAPER is a compelling and award-winning filmmaker and advertising agency executive. Her documentary, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, tells the untold story of 18 African Americans who defied Hitler and Jim Crow to compete in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games. The film is a 2017 NAACP Image Awards Nominee for Outstanding Documentary Film. Draper adapted the seminal coming-of-age story Coffee Will Make You Black and will direct the film. She has earned two regional Emmys, a Gold Effie, and several Addy Awards. Draper is currently a Group Executive Director at Ogilvy. Deborah Riley Draper is a GA native and is a member of the 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Jury and Film Fatales.
ELEAGUE at Turner Sports
DEREYCK MOORE is the Director of Digital Products for ELEAGUE at Turner Sports. He has tremendous experience in digital and linear media with the world’s news leader and professional sports, including Product Management, Advertising, Content Strategy, and Social Media. Prior to ELEAGUE, Dereyck honed his skills in a number of roles at NBA Digital and CNN. In his current role, he leads a team that crafts Digital experiences for ELEAGUE, with goals to monetize Digital distribution effectively across all platforms, and further ELEAGUE’s position as a preeminent esports content brand.
DREW WATERS began working as an actor, producer and director nearly 15 years ago. Drew has guest starred and held recurring roles on some of the most successful television franchises of all time including Breaking Bad, True Detective, NCIS, Major Crimes, and Bones. His work also extends to the big screen with films like The Ultimate Life, 13 Hours, Parkland, The Hit List, and Mad Money. As a Director, Drew’s feature film debut New Life won him Best Director awards at both the Romford Film Festival and the Love International Film Festival. Drew has also produced many projects. Now, as co-owner of Argentum Entertainment, Drew focuses on producing powerful stories and creating financially viable projects for film and television.
ERIN BETHEA has nearly 15 years of entertainment experience. Erin’s expansive career includes work in both studio and independent films, hosting an Emmy-Award® winning television series, and screen writing. Erin spent several years in Los Angeles as ‘producer’s consultant, tailoring their projects from concept to completion. She is now the co-owner of Argentum Entertainment, an independent production and finance company dedicated to quality story-telling. Argentum’s first film, the romantic drama New Life released in 2017 and the company has recently expanded their operations from Los Angeles, CA to Atlanta, GA.
FRAN BURST-TERRANELLA is a multi-award winning Director and Producer. With over 4 decades of experience in film and media, Fran was the first women to build a directing career in Atlanta and the first woman to graduate as a director in University of Texas/Austin’s graduate film school. Fran has taught filmmaking at the Art Institute of Atlanta (2001-2014) and to career-changers and grade school, middle school, high school and college students in a multitude of workshops, internships and apprenticeships. A founding member of WIFTA and Atlanta Film Society, Fran served as co-president of Georgia Production Partnership during passage of Georgia’s entertainment tax incentive in 2008.
Fredrick D. Bussey
FREDRICK D. BUSSEY is a serial entrepreneur and creative. He worked for more than 15 years in the Music Entertainment industry as a Songwriter, Producer, Publicist, Marketing Representative, and Artist Manager, spanning the Hip-Hop, Gospel, R&B, and Pop genres. He has launched several businesses, including IconStatus, a marketing media firm, and is currently a principal partner in Slash Shared Services, a brand management agency. Passionate about helping others to develop the skillset to become successful, Fredrick is a frequent speaker & presenter at schools and events. He & his wife have two young children.
GERALD GRIFFITH is the man behind Atlanta’s VoiceoverCity and the annual "VO Atlanta" Voiceover Conference. Feeling that the Atlanta VO community was underserved, and undervalued, Gerald's initial voice acting ambitions quickly turned to entrepreneurial inclinations as he seized the opportunity to develop an education center, which he built by enlisting the support of local VO professionals and experts from around the country. Atlanta once lacked a significant center of voiceover education, now there's VoiceoverCity and the "VO Atlanta" Conference. In April 2014 Gerald acquired FILMAtlanta, a local meetup with over 3,000 members.
JENNIFER LONG is the founder of The VO Collective, Host and VO Talent. In her role as the Founder of the VO Collective, Host and VO Talent, she is guided by the belief that there is room to create, craft thoughtful personal narratives, and produce storytelling across a range and platforms and media. Jennifer has been a Regional Manager in Affiliate Sales and Marketing for brands like Starz Entertainment, The Weather Channel, MTV Networks, and Nuvo TV. She has also held leadership roles with organizations in education and not-for-profit. She is passionate about the future of media and her evolving role in it.
VP, Director - 22pictures
JIM ISSA joined 22squared from BBDO Atlanta, where he was senior producer and director and partnered with agency leadership to build BBDO’s in-house production department. Prior, he was directing commercials, television and feature films with production companies on both the East and West coasts, but always made Atlanta his home. As Director of 22pictures, Jim leads 22squared's internal production house, which for the last year has expanded scope and services as a nimble, innovative and cost-effective resource for quality video content.
Jonathan M. Harris
Associate Professor of Film Production
JONATHAN M HARRIS is an Associate Professor of Film Production at Clayton State University. As a filmmaker, his film and video work has been screened at film festivals nationwide including the San Francisco Documentary Festival, the Brooklyn Arts Council Film Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival. He was the Post-Production Supervisor for The Adventures of Ociee Nash (distributed by Twentieth Century Fox), and the director of the feature-length musical, Last Ride, called “visionary” and “ambitious” in press reviews. He is the director of numerous short films including the documentary, Treasure Hunters, which won Best Documentary Short at the F4 Film Festival in Massachusetts, and received three other nominations.
Katie (Rowlett) Orr attended Georgia State University where she studied Creative Writing and Theater. She has collaborated with the film collective Fake Wood Wallpaper on numerous short films and features, such as "Congratulations!" and "The Arbalest." Katie and her husband Alex Orr created and starred in the feature "A is For Alex" (2014). Katie wrote and directed her first feature film "Poor Jane," which was selected to participate in the 2016 IFP Narrative Lab and premiered in Dramatic Competition at Cinequest Film & VR Festival in March 2018.
Keisha Perry Walker, Esq
The Perry Law Group
KEISHA PERRY WALKER is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, College of Law, Mrs. Walker launched The Perry Law Group in June of 2005 after working in a mid-size debt collection law firm. Since establishing The Perry Law Group, Ms. Walker has served clients nationally and internationally in the areas of Corporate, Entertainment, Real Estate law. Mrs. Walker also serves as a strategist and consultant in Entertainment law assisting digital media influencers and content creators expand, monetize, and protect their brand.
KRISTEN MCGARY's feature directorial debut was The Adventures of Ociee Nash and the script won the Southeastern Mediamakers Award from. McGary's short film Rain, won a 2016 Accolade Award for Excellence. McGary is one of a handful of directors also shooting their own work. She is a current member in the Directing category of the DGA, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a member of Women in Film and Television Atlanta, Film Fatales, Atlanta, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Alliance of Women Directors, Atlanta.
Lisa Moore, Esq
The Moore Firm, LLC
LISA MOORE past Chair of the Entertainment Section for the State Bar of Georgia, is the principal of her own entertainment and intellectual property boutique law practice, The Moore Firm, LLC. Ms. Moore previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law where she taught Entertainment Law and Visual Arts and the Law. Her practice focuses exclusively on both litigation and transnational entertainment and intellectual property matters. She is a frequent lecturer and contributor to various law reviews and entertainment journals. Lisa was one of the youngest lawyers to be invited to serve as a Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia serving by appointment of the Georgia Supreme Court.
MELISSA INGRAM is Vice President and Channel Manager for Aspire – the television entertainment network from Earvin “Magic” Johnson that reflects the people and modern day experiences of black and urban culture in a way that is inspiring, authentic and entertaining. Ingram joined Aspire in August 2012 as Senior Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, and was promoted to Senior Director of Business Affairs and Development in December 2014. In 2013, Ingram was selected as one of Multichannel News’ 40 under 40 young industry executives and was also honored in 2016 and 2017 as one of Cablefax’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable.” She was also named to the “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” list in 2017.
Melva’s first experience in entertainment was in the sixth grade. She was screenwriter, director and principal for a Harriet Tubman biopic that won 3rd place in the California Children’s Film Festival. As a costume designer and stylist her work has been commercials, music videos, television, films, Hasbro/Hasbro Toys, Disney Crusie Lines, SeaWorld and UniversalOrlando. Her retail buying career was key to accomplishing production office duties as music coordinator, trade-out, and an associate producer on children and afternoon series, and prime-time competition series respectfully. Affilations are past president of WIFT-FL, a founding board member of WIFTI, member of WIFTA, I.A.T.S.E. (25 years), and president of Akens Design, Inc.
MICHAEL "COACH" HAYHURST is the Director of Strategic Sales at GM Voices, a global provider of voice-over solutions specializing in business technology applications like IVR/telephony, eLearning, GPS/telematics, and personal assistants. Starting with the company as an audio engineer, and later serving as its Production Manager and Director of Operations, Coach has been working with voice actors for over a decade, managing both the business and creative sides of large voice-over projects and talent relationships.
MOHUA THAKURTA is an independent producer who partners with nonprofits, small businesses and documentary filmmakers to grow and create engaging, motivating video projects. She has created content and consulted with multiple clients including Sunav World, Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies: Georgia, and Women Refugee Network. Mohua began her career in India where she built her skills as AD and producer on dozens of films, TV shows, commercials and shorts. Since moving to Georgia in 2003, she’s added to her expertise as a Producer, AD, Director and Editor on a multitude of projects. A passionate educator, Mohua, taught and mentored students from 2010-2106 at the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Clayton State Film Society
NETOSHA RANDLE is the current President of the Clayton State Film Society and holds degrees in Commercial Photography, Technology Management and Film. She has over seven years experience as a commercial photographer. In her spare time she enjoys watching action/sci-fi films and traveling. NeTosha is currently working on producing a comic book based web-series and traveling to South Korea to study film.
SAG-AFTRA Atlanta President
RIC REITZ is an actor, writer, composer, director and producer, who has been active in show business for over 40 years, and who has appeared in over 150 television shows, feature films and stage productions. He is the current SAG-AFTRA Atlanta President, Past President of the Georgia Production Partnership, and a former member of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Advisory Commission. As one of the key architects in the development of Georgia’s current entertainment tax incentive law and co-author of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Entertainment Business Plan through the year 2020, Ric has played an important role in the resurgence of production in the state.
Director, Action Coordinator, and SAG-AFTRA Stutman
RYAN MONOLOPOLUS is director, action coordinator and SAG-AFTRA stuntman. He currently works worldwide developing and creating action content, as well as working with actors and performers to better their skills and abilities for the screen. As a former member of the United States Sports Martial Arts team, he combines practical combat, fitness, and self defense skills together with his performance and production expertise, creating a dynamic and approachable system of On Camera Combatives.
Kiss the Limit Productions
SHANDRA L. MCDONALD is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer with more than 15 years-experience in the television and film industry, she has received awards from the Director's Guild of America, Atlanta Film Festival, IFP Film Festival, Hollywood Black Film Festival and the 48-Hour Film Festival for her projects. Recently, a feature-film where she served as an associate producer titled Jinn premiered in the highly-competitive, narrative section at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Ms. McDonald continues to grow her film-production company Kiss the Limit Productions, Inc., producing various types of content including feature films while being a proud Assistant Film Professor at Clayton State University.
SouthScout Location Services
SHARENA HALL, in 2014, after recognizing a need in the Atlanta market for representation of camera-ready properties, Sharena Hall co-founded SouthScout Location Services. Four years later, SouthScout represents over 200 wide-ranging properties including residences, industrial spaces, rural land and some of Atlanta’s most iconic commercial buildings including The Atlanta United Training Ground, Peachtree Center, Terminus, Promenade and 191 Peachtree. Sharena previously worked in public relations for The American Red Cross and SPANX and founded Summerall PR, a boutique agency focusing on fashion and lifestyle clients and specializing in celebrity product placements.
Georgia Box Office
SHEENA WILEY is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from Tennessee State University. She then relocated to Virginia where she quickly moved into a career in broadcast as a news camera operator. She decided that she also enjoyed being in front of the camera and producing projects, so she started producing and hosting for local shows. She has since relocated to Atlanta where she has been living for the past five years. Inspired by the entertainment boom in Georgia, Sheena was determined to be a part of the action. With the help of her husband Sheena created Georgia Box Office, a web series about the TV and film industry in Georgia.
Sheri Mann Stewart
Silver Sisters Studio
SHERI MANN STEWART is a Director/Actor/Writer/Producer with four-decades-plus professional experience on and off camera internationally, Sheri has served in positions from P.A. to Executive Producer, is most often recognized from Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married" films, and can be seen next as Judge Thornton in "Trial by Fire" (director Edward Zwick). She was mentored in acting by famed Stella Adler and graduated with a Drama BA (Catholic University) and Psychology MA (Antioch). Faculty at colleges, Alliance Theater, for learning-challenged youth and incarcerated men, Sheri is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, AWD, Film Fatales; co-founder, Silver Sisters Studio. Actlikeamann.com, Twitter @sheribarry
Salt Run Productions
SUZAN SATTERFIELD is owner and executive producer of Picture Window Productions. She started in news production, migrated through producing big live shows to become an ad agency producer. She also worked on independent and documentary films, and now creates, writes and produces television and transmedia. Suzan has helmed several television series as EP, including “Mega Dens” (DIY Network), “Ground Breakers” (HGTV), as well as “The Natural South,” for Turner Broadcasting.
Producer and Actor
VIVIANA CHAVEZ, an Atlanta native, has been working professionally in the ATL film industry since 2010. Her acting credits include, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Revolution, Drop Dead Diva, and, most recently, Edgar Wright's Oscar-nominated film, Baby Driver, to name a few. She also works as a producer for Bed Head Media, creating online video content for clients such as Husky Tools, Coca-Cola, Lake Lanier. Viviana has a passion for the Atlanta film market and believes we can cultivate a sustainable industry based on a foundation of collaboration, not competition.
Short Film Festival Jury
Women in Film & Television Atlanta
LORIELLE BROUSSARD began her career as a stylist/costume designer for TV, film and music. She co-founded and was the CEO and designer of Barack the Vote, LLC. Lorielle was a producer as well as the costume designer for “Purple Stuff TV”, a current news comedy sketch web-series, created by Brandon Broussard. Lorielle Broussard served as the first Marketing & Communications Manager for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment from December 2013 to February 2016. She is now the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Women in Film & Television Atlanta.
Associate Professor of Film/Video at Georgia State University
LY BOLIA is Associate Professor of Communication, with creative specializations as a writer, director, editor and cinematographer. Bolia’s films have been screened on the Learning Channel, PBS, Comedy Central Network, RDF Media, National Geographic Channel, and at the Lincoln Center. More than thirty film festivals have screened his work, including Atlanta, Santa Fe, Bronx, Birmingham Ala., Sarasota, Chicago, and Sedona Az., where he has won awards for Best Acting, Best Directing, People’s Choice Awards, Best of Character and Best Picture at various festivals. Bolia’s work spans feature films, short films, public service announcements, and political campaign advertisements.
Women Of Color Arts & Film Festival
MOJISOLA SONOIKI is a British born Nigerian and has over 15 years’ experience curating, programming, and consulting on various Film Festivals and Cultural Events around the world. Amongst other things, she is the Founder of the WOCAF (Women of Color Arts & Film Festival) Atlanta, has directed a short documentary “Occupy Naija”, an insider’s view of the Occupy Nigeria demonstrations of 2012, co-written a made for TV film “Mixed Feelings” which aired on the cable channel, Ebony Life TV in Nigeria in 2015 and is currently producing an award-winning docu-interview web series “Indigo Tongues” which showcases trailblazers from Africa and the Diaspora.
Ronda Racha Penrice
Writer and Critic
RONDA RACHA PENRICE is a veteran film and television writer and cultural critic whose work has appeared in The Root, The AJC, Creative Loafing, The Daily Beast, NBC THINK and more. As a former film publicist for Roz Stevenson Public Relations concentrating on reaching African American audiences, Penrice worked on the very first The Fast and the Furious and Bring It On, among many other films. She has also served as a judge for festivals and competitions like the BronzeLens Film Festival and the UP Faith & Family Screenplay Competition. She is a member of both the African American Film Critics Association and the Black Women Film Network.
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
SHELLIE SCHMALS is the Film Programming Manager at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival since 2014. Shellie plays an active role in selecting the nearly 600 films that are considered for each annual Festival – and for recruiting, training and managing the 200 volunteers who sit on the Film Evaluation Committee to evaluate them. Shellie sits on the Board of Directors of Women in Film and Television Atlanta as Secretary and serves as the chair of the Short Film Showcase. In 2011, Shellie was named as one of “50 Most Creative Atlantans” by CommonCreativ Magazine.
TERP VAIRIN is a multi-practice artist based in Decatur, GA. Since receiving a cum laude BFA in 2010, she has worked on over 30 shows, projects, and productions. She currently works full time behind the scenes at re:imagine/ATL, where she is providing teens with resources and mentorship to tell their stories through film and digital media. Vairin is also developing independent projects, including podcasting and public interactive art, and is open to collaboration.
Short Film Festival Master of Ceremonies
Outreach and Engagement Consultant
SHAWN WATWOOD has worked in the entertainment business in various capacities for over 20 years, serving as Promotions Manager for a Dallas, TX radio station, Press Relations for St. Louis Cardinals, event manager for SXSW and Publishing for EMI and Malaco Music Labels. Living in Nashville for 7 years, Shawn worked as an Entertainment business consultant developing outreach and engagement efforts for various arts and entertainment organizations with clients including Cirque du Soliel and American Music Abroad. Shawn also experienced the other side of film and can be seen on the TV Show Nashville, Fatal Encounters and Dusk till Dawn: The Series. Shawn has volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, SXSW and Nashville Film Festival.