hbff logo*(Hollywood, CA) – Tanya Kersey, Executive Director, announced the 2012 season of The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) with an exciting line up of films, panels, panelists and festivities over a four day period.

HBFF happens October 25 – 28, 2012 and will be hosted at The W Hotel, 6250 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.  The Opening Night will be held on October 25 @ 7:00 PM. All films will be screened around the corner at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA.

Recognized as the premiere Black film festival in Hollywood showcasing the best independent films from Black filmmakers, HBFF leads with innovation by delivering top-shelf panels designed to empower filmmakers and expose Black film to diverse audiences right in the heart of the movie capital.

“This year marks a pivotal moment in our history as we celebrate the artistry of Black film from coast-to-coast and worldwide,” said Kersey. “This year it’s our goal to expose the masses to dynamic Black film, while educating people on best practices for getting film financing, creating stories and tapping into the power players doing the deals through our informative Infotainment Conference panels and workshops.”

To register for the festival and see a full line up of events, visit www.hbff.org

About the HBFF
Founded in 1999, The Hollywood Black Film Festival aims to enhance the careers of emerging and established North American filmmakers through a public exhibition, competition program and industry panels.  Known amongst the entertainment industry’s powerbrokers as, “The Black Sundance,” the festival brings independent works of accomplished and aspiring black filmmakers to an environment encompassing the mainstream Hollywood community and Southern California film-going audiences. The festival’s goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching independent films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, press and public.

HBFF Sponsors
The Official Sponsors of HBFF 2012 are NBC/Universal, Wells Fargo, Nike and Studio System.  The festival is also supported by One Village Entertainment, Tri-Destined Studios, Swirl Films, Hawaiian Spring Water, Syncom, Final Draft, Sony Creative Studios, Creative Handbook, Wave & Trails, BlackPR.com, Gildecam, Greenhouse Studios, Emma’s Cupcakes, Southern Girl Desserts and CC Nails.



October 25-28, 2012


  • All Films will be screened at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood 90028
  • All Panels will be held at the W Hotel, 6250 Hollywood Bl, Hollywood 90028

For more details: http://www.hbff.org.




7:00 PM                       OPENING NIGHT FILM

Note To Self

Note to Self follows a handsome and popular student athlete coming of age during his senior year of college, as his world begins to fall apart due to his mom’s failing health and the reappearance of his father after 16 years.

Director: Trey Haley; Writer: Christian Keyes; Producers: ND Brown, Eric Tomosunas, Veronica Nicholas, Keith Neal; Executive Producers: Gregory Anderson, Reginald Jones; Production Companies: Tri Destined Studios, Swirl Films; Distributors: Image Entertainment, One Village Entertainment

Key Cast: Christian Keyes, LeToya Luckett, Richard T. Jones, Brian McKnight, Eva Marcille, Clifton Powell, Valarie Pettiford, Jason Weaver, Brely Evans, Sebastian Siegal, Willie Taylor, Mishon Ratliff, Brian Mcknight, Jr. and more.                   





Packaging & Pitching Your Project and Yourself with Heather Hale

You need to be prepared to talk about you and your project at any time or place. In this workshop you’ll develop and sharpen your pitch, polish your presentation skills, and learn how to clearly convey your passion and the marketability of your film, TV or new media project.



New Avenues to Finance, Produce & Distribute Films on any Budget

Independent film financing and distribution of a film can be tricky. You can pitch a film project, but you must also be able to dance to music of the investor. It’s their stage, and they don’t like indie filmmakers looking for funding. Come find out how the availability of commercial distribution opportunities for films at any budget level is changing as the industry embraces an explosion of new and unconventional resources for financing, producing and distributing independent films.


Moderator: Brickson Diamond, Blackhouse Foundation Chair & Philanthropist

Panelists: Travis Stevens, Founder, Snowfort Pictures; Kathryn Arnold, Filmmaker; Darrien Michele Gipson, SAGIndie,  Hal Sadoff, Consultant (former head of ICM’s international and independent film department)


12:00 pm (An Afternoon of Docs)

Hubbles’s Diverse Universe (FILM)

The scientific research and experiences of six African American and three Hispanic American astronomers and astrophysicists are presented in this documentary.  ‘Diverse’ refers to both the ethnic diversity of the scientists who appear in the film and the diverse set of astronomy topics explored.  The film as four chapters: Science, Diversity, Mentoring and Outreach, and NASA’s contributions.

Director: Dean Tapia, Producer: Lisa Boags – Running Time: 27:00


12:00 pm

Innocents Lost: Teenage Girls Struggles (FILM)

This edgy documentary will explore drug use, prostitution, gang-banging and other issues that make up the lives of three young girls.

Producer: Dana Hanna, Producer: Joy Sudduth –Running Time: 47:00



Hollywood 101: I want to be an Actor, Writer, Director or Producer –Where do I start?

This workshop and panel discussion will focus on resources for the beginner actor, writer, director producer, will discuss the importance of networking, and give information on developing your talent so when they opportunity comes, you’re ready. We will have SAG, WGA, DGA, & PGA representatives on hand as well as a networking expert.

Moderator:  Mark Travis, BOYDEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS

Panelist: Sheldon Candis, Writer, Datari Turner, Producer, Dorian Missick, Actor, Matthew Cherry, Director



Bringing Diversity to Show Business: Talent & Workforce Diversity

There are a multitude of business opportunities in the studio and network systems for talent in the areas of acting, directing, writing and producing. However, there are also behind the scenes jobs ranging from accounting, development, graphic design, legal and printing services to marketing, video production and editing. This 2-­‐part session is geared toward up and coming creative and business professionals who want to learn the secrets to obtaining opportunities to share your talent to the major studios and networks.


Panel 1Talent Diversity: (1:15pm – 2pm)

Diversity executives from ABC, FOX & NBC/Universal will discuss how to be seen by studios/networks. They will answer a wide range of questions including: What does it take to be taken seriously by the studios/networks? How to cultivate

contacts within the studio and network systems? How does a studio/network go about selecting diverse talent? How can diversity representatives help me? How do I meet and find the right advocates within the studio and network?

Moderator: David Brownstein, Career Coach Panelists: Karen Horne, NBC; Tiffany Smith, CBS; Kimberly Myers, WGA; Robert Mendez, ABC, Christopher Mac, Warner Bros.


1:30 pm

  Mas Man: The Complete Work (FILM)

It is the only film made about the man who reached 80 per cent of the planet in a single night. Mas Man (The Complete Work) explores Peter Minshall’s leap from designer in the Trinidad       Carnival to an artistic director of the Opening Ceremonies for three Olympic Games, based on his knack for ‘making what is small seem big in an Olympic stadium.’

Producer/Director: Dalton Narine – Running Time: 89:00


Panel 2 –Workforce Diversity (2 – 2:45pm)

What does it take to work with the studios and networks? There’s a need for more than just diverse talent but a more diverse workforce. In this panel HR & diversity executives will discuss the experience necessary and available positions with the studios and networks.

Moderator: Debra Langford

Panelists: TBA




Creating Content in Today’s Multi-­‐Platform Marketplace

This session will address the new landscape and opportunities facing content creators working across platforms in film, television and new media technologies.


3:30 pm

  Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution (FILM)

In an era known for protests and sit-ins, the 1973 Grand Divertissement at Versailles made a  statement of its own – a fashion statement.  The legendary event pitting the five lions of French couture Givenchy, Dior, Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin with five American  designers Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass created a  cross-stitch of change across fashion, race, business and catwalks.  When African American  models Bethann Hardison, Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Billie Blair, Norma Jean Darden, Barbara  Jackson, Jennifer Brice, Romana Saunders and Amina Warsuma boarded the plane to Paris, they had no idea they would help change the course of fashion and pull off its biggest coup.

Director: Deborah Riley Draper – Running Time: 82:00




How to Write a “Fundable” Business Plan

If you’re interested in funding financing your film, you’ve got to start with a business plan which connects the creative process and the business side of filmmaking.  In this workshop you will learn how to utilize tools and access the information needed to develop a business plan that can actually get your project funded.



5:00 PM

Dar He: The Lynching of Emmitt Till (FILM)

In an acting tour de force, one man performs 36 roles in the telling of the Emmett Till tragedy.

Director: Rob Underhill, Producer: Aravind Ragupathi, Producer: Mike Wiley –Running Time: 70:00



Crowdfunding: How to Get Your Project Over the Finish Line

Crowd funding has emerged in recent years as the new alternative to traditional routes of funding.  Sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become the standard bears for filmmakers looking to raise money on line.  This panel will discuss how crowd funding works, the pitfalls, benefits and a whole lot more.

Speaker: Mychal Wilson


6:30 PM (FILM)

The Coalition

The bad boys club is really not all that bad.  Young, rich and handsome…the boys know how to have a good time.  They love women, fast cars and doing whatever they want to do.  They comes a time in life, however, when karma is helped along.  When it’s done by a group of scorned women…it can prove to be devastating.

Director: Monica Mingo, Producer: Rich Volin – Running Time: 98:00


8:30 PM (FILM)

The Great Divide

Tosha Landry, eccentric wife and nucleus of a circle of very ethnically diverse friends, is a student of the ancient Indian teaching of the Tantra and Kama Sutra.  One Friday evening at the monthly get-together, Tosha introduces a game designed to elicit feeling and impressions men and women have about each other.

Director: Ibrahim Yilla, Producers: Dan Garcia, Wendy Wiltz and Jason Hewitt

Key Cast, Tichina Arnold, Darrin Dewitt-Henson, Richard T. Jones, Golden Brooks, Rocsi Diaz and Clyde Jones – Running Time: 86:00




Masters Class: Actors Edition
(2 part course)
Joanne Baron (Part 1) 9:30am-10:30 am

Joanne Baron is known for her dedication to the work of Sanford Meisner and is a teacher of the Meisner Technique. She trained with Neighborhood Playhouse alum and master Meisner teacher, William Esper, who founded the MFA and BFA Professional Actor Training Programs at Rutgers University. Her past students include Halle Berry, Robin Wright, Mariska Hargetay, Patrick Dempsey, Leslie Mann, and directors Martha Coolidge and Tom Shadyac.

Aaron Speiser (Part 2) 10:30am-11:30  am

Aaron Speiser has been training and coaching actors for over 25 years. Working with the most acclaimed actors, directors, and producers in the industry, Mr. Speiser helps actors by bringing his vast experience and depth of knowledge of the craft of acting to his students in a simple, straightforward, practical and inspirational way. Aaron Speiser coaches Will Smith and Virginia Madsen, both of whom have recently been nominated for Academy Awards with Mr. Speiser’s help. He has also coached Jennifer Lopez from the beginning of her career. LL Cool J, Mandy Moore, The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), Brooke Shields, Jeff Foxworthy, Shanny Sossamon, Ashley Johnson, Shawn, Marlon, and Kim Wayans are some of the accomplished actors who round out the list.  Working with such renowned directors as Oliver Stone, Michael Mann, F. Gary Gray, Adam Shankman, Wayne Wang, and Peter Berg. to name a few, has enabled Mr. Speiser to bring the latest Film and Television techniques to his studio and clients.


Online Social Networking, Promotions & Building Audiences in Cyberspace

Donna Presenter Michelle Anderson will discuss how filmmakers, writers, directors, actors and other industry professionals can network online and promote their brand and build audiences online. Will talk about how to capitalize online at the click of a mouse. The Internet can help you generate word of mouth “buzz,” promote your products and talents, and to build a world-wide audience and fan base.
Presenter: DMA/Donna Michelle Anderson, CEO, CLIC


Masters Class: Writers Edition

Television writer and producer Bentley Kyle Evans who has been behind the scenes of some of television’s most popular TV productions such as Martin, The Parkers, One On One, The Jamie Foxx show and more, will host our Master Class for Writers. Bentley will share insight into the television writing, producing & development process, and hopefully demystify what it takes to turn a good idea into a great television show. There may also be surprise visits from celebrity guests.


12:00 PM (Scheduler’s Choice Films)


  Elegy for a Revolutionary (FILM)

Two friends oppose the apartheid-era government in South Africa.  Their choice to use violence tears their relationship apart.

Director: Paul van Zyl, Producer: Stacy Ekstein – Running Time: 22:00


Operation: CTF (FILM)

Operation: CTF is about a futuristic, weapon-based game of Capture the Flag, following four combative team members through a maze-structured warehouse in effort to complete their  objective and win the game.

Director: Denzel Whitaker, Producer: Kasey Shirk – Running Time: 8:00


Seafood Tester (FILM)

  A son is tired of bailing his mother out of trouble.  In order to save her from herself, he must resort to extreme measures to confront her with the truth.

Producer/Director: Darious Britt – Running Time: 9:00


The Bubble Gum Hit  (FILM)

  A hired female assassin, with a impulsive fetish for the kill, becomes entangled between the  target and the people that hirer here to complete the hit.

Producer/DirectorL Eric Richardson-Hagans, Producer: Michael Francis – Running Time: 22:00


  What About Us (FILM)

  A family desperate to find their missing daughter soon realize their daughter’s significance in  society is based on their social and economic status.

Director: Deatra Harris, Producer: Bryan Johnson – Running Time: 20:00




Hollywood’s Top Guns: The Truth about Packaging, Negotiating & Dealmaking

Panel of some of Hollywood’s top legal minds, agents and managers will discuss a broad range of topics from how to get a top gun to represent you to structuring favorable deals.

Moderator: Christina Norman (tentative)

Panelists: Jelani Johnson, Generate, Matt Johnson, Ziffren, Brian Dobbins, Principato Young, Dana Sims, ICM, Darryl Taja, Epidemic Pictures, Billy Hawkins, CAA, Everly Lee, APA, Charles King, WME


1:30 PM (Programmer’s Choice Films)

A Difficult Thank You (FILM)

A mother and father are devastated to find out that their recently deceased daughter

Signed up to be an organ donor without their knowing.  The family is divided as the father and two remaining daughters find comfort in corresponding with the organ recipients, white the mother sees the correspondence as a betrayal.

Director: Edrei Hutson, Producer: J’Vanne Yancy – Running Time: 14:00


Animal Control (FILM)

An outrageously funny, over-the-top mock reality show that pulls the veil off a reality television and show exactly how these pieces of crap get made!  Down and out Hollywood producer Allen Davies owes a lot of people money.  After the unsuccessful attempts of his last few projects, let’s just say finding work has been pretty slow.  That is, until foreign investors hire Allen to produce a new reality show for American television.

Producer/Director: Brian Shackelford, Producer: Joyce Fitzpatrik – Running Time: 16:00


Junior (FILM)

Seven years after a police raid gone wrong, a detective is confronted with the consequence of his past mistake.

Director: Jeffrey Elmont, Producers: Bryan Smiley, Christina Northup, Marcus Dupree

Running Time: 11:00


Saudade (FILM)

James, lynched at the turn of the century, seeks his bride Sarah, whom he stumbles across in the present day.  Dead set on having her see him, he haunts her, but it brings unexpected results.

Director: Evita Castine, Producer: Allison Melanson – Running Time: 6:00


Stare Straight Crew (FILM)

An inside look at the wacky world of rival Staring champions as they train for the next World Championship and the affection of their Master guru.

Director: Paul Aspuria, Producers: Juan Sotelo, Raymund Aranda – Running Time: 7:00


The Death of a Prince (FILM)

When a troubled teen stumbles upon an ancient book he is confronted with his past, present and future through the life and death of a young African Prince.  Now he must take actions to alter his fate or succumb to the same fate as the prince  before him.

Director:  A.R. Hilton, Producer: Joseph Francis – Running Time: 24:00



The Business of Acting

Directors discuss their films and careers, the industry, and the building blocks needed to successfully develop a directing career.

Moderator: Jacque Cofer

Panelists: Joyful Drake, Christian Keyes, Nadine Ellis, Ana Maria Horsford, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Dondre Whitfield and Kym Whitley




Masters Class: Film Producers Roundtable

All projects face the same basic challenges – from developing material, finding the money, building strong collaborative teams, and ultimately, taking the project from script to screen. This is a roundtable discussion with seasoned and successful film and television producers and production executives who share their experience and offer concrete advice on producing for film and television. Moderator:

Panelists: Niija Khykendall, WB; James Lopez, Screen Gems, Broderick Johnson, Alcon (tentative), John Singleton, director (tentative)



3:00 PM (50 Shades…)


Even Me (FILM)

Even Me confronts the overwhelming crisis of HIV/AIDS among older adults 50+.  Defying the Myth that HIV/AIDS is a gay or young person’s disease, this revealing documentary depicts the  devastating impact of this epidemic on the heterosexual, older adult population and  communities of color.

Producer/Director: Megan Ebor – Running Time: 24:00


How Tiger Can Get His Swag Back (FILM)

  With the help of the mystical Brotha Vance, Tiger Woods embraces his African-American  heritage to make a comeback and win the heart of the ultimate sista—Michelle Minaj.

Director: Xl Greene, Producer: Michael Watkins – Running Time: 6:00


  The Last/First Kiss (FILM)

  Two twenty-something strangers accidentally encounter one another in a park and forge an  unexpected connection.  Following which a spontaneous but short lived romance develops  between the two.

Producer/Director: Andrea Ashton, Producer: Andrew Stoneham – Running Time: 16:00


  The Ultimate Wingman (FILM)

  No situation is too tough for the Ultimate Wingmen.  This fearless, secretive, private, group of  Men are on call 24/7 to step in and interfere, occupy, or remove nagging friends so that hopeful  men can meet their possible wives.

Directors: Sedric Veal, Jorge Sanchez, Producers: Carl Herard, Lanre Idewu, Tobijah Tyler

Running Time: 13:00


White Space (FILM)

  White Space follows the inner life of a deaf performance poet as he makes his debut at an open- mic night for a hearing audience.

Director:  Maya Washington, Producers: Freddy F. Hakimi, Samantha Manalang

Running Time: 9:00


4:00 pm

Masters Class: TV Producers Roundtable


4:00 pm

Monologue Slam w/Twinkie Byrd and Celebrity Friends


4:30 pm (Black Men in Film)


Operation Home Front (FILM)

Best Selling Author Ezekiel Anderson is at a spiritual crossroads that is costing him his marriage.  On the brink of divorce, a divine intervention hopes to remind Ezekiel of life’s true gifts.

Producer/Director:  Donre Walker, Producer: Joanna Ellenbeck – Running Time: 20:00


Peace on the Streets (FILM)

Young Black men in major metropolitan cities all around America are dying.  Rappers from the

San Francisco Bay Area have gotten together to express the issue via this music video.

Director:  Bobby Mardis, Music: Cholly J, Writers: Cholly J, Stephen Ashford & Bobby Mardis

Running Time: 6:00


The Extortionist (FILM)

When a depressed and introverted man comes home to his happy son, he has to recount the tales of the past in which an extortionist controlled his life.

Producer/Director/Writer: Logan Williams – Running Time: 10:00


The Gift (FILM)

Best Selling Author Ezekiel Anderson is at a spiritual crossroads that is costing him his marriage.  On the brink of divorce, a divine intervention hopes to remind Ezekiel of life’s true gifts.

Producer/Director/Writer: Harold Jackson III – Running Time: 16:00


They Lost It (FILM)

A young man is hit with the realization that his mistress and father are set to wed.  He then goes into panic mode, devising a plan to keep his wife and father from finding him out.

Producer/Director/Writer:  Harrell Williams – Running Time: 28:00


6:00 pm

The Eugenist (FILM)

The Eugenist is a feature length horror film from director and author Tariq Nasheed following a group of college students who discover strange activities going on in a mysterious abandoned school.

Producer/Director/Writer: Tariq Nasheed, Writer: Aaron Strongoni – Running Time: 72:00



Storyteller Competition Live Staged Reading & Reception hosted by Michael


Live staged reading of the 3 finalist scripts in the festival’s storyteller

competition. The readings will be directed by veteran stage

director/writer/producer Don Welch (“The Bachelor Party” and “The Bachelorette



 8:00 PM

Against the Grain (FILM)

Isaiah Johnson, an inner-city kid from Oakland, California, has an opportunity to attend an

Elite University.  In his first year of college, he struggles to maintain his grades, attempts to      remain loyal to his troubled childhood friends, and valiantly tries to capture the hear of his    dream-girl.  But when he arrives at a crossroad, he’s forced to choose between his past and his future.

Producer/Director/Writer: Elias Mael, Executive Producer: Mayon Denton

Running Time: 87:00




Faith in Films: A Conversation with DeVon Franklin


You’ve seen him on “Super Soul Sunday” with Oprah Winfrey, now producer and preacher Devon Franklin takes centerstage at the Hollywood Black Film Festival’s Infotainment Conference in “Faith in Film: A Conversation with DeVon Franklin.”

 Ten years ago DeVon started in the business as an assistant and today he is a rarity: an African-American studio executive at the forefront of Hollywood.  He currently serves as Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment where he oversaw the remake of one of the summer’s biggest hits, The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, which grossed over $350 million worldwide.  He also worked on The Pursuit of Happiness and Hancock starring Will Smith, the faith-based hit Not Easily Broken, produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes and the upcoming romantic comedy, Jumping the Broom starring Angela Bassett and Paula Patton.

In this up-an-close and personal conversation, DeVon sits down with Tanya Kersey, HBFF Founder/Executive Director (http://www.tanyakersey.com) to discuss Faith in Films, the secret to successfully balancing life in Hollywood and faith.  Following the discussion, DeVon will be signing copies of his book, Produced by Faith (http://www.producedbyfaith.com) .

Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo, admission is FREE if you pre-register.  On-site registration is $30 if you don’t pre-register before midnight on October 27.


11:30 am (Students & Shorts)

Barbarsol (FILM)

A story about a man that desires a bond with his elderly father.  He realizes that he is running out of time due his father slipping further into dementia.  What he comes to realize is he needs to now turn his attention toward his own son.

Director/Executive Producer: Ralph K. Scott, Writer/Producer: Kiara C. Jones

Running Time: 20:00


Malachi IX (FILM)

Running Time: 20:00


A Tar Baby is Born (FILM)

The popular stories featuring the trickster Brer Rabbit can be traced back to the oral storytelling tradition of African slaves who brought this device to the plantation.  Upon hearing these stories while working as a newspaper apprentice on the plantation, a white journalist by the name of Joel Chandler Harris became so fascinated that he adapted and complied them in a book form in 1881, creating the fictional character Uncle Remus to narrate the stories.

Director/Writer: Theron Smith – Running Time: 3:00


Astorgos (FILM)

When a rumor sprouts up questioning Mathew’s little brother Nathaniel’s sexuality, Matthew is faced with the choice of either accepting Nathaniel for whom he is or breaking the bond of their relationship forever.

Producer/Director:  Solomon Onita, Jr. – Running Time: 13:00


Why Do You Have Black Dolls? (FILM)

A documentary that explores the history, beauty, and pride that is the black doll.  Through its characters it reveals that the black doll is more than a plaything; it is a cultural artifact that represents the history of the people it depicts.

Producer/Director:  Samantha Knowles – Running Time: 25:00


1:45 PM

The Black Kungfu Experience  (FILM)

This action-packed documentary chronicles kungfu’s black pioneers and heroes, exploring a dynamic intersection of African-American and Chinese culture.

Producers/Directors:   Martha Burr, Mei-Juin Chen – Running Time: 57:00




The first half the Pitchathon features studio development executives, producers and distributors sharing their insights and tips on how to successfully pitch a completed film, finished script and/or ideas. In the second half you’ll have a chance to actually pitch your projects and get valuable feedback and creative input from industry pros who are “in the know.”

Moderator: Richard Willis, Mozzell Entertainment Group

Panelists: Mark Cartier, Producer, Mike Regen, RBC Films, Chay Alexander Wright, Producer, Jeff Byrd, director


3:00 PM

He Heard My Cry (FILM)

Jay is faced with a dilemma while torn between two best friends, his fiance’ allege infidelity/pregnancy, and the new apple in his eyes, he must make a decision between heaven and hell.

Director/Writer: Ervin Riggs, Producer: Ivan Anderson – Running Time: 100:00



24 Hour Love


8:30 PM





Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations
[email protected]