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ABFF Announces 'Talk Series': Master Classes, Panels & Celebrity Conversations

Festivals
by Vanessa Martinez
June 14, 2012 7:59 PM
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The American Black Film Festival has just announced its Talk Series lineup, which will run at the festival next week in Miami, Florida from June 20-23.

The Talk Series will feature several influential industry artists, leaders and apiring filmmakers who will share their experiences. Highlights of the series include film industry production, cimatography, digital platforms and African American women in the industry.

For tickets and more info, visiti www.abff.com.

See below for Talk Series details:

Master Classes

“The $300,000 Feature: A Master Class in Line Producing,”led by Dianne Ashford of Symmetry Entertainment. Scheduled to take place June 20 at 1:30pm, this Master Class will outline a film producer's core responsibilities (creative, executive and technical) through the phases of production and distribution.

“Camera Basics & Cinematography Master Class,” led by Charles Swanson, Associate Professor of Cinematography, Chair of the Production Department, School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University. Scheduled to take place June 21 at 9am, this Master Class will provide filmmakers with a basic education on entry-level digital cameras as well as more advanced digital capture cameras and formats.

Panel Discussions

“The Future of Black Entertainment: Using the Digital Space to Create Buzz and Distribute Content.” Taking place on June 21 at 1pm, this panel, sponsored by Nielsen and Black Enterprise magazine, will be moderated by Cindi Smith of Nielsen. Invited panelists are Monique Kelley of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Nikkole Denson-Randolph of AMC Theatres, Barion Grant of TheGrio.com/NBCUniversal and Issa Rae, creator and producer of the hit webisode series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” The panelists will discuss recent blockbusters and the social buzz around them. There will be a focus on the increase in consumer-generated content on the web by producers of color and how they can monetize web content and cultivate success with major brands.

“Digital Technology Panel: Content Syndication 2012.”Taking place on June 21 at 4pm, this panel, sponsored by Grab Media and HuffPost Black Voices, will be moderated by Alvin Bowles, CEO of Grab Media. Special guests include: Russ Torres of Yahoo! News & Finance and Lateef Sarnor of AOL Huffington Post Media Group. The panelists will exchange ideas around the current syndication practices, the technology shifts and explore the marketing opportunities and how advertising content reaches new audiences.
 
“gmc Television Network Screenplay Competition Table Reading.” Taking place on June 22 at 3pm, this panel is sponsored by gmc Television Network. Three finalists have been selected and a scene from each of their screenplays will be read before the festival audience. One winner will be chosen to have their screenplay produced into a film and receive a $5,000 cash prize. Guests include, Tracey Heggins, actress, Stephen Trevor Hill, actor and ABFF 2012 Star Project winners, Robert Hunter and Sherial McKinney.
 

“Beyond the Barriers & Biases: Black Women in Hollywood.”Taking place on June 23 at 10:30am, this panel is sponsored by The Webber Group, in association with Daughters of Eve Productions. Moderated by Michele Prettyman Beverly, African American Cinema Scholar, the discussion will feature Twinkie Byrd, casting director and producer, Elizabeth Hunter, writer, Angi Bones, SVP of Development (BobbCat Films) and actors Malinda Williams and Tracey Heggins. The festival audience will be introduced to a lineup of women who have built diverse careers in film despite the odds. They will offer how they have successfully navigated their professional journeys beyond the barriers and biases.

Rounding out the panel discussions will be “HBO Presents…” Taking place on June 23 at 1pm, this panel, sponsored by HBO, will be moderated by Cori Murray, Entertainment Director of Essence Magazine, and will feature JB Smoove, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Nelsan Ellis, “True Blood,” Michael K. Williams, “Boardwalk Empire,” and Sufe Bradshaw, “Veep.” This panel will highlight the talents of the panelists as they talk about their backgrounds, acting careers and their very unique experiences working on an HBO series. 

Celebrity Conversations

“A Conversation with Salim and Mara Brock-Akil,” sponsored by American Airlines, is a special festival event taking place on June 22 at 12:30pm. It will feature an in-depth interview with husband-wife team Salim and Mara Brock-Akil, whose joint credits include: hit TV shows “Girlfriends,” “The Game” and films “Jumping the Broom” and the upcoming “Sparkle.” Trina Robinson of NBC South Florida Today Show will facilitate the conversation. 

“ABFF Celebrates “Think Like A Man,” sponsored by Crown Royal Black, is another special festival event taking place on June 22 at 8:45pm. This unique presentation will feature an onstage interview with Will Packer, producer and Rob Hardy (executive producer), Tim Story (director) and cast members of the hit film, “Think Like A Man,” which has grossed over 90 million dollars at the box office. Moderated by radio host Malikha Malette.

“The Talk Series is one of the most substantive parts of the festival. Filmmakers and film enthusiasts join in conversations that allow for the exploration of many disciplines within the film industry,” states Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and ABFF founder. “Topics that are relevant to the business of film, like marketing and distribution as well as the creative component, such as writing and directing, are discussed in a very innovative and important way.”

The festival's on-site registration center will open Wednesday, June 20 at 9am at Ritz Carlton-South Beach, located on the 2nd floor. A limited quantity of passes and tickets will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-serve basis.

*Panelists subject to change.*

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