Established in 1997, the Black Women Film Network (BWFN) was founded to prepare black women to enter the film and television industries. The organization seeks to preserve the voice of these women through film and educational programs that empower and inform. A 501(c)3 non-profit, BWFN provides student scholarships, hosts screenings and workshops, and honors individuals who have excelled in a challenging industry.
A year ago, the Network presented its inaugural Black Women Film Summit, which ran from March 5-7, 2015, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and Spelman College.
Last week, the Black Women Film Network hosted another successful edition of the annual Black Women Film Summit, featuring its "Untold Stories Awards Luncheon" where actress/singer Tisha Campbell-Martin, actress/singer Naturi Naughton, ESSENCE editor-at-large Mikki Taylor and film director and producer Fran Burst were honored at the Intercontinental Buckhead.
TV and radio personality Ebony Steele ("Coffee with America") hosted the affair with music provided by DJ Salah Ananse.
Scholarships were awarded to aspiring filmmakers Anita Salley and Martha Carswell.
The Summit also included the "Reel Sista Talk" and "Marketing Your Film to Hollywood" panel discussions featuring Haj Chenzira Pinnock, Mikki Taylor, Shante Bacon and Saptosa Foster.
On Saturday, the Summit hosted a number of seminars and panels including a Kids Acting Workshop, a Comedy Class led by Myra J, a "Screenwriting 101" workshop and "The YBF: Young, Black & Filming" panel.
Additionally, authors James E. Chandler, Sr., Amber Saunders, Saunya M. Williams, Ph.D, and BWFN founder Sheryl Gripper showcased their titles at the Book Festival, while various black women filmmakers from around the country debuted their film shorts during the competitive Film Festival. At the end of the day, the winning films were announced:
– Best of Festival
– Best of Festival (Student Category)
– Audience Participation Award
The summit is co-sponsored by BET, VH1, Final Draft and the Georgia Production Partnership.