Journeys in Film: Black Filmmakers Talk Film & TV

We’re talking with several Black filmmakers to discuss their journeys in the film and TV

Special Event
Wednesday February 26
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


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Join us and our partners at Made in NY Media Center by IFP in celebrating Black History Month!  We are excited to have writer, director, and producer Huriyyah Muhammad the co-founder of The Black TV + Film Collective and 2020 Sundance Producers Award Recipient, moderating the panel discussion on topics like: 

  • What are some inclusive practices to address the racial, gender, and ability disparities in the film and TV industries?

  • What are some resources that freelancers in the film and TV industry can tap into for support? 

  • How can we advocate for stronger worker protections for freelancers who work in film and TV?

Come by to meet and connect with filmmakers and creatives of color in the film and TV  industry. We will host a networking reception with light appetizers and refreshments after the panel discussion.

Meet the moderator:

Huriyyah Muhammad is a writer, director and producer whose passion lies at the intersection of telling great stories and helping others to do the same. As a producer, she has led the production of multiple independent films, with projects that have been invited to the Tribeca Film Institute, New Voices in Black Cinema, the American Black Film Festival and been awarded the competitive Jerome Foundation Grant. An equity/inclusion advocate, she is co-founder of the Black TV & Film Collective, a growing NYC based 501c3 with over 1200 members. Huriyyah holds an MBA from NYU, specializing in entrepreneurship and entertainment, and BS in Computer Science from Spelman College.

Meet the panelists:

Brittany Franklin is a socially driven Filmmaker based in New York, with a diverse arts background in theatre and film. She is a graduate of the prestigious LaGuardia H. S. of Performing arts, holds an A.A. In Journalism  and a certificate in Filmmaking from New York Film Academy, from which her graduating thesis “Finding God” debuted in the 2017 Cannes Short Film Corner. 

Advocacy through arts has been a longstanding passion of hers. At the young age of 8, her first poem which memorialized Roy Wilkins and highlighted issues of bigotry and bias in American History, was published by the New York Press. This solidified her stance as a prolific writer and she has since written, directed or produced stories to showcase the experience of underrepresented groups in film and media which have premiered in NYC Webfest and Tribeca Youth Film Initiative. 

As a Black, hearing impaired woman in film, Brittany believes it is her responsibility to shift the narrative of media to one that is accessible, accepting and challenges the way an audience thinks. She has founded Cerebral Entertainment Studios to create and launch an open marketplace to eradicate inequality in entertainment and provide education and support to productions and companies that are looking to satisfy inclusion riders.

South Bronx based creative professional, Michael Wells, has been honing his production skills for the past several years. Originally a Cinematographer and Video Editor, Michael has spent years training to tell captivating stories within the visual medium.

Michael's evolution into screenwriting allows him to continue to tell captivating stories that pull from his own lived experiences and break ground in entertainingly discussing more significant social issues. With hopes of a more equitable future, Michael writes speculative fiction with Black narratives that exist outside of the societal traumas forced upon Black people.

Stephanie Dawson is a freelance producer, line producer and production manager for narrative, reality, and branded content. She has previously worked for big and small production studios including Vayner Media, Inception Creative, Embassy Row, and Golden Arm. She is currently a line producer for Courageous Studios, the branded content studio for CNN and Great Big Story. On the narrative feature side, she has worked on independent films of various budget levels, including  Holiday Rush (2019), and Maya & Her Lover, Blood Bound (2019), Jamie Marks is Dead (2014), Like Sunday, Like Rain (2014), Kelly & Cal (2014), Beneath (2013), Maladies (2012), and Happy Tears (2009). Her television work includes the narrative scripted shows FBI (NBC), The Americans (FX), and Mercy (NBC) and the documentary series AMERICAN DOERS (2016). Her work in reality television includes House Hunters International, House Hunters Off the Grid, The Celebrity Apprentice, The Amazing Race, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and Project Runway

Dawson has produced several short films and web series, including Ill Feelings (2019) and “Hypothetically” (2013).  She was a co-director for “In-Kind,” (2015).

Dawson is the co-chair of the PGA Green Committee, a founding member of Women Independent Producers, a member of IFP and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT).