The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) announced today that the immediate past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will anchor the Opening Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Sista Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival by participating in an intimate “Conversation with Cheryl Boone Issacs” at the Sista Power Panels Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Boone Issacs is a noted marketing and public relations professional elected as the 35th President of AMPAS in 2013 and more significantly the first African American and only the third female in its history to head the organization that produces the annual OSCARS. Boone recently ended her 25 years of leadership service to AMPAS – the last 4 as President. She will continue her work in the company she started CBI Enterprises, Inc., where she has worked on publicity for films that have included Best Picture winners The King’s Speech and The Artist. A hallmark of her tenure has been the Academy initiative called A2020, which focuses on improving representation of diversity — age, gender, race, national origin, point-of-view industry practices and hiring in Hollywood.
The BHERC Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves: “Sista Power, A Celebration of Black Women in Film and Television”, continues to bring to the public outstanding shorts created by female filmmakers of African-American decent. “SISTAS…” began twenty-five years ago as a call to the entertainment industry to acknowledge that there is grand talent amongst African American women filmmakers. What began as a simple screening and discussion became one of the most recognized inspirational and emulated events of the Black filmmaking community. It is a clear-cut concept; a screening of short films written and/or directed by some of the nation’s top filmmakers with a dialog following. For this 25th year celebration, BHERC has added the extended Power Panel sessions in the morning with the film festival screening in the evening. This 25th year adds an upfront and intimate chance for the audience to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent filmmaking process with the addition of the daytime “Power Panels” and networking from a woman’s view.
In addition to Ms. Boone Issacs, two additional Sista Power Panels include Powerful Black women such as Marissa Jo Cerar (Shots Fired) Finding Our Voice: The New Leadership in Entertainment with panelist” Producer/Writer; Lillian Benson, ACE Film Editor (Chicago Med); Rio Cyrus, Managing Partner, Essence Global; Nkechi Okoro, Writer/Producer (Bones), (Rosewood), (The Resident); Dee Harris-Lawrence, Writer/Producer, (Shots Fired), (Chicago PD) and the The Marvelous Women in Our Universe (An All Marvel Shows Panel) Felicia D. Henderson, Co-Executive Producer (Punisher) Netflix; and Terilyn Shropshire, ACE Film Editor, (Cloak and Dagger); Dewanda Wise, Actress/Producer (Shots Fired); (Underground), (Captain America); Camille Friend, Hair Department Black Panther)
Past “Sista filmmakers and participants” have included Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, Shots Fired), Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), Yvette Freeman (ER), Dianne Houston (first Black Female to be nominated for an Academy Award / Short Film category) and the Oscar-nominated Dee Rees (Mudbound) just to name a very few. Many of these filmmakers have received high honors and recognition for their achievements and breakthroughs in filmmaking. Guests have a rare chance to have an open dialogue and hear the awe-inspiring stories of how these Sistas did it for themselves.