dotsBronzeLens Film Festival Recap – October 22-26

Published on October 29, 2014 by Sonya's Spotlight

The 5th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta proved to be one the most comprehensive film festivals in the nation. Attendees were empowered, entertained and educated.


October 22, 2014Through a Lens Darkly: An Emergence of a People – 5th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival kick off screening of Through a Lens Darkly: An Emergence of a People, a film by Thomas Allen Harris inspired by Deborah Willis’s book Reflections in Black. The event took place at the super plush SCAD show theater. Thomas Allen Harris participated in a stimulating talk back with celebrated photographer Sheila Pree Bright that was moderated by Dr. Pellom McDaniels, Jr., Curator of African American Collections and Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Emory University.The highly anticipated Moguldom Studios Bleaching Black Culture which examines the impact African Americans have on art, culture and technology was the second screening of the evening. Each thought provoking film was best in class.

October 23, 2014 – BET Networks sponsored All Shorts | All Day at the Georgia Pacific Auditorium. Guests were wowed by the 15 official 2014 BronzeLens short films selections screenings.

BronzeLens Film Festival Opening Night Feature

Opening Night Feature Drumline: A New Beat kicked off with
the Bronze Carpet. Maggie Malina, VH1’s SVP of Original Films
and Director Bille Woodruff, along with castmembers Jasmine Burke
and Lisa Arrindell Anderson shared their enthusiasm and got the
audience engaged in the Drumline: A New Beat movement.




Some of the Industry’s most accomplished headliners shared their insight from the field during BronzeLens 2014Jimmy L. White, former writer on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, known for the screenplay Ray led a discussion about Writing Biopics.
 Malcolm D. LeeThrough a Lens Darkly: An Emergence of a PeopleRoger Bobb




Malcolm D. Lee and Bille Woodruff were featured during Roger Bobb’s Directors Roundtable. Roger Bobb, CEO/Bobbcat Studios, had an engaging, freewheeling discussion with a few of today’s hottest directors. He was joined by Malcolm D, Lee (The Best Man HolidayThe Best Manand Undercover Brother) and Bille Woodruff (Drumline 2: A New BeatAddictedBeauty Shop).

Malcolm Lee, Bille Woodruff and Roger Bobb












A favorite signature event for industry insiders, corporations and the local community was the BronzeLens Women Superstars Luncheon which anchored the Friday events at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. Awards for the accomplishments of women of color in the film and television industry were presented to select 2014 Honorees. Broadcast Journalist Monica Pearson hosted the event. The life and career of the late actress and activist Ruby Dee was be celebrated during the luncheon.

BronzeLens Women Superstars Luncheon Photos


BronzeLens has developed new partnerships with the networks ASPiRE Television and UP TVASPiRE – A Different Reality panel discussed how projects can connect with audiences and stand out in a popular marketplace and how directors’, producers’ and artists’ films, shorts and/or documentaries have the opportunity to be a part of the network. Tina Thompson, ASPiRE Director of Programming, Ryan Richmond, ASPiRE and Valencia Joseph, ASPiRE Marketing Director presented.

UP TV, an expert on producing and creating entertaining and inspiring content that resonates with viewers hosted The Formula for Inspiring Content to discuss the elements that are essential in creating and launching successful productions that entertain, engage and connect with audiences and that also inspire and uplift. Brad Siegel, Vice Chairman, UP TV, Jasmine Guy, Star, UP Original Movie My Other Mother, Gregalan Williams, Star, UP OriginalMovie Marry Me For Christmas and the upcoming sequel Marry Us for Christmas, Eric Tomosunas, President and Head of Production, Swirl Entertainment Group Cas Sigers-Beedles, Screenwriter and Producer, Nina Holiday Entertainment, Rhonda Freeman-Baraka, Screenwriter and Producer Ryan Richmond, Director, UP Original Movie Lyfe’s Journey and Executive in Charge of Original Production, ASPiRE were panelists. Jaquitta Williams moderated.

HBO Documentary hosted the Friday night film Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, a new documentary about the “Godfather of Soul.” Through never-before-heard personal stories.


Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

Saturday, October 25

Saturday was  super charged with expert panels, world class screenings and top tier entertainment!

  • Legendary casting director and producer Reuben Cannon led the Producers Roundtable sponsored by BET Networks. Aspiring college students interested in film and television attended the BronzeLens Student Track to help them earn “their Big Break” in the industry.  There was also a panel discussion on funding your film, marketing, voiceovers and The Digital Diaspora Family Reunion.
  • Educational and industry tracts continued with A CONVERSATION with Emmy Award winning Robi Reed–BET Networks VP of Talent and Casting) and actor HOSEA CHANCHEZ from the hit TV show The Game.”
  • Aspiring college students interested in film and television were able to attend the BronzeLens Student Track, for a day of workshops designed to help students earn “their Big Break” into the business.  Also Hammonds House Museum Family Film Festival for children age 5 to 12 years presented an event that includes shorts based on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and programmed activities.
  • Digital Diaspora Family Reunion in conjunction with Through a Lens DarklyDigital Diaspora (TALD) offered attendees the opportunity to share their stories and family photos on cell phones or as actual photographs.  The innovative transmedia companion to Through a Lens Darkly, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) has reimagined the social network by inviting audiences to upload and share their own family photos, thereby building a “One World, One Family” album and take place at the Westside Cultural Arts Center. The film and Transmedia project are co-sponsored by Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Sistography and SCAD.
  • International films were featured at BronzeLens in collaboration with France Atlanta 2014, Institut Francais, Art Mattan Productions and Africa Atlanta 2014 presented the Atlanta debut of Under the Starry Sky (Des Etoiles)by award winning director Dyana Gaye.  A Conversation with Dyana Gaye followed immediately after the film, where Shadow and Act’s Film and Culture Critic Zeba Blay about her work and creative process.
  • The ASPiRE Student Award at the BronzeLens Awards.  
  • The BronzeLens Awards Show was smashing.   Actor, singer, all around entertainer and star of Tyler Perry’s Love Thy Neighbor television show, Palmer Williams, Jr. was in rare form and opened the show with a hilarious original video.  Beautiful Actresses Crystal Fox of the Have and Have Nots and Keisha Knight Pulliam of the House of Payne and the Cosby Show also headlined the event. And, BronzeLens very own multi-talented executive producer Kathleen Bertrand thrilled the audience singing a duet with Palmer Williams, Jr.
The ‘Best of Festival’  filmmakers in their perspective categories given top honors in the following categories:
Best Documentary:
Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee
Producer: Jevon ‘NJ’ Frank    Director: Muta’Ali Muhammad

Best Webisode:
Good Girls
Producer: Kai Parham, Asia Lampley    Director: Rhavynn Drummer
Best International:
They Are We
Producer: Emma Christopher/Sergio Leyva Seiglie
Director: Emma Christopher
Best Feature
Producer: Danny Green, Alton Glass, Courtney Triggs, Matthew Hatchet,
Oliver W. Ottley III
Director: Alton Glass
Best Student:
Little Africa
Producer: Curtis Adair   Director: Justin Oney
Best Short
Hero Mars
Producer: Susan Chapman    Director: Skyler Cooper

Best Short Documentary
The Helen Lindsey Story
Producer: Maria Howell   Director: R. Shanea Williams

Best Actress:
Rain Pryor, That Daughter’s Crazy
Best Actor:
Keith Robinson,   CRU

 Sunday, October 26

As the festival closed, remaining activities included “A Conversation with Ava DuVernay” with a screening of a new, never before seen exclusive SELMA featurette, shared for the first time at the BronzeLens Film Festival. Paul Garnes, one of SELMA’s executive producers joined the discussion at the Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema.














Also, the Atlanta Premier of Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee was shown at the National Center for Civil & Human Rights.

The Closing Night film highlight was Russ Parr’s Hear No Evil at Georgia Power’s Arkwright Auditorium. Parr’s career spans nearly 15 years as nationally syndicated radio personality, writer, producer and director of independent features.

Recap Notes provided by BronzeLens Film Festival

About the BronzeLens Film Festival
Founded in 2009, The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. Its mission is twofold: to promote Atlanta as the new film Mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers. Since its inception the BronzeLens Film Festival has evolved as one of the most comprehensive film festivals for filmmakers of color in the United States. Visit for more information regarding the BronzeLens Film Festival and for registration information. Sponsors of the BronzeLens Film Festival are Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Delta Air Lines, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment and Office of Cultural and Affairs, HBO Documentary Films, BET Networks, Georgia Pacific, The Woodruff Arts Center, ASPiRE Television and UP TV.
This article featured in: Movie News

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