( ENSPIRE Community ) Black Web Fest: Creatives Influencing Media, Movies and Entertainment
ENSPIRE Contributor: Munaicha Zufferey
Black Web Fest 2018 was definitely THE place to be for any and all black creatives looking to showcase their work and/or watch other creatives’ works. It was a two day international experience that celebrates black media makers and curators and their digital content. Their core themes include media, discovery, education, and technology. During the Black Web Fest, there were film screenings from emerging black media makers from across the globe, a series of educational panels from black creatives already making it in the media industry, a wine tasting, and networking. This fun-filled interactive event offered a positive space where creatives had the opportunity to connect with others, learn from industry experts, and watch films in the venue’s very own movie theater.
The first day of the event was held at Kinfolk 94 in Brooklyn, NY, an intimate location where a series of short films brought laughter and entertainment to all of the attendees. One of my favorite screenings was the comedy “Secret Admirer”, produced and directed by Ashley Denise and Ricki Lynée of Nuanse Entertainment. It hysterically portrayed the rise and fall of the ego, and it’s simple plot made it relatable to both women and men.
After the film screenings, the audience and panelists shared thoughts on the importance of representation of black people in films. Panelists included Jameer Pond, Ashley Denise, Ricki Lynée, Kwame Berry, and Stella Isabella. Part of the discussion was the impact that “Black Panther” made on people of color all over the world. It gave black people a platform and the opportunity to highlight black men and women as being strong, beautiful, intelligent, and powerful. The panelists agreed that they hope to create more films that empower minorities and ethnic groups.
The second day of Black Web Fest was held at Harlem’s “National Black Theatre”. Films featured ran from all types of genre, including anime, documentaries, comedies, drama, action, etc. Common themes in theses indie films were police brutality, mental health, relationship drama, sexual abuse, etc. The films ran all day, and if you’re a film lover like me, then Black Web Fest is the experience that couldn’t be missed.
Panelists included: Diamonde Williamson (Founder and CEO of Blossom), Deshuna Spencer (Founder and CEO of Kweli.tv), Caleb Davis (Co-creator of Tough Love), Brittany & Mary (Host of Seriously Podcast), Reign Apiim (Jeweler), Shernita Anderson (Creator of The Heels Experience), Roni Davis (Writer and Producer of the Tough Love series), Alexander Hardy (Co-Host of the Extraordinary Negroes), Tahajah Samuel (Account Manager of Brigade Marketing LLC), Walter Tucker (President and Founder of Liv The Biz), Shaw Bernard (Creator, Strut Model and Talent Agency), A.V. Perkins (Lifestyle influencer and game developer), Christylezz (Host and Creator of Trappin Anonymous), Thomas C. Knox (Connection Curator).
The advice these creatives gave were versatile to any type of media career. If you are an aspiring podcaster, actor, singer, writer, entertainment host, dancer, jeweler, business owner, director, or anything else, most likely you would get your questions answered and receive the information you may not have known you needed to further your career. The panelists have already been in the media industry for 5+ years, and what better way to learn about your career path than by learning from those that are already making it happen. Here are some tips and tricks they shared:
1) Quality over quantity. Don’t become a slave to the consumer by overwhelming yourself to release product or post content that is too demanding and overloading. Always do what feels right for you and your work.
2) Always make sure the message you are making is crystal clear.
3) Bring your personality into your work, so that you are relatable to your audience.
4) Have a team and have a mentor!! Especially a mentor!!!
5) Have a strong voice in social media.
6) Be creative when it comes to connecting to your audience, whether it be on multiple platforms, or creating short videos on topics they can relate to. Engage them!
7) Be creative with how to create money from your platform. How to monetize yourself and your brand will be discussed below.
8) Be as accessible as possible.
Other things the panelist covered were tips on self care and having an overall healthy and balanced life. Everyone knows health is wealth. Speaking of wealth, I think everyone’s question was how to monetize themselves and their brand. Well, here’s how:
roducts or partnerships
#BlackWebFest18 gave endless information and it was an unforgettable event. What made this event so special, other than the films and panels, was the people that attended and the excitement they brought along with them. Every individual that attended had big dreams and ambition, so the energy in the room was positive and exuberant. Black Web Fest has only left me hungrier than I was before. Their next event is in 2019 and I definitely plan on going back! I recommend anybody interested in entertainment and media, to come along to Black Web Fest.