(2020 Blackhouse Fellows, Blackhouse Leadership, Guest Speakers,
and Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper)
HOSTS BLACKHOUSE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM 2020
Park City, Utah, February 3, 2020 – Marking its thirteenth successful year on the ground in Park City, UT, The Blackhouse Foundation proudly concluded another weekend for the history books at The Sundance Film Festival 2020.
Over the course of four days, The Blackhouse Foundation led the charge for dynamic diversity and cultural influence by spotlighting, exploring, and honoring a new vanguard of talent with immersive panels, thought-provoking discussions, and unforgettable celebrations.
Baltimore Filmmaker/ Screenwriter Dankwa Brooks was named winner of the Strayer University ScriptED live pitch session panel! He goes home with $25k prize fund and the runner's up each were awarded $10k.
See re-cap videos below.
This video features a panel from our wonderful Charm City Kings crew!! Love you Caleb and team!!
Among many highlights, The Blackhouse Fellowship Program affirmed the foundation’s staunch commitment to education and its pledge to offer students access to unparalleled opportunities to realize their dreams. Blackhouse chose 10 fellows to attend the festival as part of the team producing The Blackhouse Foundation’s 2020 programming. Fellows included film graduate students from prestigious institutions such as Chapman University, Columbia University, Howard University, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and the University of Southern California - School of Creative Art.
Fulfilling a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, these fellows crossed paths with some of the industry’s most respected executives, up-and-coming filmmakers, and creatives of all kinds. Additionally, they participated in a tribute and conversation with outgoing Sundance Director John Cooper who received the second commemorative “Blackhouse Brick” in recognition of his efforts to support diversity programming and the foundation's mission. John served in the role for 11 years and will assume a newly-created Director Emeritus role. Sundance Institute recently announced Tabitha Jackson as the new Director of the Sundance Film Festival – the first woman and first person of African descent in the role. Speaking on her appointment, Brickson Diamond, Co-Chair of The Blackhouse Foundation says, "Closing out a record breaking Sundance - in terms of projects by, about and including black folks - with the announcement of Tabitha Jackson as Director is the realization of the vision of representation, inclusion and belonging we imagined back in 2006 when the idea of Blackhouse was born.”
Hidden Empire Film Group—led by writer, director, and producer Deon Taylor, partner Roxanne Avent Taylor, and philanthropist Robert F. Smith—powered the program as a sponsor with further support from STARZ led by Daria Overby, Mississippi Film Office led by Nina Pankh, and Lyte led by Ant Taylor.
"We are dedicated to teaching, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of artists to reach their full potential," said Deon Taylor and Roxanne Avent Taylor. "Having come from a place where opportunities were not easy to come by and being able to find a way to become successful filmmakers, we strive to instill the belief that anyone can accomplish what they set their minds to and with hard work, anything is possible!"
Looking towards its fourth year for 2021, The Blackhouse Fellowship Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for entrants. This fellowship program seeks to build on Hollywood’s push for diversity and Blackhouse’s more than a decade-long commitment to diversity at Sundance (and beyond) by providing underrepresented students educational opportunities within the context of North America’s first major festival of the year.
Among other highlights, The Blackhouse Foundation closed its festival programming with Radha Blank in an intimate conversation with Rob Naylor after bringing the following to The Sundance Film Festival 2020: ‘Ava DuVernary’s “Cherish the Day” First-Look Clips & Conversation,’ ‘Defense of Black Women: Challenging White Supremacy and Patriarchy Through Movements and Media,’ ‘A Lowkey Conversation with Issa Rae and Prentice Penny’ moderated by Bevy Smith, ‘A Blackhouse Conversation with the Filmmakers and cast of CHARM CITY KINGS,’ ‘PROJECT CRE8: A MEDITATION ON DREAMING,’ an epic Closing Night Party, and much more.
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Facebook: The Blackhouse Foundation
The Blackhouse Foundation graciously welcomed Facebook as the Presenting Sponsor and Strayer University and WarnerMedia as Premier Sponsors, in addition to sponsors OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, fwd.us, BET Networks, Color of Change, Paramount, Universal Pictures, and Planned Parenthood, while Hidden Empire Film Group, STARZ, the Mississippi Film Office, and Lyte served as sponsors of the Blackhouse Fellowship Program 2020.
The Blackhouse Foundation stands out as a bastion for the most influential and impactful Black writers, directors, producers, crew, actors, and actresses throughout film, television, digital media, and beyond. It continues to elevate such talent into the spotlight on a global scale via engagements at Sundance.