PAFF Institute

Above: Right: Ruth Carter (Costume designer, Black Panther)

As one of the many exciting programs of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, the PAFF Institute serves as a platform to amplify the voices of industry powerhouses, community influencers, sports figures, cultural icons, thought leaders and disruptors who seek to educate, inspire and empower those who desire personal and professional elevation.

The PAFF Institute makes necessary conversations happen… and when these conversation happen, you definitely want to be in the building! Take a look at our featured conversations this summer:

PGA Producers Panel

Sat, Aug25 2018
The Producers Guild of America focused on the importance of developing story lines, pitching, packaging, financing and marketing! The outstanding PGA-Diversity program has ignited careers for 14 years now. Imagine talking to industry executives about your unique projects. The program exists to help nurture creativity and the diverse perspectives from people from all walks of life and on multiple platforms.
Moderated by: Sasheen Artis, Co-chair PGA Power of Diversity Master Workshop, writer and producer.


How to Create and Monetize Digital Content

Sat, Jul28 2018
J. Christopher Hamilton, host of the Brooklyn Boardroom podcast that goes behind the curtain with Black and Sexy TV team to discuss how they create, cast, produce and distribute their hit digital shows. Our attendees learned directly from producers, writers, actors and business leaders that keep this independently-financed and black-owned digital media company competitive in today’s marketplace for compelling black content.
Featured: Black and Sexy TV
Hosted by: J. Christopher Hamilton


The Power of Music in Film and TV

Sat, Jun30 2018
“The Power of Music in Film/TV” featured Film composers, Film supervisors, music producer, music engineers, sound mixers, and others interested in the art of film scoring. The audience learned the crucial contribution music plays to help or enhance the storytelling. They also learned that when music is used properly in a movie it can set the mood, highlight certain events, cue a theme and creates emotion. The goal for the Panel was to discuss the magic of music behind films and TV and the many jobs in this industry.
Panelists: Kurt Farquhar, television and film composer, seven-time BMI award winner. Reggie Wilson, Owner – Guardian Music Services, Former VP, Walt Disney Pictures, Music Production. Karen Elaine, acclaimed viola who works include soundtracks of “Coco”. Stephen James Taylor, composer best known for his film and TV scores, four-time Emmy Nominated. Greg Hedgepath, Supervising Sound Editor has worked in film and Television sound for more than 20 years. He is a two-time Golden Reel Award winner.
Moderator: Marilyn Batchelor – Has more than 20 years in the business and is one of the most respected entertainment marketing executives in the business. She has successfully marketed more than 15 movie soundtracks. She is also an Emmy winner, and has marketed more than 25 Grammy-award winning titles.


Jobs behind the camera

Sat, May19 2018
The goal for the Panel was to discuss the Hollywood landscape and the other opportunities in the film and television industry that most people are not aware of and how you maneuver into these positions.
Panelists: Kokayi Ampah, Location Manager. Leander Sales, Editor. Teri Brown, Writer.
Moderator: Sherri G. Sneed, Producer/Director of Possibilities.


In following, here are some additional featured conversations from our 2018 festival experience!

Conversation with… Pearlena Igbokwe

Pearlena Igbokwe is the President of Universal Television, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal Television Group, and the first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. television studio. Prior to her current role, Igbokwe was Executive Vice President of Drama Programming for NBC Entertainment where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas for three consecutive years. She is currently on the boards of the Hollywood Radio and TV Society (HRTS) and National Association of TV Programming Executives (NATPE). Igbowke, who was born in Nigeria, is married and has two children. She resides in Los Angeles.


Workshop & Panel: Home Buyer Workshop For Union Bank

Union Bank and West Angeles CDC held a powerful Home Buyer Real Estate Financial Literacy workshop that featured panel guests from a range of organizations pertaining to Real Estate Literacy.
Moderated by: Sean Brown, AVP, Mortgage Consultant, Union Bank
Panelists: Leanne Walker, CALHFA; Carol Quan, LA County Assessor Office; Monica Viveros, West Angeles CDC; Samantha Steen, MGIC; Dawn Wiley, Probate Real Estate Agent


SISTAH CEO Book Club Fundraiser

The Sistah CEO Book Club hosted an award ceremony celebrating the Honorable Judge Mablean Ephriam with a Community Service Award. The fundraiser featured celebrity guests, a live performance by Picasso Milano, book signing and reception catered by KMR Catering. All proceeds from the event benefitted a scholarship program to award fostered or homeless high school and college age students that have an expressed interest in becoming entrepreneurs. The event was sponsored, in part, by STVRSHIP Entertainment, Kitchen 24 and Holy Threads Clothing.


Fix It in Post

Moderated by Leander Sales, Film Editor and Instructor, the “Fix it in Post Production” panel featured Shannon Baker Davis (Picture Editor, Grown-ish); Mike Jones (Assistant Picture Editor, Grown-ish); Jesse Dodd (ADR Mixer); Del Spiva (Music Editor); and Barry Sales (Behind the scenes Film Editor), this panel of industry pros shared tips on breaking into post-production and editing.


A Seat at the Table

An exciting panel of successful female showrunners, co-executive producers, directors and writers gathered together to discuss the path from the writers room to becoming a producer or co-executive producer, and running a television show.
Moderated by: Brandon Lawrence, Television Literary Agent, CAA
Confirmed Panelists: Karin Gist (Star), Felicia D. Henderson (The Quad), Regina Hicks (Insecure), Erica Shelton Kodish (Being Mary Jane), Tina Mabry (Queen Sugar).


How To Create And Monetize Digital Content- A Talk With The Founders Of Black & Sexy TV

This informative panel helped attendees understand the power of digital content and how to make money creating it.
Moderated by: Jay Christopher Hamilton, Esquire


Kids in Talent: How to Get Your Child in Show Business

On this panel, casting agents, managers and talent agents gave the 411 on getting kids into movies and on TV.
Moderated by: Anissa Williams, Founder and CEO of Anissa Williams Casting Agency – the go to casting director for some of the most innovative and high profile films, commercials and music videos.


Film L.A. Presents…Filming Locally with the Pros

This panel provided an in-depth discussion on successfully navigating Los Angeles when filming on-location; the process of becoming a location manager, and diversity in this field. The discussion was followed by an insightful Q&A with audience members.
Moderated by: Kokayi Ampah, Location Manager
Panelists: Alison Taylor (Location Manager); Chris Beal (Assistant Location Manager); Tisha Jefferson (Key Assistant Location); and Ed Duffy (Local 399 Vice President and Business Agent for Casting Directors and Location Managers).


The New Black Aesthetic; The Influence and Impact of the Costume Industry

The creative aesthetic of people of African descent continues to have a global impact. A power collective of industry designers and stylists discussed the impact and influence of “The New Black Aesthetic” on present-day fashion, culture and creativity.
Moderated by: Love Collins
Panelists: Ruth E. Carter (Selma, Marshall, Black Panther), Ayanna James-Kimani (Insecure), Erica Sewell


How to Get Black Films Financed & Insure Distribution

This informative discussion explored the hurdles and successes of getting Black films financed. The conversation also covered the process of securing insurance for distribution.
Moderated by: Tamika Miller, Filmmaker & Co-Founder, BlackFilmsTravel.com
Panelists: Effie T.Brown (Producer, HBO’s Project Greenlight; Dear White People), Shelby Stone (Executive Producer, The Chi and HBO’s Bessie), Mel Jones (Producer, Burning Sands and Director, Leimert Park), Tre’vell Anderson (Film Journalist, Los Angeles Times)


PAFF Financial Seminar: Up Close and Personal

This important discussion gave hope to those who thought they couldn’t purchase a home and had concerns of never being able to retire. Ensuring attendees that “Everything is possible,” this workshop provided information needed to put financial lives in order through home buying/selling, probate/estate planning, trusts, taxes, retirement, life insurance and more.
Hosted by: Linda Bronson-Abbott