Black Media Story Summit - Texas

Co-presented by Austin Film Society and Black Public Media

Feb 2, 2021, 10:00 AM Eventive Virtual Platform Free Get Tickets

The 2nd Black Media Story Summit-Texas, following the inaugural summit held during the 2019 Houston Cinema Arts Festival, at the historic DeLuxe Theater in Houston's 5th Ward, will be a virtual affair, and part of the Sundance Film Festival's "Beyond Film" Sundance Satellite programming.  This free virtual conference will bring together 100 guests, including filmmakers/content creators of color, foundations, tech, distributors, and social justice leaders on the Eventive virtual platform for a day of collaboration and discussion about new strategies designed to support diverse black stories.  The Texas summit is one of several regional events that continue the conversation started at the inaugural Black Media Story Summit in 2018 originated by Black Public Media, and aims to galvanize local efforts to amplify black stories. This is co-presented with Black Public Media and Austin Film Society.

The summit will include a workshop with Michele Stephenson and Joe Brewster, (directors of 2021 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier Virtual Reality project, The Changing Same: Episode 1), a workshop with Channing Godfrey Peoples and Neil Creque Williams (director and producer of Miss Juneteenth), and a Happy Hour Mixer.

10:00am to 11:30am CST | Workshop #1: Directors Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster (The Changing Same: Episode 1, New Frontier, 2021 Sundance)

The Changing Same: Episode 1 is a powerful example of telling history and keeping history, as well as a living archive of the future shock of the Black experience in the US. What lessons can be learned from this team's project as well as from other examples of their work? What can be gleaned about Black storytelling and the eternal Griot? What are the pathways to success outside of traditional paradigms? How can collectivism be fostered? Where does Black Public Media, one of the team's long time supporters fall into this longer narrative especially around experimenting with new media platforms as a tool for Black storytelling? Workshop will include a breakout session for discussing general thoughts about choosing a story that resonates with you and how to approach community-involved filmmaking.

12:30pm to 2:00pm CST | Workshop #2: Director Channing Godfrey Peoples and Producer Neil Creque Williams (Miss Juneteenth, U.S Dramatic, 2020 Sundance)

Miss Juneteenth is a powerful example of telling history and keeping history, as well as a celuloide living archive of Black Forth Worth, Texas, What lessons can be learned from this highly successful project including lessons about the filmmaking ecosystem in Texas and its evolution? What are the opportunities for holism and how does the Austin Film Society supported Miss Juneteenth reflect these possibilities -- the possibilities for Black Texas, where the makers reflect their subjects and audiences, and a shared lens? Workshop will include a breakout session for discussing general thoughts about choosing a story that resonates with you and how to approach community-involved filmmaking.

3:00pm to 4:30pm CST | Happy Hour Mixer @ Gather-Town
Gather is a video-calling space that lets multiple people hold separate conversations in parallel, walking in and out of those conversations just as easily as they would in IRL.

Breakout groups will be led by the speakers, alongside the following artists:

Ya’Ke Smith's films have received world-wide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 100 film festivals. The Director’s Guild of America, the Student Academy Awards, HBO, Showtime, the City of Buffalo, NY, which proclaimed February 23, 2013 as Ya’Ke Smith Day and the city of Cincinnati, OH which proclaimed October 6, 2019 as Ya'Ke Smith Day, have honored him. He is currently an Associate Professor of film and the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Variety magazine recently named him one of the best film educators in the world.

Isaac Yowman is a Director, Cinematographer, Writer & Producer. He is a part of Sony Pictures Incubation Lab and has directed content for Netflix, Marvel, Viacom, Adidas, AirBNB & more. He will serve as an Executive Producer on the upcoming DJ Screw biopic, All Screwed Up, a feature film currently under development with Columbia Pictures. Alongside DJ Screws family, Isaac is simultaneously directing the upcoming feature unscripted documentary, Chopped & Screwed: The Final Mixtape. Yowman is also a 7x multi-platinum, Grammy nominated music producer and Houston native.

Martin Jones is a 2x Emmy® Award nominated producer, creative innovator and executive who specializes in producing and directing diverse teams of talented artists and technicians to create memorable, and entertaining multimedia content. He is the Studio Director for Austin Studios which is operated by the Austin Film Society, one of the nation’s leading media nonprofits.

Special Guests

Michele Stephenson

Filmmaker, artist and author, Michèle Stephenson, pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots to think radically about storytelling and disrupt the imaginary in  non-fiction spaces. She tells compelling, deeply personal stories that are created by, for and about communities of color that reimagine and provoke. Her feature documentary, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys and won the Jury Prize at Sundance. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Creative Capital artist.

Joe Brewster

Joe Brewster is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who uses his training in approaching the social issues he tackles. His film American Promise was nominated for three Emmys and won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Channing Godfrey Peoples

Channing Godfrey Peoples is a Writer/Director. She is a MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and one of Filmmaker Magazine “25 New Faces of Independent Film“ for 2018. As an African-American  woman,  her  films  are  character-driven  stories  focusing  on  the  resilience  of  the  human spirit, often featuring black women at a turning point in their lives. She is a Sundance Fellow, Austin Film  Society  Fellow,  SFFilm/Westridge  Foundation  Fellow,  King  Family  Foundation  Recipient  and has served as a Time Warner Artist-in-Residence. Her short film, Red, is a DGA Student Jury Award Winner,  among  other  honors.  Channing  wrote  two  episodes  on  Season  3  of Queen  Sugar (OWN Network). She also wrote and directed a short film, Doretha’s Blues, that was made possible by the support  of Refinery 29 and Level Forward in their Shatterbox Anthology series. Most recently, her feature film debut, Miss Juneteenth, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

Neil Creque Williams

Neil Creque Williams is the producer of Miss Juneteenth. He has produced original content for 20th Century Fox, USC Athletics, and Duke University. He began his career in documentary filmmaking with projects that played at Full Frame Film Festival and screened on the Documentary Channel. He produced the narrative short, Red (directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples), which received a DGA Student Jury Award. As a writer/director, Neil’s shorts have played international film festivals and been featured in Time, Inc publications. Originally from North Carolina, Neil received his BA from Duke University and his MFA in Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts.