By Udo Salters
On October 25 CENTRIC/BET Network joined Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series in celebrating the accomplishments of the honorees and award-winning filmmakers! Jessica Williams and Ebony Jo-Ann were the honorees and received the Hattie McDaniel Award.
Jessica Williams, a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show also performs as part of 2 Dope Queens and is the co-host of the podcast of the same name. Jessica’s award was presented to her by her 2 Dope Queens partner Phoebe Robinson.
Marcia Pendleton and Camille Yarbrough presented the Hattie McDaniel award to Ebony Jo-Ann, award-winning actress noted for her role as Ma Rainey in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The MC for the evening was Nancy Giles with assistance from the Festival Curator Kara Ford.
The Film awards went to Shadow Man for Best Cinematography (Director: Afia Nkrumah and cinematographer: Beniamino Barrese).
- The Youth for Best Screenplay (Director/Writer/Editor; Dehanza Rogers)
- On rape for Best experimental (Director; Nicky Rose Kaveny)
- Roubado for Best Short (Director; Erica a. Wason, Producer; Tierney Young, Daniel willis, Joshua Clark Roubado
- Across the Tracks for Best Narrative (Director; Micahel Cooke, Producers; Kimberly James, Monica Hines, Isabella Way, Don Batte, Errol Sadler, and Shaniqua Henry-Davis)
- Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s for Reel Sisters Best Webs Series (Producers; Kim Williams, Michelle Clay, Riter; Kim Williams)
- Amen: The Life and Music of Jester Hairston for Best Documentary award (Director/Writer; Lillian Benson;, Producer; Hansonia Caldwell-Harriford)
- LaBelle Vie: The Good Life for Best Director (Director; Rachelle salnave, Producer; Jean H. Marcelin)
- The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo for the Reel Sisters Spirit (Director; Yaba Badone, Producer; Amina Mama)
In between the award presentations there were performances from Cierra Irizarry Jones and the very funny Sketch & Musical Comedy team – American Candy.
The evening concluded with New York City Council members Jumaane Williams and Laurie Cumbo making presentations to Jessica Williams and Ebony JoAnn.
To learn more about the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, check out the website at https://reelsisters2.wordpress.com.