Women’s Power Panel: Women-Owned Production Companies
SECTION D — POWER PANEL, Sat., Oct. 22, 3:45 pm-5:15 pm
Reel Sisters presents Women Owned Production Companies, a conversation with industry professionals who have producing their own films and media content. From Oprah to Viola Davis, women of color are taking their destiny in their own hands by launching production companies. Join us for an afternoon of networking and conversation with a dynamic panel of women professionals willing to share their successes and challenges with you!
Moikgantsi Kgama, founder of ImageNation Cinema Foundation, will moderate the conversation. Guests are Tracey Baker-Simmons, CEO of HWY58MEDIA; Rochelle Brown, Executive Producer/Principal of Powerhouse Productions; and Barbara Bullard, founder of B-Bullard, LLC.
The panel is free to the public but donations are welcomed.
Moikgantsi Kgama an audience development specialist with a reputation for excellence in her field. Her credits include: I WILL FOLLOW, Academy Award nominated TROUBLE THE WATER, KILLER SHEEP and LUMUMBA to name a few. She is also the founder of the ImageNation Cinema Foundation. A Harlem-based nonprofit media arts organization, ImageNation presents progressive media by and about people of color, with the goal of establishing a chain of art-house cinemas dedicated to these works. Through a variety of public exhibitions and programs, ImageNation fosters media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlights the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide.
ImageNation is currently developing its existing RAW SPACE Culture Gallery into a 60-seat, boutique cinema-café dedicated to Black and Latino film, music and culture. This social enterprise will be located in Harlem along the historic Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
Moikgantsi’s accolades include being named one of 25 Women Who Are Shaping the World by Essence Magazine, received the Trailblazer Award from Reel Sisters Film Festival and a proclamation from the City of New York for her work with ImageNation. Visit: http://www.imagenation.us
Tracey Baker-Simmons is one of television’s most prolific and industry-forward innovators. As the former co-owner and executive producer of Simmons-Shelly Entertainment Studios (formerly B2 Entertainment Studios) a boutique-style film and television studio that was based out of Atlanta, Baker-Simmons is accredited with being one of the pioneers of urban celeb-reality, opening doors for African American talent and television producers in the reality television medium. In March 2009 BET.com referred to the producer as “one- half of the queens of urban reality and as holding court at the top of production for females.” As a frequent Reality Television expert for E! Channel online, Tracey continues to etch her name among the cornerstone of the industry’s best.
Graduating with a degree in Marketing and Finance from The University of Memphis, Tracey is a 16-year production veteran in film and television. Her journey through the entertainment industry began at Warner Brothers Music in the marketing and promotions department, which eventually spurred her interest in film production. Finding a creative outlet for developing her budding talent, Baker-Simmons produced regional commercials for LeRoux Pictures in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002 Baker-Simmons produced the independent feature film The Book of Love, directed by Jeff Byrd and starring Sallie Richardson, Robin Givens, Treach of Naughty by Nature and Richard T. Jones of Judging Amy. During the early stages of her career, she also worked as a freelance producer in television production, which included clients such as distributor Pearson Television (Now Freemantle) and television networks ABC and CBS.
Rochelle Brown co-founded Powerhouse Productions in 2003, and serves as co-xxecutive producer and co-CEO overseeing all development and productions. Her current projects are the acclaimed documentary short film, Harlem On My Plate, about the new food renaissance in Harlem, and the new Cooking Channel series, Patti LaBelle’s Place, hosted by Grammy-winning songstress Patti LaBelle. She has received critical acclaim for her hit reality television series, TV One’s Save My Son, hosted by Dr. Steve Perry, which won a 2013 NAMIC Vision Award and was nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award. Touching the hearts and minds of viewers, the program created a movement in communities around the country to save at-risk young African American men. Rochelle and her team have produced two highly rated series for the Cooking Channel, Fresh, Food, Fast, with Emeril Lagasse, and Road Trip with G. Garvin, which was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. She is currently developing new programming for several cable outlets in the docu-series and lifestyle genre.
Rochelle has served as executive producer for several shows, including Living It Up with Patti LaBelle, Turn Up The Heat with G. Garvin, Ford’s HBCU Business Classic, and Makeover Manor.
Barbara Bullard is a social innovator and catalyst for cultural transformation, be it the development of programming for Non Governmental Organization (NGO) initiatives at the United Nations or international marketing campaign. This commitment to inspire, diversify, connect, and strengthen legacies manifests through her offerings as an entrepreneur, business advisor, marketing professional and writer.
Her path began in media in the commercial and film industry serving as music production coordinator for Lintas: Worldwide, marketing specialist for Home Box Office (HBO) and management for the music production house, Elias Arts. Deciding to start a family, she shifted her focus to the non-profit sector while remaining committed to the idea of self-sustainability for those in creative industries.
Her commitment to share and solidify the legacies of social revolutionaries manifests through her consultant work as well as her service in the film industry. As managing consultant of the Arthur Ashe Foundation for more than seven years, Barbara managed archives and legacies of the tennis great.