Tanya Kersey, HBFF Founder & Executive Director
Tanya Kersey is passionate about showing aspiring, beginning and seasoned filmmakers how to master the business of successful moviemaking so they can share their vision with the world, become the darling of the film festival circuit, see their film on the big screen, and make a living doing what they love.
While being wildly known as The Filmmaker’s Success MentorTM, Tanya is probably best known as the Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) which she launched in 1998. Through the film festival, Tanya has helped discover and launch the careers of nearly 1,000 independent filmmakers from over 25 countries around the world. She has also created complementary platforms to showcase and develop filmmakers’ projects — the Infotainment Conference, the HBFF Cinema Lounge, the HBFF Screening Series, the HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit, and the HBFF Storyteller Competition.
Named an Urban Hollywood Mover and Shaker by Daily Variety, Tanya also runs The Kersey Group, a boutique film consulting firm that works with individuals, businesses, organizations, universities and government agencies. The consultancy offers a broad range of services including entertainment and indie film consulting, film development, script analysis, film business and marketing plans, social media strategies, distribution strategies, and event production (film festivals, conferences and workshops).
Prior to the film festival and consulting firm, Tanya was the founder and CEO of the entertainment industry trade publication, Black Talent New and its companion website, BlackTalentNews.com. As a well-known entertainment journalist, she covered a variety of high-profile events such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Indie Spirit Awards, SAG Awards, BET Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards.
Tanya conducted countless celebrity interviews with such luminaries as Oscar winners Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman and Mo’Nique, as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, and Angela Bassett. And she was frequently seen reviewing films on Reelz Channel’s “Reelz in the Round,” and talking about celebrity lives on the Biography Channel’s “Famous.” Finally, Tanya was a staple on “Samm Brown for the Record” on KPFK as a contributor and co-host, and she produced and hosted the popular Internet radio show, “Inside Urban Hollywood.”
Tanya is a popular public speaker and workshop leader who has spoken for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Businesswire, Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference, Columbia College, Writers Boot Camp Diversity Business Brunch, the Institute for International Film Financing, and Showbiz Expo, to name just a few.
Tanya hosts and produces her own podcast, Reel Talk with Tanya, the podcast for thoughtful and engaging conversations about the business of making successful independent films. She is the author of the forthcoming book, The FilmmakerpreneurTM: The Reel Hustle for Making Financially, Creatively and Critically Successful Films On Your Own Terms.
Tanya says she loves helping filmmakers get started on the road to Hollywood success, growing their careers and selling their films, by sharing her knowledge and experience. “When I was starting out, I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes so I learned by trial and error, wasting lots of time and thousands of dollars. The good news is, you don’t have to. I’m here to share my years of knowledge and experience to guide and direct you towards making the right moves, the right way, so you can achieve the career success you’ve been dreaming of.”
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