Reel Black Men Film Festival
BHERC spotlights shorts created by male filmmakers of African-American decent (Black Men). This screening and dialogue is an opportunity for emerging African American male directors to showcase their skills, talent and vision through film screenings, while giving the audience a chance to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent film making process.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Pacific Design Center
Silver Screen Theater
8687 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase
Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, award ceremonies, book signings, script readings, contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events. BHERC recognizes the contributions of Black men and women in front of and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.
Friday, October 25, 2019
7:00pm & 10:00pm
Ebony Repertory Theatre
4718 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Los Angeles Diversity Youth Film Festival
BHERC spotlights shorts created by diverse youth. This screening and dialogue is an opportunity for emerging young directors to showcase their skills, talent and vision through film screenings, while giving the audience a chance to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent film making process.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival
BHERC spotlights shorts created by female filmmakers of African-American decent (Black Women). This screening and dialogue is an opportunity for emerging African American female Directors to showcase their skills, talent and vision through film screenings, while giving the audience a chance to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent film making process.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
7:00pm & 10:00pm
5300 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd
Twinkie is a Businesswoman who exudes power, purpose and passion. She is a Hollywood Casting Director, Producer, and Owner of In The Twink Of an Eye Productions. Not only does she find talent, and guide it, she is an influencer with a passion to empower, encourage and uplift others.
In her purpose, Twinkie seeks to shift perception and awareness on specific topics. Twinkie has chosen to tell stories of African-American history with a twist. Her directorial debut is a Sci-Fi Period Piece – Historical Narrative – Musical Drama – “The Counter: 1960” It is the first in a slate of short films of its kind, with cinematic and narrative intent to send youth back in time to learn about their history.
Funny Thing: Twinkie cast the short film French Fries and this is the first time the 2 films will screen together. Also, she cast Carl McDowell and Rebecca Naomi Jones as leads, who normally are cast in Supporting Roles and they are amazing.
Big Deal: Screening for BHERC is a big deal because Twinkie attended a Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival in the past, studied the films and after the Talk Back she approached the directors she wanted to work with and was hired to cast 2 films with TAMIKA MILLER – who was a new filmmaker at that time. But this goes to show you how passionate she was for this business and how it led to fruitful work.
Casting: Casting is YOUR ART!! Her film screened in Houston to a Standing Ovation in Martha Vineyard and in attendance were Civil rights leaders, doctors, lawyers, and people who were at the Real Sit In who are now wheelchair bound, hugging and praising her work, “everybody who saw the poster, said that’s when they said I’m seeing your film!!” As Twinkie was handing out postcards, and taking photos, Audiences were calling her the next Ava DuVernay.
Touring: Screening THE COUNTER: 1960 at High Schools across the country through an organization called WOKE, where racism is identified, discussions of race and diversity are analyzed and mostly Twinkie found that many of the younger audiences never heard of the Sit-ins. She then realized that we have coasted through and not taught our children how to protect themselves from discrimination. In Houston, upper echelon parents have placed their children in St. Agnes Catholic School where they encountered racism and the children were unprepared to deal with the confrontations. They asked her “How do we peacefully protest?” They didn’t know how – no critical thinking! Even knowing the lyrics to Lift Every Voice & Sing should be taught at home and memorized.
Inspiration: I had an amazing experience studying under Richard Lawson’s tutelage, where I learned to edit on my phone. Historical references, push the culture forward, enjoy educating through entertainment – so if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I love, really love creating a conversation through my art between the generations. Getting nuggets while you laugh.
Discoveries: To study more film, pay attention to shots, and I’m glad I took all the acting classes and workshops because I can talk to my actors from their viewpoint. I learned to pay attention to lenses, coloring and other aspects of filmmaking. I learned more about myself and giving myself more credit. I also discovered there are stories inside of me that need to come out. Plus, Filmmaking has taken me all over the world.
Crew: My editor, Leander Sales, taught me about angels, positions of body language, look and pay attention and talk to your actors about how far they can go without hurting each other. Shout out to Kurt Farquhar for his original music catalog.
Obstacles: Always! Getting my opening shot was challenging. We had shot the whole film at the end of February 2017 and finally finished with our opening drone shot in August 2018; it now has the epic feel that I desired. We shot on 6K and ran out of memory, with no back up. We had an awful time getting a drone in place. I found a drone. We did not have permits – straight gorilla shots. My Hair stylist couldn’t do my actress Ashley’s hair because it is very thick and long. My cousin could do her hair, so that was an obstacle. But like all obstacles you work around them and find solutions.
Great Finds: My Locations were a gift and finding the period piece signage was difficult but worth tears of joy once my positive thoughts willed them to me. We could not find the “colored only” or “No Negros Allowed.” The prop house was very dusty and I am allergic to dust so I was wheezing but I kept thinking positive thoughts – show me the “Signage” then I found them in a drawer, underneath something – took photos of them and started crying…
It’s not about perfect, it’s about pain, about being “Tired”!!
I wanted to bring this story alive again.
Locations: My husband, Keith, works at a Golf Course, and when I visited him one day at work I saw a dated diner and I thought “OMG…it’s the COUNTER!!! I also shot at Cal. State Northridge and at my private home.
Blessings: Actors Buddy Lewis and Vanessa Bell Calloway came through for me at the last minute. I wanted to ensure that my children had parents – because they are getting rid of our fathers and families in film and television now. I feel it is very important for our images to have families – so this was vital to me.
Next project: I directed two episodes of a google web series called God Complx; and I directed a Drew Vision music video. I sold my first project, and my first book Channeling Becky will be released this month. Channeling Becky is about the casting director who could not cast the leading man in her own life.