Young Voices Speak Through Film

Press Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  CONTACT: Lura Ball  | PHONE: 213.400.3489

January 10, 2021


Young Voices Speak Through Film At 11th Annual BHERC Youth Diversity Film Festival Online on BHERC TV

Over 60 films from young filmmakers selected from 1500 entries from the US and countries around the world to stream online due to the COVID – 19 Pandemic.  Festival includes panels led by industry professionals.

(Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) announced today the 11th Annual Youth Diversity Film Festival programming. Traditionally brought to the public annually as a live event, this year the festival will make its online debut on The BHERC Youth Diversity Film Festival (YDFF) opens Saturday January 16th and runs thru Thursday, January 31st, 2021.

As one of the longest running youth film festivals to focus on diversity, YDFF shares short narrative, animation, and docu-short films from a varied group. It goes beyond the definition of a festival continuing to provide guidance and life-changing experiences that go beyond filmmaking throughout the year.    In the past, the BHERC YDFF selected and screened more than 500 entries. This year, YDFF increased its outreach for submissions utilizing Film Freeway receiving more than 1500 submissions from the US and 14 countries. The 60 plus films selected are as diverse as the areas they hail from and the young filmmakers representing the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, Kenya, Russia, Estonia, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Bangladesh, Korea, Denmark, India, Hungary, and Iran.  “This year is packed with compelling and emotional themes as well as laughter,” states Sandra Evers-Manly, President. “We continue to celebrate our young filmmakers and are delighted to provide this platform and spotlight their perseverance and determination.” The 2021 film festival includes films in multiple genres including comedy, drama, animation, documentary, and social justice.

A vital component of the festival are the panels led by professionals in the industry.  Set to provide, mentorship and inside, real time real life information and experience by some of the best professionals in the television and film industries, BHERC YDFF will provide once again the following industry panels:

  • 2PM Saturday, January 16, 2021 PDT – How Sound & Music Support Storytelling: Panelists Glenn T. Morgan, MPSE, Sound Editor “The Revenant”; Bobbi Banks, ADR Supervisor, “Men in Black: International” , “Straight Outta Compton”, (2006-2013) President of the Motion Picture Sound Editors (M.P.S.E); Jesse Dodd, ADR Mixer, “Chicago PD”,  “Queen and Slim”;  Joe Earle, Re-recording Mixer, Technicolor Creative Services, “American Horror Story”,  “Glee”; Greg Hedgepath, Supervising Sound Editor, “Coming 2 America”; Joel C. high, Music Supervisor and producer on over 150 films, television projects and videos, CEO at Creative Control Entertainment, previously, Head of Music for Trimark Pictures and Lionsgate Entertainment, an eight-time nominee (two-time winner) of Outstanding Music Supervisor awards and Founder and President of the Guild of Music Supervisors; DeVaughn Watts, Music Editor, “The Predator”, Jordan Peele’s “US”.


  • 2:00PM Sunday January 17, 2021 PDT – Animation Panelist: Lyndon J Barrois, Sr., Artist, Animation Director, Filmmaker, member of the AMPAS (Oscars) Visual Effects Branch “The Matrix Trilogy”, “Happy Feet”, and “The Thing”; Ron Husband, a 38-year veteran of the Walt Disney Company, retired as a Character Artist from The Walt Disney Company Consumer Products Division, and Author. He holds the distinction of being the first African American animator & the first African American supervising animator for Walt Disney Studios. Authored the book “Quick Sketching with Ron Husband” published in 2013 by Focal Press, Burlington, MA and illustrated the award-winning book “Steamboat School” (author Deborah Hopkinson) that was named to several ‘best of’ lists; The Gibbs Sisters(Shawnee ́ Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs) an award-winning writing team from Oakland, California with backgrounds in television, animation, and comics currently Staff Writers for Warner Bros. Animation. and have written upcoming series for Dreamworks Animation and Mattel Studios. Producers of a brand of quirky, fun projects that have entertained audiences across the globe the Tribeca Film Institute-funded animated film, “Sule and the Case of the Tiny Sparks” and their debut “YA” graphic novel, “Ghost Roast”, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Versify to be released in Spring of 2022. The Gibbs Sisters are members of Writers Guild of America, West, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and Women in Animation.
  • 5:00PM PDT Sunday, January 17, 2021 – Costume Design Panelist: Darlene Jackson, “American Gangster”; Provi Fulp, “Black Lightning”; Michelle Cole, “Black-Ish Betty Fenner-Davis, Costume Design Instructor, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC, Fontella Boone, Costume Designer/Maker “Civil Brand”, and Rita McGhee, “Baby Boy”, “Empire” and “American Soul”.

Other “Not to Miss” Special Events of the festival include:

  • 1:00PM Saturday, January 16th, 2021 PDT Opening Celebration Hosted by Sandra J. Evers-Manly, BHERC Founder and President. Meet the filmmakers and get insight on how to take full advantage of the festival.
  • 12:00PM – Monday, January 18th, 2021 PDT– Join in the conversation hear our young people’s perspective on Social Justice today and in the future. Watch some of the themed entries for the 2021 films, and experience how our young are advocating for Social Justice.
  • 3:00PM Monday, January 18th, 2021 PDT – Conversation with Filmmakers: “Why Did You Choose your Subject” – Join young filmmakers in a candid discussion about their filmmaking process and selection of their story topics.

            “Young are an important part of the founding and ongoing work of the BHERC,” states BHERC YDFF Director Billie Green. “This festival, the YDFF is presented annually to continue the BHERC mission to provide an outlet and opportunity for young filmmakers, to share their stories about issues, challenges, and successes to a broad audience.”

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 African Americans in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, mentoring, book signings, script readings, film and animation contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events.


                        BHERC invites young from the US and across the globe, industry professionals and the community to join us for this great festival of incredible films from our young. From the Opening Celebration which introduces the individual filmmakers and their films, Saturday, January 16th through the end of the month-long opportunity to view the films that begin screening 10:00AM Saturday, January 16th ending Thursday January 31st, 2021.   “Our young filmmakers are very astute and in tune with what is going on in the world today,” notes Sandra Evers-Manly, President. “YDFF gives them a platform to share their stories with an international audience.  That is a powerful opportunity for all of us!”  Take the time to log in and learn, be inspired, moved, gain insight from the filmmakers and from the films, as well as the industry led panels during the events of the first weekend, To do so, sign-up today at

            Registrations begin January 6, 2021 online at www.bherc.tvAdmission for the online festival are $25.00 Festival Pass, $10.00 Adult Day Pass and Students $5.00 Day Pass.

            For information about the festival please contact Billie J. Green, Director, BHERC Young Diversity Film Festival at email: [email protected] or by phone: (323) 732-6275.  For information on all the festival has to offer, visit our website at  For additional information about BHERC and all of its programs visit





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