Since its inception in 1998, the Hollywood Black Film Festival has honored and encouraged scribes for their excellence in and dedication to the art of storytelling. HBFF celebrates how important the written word is to the mediums of film and television and gives recognition to those who put those words on the page.
Helmed by HBFF staff member and blossoming actress Alexia Peebles, each year of the festival, writers from all over the globe submit their work to be considered for one of the 10 slots given to the Storyteller Semi-Finalists. Whether a feature, short, documentary, or written for television, countless scripts are read, critiqued, and scored by a jury panel comprised of working industry professionals to determine the best works to advance into the next phase of the competition. Next, the top 10 scripts are read and critiqued again to find out which three will become Storyteller Finalists. The ranking of those top three are announced at the Filmmakers and Storyteller Awards Presentation at the close of the festival.
The writers of the 10 semi-finalist scripts are given a personal invitation to the festival, where they receive exclusive, personalized attention from Storyteller's mentor of 11 years, Harrison Reiner. He is an award-winning script-writer and valued staff member at CBS Television Studio's Scripted Cable Series Division.
“I have been working with Harrison for the past six years,” Alexia says, “and what I know for certain is that he is completely invested and dedicated. Harrison loves nothing more than mentoring. It's such a big part of who he is. The Storyteller Semi-Finalists have always found their time with him invaluable.”
The prize package for the three Storyteller Finalists includes the writer choosing a scene from their script to be performed by working LA actors before an audience in the new Storyteller Live Showcase. Formerly called the Storyteller Live Staged Reading, participants have included Obba Babbatunde, Loretta Devine, Jackee' Harry, Tatiana Ali, and Kenny Lattimore in the night dedicated to HBFF Storytellers.
This year's performances are being cast and directed by noted director/ playwright, Patricia Cuffie-Jones, protégé of David E. Talbert. Patricia has made quite a name for herself with projects such as Love the One You're With and Love's Holiday. This will be her first collaboration with HBFF and she is excited about the new endeavor.
“I want to make the writers proud, give the audience an appetite for more, and give platform to some extraordinary talent,” she shares.
“I look forward to staging these phenomenal stories, keeping true to the honesty and integrity in which it was written, and revealing to the audience the genuine heart and raw soul that lies within it”.
About Harrison Reiner
Harrison Reiner works on staff in the Scripted Cable Series Division of CBS Television Studios. He was Production Executive on the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Cinema Paradiso, Story Editor at RKO Pictures for the filming of Eight Men Out (directed by iconic indie filmmaker John Sayles) and Story Analyst for Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers Animation, Turner Network Television (TNT), the Zanuck Company (producers of the Academy Award-wining motion picture, Driving Miss Daisy), The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and Sherry Lansing Productions in association with Paramount Pictures.
He also developed the selling draft of Cliffhanger, starring Sylvester Stallone, with screenwriter Michael France. Mr. Reiner has been a screenwriting mentor for the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers for the last decade.
His teaching credits include UCLA’s School of Film and Television, University of California Santa Barbara, and The Scottish Film Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland. He co-founded The Writers Institute for Diversity in Los Angeles (where emerging writers and writer-directors from every walk of life are mentored to a first or second feature film) with award-winning screenwriter Josefina Lopez, who penned HBO’s critically acclaimed film, Real Women Have Curves.
He holds a B.F.A. from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and an Interdisciplinary Master’s in Film, Business, and Law from Columbia University in the city of New York.
About the Hollywood Black Film Festival
Founded in 1998, the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) aims to enhance the careers of emerging and established Black filmmakers through a public exhibition, competition program and industry panels. Known amongst the entertainment industry’s powerbrokers as, “The Black Sundance,” the festival brings independent works of accomplished and aspiring black filmmakers to an environment encompassing the mainstream Hollywood community and Southern California film-going audiences. The festival’s goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching independent films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, press and public.
Since its inception, HBFF Has screened nearly 100 films from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan, the Bahamas, Central African Republic, Ghana, Burundi, Nigeria, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Niger, Russia, Brazil, Jordan, Jamaica, Spain, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and the Philippines.
For more information about the Hollywood Black Film Festival, visit www.hbff.org, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.