The Blackhouse Foundation, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for black content creators by providing pathways to opportunities within film, television and other media, will be holding a series of events during its eleventh year at the Sundance Film Festival. The 2018 installment of the festival will feature a record total of 39 projects, upped dramatically from the 27 titles of 2017, not to mention the seven entries during Blackhouse's festival debut in 2007.
One of this year's hotly anticipated titles, Anthony Mandler's "Monster," will be the subject of a panel sponsored by SAG-AFTRA on Saturday, January 20th at 2:30pm at Blackhouse's festival home, 804 Main Street, in Park City, Utah. Mandler will join a line-up of participants that include producers Tonya Lewis Lee and Nikki Silver of ToniK Productions, producers Mike Jackson and Aaron L. Gilbert, and executive producer John Legend of Get Lifted Film Co., in addition to leading man Kelvin Harrison, Jr. and moderator Jason George, Chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee. "Monster" tells the story of a black teenager incarcerated in an NYC juvenile detention center. The supporting cast includes Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Tim Blake Nelson, Jennifer Ehle and "Moonlight"'s Jharrel Jerome.
Following that at 4:30pm will be another panel, '20 Years. Still Unsolved,' focusing on USA Network's 'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G." The panel will feature executive producer and director Anthony Hemingway, creator and show runner Kyle Long, music supervisor Lyah LaFlore and various cast members. The follow day, Sunday, January 21st, will include a 12:45pm panel, "Women of Color in Hollywood," moderated by IMPACT Strategies and CNN and NPR analyst Angela Rye, and presented by Color of Change, Planned Parenthood and Blackhouse. The foundation's creative sponsor, BET, is bringing 10 Howard University MFA students to the festival as part of the Blackhouse Fellows Program.
"We’re excited to join with the many incredible creative forces at the festival this year and honored to work with each of our incredible sponsors to continue transforming the texture and face of the independent film and media landscapes," said Blackhouse co-founder Brickson Diamond. "It’s a very special year for African American films/projects and a proud moment for Blackhouse. We are honored to return to Sundance and continue to count them as partners!”