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Black History Month for the Books

This month was certainly one for the books! It was the second month of the year, but we already feel like a lot of activity has happened.

For starters, the first draft for the first feature length script under the Djini Production label is finally complete, which meets the 6th goal of our 2020 objective! The script has been in development since 2018 so it feels great to finally have the initial iteration ready to comb through. With the draft in place, we will be looking into securing key personnel for the project. We are happy to announce that Amber Steimer has agreed to join us as Producer! There will be additional details to follow.

This month also included the 2020 elections for the MN Women in Film & Television Board, and I am happy to announce I was one of the 12 women (and man) voted to the board. The board position lasts for two years, and as a board member, my goals are to increase the visibility of the MN WIFT organization, and ensure that we are fulfilling our purpose of empowering and educating women in film. Over the next few weeks, we will be solidifying officer positions to ensure that we are able to provide the proper value to all of our members.

I also had the honor of being invited to panels this month focused on black filmmakers and story telling. The first panel was hosted by the St. Paul Neighborhood Network and moderated by E.G. Bailey of New Neighbors fame, where we discussed the state of black film in Minnesota. Other panelist's included David J. Buchanan, Leonard Searcy, and Toussaint Morrison. The black film community in Minnesota is quite small. While on the panel we realized we have each either worked on, or interacted on each other's films at some point in the last few years. The playback of the event will be available on YouTube. Follow our social media pages to get updates for when this will be available.

The second panel I was invited to was the Black Media Story Summit hosted in Minnesota this year by Twin Cities PBS and put on by Black Public Media. Some of the topics we explored on the panel included conversations around addressing the lack of opportunities for black media content and content creators, and exploring how we can work together through funding, marketing, and distribution to continue to create our content. It was a full day event, so there were different activities and workshops that were curated for all the attendees.

Finally, we have received our first official selection for Happily Married After! We are extremely pleased to announce that Happily Married After has been selected to screen at the MLC Awards, which is an international IMDb qualified film festival with an annual Awards Gala in the heart of the US Midwest. In March, we hope to hear from additional festivals we have submitted to.

Like I said, it was a Black History Month for the books.

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