Wednesday May 8th - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Record North

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Panel Discussion, Short Film, Followed by Q&A
This panel will discuss the creative structure and thought that goes into telling a unique story through Black culture. Panelists will discuss what their “why” is for the films they’ve produced and what methods they utilized to create an emotional connection to the audience. They will also discuss the avenues of funding, casting and promoting their films and what their tactics were in making the films a reality.

Short Film: Tre
Desperate for his own identity, 8-year old Tre sets out to reclaim his sense of self by dropping his inherited name and choosing one of his own. After sudden tragedy strikes, he ultimately accepts the legacy he was given.


Tina Rodriguez

Tina serves as Senior Director Programming & Acquisitions for aspire TV. She is responsible for all long and short-term program planning and strategy for aspire. Tina manages a multi-million dollar programming budget, identifying, negotiating and acquiring feature films, short films, series and documentaries. In addition to scheduling and acquisitions, Tina oversees the S&P process, develops proposals for business partnerships and identifies new show ideas for future development. Tina was part of the original team to launch aspire TV and led the programming strategy for its launch in June 2012.

Nakia Stephens

Nakia Stephens is an award-winning screenwriter/filmmaker born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of Savannah State University’s Mass Communications program where her concentration was Radio/Television Broadcasting. During her undergrad tenure, Nakia also Studied writing in Shanghai, Beijing, and Ghana. After receiving her degree, Nakia went on to work and study screenwriting in Los Angeles, California. Her travel and studies helped influence her love for storytelling so much that in 2014 Nakia decided to be the master of her own fate by creating the Damn Write Originals screenwriting Label. Nakia is an avid champion for Women and People of Color and as Founder and Chief of Content for Damn Write Originals, she is devoted to telling authentic and purposeful stories. Since the launch of her Label, Nakia has had over 20 of her screenplays produced to screen including her most notable projects: Suga Water, Cream x Coffee, and Novella. Nakia has been featured and recognized for her work by festivals and platforms such as BLAVITY, ABFF, Rolling Out Magazine, Black Girls Rock, Bronze Lens, and Revolt TV (just to name a few). Nakia believes in the magic of storytelling and always creates art with a purpose greater than self.