Thursday May 9th - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
21c Main Gallery Stage

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In the era of Metoo and a call for more female voices, are things easier for female creators and female led films?


Leila Djansi

Filmmaker Leila Djansi continuously uses her art to bring light to women’s issues whiles employing diversity in front of and behind the camera. Her filmography over the years has encompassed stories about black women and their place in a male dominated socio-economic system.

Kerri Elder

Kerri Elder, a native Arkansan, who began her career in investment banking and finance, and is now an accomplished businesswoman and film producer, is a passionate advocate for economic development in Northwest Arkansas. Through Rockhill Studios, Kerri has executive produced eight feature films and several narrative shorts and documentaries. Recent films include: “F.R.E.D.I.” – 2018 BFF Best of Fest; "To the Stars" - Top 8 Films to See at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival; "Sweet Inspirations," showing at the 2019 BFF - Family Category; and "The Quarry," currently in post-production. Kerri and Rockhill are developing several new film projects for 2019-2020.

Kim Bass

Kim Bass is a successful independent feature film writer-director as well as an Emmy-nominated television writer. He is the creator of two award-winning, prime time series, “Sister, Sister” and “Keenan & Kel” and a former staff writer on “In Living Color.” Mr. Bass has also received an NAACP Image Award for writing. His most recent films, “Day Of Days,” starring Tom Skerritt and Claudia Zevallos was released Summer 2017 and “Headshop” starring Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine, and Deon Cole and "Tyson's Run" starring Rory Cochrane, Amy Smart, Barkhad Abdi and Major Dodson will be released theatrically Fall 2019.

Taryn Sims Arriola

Taryn Sims Arriola is the Head of Production for NYLA Media Group. At NYLA, she oversees the production of all in-house projects, both in the US and in the Dominican Republic, and partners with independent producers on the execution of NYLA financed properties.

Prior to NYLA, Sims Arriola served as a Producer on UP NORTH, a television series recently purchased for Byron Allen's network. She also served as one of the Co-producers of ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT, currently on NETFLIX. Prior to producing roles, Sims Arriola worked in the Art Direction on A WEEKEND WITH THE FAMILY, also on NETFLIX.

Thelma Adams

A prominent American film critic and outspoken voice for gender parity in Hollywood community, Thelma Adams twice chaired the New York Film Critics Circle. She’s been the in-house film critic for Us Weekly and The New York Post, and has written for AARP, Variety, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter. She co-produced the Emmy-nominated Feud: Bette and Joan. Adams attended UC Berkeley and Columbia University. She authored the best selling historical novels, Bittersweet Brooklyn and The Last Woman Standing, and Playdate, which Oprah magazine described as “a witty debut novel.”