Kasi Lemmons and Gina Prince-Bythewood to Kick off Black Carpet Speaker Series

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Kasi Lemmons and Gina Prince-Bythewood.

The series, which will showcase Black talent, is presented by the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center.

Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center is introducing the Black Carpet Speaker Series, a free program designed to provide Black filmmakers a platform to discuss everything from their projects and influences to insights and career journeys. 

BHERC president Sandra Evers-Manly announced the news today while also revealing details of a kickoff event, a virtual discussion featuring Gina Prince-Bythewood and Kasi Lemmons, moderated by Evers-Manly. Both helmers have had high-profile releases of late, with Prince-Bythewood coming off the streaming success of Netflix's The Old Guard while Lemmons' Harriet snagged double Oscar nominations for star Cynthia Erivo and Focus Features. The chat is scheduled for July 31 at 5 p.m. PST. The inaugural event will be followed the next day with BHERC's annual shorts program "Reel Black Men Film Festival" that runs from Aug. 1-8.

"Gina and Kasi, are part of the BHERC family and are alumni of our Sistas are Doin' It for Themselves Short Film Showcase," said Evers-Manly. "We are proud to have supported them and their films in the past and look forward to supporting them in the future. They are exceptional directors who have broken through barriers in Hollywood, and firmly stand at the top of their game. There is no denying their talent. We have witnessed first-hand their willingness to lift others as they climb. They represent the best and what we need now more than ever in the entertainment industry."

Said Prince-Bythewood: "The BHERC African-American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase has been a part of my consciousness since my days at UCLA Film School. I had so much to say as a young, aspiring filmmaker and I craved an audience to hear me. BHERC gave me that audience and allowed me to share my work, and share the experience with others. It helped me to grow as a filmmaker. I am grateful for such a safe, supportive outlet early in my career. It was truly invaluable."

Added Lemmons: "As an emerging filmmaker of color, and especially as a Black woman, having a space that celebrates Black voices was essential for nourishing my creativity. BHERC gave me a professional platform for my early work, access to a hungry audience and most of all, the opportunity to meet other Black women filmmakers, like Gina, who has become a lifelong friend."  

More information about the event can be found here