A Message from our President & CEOby February 8, 2022
Black Web Fest was born from my experience working with Black creators. At the time, I was onboarding and interviewing independent filmmakers for ColoredContent. I would always ask them what resources they needed to succeed. The common response was funding. Some would say visibility and promotion. As an experienced marketer, this would lead me to probe about their goals – which was mostly to be in traditional media like television and film. I would then try and convince them there were exciting opportunities available with streaming and other new media like virtual reality.
This disconnect made me realize something was missing in the market for Black creators – a safe space where they could learn, gain access to resources, network, and share their work. At the same time, competitors were entering the streaming space. After the #Oscarssowhite went viral, big platforms took notice of the importance of Black stories. I wanted to create something that wasn’t directly tied to ColoredContent; a place where my competitors could be community so, I detached the branding. Before it even began, I knew the mission was bigger than me. In 2017, the first festival took place at the National Black Theatre in Harlem. I financed the festival with a sponsor and my own personal funds. We had a modest turnout but great speakers, including Actress and Writer, Andrea Lewis, and GM of Entertainment Experience at Vimeo, Peter Gerard. Since then, we have hosted our festival each year and even organized events in Atlanta and London.
This year, we start a new chapter for Black Web Fest – as a non-profit organization. We are making this transition to better serve our community and provide even more opportunities.
I would also like to acknowledge our board members, KarynRose Bruyning and Leiana Spooner. From the beginning, both ladies have contributed to Black Web Fest’s success. Without them, Black Web Fest wouldn’t be where we are now.
With all that said, we are planning some amazing things for 2022. We encourage you to follow us on social media or join our mailing list to stay up-to-date. Thank you all for your continued support.