(Reel & Dine) Black Filmmaking in Philadelphia

Friday, February 15, 2013

I recently attended an event with a whole host of sponsors: The Black Film Advisory Committee, Councilman at-Large David Oh, Reelblack, The Greater Philadelphia Film Office, The City of Philadelphia, Radio One and The Painted Bride Art Center. 

The event was called The Next Step: Black Filmmaking in Philadelphia. The idea, spearheaded by Kimberley Richards, Special Assistant to Councilman Oh, was to bring together aspiring filmmakers, with those who have experienced success in the business. And also to further examine the on-going challenges of being of color in an industry that is still primarily white. 

I was surprised at the turn-out. It looked to be over 200 people in attendance. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a catered networking reception following the panel discussion and Q & A. Making it a true Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine) kinda evening! I've featured three of the local catering companies below.

I love being on the scene at these types of events and creating the post highlighting the happenings; but I'm abysmal at networking. Here I am, so eager to figure out a way to make a living in this industry and continue to grow T & T and its brand; yet, I wound up only giving out my card to the catering companies. Although, I suppose that's still networking. 

The panel discussion was moderated by ubiquitous founder of Reelblack Entertainment, “Mike D” Dennis. The Panel consisted of: Charlie Mack Alston, Entertainment Personality and Creator of Charlie Mack’s Party 4 Peace Celebrity Weekend; Jamal Hill, Writer and Director of Streets as well as Production Assistant for I am Legend and Hancock; Tanya Hamilton, Writer and Director of Night Catches Us; James Elam, Entertainment Lawyer, Founder of Eternal Crescent Media and Producer of several feature films and documentaries; and Rel Dowdell, Writer and Director of Changing the Game

The below video contains excerpts of the Filmmaker's Forum.

I'm still getting the hang of creating audio/videos on Windows Live Movie Maker, this was my first time doing it by myself. It's not that difficult, and it becomes fun, it just takes a bit of grit to commit to working with it.  I also had major issues uploading it to Youtube, so for the first time had to use Vimeo instead. No matter, I'm quite pleased with the end result:

The Next Step: Black Filmmaking in Philadelphia from Le Anne Lindsay on Vimeo.

The audio is a little difficult to hear over the din of the crowd in all three vids below, but you can still get a “taste” of each establishment:

This is Jason Mercado of Just Cookies. His Philly based cookie company provided dessert at the reception following the panel discussion. I ate 3 large Sugar Cookies! Now, if I could claim for professional reasons, I needed to sample all 3 varieties of his cookies, that would be one thing; but 3 of the same cookie is just gluttony. I happen to have a weakness for sugar cookies and I can honestly say these were the best I'd ever had.

It's always great when I'm given the opportunity to add a food in film aspect to the post, but I got more than expected from Jason who is famous for starting his cookie business while being homeless!
  • He partnered with a local community-based organization which allowed him to use their kitchen for free to make cookies and baking goods.
  • He took a few free business courses through local community organizations to learn the basics of business and applied those principals to his business.
  • He assembled a small team of volunteers from his community to help him make, produce, and market his business in return for a future paid position if the business takes off.
  • He continued to increase and tap into his network to raise the limited, but still much needed, $100 to $200 to purchase the products and start operations.
  • He printed some free business cards with a custom made logo design which was donated and he handed me one on the spot. READ MORE on Huffington Post with CNN's Ryan Mack 

This is David chef with Eatible Delights (2338 Ridge Ave Phila PA 19121), Founded by David K. Simms (not interviewed) I noted the service seemed to be organized and well prepared. The menu this night wasn't anything that wowed me, (no 4 Tines) but I would still check them out for your next large or small affair. Here's a link to their testimonials.

Poor audio and lighting aside, here's a catering company with a unique style of cuisine. (7251 Ogontz Ave Phila PA 19138). Mwaza Catering specializes in Afrofusion recipes which creatively mingle staple ingredients found throughout the Afrakan diaspora with international culinary techniques.

The sweet potato meatballs were amazing! I plan to feature Mwaza again on Tinsel & Tine as I've chosen them for my Academy Awards 2013 Oscar Party. See their menu on Mwaza's facebook page.
Added Note: Mwaza only offers platters on Fridays and Saturdays and must be ordered on Thursday, so, that makes them a no go for Oscar night :(

And finally, speaking of Reelblack, Mike D is in the middle of a Indiegogo campaign to fund his documentary “Black Film Now”. Visit Reelblack TV to hear his pitch about the doc, which includes: Kerry Washington, Spike Lee, Kevin Hart and more...after watching the video pitch, hopefully you'll then want to visit-


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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