Are you an inspiring screenwriter? Are you looking to write a script but lost about how to go about it? Jessica Mason, Adult Education Manager, will be hosting a Media Talks with Reel Sisters founder Carolyn A. Butts, Booker T. Mattison, filmmaker and author, and Pier Robinson, writer and producer who participated in a Reel Sisters screenwriting workshop and produced her own film. Tune in with us on June 30th at 6pm to pick the brains of folks that are active in the world of screenwriting.
About the Panelists
Carolyn A. Butts is the publisher/founder of African Voices, a leading arts magazine devoted to publishing fine art and literature by artists of color. Carolyn is also the founder of the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series (www.reelsisters.org), the first Academy Qualifying Film Festival for Shorts devoted to women filmmakers. Reel Sisters provides opportunities for women of color in the film industry. Reel Sisters will be held from Oct. 23-24. 2021. “Storytelling is our greatest gift. Our stories endow us with unimaginable and infinite power to evolve as human beings. Our art and stories will save us. I have invested my life in creating platforms where people can share stories and become catalysts for positive changes in our world.” A trailblazer, Carolyn has increased the visibility of Black and Latino artists in literature, film and art. The magazine continues to be an outlet for emerging writers to publish fiction, poetry and art. African Voices has published more than 4,270 writers and artists since its inception in 1992. Carolyn’s work in publishing and the arts has earned her many distinguished honors including the Total Faith Network Award 2018, National Writers Union’s Louis Reyes Rivera Excellence Award for Educators 2015, 2017 Proclamation from the NYC Council, LIU’s Living History: A Tribute to Excellent Award 2013, Women in Media Award 2010 and Spirit of A Woman Firestarter Award 2013. Under Carolyn’s leadership, Reel Sisters has presented over 5,000 films since its inception 22 years ago and given more than $30,000 in scholarship money to aspiring filmmakers. Reel Sisters is on Film Daily’s top best 10 women centered festivals list (https://filmdaily.co/news/female-focused-film-festivals/). Carolyn was featured in Black Enterprise (https://www.blackenterprise.com/reel-sisters-film-festival/) for Reel Sisters’ celebration of self-care as a festival theme in 2018. WarnerMedia is the lead sponsor for Reel Sisters 2020 season. For info on Reel Sisters visit: www.reelsisters.org. For information on Reel Sisters please follow us on Twitter: @reelsisters and @africanvoices.
Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s classic story “The Gilded Six Bits,” which aired on Showtime. It starred Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”) in his first leading role. The film also starred T’keyah Crystal Keymah (“That’s So Raven,” “In Living Color”), and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire” “Treme'”). The Hollywood Reporter said, “Mattison’s direction and feel for her characters match up to Hurston’s sterling piece of fiction…full of atmosphere and strongly developed characters.” Mattison’s film “Habeas Corpus” starred Chad L. Coleman, Tim Reid (“Sister Sister” “WKRP in Cincinnati”) and Jamie Hector (“The Wire,” “Bosch”). Mattison’s most recent short film “Ungubani (Who Are You?)” is streaming on the Urban Movie Channel and stars Al-Jaleel Knox (Sweet Magnolias), Leah Merritt (Insatiable) and T’Keyah Crystal Keymah. Mattison has directed music videos that have aired on Black Entertainment Television, MTV Europe and The Gospel Music Channel. Mattison’s sophomore novel Snitch received a starred review in Publishers Weekly that said, “Author and filmmaker Mattison’s sophomore outing reads like its ready for screen adaptation… Mattison has a superb ear and his skills keep on growing.” His debut novel Unsigned Hype was nominated for a South Carolina Book Award. Mattison received his Master of Fine Arts in film and television production from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and his Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Norfolk State University. Mattison has taught at the College of New Rochelle, Brooklyn College and Regent and Hampton Universities. Presently, he is a professor in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies at the University of Georgia where he teaches directing, screenwriting and advanced production.
Pier Robinson has extensive experience in New York City film production. Writing ventures include: script coverage for Lee Daniels and collaborations with comedians, Faizon Love and Mr. Paul Mooney. Pier also worked as a Casting Assistant on Fox Searchlight’s features “Notorious” and “The Blind Side” with Twinkie Byrd. Pier wrote and produced, “7 Pennies”, now streaming on FoxSoul/Peacock. Pier’s goal is to get her feature script and TV series pilot made.