The 21st annual American Black Film Festival was held last week in Miami, Florida, and I was immediately immersed in the culture of being a black creative during one of the largest festivals in the country.
It was a surreal experience because I was not a participant.
Instead, I was working behind the scenes learning how the festival was operated, produced, and sponsored. Assigned to the Sponsorship and Client Services team I was able to interact with you guessed it, SPONSORS and TALENT. Executives for the world’s top companies, and media stations were in attendance, and I had to quickly process the flow of everything. It was challenging, overwhelming, enlightening, and inspiring to be in an environment that was not the norm for me.
The first day of orientation I was in a room full of black creatives & Executive staff that have worked with the festival since inception, and those that were newbies (ME!). As if the feeling of meeting the three people that I was going to live with for the week just two hours prior to orientation was not enough of a high. I was now surrounded by others that were on a quest of learning more about the festival, and also on the journey of learning more about self.
The week provided me with the platform to speak to others with similar interest, and converse about my own projects. There was one thing in particular that I know that I struggled with upon arriving to the festival: Promoting Self.
I had to find the avenue of articulating my ministries without sounding pushy, but simply having a conversation. I had a case of being far too humble. Eventually realizing that girl you need to SPEAK UP! No one will know about your brilliance if you aren’t advocating for yourself. It’s okay to promote for others, but you also have to spread the good news of your own GREATNESS!
So, I would say that one of the most important takeaways for me that I discovered during the Roland Martin session with John Singleton is to be able to clearly articulate your idea. It’s not enough to have the idea, be black, and creative. Why is your idea different? What are you doing that’s revolutionary? How are you articulating your idea? Are you active, and consistent?
“You should be presenting your short film at ABFF next year.” ~ Nicholas
You are right Nicholas, I should, and I will.
I was able to meet Spike Lee, and didn’t completely FAN OUT! Lol.
To those that I met over the last week, thank you.
Thank you for your encouragement, and laughter I couldn’t have made it through the week without you.