Sista's Are Doin' It For Themselves Short Film Showcase

(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) — NEWS: Debbie Allen, critically acclaimed director, producer, and choreographer will be a special guest at upcoming, 30th annual “Sista’s Are Doin’ It For Themselves” Short Film Showcase Opening Night Celebration, May 19th at 7:30pm, at the Director’s Guild of America, the Black Hollywood Education Resource Center (BHERC) announced today. Phenomenal actress, philanthropist, educator, and advocate, Wendy Raquel Robinson, will serve as the host.

“Debbie Allen and Wendy Raquel Robinson are real change-agents in the entertainment industry and the community. It is a true honor to have such gifted and giving individuals come together to make this program a great success,” says Executive Director, John Forbes.

The Opening Celebration will kick off a weekend of festivities, from the film showcase to panels, taking place throughout the weekend of May 19th-21st. During the weekend, 22 short films by emerging Black women directors will be shown. The showcase, started 30 years ago by Sandra Evers-Manly and the first showcase director, Ralph Scott, to provide a showcase for emerging and outstanding work of Black women directors.

“We wanted to let Hollywood know there are talented Black Women Directors, who are here, well equipped and ready to work. The showcase allowed us to highlight amazing directors and their work,” stated Sandra Evers-Manly, President and Founder of the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center.

Today, we are proud of the number of Black Women Directors who have showcased at Sistas, who are having a great impact in Hollywood and beyond. From Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King,” “Love & Basketball”), Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet,” “Eve’s Bayou”), Lena Waite (“The Chi”), Ava Duvernay (“Selma,” “When They See Us”), Dianne Houston (first Black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award / Short Film category) and the Oscar-nominated Dee Rees (“Mudbound”) just to name a few.

“It’s been an honor to serve as the Festival Director for the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center film programs, especially ‘Sista’s Are Doin’ It For Themselves’. This year we saw 1063 submissions and the diversity of films were impressive, I’m excited about this 30th Anniversary weekend. The films, panels and more, have so much to offer for everyone. My congratulations to all the filmmakers, their families, and supporters. Let’s keep making films, telling our stories, and changing the narrative,” added John Forbes.

We hope the community will come out in mass numbers to support these amazing filmmakers and their films, in addition to the panels.

Debbie Allen is best known for her role as an actor in the television series, “Fame,” and as a director and producer of the television series’, “A Different World” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Allen is also founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA), in Los Angeles, CA.

Allen’s accolades are the definition of prestige, having been nominated for 20 Emmy awards, winning five, as well as two Tony Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. Allen’s impact on Hollywood was immortalized in 1991, when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Wendy Raquel Robinson is a 2021 and 2022 Emmy Award winning Producer, Philanthropist, Actress, and NAACP Image Award recipient, known for her groundbreaking roles as ambitious, leading women on television and film. She has graced televisions everywhere on many sitcoms and films, with some of her most notable being “Rebound” alongside Martin Lawrence, “The Game” as the polarizing character Tasha Mack, and “Insecure” alongside Issa Rae.

In 1996, she co-founded the “Amazing Grace Conservatory” which serves the LA area, and children from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds with education in arts and media production. Thanks to this bridge to Hollywood, children from ages 5-18 are learning that anything is possible. Some of the notable alums include Rhyon Nicole Brown, Elle Varner, and Issa Rae.

Neema Barnette, is an Emmy and Image Award Winner, and prominent film director, writer, and producer. Known for her work on shows such as: “Raising Dion,” “Grand Crew,” “Queen Sugar,” and “The Equalizer”; and films like “Women Thou Art Loosed,” and “Super Sweet 16: The Movie.” Barnette was the first African American woman to direct a primetime sitcom, and first African American woman to get a three-film production deal with Sony Pictures.

And accolades followed soon after, with Barnette winning several awards, including: a Peabody, an Emmy, and an NAACP Image Award, just to name a few. Barnette owns her own production company, “Harlem Girl Productions,” and is also a part-time educator, teaching a course on Directing, at both USC and UCLA.

Numa Perrier, is an actor, director, writer and visual artist who has emerged as a provocative voice in the film and television landscape. Determined to ascend the ranks of Hollywood, Perrier’s arc for success looks as promising beyond measure. Having directed episodes for shows such as: “Young Rock,” “Queen Sugar,” “Reasonable Doubt,” and “The Wonder Years”; as well as, her first feature and award-winning film, “Jezebel,” currently streaming on Netflix.

For Perrier, this is only the beginning; as she has secured a deal at HBO, has another feature set for release this year, starring Gabrielle Union, and is co-founder of the streaming service, Black&Sexy TV. And, Perrier, has also started her own production company, House of Numa.

Dianne Houston is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. Houston has written and directed on projects such as: “Empire,” “Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland,” and “Soul Food.” A true wave-maker in the industry, Houston, is the first Black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in the short-film category, with her film, “Tuesday Morning Ride.”

The Opening Celebration and Reception will take place Friday, May 19th and begins at 7:30pm at the Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. The Panels and Short Film Showcase will be held Saturday, May 20th, from 8:30am-2:00pm.


* 9:10am-9:40am – “Where Are They Now?”

* 9:45am-10:45am – “Careers in Hollywood”

* 10:50am-11:50am – “Director’s on Directing”


* Sunday, May 19th – 8:42pm-9:48pm

* Saturday, May 20th – 12:05pm-1:18pm

* Sunday, May 21st – 3:00pm-4:12pm; 5:00pm-7:00pm

Sunday, May 21st from 3:00pm-7:00pm the Short Film Showcase continues at the Directors Guild of America. The Virtual Film Festival will be held May 22-31, 2023 on www.BHERC.TV.


Fri. May 19th – Opening Celebration & Reception $75.00 General/ $50.00 Seniors/Students

Sat. May 20th – Panels & Short Film Showcase $20.00 General/ $15.00 Seniors/Students

Sun. May 21st – Short Film Showcase $40.00 Day Pass/ $20.00 Per Block (General)

$30.00 Day Pass/$15.00 Per Block(Senior/Student)

Three Day Pass (Incl. All Events & Gift Bag) $180.00 General/$130.00 (Seniors/Students)

Virtual Festival at $20.00

Purchase tickets today online at For general and festival information, please call 310-284-3170, email John Forbes at org or visit the website All proceeds benefit the BHERC educational programs.

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