From L to R (Smiling Photo) Terri J. Vaughn Tamra Simmons Gieva Stinchcomb Samantha Ramirez-Herrera Angi Bones Shante Paige Denise Hendricks Lisa Cunningham Cas Sigers-Beedles Wanda Shelly Deborah Riley Draper Autumn Bailey Ford Jasmine Guy Dianne Ashford Star Smith Floor Centered: Ty Johnston-Chavis
Photo: Donna Permell
Photo: Donna Permell

New Reel Divas movement promotes Atlanta women of color in film including Terri Vaughn, Jasmine Guy

Originally posted Thursday, October 17, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

A group of 20 Atlanta actors, directors and producers have launched a new group called Reel Divas to promote the city’s burgeoning wealth of creative black women in the field.

Deadline.com broke the story

The two names that stand out because they are already well known in the public as actresses are Jasmine Guy (”A Different World”) and Terri Vaughn (”The Steve Harvey Show”)

Rhonda Baraka of Marietta has been a prolific writer and director. She directed Lifetime’s “Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta” and wrote TV One’s “Bobbi Kristina.” Tamra Simmons co-executive produced “Surviving R. Kelly” and Wanda Shelley did the same with “Being Bobby Brown.” 

Ty Johnston-Chavis, founder of the annual Atlanta Pitch Summit, said in the wake of Tyler Perry’s grand opening of his studio two weeks ago, she felt it was time to create a group that showcased the strength for existing talent in Atlanta. She talked to her friend and produer Cas Sigers-Beedles( “Flip or Flop Atlanta”) and decided to just make Reel Divas happen. 

“We have great faith in this industry,” said Johnston-Chavis in an interview this week. “We all have power. We want to use it among ourselves creatively. We don’t have to find somebody to say yes. We own our own companies. We know how to push buttons and make things happen.” 

But collectively, she said, they can do even more and they are already in discussions about future projects. 

Most projects shot in Georgia, she noted, are still conceived on the coasts. She wants more movies and TV shows starting here. 

The Reel Divas group members:

Jasmine Guy, Actress and director

Denise Hendricks – Producer

Terri J. Vaughn – Actress, director and producer

Gieva Stinchcomb – Producer

Star Smith — Line producer

Lisa “Captain” Cunningham – Writer, producer and director

Wanda Shelley – Executive producer

Autumn Bailey – Producer

Angi Bones – Executive producer and director

Samantha Ramirez-Herrera — Content creator

Deborah Riley Draper — Director and brand consultant

Shante Paige — Executive producer showrunner

Ty Johnston-Chavis –- Producer

Cas Sigers-Beedles – Writer, producer and director

Dianne Ashford – Producer

Tamra Simmons – Executive producer

Rhonda Baraka – Writer and director

Tammy Garnes – Producer an actress

Wendy Eley Jackson – Writer and producer

Angela Barnes Gomes, Writer and director

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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