Originally posted Thursday, October 17, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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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