Our Mission

The Blackhouse Foundation works to expand opportunities for Black filmmakers by providing a physical gathering venue for our constituents at the world’s most prominent film festivals, encouraging the inclusion of black filmmakers with films selected by the festival and creating a nucleus for continuing support, community, education and knowledge.

About Blackhouse

The Blackhouse Foundation was created in 2006 by a group of dedicated individuals interested in preserving and furthering the legacy of Black cinema. The Blackhouse® works to provide a platform for Black filmmakers, encouraging them to use their divergent voices to tell stories by and about people of African descent through independent film. We focus on the cause of Black artists and audiences because we are by and large Black in our leadership. However, our intentions are to be broad and inclusive – across distinctions of race and ethnicity.

The organization is geared towards dynamic industry networking, rigorous support, unparalleled education, and celebration for filmmakers of African descent and their audiences. The Blackhouse focuses on increasing the visibility and commercial success of films by, for and about people across the Diaspora.

Black filmmakers made history in 2007, the year The Blackhouse Foundation launched the Blackhouse® venue at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Blackhouse played host to over 150 daily visitors with more than 1,200 people visiting the venue throughout the festival. The Blackhouse was open to the public throughout the day, hosted workshops, a legendary nightly cocktail hour, a marquee party for Our Stories Films, LLC and launched a landmark fellows program for young, aspiring filmmakers.

The Blackhouse returned to Park City for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. As the presence of black voices increased in the independent film world, Blackhouse took on new physical prominence with a move to Main Street. Blackhouse played host to more than 200 daily visitors with more than 2,000 people visiting the venue throughout the festival. Once again Blackhouse was open to the public throughout the day, hosted workshops, our legendary nightly cocktail hour, a marquee party for HBO in honor of its films in the festival (The Black List, Sugar, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo).

Although the Blackhouse did not have a physical venue at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival (who in Black America wasn’t in DC for Obama’s Inauguration?), the Foundation remained committed to promoting black films and filmmakers by “going virtual.” During the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, theblackhouse.org website guided virtual attendees through the experiences of filmmakers and attendees on the ground in Park City with the blog, Tweets, screening schedules, posted film trailers, interviews and more.

Blackhouse was back on the ground in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival in 2010, 2011 and 2012, presenting an array of panels and community gathering events. In addition Blackhouse introduced its signature programming to the Tribeca, Los Angeles Film and Toronto International Film Festivals.

Highlights of the last three years of programming include the following:
– 2010: Sundance Film Festival roundtable discussion moderated by Elvis Mitchell engaging filmmakers and executives in a discussion about the state of independent film for black women.
– 2010: Tribeca Film Festival program attracting the members of the New York filmmaker community for a rare gathering in celebration of the honored participants of the Tribeca All Access program.
– 2010: Los Angeles Film Festival partnership around screening programmed black films like “Night Catches Us” starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington.
– 2011 Sundance Film Festival: A conversation led by Elvis Mitchell with the legendary Harry Belafonte in the Sundance Filmmaker’s Lodge in.
– 2011 Tribeca Film Festival: We featured a conversation with Geoffrey Fletcher, screenwriter of Precious and celebrated the 2011 participants in the Tribeca All Access Program.
– 2011 Toronto International Film Festival: Kicked off our first year at the festival with a powerful panel entitled, “Social Issue Films: Getting Them Made & Seen.” Bill Duke, co-director of the festival featured film Dark Girls moderated. Panelists included co-director of Dark Girls, D. Chansin Berry, director of The Education of Auma Obama, Branken Okpako; screenwriter of Machine Gun Preacher, Jason Keller; and director of Color of the Ocean, Maggie Peren.
– 2012 Sundance Film Festival: Lisa Cortés led legendary rapper Ice-T in conversation about his career and directoral debut, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.”
– 2012 Tribeca Film Festival: NYU Associate Dean Sheril Antonio led a dynamic roundtable discussion including producer Debra Martin Chase, director Rick Famuyiwa, director/producer Laurens Grant, director Rashaad Ernesto Green and producer Warrington Hudlin.
– 2012 LA Film Festival: A host of panels and discussions covering representation in the entertainment industry (including representatives from CAA, ICM, WME, Generate and Ziffren Brittenham), the art and responsibility of festival programming, a one-on-one discussion with rising producer Datari Turner.
– 2012 Toronto International Film Festival: A pair of panels focused on the nuts and bolts of international distribution for Black films and opening opportunities for Black filmmakers and crews across Canada.

In 2007 there were seven Black films at Sundance. In 2013 there will be 29 Black films and projects featured. In 2012 there were 21, in 2011 there were 31 and in 2010 there were 23. The impact of Blackhouse is being felt across the festival circuit and is translating into increased opportunities for black films and filmmakers.

Board Of Directors

Brickson Diamond - Chairman

Brickson Diamond is Chief Operating Officer of The Executive Leadership Council, the mission of which is to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline and to develop African-American corporate leaders — one student and one executive at a time. He is a veteran investment management industry executive, philanthropist and activist. He spent the last 11 years in the high net worth client space during which time he established and coordinated Capital Group Private Client Services’ marketing and service efforts with high net worth focused investment management consultants nationally – a $1.2 billion practice. He spent a total of 15 years in the investment management business with additional varied roles including institutional marketing and leadership development.

Brickson is a founding board member and chair of the board of The Blackhouse Foundation. He is a member of The Executive Leadership Council, has served on the board of the Brown University Alumni Association and serves on its President’s Leadership Council. He has also been involved in alumni and development leadership for Harvard Business School. He is a past chair of the board of the National Hospice Foundation, and is a past board member of the Liberty Hill Foundation of Los Angeles.

Brickson is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Business School.

Gordon Bobb

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gordon M. Bobb is a partner with the entertainment law firm, Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Mr. Bobb works with the firm’s film and television clients including actors Jamie Foxx and Cedric The Entertainer, as well as feature writer/directors Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man), Reggie Bythewood (Biker Boyz), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), and Rick Famuyiwa (Brown Sugar).

Upon completing his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, Mr. Bobb earned his law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1996. He began his legal career as a securities attorney with the Wall Street firm of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. In 1998, his passion for the arts sparked a relocation to Los Angeles to join the Century City firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler.

Mr. Bobb was soon recruited by one of Hollywood’s top legal minds, Nina Shaw, to join her law firm’s practice. He has been with Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano since 2000.

Mr. Bobb resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Alyse, son, Jaden, and daughter, Sophia.

Pauline Fischer

Pauline is vice president of digital content acquisition for Netflix focused on domestic feature films. Previously, she held positions in both worldwide acquisitions and strategy, planning and business development for Paramount Pictures and as a High Tech Fellow for Harvard Business School based in the university’s California Research Center. Pauline holds a JD and MBA from Harvard University and a BA from UCLA.

DeMille Halliburton

A native New Yorker, DeMille Halliburton has specialized in the commercial, sports & entertainment industries, working with film, television and animation production companies, music touring, special events and sports/entertainment personalities for over 16 years. He currently is vice president of Robertson Taylor, an insurance industry leader. DeMille’s hands-on risk management capabilities and deep commitment to his clients’ needs have made him stand out as one of the most sought-after advisors in the business. DeMille is a graduate from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children.

He currently sits on the board of the non-profit organization The Blackhouse Foundation, an entertainment powerhouse facilitating aid and resources for black filmmakers, and is on the steering committee of the 21st Century Foundation and involved with Usher’s New Look Foundation. His passions include spending time with his wife and his two children, watching and playing sports, and exercising.

Gina M. McAllister

Gina M. McAllister is a managing partner at Fortitude Financial Management, a full service, boutique business management firm based in Los Angeles, CA. She oversees business management services to clientele in the entertainment industry as well as high net-worth individuals; which includes the accounting, tax and cash flow management needs of the corporations, individuals and their various business entities.

A native of Chicago, IL, McAllister began her career in business management in 1996, providing consulting services (tax preparation and accounting) to businesses and entertainment industry professionals. In 2003 she relocated to Los Angeles and worked with several prominent attorneys on divorce and other litigation cases as a Forensic Financial Analyst. McAllister later joined top accounting firm Grant Tani Barash & Altman as a Business Manager; where she successfully streamlined year-end projection processes and tax preparation for both corporate and individual clients with a net-worth in excess of $25 million. Prior to joining Fortitude Financial Management, she helped to build the Family Office Group of the CPA firm Rothstein Kass & Company in Beverly Hills, CA.

She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Michigan State University, and an MBA in finance from Howard University. McAllister is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for The Imagine Initiative, Inc. and the Success 4 U Foundation, Inc.

She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell is Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs at IM Global. IM Global is one of the leading film financing, sales and distribution companies in the world, championing a wide variety of cinema, including mainstream commercial, art house, foreign language and genre fare. Elizabeth was previously with Essential Entertainment Media, L.L.C. in Los Angeles. Elizabeth served as Essential’s primary counsel with respect to worldwide distribution, development, production and general corporate matters. She also provided on-site legal support at the Cannes Film Festival and the American Film Market.

Prior to Essential, Elizabeth held a position at the William Morris Agency. During law school, she volunteered at the El Monte Workers’ Rights Clinic and clerked at the Screen Actors Guild, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Neighborhood Legal Services.

In addition to Elizabeth’s entertainment related pursuits, she is passionate about real estate, architecture and design. Combining her public interest work in law school with her interest in real estate, Elizabeth, along with three colleagues, participated in private equity fundraising, negotiated with national banking institutions, collaborated with affordable housing organizations and formed a company that purchased, rehabilitated and sold distressed properties to moderate- and low-income family households.

Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Radio/TV/Film Production from Howard University and a J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She is a member of the California Bar and serves on the Legal Committee of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (“IFTA”), the Board of The Blackhouse Foundation and is co-chair of the entertainment committee of the John M. Langston Bar Association.

Carol Ann Shine

Carol Ann Shine, an award-winning producer, is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinema & Television having received her MFA in Film Production with an emphasis on documentary films. Using that background, she went to went to work for Momentum Entertainment, a film financing and production company. During her tenure at Momentum, Ms. Shine served as an acquisition and development executive in addition to independently producing films and documentaries

Ms. Shine has produced a number of award-winning projects under Showtime’s Black Filmmakers program including the shorts Black Like Who, Milk and Honey, and Letter to My Mother, the 2000 Sundance competition short and Student Academy Award national finalist, Walking Mele, and the 2000 Showtime Black Filmmakers Grant and Slamdance competition short winner The Kings. In addition, Ms. Shine produced The Male Groupie which aired on HBO after being selected as a finalist for the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Ms. Shine has also produced the features?All the Trappings of Success, The Girls Room, Dr. Benny, Flip the Script, and Gone as well as a host of music videos for such artists as Nikki Monroe, Gackt, and Darling Violeta.

In July of 1999, Ms. Shine was hired by Edmonds Entertainment and e2 Filmworks to serve as line producer on the acclaimed independent feature film Punks, distributed by Urbanworld. Punks debuted at the 2000 Sundance Festival and was the winner of many awards on the festival circuits both domestically and internationally including a 2002 Independent Spirit Award nomination for?best low-budget feature.

Ms. Shine has worked as the Consulting Producer on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s writing and directorial debut The Human Contract which premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Ms. Shine has produced co-created and executive produced LOGO Network’s first scripted series, Noah’s Arc as well as executive produced the feature film based on the series. Both projects have received glowing reviews and the feature, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, set per screen ticket sales records this past fall in limited release.

In 2007, Ms. Shine created Flypaper Entertainment with her producing partner, Rockmond Dunbar, the star of the movie Punks, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, The Family That Preys, and the television series Prision Break, Heartland, and Terriers. Together, Ms. Shine and Mr. Dunbar produced the feature film Pastor Brown, a film which Mr. Dunbar also directed and starred. With Mr. Dunbar, Ms. Shine recently signed a development deal with ISH Entertainment for a narrative dramatic series; the two of them also have several films in active development including the family comedy Three Day Weekend, the fantasy-comedy Searching For The Tooth Fairy, and several romantic-comedyies.

As one of the founding board members of The Blackhouse Foundation, Ms. Shine continues to work to increase diversity at major domestic and international film festivals and beyond.

Ryan Tarpley

Ryan Tarpley is an executive in the Foundation at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles. The CAA Foundation works at the local, national and international level with a focus on improving schools and educational services to youth. In this role, Tarpley serves as CAA’s primary source for developing local alliances through public and private partnerships that are designed to enhance the quality of education in Los Angeles. He also serves as a valuable resource for celebrity clients interested in connecting to the philanthropic community.

Tarpley is a prominent member of the philanthropic community, holding various appointments on boards and advisory councils, including the Board of Directors of Phoenix House of California, The Board of Directors of The Trevor Project and The Board of Directors of Global Colors and speaking publicly on a range of topics.

Prior to joining CAA, Tarpley served as Assistant Head of Upper School at Harvard-Westlake School, one of the pre-eminent independent day schools in the country. At Harvard-Westlake he oversaw the Student Affairs division and served as the coordinator of upper school admissions and faculty/staff recruiter. He joined Harvard-Westlake in 1999 as an Upper School Dean. Tarpley spent 3 years prior to that in selective college admissions at Pomona College and the California Institute of Technology.

Deeply committed to schools and education initiatives in Los Angeles, Tarpley is very involved in Mentor LA and their Go For College program and Heart of Los Angeles Youth.

Ryan holds a B.A. degree in History from Lawrence University of Wisconsin and a M. A. degree in Higher Education and Counseling Psychology from the Ohio State University.

Dolly Turner

Dolly Turner is a marketing and creative executive with experience managing and launching multi-million dollar entertainment and media brands and properties. She’s responsible for a number of Award winning projects with critical acclaim in TV, film and music, as a marketing executive and talent manager.

She formed The Turner Group that provides branded entertainment, social media, digital, sponsorship and marketing services. Her clients include the American Black Film Festival, Gun Hill Road 2011 Sundance Official Narrative Selection, Disperse Interactive a leading NY social media agency, critically acclaimed web series creator Al Thompson’s Valdean Entertainment, and Soul Summer Music Tour.

Prior to forming The Turner Group, Dolly was VP Sponsorship, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships for the American Black Film Festival and responsible for sponsorship, media partnerships and national consumer marketing. During her tenure launched the festival’s digital and mobile initiatives, programmed panels for faith-based, sports and digital content, launched the ABFF Youth Filmmakers Program, oversaw user-generated film contests and worked with brands such as HBO, Target, ESPN, Coty, TNT, Stella Artois, Allstate and MTV Networks.

Dolly’s also held positions as Founder Treasure Chest Marketing & Entertainment a marketing, events and talent agency, NE Regional Manager Affiliate Sales & Marketing at USA Network, National Director of Grassroots Marketing for the truth campaign, a commercial loan officer at Manufactures Hanover Trust Bank in the Media and Private Banking Groups, National Director of Marketing for LaFace Records, and licensing consultant for Hitco Music Publishing Film & TV Division.

Dolly holds a BBA in Marketing from Howard University and NYU Digital Media Marketing Certificate. She is a member of NY Women In Film & Television, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and served on the Board of the Roger Furman Theater and Dance Institute of Washington Capital Campaign Committee.


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