We’re on a Mission

The Blackhouse helps Black creative voices and executives gain a better foothold in the industry.

We showcase the best-of-the-best in film and television and are committed to highlighting the power of Black writers, producers, directors, and executives telling our stories. Success in the industry is bolstered by the help of relationships.

Our robust relationships in the film and television industries help educate, inspire, and support budding and experienced filmmakers, producers and executives on the craft and business of filmmaking.

Our goal is to continually change the way audiences think about Black movies and television and keep the conversation about Black storytelling going on-screen and off for years to come.


The Blackhouse Foundation was co-founded in 2006 by Brickson Diamond, Carol Ann Shine and Ryan Tarpley to address their dismay and frustration at seeing so few Black people and people of color reflected in the attendance and on the slate of films selected for the festival.

Taking best practices from the Queer Lounge and prior experiences in philanthropy, film and education, the three friends devised the idea of The Blackhouse, recruited a small group of fellow board members, and created a space where artists and executives of color could gather to engage in thought-provoking conversations, and learn about the business from each other and industry veterans. Since its founding, The Blackhouse has thrived.

By creating a nucleus for continuing support, community and education in varied environments, we ensure artists and executives of exceptional talent have the profile and prevalence to access emerging domestic and global opportunities.

The Blackhouse® works to expand opportunities for Black multi-platform content creators and executives by providing pathways into career opportunities within:

  • Film
  • Television
  • Digital and emerging platforms

The impact of Blackhouse is being felt across the festival circuit and is translating into increased opportunities for black films and filmmakers.

The Blackhouse History

We are a Cultural Touchstone In Black Film

Our Impact

Black filmmakers have been making great movies since the dawn of cinema, creating great and riveting stories. They use their personal history and worldview as a lens to project our stories on to screens.

Gaining access to experiences that realistically help Black filmmakers and producers navigate the world of filmmaking can be challenging.

The Blackhouse maintains a dynamic presence at film festivals around the world, helping to push the industry to tell more substantial stories through high-profile work by Black filmmakers, Black film directors, Black film producers, and the men & women who aim to put our culture on screen.

  • The Blackhouse hosts more than 3,000 visitors daily at many film festivals throughout the year.
  • The Blackhouse has created more than 15,000 relationships for Black filmmakers and producers since inception.
  • The Blackhouse has created a landmark fellows program for young, aspiring Black filmmakers and film producers.
  • The Blackhouse hosts more than seven (7) events annually, which foster relationships and capacity building.
  • The Blackhouse was has been on the ground in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival every year since 2010; presenting an array of panels and community gathering events.

In 2007 there were seven Black films at Sundance; in 2019 we are estimating more than 40 Black films and projects will be featured.

Programming Highlights

  • 2010 Sundance Film Festival: The Blackhouse hosted a roundtable discussion moderated by Elvis Mitchell engaging filmmakers and executives in a discussion about the state of independent film for black women.
  • 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival: The Blackhouse showcased our partnership around screening programmed black films like “Night Catches Us” starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington.
  • 2011 Sundance Film Festival: The Blackhouse moderated a conversation led by Elvis Mitchell with the legendary Harry Belafonte in the Sundance Filmmaker’s Lodge.
  • 2011 Toronto International Film Festival: The Blackhouse 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: The Blackhouse orchestrated a conversation led by Producer/Director Lisa Cortés with legendary rapper Ice-T in conversation about his career and directorial debut, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.”
  • 2012 Tribeca Film Festival:The Blackhouse provided the platform for NYU Associate Dean Sheril Antonio to govern 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: The Blackhouse produced the art and had the sole responsibility of festival programming. We hosted informative panels and discussions covering representation in the entertainment industry (including representatives from CAA, ICM, WME, Generate and Ziffren Brittenham), and facilitated a one-on-one discussion with rising producer Datari Turner.
  • 2013 Tribeca Film Festival: Industry professionals engaged in a dynamic debate on race, authorship and authenticity in today’s filmmaking scene. Panelists included author, film critic and filmmaker Nelson George, Indiewire’s Shadow & Act Chief Editor Tambay Obenson, producer and Brave Films President and CEO Frida Torresblanco and filmmaker Terence Nance with Tribeca Film Institute Executive Director Beth Janson serving as moderator.
  • 2013 Montclair Film Festival: What do the movies tell us about race in America? On May 4, 2013 three esteemed film critics – Pulitzer Prize-winner Wesley Morris (Grantland; Boston Globe), David Edelstein (New York magazine) and Scott Foundas (Variety) – discussed with Adoara Udoji (former host of The Takeaway on NPR) how they approach race when writing about film.
  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival: “Tanning of America” panel featuring Steve Stout and Keith Clinkscales; engagement with the creators and cast of ‘Dear White People’ (Justin Simien, Director; Tessa Thompson, Actor; and ‘Imperial Dreams’ (John Boyega, Actor; Anika Noni Rose, Actor); Legendary Black Women in Film panel featuring Nina Shaw, and Lena Waithe just prior to premiere of ‘Dear White People.
  • 2014 AFI Fest: Clips and Conversation turned premiere of ‘Selma’ with post-film discussion featuring Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and Common.
  • 2015 LA Film Fest: Conversation with John Ridley moderated by Elvis Mitchell and “Prime Time: Adjusting the Color Spectrum on TV” Panel w/ Wendy Calhoun (Black-ish), Andrea Lerner (Jane the Virgin), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat), Our Lady J (Transparent), Debra Birnbaum (Variety).
  • 2016 Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Dinner with Bevy’ was held featuring the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Black Filmmakers and celebrated guests including actors/actresses Geoffrey Fletcher, Lynn Whitfield, Kendrick Sampson, Wardell Milan, Debra Martin Chase, Reinaldo Marcus Green and Karyn Parsons.
  • 2016 LA Film Fest:
  • In Conversation: Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell sat down with Issa Rae for an intimate off-the-records talk.
  • Art & Activism: Visual storytellers of various mediums discussed how they use their art to bring light to social issues. Panelists included Vanessa Ramos (Bordertown), Jay Ellis (The Game, Insecure) and Terence Nance (Swimming in Your Skin Again, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty).
  • 2017 Toronto International Film Festival: Conversation with Sam Pollard – Director, ‘Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me; Canadian Filmmaker Panel featuring Alison Duke, Jennifer Holness, Dean Bernard, and Ngardy Conteh George.
  • 2017 AFI Fest: Conversation with Jordan Peele in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’
  • 2018 Cannes Film Festival: A celebratory brunch was held celebrating Spike Lee and the premiere of the BlacKkKlansman movie.
  • 2018 Toronto International Film Festival: “Director’s Cut” Panel was held featuring a problem-solving conversation with Black-Canadian content creators facilitated by The Blackhouse’s Board Chair, Brickson Diamond and WGA-East Manager, Outreach and Member Services, Jenna Bond.

Past Events