The future of filmmaking is in the Bay Area! In 2023, the film industry is finally recognizing that diversity in representation has a huge impact in the stories we tell and the audiences we connect with. From Black Panther to Shang-Chi, the Bay Area has contributed incredible talent and storytelling to the film industry. At the same time, content creation through social media influencer culture has democratized communication and storytelling, giving everyone a platform to speak to the world (for better or for worse). When the film industry reflects the diversity of our communities both on-screen and behind the camera, we get to be seen in our complexity and humanity, and pass down our sacred stories, something that audiences have been demanding for far too long.
Join us for a keynote from Pixar creative Theo Hollingsworth, followed by a short film screening and mixer as we bring together the Bay Area’s brightest minds in the filmmaking and content creation industry. “Find Your Crew” is an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships that can take your career to the next level. We will feature short films from REEL, an immersive film program that allows students to produce short films together as a crew. We invite local filmmakers at all levels of the industry to connect with us, from seasoned professionals to those just starting out. Through this event, we hope to empower and amplify our voices, shaping tomorrow’s leaders one camera at a time.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Bio: Theo Hollingsworth is video creative with over 15 years of experience helping to produce videos, TV, and Film productions. He studied film production at Howard University. He’s been in Oakland for the past 8 years and has worked on a variety of projects including web series, documentaries, feature length films and more. He loves to tell the stories of black people and has an affinity for comedy and sci-fi. Now at Pixar he’s mission bound to help make the next great black animated feature length film! When he’s not working he can be found biking around the town or shopping at his favorite grocery store, Mandela Grocery Cooperative.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Jason Wu is a rapper, producer, and filmmaker from San Francisco, California. His journey with media production began in high school when he started writing his own music, and has since then expanded his skill set into video production as well. In addition to doing work for local businesses, he also regularly works with local hip-hop artists and dance studios to help push the Bay Area’s hip-hop scene, as well as creating social media content for his own music.
Jordon Briggs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Sacramento, CA. He is a writer, filmmaker and musician. Jordon writes across genres and forms and has had writing published in the disciplines of short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, film criticism, personal essay, and others. His first documentary Her Hair was a finalist for SF3 Smartfone Flickfest’s Best Feature Film category. He graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California and holds a BA in Film from CSU-Sacramento. He currently lives in Oakland, CA.
Emily Yamauchi is a second-generation Japanese American writer and multidisciplinary artist based in Oakland, CA. She writes fiction, essays, hybrid work, graphic novel/memoir and comics. Her work has been supported by fellowships and residencies from Kundiman, Hedgebrook, VONA, Real Time & Space, A Place of Her Own and others, and has been featured in various readings and exhibitions. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California and BA from Brown University. Emily’s work disrupts the silent agreements that hold together historically engrained or ancestral patterns of behavior, and insists that new patterns are possible, playing with memory, ambiguity, form and nonlinear storytelling to uncover and understand our private and communal lives.
Founded in 2016, REEL is an immersive film program that allows students to produce short films together as a crew. They provide media education like cinema theory, camera training, professional development, and more.
REEL is taught by Teaching Artists who are successful Bay Area filmmakers and multifaceted artists. Over the years, students’ films have tackled topics such as racial political issues, mental illness, health, and wellness. Ultimately, REEL has created a creative and safe space for students to explore their own personal journeys while expressing it through multimedia.