Reel Sisters to Honor Actress CeCelia Antoinette at Nov.17 Awards Ceremony

Reel Sisters will pay tribute posthumously to acclaimed theater/film actress/writer CeCelia (CeCe) Antoinette
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On Tues, Nov. 17, 7 pm, join Reel Sisters Filmmakers Awards Ceremony & After Party celebration. Reel Sisters will honor our award-winning filmmakers and pay tribute posthumously to acclaimed theater/film actress/writer CeCelia (CeCe) Antoinette, renowned for her play "BROWN GAL'S RISING" (based on her poetry book "Just As I Am").

Cathleen Campbell, a friend who had the pleasure of directing CeCe in three short films including "OUTTA MY NAME," will offer a special dedication. OUTTA MY NAME, which premiered in Reel Sisters, will screen in tribute to CeCe’s outstanding work as an actress.

“CeCe was a friend of Reel Sisters and committed her life to her craft and supporting actors, directors, writers and other artists in her community.” Says Carolyn Butts, Founder of Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film festival. “The festival’s theme for 2020 is love and activism, Cece along with our honorees, are women devoted to creating social change and helping other artists and organizations in our community evolve.”

Reel Sisters honors film professionals for their outstanding contributions in film and role in supporting women artists across the globe screening over 5,000 films since its inception. Select honorees receive a cash prize along with the award.

“We proud of the outstanding storytellers winning awards in our 2020 season. The female aesthetic is finally being celebrated and appreciated all over the world as opportunities for Black women and women of color on streaming platforms like HBO, Netflix, Disney, and Hulu are giving film lovers a chance to enjoy their stories,” says Butts. “The Indie film movement is flourishing and pushing Hollywood to open its doors to women filmmakers. Reel Sisters is thrilled to be on the forefront of being a space that centers women of color stories.”

The top award-winning films being presented with awards include "A Trip With Mom" (Oscar qualifying Reel Sisters Best Short Narrative Award), directed by Sophie Shui, is a haunting film about a son who must make a tough choice about his elderly mom who is suffering from dementia; The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show (Reel Sisters Best Director Award & Best Documentary Award), directed by Yoruba Richen, is a historic film capturing a week when actor/activism Harry Belafonte hosted the Johnny Carson Show; and Barakat (Reel Sisters Best Narrative Feature Award), directed and written by Amy Jephta, is a warm and humorous film on a middle aged Muslim mom who must tell her adult children she is about to wed.

The complete list of the award-winners and honoree bios are included at the end. Reel Sisters virtual awards ceremony will include special performances by award-winning theater actor/singer/dancer Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. and poet Jerrie Johnson. DJ Thelma Ramsey will spin!

Previous Reel Sisters award winners include Nana Camille Yarbrough, Sandra Guzman , JT Takagi (Third World Newsreel), Terence Nance (HBO's Random Acts of Flyness), Tamara Tunie, Nicole Beharie, Cathy Hughes, Naturi Naughton, Issa Rae, Ebony Jo-Ann, Jessica Williams, Vinie Burrows, Margot B., Neema Barnette, Julie Dash, Michelle Materre, Pearl Bowser, Shola Lynch, Lonette McKee, Mahen Bonetti, Mable Haddock, Moikgantsi Kgama, Irene Cara, Madeline Anderson and Kojo Ade.

The celebration will culminate with a virtual After Party beginning at 8 pm. Suggested Donation: $10 (donate any amount).

About Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series

Founded by African Voices magazine and LIU Brooklyn Campus, Reel Sisters is the first Academy Qualifying Film Festival devoted to women of color. Since 1997, Reel Sisters has showcased over 3,540 films produced, directed and written by women filmmakers in every genre. Reel Sisters attracts more than 2,271 film lovers from across the nation and globe including California, Chicago, Florida to as far away as Britain, Germany, Africa and India. The festival screens over 40 films each year. Reel Sisters also provides scholarships to emerging women filmmakers and offers other resources for women filmmakers.

The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival is supported, in part, by Council members Laurie Cumbo (35 C.D.) and Farah Louis (45 C.D.), WarnerMedia, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

2020 Award Winning Films List


A Trip with Mom

Writer: Sophie SHUI Director: Sophie SHUI

Producer: TING, CHI-FANG



The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show

Director: Yoruba Richen

Producer: Valerie Thomas, Joan Walsh and Big Beach



Miss Curvy

Directed by: Ghada Eldemellawy Producer: Ghada Eldemellawy


My Father The Mover

Directed by: Julia Jansch Producer: Julia Jansch Mandilakhe Yengo Sheila Nevins



Barakat Writer: Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon Director: Amy Jephta

Producer: Ephraim Gordon


Ouro Preto

Writer: San Sonadie Mateus Lustosa Director: San Sonadie

Producer: Limonada Audiovisual



The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show

Director: Yoruba Richen Producer: Valerie Thomas, Joan Walsh and Big Beach



Yellow Girl and Me

Writer: Isabella Issa Director: Isabella Issa

Producer: Paul V Fishback



Writer: Yibing Jiang Director: Yibing Jiang

Producer: Silvia Rasheva Aleksander Karshikoff

Animation Director: Jason Keane



The Moon Never Dies

Writer: Mariona Lloreta & Josep Lloreta Trull

Directed by: Mariona Lloreta Producer: Mariona Lloreta & Fernanda Mandriola

Director of Photography: Alberto Marchiori



The Moon Never Dies

Writer: Mariona Lloreta & Josep Lloreta Trull

Directed by: Mariona Lloreta Producer: Mariona Lloreta & Fernanda Mandriola




Writer: Susani Mahadura Director: Susani Mahadura

Producer: Barbara Lybeck


Sundays at The Triple Nickel

Directed by: Jessica Colquhoun

Producer: Cordielle Street


Honoree Bios

Sophie Shui was born during a typhoon season in Fengsan, Koashiung. Bathed in the warm sunlight and gentle breeze of southern Taiwan. After working for more than twenty years in the print media industry, Sophie followed her heart and began pursuing her passion for movies in her 50s, determined to devote the rest of her life to movies. Therefore, she resigned from her job and got accepted to professional school to learn the theory and practice of filmmaking.

Sophie was the playwright-director of the experimental film “My Childhood” and many feature films, such as “Remembering and Yearning”, “Penalty”, “This Is an Untold Secret” and “Underpass”. “A Trip with Mom”won the Canadian Short Film Award, the Best Short Film Award in the UK, the "Best Actress Award" in the Taipei Film Festival, the "Special Mention Award" of the Taiwan International Women's Film Festival, and the Beijing Film Academy International Student Film and TV Works Exhibition "Excellent Work Award" (the only Chinese film award).

Yoruba Richen is an award winning documentary filmmaker who directed films in the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website -The Cut, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her last film, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel to record audiences and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. Yoruba’s previous documentary, The New Black won multiple festival awards and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. She also won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day.

Yibing Jiang is a first-time director of the animation short film Windup, occupying the roles of Writer, Director, Art Director, and Technical Artist. Her previous work as an artist in various projects in the game and animation film industry for more than ten years. Her professional experience ranges from Naughty Dog, Pixar, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Mariona Lloreta is a Spanish-American multidisciplinary artist working internationally in film, photography, visual art and dance. Her insatiable thirst for exploring and documenting communities around the world has brought her to transcend the boundaries of her native Barcelona to work and live in Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, China, Italy and the United States. Mariona's films are produced under her production company Foogaz Pictures, LLC. Recent projects include producing short film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short novel story “On Monday of Last Week” (directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu).

Susani Mahadura, producer and presenter of the award-winning radio show "Mahadura & Özberkan", has become a household name in Finnish media.

Jess Colquhoun is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer. Splitting her time between London and Los Angeles, Jess aims to explore people and subcultures with a focus on social and environmental change and impact. Her documentaries ‘Valley Of A Thousand Hills’ (Best Family Film - San Francisco Film Festival 2017) and ‘The Black Mambas’ (Winner Glamour Magazine x Girl Gaze #NewView Film Competition 2017) are two fine examples of her attention to heart and detail. Her series of photographs entitled ‘Fired Up!’ was recently exhibited at the historic Wiltern Theatre. Clients include Apple Music, FOX, Levi’s, Vice and Pepsi.


Jerrie Johnson is an Actress, Poet, and Arts Activist. She has graduated from the American Conservatory Theater with her MFA in acting and has since been seen in Freeforms Good Trouble. Before the Quarantine she had been filming The Untitled Tracy Oliver Project as a series Regular alongside Grace Byers, Meagan Good, and Shoniqua Shandai. Jerrie also is an advocate for fresh food accessibility in underserved neighborhoods, a spiritual advisor, and a wellness coach. She is currently working on a memoir on her healing journey as a queer black femme creative. You can follow personal page on Instagram @thejerriejohnson and her wellness page @earthfoodgoddess

Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. is a Co-Founder of SFBATCO. He made his Broadway debut in “The Book of Mormon” and was last seen at American Conservatory Theatre in the West Coast premiere of “Toni Stone”. Prior to that he traveled North America in the first national tour of “Motown: The Musical.” A San Francisco native who built his love and foundation for art and theatre in public city organizations such as SFartsEd, San Francisco Recreation and Park’s Young People’s Teen Musical Theater Company, and the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts’ where he graduated from the theatre department. He is now the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company. Other theatre credits: Berkeley Repertory “Ain’t Too Proud: the life and times of the Temptations”, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company “I, Too, Sing America”. @rodneyearljacksonjr

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