Tanya Kersey is passionate about helping indie filmmakers make creatively, critically and financially successful films..
While being wildly known as The Filmmaker’s Success MentorTM, Tanya is probably best known as the Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) which she launched in 1998. Through the film festival, Tanya has helped discover and launch the careers of nearly 1,000 independent filmmakers from over 25 countries around the world. She has also created complementary platforms to showcase and develop filmmakers’ projects -- the Infotainment Conference, the HBFF Cinema Lounge, the HBFF Screening Series, the HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit, and the HBFF Storyteller Competition.
Named an Urban Hollywood Mover and Shaker by Daily Variety, Tanya also runs The Kersey Group, a boutique film consulting firm that works with individuals, businesses, organizations, universities and government agencies. The consultancy offers a broad range of services including entertainment and indie film consulting, film development, script analysis, film business and marketing plans, social media strategies, distribution strategies, and event production (film festivals, conferences and workshops).
Prior to the film festival and consulting firm, Tanya was the founder and CEO of the entertainment industry trade publication, Black Talent News and its companion website, . As a well-known entertainment journalist, she covered a variety of high-profile events such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Indie Spirit Awards, SAG Awards, BET Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards.
Tanya conducted countless celebrity interviews with such luminaries as Oscar winners Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman and Mo’Nique, as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, and Angela Bassett. And she was frequently seen reviewing films on Reelz Channel’s “Reelz in the Round,” and talking about celebrity lives on the Biography Channel’s “Famous.” Finally, Tanya was a staple on “Samm Brown for the Record” on KPFK as a contributor and co-host, and she produced and hosted the popular Internet radio show, “Inside Urban Hollywood.”
Tanya is a popular public speaker and workshop leader who has spoken for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Businesswire, Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference, Columbia College, Writers Boot Camp Diversity Business Brunch, the Institute for International Film Financing, and Showbiz Expo, to name just a few.
Tanya hosts and produces her own web TV talk show, “Reel Talk with Tanya,” the show for thoughtful and engaging conversations about the business of making successful independent films. Her first book, Black State of the Arts (1988) was long considered the Bible for black performing artists who wanted to break into the entertainment industry. Her forthcoming book, The Tanya Principle: 10 Secrets To Your Breakthrough Filmmaker Success is scheduled for a Winter 2019 release.
Tanya began her career as an actress and model in NYC after she graduated from Douglass College/Rutgers University in the 1980s.
Tanya loves helping filmmakers get started on the road to Hollywood success, growing their careers and selling their films, by sharing her knowledge and experience.
“When I was starting out, I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes so I learned by trial and error, wasting lots of time and thousands of dollars. The good news is, you don’t have to. I’m here to share my years of knowledge and experience to guide and direct you towards making the right moves, the right way, so you can achieve the career success you’ve been dreaming of.”
Tanya’s latest projects include growing her 2,500 member strong Facebook group, the Breakthrough Filmmaker Success Support Group (.filmmaker.success/). The group is an exclusive peer support, networking and masterminding community for filmmakers interested in taking their careers to the next level.
Another project is her recently formed Meetup Group called the Hollywood Black Film Industry Meetup ().
The Hollywood Black Film Industry Meetup is an Exclusive and Professional Peer Support, Networking and Masterminding Community. Join this group to network with black screenwriters, filmmakers, performers, producers, studio and network professionals, agents, managers, attorneys and more. Through the Meetup Group you can meet, connect, collaborate and network with other members at specially-curated informational, networking, cultural and other industry events.
Tanya recently fulfilled a longtime dream and launched her Breakthrough Filmmaker Success Academy (BFSA), The Academy is billed as “The Netflix for Filmmaker Information, Education and Transformation.” BFSA was born out of a need for filmmakers to have a community and ongoing coaching and mentoring so they can effectively grow their careers and get their films financed, seen and sold. It is founded on the principal that education is a vital part of a successful filmmaking career because it gives people the practical skills and tools they need to navigate the Hollywood and the film industry, and be victorious in whatever challenges they face. The 60+ courses in the academy are compiled as a realistic, step-by-step game plan that lays out all the things you must do to take your movie idea from script to screen. For more info: .
Next up for Tanya is to take her show on the road. She wants to do a 2020-21 speaking tour where she takes her “Tell Your Story and Get Your Film Financed, Seen & Sold Workshop” around the world,
Tanya is a graduate of Douglass College at Rutgers University. She has two daughters and two grandsons who are the loves of her life.