PANELS & WORKSHOPS

ACTORS PANEL

Thursday April 25th at 10AM

LOCATION: BLACKBIRD COFFEE

Meet these familiar faces from film and TV and hear what they have to say about: training, knowing your "type", career arc, union/non-union, Studio/Indie, GA/NY/CA markets, film/TV/theater, agents, live auditions/self-taping, headshots, acting/activism, acting/writing/directing/producing, balancing life/career, kids in the biz. There will be some time for audience Q and A. *Actors on panel are subject to change as casting sometimes happens with little notice.

CHARLES A BLACK

Charles A. Black has a distinguished life and  career spanning decades as an actor and voiceover artist in film and television as well as a civil rights activist. He has been a regular in such TV series as Containment (as Bert) and In the Heat of the Night (as Councilman Grover Dorsey). Mr. Black is a champion of universal human and civil rights issues with a history as Chairman of the Atlanta Student Movement and as a student under Martin Luther King, Jr. at Morehouse College. He was first arrested at the age of 19 for standing up against segregation in the Atlanta area. His latest film role is in “Reckoning”, which had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival earlier this month. Charles is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is represented by People Store.

JENNA KANELL

Jenna Kanell  is a SAG-AFTRA actor ("The Front Runner," "Terrifier," "The Bye Bye Man," in addition to TV) and stunt performer. She delivered a TEDx Talk on her short film Bumblebees, which after its worldwide, award-winning festival run led her to speak at institutions such as Harvard Medical School and the National Inclusion Institute. She wrote and directed "Max & The Monster," which premiered on the opening night of the Austin Film Festival, and directed "#Slut," which has gone on to win awards for "Best Director" and "Social Justice." She is represented by Alexander White Agency.

VIVIANA CHAVEZ

Viviana Chavez, an Atlanta native, has been working professionally in the ATL film industry since 2010. She double majored in Theatre and Video Production at the University of Georgia where she fell in love with working as an actress and a producer. In front of the camera, you can catch Vivi on The Walking Dead, Homeland, Dynasty, Drop Dead Diva, Baby Driver and more. Behind the lens, Vivi has produced online video content for numerous commercial clients and is currently diving into producing story-driven narratives. She is also a co-founder of Latinas In Media Atlanta (LIMA), whose mission is to build a community and a platform to advocate the representation of Latin(a/o/x) talent. LIMA recently partnered with the award-winning Aurora Theatre to co-produce the first ever MicroTeatro one-act play weekend in Atlanta. Viviana has a passion for the Atlanta film market and believes we can cultivate a self-sustaining industry through a foundation of collaboration and not competition. She is represented by People Store.

Moderator: SHERI MANN STEWART

Sheri is a native Atlantan and a Director/Actor/Writer/Producer for Film/TV/Theater with a career spanning four decades in CA, NY, and now back home. She grew up being a charter member and child actor with Athens Creative Theater and witnessing her mother being appointed to the nation’s first official state TV and Film Commission here in GA in the 1970’s, created by then-Governor Jimmy Carter.  Mentored by the famed Stella Adler, Sheri provides a central voice role for the acclaimed Italian feature “Bullied to Death” and plays Judge Cynthia Thornton in "Trial By Fire” with Laura Dern and directed by Ed Zwick, coming to theaters in May. Other feature films include “My Fellow Americans”, “Table 19”, and Tyler Perry’s two “Why Did I Get Married” films and his upcoming “A Fall From Grace” as well as being on both sides of the camera for numerous shorts at festivals, including several at Milledgeville. She was Co-Writer of the web series pilot “Skin Deep the Series” and was a 2018 selected FILMER for Art Serenbe. Sheri’s  most recent directorial short, “When We Were” won Best Cinematography out of 90 films in the 2018 48 Hr. Film Fest Atlanta.  She has served on faculties at the Alliance Theater, Emory University, Goizueta School, Baruch College, and The Art Institute, and she coaches privately. Sheri is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity, and the Alliance of Women Directors and is represented by People Store. She is endlessly proud of her sons, actors and all around good people, Tendal and Royce Mann.