“Listen To What I Say” Report: Presentation & Panel Discussion – RECAP Video

Navigating the Business, Art and Challenges of Film & Mediamaking- Virtual Nov. 14, 2022 7pm

Presentation of “Listen to What I Say” Report, commissioned by SIFTMedia 215 Collective, followed by a panel discussion.

Check Out RECAP of the Event below :

Full video will soon be available on Vimeo.

About this Event:

In August 2022, SIFTMedia 215 released the report, “Listen To What I Say”, which aimed to examine the landscape of navigating the business, art, and challenges of film & mediamaking, affecting Women of Color (WOC). The survey looks specifically at the experiences of black and brown women and gender-fluid filmmakers in Philadelphia and the surrounding area; including those who currently reside in other parts of the country but had original roots in Philadelphia.

Now it’s time to hear from you.

Join us on Monday, November 14th at 7 pm, when survey architect, Eboni Zamani, will present her findings and hold an open Q & A. Following the presentation will be a panel discussion of the survey, an examination of the issues from varying perspectives, and a search for solutions to the challenges many WOC filmmakers face.

Joining us for the Panel Discussion are:

  • Marla Campbell Harris (Moderator) Creative Producer/Host
  • Cheryl Bedford, Women of Color Unite
  • Raheem Manning, Nightlife Director in the Commerce Dept.
  • Ciarra Lambert, Chair of the Arts & Culture Taskforce
  • Stephanie Renee, Media Influencer


Click “Listen To What I Say” Report to View on ISSUU


Funded by the Philadelphia Assembly and the Independence Public Media Foundation.

eboni-headshot_squareEboni Zamani (Filmmaker and Producer )was hired as the Survey Architect and Researcher. The first step in her process was to develop survey questions which would accurately collect pertinent arts and culture data, reflecting each participant’s own experience regardless of the stage of their careers.

“In the past two years, we’ve heard a lot about the challenges, successes and frustrations of Philly Black and Brown Women Filmmakers. SIFT wanted to better understand how to move the conversation forward.”

 – Eboni Zamani, Study Architect

Marla Campbell Harris HeadshotModerator: Marla Campbell Harris is a creative producer, host, and strategist based in Philadelphia. Her work focuses on the intersections of art, culture, and media. Most recently Marla served on the Communications Team for the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival. She has worked with ARRAY (formerly known as the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement) and continues to collaborate with GirlTrek Philly, Leading While_, and the Uniquely You Girls Summit to name a few.

Cheryl L. Bedford Professional HeadshotCheryl L. Bedford, a NAACP Image Award Nominee for “Dark Girls” and Baltimore native, holds a BFA from NYU’s TSOA and MFA in Producing from AFI. She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. As a Production Manager, Line Producer, and Producer, Cheryl has worked on countless film/tv/digital projects, including 17 Independent Features. Ms. Bedford served as CFO and Supervising Producer for a boutique studio. She was formerly Chair of Diversity Development and a Producing Instructor at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California. As Chair, Ms. Bedford developed the Diversity Series, the Industry Lab (creating a bridge from school to work), among other initiatives. She has also taught The Art of Line Producing at UCLA Extension in Westwood, CA. She is a currently a producer on The Early Smith Story and #VoteLove, both currently in development. Ms. Bedford formed her own company, Cheryl L. Bedford Productions, in January of 2001. In her spare time, she judges film festivals.

logo-WOCUMore recently, Ms. Bedford founded Women of Color Unite, a 501(c)(3), which purpose is to help WOC get Hired, their projects Funded and their content Distributed. From the members of WOCU, Cheryl created The JTC List. The JTC List is a database of 5600+ Women of Color in Entertainment, which is being shared throughout the Industry. Never again will someone be able to say, they can’t find any WOC for any job above or below the line. The list is named after her mother, Joan Theresa Curtis, an activist, warrior and Ms. Bedford’s biggest fan, who passed away in 2016. For more information: wocunite.org

Raheem Manning Headshot_croppedRaheem Manning, Philadelphia-based business development professional with years of experience spanning entrepreneurship, civic engagement, marketing, and advertising along with arts and culture advocacy roles is the City’s First Night Time Economy Director. Raheem serves with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Office of Business Development & Workforce Solutions effective July 11, 2022. In this newly created role, Manning will lead public engagement efforts to develop a strategic governance plan and advocate for policies that support the City’s attraction and retention of companies within its night-time economy. Raheem will convene ecosystem partnerships for the night-time economy that will make it easier to operate a successful business in Philadelphia while enhancing our city as a thriving, diverse destination for all.

Previously, Manning served as the Co-Chair of the City’s Arts and Culture Task Force for two fiscal years. During his time, Manning coordinated with City leadership and legislators to advocate for effective changes that strengthen Philadelphia’s night-time economy. Manning conducted community-based research with stakeholders to prepare recommendations that support Philadelphia’s arts, culture, and nightlife sectors. 

As the Founder of The Weekender Experiences LLC, Raheem has been providing innovative leisure travel services, and curated events for black professionals in America. 

Ciarra Lambert HeadshotCiarra Lambert, also known by her stage name Queen Jo (QJ), is a lyrical firebrand whose artistry is amplified by her role as house emcee for many events throughout the city. Cleopatra’s Rapture marked QJ’s 2014 debut. Crowned “Philadelphia’s Best New Artist of the Year,” QJ played her first major gig at the Firefly Music Festival the same year. In 2017, after the election and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, QJ collaborated with several local artists to create and perform at Pussy Claps Back, an annual fundraising benefit show that supports young girls’ health and arts initiatives. In 2018, QJ was featured on Okayplayer. After opening for Jungle Pussy, WXPN dubbed her “a little bit boom-bap, a little bit house, and a whole lot of sexual liberation.”

She released Broad Street Bella in 2019. Queen Jo has performed with Ursula Rucker, Planet Booty, The Skins and Lion Babe. Queen Jo is a 2020 alum of Black Thought’s hip-hop master class, which culminated in a performance at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. Queen Jo’s other recent achievements include a 2021 appointment to serve as co-chair of Philadelphia’s Arts & Culture Taskforce. Since her 2021 appointment, under her leadership, the Philadelphia Arts & Culture taskforce has contributed in getting over $2.5 million in grant money for artists and securing the nightlife mayor position for the city of Philadelphia.

Stefanie Renee headshotStephanie Renee is an award-winning broadcast producer, writer, filmmaker, grassroots organizer, and message crafter with over 30 years of experience in entertainment, journalism, and public policy. She is the former Program Director and on-air host of “The Mojo” at WURD Radio Philadelphia and while at the station launched WURD Backstage, a video interview series featuring notable stars of stage and screen including pianist Jason Moran, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and Golden Globe Award winning director Ava DuVernay.

Directly out of college, Stephanie formed her own creative agency Creator’s Child Productions, Inc., and in 2002, Soul Sanctuary, Inc. was launched as a nonprofit arts education foundation rooted in uplifting and celebrating urban culture, through which Stephanie shot her first full-length documentary, NO SUCH THING AS NEOSOUL. Soul Sanctuary now operates as an audio streaming platform, offering music, original content and more than 17 years of archived material from Stephanie’s various music and talk podcasts.

Stephanie also has had an extensive career as a musical theater actor and recording artist. Her forays into house music landed her a stint as resident vocalist for dance club The Clinic in Singapore. She now serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Marketing for The ROZ Group, a strategic planning and communications firm.

About SIFTMedia 215 Collective: SIFT means Sisters in Film & Television. SIFTMedia 215 is a cooperative that centers Black and Latinx women-identified independent media artists who work in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. As filmmakers, we seek to educate ourselves and the wider community by creating socially conscious, culturally relevant work that challenges mainstream narratives and structures. Our mission is to use our collective strength to amplify the work of and create meaningful opportunities for Black and Latinx Women content creators by providing a community of support to share resources, skills, and creative space.

About Independence Public Media Foundation: IPMF seeks to build power with communities across Greater Philadelphia by investing in community-owned media and community-led media-making. We support work that amplifies voices, ideas, and solutions rarely heard in mainstream media.

About  Philadelphia Assembly: Formed in 2019, The Philadelphia Assembly is a collective of culture bearers who share a commitment to the practice of arts, culture, and equitable community development and reflects the people who are here, committed, and doing the work to “keep the place.”

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