On our April 27, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined Moikgantsi Kgama of ImageNation as she spoke from the perspective of the cultural organizations that bring indie films into local communities. She discussed the potential broader impact of COVID-19 on the industry and the general theater-going experience, as we all wonder: what will the exhibition space look like after the pandemic has ended?
This discussion was moderated by NYWIFT Board VP of Programming Leslie Fields-Cruz.
Moikgantsi Kgama an audience development specialist with a reputation for excellence in her field. Her credits include: I Will Follow, the Academy Award-nominated Trouble the Water, Killer Sheep, and Lumumba to name a few. She is also the founder of the ImageNation Cinema Foundation. A Harlem-based nonprofit media arts organization, ImageNation presents progressive media by and about people of color, with the goal of establishing a chain of art-house cinemas dedicated to these works. Through a variety of public exhibitions and programs, ImageNation fosters media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlights the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide.
ImageNation is currently developing its existing RAW SPACE Culture Gallery into a 60-seat, boutique cinema-café dedicated to Black and Latino film, music and culture. This social enterprise will be located in Harlem along the historic Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Moikgantsi’s accolades include being named one of “25 Women Who Are Shaping the World” by Essence Magazine, receiving the Trailblazer Award from Reel Sisters Film Festival, and a proclamation from the City of New York for her work with ImageNation. Moikgantsi earned a BS in Newspaper Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. She serves as the Director of Communications at Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc.
Leslie Fields-Cruz started at BPM, formerly National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. By 2005, she was the Director of Programming, leading the distribution of all funded programs to public television. In 2008, with six independent titles in need of a public television broadcast, Leslie launched AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, a documentary series highlighting the variety and depth of the global black experience. AfroPoP has garnered several awards and is the only national public television series focused solely on stories from the black experience. In the fall of 2014, Leslie became BPM’s third Executive Director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the black experience.
NYWIFT Talks is a new weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more.