Tanya Kersey / 1961–2022

Tanya Kersey
Photography by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Tanya Kersey, founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, passed away in July 2022. Recognized as a champion of Black cinematic talent in the United States and worldwide, Kersey DC’83 was the force behind the creation of the showcase described as “the Black Sundance.” After graduating, Kersey ventured into modeling and acting. In 1994, she launched a trade publication, Black Talent News, and soon developed an industry following. With the film festival, she brought together well-known and emerging entertainment figures and screened more than 1,000 films from independent producers in the United States and other nations.