My Image Studios (MIST), a $21 million dollar entertainment center opening this summer in Harlem, has named independent marketing and distribution firm Autonomous Entertainment, and Creatively Speaking, the annual curated film series celebrating realistic portrayals of people of color, film programming partners. The respective teams from Autonomous and Creatively Speaking will work alongside MIST’s Director of Programming Alexa Birdsong, MIST Director of Production Melvin McCray, and MIST Chief Marketing Officer Taneshia Nash Laird in managing the programming and marketing for theatrical exhibitions at MIST.
“The teams at Autonomous and Creatively Speaking are recognized leaders in the promotion of multicultural film,” said Roland Laird, CEO of MIST. “I’m excited that we can now provide the MIST senior management team with a group of consultants with such extensive knowledge and resources as it advances us towards our goal of being the premiere destination for entertainment and culture of the entire African and Latino Diaspora.”
Autonomous Entertainment (AEI) is a New York-based boutique marketing, distribution and management consultancy firm. Cedric Beasley, AEI’sVice President, Director of Strategic Marketing and Paul Gennaro, AEI’s Vice President of Production, will have a leading role in the creation and exhibition of a dynamic daily film program specializing in culture related to the Black and Latino Diaspora at MIST. Working alongside MIST staff, AEI’s responsibilities will involve acquiring and booking commercial product; establishing and managing a pre-show rolling stock program, serve as a liaison to film industry organizations. In addition, AEI will work with MIST Staff taking a leading role in the creation of strategic marketing and planning programs specific to MIST’s theatrical offerings.
Creatively Speaking will manage and oversee a substantial number MIST’s culturally-based festivals and special screenings throughout the year. This exciting marketing partnership will be re-branded as Creatively Speaking at MIST. Serving as MIST’s lead curator and liaison will be Michelle Materre, the managing director of the program. Ms. Materre will also act in a supervisory capacity with AEI for all strategic marketing and planning activities of programs this partnership brings to MIST. By joining forces with MIST, Materre and Beasley will continue and exponentially expand the work they’ve done and relationships garnered on a far broader scale. Ideas for upcoming programs include: specially curated programs that highlight the work of African American and Latina women filmmakers; programs that feature the work of early pioneers in black independent filmmaking such as Oscar Micheaux, in a series entitled Classic Black ; as well as programs that incorporate innovative, up and coming media utilizing the latest in forward looking technology.
Ms. Materre delightedly stated, “This partnership enables us to have ongoing access to a state of the art, artistically designed, destination location triplex cinema where independent film and video can live and prosper. We are elated to be working with MIST Director of Programming Alexa Birdsong as well as the masterminds behind this project, and the three ‘new best friends’ of our creative community, Walter Edwards, Carlton Brown, and Roland Laird .”
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