The Black Women Film Network Salutes Our 2011 Winners
Cassi Davis - Cassi Davis, a Holly Springs, Miss., native, is a thespian of stage and film, appearing in many Tyler Perry Productions, including Madea Goes to Jail, Daddy’s Little Girls and Madea’s Family Reunion. She has also appeared on Living Single, Chicago Hope, Women Thou Art Loose and School Daze. A graduate of Spelman College, Davis won a NAACP Theater Award for best supporting actress in 2004 from the Los Angeles Chapter.
Kim Fields - Known worldwide as an actress, starring in two long running series, "Facts of Life" and "Living Single"; both currently in worldwide syndication, she is also an award-winning director. For the past year and a half, with nearly 100 episodes under her belt, Kim has been the lead director this season for Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Brown’s” and “House of Payne.” Later this winter she will take on the while role as Supervising Producer and Director for an upcoming Tyler Perry comedy. Considered one of BET networks premier directors/producer Kim recently directed BET flagship scripted series, “Let’s Stay Together.” Additionally, she spent 5 years directing/producing the networks specials, events and documentaries.
As an acclaimed actress, Kim has accumulated numerous starring and guest starring roles, theater productions and TV movies including BET's "Hidden Blessings". Independent feature film credits include "An Uninvited Guest" with Mekhi Pheifer and the romantic comedy "Me & Mrs. Jones". Throughout her career, Kim has received cover and feature stories in the top magazines and newspapers. Her recent marriage to Christopher Morgan and the birth of their son Sabastian made news around the world. The new family received major coverage in People, JET AP Entertainment Tonight exclusives and the internet. Kim is also a noted and highly sought after keynote speaker, and remains in demand to share her knowledge about women’s issues, filmmaking, faith & family.
Needless to say, Kim has hit the ground running, to get the next 30 years of her multi-faceted career off to a flying start, giving God thanks for her many blessings every step of the way.
Omari Hardwick - is a Atlanta native. He was seen recently as Janet Jackson's husband in "For Colored Girls." Hardwick stars in the film "I Will Follow" which debuts in Atlanta March 11 at AMC Phipps. His co-stars are Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Blair Underwood. Hardwick was also featured in the TNT cop drama "Dark Blue." Hardwick is a founding member of Plan B Inc. Theater Group and a co-founder of Los Angeles Actor's Lounge.
Deanna Nowell - Deanna Nowell is an independent, Atlanta based, award-winning documentary, television and feature film editor with more than twelve years experience in the television/film industry. She has successfully completed projects for BET Networks, 2010 Census, CNN, Lightfoot Films, Turner Broadcasting, Gospel Music Channel, Converse, Rainforest Films, Symmetry Entertainment and Simmons Entertainment Group.
Some of Nowell’s credits include The Steve Harvey Project (Centric/BET Networks), As Written (Centric/BET Networks), Inside the NBA (TNT), Movie & Makeover (TBS), Cheating The Stillness: The World Of Julia Peterkin (Lightfoot Films) and the Sony/Screen Gem Studio Film, “Three Can Play That Game.” Highly respected and sought after in the television and film industry, Nowell received an award from the prestigious New York Film Festival for her documentary work along with recognition and honors from The National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences.
Nowell has a stellar portfolio that embodies a vast array of work that is nothing less than impressive. From feature film to television, promos and webisodes, Nowell is a multi-faceted producer/editor with an abundance of know-how and talent that positions her as “one to watch” as a future innovator in the television/film industry.
Keshia Knight Pulliam - is an American actress who was born in Newark, NJ on April 9th 1979. Keshia began her career at the age of nine months old in a national print ad for Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby Products. By the age of four Keshia had appeared in several national commercials, was a regular on “Sesame Street” and had the feature film the “Last Dragon” on her resume.
It was at the age of four that Keshia landed the role of “Rudy Huxtable”, the youngest daughter of Clair and Cliff Huxtable, on the iconic television show,” The Cosby Show” (1984-1992). For her work on "The Cosby Show" Keshia is the recipient of several NAACP Image Awards, Young Artist Awards, a People's Choice Award and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award and a host of other honors. Keshia to date is the youngest actress ever nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy Award.
During the Run of the Cosby Show, Keshia stared in a host of TV movies, including the period holiday drama The Little Match Girl (1987), the Mark Twain update A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1989), and Debbie Allen’s musical version of Pollyanna, Polly (1989), as well as the sequel, Polly: Comin’ Home! (1990).
After The Cosby Show wrapped, Keshia took several years away from acting to concentrate on school. In 2001 she graduated with honors from Spelman College with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in film. Since graduating Keshia has resumed her acting Career in both television and film. She co-stared along side Queen Latifah in MGM’s Beauty Shop (2005), Boris Kodjoe and Idris Elba in Screen Gem’s “The Gospel” (2005), and most recently stared with Tyler Perry and Derek Luke as the female lead “Candace” in “Madea Goes to Jail” (2009).
Currently, Keshia stars as “Miranda” on the TBS sitcom “The House of Payne” which is entering into its 5th year of production. For her work on “The House of Payne” Keshia has won three NAACP Image Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Additionally, She has an Atlanta based Production Company, Kizzy Productions. Keshia splits her time between her suburban Atlanta home and LA residence.
Terri J. Vaughn - has entertained us on television for more than ten years. First, she stole America’s heart with her lovable portrayal of Lovita Alizay Jenkins on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Vaughn confesses, “I loved playing a character that grew up in the ‘hood and who worked hard to be positive because it was very close to my own life.” After that, Vaughn made her way to UPN’s “All of Us.” With her fun, energetic and wise portrayal of Jonelle Abrams, she once again brought life and laughter to the small screen. Now she brings Renee, a sexy, sassy and hilarious nurse, to life on Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns. But, before Vaughn ever had her first audition, she was growing up in a housing project in Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. Today, this woman is hell-bent on creating positive, inspirational experiences for other young women growing up in the projects. Out of her desire to give back to her community, in 1997, Vaughn started Take Wings Foundation. “We motivate, uplift and inspire young girls, 13 to18 years old, growing up in at risk communities and foster care, in the San Francisco Bay Area, to be positive, productive and successful. It’s truly amazing to watch them soar.”
Included on Vaughn’s resume is the Tyler Perry film “Daddy’s Little Girls,” where Vaughn gets to flex her acting chops as the bitchy Brenda, playing opposite Gabrielle Union and Idris Elba. She can also be seen in the independent dramedy, “Dirty Laundry,” starring opposite Rockmond Dunbar and Loretta Devine and “3 Can Play That Game,” where Vaughn is hilarious. Along with starring in other independent projects and conducting her Atlanta based acting workshop, Vaughn adds to her list of can-do’s, by producing and starring in the first film, under her and producing partner, Cas Siger’s production company, Nina Holiday Entertainment. “Angels Can’t Help But Laugh,” a documentary on black actresses and the climate of the business today. The piece has been uplifting and inspiring audiences in and out of the business. Nina Holiday Entertainment is currently in pre-production of their second film and developing their first television series.
Revealing her bright light even further, Vaughn recently penned her testimony of going through the turmoil of divorce into an inspirational and healing book. Already earning praise and accolades from professionals in the entertainment business, as well as doctors, therapists, counselors and pastors, expect to see her forthcoming book in bookstores sometime in 2011. Always smiling, unless she’s crying tears of happiness, Vaughn’s a girl from humble beginnings who tells everyone to “take wings.” Her infectious positive energy and altruistic spirit has enabled Terri J. Vaughn to soar right out of the projects and into the world of Hollywood and beyond.
Tirrell Whittley - is the visionary and executive leader of Liquid Soul Media (LSM). Since founding the company in 2001, it has grown into a full-service, award-winning Lifestyle Marketing Agency specializing in non-traditional marketing, media, and publicity for entertainment, faith, corporate, sports and non-profit organizations. LSM finds unobtrusive ways to integrate brands and marketing messages across lifestyle segments to maximize return on investment with measureable results. As a leader in modern marketing solutions, social-media, innovative campaigns and creative designs, LSM’s distinctive value-add approach has led to substantial yearly growth for the company.
As a creative thought leader in modern marketing strategy, Mr. Whittley and LSM have evolved into the leading go-to partner for major film and television studios looking to reach targeted audiences and drive box-office success and network ratings. LSM has provided marketing services for seven number one box office films, including The Princess and The Frog (Disney), The Town, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Warner Bros. Pictures) as well as more than forty box office films that produced over $600 million in revenue. They also spearheaded marketing efforts for cable televisions biggest sitcom hits, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet The Browns.
In 2008, LSM won an Effie Award for outstanding marketing results for the CNN Presents: Black In America campaign. In 2009, LSM provided marketing for CNN’s Black In America 2 and Latino In America documentaries. Outside of film and television, companies like American Cancer Society, Denny's Restaurant, Verizon Wireless and Pepsi have turned to LSM to effectively reach lifestyle audiences.
Mr. Whittley is an alumnus of Florida A&M University, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men of Atlanta and is an ordained deacon in his church. He also enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and listening to music. Whittley currently resides in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.