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Kathleen Bertrand

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The BronzeLens Film Festival BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia, is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, that is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. Its mission is two-fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers. Since its inception, BronzeLens producers have brought national and worldwide attention to Atlanta, helping to showcase the city as a leader in the thriving film industry. In 2017 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved BronzeLens as a qualifying festival for the Short Film Awards category. The short film that receives the BronzeLens Best Short Award may now be eligible to enter the Academy’s Short Subject competition for the concurrent season. 2019 BronzeLens Sponsors 2019 BronzeLens Sponsors include BET Networks, WarnerMedia (Turner, WB, HBO, Otter), BETHer, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dihvinely Konnected Productions, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, AARP-Georgia, Fulton County Film Commission, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Film Office, Southern Company Gas, Dekalb Entertainment Commission, Georgia Power, AEE Productions, Bobbcat Films Studio, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead, Entertainment Partners/Movie Magic, IslandJon Vodka, Talero Tequila, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and The Sai Sai Group, Inc. Media Partners (Rolling Out, WSB-TV Atlanta, WAOK, Oz Publishing, and THEA).

Spelman University

With a long career full of accolades for promoting Atlanta as a diverse destination, it was no surprise to many when Kathleen Bertrand began talking in 2009 about a new film festival to attract people of color to Atlanta’s growing film industry. From a discussion with her then CEO William Pate at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, to talks with film enthusiasts and potential film partners, Bertrand began to assemble the team and resources needed to launch what was to become BronzeLens Film Festival, a non-profit organization. Her college friend and TV executive, Sheryl Gripper, became the first executive director of the festival. Gripper’s associate and Emmy-winning producer Deidre McDonald came on board and remains as the festival’s first artistic director. While everybody knew about Tyler Perry’s Atlanta-based empire, Bertrand and her colleagues created a platform for broader engagement in the industry for people of color and in a way that showcased Atlanta and its history and culture. Under Bertrand’s visionary leadership as executive producer, BronzeLens has grown to receive attention and accolades from across the country and around the world. It is a charter member of ARRAY (formerly AFFRM), the film distribution network founded by producer/director Ava DuVernay in 2011. BronzeLens has been mentioned in articles about film diversity in publications such as the New York Times, the LA Times, and Ebony Magazine. In late 2016, the festival was named as an Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival for the Short Film Award. This tremendous honor is one of only two in the state of Georgia, and one of only 2 such designations in the country for film festivals that support the work of people of color. In its most recent film season, the festival received film submissions from 35 countries around the world. Most recently, BronzeLens received 2 “Best of Atlanta” Awards from Atlanta Magazine: “Best Showcase for New Filmmakers,” and “Best Place to Break into the Film Industry.” Bertrand has received numerous awards for her work with BronzeLens. In 2016, she was given the Georgia Highlight Award, as part of the annual Georgia Film Gala. In 2018, she received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from her alma mater Spelman College, which honored her careers in both hospitality and the film industry. Additionally, in 2018, she was inducted into the Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame, which also honored her dual careers in film and in hospitality. Early this year she received the Spiritual Enlightenment Award from the Trumpet Awards, and was honored at PNC Bank Celebrates Atlanta's African American Creative Community in February.

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