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AAFCA hosts Celebratory Events in ATL and LA for 'Women in Cinema'

Stephanie Allain

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) will present two programs in Los Angeles and Atlanta celebrating women in Hollywood. Both programs will take place on Saturday, March 23.


The Los Angeles program celebrates the career of trailblazing Hollywood producer and creative force Stephanie Allain. Presented in conjunction with American Cinematheque, Allain sits for an enlightening conversation about her Hollywood journey, touching on why she entered the industry, how she helped bring John Singleton’s Boyz-N-the-Hood to the big screen as well as films from Darnell Martin and Robert Rodriguez while working in the studio system, her career as a producer with such films as Hustle & Flow and Dear White People, the impact of women in Hollywood and more. The event, which includes a reception and a special screening of Allain's latest film, Juanita, starts at 3 p.m. and will be held at the Egyptian Theatre Hollywood (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028). 


In Atlanta, AAFCA welcomes Madeline Di Nonno, chief executive officer of the Geena David Institute on Gender in Media. In 2004, Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis founded the Institute to work “within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators, marketers and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconscious bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media that targets and influences children ages 11 and under.” 


Di Nonno, who oversees the Institute’s strategic direction, research, advocacy work and more, has an extensive media and Hollywood background and has worked in key capacities taking charge of digital content platforms, overseeing global brand marketing, branded franchise development and more for home entertainment and limited theatrical releases and more. Companies for which Di Nonno has worked include Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media, Nielsen EDI, Hallmark Channel, Universal Pictures, Target, Sony Pictures and more. Her conversation will take place at the Auburn Avenue Research Library (101 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303) during a day of programming celebrating and exploring the female presence in media from 1 to 4 p.m.


“Both Madeline and Stephanie epitomize the resiliency and excellence women have long demonstrated within the industry. They are trailblazers and role models who help to keep the important lineage of women creatives going. AAFCA is honored to be able to share their genius on the same day in two different cities and show young people in particular, women especially, that their future in Hollywood is especially bright.”


Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.