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Reel Sisters supports films directed, written & produced by women of color. Help us present our 16 Anniversary Festival on Oct. 12 & 13!
Carolyn Butts
Brooklyn, New York
United States
4 Team Members

Reel Sisters Film Festival 2013 is sponsored by African Voices

Thanks to Everyone for making Reel Sisters' campaign a success!

We still need your support! 

You can donate directly to:


Mail: Reel Sisters c/o African Voices, 270 W. 96th Street, New York, NY 10025. Thanks for your tax-deductible donation.

16th Anniversary Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series

I founded Reel Sisters after spending two years raising money to finance Underground Voices, a short film on the poetry movement in Brooklyn.  I learned that African-American women direct less than one percent of mainstream films.

As a publisher, writer and arts organizer, I decided to do something to change the statistics. I shared the idea of starting a film festival for women filmmakers with Rodney Hurley, the director of the Kumble Theater for Performing Arts at Long Island Unniversity, Brooklyn Campus.

Rodney loved the idea and Brooklyn's first women-based film festival was born! LIU has played host to this festival since 1997. The festival has presented more than 400 films and has given approximately $6,000 in cash to promising filmmakers and screenwriters to pursue career opportunities.

The festival is presented by African Voies Communications, Inc., a non-profit arts organization celebrating 21 years of providing a home for artists of color.


A small group of dynamic women and fellow artists devoted to connecting women with audiences to celebrate their stories! Each year, Reel Sisters screens 25 to 35 films from women across the country and globe. Reel Sisters often features films that reflect issues important to women and their communities.

The video at the top of our campaign gives you a small slice of some films from our Reel Sisters Film Festival 2010.


Maitefa Angaza: Associate Director of the Reel Sisters Film Festival and the co-producer of "In Our Heads About Our Hair," a film celebrating Black hair.  She is the managing editor of African Voices and author of "Kwanzaa: From Holiday to Every Day."

Patrice Bradshaw: A founding member of Reel Sisters and the Reel Sisters Lecture Series Director. She is a documenatary filmmaker who has also spent 20 years working in the not-for-profit field.

Carolyn A. Butts: Publisher of African Voices magazine and Founder/Festival Director of Reel Sisters Film Festival.

Nazalima Durham: Education Advisor for the Reel Sisters Teen Section and an education training specialist for the NYC Dept. of Education.

Rhonda Haynes: The Reel Sisters Film Festival Curator and producer/director of "Bringin' In Da Spirit," a film celebrating African-American mid-wives.

Maat Kesa (Paulette Tabb): Reel Sisters Audience Outreach Coordinator.

Pittershawn Palmer: Reel Sisters Film Festival Coordinator and the author of "Words..Loving Emotions, Poems to Awaken The Soul."


Help Us Raise $10,000 to Support Women Filmmakers!

REEL SISTERS will celebrate our 16th Anniversary on October 12 & 13, 2013! Our goal is to raise money to produce the best ever film festival! Your support will help us pay our guests and offer special benefits to our filmmakers. 

• Filmmakers Reception - a special reception where filmmakers can meet industry professionals such as film distributors and angel investors.

• Screening Costs, Guest Speakers & Workshop Presenters - LIU, Kumble Theater donates the screening room for our Teen Section but the festival pays for the two-day film screenings, guest speakers and workshop presenters.

• Reel Sisters Awards Ceremony - We host an annual Awards Ceremony honoring pioneering women who have made contributions to the film industry and our preserving our film heritage. The festival honors the women directors giving such awards as BEST DIRECTOR, BEST FILM, REEL SISTERS SPIRIT AWARD, etc. 

Reel Sisters goal is to raise $10,000 to match the $9,500 raised so far from local grants!


We're offering some exciting perks from opportunities to meet the filmmakers at a special pre-festival Filmmakers Reception to receiving our collectors' items 15th Anniversary t-shirts and festival passes that will allow you to enjoy the wonderful films in our 2012 festival!

Please view the perks list for specific details on your rewards!


Reel Sisters has screened more than 400 films from women filmmakers from across the world! Your contribution will add to the important body of work, dialogue and distribution of films presented by women of African, Latino, Native American and Asian descent. The women filmmakers in past festivals have represented women living in Jamaica, Africa, India, China, Britain, Canada as well as across the United States.

Past films screened at Reel Sisters Fest:

BEFORE THEY DIE:The story of the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and their quest for justice. There are 45 survivors still alive today.  

LITTLE BROTHER: Beginning in Camden, New Jersey, the traveling series of short documentary films known as Little Brother will give Black boys a unique voice. Director/Producer: Nicole Franklin. Co-Producer: Jasmin Tiggett.

BROOKLYN'S BRIDGE TO JORDAN: After losing her life partner in a car accident, a woman with a buried secret must not only fight to keep the couple’s estranged teenage son from her partner’s intolerant brother. Director/Writer: Tina Mabry.

URBAN LULLABY: A stressed-out artist is at the breaking point in her noisy Bronx neighborhood. Director/Producer: Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez.

CHINA TODAY: A documentary about five women in China from different age, social and economic groups. Director: Runtoo Giri.

THE COLOR OF FUNNY:  Five women reveal the passion, pain, obstacles and rewards of being women of color stand-up comedians. Director: Kim Singleton.

AMERICAN RED AND BLACK: This intimate film follows six Afro-Natives from around the U.S. as they reflect upon the personal and complex issues of African and Native heritage. Director: Alicia Woods.

DRAMA MAMAS: BLACK WOMEN THEATRE DIRECTORS REMEMBERED: Passion celebrates a panel of Black women theatre directors. These pioneering women include Shaunille Perry, Billie Allen, Seret Scott, Veona Thomas and Gertrude Jeanette. Director: Passion.

JUMP AT THE SUN: A documentary on the life of anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston. Producer: Kristy Andersen. Director: Sam Pollard.


Other Ways You Can Help

If you are unable to contribute, you can help us by sharing our fundraising campaign with friends and family. Please post it to your Facebook page and send a personalized message to your family and friends.


You can make a difference by volunteering and enjoying a life changing experience of being a Reel Sisters Team member!

Please call: (347) 534-3304 or (212) 865-2982.

For more information visit:



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$1,500 USD goal
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This campaign ended on August 26, 2013
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Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Reel Fans

    You will get a special thank you in our Reel Sisters Festival journal.

    5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $25USD
    Reel Sisters Producer I

    Perk mentioned above, plus one ticket to our annual awards ceremony on Oct. 13, 2013 at the Kumble Theater, LIU, Brooklyn. Tickets will be held at the door.

    16 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $50USD
    Reel Producer II

    A Reel Sisters T-shirt and thank you in our program journal. Please e-mail your size (otherwise, it will be delivered as a large).

    4 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $100USD
    Reel Producer III

    A Reel Sisters coffee mug, thank you on our website and program journal.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $150USD
    Reel Sisters Producer IV

    Two tickets to the Reel Sisters Awards ceremony, thank you listing on the website and company journal.

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $300USD
    Reel Sisters Producer V

    Two-day access pass to Reel Sisters Film Festival and awards ceremony. Thank you listing in company journal and website.

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
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