Hosted by: The Blackhouse Foundation and Diverse Representation
Discover the unique career paths to the value-added role of Talent Representative with our distinguished panel of agents, managers, attorneys, and publicists. This conversation is about getting in the room to have a seat at the table while building a community of savvy negotiators to help talent realize their dreams. Moderated by Diverse Representation Founder, Jaia Thomas.
About the Blackhouse Foundation
The Blackhouse Foundation was founded in 2007 to expand career opportunities for Black multi-platform content creators and build an enhanced pipeline for executives within film, television, digital, and emerging platforms.
About Diverse Representation
The mission of Diverse Representation is to increase the hiring and exposure of Black agents, attorneys, managers, and publicists in the sports and entertainment industries.
This year the Tribeca Film Festival collaborates with the Blackhouse Foundation and Diverse Prepresentation to provide space for behind-the-scenes discussions on career advancement and thought-provoking conversations with creators and executives.
Part of the Expressions of Black Freedom programming. Sponsored by:
Noel Tedla Mesfin joined WME as an Agent in Production in September 2020. Mesfin is currently a Motion Picture Lit Agent. Prior to his new position at WME, Mesfin worked on the Sundance 2019 selection As Told To G/D Thyself which is directed by the Ummah Chroma, an international artist’s collective that includes Terence Nance, Jenn Nkiru, Marc Thomas, Kamasi Washington and Bradford Young. He continued his working relationship with Nance and Young on the forthcoming Space Jam, New Legacy at Warner Bros. starring LeBron James.
A first-generation Ethiopian-American, Mesfin is originally from the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated from Duke University and holds a J.D. from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. He has also spent time working in Democratic politics, organizing during Tim Kaine’s Virginia gubernatorial run.
Michelle Huff Elliott is an experienced New York-based entertainment publicist and the co-founder of Strategic Heights Media, LLC. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Bennett College and her master’s degree in marketing from LaSalle University. Upon graduation, she began her career in Los Angeles at Virgin Records as the International Marketing Director where she worked with artists such as Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, The Neptunes, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones. After working in Los Angeles, Michelle moved to New York and started her own company HUFF Events & PR, a full-service event planning and media relations boutique agency which she later merged with Simone Smalls PR to launch Strategic Heights Media, LLC. Past and present clients include recording artist Ashanti, Grammy-nominated singer Tamia, NBA superstar Grant Hill, actor Kel Mitchell, Casio, Ford Motor Company, Museum for African Art, BET Networks, EBONY, Style Week Jamaica, aspireTV, Stand Up For Family Comedy Tour, UNCF, USA Track & Field, ALLBLK, WE tv, TV One, ASCAP, IFC Networks, Harper Collins, and more.
Janine Beach is the founder of Phoenix Entertainment Law, a firm representing talent and production companies, with offices in New York and Toronto. Janine advises on a full range of entertainment transactional matters, focusing on film, television, digital media and theater. She represents established and emerging directors, actors, writers, multi-hyphenates, influencers and hosts, and also advises production companies regarding the development, production and distribution of film and television projects. Janine has significant experience with clients pursuing international careers and projects, with a special focus on the African diaspora. Janine is a frequent public speaker and has lectured at NYU Tisch, London Film School and Toronto Metropolitan University; and been a panelist at Gotham Film and Media Institute, Oxford University and Toronto International Film Festival, among others. She is also a mentor at the Reelworld Screen Institute. Janine holds a JD and MBA from Columbia University and a BA with joint honors from McGill University. She also received Associate Diplomas in both piano performance and pedagogy from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Carolina Alduey is a New York City-based talent manager and former publicist. In 2006, she began a career in public relations at Columbia Records/Sony Music, where she helped develop press campaigns for international artists including Beyoncé, John Legend and Maxwell. She later worked on publicity campaigns for several brands including Hennessy, Netflix and Latinx digital conference, Hispanicize. Carolina graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York with a BA in English Language Arts and a minor in Urban Studies. She is currently a manager at 3 Arts Entertainment, where she mostly works with comedy writers and multihyphenates. Her goal is to create significant opportunities and visibility for under-represented groups in film and television.