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Women in Business: Toneka Wright

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Movies empower, educate, entertain, and inspire. Romance, comedy, drama, historical, it doesn’t matter which genre, good films make lasting lifetime impressions. Filmmaking is something Toneka Wright knows all about. Wright is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Black Filmmakers Academy, an online platform providing courses, workshops, and summits in various areas of filmmaking. The Black Filmmaker’s Academy exists for one simple reason: to help Black filmmakers learn the art, craft, and business side of making, distributing, and marketing cinematic masterpieces. The academy focuses on categories such as acting, script writing, lighting, techniques, obtaining distribution, leveraging social media and breaking into film festivals, just to name a few.

It is Toneka’s mission to change the way people of color a viewed in film, by creating platforms for movies told from the Black perspective and voice. She believes wholeheartedly that when we see more positive images of people of color in media, we will see massive changes for the better in the community. Toneka shared with us more about BFA, and what it takes to succeed:

Why did you decide to take the LEAP to become an entrepreneur? 

I’ve always been more of a creative at heart person but doubted that I could make a living at what I loved.  A layoff from my job forced me to take the leap as a full-time entrepreneur.

What is the best part about being your own boss?

The best part is setting my own schedule and being able to work from wherever I want. 

The worst? 

Figuring things out, putting systems in place, and finding your audience. It takes a lot of time and work.

What have been some of your challenges and successes in business? 

Starting out I wanted to do 100 things at once. Focusing in on one thing was a challenge. Also, not having a team to help with different areas.  It’s like you have to become your accountant, social media manager, IT person, graphics person, etc.

What do you love about working in your city? 

There are a lot of talented people in the DC area even though we’re not recognized as a film city. I would love to see us operate as a more cohesive unit, though.

What are 3 skills every entrepreneur should have? 

Social Media management, being open to and mastering their mindset, and being consistent with educating themselves in their field of expertise.

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Mira Cassidy
Mira Cassidyhttp://Master!2345
Mira Cassidy is an Indianapolis author, journalist, and motivational speaker who from a young age found peace and serenity in writing. A love for the art form blossomed in 2015 when she went back to complete her degree after an eleven-year hiatus. There she took additional English and creative writing courses. During those semesters the depth of her creativity was unlocked, and she produced some of her first short stories and additional poems. As a teen she received the opportunity to continue her studies in Telecommunications via the local Youth Video Institute where she developed a foundation in video production, directing, editing, and journalism. This experience allowed her to interview and meet many individuals from different walks of life including a very young Nick Cannon, David Hollister, and Suzanne Taylor. Today, Mira is a very busy and devoted mother of three. She uses her voice to raise awareness to the pain and suffering caused by domestic violence, adverse childhood experiences, and destructive cycles. Also, she advocates for more funding and focus to be brought into area schools to service children who are exceptional learners.
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