Virtual Entertainment Expo 2021

This page includes DEC Webinars, Master Classes, and Panels that we host as well as other classes that we support and or sponsor for 2021:

2021 Virtual Entertainment Expo

Since our launch in 2017, we have committed to advancing and strengthening the creative industry. And, over the last four years (in-person & virtually), we have been successful in sharing vital resources and information during our Expo to close the gap on the myth that it’s not always possible to break into entertainment.

As you know, 2020 proved to be a challenging year for us all. However, we didn’t allow COVID-19 to stop our efforts in providing resources to our industry. We pivoted the Expo from in-person to virtual. This strategy proved to be very successful. We were able to impact over 9,000 people through our monthly virtual event that was hosted from May to October. This year, although our country is making progress with COVID-19 vaccinations, we still feel it is imperative that we continue to safeguard our guests and our team. Therefore, we will again hold the Expo virtually for this year.

We are also excited to share that this year’s focus and goal is to shed a positive light on the phenomenal organizations and programs that work side by side with us, ensuring the Entertainment Industry stays alive in GeorgiaWe believe there is power in numbers. The impact that we can make together is much more significant than one individual organization can make. 

Power Women in Entertainment:  The Strength of WIFTA Behind Women In Entertainment!
September 14, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss what WIFTA is and the impact women are making in the entertainment industry.  This webinar is sponsored by WIFTA.


Robyn Watson
Board President, WIFTA
Director of Communications
WarmerMedia Distribution

Robyn Watson is director of communications for WarnerMedia Distribution, based in Atlanta. Previous to that, Robyn was the principal owner of Watson Media Ventures (WMV), an entertainment consulting firm that advised on film, television, digital media productions and entertainment events. Prior to WMV, she spent over 17 years as a corporate communications executive at Verizon and Time Warner Cable.

Robyn has been involved in the Women In Film organization for over 10 years having served on the board of directors for New York Women In Film & Television (NYWIFT) and Women In Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA). She is also on the board of Women In Film & Television International (WIFTI) where she serves on the Knowledge, Advocacy and Activism Committee.

Robyn graduated from Emory University and holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Benedictine University.


Angi Bones
Board Member, WIFTA
President/CEO and Founder
West End Road Productions, Inc.

Angi Bones did not follow the path of what was expected of her coming from a family of politics and education. Her first career of choice was law enforcement. While waiting final testing for LAPD, Angi took an unpaid position as an intern on the film “Panther” directed by Mario Van Peebles. Working on the film “Panther” shifted her journey in life from law enforcement to a successful career in film and television where she started as a Production Assistant, which lead to a successful career as Assistant Director, Producer and Director.

Angi is an active member of the Producer’s Guild of America – Atlanta Chapter, Director’s Guild of America and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. Angi is the President/CEO and founder of West End Road Productions, Inc. Angi currently serves as Executive Vice President of Bobbcat Films with Roger Bobb as President/CEO.  Hard work, dedication and perseverance serve as a staple within her life and career. She lives by her motto “work hard, stay humble”. Angi has set many goals and has accomplished most, the others are yet to be revealed, as she wants to leave her mark in the film industry as a legend in her craft.


Karen Ceesay
Active Board Member, WIFTA
Board Member
Advisory Board of Arts ATL

Karen Ceesay is an actress, writer, acting coach and producer with over twenty years experience in Atlanta, Georgia and throughout the southeast. You may have seen Karen in several of her recurring roles on projects such as, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Black Lightning and Greenleaf to name a few. As a writer, she currently has a project in development with Laurence Fishburne’s production Company, Cinema Gypsy.

A respected and long standing member of Atlanta’s entertainment community, she is frequently requested to speak on panels at festivals and events such as – the Atlanta Film Festival, BronzeLens Film Festival, DragonCon, and was a guest at the famed San Diego Comic Con. For several weeks in 2020, she conducted livestream interviews with filmmakers selected for the unexpectedly postponed Atlanta Film Festival.

Karen was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of Arts ATL and is an active member of Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), SAG/AFTRA and Women in Film & Television Atlanta (WIFTA) where she served on the Board of Directors for several years.  Karen lives in Atlanta with her chef husband and son, a budding director.


There is Power In Numbers:  Understanding what SAG-AFTRA is and the importance of the organization!
August 10, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss what SAG-AFTRA is and its impact to the entertainment industry.  This webinar is sponsored by SAG-AFTRA.


Kenric (Ric) Reitz
Former President
SAG-AFTRA Atlanta

Ric is an actor, writer, composer, director and producer, who has been active in show business for more than 40 years. He has appeared in over 150 national television shows, feature films and stage productions. He is also president of Ric Reitz Writes, Inc., an international award-winning writing company.

Ric is a Past President of SAG-AFTRA Atlanta, Past President of the Georgia Production Partnership and a former member of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Advisory Commission. As one of the key architects in the development of Georgia’s current entertainment tax incentive law, Ric has played an important role in the resurgence of production in the state.


Debra Nelson
Local National Board Representative
SAG-AFTRA Atlanta

Debra Nelson has served over 20 years as a GA member of SAG-AFTRA’s National Board.  She served on numerous local and national committees including the President’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Sexual Harassment, National EEOC & Diversity Committee, National Right-To-Work Committee, and Commercial Contracts Negotiating Committee.  She currently serves on the National Executive Committee and the Vice-Chair of the Committee of Locals.

Debra was born in Chicago, Illinois but after graduating from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where she has been an actress for over twenty-five years. In addition to film and television roles, her work includes on camera commercial work as well as voice-over work for commercials, narration and video games.  She has appeared in House of Payne, Irresistible, Saints & Sinners, Dear Santa, I Need A Date, and Dwight In Shining Armor.


Melissa Goodman
Local Executive Director
SAG-AFTRA Atlanta

Melissa Goodman has been working for the Georgia Branch of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Atlanta Local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for over 35 years. This organization is now SAG-AFTRA. She has served as the Executive Director since 1992. Prior to coming to SAG-AFTRA in 1985, Melissa worked at a talent agency in Atlanta. In 2004, Melissa was appointed to Governor Perdue‘s Film, Video & Music Advisory Commission. In addition, Melissa received an appointment to Governor Deal’s Advisory Board in October of 2017. Melissa Goodman is an active board member of the Georgia Production Partnership, where she has served since the late 1990’s. She is currently the chair of the Internal Governance Committee.

Melissa Goodman has served as an educational vehicle to producers in the fastest growing market in the world. In her role as Atlanta Executive Director, Melissa has been an advocate for entertainment labor, regardless of the affiliation, and often works hand in hand with other labor unions, such as IATSE, DGA, Hair and Make-Up and Cinematographers.

Leaders in Film – Georgia is a Rising Star in Film Production!
July 13, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss the booming film industry in Georgia and how Georgia has proven to be the rising star in film production.  This webinar is sponsored by Georgia Hollywood Review.


Angelo Diaz
Bi-coastal Actor
Film & Television

Angelo Diaz is bursting onto the scene as one of the most in-demand up-and- coming leading men in the entertainment industry. Angelo Diaz can be seen captivating audiences in the hit true crime show “ATL Homicide”, TVOne’s #1 show since 2018.  Produced by The Hive (formerly Jupiter Entertainment), the series relives the real life cases of two of the most prominent homicide detectives in American history: David Quinn and Vince Velasquez. Diaz shines in his dead accurate portrayal of Detective David Quinn, and is a fan favorite amid the high stakes drama of the show, which recently premiered Season 3 in January 2021.  “ATL Homicide” also airs internationally as “Homicide’s Elite” on CBS Reality in the U.K. and 20+ countries.

On the film front, Diaz will soon make his big screen debut opposite Taylour Paige and Riley Keough in the highly anticipated A24 film “Zola”, which premiered at Sundance Film Fest 2020 to rave reviews. The edgy film is based on an infamous 148-tweet Twitter thread recounting a wild and deadly Florida escapade. Viewers will be shocked at the edginess of Diaz’s role in the film, which will be releasing in Summer 2021.  At Bovtiqve Fashion Week Spring 2020, Diaz premiered his fantasy fashion film, “Florida Man”, which he Starred In, Wrote, Produced, and Directed, following the reckless adventures of the mythical #FloridaMan.

Angelo Diaz first broke onto the Acting scene in 2016 with a performance in the independent domestic violence film “The Last Time”. Produced by the late Tommy Ford in what would become his last work, the film went on to be nominated for several awards including Best Feature at Bronzelens Film Fest 2017 and has aired 8 times and counting on AspireTV. And Mr. Diaz has been on fire ever since.  In the Summer of 2021, Angelo debuted his new music as CubaGawd, releasing his debut single “Bottles In Boca”, in partnership with The Omen Agency & Pretty Fly Muzic.  Angelo’s favorite thing to do is invest his creative energy into creating groundbreaking television and film content. His Mama, Ines Diaz-Owen, was a College Professor of both Creative Writing & Journalism, and as soon as he was born Angelito was her #1 student. This early passion for storytelling is what drives his content creation. Angelo is bi-coastal, splitting his time between LA, Atlanta, and Miami.


Chris LeDoux
Co-Founder & Sr. VFX Supervisor
Crafty Apes Visual Effects

Chris LeDoux is the co-founder and Senior VFX Supervisor of Crafty Apes Visual Effects. Beginning as a full-scale VFX studio for film and TV, Crafty Apes has grown to include a talented roster of creative and production supervisors that offer set supervision, VFX consultation and high-end CG and previsualization services. With over 250 employees and offices in in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, New Mexico, Louisiana, Vancouver, and Montreal, Crafty Apes is an industry powerhouse with projects and clients worldwide.

With over 20 years of experience in the television and film business. Chris LeDoux has supervised, and FX produced entire films as well as memorable sequences for some of Hollywood’s largest studios and franchises. With over 100 credits of his own, Chris has extensive knowledge of VFX and production pipelines. LeDoux has been providing design and look development, on-set consultation, and post services to expand Crafty Apes’ foothold in the entertainment world, including recently expanding their reach into the commercial space with advertising clients nationwide. Chris currently oversees Crafty Apes Atlanta, the largest and busiest of the company, with over 80 artists and producers in house.

After LeDoux pulled up stakes in Kodiak and moved to Los Angeles —the center of the visual effects (VFX) universe — he began his career as a VFX artist by working on arguably one of the biggest visual effects films of its day, Sin City. After co-founding Crafty Apes in Los Angeles with his brother Tim LeDoux, he saw an opportunity and need for localized visual effects supervision and production in Georgia — as many of Crafty Apes’ clients began to push both shooting and post-production to the greater Atlanta area. While the tax credits helped bring him to Georgia, the expanding industry around him made him stay. Six years later, LeDoux and Crafty Apes became essential players in the post-production pipeline in Georgia.  Chris LeDoux believes we must give back to the communities in which we spend our time. This is why he pays it forward while still supporting the growth of the Crafty Apes team. The visual effects business can demand long hours and meticulous attention to detail — but those details allow the magic to happen on the big screen. Finding local, experienced VFX artists who can help realize a director’s vision at the highest level of quality can be a challenge. While there has been a gradual influx of industry professionals relocating to Georgia — which forms the core of Crafty Apes’ talent base — Chris has found growing local talent, such as through his work with film students, is also vital to sustaining the needs of Georgia’s entertainment industry. LeDoux also makes time to speak to students about the burgeoning entertainment sector at industry-focused film and trade schools, such as the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He knows the importance of sharing how to launch their careers right here in Georgia. Chris does not stop at the local college talent, though. He looks for anyone who might not have the educational background, but are hungry, driven, and think outside of the box.


Alahna Lark
Director, Producer, Writer, and Cinematographer

Alahna Lark is an award winning film producer. As a child of refugees her main goal is to improve the lives of people of color through her art. She recently launched a full service production company called Lark Media, which provides video production for a variety of socially conscious companies and brands.  Lark is the director, co-producer, and co-writer of the feature documentary, “Sweet Auburn Blues”, a film about a historically black neighborhood struggling to return to its former glory. She is also the producer of the Emmy nominated, three time Telly Award winning short film, “Made In America” (2020), which focuses on a Salvadorian mother who struggles to make a better life for herself and her daughter. She is also known for her work as the cinematographer and director of the year long Martin Luther King Jr. Exhibit, A Right to Freedom, at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. She was Series Producer for the GSU TV travel show “Georgia Detours” and the Emmy winning documentary series “Special Edition”, which both air on GPB Knowledge. She has recently taken on the role of Programming Director of HuemanTV, an online streaming platform for creatives of color, disabled people, the queer community, and women. You can stream new content at hueman.tv and also inquire to hire Lark Media today at larkmedia.co.

Music Is Business: Legitimizing Your Music Business
June 8, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss how to ensure your music business is established and registered as a legitimate business in operation in the state of Georgia.


Kendall Minter, ESQ.
Founder, Minter & Associates, L.L.C.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Blk. Ent. & Sports Lawyers Association

Kendall A. Minter, a native of New York and graduate and Senior Class President of Flushing High School began his professional path at Cornell University where he participated in the six year combined arts/law program, graduating with a B.A., majoring in Political Science in 1974, and with a J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1976.  Upon his graduation from Cornell Law School, he joined Fairchild Industries as Associate General Counsel and Corporate Representative for Broadcasting.  In 1984, Kendall joined the law firm of Barnes, Wood, Williams and Rafalsky as counsel, where he remained until establishing Minter & Gay in 1987. Minter & Gay was a boutique law firm which specialized in entertainment, sports and labor law. Based in the Wall Street district, the firm grew to nine attorneys with an internationally diverse clientele. In September 1992, Kendall merged his practice into the firm of Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Balon as counsel. In early 1995, Kendall relocated to Atlanta and joined the firm of Sales Goodloe & Golden, as counsel, where he established and developed an entertainment department. Kendall has also been Of Counsel to the New York City entertainment law firm Rudolph & Beer.  In 2004, Kendall established Minter & Associates, L.L.C. in Atlanta, Georgia and subsequently established an Of Counsel affiliation with regional law firm Gibson & Behman, P.C. Minter & Associates, L.L.C. is a boutique law firm which represents a diverse international clientele in the areas of entertainment, corporate, intellectual property, sports and new media matters.  Kendall is a co-founder and inaugural Executive Director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and currently serves on its Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Rhythm & Blues Foundation and is the Chairman Emeritus of the organization and is a member of the Board of the Living Legends Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Sound Exchange, Inc.


DiAndria “Dee” Green
Senior Manager
Bennett Thrasher’s State and Local Tax (SALT)

DiAndria “Dee” Green is a Senior Manager in Bennett Thrasher’s State and Local Tax (SALT) consulting practice, where she focuses on providing state income/franchise tax consulting, sales/use tax consulting and other state tax services to clients of varying sizes and legal entity types. In this role, she assists clients in reducing their tax liability and effective state tax rates. Additionally, Dee leads the
SMART Compliance practice, which assists clients with meeting state sales tax compliance requirements and implementing and managing an automated sales tax software solution.

While at Bennett Thrasher, DiAndria has also advised motion picture studios, television networks, independent film producers and digital entertainment companies across the country on how to pursue, utilize and monetize movie production incentives and film tax credits. Her work primarily consists of educating clients on the law surrounding available state film tax credits and the qualifications required in pursuing those credits. While assisting clients with claiming film tax credits, DiAndria has also analyzed production expenses to determine qualifying expenditures, conducted due diligence reviews and drafted due diligence reports that indicated relevant procedures and findings. DiAndria has more than 10 years of tax consulting and business development experience. Prior to joining Bennett Thrasher, she worked at Ernst & Young, where she focused on Research & Development (R&D) credit study services, and at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Washington National Tax Office, where she provided merger and acquisition tax consulting services to public and privately held corporate clients.


Randie Brooks
VP & Relationship Manager/Ent. Banking
City National Bank

Randie Brooks is a vice president and relationship manager with Entertainment Banking at City National Bank. Based in Atlanta, Ms. Brooks provides qualified financial solutions to support the music, film and television industries, as well as high-net-worth individuals, athletes, and entrepreneurs. Her broad base of entertainment clients from music producers, songwriters to film production companies, prop houses and costume shops gives her a unique insight on the type of service needed and a firm grasp on the revenue streams from independent artists to international talent.

Ms. Brooks has more than 20 years of financial services experience and has been with City National for 12 years. Prior to her current role, she served as a senior account manager with the bank in the Entertainment Division in CA. She also worked with LPL Financial Services, WM Financial Services, Wells Fargo and H&R Block.

Ms. Brooks earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix. Active in the community, she serves on the board of Women in Film & Television Atlanta, Georgia Music Partners, and is a professional member of the Recording Academy. She is also a member of Georgia Productions Partners, Atlanta Corps de Ballet, and the Georgia Film and Television Professionals Alliance.

Ms. Brooks resides in Atlanta with her husband and two of her three children. She volunteers her time with the Dunwoody Springs Elementary PTO Foundation, City National Bank’s Dollars + Sense Financial Literacy Program, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Origin Story: How the Georgia Tax Credit Began and Where We’re Headed
May 18, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This webinar will be a one-hour panel with the founders of Georgia Production Partnership as they discuss the work behind the formation of the Georgia tax incentive and where the industry is headed next.  Our panelist include:


Darius Evans
Vice President

Georgia Production Partnership

Darius Evans is currently Chief Executive Officer of Tent Pole Media Group, a trend setting content and communications company based in Atlanta specializing in digital marketing and content creation. As Co-Founder and former Chief Operations Officer of GTM, Inc, Darius has helped identify and secure the best in underground and mainstream talent to help stage some of GTM’s most successful entertainment marketing programs to date, including the “Master of the Mix” television show for VH1 and shows for BET and Current TV.  Darius has over 25 years experience in event management, marketing and promotions, and business operations.


Ric Reitz
Past President 
Georgia Production Partnership

Ric is an actor, writer, composer, director and producer, who has been active in show business for more than 40 years. He has appeared in over 150 national television shows, feature films and stage productions. He is also president of Ric Reitz Writes, Inc., an international award-winning writing company.

Ric is a Past President of SAG-AFTRA Atlanta, Past President of the Georgia Production Partnership and a former member of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Advisory Commission. As one of the key architects in the development of Georgia’s current entertainment tax incentive law, Ric has played an important role in the resurgence of production in the state.


Shay Bentley-Griffin
Founding President 
Georgia Production Partnership

Shay Bentley-Griffin began her career as a successful talent agent, before establishing Chez Casting, Inc. to quickly became a prolific casting director for film and television. Ms. Bentley-Griffin has worked on In the Heat of the Night, the Peabody Award-winning series I’ll Fly Away, and with a long line of directors to include Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Kenny Leon, Billy Bob Thornton, Shawn Levy, Adam McKay, Tyler Perry, Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Jon Avnet, and Edward Zwick. She is a recipient of the Crystal Obelisk Award from the Casting Society of America, three Primetime Emmy nominations, the prestigious ‘Icon’ Award from the Entertainment Society of the Technology Association of Georgia, the “Women Who Mean Business” Award by The Atlanta Business Chronicle and was awarded an Emmy for her contributions to the Georgia Film Industry.

As Vice-Chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Board and founding President of the Georgia Production Partnership, Ms. Bentley-Griffin collaborated with industry and government leaders to create and secure passage of Georgia’s highly successful 2008 Entertainment Tax Incentive. Shay has served the State of Georgia as Film Liaison to Los Angeles, sits on the executive board of GPP, and serves as a board member for the Rome International Film Festival.


Craig Miller
Past Co-President 
Georgia Productions Partnership

Respected filmmaker and founder of Craig Miller Productions, Craig Miller has produced award-winning presentations for an extensive list of Fortune 500 clientele for over 30 Years. Miller’s long-term relationships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, AGCO, UPS, U.S. Army, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Tourism are a testament to the company’s creative and technical capabilities. Miller is a member of the Producers Guild of America. He is on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Chamber and is a member of The Metro Atlanta Chamber and the National Agri-Marketing Association. Miller served for eight years as the Co-President of the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), the grassroots organization responsible for establishing and maintaining Georgia’s Film Incentive. Craig is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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