Tanya Kersey was the founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival.
“The Black Sundance”
Kersey tried her hand at acting before delving into the world of film festivals, landing guest roles on “All My Children,” “Search for Tomorrow,” and “Guiding Light.” She also worked as a model. In 1994, Kersey founded the trade publication Black Talent News. Four years later, she established the Hollywood Black Film Festival, showcasing independent films from Black filmmakers. Dubbed “The Black Sundance” in its early days, the festival became popular with Hollywood notables including Sidney Poitier (1927–2022), Forest Whitaker, and John Singleton (1968–2019). The festival has been on hiatus since 2018, though Kersey had planned to revive it this year. She also worked as a film coach and consultant.
Tributes to Tanya Kersey
Full obituary: Los Angeles Times