The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands. Last year, of over 3000 submissions received for consideration in the NYTVF Independent Pilot Competition and stand-alone sponsored development initiatives, only 103 projects were chosen as official selections. One of the submissions honored as an official selection for this year’s festival, kicking off Monday, Oct. 24, is “Angry Black Women.”
This satirical series, written and executive produced by Dahéli Hall and HaJ, follows two Black women working in Hollywood. As they reconcile the ways Black women are perceived in society with the unique ways they perceive themselves, they poke fun at an openly-biased entertainment industry. The series is directed by Angie Browne, who is currently working on a reboot of the “Twin Peaks” television series. The trio also collaborated on “Exchange,” a brilliant, edutaining, series pilot targeting teens and tweens, which is currently available on Disney’s YouTube channel.
Hall is best known as a cast member on Fox’s sketch comedy show MADtv and BET’s prank dating show “Hell Date.” She also wrote, directed, and starred in two HBO award-winning short films, The Memo and Mandingo in a Box.
HaJ is the creator of Tickles.TV, the platform that hosts the “Angry Black Women” series along with her satirical adventures as investigative journalist “Funnel Cake Flowers” documenting stories of “Urban Chameleons,” those who regularly transition between the White corporate world and their hip-gyrating, kinky-hair-handling and curry-spice-eating urban worlds.
“Angry Black Women” came about from a conversation HaJ and Hall had about two years ago, eventually serving as a bit of cathartic therapy to cope with industry experiences and micro-aggressions.
“Dahéli called me…just angry,” HaJ laughed as she recalled the conversation. “Working as a writer-performer in Hollywood … I could identify with all the things she talked about being angry, in terms of going out on the same stereotypical roles. It’s either a slave film, a film about somebody trying to get up out the hood, a single mother who has overcome some great deal of [trials]. Not to say those are not important stories; it’s just that there are more stories that we have to tell.”
“Angry Black Women” will be screened in Block 1 of the Independent Pilot Competition on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater (137 W 26th St). All NYTVF Independent Pilot Competition screening blocks are $5 advanced purchase online or $10 (cash only) at the door. The NYTVF runs from Monday through Saturday, Oct. 29.