Opening Night Panel

"Don't Wait. Just Make!"
A Masterclass on getting your creative project made.

It takes tremendous courage and stamina to be an artist. Roadblocks are a given. But the right attitude and strategy can make all the difference.

Filmmakers Jim Cummings (Sundance & SXSW Winner) and Sujata Day (Sundance Lab Fellow, HBO Visionaries Ambassador) will share from their personal experiences, inspiring audience members to take the next step towards their creative goal. Seed&Spark founder Emily Best will moderate.

About the panelists

Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings is an actor and filmmaker, originally from Louisiana. He is known for writing, directing and starring in the 2016 short film Thunder Road (Sundance Grand Jury Prize), which he extended into a 2018 feature film of the same name (SXSW Grand Jury Prize). He also wrote, directed and starred in the 2020 film The Wolf of Snow Hollow for MGM. His latest feature, The Beta Test, premiered at Berlinale and Tribeca Film Festival and was released by IFC Films. He founded the Short to Feature Lab and is dedicated to emerging filmmaker education and sending the ladder back down however possible. He currently lives in Los Angeles.


Sujata Day

With her infectious personality and unique sense of humor, Pittsburgh native Sujata Day has established herself as a performer, creator, writer, and director. Sujata is known for her starring role as CeCe in Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She's recurred for four seasons on HBO's Insecure. Sujata is a Sundance Lab fellow, Sundance Film Festival influencer, and HBO Visionaries Ambassador. She directs This Is My Story, a series in which LeVar Burton narrates tales of everyday racism. Sujata's debut award-winning feature film, Definition Please, was acquired by Ava DuVernay's Array and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Friday, August 19 at 7:00 PM

Assistance League Theatre

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Please note this event is a separate from the opening night party.