Liquid Soul and Blaze Unlimited are joining forces to launch what they’re calling the black version of SXSW to bring Black creative talent to the entertainment industry. The inaugural The TBL (Table) TV & Film Conference will be held in Los Angeles in July 2021 followed by a gathering in Atlanta in July 2022.
This project originated with Blaze Unlimited co-founder Emoni Matthews, whose creative music agency specializes in licensing and music supervision, and who sought an effective way to showcase Black creativity.
"For too long we haven't had a seat at the table,” she says. "Many industry executives still ask, ‘Where can we find the next’…or state that the qualified black candidate pool is too small. We are the solution to fix that narrative and our goal is to encourage immediate and tangible diversity that actually has longevity. The TBL opens the door, pulls out a chair, and provides training, mentorship, and job opportunities to Black creators so that they can claim their seat at the table."
The four-day conference, modeled after the popular SXSW festival, will feature masterclasses, keynote speakers, and networking mixers, all curated to elevate top Black talent.
There will also be a youth-oriented initiative inviting 540 candidates enrolled in high school, college or post-grad to apply for internships in categories like editing, marketing, and directing.
While Blaze Unlimited and Liquid Soul are the main partners and creators, there are several other agency partners offering support, including sponsor Bric Foundation who will provide mentors and help to mold the animation masterclasses and curriculum. Another sponsor is Allied Protection Service and 247 Artists is leading the event’s tech/platform creation as well as spearheading relationships with art schools.