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Tanya Kersey Influencer & Founder Hollywood Black Film Festival Passes at age 61

Los Angeles, California –Influencer Tanya Kersey, Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival passing was confirmed by her daughter Monique Love on Monday, July 18, 2022.  “Mommy, we love you and we’re so honored to be your legacy. You are our role model. The life that you lived was admirable and we will carry all of the life lessons you’ve taught us with everything we do. You are no longer in pain, mommy. Rest beautifully,” said Tanya’s daughters Monique and Brittany Kersey-Love of their mother passing from heart failure who had been battling multiple health issues for many years.

Her health problems began when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 12. Years later, she battled Graves’ disease and kidney failure with her daughters by her side. She was uninsurable and had no life insurance because of her health issues.

“Best sister one could ever ask for. My first friend and role model. I’m so proud of you. You accomplished so much while battling health issues for years. I love you sis – you are now at perfect peace with mom and dad. RIP ,” said Tanya’s sister Lisa Kersey.

Born in New York, Tanya Kersey is best known as the Founder/ Executive Director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF), where she was responsible for the overall organization, management, and administration of one of the leading black film festivals in the world. She dedicated her life to advocating for Black Hollywood filmmakers, industry professionals, and hopefuls.

Tanya created the festival’s adjunct Infotainment Conference which featured more than 100 Hollywood heavyweights annually. She also created complementary platforms to showcase and develop filmmakers’ projects including the HBFF Cinema Lounge, a casual monthly networking mixer, the HBFF Screening Series, a monthly screening program, the HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit, and the HBFF Storyteller Competition that awards scribes for their excellence in screenwriting.

Named an Urban Hollywood Mover and Shaker by Daily Variety, Tanya also ran The Kersey Group (TKG), a successful film, media, and business development consulting firm that works with individuals, businesses, organizations, universities, and government agencies. TKG offered a broad range of services including entertainment and indie film consulting; film development and pre-production services; script analysis; film and web series business plans; film marketing plans; social media strategies; distribution strategies; and event production (film festivals, conferences, and workshops). Clients include the UK Film Council, Tasty Awards, Liquid Soul Media, Chicago Public Library, and the University of Nebraska African American Studies Department.

With over two decades of experience in the entertainment field, Tanya was known as a “guru” and visionary with an enviable reputation for having her finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry.

Prior to HBFF and TKG, Tanya was the founder and CEO of the entertainment industry trade publication Black Talent News and its companion website, BlackTalentNews.com. As a well-known entertainment journalist, Tanya covered a variety of high-profile events such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Indie Spirit Awards, SAG Awards, BET Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Soul Train Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards.

During her journalism career, she conducted countless celebrity interviews with such luminaries as Oscar winners Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, and Mo’Nique, as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, and the late Bernie Mac, to name just a few.

Among the countless radio and television programs, and publications Tanya has been interviewed for include The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Black Enterprise, the Miami Herald, Upscale Magazine, Diversity Magazine, L.A. Sentinel, Rolling Out Magazine, American Legacy Magazine, Turning Points Magazine, “The Tavis Smiley Show,” KNBC Sunday Morning Live and “BET Tonight.”

Tanya is also a popular public speaker and workshop leader and has authored several books. She has spoken for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Businesswire, Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference, Columbia College, Writers Boot Camp Diversity Business Brunch, the Institute for International Film Financing, and Showbiz Expo.

She authored Black State of the Arts: A Guide to Developing a Successful Career as a Black Performing Artist, considered by many to be the “Bible” for blacks in the performing arts; and The Black Film Report, a comprehensive annual report on the financial performance of black films; and the Urban Hollywood Resource Directory, a “yellow pages” of urban entertainment contacts and resources. Tanya also produces teleseminars, home study courses, e-books, and coaching programs for Hollywood hopefuls.

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Tanya Kersey is survived by her sister Lisa Kersey and brother-in-law James Woods; two daughters Monique and Brittany Kersey-Love;  niece Cayla Jones; grandsons Datari Turner, Dewanyne Blanks, Bryce Washington; granddaughter Bria Washington; great niece Cali Royster, stepdaughter Krystal Washington, bonus daughter Monique Mudarris and many family and friends.

GoFundMe page was created by Amber Capers to support the sending off of Tanya Kersey.  As of the time of this publication $3,000 USD of the set $15,000 goal has been raised.

The memorial arrangements are in the planning stages.  Donations are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Donations can also be received via PayPal or Zelle at Mdaniellelove@gmail.com