Building the Right Community – A Discussion on the Atlanta Indie Community
How the community you find yourself in directly affects your career and the work you do, told from the perspective of Atlanta filmmakers that have worked at every level of production in Atlanta, GA.
- Jenna Kanelldirector/writer
Jenna Kanell delivered a TEDx Talk on her experience writing and directing alongside her differently-abled brother. She later wrote and directed Max & The Monster, which premiered on the opening night of the Austin Film Festival and went on to win two awards, and is now available through A Voice For The Innocent, a resource for survivors of domestic abuse. She directed other award-winning short films including #Slut and more recently Bliss Is Orange, which premiered at OutFest and is now available on Omeleto.
She’s first assistant directed features and pilots, and just produced a feature documentary on addiction recovery. Jenna is also a union actor and stunt performer who stars in Abducted, nominated for Best Narrative Short at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and appears in television shows and films, including The Front Runner and TERRIFIER. She is proudest of teaching her cat to high five.
- Ryan Dennett-Smithproducer
As a producer of 25+ films Ryan Dennett-Smith’s philosophy is to create quality teams that act as family on sets, whether they are in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Using quality teams, Ryan is also known for bringing in productions in on time and on budget.
Before the film industry, Ryan started in the entertainment industry at 15 years old. He was a recording artist and drummer while in high school and soon transitioned into tour and band management.
In 2013, Ryan began his career in the film industry. Since then he has acquired credits on national and international shows in various production roles such as: Lone Star Law, North Woods Law, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet. His passion is to create a long-term, sustainable film community in Georgia. As such, Ryan is an active committee member and speaker for the Atlanta Film Society and Georgia Production Partnership.
Ryan served as the production manager for Only (with Freida Pinto and Leslie Odom, Jr.), Paula Peril and the Serpent Cult (Atlantis Studios), Paula Peril and The Hidden City (Impressive Numbers), Whitney (Light Box Entertainment), and Let’s Make It (Pitch n’ Out Theater Fizz City Films).
In his spare time, Ryan produces impactful short films on topics of social justice, political statements, and social commentary. These shorts include 83 Days, Dandelions, and American Dream which won four awards: official selections for the Atlanta Underground Festival in 2017, The 6th Annual Georgia Latino Film Festival, Guest Juror Pick 2017 for the Generally Local Mostly Independent Film Series, and the 2018 Latino Law Conference. American Dream is now available on Amazon.
- T.C. Barrerawriter/director
T.C. Barrera is a writer and director originally from Los Angeles currently based in Atlanta. In 2016, he founded Big Pond Pictures, a company that works in creative development and is currently in development of its first independent feature, We’ll Be Okay, shooting later this year. He’s worked in every aspect of production; and, when he’s not directing, he works as an assistant director on projects ranging from massive triple-A, studio budgets to small micro budgets in feature films, commercials, and music videos.
T.C. has had a passion for cultivating the next generation of filmmakers for years and loves the development of independent films. He likes long walks on the beach. He also prefers margaritas over pina coladas.
- Walker Whitededitor/drone operator
Walker Whited is a writer/director in Atlanta, GA. In 2019 he wrote and directed his debut feature film “By Night’s End” which released in domestically in October 2020 to VOD platforms and is currently rolling out world wide. He has directed numerous spec commercials, digital series, and award-winning short films. His short “Codes Abided” was turned into a well-received digital series and is now being developed into a feature film. When not directing or writing, Walker focuses on editing and other post production services with his team at W Squared Media. They are currently in post on two features films set to release late 2021.