Newswise — ATLANTA (April 4, 2011) -- In recent years, Atlanta’s reputation as a film industry heavy weight has grown by leaps and bounds. In 2010, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, 11 feature films were shot in Atlanta, and the city is home to several film studios and the host for a diverse gathering of independent film festivals and showcases each year. On April 12 and April 14, 2011, Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon further expands the Atlanta film community’s reach into digital and traditional space with its 7th Annual Reel Women Film Showcase.

The Reel Women Film Showcase opens on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at Twelve Hotel Centennial Park (400 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta) with a panel discussion about social media, “Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women Who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation,” presented in conjunction with Women in Film and Television Atlanta. “Digital Doyennes” will explore upcoming trends, emerging media doctrines and the absolute do’s and don’ts of taking a product or service to the masses via social utilities.

Award-winning filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., founder and director of the Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS) said, "Social media is a growing digital communications platform that many emerging thought leaders and seasoned professionals have yet to fully understand or use. The level of influence social media creates with its users is much higher than the traditional mediums. However, it’s not just about platforms. We need to understand the value of participatory culture.”

Five women who are actively leading and shaping what’s next on the web will provide a myriad of perspectives on how to leverage social media and digital technology. The panel is made up of digital innovators including Gina McCauley, founder of the web sites What About Our Daughters, Blogging While Brown and Michelle Obama Watch; Ananda Leeke, attorney, author, blogger, innerpreneur and founder of Digital Sisterhood Month; Erica Hartfield, a digital producer at Everywhere; Angela Conyers Benton, CEO of Black Web Media; and Jacqui Chew, principal of iFusion Marketing.

Seating for the panel discussion is limited and tickets can only be obtained by visiting

On Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m., DMIS will present its annual student film showcase at Midtown Arts Cinema (931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta). The four DMIS student films that will be screened explore a diverse spectrum of subjects: A five-year retrospective of New Orleans women rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaks; a portrait of women refugees from war-torn Sierra Leone who have settled in Atlanta; a study of a non-traditional family headed by an unmarried professor who adopted daughters of different nationalities; and a look at contemporary Black lesbian activism.

“This year includes an exciting lineup of budding filmmakers who follow prior Spelman students who have gone on to have their work screened at international showcases, pursued advanced study and won awards including an Emmy as a result of their DMIS filmmaking experience,” said Chenzira.

“DMIS filmmakers receive extensive two-semester training in everything from story research to editing to interview techniques and information about the business” added Chenzira about the student filmmakers. “We have an exceptional slate of films to showcase this year. The digital media program is unique in that it offers Spelman students an opportunity to use different types of moving image platforms such as digital cameras, mobile phones and tangible user interfaces to create work.”

The film showcase is free and open to the public. About the Digital Moving Image SalonThe Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS) began at Spelman College in the fall of 2004. Founded by internationally award-winning filmmaker and digital media artist, Ayoka Chenzira, it is a mechanism through which the College encourages and supports the growing number of students interested in creating stories for digital media platforms. For more information, visit

About Spelman CollegeFounded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts a 79 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis, authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 12:1. More than 2,100 students attend Spelman. For more information, visit