Announcing ‘Black Women Disrupt the Web,’ a multi-country web series competition and call for entries

 Black Women Disrupt, along with Antoinette Engel and Dylan Valley, an international collaborative dedicated to uplifting Black women creatives and entrepreneurs, is announcing a new project: Black Women Disrupt the Web (BWDW). This is a global competition to produce an original web series showcase. The call for entries aims to attract proposals from Black women writer-directors from Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, and South Africa for three (3) three-minute episodes providing new perspectives on the theme, “Imagining Black Futures”. 

Black women from Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, and South Africa are invited to submit original proposals for a fictional web series between February 1st and March 1st. A selection committee will choose five (5) semi-finalists to receive dedicated mentorship, production funding, professional development and inclusion in a global, online, web series showcase that will be evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges in July. The winner will receive a cash prize alongside support in navigating distribution, networking events, markets and festivals. 

“The goal is to celebrate the richness of a broader and multilingual African diaspora and to raise its visibility worldwide through outstanding works of fiction film content made available on the web.” Zakiya Carr Johnson, Founder, Black Women Disrupt 

Black Women Disrupt the Web seeks to elevate interest and investment in content created by Black women from the African continent as well as the African diaspora in the Americas, Europe and around the world. Through an accessible online showcase in several languages, the collective will connect communities using new platforms to share stories, engage in dialogue and explore economic empowerment. 

“Web series as its own particular form of internet-based television has broadened and transformed the film and TV landscape. Web series have lower barriers to entry, and as such Black women creators (shout out Issa Rae!) who would have normally been marginalised in the mainstream, have gone on to transform what the mainstream looks like.” Dylan Valley, Filmmaker 

Black Women Disrupt the Web will partner with a VOD platform for a global showcase of the final content. The competition will offer an online Master Class series for applicants, as well as access to the Black Women Disrupt network, resources and special online events. Each of the five semi-finalists will be matched with mentors to guide them in script development, production and post-production, as well as the basics of industry business and marketing. Black Women Disrupt the Web will document the process of each submission, from editing through to the final cut and into festival participation and promotion. Virtual panels, workshops, events and communication opportunities will raise the visibility of the finalist, who will be awarded a package that includes distribution support and a cash prize. 

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the world and disproportionately affected Black communities, laying bare the existing inequities and divides in our societies. Black Women Disrupt (U.S.) alongside filmmaker Dylan Valley and producer Antoinette Engel (South Africa), recognize that artists in particular have been dealt a severe blow, specifically those in the film industry which requires extensive on-site collaboration. Yet many artists continue to produce work and create solutions to our ‘new normal’ under the strict but necessary social distancing guidelines. 


Schedule of Events: 

Competition Entry Dates: February 1 to March 1, 2021 

Information sessions throughout February on YouTube 

Semi-finalists Announced: 15 March 2021 

Web Series Showcase: July 2021 

Notes to Editors 

About Black Women Disrupt 

Founded in 2018, Black Women Disrupt (BWD) is a collaborative global initiative serving over 2200 Black women entrepreneurs (and friends), dedicated to championing the identity of Black women as a strength. While honing their entrepreneurial skills, “Sister Disruptors” participate in learning exchanges to network, explore new markets, and build solidarity across borders. BWD partners with media outlet Shock.Co, Antoinette Engel and Dylan Valley in South Africa, Kiratiana Freelon and Ebony English in Brazil, Atlantic Fellows, CEAF/ICESI University in Cali, Colombia and others to provide programming and technical support. 

About Dylan Valley 

Dylan Valley is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator. He is currently Lecturer at the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and a PhD student in media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2013 he received a Pulitzer Fellowship from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, where he received his Masters in Specialised Journalism. At USC he completed his thesis documentary on the ground-breaking web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. In January 2020, his virtual reality documentary Azibuye – The Occupation premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the New Frontiers Programme. His PhD research explores how the internet is shaping new methods of filmmaking on the African continent, and in the diaspora. He will serve as competition advisor. 

About Antoinette Engel

Antoinette Engel is an independent producer who has worked on award-winning documentary programming for the South African Broadcasting Corporation as well as independent projects for digital media platforms dedicated to African music, culture and politics (OkayAfrica and Africa Is A Country). Most recently she co-managed the Electric Africa VR Festival as Distribution Manager for Electric South and in 2019 produced a series of 11 short films for the Female Filmmaker Project, a flagship training and development initiative of South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation. 

For more information, visit 

Facebook: Blackwomendisrupt 

Instagram: @blackwomendisrupt 

Twitter: @BlackWDisrupt 

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