William Parker, Parker Revenue Growth Strategies
Donna Dabbs, Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation
The Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation (GCUFF) began in 2012 as a grassroots organization seeking to create an outlet for highlighting films, filmmakers, actors, and other industry executives of color. GCUFF is a 501c with the artistic vision to bring together film industry talent from the African Diaspora to expose their work to diverse audiences in the Greater Cleveland area.
Highlighting regional, national, and international urban culture, GCUFF has been able to connect minority, and primarily independent filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors to an audience that can appreciate the uniqueness of their stories, experiences, and perspectives. GCUFF has dedicated much of its programming to increasing awareness and dialog around important issues and stories from within minority communities while offering educational opportunities to encourage and inspire students and individuals interested in pursuing a career in the film industry.
How did you get into this field?
I was inspired to create a black film festival for our community after attending the Cleveland International Film Festival. I didn’t have a background in film, but I knew how to get things done. I was already connected to a network of African American professionals through another business venture, Society of Urban Professionals ( S.O.U.P ). The network provided a perfect target audience. So with the support of my business partner, Alton Tinker, and a few friends, we jumped right in. So by way of the idea, it was important to learn the skills on how to deliver film festival programming.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love the energy of opening night! My favorite moment is when the festival starts, and I see people gathering, talking, and know that they are being inspired by the films and making a connection.
What is the most challenging part about your job?
Raising funds every year to deliver a world-class 9-day event.
Why did you decide to become a PCBC member?
I decided to join PCBC as I see the opportunity for more resources and connections to black businesses, industry leaders, and the community. Our intent is to serve our community and grow into a viable organization that employs black folk and patronize black businesses.
What challenges do you face as an African American business professional?
The biggest challenge is being accepted as a valuable contributor.
What are your goals for your business and how do you see PC being part of that process?
As a non-profit organization, our goals have been set in our three-year strategic plan. I see the opportunity for PC to be a place to meet business owners for connections to help us with the following two goals: Grow visibility and understanding of the organization and its year-round presence and programs. Grow and diversify GCUFF’s base of financial support.
What PC Buys Black business to business/consumer special are you offering members?
10% discount on passes to our 10th Annual GCUFF Film Festival.
Visit us at: https://www.gcuff.org