5
Jul
2023
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XL Film Festival to Collaborate with Streaming Platform Mansa

The XL Film Festival, powered by Creative Cypher, will feature a top tier collaboration with Mansa. Mansa is a free, ad-supported streaming platform highlighting Black content for a global audience, founded by award-winning filmmakers and actors David Oyelowo, Nate Parker and Chiké Okonkwo, as well as tech entrepreneur and film financier Zak Tanjeloff, with backing by VCs like Robert F. Smith. 

“Black culture is at the forefront of global culture,” says Mansa co-founder David Oyelowo, a multiple Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy-nominated actor and producer, best known for playing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s SELMA. “Yet at the same time, only the tip of the iceberg has been cultivated and propagated; we’re here to showcase the true breadth and depth of it for a Global audience.” Nate Parker, Mansa co-founder, actor, producer, director and screenwriter is also ; also known for his work in carving out racial equality,; specifically with a mission to utilize cinematic arts to confront systemic disparities within the African and African American communities. 

Having a deep understanding of Black culture is key when bringing their stories to the screen. Mansa has been created to fill in the gap and target streamers who are focused on seeing Black stories played out with honesty and authenticity In the past, Black creatives haven’t had the access, opportunities, or resources to present their work at a large scale. and the Mansa’s leadership team has the knowledge and experience to bridge the gap of Black content reaching Black viewers and shifting the dynamics in the entertainment industry. This commitment is what initially drew Cypher to partner with Mansa, coalescing into a new content partnership between the two companies. This partnership will serve as a content pipeline for up and coming filmmakers to increase visibility of their works. 

Creative Cypher will host the XL Film Festival Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20, and continue to host events throughout the year. The XL Film Festival is Chicago’s growing Black-owned film festival, with speakers Robert Townsend, Lil Rel, Jackie Taylor, George Daniels, Dana Gills, Dave Jeff (Phli), Diallo Riddle (South Side), Brenda Gilbert (BRON Studios) Korporate and a host of speakers. 

Creative Cypher’s founder, Troy Pryor, understood that creating systemic change required big picture thinking and an ability to manage the entire supply chain. Cypher’s ecosystem has helped launch entities within production and live events. Aligning with Mansa was a no-brainer, as its goals for pushing Black narratives to the forefront lineup seamlessly. The two have already helped several creators secure distribution deals on the Mansa platform, making the XL Fest an emerging market opposed to only a showcase. In the past year, Cypher has acquired two festivals, stake in media platforms, and formed alliances with companies like BRON Studios to produce a slate of content. As Cypher continues to produce content and their operations align with each facet of the content supply chain; it is well positioned to scale and empower a groundswell of creators, starting in Chicago. 

“I’m thrilled to showcase BFTS on Mansa,” said Patrick Wimp. “As independent creators, we are constantly looking for ways to reach a new audience. Mansa provides an incredible opportunity to reach those audiences, and add a stamp of credibility as series like ours join the wealth of amazing content on the platform. I hope many more people will see our show and walk away with a smile on their face.” – Patrick Wimp 

Mansa has a set goal to partner with other Black culture focused streamers to position itself not as a competitor, but as an accumulator of content and channels looking to celebrate, allocate, and highlight how culture drives the world; all while continuously pushing the needle forward. 

Mansa is opening the door and creating the space to reclaim the narratives of Black stories and creating an increasingly equitable and sustainable industry. We’re at the cusp of new trends in entertainment, what people want to see on screen and how people want to see it is evolving; in turn this will deepen the scope of the type of content that gets made and seen currently and for years to come. 

To learn more, click here to visit mansa.com

Tickets for the XL Film Festival on sale at eventnoire.com

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