Stage 32 Entertainment Industry Insider Panels

Festival Lounge

Links to the panels appear only for All Access Passholders
Stage 32 is NoHo CineFest's networking and educational partner, hosting two unmissable high-end panels that will offer tremendous insight from film industry professionals. Click on TRAILER for a quick video on how to sign up and join us!


Saturday, December 12th - 10:30am PST (Los Angeles)
Diverse Voices: Breaking Barriers in Entertainment  
2020 has broken open tremendous opportunities for diverse voices and unique stories. In this exclusive Stage 32 Noho CineFest panel we'll highlight some top creatives and professionals and talk about how the landscape has shifted and how you can take advantage of opportunities.   

Moderator: Amanda Toney - Managing Director of Stage 32
Speakers: Tracy Christian - Talent Agent, Vijal Patel - Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award winning Writer, Yoko Okumura - Writer/Director/Performer



As Managing Director for Stage 32, Amanda oversees operations and business development for the global business. She has curated over 1,200 hours of online education created exclusively for Stage 32, and works with hundreds of entertainment industry executives from around the world to serve as educators and mentors. She has spearheaded partnerships with such prestigious organizations as the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film, American Film Market, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, PGA, WGA and DGA, as well as brands such as AT&T, Peerspace, Pond5, Mandy, Bondit Media Capital and her personal favorite partnership, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is the official vodka of Stage 32.
Amanda has spoken all over the world at the Cannes Film Festival (France), Hollyshorts Film Festival (US), Raindance Film Festival (UK), Hamburg Film Fest (Germany), Trinidad & Tobago Film Commission (Trinidad), Fest Festival (Portugal) and Harvard (US) on the business of the entertainment industry.
As a producer, Amanda has worked on the psychological thriller What Lies Ahead starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont; Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne, Metaphorms, a Hungarian film, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and Dolphin Girl, an entire Stage 32 production in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Film Commission. She recently sold a television show to a major US network .


Tracy Christian is a veteran talent agent with more than twenty years in the industry working in both the literary as well as talent space. She currently represents a list of talent that includes Jeremy Piven, Jason Mitchell, and Tisha Campbell. Past clients include Oscar winners Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer, Mo’Nique, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Elizabeth Moss. Within the lit space she’s personally responsible for more than 1,000 hours of on air primetime programing.
In 2011, she opened TCA, a Los Angeles based boutique talent agency representing trained character actors, writers, and producers.

Vijal Patel is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and executive producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH and THE MIDDLE. Vijal currently serves as writer and co-executive producer of the ABC comedy series SCHOOLED, starring Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka. He also writes and develops feature film projects for the powerhouse studio DreamWorks. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle.


Yoko Okumura is a genre-fluid writer, director, and performer. Born in a Buddhist temple in Japan and raised in the frostbite of Minneapolis, she now lives and works in Los Angeles. She is obsessed with telling rebellious stories through underrepresented perspectives and thrives in the intersection of grit and glamour.
Yoko sold a story pitch to Sam Raimi's Quibi horror anthology "50 States of Fright" and is directing the episode titled "America's Largest Ball of Twine" starring Ming-Na Wen and Karen Allen. Her directing clients have included Lifetime/A&E's scripted digital series Fall Into Me, Super Deluxe's Turnt Beauty series and Uproxxx Uncharted series. Branded clients have included Cover Girl, Honda, and Instagram.

Yoko's feature film project The Religion of Girlfriends was accepted into the WIF/Sundance Institute Financing Intensive. Her short, Kimi Kabuki, received a DGA Student Film Award, the Panavision New Filmmakers Award and an Austin Film Festival Jury Award. Yoko is also co-creator of digital series Facets, a documentary episodic about trailblazing women who have carved unique life paths for themselves. Her various doc work has been selected for the Vimeo Staff Pick three times.
Yoko has a BFA in Film/Video from Calarts and an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute. When not working in media arts Yoko dabbles in fire dancing, aerial arts and would love to learn how to do a back flip.


Qasim Basir is an award-winning filmmaker whose first feature MOOZ-LUM was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. MOOZ-LUM stars Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover and is a coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks. The film was released theatrically in 2011 and on additional platforms via Starz, Netflix and Amazon. The film gained international recognition, opening in over 25 countries.
Basir wrote and directed DESTINED, starring Cory Hardrict, Jesse Metcalfe, Margot Bingham, Hill Harper, Zulay Henao and La La Anthony. DESTINED premiered at the 2016 LA Film Festival, and has garnered numerous accolades including Best Director and Actor at the 2016 American Black Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at Urbanworld that same year. DESTINED was released theatrically in the Fall of 2017 and on VOD platforms early 2018.
Basir recently directed and co-wrote A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM, starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
He is now on tap to direct the NFL biopic HAWK based on the life of Andrew Hawkins with Andre Gaines producing. 

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