Dubbed “The Black Sundance,” the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) is an annual 4-day celebration of Black Cinema drawing together established filmmakers, popular film and TV stars, writers, directors, industry executives, emerging artists, and diverse audiences from Southern California and around the world. HBFF’s INFOTAINMENT CONFERENCE features a wealth of informational panels and workshops covering a wide variety of topics which include: film production, distribution and marketing, pitching, writing for television and film, in addition to specific programs designed to inform and educate actors.

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Omari Hardwick


Omari Hardwick has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry with the passionate and moving characters he has brought to life in film, and on television. Hardwick can next be seen starring in the highly anticipated, TriStar Pictures film SPARKLE as “Levi,” opposite Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks [to be released nationwide August 17, 2012.] His other film credits include Lionsgate’s KICK-ASS, Twentieth Century Fox Film’s THE A-TEAM, Buena Vista Pictures’ THE GUARDIAN, MGM’s BEAUTY SHOP, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s GRIDIRON GANG, Summit Entertainment’s NEXT DAY AIR and Touchstone Picture’s MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA. Hardwick was also recently seen in the Tyler Perry drama FOR COLORED GIRLS, opposite Janet Jackson. Audiences probably know him best for some of his starring roles on television, including his role onTNT’s “Dark Blue”, where he co-starred as “Ty Curtis” opposite Dylan McDermott, and his lead role as “John ‘Sack’ Hallon” in the TNT 2006 series “Saved.” His first big break came in 2003, when he was cast in his first major role as a series regular in Spike Lee’s “Sucker Free City.”

In 2012 Hardwick has a variety of projects lined up, including a lead role in the film PURE LIFE opposite Academy Award Nominee Vera Farmiga, and Elle Fanning, and he recently booked a recurring role in the hour-long BET pilot “Being Mary Jane.” In late 2011 and early 2012, his film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, an independent feature by writer-director Ava DuVernay, hit the festival circuit and quickly became not only a fan favorite but critically acclaimed as well. Hardwick received rave reviews for his performance as “Derek,” the committed young husband to the love of his life, but who's tattered past and wrong choices ends up putting him behind bars. It was announced in April2012 that BET would be airing MIDDLE OF NOWHERE on their channel throughout the course of the year. Aside from his dramatic roles, Hardwick will also try his hand at hosting, as he recently signed on to host season two of one of television’s breakout shows, “Verses & Flow,” a unique series created to bring audiences the freshest up and coming talent in spoken word and music, sponsored by Lexus.

Born “Omari Latif Hardwick,” he grew up in Decatur, Georgia. Hardwick’s parents gave him a name to set a precedent, “Omari” meaning “most high,” and “Latif” meaning “gentle.” Growing up, sports were Hardwick’s world, but early on he knew he had a passion for the arts. By the age of 14, Hardwick was writing poetry on a regular basis, a passion he would carry with him into adulthood. In high school, he excelled at basketball, baseball, and football, and went on to play football at the University of Georgia. Although a star on the field, Hardwick never gave up his passion for acting, and minored in theatre in college. After graduation, Hardwick relocated to San Diego for a spot on the San Diego Chargers (NFL) however a knee injury cut his football career short. He decided to revisit his original passion for acting, and moved to New York to study his craft more extensively. In New York, Hardwick studied off Broadway until 2000, when he made the move to Los Angeles.

When not acting, Hardwick is actively involved in a variety of charities, including the Jason Taylor Foundation which focuses on youth education and development, and within this foundation he houses the Omari Hardwick BluApple Poetry Corner, aimed at developing young poets via Skype and direct interaction out of the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale areas. He is also involved with the Jovante Woods Foundation, supporting asthma awareness. Hardwick is a founding member of Plan B Inc. Theater Group, and a co-founder of Los Angeles Actor’s Lounge. He also has a production company, Bravelife, which he will continue to expand through 2012. Hardwick continues to work on his poetry, and has written over 4,000 poems, some of which can be seen on his official website. You can visithis website at www.omarihardwick.com

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, October 27

5:15pm PDT