Iyabo Boyd: From Here To There
By Juliana Botelho, Fusion Alumni Relations.
Iyabo Boyd (TSOA ‘2006) is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. A founding member of Fusion Film Festival and Co-Director of the organization for two years, Boyd is an accomplished film producer, director, writer, and founder of the consulting company, Feedback Loop. On November 17th, 2016, Fusion welcomed the Tisch alumna to its “Coffee With Series” where she shared her path from here to there.
After graduating with a BA in Film and Television in 2006, Boyd held positions at distinguished institutions such as the Independent Feature Project (IFP), Tribeca Film Institute, and Chicken & Egg Pictures. Iyabo’s keen eye for talent qualified her to serve on juries for the SXSW’s Women Director Award, DOC NYC, Cinema Eye Honors, and Brooklyn Film Festival’s Pitching Exchange. When it comes to her creative endeavors, Iyabo Boyd possesses a prolific career. She produced the feature Sun Belt Express, which premiered in 2014 at the Champs-Elysée Film Festival, and the short film “Forever, Ally,” based on the poems by Ronaldo V, that she also wrote and directed. Boyd is currently producing the coming-of-age documentary For Ahkeem, set for a 2017 release, with Emmy-winning directors Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest.
In 2015, Boyd created Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a collective for women filmmakers of color in documentary, and in 2016, Boyd founded Feedback Loop. Feedback Loop is an organization that provides consulting services for independent documentary filmmakers in the areas of funding, editing, festivals, distribution, marketing, and impact. It was Boyd’s work as a Program Manager for Chicken & Egg Pictures, which supports and awards grants to non-fiction women filmmakers, that paved the way for her own firm Feedback Loop and her collective Brown Girls Doc Mafia. As a Program Manager, she held a leadership position in selecting projects for grants and mentorship opportunities. Despite her ample experience with grant applications, Boyd noted that selecting projects is always a difficult process for there are many talented filmmakers and not enough funds to bring all of their creations to life.
To add to her outstanding résumé, Iyabo Boyd received in 2016 the Impact Partners Creative Producers Fellowship, awarded to the most prominent independent documentary producers, and was selected for the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab, which provides emerging documentary-feature producers with mentorship from accomplished industry professionals.
During Fusion’s “Coffee With” event, Boyd expressed how much the experience at Sundance impacted her perception of the entertainment business and enabled her to grow as an artist. For the filmmaker, the key is to aim for longevity and to always think about future projects and creative endeavors. Also, know your audience and their demands. The Fusion alumna advised the emerging artists in the room to stay up-to-date with press releases about current projects being developed because funders are looking for new material and ideas. When asked what she would have done differently as a student at NYU, Boyd confessed that she wished she had established more connections with professors because they open doors into the entertainment industry. Nonetheless, since her days as an aspiring filmmaker at the Tisch School of The Arts, Iyabo Boyd has come a long way.