The Blackhouse Foundation is exclusively revealing images from its first virtual portrait studio with ESSENCE. These portraits capture the promising actors, producers, and directors behind some of the most buzzed-about projects of the year, including Judas and The Black Messiah and The US vs. Billie Holiday

The foundation has been fighting systemic inequalities in the film industry since 2006, organizing events and panels that offer education to rising talent. Their participants are given the chance to learn about financing methods, the production process, and resources for effective marketing and distribution. They are also offered a hub to find community with their fellow storytellers. The organization also works to increase opportunities for Black creatives by creating a pipeline to professional opportunities in film, television, digital, and other emerging linear and non-linear platforms. 

The Blackhouse Foundation traditionally held their annual Portrait Studio at the annual Sundance Film Festival but with the festival converting to a virtual format this year, they followed suit, with famed photographer Erik Umphery capturing each creative virtually in separate locations. 

See the faces of this year’s Blackhouse Foundation Portrait Studio below.