Written by | Ray Cornelius
One of Atlanta’s pioneers in television and film—Rob Hardy—was honored Thursday night during the 2017 Synergy Awards. The annual summer ceremony was presented by Gil Robertson and the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and took place at Bobbcat Studios.
The Synergy Awards is one of AAFCA’s signature events and celebrates inroads made by film and TV professionals in the Southeast. It also provides an opportunity for creative professionals in and around the area to connect and collaborate with their peers across the industry.
Hardy was acknowledged for laying a foundation for Atlanta’s current boom in television and film production. The ceremony included a video presentation featuring congratulatory messages from a number of Hardy’s close friends and collaborators like fellow filmmaker Roger M. Bobb, iconic casting director Reuben Cannon, longtime partner Will Packer, Rainforest Entertainment’s Mitzi Miller and Liquid Soul’s Tirrell Whitley.
“Rob is getting this award because Atlanta is number one [applause]…in terms of TV and productions in the world. A large part of that has been because of his efforts,” said Robertson to the attendees.
Hardy began his film career as a student on the campus of Florida A&M University with Packer and their very first project, “Chocolate City.” After graduation, the two moved to Jonesboro, GA where they formed their production company, Rainforest Films. Their next movie, “Trois,” elevated the profile of their brand and opened doors for them to go on and produce a string of other hit films including “Motives,” “Stomp the Yard,” “Think Like a Man,” “Think Like a Man Too” and “No Good Deed.” Hardy also has credits on such hit television shows as “Empire,” “How To Get Away with Murder,” and “Castle.” His most recent endeavor included creating and executive producing BET’s “The Quad.” He also has two other shows lined up including one with hip hop star Clifford “T.I.” Harris.
“Sometimes doors are closed to force you and I to find other routes to tell our stories. We all have a place here. Just because you see someone else’s name in lights, doesn’t mean that your time’s not coming…if you just continue to work and believe,” said Hardy to the attendees.
Celebrities in attendance included “Underground” and “Hit the Floor” actor Rob Riley, “Hollywood Divas” star Lisa Wu, plus “Saints and Sinners “actresses Jasmine Burke and Dawn Halfkenny. Past Synergy Award recipients, Keith Neal and Eric Tomosunas, were also in attendance as well as industry professionals—Dianne Ashford, Asante Bradford, April Love, Jess Manning, Angela Watts, Chelsye Burrows and George Pierre.
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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com