Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) Gala over the weekend and it was fiyah! The organization presented awards to four outstanding individuals including Tony Award winning actress, singer and star of BET’s “The Quad,” Anika Noni Rose. The event was held at Buckhead’s Havana Club and had a Monte Carlo/casino theme.

Anika was honored with the Creative Excellence Award and is best known for her roles as ‘Lorell Robinson’ in the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls” as well as ‘Princess Tiana’ in “Disney’s The Princess and The Frog.” She has also appeared in a number of popular TV movies and big screen films including “For Colored Girls,” “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “A Day Late and a Dollar Short,” “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” and most recently “ROOTS” and “Everything, Everything.” Anika has also appeared on Broadway in “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Caroline, or Change” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

A number of Anika’s “Quad” cast mates were present to celebrate with her including Jazz Raycole, Larry Rhem, Zoe Renee, Erica Michelle and Emily Lane.

Other honorees included Donna Sloan, President of Physical Production, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group (Outstanding Contribution Award Recipient); Lynn Riley, Department of Revenue, State Revenue Commissioner (Georgian Award Recipient) and Katie Willard Troebs, Actress (Woman to Watch).

A few Atlanta notables were also spotted on the red carpet including “Saints and Sinners” actress, singer and filmmaker Jasmine Burke and “Too Close to Home” actress Ashley Love-Mills. “Women on the Move Live” host, Kim McNair and line producer, Valerie Benning-Thompson were also in attendance.

Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) is dedicated to improving the status and portrayal of women in film, television, video and other screen-based media by offering opportunities for media makers to connect, create, champion and inspire.  With an emphasis on professionalism, education and training, the organization supports the work of women in moving images media and foster greater public awareness of their efforts.

Check out more photos below:


Katie Willard TroebsLynn Riley

Donna Sloan

Anika Noni Rose 

Erica Michelle + Jazz Raycole + Zoe Renee

Larry Rhem + Emily Lane 


Jasmine Burke 

Ashley Love-Mills 

Jasmine Burke + Anika Noni Rose


Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com