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Film Chair and
Keynote Speaker

Music Chair and
Keynote Speaker
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George Tillman, Jr.

Kosine

George Tillman, Jr. is a critically acclaimed screenwriter, director, and film producer involved in powerhouse projects like BARBERSHOP, SOUL FOOD, MEN OF HONOR, and NOTORIOUS. In addition to directing features, Tillman has directed numerous television projects, including Starz's POWER, Netflix/Marvel's LUKE CAGE, and NBC's dramedy THIS IS US.

Tillman's career started in 1994 when he directed his first feature film, SCENES FOR THE SOUL.

Since then, he has worked on over twenty films, which all received wide releases. Following the success of his first film, Tillman began to write a script, SOUL FOOD, loosely based on his own life. SOUL FOOD began production in 1996 with a cast that included Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia

Long, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Irma P. Hall, and Brandon Hammond. Modestly budgeted at $7 million, SOUL FOOD opened to both critical and financial success, grossing over $43 million domestically.

Tillman’s next directorial effort was MEN OF HONOR, an epic story inspired by the life of Carl Brashear, a man who battled the obstacles of racism, a lack of education, and the loss of his leg to become the United States Navy's first African-American Master deep sea diver. The film starred Oscar-winning actors

Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro, with an ensemble cast included Charlize Theron, Michael Rapaport, Lonette McKee, Glynn Turman, and Hal Holbrook. Made on a $34 million budget, the film grossed $85 million worldwide.

After the success of MEN OF HONOR, Tillman ventured into producing. In addition to his role as Executive Producer of the beloved "Soul Food: The Series" for Showtime Networks, Tillman co-produced the beloved MGM BARBERSHOP franchise films, which grossed over $200 million worldwide, ROLL BOUNCE with Bob Teitel, and acted as Executive Producer on 2017’s MUDBOUND, which went on to receive four Academy Award nominations.

Tillman returned to the director's chair in 2007 to direct the edgy telling of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G.'s life in the biopic NOTORIOUS. The film starred Jamal Woolard as Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Oscar-nominated Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, and Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur. The film grossed $36 million, Fox Searchlight’s biggest opening.

He has since directed the thriller FASTER starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the romantic drama film THE LONGEST RIDE, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, and THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE. The film was critically acclaimed. Mister and Pete

explored the hardships experienced by two young boys living alone in extreme poverty in a housing project in Brooklyn. The cast includes Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright, Skylan Brooks, and Ethan Dizon. The film was distributed by Lionsgate.

Tillman’s critically acclaimed feature film THE HATE U GIVE opened to rave reviews in October 2018. The HATE U GIVE is the adaptation of The New York Times’ young adult best-seller novel THE HATE U GIVE (THUG) written by Angie Thomas, which 20th Century Fox released. The story

follows a 16-year-old African American girl struggling to find her voice after the horrific shooting death of her friend by a white police officer.

 

Tillman directed the pilot for the highly successful TV show FOR LIFE on ABC, which is a legal and family drama about an imprisoned man who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to

overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. The show opened to rave reviews and received the highest audience testing scores ABC had ever received.

Tillman's next pilot THE CROSSOVER marked the first greenlight for a Disney+ project from 20th TV through the new Disney Branded Television division. Based on the acclaimed bestselling novel by Kwame Alexander, THE CROSSOVER is a basketball-themed coming-of-age drama pilot based on

basketball and family values. Tillman has teamed up with NBA great LeBron James of The Spring Hill Company who has joined as executive producer for the Disney Branded Television series produced by 20th Television.

 

Tillman's most anticipated feature film Big George Foreman follows the remarkable life and times of legendary boxer George Foreman. Foreman, Olympic Gold medalist to World Heavyweight champion, the Rumble in the Jungle fight with Muhammad Ali in Zaire, to finding his faith, retiring, and

becoming a preacher. Foreman stepped back into the ring to regain the heavyweight champion at age 45, becoming the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history. The screenplay is written by Frank Baldwin and George Tillman Jr., and the original screenplay by Dan Gordon. Starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as Doc Broadus, Khris Davis as legendary champion George Foreman, and Sullivan Jones as legendary fighter Muhammad Ali. Big George Foreman biopic is set up under Sony’s AFFIRM Films label, scheduled for theatrical release, 2023.

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Kosine had his first major break in the music industry through his work with Da Internz on Mims’ 2009 sophomore album, “Guilt”. Serving as co-executive producer for the project, placing seven songs, the album’s first single, "Move, If You Wanna", was released in 2008 to rave reviews. Further success came as Kosine received ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards in 2013 for producing "A$$" by Big Sean and "Birthday Cake" by Rihanna, two of the artists’ biggest songs. In addition to the ASCAP awards, Kosine has had several Grammy nominations for his contributions to classic projects, which include “My World 2.0” receiving a Grammy nomination for the best pop vocal album in 2011; “Life Is Good” by Nas, nominated for best rap album; Tamar Braxton‘s “Love And War” for the best urban contemporary album; “Love in the Future” by John Legend; and lastly, "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj nominated for best rap song for the 2015 Grammy awards. 

In 2018, Kosine broadened his talents and took on the TV world taking on roles as host of the BET show “ManCave” and earning a premiere role as Lil Dini on FOX’s hot show “Star”. He most recently launched his series “Kingz with Kosine” on FOX’s newest streaming channel Fox Soul and has been tapped by the Biden/Harris campaign during the 2020 election to help boost their efforts.s.

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