DIRECTOR OF BIRMINGHAM BRANCH
Benita Wrenn-Davis (Be) originally studied Theatre and Dance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and produced and directed her first music video in the Spring of 1986. Later returning to complete her degree after studying Film and Television under the tutelage of Dr. Jean Bodon and Carey Goin. Be also trained as writer and critic with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Journalism & Advocacy and was one of the founding Chairpersons of the UAB Film Club. Be is a native of Hueytown, Alabama. At two years old, Be’s mother died from a heart attack and Be was then raised by her widowed, elderly father. Turning to the arts, Be went on to act in lead roles, traditionally held by non-black actresses for community and County theater productions, including: (Glinda/The Wizard of Oz, The Little Match Girl/The Little Match Girl, and Anita/Westside Story), for which she received lead actress awards. Be has edited, directed and produced narrative dramas, comedies and documentaries for film festivals like Sidewalk and Red Bull Writer’s Block, to national programming like B.E.T. Filmmaker’s Challenge and HBO’s Project Greenlight, and she worked on one of the first television reality shows for Warner Brothers Television. Be’s creative flexibility has taken her from the local television newsroom of NBC13 to national experience writing/directing at Turner Broadcasting. At (UAB) she studied music under the gifted Paul Mostellar, and Acting and Play-writing under Ron Hubbard and Lee Shackelford, respectively. Be was a member of the BodyLove Drama Series Writer’s Group, writing for the scripted drama series. Be was cast for a role in the show as an actor for the radio production of the series and later became a host and talk show producer, for the UAB School of Public Health Grant program, through Media for Health at WJLD. Be also worked as a submission judge; reviewing and choosing finalists. At UAB Media, Be served as News Director and Senior Staff Writer. Under professor and filmmaker Marianne Mack, Be also co-wrote and co-produced Youth Violence Project Films. She has spent many years supporting and volunteering for various organizations including the original project B.E.A.T. (Building homes for the homeless in Ensley, Alabama), Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Heart Association. After a reckless driver injured her daughter causing her to have Epilepsy, Be became an Epilepsy Awareness advocate. Additionally, Be spent many years volunteering as a Jefferson County Junior Achievement instructor and Be also devotes her time to speaking engagements, emceeing at events like FARE WALK and the “Art of Hope” American Society for Suicide Prevention, participating in disaster relief efforts, offering her talents and expertise to non-profits, including her own foundation, the Momless Life Foundation. Be earned a Bachelor’s degree in broadcasting/journalism, graduating with honors from UAB. Be’s honors thesis film explored the difference between discipline and abuse. She surveyed hundreds of prisoners in the Alabama Dept. of Corrections; and interviewed parents, teachers and educators. While still in college, Be became a member of Birmingham Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, & Society of Professional Journalists. You can hear her on air as a voice actor, and podcast host, including; Be in the Ham and The Heart Core Show and as on-air talent and traffic reporter. You can hear Be’s reports on 987KISSFM, 106.9THEEAGELE, 104.7WZZK, 610WAGG and 957JAMZ. Be is the mother of two daughters. One, a Jefferson County School Teacher, Artist, Muralist and Art Workshop Instructor; and her youngest a gifted graphic designer and Epilepsy warrior fighting to be educated the way her brain now learns. Be is married to an Air Force veteran who she’s been with for 25 years. After being hospitalized for a heart attack, Be worked hard and recently became a Certified Zumba Instructor. Be’s also busy as the Creative Director for BhamFilms where she’s currently working on film, television, reality and digital media projects, including: a documentary film to help process and prevent the trauma of violence, offering alternative choices in sports, education and entertainment, featuring NFL Football’s Gary Burley, celebrated educator and 2017 Principal of the Year, Van Phillips, Sr., also she’s directing and producing a relaunch of one of her previous documentaries, Life Back a Look Back series, featuring National Golf Champion and former ABC 33/40 News Anchor Chris Osborne and Air Force veteran and Quad Rugby Paralympian Delvin McMillian, an interactive project NUMB bringing back after school specials by entertaining to educate and inform at all levels (parents, students, administration, teachers, and police officers), a new comedy project with a national television channel, and a narrative film Coil based on Be’s own real life events about a little girl whose life suddenly changes when she battles alopecia and Motherlessnes.