BlackUSA.News: Ada Babineaux, Founder/Director at San Antonio Black International Film Festival


The MISSION of the San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF), is to showcase quality film genres indicative of vast Black experiences, advocate for, and support filmmakers of African descent. We expose audiences to a myriad of subject matters, stories, voices, and diverse images of Black people throughout the global Diaspora that have been historically under-represented. The SABIFF is made possible by donations by viewers. Please consider donating to keep Black Subjects, stories, and voices alive.

Who is Ada?

Ada M. Babino has over 25 years of experience in communications media, with a focus in broadcast production, independent video/film production, and public relations. She is the founder and Director of the San Antonio Black International Film Festival, formed in 2019. She is also the owner and founder of Jezebel Filmworks, a production service company that specializes in documentary projects. Babino received a Master’s of Arts degree in Video/Film Production from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Production from Howard University.

Under her Jezebel banner, Babino has worked for hire as a freelancer/consultant for numerous clients over the years. She also finds purposeful projects that she is passionate to document that profile people, subject matters, or events that speak to the Black Experience. Her timeless docu-drama on hair, Middle Passage -N- Roots which explores the identity concerns and styles of black hair, was selected as part of Showtime Network’s 1998 Black Filmmaker’s showcase. Her folkloric documentary on her grandparents entitled, I Don’ Been Through The Snake’s Skin and Come Out Clean (2014) has screened at various film festivals, and premiered in select cities.

Babino’s independent film experience started as a Production Coordinator, turned Line Producer for the highly acclaimed movie, Sankofa, and later as the film’s publicist. Her media production work has been extensive. Select clients have included: Black Entertainment Television, HARPO Productions/The Oprah Winfrey Show, Paul Wagner Productions, Black Public Media, and Rubicon Productions, the producers of the AKA’s centennial film. She has documented and produced events and programs for: Howard University Center for Race and Wealth, The Women’s Bar Association, ZGS Communications, the Fannie Mae Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

A native from San Antonio, Texas, with Louisiana roots, Babino began her television production career as a student intern, turned Senior Producer of the student-run magazine show Spotlight at WHUT (formally WHMM), Howard University’s PBS television station in Washington, DC. Babino went on to serve as an Associate Producer for Black Entertainment Television’s daily entertainment magazine preview show, Screen Scene, and later the Special Projects Producer at BET’s cable jazz channel, BET On Jazz. Her documentary on jazz legend, Shirley Horn entitled, Shirley Horn: Sassared & Blowed, was honored at the 1999 National Black Programming Consortium’s Prized Pieces. Jezebel Filmworks was commissioned to produce specials entitled; Blues & Dreams, and Romare Bearden: The Main Ingredient. Babino is a triple recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Grant-In-Aid award, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers Grant, and the National Black Programming Consortium, (NBPC) Grant. She has served as a grant panelist for the DCCAH multi-discipline award, and the NBPC’s Prize Pieces Awards. She currently serves as a community representative for the San Antonio Film Commission.

Film/Video Works:

I Don’ Been Through The Snake’s Skin & Come Out Clean (:57 min./Doc./2014) Blues & Dreams (for BET /57:20 / 2004)

Middle Passage –N- Roots (:30 min./Docu Drama/1995) Eracism (:05/short/2006)

Shirley Horn: Sassared & Blowed (for BET On Jazz /45 min/Doc../1999) Anticipation (:10/color/1988)

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