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2021 HONOREES
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Trailblazer Award
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Malcolm D. Lee is a writer, director, and producer whose directorial work includes his critically acclaimed feature film debut The Best Man which opened at No. 1 at the box-office, the smash hit Girls Trip with which Lee made history as the first film with a full African-American creative team in front of and behind the camera to surpass the $100 million mark at the domestic box office grossing over $140 million worldwide, and Night School another box office hit grossing over $100 million worldwide.  One of Hollywood’s most bankable filmmakers, Lee’s upcoming projects include the feature film Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James, At That Age, a Universal Television pilot created by Lee based on a script Lee co-wrote and will direct, and 
Peacock’s The Best Man: Final Chapters a 10-part series finale to Lee’s iconic The Best Man franchise.  Through his Blackmaled Productions banner, Lee is currently overseeing several feature and television projects in development including I Almost Forgot About You (Universal Pictures), an adaptation of Terry McMillan’s novel with Viola Davis, The Classic (Universal Pictures), Real Talk (Universal Pictures), Rock the Bells (Fox) and The Spoils (Lionsgate Films).

For more information about Mr. Lee, see
https://blackmaled.com/
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Malcolm D. Lee
Blackmaled Productions
Founder/Director
Tamela R. Cash-Curry
BESLA 2021 Hall of Fame Inductee
Former BESLA Chairwoman
"How does a public defender who never practiced entertainment law break tradition to become the first female elected Chairman of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association…lots of prayers, hard work and a huge dose of selflessness!"

Tamela R. Cash-Curry, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, knew at an early age that she wanted to be an attorney.  And although she had lived on 2 continents and 4 different states by the age of twelve, she had not seen anyone who looked like her in that role…not even on television.  In fact, she didn't even know anyone who had gone to or
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graduated from college, let alone law school.  But what she did know was that her mother, who didn’t have a high school diploma, had big dreams for her first born and only daughter.  Fast forward…prayer, good grades, full scholarship, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Tamela’s path to Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California was paved.  Once there, Tamela’s ambition was sparked when she attended a mid-year conference of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) in Los Angeles, California and the annual conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Those BESLA conferences planted the dream of practicing entertainment law.  However, the passing of her mother during law school and the responsibilities of raising a 2-year old niece and 11-year old brother, made a 9-5 job seem like the answer to her new prayers. Tamela was hired by the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, the same day that she was boarding her flight to attend her second BESLA annual conference in the Bahamas.  

The subsequent 27 years are BESLA memories and history. Although yet to realize her dream of practicing as an entertainment lawyer, Tamela is proud of her career as a criminal defense attorney.  For the past 27 years she has aggressively litigated on her clients’ behalf in serious and/or violent felony matters.  While being fulfilled in a career that was born from circumstance, Tamela’s love for BESLA never waned.  Tamela worked her way from stuffing conference bags to the boardroom, to the presidency and then, in 2010, became the first female elected as Chairman of the Board. Tamela’s tenure on the board of directors ended after 16 years when she resigned at the 35th Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica…the place where she attended her very first annual conference.  Tamela, who has missed only two conferences in 29 years, boasts of memories to last a lifetime and looks forward to making many more with her BESLA family.

Ever wanting to “give back”, Tamela has continued her life of service by being active in her beloved sorority of 40 years. She is currently the president of Omega Delta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where service to all mankind is foremost. Tamela is also a sitting member of the Advisory Board for the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF), formerly known as the Black College Expo (BCE).  BCE was founded in 1999, as a vehicle to increase college enrollment among underrepresented youth as well as to provide networking and future job opportunities for students – an undertaking that mirrors the mission and goals of BESLA.

Tamela married her husband, Tyrone Tyler, at a BESLA conference 23 years ago in Paradise Island, Bahamas. They make their home in Chino Hills, CA.  Tamela spends her spare time traveling and loving on her family and friends.
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