SVA Film & Animation
FACULTY: Roni Wheeler


Throughout my career I have been extremely fortunate to be exposed to and trained in several industries. My career began in Publishing at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. As Associate Editor of Drug and Cosmetic Industry Magazine, I learned the Fashion and Food Industries.   Tobacco Reporter Magazine taught me advertising sales representation.  Essence Magazine awarded me TOP SALES HONORS for advertising sales.

Television beckoned and I signed on as the first Black Producer for WEWS-TV5, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland Ohio. As Associate Producer, I learned in-studio television production and remote broadcast production management.

Once I returned to NY, I was hired as a Production Assistant on the Paramount feature, Coming To America. I learned film production on the sets of Black Rain and Ghost. After several other productions, I joined the Directors Guild of America, Inc. as an Assistant Director. I was elected to the East Coast Council, in 1992. In 1996, the Council elected me Chair and then again for five consecutive terms.

During this period, I excelled. I attended DGA National Board meetings in Los Angeles, 4 times a year and was fortunate to work with many of the world’s icons. As a Stage Manager for the popular syndicated series, Showtime At The Apollo, I was in the right place, at the right time, when new management hired me as Supervising Producer of the newly formatted show. The Producers Guild of America welcomed me as a member. When Nelle Nugent and I founded the Diversity Committee, I was then a member of the Advisory Board of the PGA, East.

I was elected to the Board of Directors of New York Women In Film & Television for a three year term. Business and entertainment management skills were added to my resume. Professional organizations are extremely helpful for a fulfilled life. They provide the networking and friend-making opportunities required to be successful.

Independent features are making their mark on society these days. I have produced a few small budget features and enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to projects from inception through to distribution.


Feature Films: “White Men Can’t Rap”/ “My Angel Is A Centerfold”/ “Hung”/ “Vote For Me!”

Documentaries: “America Scores”/ “Veterans Across America”/ “The Whiskey Project-Guatemala, CA”

Shorts:  “The Legend”/ “Smart Shorties”

Television: “New York Undercover”; “Law & Order”; “Jazzman”

Magazines: Adv Rep: Essence Communications/ Adv Rep: Tobacco Reporter Magazine/ Associate Editor: Drug and Cosmetic Industry Magazine

Import/ Export: Owned an Import/Export Company 1983-86. UN Affiliated. Marketing and shipping

Professional Model:        Wilhelmina International/ National Print Advertising/ International Runway

Freelance Line Producing: “Empire” Universal – Created the initial budget that attracted the funding for the feature. “In Search of The River Witch”

1983: Won several 1st Place Sales Awards at Essence Magazine. Top Advertising Representative

1984: First Black Producer for the ABC affiliate, WEWS-TV5, Cleveland, Ohio

1996: Elected 1st Black Woman to Chair the Directors Guild of America’s, AD/ UPM Council, East

2001: Re-elected to fifth consecutive term as Chair of the DGA’s, AD/UPM Council, East

2004: Founder and Chair of the 1st Diversity Committee, Producers Guild of America, East

Line Producing and Budgeting.