Born and raised in New York City, Gina Belafonte has spent most of her life surrounded by entertainment and activism. Today, her professional work encompasses these two arenas. As the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose life’s work is reflective of some of the best-known entertainment and most progressive social activism, Gina’s passions should come as no surprise.
Most recently, Gina played a leading role in producing the documentary SING YOUR SONG- a film focused on the personal history and extraordinary events of Harry Belafonte’s life and legacy. SING YOUR SONG has been invited to compete in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has the honor of being chosen as the opening night documentary selection. For Gina, this means that not only is it a moment of great professional accomplishment but it also serves as a way to share with her daughter, nieces, and nephews, the understanding of their grandfather’s contribution to our country’s history.
Gina began her entertainment career in the theatre at the age of 14 as an actress. After graduating from the high school of Performing Arts, Gina landed her first film, working in several different aspects of production on Alan Parker’s FAME. She continued to work with great regularity in film and theatre and, after graduating from SUNY Purchase, toured with The National Shakespeare Company in the title role of Romeo and Juliet. Gina took a stint with The Mirror Reparatory Company in NYC under the Artistic Direction of John Strasberg. While at The Mirror, she got to work with such greats as Geraldine Page, F. Murray Abraham, Anne Jackson, Elisabeth Franz and more.
After getting a call from her agent suggesting they wanted to build up Gina’s television experience, she moved to Hollywood. Appearing in many guest-starring roles, Gina missed her passion of stage productions and began to produce theater in LA. Gina then landed a series, starring Michael Chiklis, called THE COMMISH. After two years on the show, she got married and began a family. Committing herself to the role of mother and wife, Gina took a leave of absence from entertainment and began to immerse herself in social activism. She met a prolific young man and gang interventionist, Bo Taylor, and started to work with him, going into the rough streets of LA, to get a deeper understanding of the gang culture. Gina helped found a Non-Profit called The Gathering For Justice, a multi-cultural, multi-generational organization that deals with the issues of youth incarceration and the criminalization of poverty.
Gina received an offer to work for Paula Weinstein and Barry Levinson at Baltimore Spring Creek where she got a tremendous amount of insight into the world of film and television development and production. With this newly found appreciation for entertainment production, Gina started to move tenaciously into this arena. After seeing a documentary a friend had made on her father, Gina decided to broach the subject with her own dad. SING YOUR SONG was born.
After dedicating 10 years of her life to gang intervention and the issues of youth incarceration and then, for the last 6 of those years, following her father around the world, Gina is proud to bring together her art and activism with SING YOUR SONG.
Today, Gina resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She works internationally with many different artists and organizations developing the concepts and promoting the belief in Interdependence. She continues to produce, act and direct for theatre, television and film.