Press release


“Collaboration helps expose Central Florida’s Creative Community Locally and Globally.”

Orlando, FL, May 15, 2023 – – -Today, the Orlando Urban Film Festival Foundation Inc. (OUFF), an IRS certified non-profit organization, announced Retired Commander Philip Willis as its newest executive director. Ret. Cmdr. Phil Willis’ onboarding will assist the OUFF Executive Team to scale the organization towards far-reaching local, national, and global markets. Although, he is a Retd. Cmdr. from the US Army, and he brings over 20 years of experience in business and entertainment and will manage a high-level of responsibilities associated with this new role, as OUFF celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Executive Director, Ret. Cmdr. Willis has over 15 years of expertise working with non-profits, global trade, business development, technology, e-commerce, and support for veterans as entrepreneurs. He has a wealth of experience in the entertainment, music, and movie industries to support, oversee, and scale-up all aspects of OUFF and its Young Directors and Producers Program.

Cmdr. Willis stated, “I am very excited about the opportunity with OUFF, and I will provide valuable resources and connections to help drive exposure for the festival and its events on local, national, and global platforms.” The dialogues between OUFF and Cmdr. Willis have been in-sync from the beginning of their deliberations, in that Eggleston’s and Cmdr. Willis’ vision is to build OUFF as a premiere non-profit organization to showcase underrepresented and other diverse cultures’ content creators as well as bringing music, film, and technology together through events and conferences which includes grassroots programs.

“This is happening at a wonderful juncture to help sustain OUFF. I am so pleased to onboard such a skilled and creative leader who will help strengthen and drive exposure for the Orlando Urban Film, Music, and Technology Festival, and one who brings with him our newest partnership with South Africa and other African countries,” said Marianne S. Eggleston, Founder. Cmdr. Willis grew up in Chicago, Illinois where he is deeply rooted in veteran’s activities, entrepreneurship, and entertainment. In 2010, he created the Vet Connect Radio & Out-Reach Show which was a live radio broadcast with Chicago State University. He says, “I continue to develop various strategic programs to assist veterans throughout the State of Illinois and globally to help enhance the lifestyles for both them and their families.”

OUFF’s 10th Anniversary Celebration will take place at the CMX Cinemas in Downtown Orlando, Florida. Opening Night is on Thursday, August 31st and we will Honor the legendary Lionel C. Martin, entertainment guru. Lionel has worked with and directed Grammy award-winning multi-platinum acts such as 2Pac, Boyz II Men, N-Sync, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Sean Puffy Combs, Whitney Houston, The Temptations and so many more. “His first film, How To Be A Player,” starring Bill Bellamy, was a huge financial success at the box office. Stay Tuned, other, OUFF Guest Stars will be announced soon!

Featured Official Screenings on Friday, September 1. On Saturday, September 2, 2023, there will be afternoon music showcases with local artists and an evening of OUFF 2023 Awards. We have invited various S. African and African Union executives, and film and music producers to join us here in Orlando. There will be a host of events, film screenings, and the finale awards presentation with a concert featuring Composer, Producer and Pianist Extraordinaire, Dunn Pearson Jr. We will close the events with a private meet and greet and photo opportunities with our guests and attendees.

For additional information on the Orlando Urban Film Festival Foundation Inc. (OUFF) and/or Retd. Commander Philip Willis including submissions, sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales please contact the OUFF, Marianne Eggleston at 216.256.8060, email: Also visit our website at or the OUFF Submissions Platform at