Tanya Kersey, the founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, passed away last week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 61.

Her daughters Monique Love and Brittany Love and sister Lisa M. Kersey confirmed that she passed from a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Rancho Cucamonga, California on Facebook. She had been suffering from several health issues over the last few years.

“My mommy passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones yesterday evening. As many of you know, my mom has been battling multiple health issues for many years with dignity and grace,” the post read. “Although we will miss her dearly, we find solace that she is no longer in pain. She is now in perfect peace with her Mom & Dad.”

"Thank you everyone for all of your love, prayers, and well wishes during this difficult time,” the post concluded.

Initially starting as a model and actress, Kersey eventually became the founder and CEO of Black Talent News and its website BlackTalentNews.com. Previously, she was a noted entertainment journalist for several publications. She also foundedThe Kersey Group, a boutique film consulting firm.

In 1998, she launched The Hollywood Black Film Festival as a celebration of Black cinema. The festival attracted upcoming and veteran filmmakers, popular film and television stars, writers, industry executives and emerging artists from all over the world to Southern California. The annual event drew over 40,000 people over the years and screened over 1,000 films before its last festival in 2018. Dubbed “The Black Sundance,” the festival attracted the likes of Sidney Poitier, John Singleton, Forest Whitaker, Sanaa Lathan and Loretta Devine.

She was the co-author of Black State of the Arts: A Guide to Developing a Successful Career as a Black Performing Artist, which established her as an in-demand public speaker.

In addition to her daughters and sister, Kersey is survived by two grandsons.

We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tanya Kersey.