Project Title: East is West
Frida Banks is a storyteller who happens to act, write, & talk shxt. When she’s not on set acting or interviewing fascinating guests, Frida writes & creates television shows that the world has never before seen. Her commitment to arts education has enabled her to work with many brilliant students from Toronto’s Malvern & Jan-Finch to displaced communities in Medellin, Colombia, as well as Indigenous resistance movements in South India. As a journalist, Frida has been featured on VICE, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, as well as contributed to publications such as Elle magazine & Canadian Living. Frida thrives at the intersection of art and politics, her social justice initiatives have been recognized by the United Nations, the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as the University of California, Berkeley.
Project Title: 1990
Lesley-Anne Macfarlane is a UK based producer with experience in micro-budget productions in the UK and the Caribbean. Affecting social change through film is a great interest to her and she is involved in several NGOs and arts organisations, being drawn to projects that have an impact element. Her credits include line producer on feature films “Play the Devil” and “HERO Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross”, which have both opened for the trinidad+tobago film festival. She co-founded a social enterprise dedicated to creating a sustainable ecosystem for film and television producers and directors in the Caribbean called the Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago, which also manages the annual trinidad+tobago film festival. She is currently working on producing her first feature film with a community interest company, focusing on developing under-represented talent, and she is a co-producer on the documentary series, “1990”.
Project Title: Traytown
Letay Williams’ journey into filmmaking began at the University of the West Indies where she embraced her passion for screenwriting. She has since written, produced and directed two short films which won awards at the GATFFEST Film Festival and in 2019, she pitched and won funding for the production of her latest short film Traytown (2020) which has screened at multiple international film festivals. Letay is intentional about creating stories infused with the diverse, vibrant culture of her Jamaican heritage that resonate with a global audience. Letay is currently an M.F.A. in Screenwriting candidate at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and is developing two feature-length screenplays and a tv pilot.
Project Title: 1990
Mariel Brown is a documentary filmmaker and director of the creative and production companies SAVANT Films and SAVANT Media and a co-founder of the filmmaker organisation, FILMCO. With over 25 years of experience in film and television, Mariel is committed to uncovering and documenting the Caribbean’s rich history and culture, and is especially interested in exploring the lives of its often-unheralded artists and writers. Some of her most notable work as creator, director and producer includes: “Inward Hunger: The Story of Eric Williams” – a three part documentary series on Trinidad and Tobago’s first prime minister;; “West Indies At War” – a four-part documentary exploration of the West Indies’ involvement in World War 1; “Unfinished Sentences” – a personal exploration of her tumultuous relationship with her late father, writer Wayne Brown. She was a finalist at the Primera Mirada works-in-progress competition of IFF Panama, and a participant in the Ventana Sur Open Pitch (Argentina). Both her television and film work has won awards and been featured in international press such as Filmmaker Magazine, Variety, Screen Daily and Caribbean Beat. Mariel is currently working on a new series, ‘1990’, an in depth exploration of the 1990 attempted coup in Trinidad and Tobago.
Project Title: Moya's Love
Mary Wells is an award winning independent film Director/ Writer and Producer from the Caribbean & USA and has some thirty years experience in television and film production. As the first woman from Jamaica to do a feature narrative her debut film, Kingston Paradise, was awarded ‘Best Diaspora Feature’ in the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2014. Recently she completed an animated mini drama series for young adults and children, Ms. Sugga. In 1999, her short, Now Jimmy! was awarded “Outstanding Documentary from the Caribbean” in the Sheryl Lee Ralph Film & Music Festival and was also screened at the prestigious Toronto Int’l Film Festival, 2002. She studied Television Production and the Theatre Arts in Wash DC and the Moya’s Love project will be her second feature.
Project Title: Traytown
Nadean Rawlins has been an entertainment practitioner as an actor for 20 years with four Actor Boy Awards including Best Actress in 2014. In 2015 she started RAW Management, a talent agency and production company. Nadean has produced and directed five stage plays including the award winning play ‘The Black That I Am’ written by Karl Williams. In 2020 Nadean produced and co-directed her first short film ‘Traytown; written by Letay Williams that was screened at Bahamas International Film Festival, Play Short International Film Awards 2021 with a nomination for Best LGBT Short and Diversity in Cannes Film Festival in summer 2021. Nadean is an alumnus of the IFFR Rotterdam Producer Lab and is the Director for Membership and Training with Women in Film and Television Jamaica.
Project Title: Kabul Kitchen
Tarique Qayumi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, came to Vancouver as a refugee, and later moved to Los Angeles to study at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Following graduation, he directed the feature TARGETING and was the executive producer of SESAME STREET for Afghanistan. After moving back to Canada, he was one of five chose for the NSI Corus Diverse TV Director program in where he shadowed on THE VIKINGS. In addition, Tarique wrote and directed BLACK KITE (TIFF 2017), which went on to 20 film festivals and won three Leo Awards for best writer, director, and picture. Tarique recently shot a mini-project using virtual production technology first used on THE MANDALORIAN for the DGC. As well, he received funding from TELEFILM for his next feature, MOTHERHOOD.
Project Title: 1990
Tracy Farrag is an independent producer and writer who has worked in film and video production for more than a decade. She also holds a Bachelor of Education with a specialisation in guidance and counseling. Her passion for children and her experience in the classroom led this one-time flight attendant to co-produce the first feature length, award-winning children’s film in Trinidad and Tobago, “Sally’s Way”. Most of her work in video production however is centred in the corporate, cultural and sporting arena, writing and producing short documentaries and profiles. She also holds a certificate in project management and has worked on international projects with CBS as location manager for “The Amazing Race” in Trinidad and as a project coordinator with Coachella for their feature on Calypso Rose, a cultural icon and international award winner who performed at the Coachella festival in 2019.
More recently, Tracy has also devoted time to narrative fiction and in 2019 completed an 8- week writing mentorship under author Barbara Jenkins and had the pleasure of doing a reading of her story for the Bocas Lit Fest. In that same year she completed workshops with Commonwealth Short Story winner 2019, Kevin Jared Hosein and Dr. Muli Amaye, coordinator of the MFA Creative Writing at the UWI. In 2020 she was shortlisted in the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Short Story Competition and received notable mention.