“As Telefilm increases its efforts to expand the reach of stories and works by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, I am so happy that we can support the CaribbeanTales’ Creators of Colour Incubator program once again. Telefilm is taking steps to help address the imbalances that exist within our film industry. And the CCI reflects the change we need to see onscreen.”
Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada
“Ontario Creates is exceptionally pleased to support the Creators of Colour Incubator, run by the talented CaribbeanTales team. With its strong inclusive lens and high caliber content, we are confident that this program will be successful in strengthening the industry workforce in communities throughout the province.”
Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO of Ontario Creates
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: East is West
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: 1990
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: Traytown
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: 1990
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: Moya's Love
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: Traytown
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: Kabul Kitchen
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.
Project Title: 1990
Aisha is an actor and filmmaker who is passionate about bringing stories of the underrepresented to the forefront of our social consciousness. In 2019, Aisha was nominated ByBlacks.com for Black Canadian Filmmaker of the year for her work on her second short film “SHOEGAZER”. She has just completed her directorial debut “NAVAL GAZING” (world premiere pending) and is currently developing her Feature Directorial Debut “SEAHORSE”. When not working, Aisha can be found eating donuts in Toronto.
Project Title: Seahorse
With over 15 years of experience her commercial visual work has been featured on CBC, YesTV, by the United Nations, Bell, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Audi, KitchenAid, and Special Olympics Canada. She has traveled to over a dozen countries and led creative projects, managed both small and large-scale events and worked with a variety of not-for-profit organizations, and grassroots film initiatives. Laura is an advocate for women in film and media and serves on the board of directors of Breakthroughs Film Festival which is devoted exclusively to showcasing films by emerging female directors. She completed the Producers Market Incubator Program offered by CaribbeanTales Inc. and was recently awarded a partial scholarship for the “Media Leadership Lab” with WIFT Toronto. She was a co-creator and facilitator at the Native Film & Storytelling Institute and is currently involved in the production of a few documentaries, web series, and films.
Project Title: Tenaya
Lisa Rideout is an award-winning filmmaker whose two most recent films won Oscar qualify awards. Lisa is currently working with Banger Films, the Emmy award winning production company behind Hip Hop Evolution, on an episode of their tv series This is Pop! for Netflix and Bell Media. In 2019, her CBC supported film One Leg In, One Out won Best Short Documentary at the LA and Brooklyn Film Festival. Lisa’s film Take a Walk on the Wildside won the 2018 Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Short and a Grand Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Her stop motion animation film, His Nose, Her Eyes, Whose Face? inspired by her own experience being mixed race, premiered on CBC in 2019. Lisa also directs branded content, completing two branded series for VICE Canada. She is currently developing documentary content with Banger Films, Clique Pictures and 90th Parallel. Lisa has her MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University and her MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Project Title: What Night Taught Them
Armed with a decade of experience in commercial directing and film editing, Samantha is an award-winning filmmaker recently chosen for the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative. Her first writing credit came when she won the story writing competition for the animated feature film franchise “The Nut Job”, that stars Will Arnett. Samantha’s directorial debut “Prom Night”, that stars comedian Gerry Dee, premiered at “Just for Laughs”, and gained cross-border success in Kevin Hart’s “LOL Network” development deal competition, the short was a top-five finalist beating out 650 films. Samantha also wrote, edited and filmed the short at her house while on maternity leave. “Prom Night” the feature script is a semi-finalist in “ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay Competition”. One of the selected writers for the “2020 Writing Room at Prime Time”, Samanta was taught the ABCs of pitching from producer/director Jennifer Morrison (Euphoria), Samantha says of her stories: “While movies and television in the 90’s saved me in many ways, it also did a lot of damage to me. No leading ladies on screen looked like me and so I always felt less than, my mission with my projects is to entertain and empower. I want people to see themselves, so they can be inspired to be the leads in their own stories”.
Project Title: Prom Night
Tobi Abdul (she/they) is a Nigeria-born, Halton suburbs-raised, and Toronto-based producer working in documentary, factual television, music videos and commercial production. They are most passionate about chasing heartwarming stories, casting charasmatic people, and amplifying seldom-heard voices that have rich, diverse histories, presents, and futures. As a Black, androgynous, gay woman, Tobi is dedicated to uplifting other 2SLGBTQ+ BIPOC folks both in life and work. They’re not just looking for a seat, they want to build a whole new table.
Most recently, Tobi was the casting and associate producer for re:Presenting (*working title), a documentary series by Vice Studios about trans and non-binary folks featuring an entirely BIPOC cast. In the past year, she worked as a Talent Coordinator on season one of Canada’s Drag Race and has also produced short-form projects like the Adidas – “Change is a Team Sport” campaign and the “Bubbly” music video from OVO’s Roy Woods. In her “spare time,” Tobi freelances as a culture writer and has bylines on Indiewire, Xtra, Highsnobiety and HuffingtonPost among others.
Project Title: What Night Taught them
V. T. Nayani is a director, producer, and writer, dedicated to stories for the screen. Her first feature documentary SHADEISM: DIGGING DEEPER (2015) had its World Premiere at the 2015 Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition. Nayani is an alumni of the CBC’s Workshop for Diverse Creators, the HotDocs’ Doc Accelerator Program, and ReelWorld Film Festival’s Emerging 20 Program. She is also a recipient of the UN Women Yvonne M. Hebert Award for filmmakers and photographers. Her artistic development has been supported by platforms including the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, ArtReach Toronto, RBC, Prism Prize, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Her film work has been championed by festivals includingTIFF Next Wave, Inside Out, Women of the World Festival, Reel Asian, Regent Park Film Film Festival, ReelWorld, and Lights Camera Africa Film Festival. Nayani is currently in post-production for her first dramatic feature, THIS PLACE (produced in partnership with Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Program), and in development for the feature comedy SHAME. She also proudly serves on the board and programming team for Breakthroughs Film Festival, the only festival in Canada dedicated to showcasing short films by women and non-binary people.
Project Title: Prom Night
Victoria Anderson-Gardner is an award winning Ojibwe filmmaker from Eagle Lake First Nation, Ontario. She is currently based out of Thunder Bay and Toronto where she recently completed her thesis film for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree under the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. Victoria is focused on creating Indigenous content, showcasing underrepresented communities and using her skills as a filmmaker to educate. With over 4 years of experience in the film industry, Victoria is a director and producer who has worked and assisted on a variety of productions which include The Hurt That Binds Us (Voices With Impact funded short documentary focused on Indigenous mental health, won best documentary at the Ryerson University Film Festival), Mni Wiconi: Mitakuyelo (imagineNATIVE and Netflix commissioned film), In Search of a Perfect World (CBC Docs POV hosted by Peter Mansbridge, credited as additional director), and The Inconvenient Indian (directed by Michelle Latimer, credited as production assistant). She currently sits as an Advisory Board member for Art With Impact where they jury for their monthly film competitions, and is a brand ambassador for the Indigenous led charity called Indspire.
Project Title: Tenaya
Ayanda studied Theatre and performing Arts at the Market Theatre Laboratory where she obtained a higher certificate. She then trained as Script Editor with South African Broadcasting Corporation and the National Film and Video Foundation in South Africa. She quickly moved from interns to Acting Head of Genre during her time at the SABC.
Ayanda also mentors & facilitates workshops for KwaZulu Natal Film Commission, their FITI Program as well as NFVF Spark. She currently works as a Head Writer / Script Editor / Workshop Facilitator / Script Writer for Dramas and Feature Films. Ayanda has just finished working on “Makoti” for SABC 1 – as Head Writer and Creative Producer.
Project Title: ONE DAY IN JUNE
Ayleen worked as Assistant Director to Cuban filmmaker Eduardo del Llano on his latest production, Domino (2017), Rállame la Zanahoria (2018),and Two Veterans (2019).
In 2018 she served as a Post-Production Producer in the documentary Los Cercanos Días del Amor (2018), directed by Yosiri López- Silvero.
In 2017 she was co-tutor of the Diploma Work of Frank E. Fernández in option to the Title of Audiovisual Production granted by the University of the Arts (ISA).
She recently received an International Diploma from the Script Specialization Workshop awarded by the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños EICTV (2019).
Currently she is director and screenwriter of the documentary project La Tumba y El Papalote, co-directed with Frank E. Fernández.
Project Title: THE GRAVE& THE KITE
Bridget Pickering was the South African co-producer on Hotel Rwanda, the Terry George Oscar-nominated feature film.
She started her career as a Casting Associate with Bonnie Timmermann at Universal Pictures on films such as The Last of the Mohicans and Glengarry Glen Ross. She co-produced the feature project Taste of Rain directed by Richard Pakleppa, and the Chmeo Club a comedy heist film. She has produced eleven television drama series for national broadcaster SABC and commercial broadcaster, ETV.
Bridget is currently in pre-production on her next feature, The Night Outside.
Project Title: LIFE AFTER DEATH
Folasewa Babalola is an aspiring screenwriter and student at Humber’s Film and Multiplatform Storytelling focusing on producing film and media content tailored for multiplatform delivery.
She is grateful to Caribbean Tales Incubator for the opportunity to train as a co-producer and hone her creative and business skills. Diversity within the film industry is important because it is a way to make people feel accepted and allows a fresh injection of unique ideas into otherwise well-explored genres of film. Diversity is not limited to race or culture, but can include life experiences and perspectives as well.
Folasewa’s available for internships and is always looking for new opportunities to learn and gain experience within Toronto’s growing film industry.
Project Title: FINDINGZENDAYA
Graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Audiovisual Media in the Profile of Audiovisual Production from the University of Arts (ISA).
In 2010 he co-directed, with Lester Sibila, the documentary, Calle 13 in Havana, from the Cuban Institute of Music, and worked as a Producer and Assistant Director of Dos Más Suman from director Adriana Gil.
General Producer of the short film La Muerte del Cisne, by Zarima Proveyer; the short film Épica, of the Nicanor Series from filmmaker Eduardo del Llano; fictional short film Cada Lunes y Cada Lluvia, by filmmaker Rocío Aballí; short film El Vals de Claudia from filmmaker Natalie Gómez Carpio; General Producer of the Noticiero de la Muestra Joven del ICAIC; the documentary Los Cercanos días del Amor, by filmmaker Yosiri-López Silvero.
He currently writes, directs and produces the documentary La tumba y el papalote
Project Title: THE GRAVE& THE KITE
Gabrielle is an award winning Jamaican Director and Director of Photography who has written, directed and shot short films, documentaries and commercials in both Jamaica and New Zealand.
Her films have been screened at: the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in LA, Diversity in Cannes, LA Film & Script Film Festival (Best Short Doc), The American Black Film Festival, amongst others.
Gabrielle is a recipient of the Geoff Evans Award for Excellence in Screen Production in New Zealand.
Her feature screenplay ‘Kendal’ has also been shortlisted for a Sundance Lab and the Screencraft Drama Feature Writing Competition amongst others. Born in Jamaica, Gabrielle is the past immediate President of the Jamaica Film & Television Association (JAFTA), a Co-Convenor of Women In Film Jamaica and resides in Kingston as an independent filmmaker.
Project Title: KENDAL
Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean-Louis grew up in the slums of Petion-Ville until age 12, to
become a Hollywood celebrity and a global cultural Ambassador to Haiti. Earlier in his career, Jimmy worked as a dancer and a model internationally. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue acting. His acting credits include Tears of the sun (Bruce Willis), Phat Girlz (Mo’Nique), NBC Hit show Heroes, CW show Arrow, CBS Extant with Oscar winner Halle Berry produced by Steven Spielberg. More recently, he was part of the cast of Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro directed by David O Russell and a regular on the TV show Claws for TNT. His most important role to date is playing the title character in TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE and won BEST ACTOR at the Pan African Film Festival. He was also nominated BEST ACTOR at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2012. Jimmy Jean-Louis co-founded the Los Angeles based production company Jet Media Production in 2008. His producing credits include the documentary films Haiti 16:53 (2010, Jimmy Goes to Nollywood (2015) and the feature film Everything But A Man (2018) directed by Nnegest Likke (Phat Girlz). He also produced the neo-noir psychological
Project Title: MAMI WATA
JULIUS AMEDUME (Writer/Director) Julius’ film education began with the black and
white film noirs, comedies and musicals screened on BBC2 and Channel 4 each
afternoon while he was homeschooled as a youngster due to illness.
Years later he was awarded a Toledo scholarship to study a masters in directing fiction
at the National Film & Television School. During his time there, Julius wrote and
directed four short films. MARY AND JOHN was nominated for Best Short at the 2009
Rushes Soho Film Festival and a Golden Lion at the 2010 Taipei county film festival in
Taiwan. LORRAINE premiered at the 2009 Edinburgh Film Festival and was nominated
for Best Short at the 2010 Rushes Soho Film Festival. MR GRAHAM premiered at The
14th Urbanworld Film Festival in New York 2010, and his graduation film PRECIPICE
Won Best Short at the 19th Pan African Film Festival 2011, and an African Oscar for
Best Diaspora Short at the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria.
His latest film Rattlesnakes won the 2019 Audience Award at Pan African Film Festival
in Los Angeles and the Independent Spirit Film Production award at 2019 14 th Screen
Nation Awards in London.
Project Title: MAMI WATA
In 2018 Leon Lozano, a native of Oakland California, wrote, directed, and produced My Father Belize; the film shot on location in Belize Central America and stars Arlen Escarpeta (The Oath, Whitney) and Roger Guenveur Smith (Dope, Do the Right Thing). In 2019 the film premiered at HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood California, and Variety mentioned it as one of the most notable entries. In 2008, Lozano made his feature film debut with Something is Killing Tate, winner of 12 “Best of” film festival awards. Holding a Bachelors Degree in social work from the University of California Berkeley and a Masters Degree in film and television production from the University of Southern California, Lozano has made a career out of combining social advocacy and film. His work has screened on Showtime, Netflix, Starz, and Comart.
Project Title: SEVEN STEPSTO HEAVEN
Massena “Bougon” Cesar
In 2009, Cesar enrolled at Cine Institute of Jacmel. Upon graduating Cesar joined the Cine Services department of Cine Institute starting as Production Manager working on numerous projects including “Empty Box” a Mexican production featuring Jimmy Jean Louis as the main actor.
Cesar has recently finished production on the Haitian feature film “Machann Fig La” as one of its producers.
Massena Cesar is also the Artists Institute Campus Manager and the exclusive producer of Artists Institute in Haiti.
Project Title: MAMI WATA
Patricia Bebia Mawa
Patricia Bebia Mawa is the Executive Vice President of Silvertrust Media and Afroglobal Television, as well as the host of the Planet Africa show on Omni TV. Patricia has directed and produced over 15 television programs including The Visionaries, The Golden Button and Standing Ovation. She is the Associate Publisher of Excellence, Envision and Destiny Magazines. In 2008 Silvertrust Media, introduced the Discover magazine series, which has since released over 20 titles and editions for countries. Listed in the Who’s Who in Black Canada, she is a recipient of the Toronto Police Community Service Award, the International Women Achievers Award, the Martin Luther King DreamKeeper Award and a Queen Elizabeth’s 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is the co-founder of the Crossover Mentorship Program, a youth empowerment initiative, Patricia was featured as Woman Of The Week in Women’s Post. Patricia and her husband Moses have been featured on CNN International in a half hour special. In March 2016, the duo launched Afroglobal Television, a 24-hour television channel that is currently on Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe, Eastlink and Telus across Canada. In 2018, Patricia co-authored the 150 Extraordinary Canadians Legacy book, with a foreword by the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
Project Title: FINDINGZENDAYA
Reem Morsi is an award-winning filmmaker, her films have screened internationally at major festivals such as Cannes, Berlinale, Whistler Film Festival, TIFF, and more.
A recipient of The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s inaugural Apprenticeship Program for Female Directors, she has also been chosen as a participant of Women in View’s 2017 Director’s Lab.
Reem is currently a story editor at Up in The Air and is invited to participate at Cannes Film Festival’s La Fabrique Des Cinémas Du Monde May 2019. Morsi has participated in the Berlinale Talents in 2012, the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab in 2015, the TIFF Talent Lab in 2016 and the Women in the Director’s Chair in 2014/2015.
She recently won the Telefilm Canada New Voices Award at the Toronto Screenwriters Conference in 2017. She was selected as one of 10 participants at the Berlinale Script Lab 2018, following that, she participated at Realness Pan African Screenwriting Residency & the Berlinale Residency 2018.
Reem has also won the Canadian National Genre Competition by WIFTV for her story “Fish”. In March 2016, Morsi received the prestigious SFFILM Rainin Grant in screenwriting for her feature film BOOTLEG. Subsequently, her short film based on this feature screened at a number of international film festivals, and was awarded the best Canadian short at the London Worldwide Comedy Festival.
Morsi is a recipient of the Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch feature film micro-budget grant for her first feature script HATE and is slated to be shot in 2019.
Project Title: FISH
Ron Oscar Sierra
In 2018 Ron Oscar Sierra, a native of Los Angeles California, wrote and produced My Father Belize. Sierra got his start in the entertainment industry as a professional actor with featured roles on HBO’s Arliss and ABC’s My Wife and Kids as well as numerous roles in national commercial campaigns. His work in front of the camera sparked a passion for storytelling and soon Sierra started crafting his own film and television concepts as a director and writer. His first break came as producer Keenan Ivory Wayans optioned an animated children’s show written by Sierra. In 2016 Sierra wrote, directed, and produced his first short film “THE PERFECT FAMILY” which was accepted into six film festivals globally and is currently on YouTube with over 80,000 views.
Project Title: SEVEN STEPSTO HEAVEN
Rosa Maria Rodriguez
Rosa María Rodríguez Pupo Cuban director, screenwriter, and actress. Her most recent film I Love Papuchi won the Cenesex award in the past Muestra joven ICAIC. Her short film La Costurera was the winner of many awards.
Rosa has directed various theatre shows and has written texts for theater and cinema.
During various years she has dedicated to teaching in the specialty of acting and stage direction. One of her texts, Culpa, winner of the Beca de Creación Milanés de la Asociación Hermanos Saíz (AHS) was released in 2013.
At present, her documentary film, Órgano, al ritmo del son molío, is in post-production.
Project Title: NARA
Stephen Hadeed Jr.
Stephen Hadeed Jr. is a Trinidadian American actor, producer and voice over artist, with theatre and film training from New York City’s, HB Studio. In 2008, Stephen started the full-time acting program at HB Studio in Manhattan’s West Village. During his time in New York City, Stephen enjoyed the multiplicity of supporting and starring roles off-Broadway, receiving awards for these performances, as well as having a performance published in The Best 10 Minute Plays 2011, for Bemused, written by Mrinalini Kamath.
Some of his recent work includes, Mangroves, The Warehouse, Moving Parts and Pendulum. Stephen tested out his limits when he wrote, directed and produced the 19-minute thriller The Warehouse in 2016. While Stephen is somewhat of a local celebrity in Trinidad & Tobago and most know him as an actor, his credits also include producer on half a dozen music videos; and producer and executive producer on the feature action thriller, Pendulum, which opened nationwide across Trinidad and Tobago in October 2017.
Project Title: SOUCOUYANT
2021 Big Pitch Jury
Renee Robinson is the Film Commissioner of Jamaica, and a multi-lingual orange economy expert, content strategist, and thought-leader. She has worked in Canada, Europe, USA, Africa, and the Caribbean – in film, television, digital content, and the arts and culture – and is a highly sought speaker on the international film festival circuit.
For more than 15 years, she has led on programming, content strategy, media policy, investment-readiness, and industry intelligence at prestigious institutions such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Women in Film & Television – Toronto, the Harbourfront Centre, the Cultural Development Commission in Jamaica, and since 2016 at the Jamaica Film Commission. She is trained in corporate governance, diversity and inclusion, investment promotion, international trade, project management; and serves on several boards and committees.
Renee has an MA / MBA in Communications and Cultural Policy with a specialization in Telecom Regulation and Arts Management from York University; and a BA (Hons) in Art Studio and Art History from Williams College. A ‘dip-brat’ and a multi-lingual third culture kid, Renee has travelled to over 40 countries, and in her ‘spare’ time is a certified advanced diver, a trained yogi, an amateur sommelier, a medicinal herbalist, and an adrenaline junkie. Renee used to be ENTP, is now INFJ – and is also that person who says: “I know who you need to meet. I’ll introduce you….”
I am the founder and Chairman of the British Urban Film Festival and was invited to become a BAFTA voting member in December 2020.
In December 2019 it was announced in the 2020 New Year’s honours list that I was to be awarded with an MBE for services to the Black and Minority Ethnic film industry. I received my medal from HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in March 2020.
In a career which has spanned 19 years to date, I have worked for Channels Television News in London, BFM (Black Filmmaker Magazine), and the Screennation awards, have written for both The Voice newspaper and The TV Collective, and have also produced and presented film programmes for Colourful Radio. I was previously headhunted for the post of head of cinema at the Barbican.
I founded the British Urban Film Festival in July 2005 to showcase urban independent cinema in the absence of any such state-sponsored activity in the UK (at the time). To date, the festival has screened over 500 films, facilitating broadcast platforms for a majority of Black and urban independent writers, actors, actresses, producers and directors on Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, the BBC i-player, Channel 4, Community Channel (now Together TV), Showcase TV and London Live. In October 2020, the festival was granted with BAFTA qualifying status for British Short Films.
In February 2018, I co-founded BUFF Originals, launched to act as the production and distribution arm of the British Urban Film Festival. My debut feature – No Shade – was released in UK cinemas in November 2018, making director Clare Anyiam-Osigwe the 6th Black British female director (to date) to secure theatrical distribution in over 120 years. In December 2020, Clare (my wife) won an African Movie Academy award for No Shade.’
Lea Marin is the Director of Development, Drama, for the CBC, and is responsible for driving and overseeing the quality and diversity of the drama development slate. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producers’ Lab, prior to joining the CBC, Lea was a Senior Producer with the National Film Board of Canada where she developed and produced several documentaries and interactive projects. Some of her credits include Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses, Astra Taylor’s What Is Democracy?, and Chelsea McMullan’s My Prairie Home.
Usman Mullan is an Development Producer at BBC Writersroom. He looks after writer development across TV, Radio and digital platforms, producing New Writing talent Initiatives, opportunities and events for writers across the North of England and beyond. His speciality is identifying, nurturing and developing new screenwriting talent and finding them opportunities across the BBC. He has worked on new talent schemes In partnership with BBC production departments in TV Drama, BBC Children’s, Radio, BBC Studios, and independent production companies across the UK. Usman has worked across scripted development and production for TV, audio, digital and social media content across a multitude of genres. He’s worked for CBeebies and CBBC, where he produced the award-winning interactive series, ZAPCHAT for CBBC’s THE WORST WITCH and digital drama content for shows such as THE DUMPING GROUND. He recently worked on BBC iPlayer’s teen monologue series SPARKS, for which he co-produced and script edited four short films from diverse emerging UK talent.
Carlene Marshall-King has worked in the world of Film and Television for more than 20 years. She started her career at the BBC as a floor assistant and swiftly worked her way through the ranks of production via experience as a stage manager, location manager, first-assistant director and line producer. Her accreditations range across a variety of BAFTA award-winning programme’s including “EastEnders”, ‘Later with Jools’, “‘Mistresses’, ‘Horrible Histories’, ‘Pulling’, ‘Wedding Belles’, “The Office” and ‘The Inbetweeners’. In 2012, Carlene was appointed Head of Production for Comedy and Drama at Fremantle Media overseeing a number of primetime programmes, in particular ‘Birds of a Feather’, ‘The IT Crowd’, ‘Phoneshop’, ‘Count Arthur Strong’, “Chewing gum dreams” and ‘Suspects’. In June 2017 Carlene produced a short film with “Rushes” which was awarded runner up in the Cannes Lion Straight8 competition and came 1st in the audience vote award. More recently she has Produced an Urban Myth “Les Miserable” for Sky Arts with and Line Produced Tv Film “Torvill & Dean”.
In her spare time she produces shorts and promos, most notably ‘The Ring Cycle’ with Natalie Dormer and “Wait so long” with the British artist Plan B. A keen sports fan, Carlene is proud to be a Liverpool FC supporter.