Though born in Miami, Florida, Shadae Lamar Smith's heritage is set in the hills of St.Catherine, Jamaica. Smith received his B.A. in theatre from Fordham University in New York City. In 2009, Shadae expanded his artistic scope to include filmmaking. He worked with Firelight Media in research and editing for the documentary Freedom Riders (Sundance selection 2010), and with IM Global in sales and distribution at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. In the fall of 2011 Smith worked with the Stunt Department on Quentin Tarrentino's Django Unchained. 2012 was the year Shadae Smith completed his first short film Divine Rite which screened at the New Orleans Film Festival, Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, Bronze Lens Film Festival of Atlanta and the Little Rock Film Festival. His most recent directing endeavor includes 'Miss Famous', executive produced by James Franco and starring actor's Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, SNL), Jimmy Kimmel (Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel) and Tony Cox (Bad Santa, Friday). He is currently a recent graduate of UCLA's M.F.A. Film Production program.
Dehanza Shreen Rogers is a Panamanian-American filmmaker, of both narratives and documentaries, born and raised in Georgia. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology with an interest in refugee youth culture, youth media and folklore. She is currently an MFA Directing and MFA Cinematography Candidate at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and a receipt of the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship. She was recently awarded the 2013 Director's Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award for her most recent work Sweet, Sweet Country. The film world premiered at the 2013 Pan African Film Festival. It won the Audience Award Winner at the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival, as well as Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her films explore the Diaspora, self-defined and transnational identities, with a keen interest in exploring the liminal state of statehood and nationality. What does it mean to be American or other than American or collectively Other-American? Dehanza was recently awarded the Stanley Kramer Fellowship in Film Directing, the Mickey Dude Fellowship in Theater, Film and Television for the Depiction of Ethnic Diversity in American Life and the Lynn Weston Fellowship in Film. She is also a recipient of the Four Sisters Scholarship in Screenwriting, Directing and Animation administered by Felicia D. Henderson (Soul Food: The Series, Moesha), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), Sara Finney-Johnson (Family Matters, Moesha) and Mara Brock Aki (Girlfriends). She is currently in preproduction for her upcoming thesis film, The Youth. She is also developing the feature length version of Sweet, Sweet Country. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Atlanta. http://hercelluloidself.com/
Originally from Washington, DC with Trinidadian/African-American roots, Marjuan Canady is a published writer, actress, playwright, director, educator and producer for both film and the stage. Her original works have received commissions from Harlem Stage and DC Commission on the Arts.
Her one-woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls. has been featured Off-Broadway, at national festivals as well as at over fifty national universities. Her second play, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale has been seen at the Ellington Theater in Washington, DC and IATI Theater in New York City. Canady also served as a featured playwright at the 2013 Lincoln Center for Performing Arts Director’s Lab for her play Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale. A Matteo Ricci and Schomburg Mellon Fellow, Canady has worked as an educator and image activist at various schools, community centers and institutions across the country. She is the founder and creative director of her production company Sepia Works. Her diverse body of acting work includes plays, films, television, commercials and voiceovers. In 2013 she published her first children’s book Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale which she was recognized by the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago in their First Time Author’s Program. Currently she is directing a documentary, Girls! Girls? Girls. set to release in 2015. In 2015, Canady establisher non-profit organization, Canady Foundaiton for the Arts, which serves young people globally in arts training, civic leadership and mentorship and academic scholarship. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and holds a B.A. in Theater/African Studies from Fordham University and her M.A. in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. www.marjuancanady.com
Lydia Sue-Ellen Chitunya, is an emerging multilingual filmmaker who hails from Zimbabwe. A graduate of Georgia State University(BA) and the UCLA producing certification program. Chitunya has produced several award winning shorts. She is an alumni of; Berlinale Talents, Durban Talents, Kyoto Filmmakers Lab, and CaribbeanTales Incubator. Her varied work experience include: consulting for Zimbabwe International Film Festival, producing the Big PictureCon, interning for ICM at Cannes Film Festival, programming for Slamdance and Atlanta Film Festivals, and marketing for Disney College Program. She aspires to create groundbreaking projects that transcend cultures and genres.
Dave Elliott has been in the video industry for the past 15 years, his interest in
this field would have started when his mother would have purchased a
camcorder for home use. Being the one assigned to operate the camera at home
he decided to do courses and workshops to hone his skill in the area and his life
as a cameraman began.
Straight off the bat, fresh off of his workshops, Tobago’s first television station
TOBAGO CHANNEL 5 had started, and he was selected as one of their employees.
Being the most technically inclined of the original five persons hired, his
responsibilities were cameraman, editor and master control. The television
station would have grown and he started the production department, which he
headed for many years until he left.
Dave has worked throughout the Caribbean filming various projects alongside
many professionals for numerous clients, he strives to be different in many ways
and has taken his videography to a different level and today he is the only
professional underwater cameraman in Trinidad and Tobago.
Being aligned with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, he is a tutor with
the Secondary Schools Short Film festival, where each year he teaches the
fundamentals of film making to students in Tobago. He has also worked on
various local and international films, produced and directed music videos, and
documentaries and continues to make a name for himself in this field in Trinidad