Penelope Hynam and Rodney Smith (listed above) will serve as Mentors, while also representing their own projects. The other distinguished mentors are:
Annette Nias (Barbados) is currently the Cultural Officer (Film and Photography) with the National Cultural Foundation, Barbados. She has functioned as a writer, performer, director, producer, production coordinator and stage manager at concerts, plays, musicals, festivals, fashion shows, film and television productions, and carnival, in Barbados and abroad. She has managed and designed presentations for artistic individuals and agencies, and is on the Steering Group for CaribbeanTales Barbados Film Festival.
Ellis Perez (Dominican Republic) was appointed Director General of Cinematography in 2011 by Dominican Republic President Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna. Effectively, he functions as the Dominican Republic’s Film Commissioner. As such, his office encourages the development of an industry with the potential to realize US $375 million dollars and to employ over 24,000 people. The new Film Commission aims to help investors, studios, production companies and independent producers find services that meet all their needs in the Dominican Republic. The office also provides support with location scouting, permits and clearances and all related needs in the Dominican Republic. Previous to this he was the Minister for Tourism in Santo Domingo.
Malinda Francis (Barbados/Canada) tells visual stories that derive from her experience, as well she tries to communicate and connect with others within her community. An independent filmmaker, she continues working on her own projects alongside various community media initiatives. The themes that she explores in her work are around urban living and cities, as well as migration stories. She is currently completing her first feature documentary The Diaspora Travels: Haiti that follows the Diaspora back to Haiti, and documents the long rebuilding process after the earthquake on January 12 2010.
Mary Wells (Jamaica/US) is an independent director, writer and producer based in Jamaica, and a Director of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution. With some 20 years experience in television and film production, she has worked in all areas of production with organisations including Jamaica Government Broadcasting and US Cable TV stations. She has developed produced and directed programs for mainly the Caribbean region, specializing in documentaries. Her first feature film, Kingston Paradise, is in post-production and is destined for screens next year.
Menelik Shabazz (Barbados/UK) was raised in London and began his filmmaking career during the tumultuous seventies. His break-through first feature, “Burning an Illusion” — now a classic of Black British cinema — traces the political awakening of a young Jamaican woman in Britain’s racially charged environment at the time. During the nineties and the 2000’s, he founded and led Black Filmmaker Magazine, an innovative glossy magazine and E-newzletter project that profiled Black World cinema. For eight years, he also founded and ran the BFM Film Festival. After a long hiatus, The Story of Lover’s Rock marks his return to filmmaking.
Moikgantsi Nkgama (South Africa/US) is the founder of ImageNation. As an audience development specialist for independent films targeting communities of color, she built a reputation for excellence in her field. She has been credited with the successful launch of Raoul Peck’s independent epic “Lumumba” (HBO) that received an Academy Award nomination. She was publicist for the groundbreaking documentary “Life and Debt,” in 2001, and was the New York City Promotions Coordinator for the independent film “Follow me Home” starring Alfre Woodard and Benjamin Bratt. Moikgantsi also served as a filmmaker coordinator for 1998 The Sundance Film Festival.
Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, Order of Canada (US/Canada) was the first woman to lead a university journalism program in Canada. She is a founder of Vision TV, was previously APTN’s Director of News and has edited or contributed to four books. Since 2005, RJ Deverell Productions has produced 15 theatre pieces and TV dramas. Rita has recently completed her term as Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax and as a Trudeau Foundation Mentor. Rita is a two-time Gemini Award winner, and she recently acted in CBC Radio’s Backbencher.