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J. Michael Seyfert has been a constant commuter between journalism and the creative arts, leaving behind the limitations of entertainment in favor of a more substantial task: to meaningfully and directly affect the plight of his subjects through his work. Bye Bye Havana, his award-winning first feature documentary has been an official selection at many prestigous film festivals around the world. As a multilinguist in a multicultural world, Seyfert displays an uncanny sensitivity by spotlighting rather serious subjects without relying on old standards of filmmaking, delivering thoughtful entertainment to international audiences. Some of his films include Waorani, (Ecuador, 2006), and Opposite Land (Bolivia/Mexico, 2007).

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Laurence Magloire was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but has lived most of her life in Montreal, Canada. She has been working as a producer for children programs. Two years ago she started going back to her country of origin, working on a documentary for Société Radio-Canada. Co-Director Anne Lescot was born in Paris in 1969 to a Haitian father and French mother. She has worked on Haitian Voodoo for the past 10 years as an anthropologist, using video equipment as an ethnographic tool.

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Inge Blackman is an award-winning director/producer, and cameraperson. She has produced and directed for galleries, television and the corporate market. Legacy (2006) the award winning film she directed for the Arnolfini Gallery in the UK explores the lasting impact of slavery on Black families. It was also shown at Tate Britain. She recently completed Fem (2007), an experimental short on queer femininity, which was at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2007. Image, Memory and Representation a retrospective of her work was also programmed there. She is in post-production for Atonement (2008), a visual interpretation of a BBC Radio 4 play, written by Mark Norfolk, funded by Film London.

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Elspeth Duncan is an independent writer, musician, performer, producer, composer, graphic/visual artist, art photographer and award-winning video/filmmaker (camera woman, director) with internationally screened work. After completing a B.A. in English Literature (UWI, St. Augustine) and a Masters (M. Phil) in Criminology (Cambridge University, England), Elspeth did an about turn and worked for nine years as an advertising copywriter. In October 1999 she left agency life to explore and expand her creative potential.

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Frankie Sooknanan, a native of Suriname with an Indo-Guyanese background, moved to New York in 1991. He graduated from NYU's School of Education in May 2003. Frankie's dream has always been filmmaking and upon graduating he jumped right into writing a feature based on the immigrant Indo-Guyanese experience. That film, Sacrifice, was made on a $1,000 budget and went on to win the Metropolis Best Feature Award at the 2004 Indo-American Film Festival, and was screened at the 2006 Guyana Film Festival. His second feature film, Truth, is being screened at film festivals later this year. Karma, his third feature film will have its world premiere at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

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Michèle Pearson Clarke is a filmmaker and health educator who has lived in Canada for fourteen years and still misses her other home, Trinidad and Tobago. She has directed one short film, "Surrounded by Water", which was made in the LIFT Guerilla Filmmaking in Super 8 for Absolute Beginners workshop. In 2006, she participated in the Fraternité themed commission program at Trinity Square Video, where she completed a short video entitled "Black Men and Me'. Later that year, she was named one of Toronto's 10 best Filmmakers of the year by Cameron Bailey in NOW Magazine, and most recently, she won the Best Canadian Female Short Award at the 2007 Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival for Black Men and Me.

Michèle is currently in development on her third project which is about her apparent resemblance to celebrity golfer, Tiger Woods.

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Franco de Peña is a Polish-Venezuelan film director. He was born and raised in Caracas. In 1983 he left the study of economics at a local university and relocated to Montreal. He spent some time in Paris, London, and Berlin before moving to Poland in 1987. Wanting to study at a faculty for future film directors, de Peña passed his exams to the Lódz Film School but had to abandon his plans due to financial problems. He moved to Warsaw and studied at the National Higher School of Theatre for two years. He was finally admitted to the Lódz School and graduated in 1997. His films include: Moze to Grzech, ze Sie Modle (Perhaps it's a Sin I Pray, 1993) - a documentary on a thirty-three-year-old prisoner suffering from AIDS; Szepty Wiatru (Wind Whispers, 1995), on a friendship of an old Andean man with his donkey; El Porvenir de una Ilusión (Future of an Illusion, 1997) - a poetic description of dreams of modern inhabitants of Havana; and Amor en Concreto (Love in Urban Jungle, 2003) - a sketch of lives of several inhabitants of a modern city. Apart from his film career, Franco de Peña also played the role of a journalist seeking the alleged unknown Argentinean son of Witold Gombrowicz in a provocative para-documentary, Letter of Argentina, directed by Grzegorz Pacek. In addition, he was the cinematographer for the Brazilian documentary Bem-Vindo a São Paulo on Caetano Veloso.

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This is the first film by Emilie Upczak, whose background in comparative religious studies and practice as a performing artist influenced her look at the Orisha spiritual tradition in the central region of Trinidad. Her focus is on cross-cultural ethnography with a particular interest in ritual practice. Ms. Upczak currently makes her home in Port of Spain with her husband and their son.

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Janine Fung was born in Trinidad, grew up in Toronto and studied film at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her short film Leftovers (1994) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Janine’s first feature, The Doctor’s Daughter Or The Secret And The Lie (2005) had its world premiere at the San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2007 and has been officially selected for the Los Angeles Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2007. She is currently working on her second feature length script and plans to be in production in 2008.

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Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based video artist and writer. His tapes have been widely screened and collected internationally, and broadcast across Canada and in the United States. He is the co-author, with Monika Kin Gagnon, of 13: Conversations on Art and Cultural Race Politics, and his essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. A former Rockefeller Fellow at New York University, and a winner of the Bell Canada Award for achievement in video art, Richard teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

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Jaime LeeLoy, a Trinidadian born in1980, obtained a First Class Honours B.A. in Literature and Visual Arts at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine and pursued two years of a MPhil in literature while on scholarship. She is Exchange Programme Coordinator for Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA), and has for five years been experimenting with video. Her paintings have appeared in over a dozen exhibitions. A contributing artist to Galvanize (September 2006), she has participated as Artist-in-Residence in Trinidad (CCA) 2004 and the USA (Vermont Studio Centre) 2007. Her writing and art explore the nuances of the female psyche and interrogate the social frameworks that negatively impact that psyche. A young single mother, she produced the documentary Pro-Test based on young mothers in Trinidad in 2004, as well as the videos Madam (2003) and Unease (2006). The recipient of a TTFC production grant, Jaime is currently producing a film based on Bury Your Mother (2007), a short story written for the anthology, Trinidad Noir.

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Juan Carlos Cremeta Malberti was born in 1961 and began his career by writing and acting in children’s programmes for the Cuban Institute for Radio and Television, from 1981 to 1987. A drama school graduate, he worked as assistant director on the Ecuadorian film, La Tigra, in 1989. In 1995-95, he taught film editing and directing in Buenos Aires. He received a John Simon Guggenheim grant in 1996, thanks to his short film, Oscros Rinocerontes Enjaulados. Nada + is his first feature film. Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti graduated from the Cinema, Theatre and Drama programme at the Higher Institute of the Arts in Havana. He began his career as an actor, writer and director of children’s television programmes. Viva Cuba is his second feature film. Nada his first film won several festival awards and in 2003 was nominated for Best Spanish Language Film Goya Award.

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Frances-Anne Solomon is a director, producer and writer in film, TV and radio. She grew up in Trinidad, and studied Theatre Arts at the University of Toronto before moving to the UK where she lived and worked for several years. As a director, her credits include Lord Have Mercy! (Vision, Toronto/One/Showcase/APTN 2003), Peggy Su! (BBC Films 1997), What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995), Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994), and Valentine's Night (BBC 1993). Documentaries directed include Reunion (BBC,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England, 1991). Alongside directing, between 1992-98, Frances-Anne also worked as a script editor, producer and executive producer for BBC Single Drama & Films, where she was responsible for several films and TV movies, including the Black Screen Strand, (for black writers, producers and directors) and Screen on the Tube (for new feature directors). Productions include Speak Like A Child (director John Akomfrah), Love Is The Devil (director John Maybury), The Sixth Happiness (director Waris Hossein), Flight (director Alex Pillai) and Siren Spirits (directors Ngozi Onwurah, Pratibha Parmar and Dani Williamson). Prior to this she worked as a radio drama producer/director for the BBC, responsible for some 35 productions including Monsoon by Maya Chowdhry, Nadir by Parv Bancil, Afrogoth by Pete Kalu, The Adoption Papers by Jackie Kay and Her Father's Daughter by Winsome Pinnock. Frances-Anne returned to Toronto in 1999. Through her company Leda Serene Films she continues to create, produce and direct film, television and new media projects. She has just completed the groundbreaking sitcom Lord Have Mercy! which was broadcast on 4 Canadian networks, and was nominated for two Geminis.

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Lorraine O'Connor has been directing, scripting and/or producing documentaries and music videos since 1991. Her credits include Pan Fusion, Why Settle for Less, Panman, and Calypso @ Dirty Jims. In the series Caribbean Young Explorers, she combines all three aspects to bring to life the first local children's television series in over 10 years.

"In 1994, Lorraine was one of the founders of Rituals music, a ground breaking record label in Trinidad & Tobago, promoting and producing such acts as 3canal, Brother Resistance, Mungal Patasar. Although Rituals closed its doors in 2001, Lorraine continues to be involved in the music industry at different levels. At present, she runs an event production company, Riddums Productions and has just launched a legal music download site: www.trinidadtunes.com."

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Mariel Brown is the director of the creative and production company Savant, and has been working in television and print since 1997, when she worked as a reporter at Trinidad and Tobago Television. She has produced features for TV6 and the Witco Sports Foundation Awards, and her programmes and news reports have been broadcast on CNN and Caribscope. Mariel is the creator of Sancoche, Makin' Mas, Island Hop and Life Stories – all television series designed with Caribbean content for a Caribbean audience. She recently began directing documentary features, The Insatiable Season being her first. As a writer, Mariel has contributed features to Caribbean Beat, The Jamaica Observer, The Express, MACO and Island Life. She also writes short stories, a selection of which are to be published by Macmillan Caribbean. Mariel is currently working on a feature-length documentary about Trinidadian jeweller, Barbara Jardine.

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Patricia Mohammed is a professor of Gender and Culture Studies at the University of the West Indies. Together with Rex Dixon, she produced an exhibition of photo-based works by 13 Caribbean artists entitled the Caribbean in the Age of Modernity, which was exhibited at the National Library in Port of Spain in 2006, and which subsequently travelled to the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo the same year. Her book Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual Translation is currently in press at Macmillan UK ltd. She is also currently working with Luke Paddington on a documentary film series entitled A Different Imagination, of which the film Sign of the Loa comprises one segment. Luke Paddington is a freelance editor and filmmaker who resides in Los Angeles, California. He graduated in Film Studies from McGill University in Montreal. Co-director and editor for the film Jab, Luke and his colleagues have received various festival awards for their film portraying the blue devils of Paramin.

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Roger McTair is a filmmaker, writer and professor of media writing. He was director of the Afro-Caribbean Theater Workshop, served on the board of the Caribbean Cutltural Committee, is a founding member of the Black Film and Video Network and was president of the Ryerson Afro-Caribbean Association. In 1993, Roger received the Award of Merit from the City of Toronto for his contribution to the life of the city. His 2002 film Journey to Justice won the Black Film and Video Network’s award for best documentary. Other films include Jane/Finch Again and Home Feeling.

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Hugh Robertson, born in 1932 in the US of Jamaican parentage died in 1988. Before directing Bim, the African-American filmmaker filmed an adaptation of Derek Walcott’s play Dream on Monkey Mountain in Trinidad for NBC, and with local directors and investors had established a Trinidadian production company, Sharc Productions. Sharc brought in professional film equipment and a custom-built production vehicle for location filming. It created a sound stage at Tucker Valley in Chaguaramas, and produced commercials and documentaries; but its real mission was to establish a local film industry. Robertson was ideally suited for this task – he was sensitive to local cultural issues, having filmed in Trinidad before, and was married to a Trinidadian, Suzanne Nunez. Robertson also directed the thriller Melinda (1972), edited Shaft (1971), and was nominated for an Academy Award for his editing work on Midnight Cowboy (1969).

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This year artist Kwynn Johnson participated in two group shows: “Radical Designs – Jeans Art” at the National Museum and “Bat n Ball” at the 101 Art Gallery. At Queen’s Hall, she designed the “3 Canal” Carnival Show and the set design for the UWI Chorale’s Oliver Musical. Courtesy a film grant from the Trinidad Film Company, she shot, directed and edited a short film on bee-keeping, entitled The Keepers. This year she was a nominee for The Most Outstanding set design category for her set in 2006 Fiddler on the Roof. In July she presented her fourth solo exhibition – “Treading water over dead coral when you’re feeling blue.” This exhibition featured her film, The Keepers, for two weeks. She will be taking part of this exhibition to Texas in September.

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Director, Steve Rahaman was born in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Upon moving to New York, he spent his early years in Brooklyn, but now resides in Queens. Although film, especially horror, was the more prominent of interests for Steve, he also takes on the challenges of writing his own scripts and directing and composing the music for all of his films.

In mid-May of 2005 while filming one of his movies, he felt the urge to make it official by creating his own company to produce and bring to life his visions and to put his hard work to the test. As a writer Steve sets out to mirror the horror and tragedy we see in real life and has written such scripts as his current project, The Hands That Holds us Together. However, it is his recent film releases, Follower, Ten Till Midnight, Stained, One Mistake, Waiting Room, Stranger in the park and, his favorite, Christmas Day, that have all made an impact on his audience. With rave reviews from newspaper columnists and film critics, there lies the inspiration to keep the ball rolling and ideas flowing.

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Arnold Antonin
In addition to being a filmmaker, Arnold Antonin is also a university professor, debate organiser and Director of the Pétion-Bolivar Cultural Centre in Haiti. He has been a judge at many prestigious international film festivals and received the Djibril Diop Mambety prize , at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 for his documentary ‘Courage de Femmes’ (Courage of Women). Mr. Antonin has directed many documentaries including ‘Ayiti, men chimen Libète which was used to mobilise campaigns against Duvalier and a feature film Piwouli et le zenglendo.


Skene Howie
Skene Howie studied photography, film and television management in England in 1990. Since then he has worked in numerous film production projects throughout the Caribbean, ranging from feature films to TV commercials for the international market. He is a widely published professional photographer and a very accomplished wind-surfer and surfer with a lifelong passion for the ocean and nature conservation.

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Owen Day
Owen Day is a founder member and director of the Buccoo Reef Trust, an award-winning NGO based in Tobago that focuses on research, education and conservation in the marine sciences. He obtained his Bachelors from Oxford University in 1988, and his masters and doctorate in marine biology from the University of Wales in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He has spent the last 7 years in Tobago developing research and education programmes for the protection of Caribbean coral reefs and believes passionately in the need for stronger partnerships between government, NGOs and the private sector for environmental conservation.

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Jean Ahn was born in New Haven, Connecticut but spent most of her childhood in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Korean-American, she also lived for two years in South Korea, after which she moved to California, where she currently resides when she is not attending college. A Junior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, she spent her sophomore year studying abroad in Trinidad. Ramdilla Seen is her first attempt at filmmaking and the documentary was named so because Jean felt it was important to underscore that what the audience would be seeing was what she had seen in her first exposure and experience of Ramleela.

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Sean Russell, Writer and Producer of The Kite Flyer, has been a Medical Practitioner in a General Practice for 15 years. The Kite Flyer is Sean’s first effort at film, having had no previous experience in film, drama or creative writing. He started the script about 15 years ago just as a creative writing exercise. About four years ago, he took the dialog to Director, Thom Cross, and progressed towards making it a film about four years ago. He continued during this period to acquire further information on filmmaking. The film was funded out of pocket – about US$20,000.

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Kaz Ové
Kaz grew up in a ‘film’ family and had a minor role at the age of 9 in Horace Ove’s series shot in Dominica “The Orchid House”. Kaz lived in Jamaica and Trinidad before returning to London to study earning B.A. honours degree in film and video at The University Of the Arts London: LCP. During this period Kaz worked as a runner on various music promos frequently working with acclaimed director Jake Nava. During a year working at Addiction TV as head runner/production assistant he directed his first self-financed short film Love, which he wrote, shot, directed and edited. Cold Dead Hands is Kaz’s first fully, professionally funded film to date. He is currently working at MTV London.

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Horace Ové
Trinidad born Horace Ové is internationally known as one of the leading black independent filmmakers to emerge in Britain since the post-war period. His work includes the ground-breaking feature Pressure (1974), King Carnival, The Orchid House, Playing Away, Baldwin’s Nigger, Reggae, A Hole in Babylon and many others. His subject matter was always socio-political and the subject matter often contraversial; Pressure was in fact banned for 2 years.
Alongside his film career, Ové has worked extensively as a photographer. He has had several exhibitions over the years across the world as well as various retrospectives at UCLA, The British Film Institute in London and the University of Tuebingen in Germany. He had the first exhibition of a black photographer at the Photographers Gallery ‘Breaking Loose’ followed up by another exhibition focusing on his images of Trinidad Carnival ‘Farewell to the Flesh’ in 1987 at Cornerhouse in Manchester. In 2001 he was invited to exhibit his works in Recontres de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, alongside another photographers from the African diaspora. In 2004 he had a major exhibition of his work touring Britain entitled ‘Pressure’, It featured his social and political reportage work from the 1960’s and 1970’s. He also had an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2005, work exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and The Tate Liverpool, The Whitechapel and a retrospective of his film and photographic work was held at the Barbican, London. He has received several major awards and was recently honored by The Queen with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire award for his services to the film industry in Britain.

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Franco Rosso
Franco Rosso’s film career began as an editor working on many projects including Horace’s Ové’s Reggae and King Carnival. As director he is best known for such films as Babylon which he wrote and directed, The Mangrove Nine based on a famous case in London, and Dread Beat an Blood.

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Isaac Julien
A co-founder of Sankofa Film and Video, a pioneering group of young black British filmmakers, Julien has collaborated with them on several ground-breaking, radical dramas for film and television since the mid-1980s. With Sankofa Julien co-wrote and co-directed The Passion of Remembrance in 1986, an ambitious feature film drama which offered a fresh and revealing look at black feminism and black gay politics. There followed the award-winning short film Looking for Langston in 1988. Set in Harlem in the 1920s, this homoerotic, hauntingly beautiful study of the black gay American poet, Langston Hughes, cleverly blended his words with those of the contemporary black gay poet Essex Hemphill. In 1991 Julien directed Young Soul Rebels, a seductive, engaging and challenging feature film drama set in 1977, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Once again Julien explored sexual and racial identities in a provocative way, and walked off with the Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week prize. In 1992 he directed a two part documentary Black and White in Colour on the history of black people on television.

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Thom Cross, Director of The Kite Flyer, is the former Director of the Jamaica School of Drama, Producer of 100s of TV ads and Programme Manager at CBC TV. He has been involved with theatre in Barbados as writer and director for many years. Now film is the magic eye that enthralls and enlightens.

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Kirk Budhooram started writing aged 13 and is the author of two novels: The Festival, which was published in the USA and sold internationally, and Kirk Budhooram's Ibis Agents. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in Engineering but his real passion lay in film making. With the opening of the industry in Trinidad and Tobago, Kirk has helped produce, direct and star in a 6-episode comedic series (soon to air on TV) entitled Herman's Tales. One of those episodes, Herman's Tales: Banana Robber (2006) premiered at the first Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 2006 and was later screened on the local TV channel CMNG and at both Carifesta 2006 Film Festival and UNESCO Film Festival 2006. The fourth episode, Herman's Tales: Kidnapped is being premiered at Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 2007. He recently started his own production company, K.B. Productions, and has just completed his first feature film PARASKEVIDEKATRIAPHOBI, which he hopes to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2008. Kirk hopes to continue writing and making movies and to be part of a huge and successful film industry in which many citizens will be able to pursue the arts as a full-time career.

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