Michael Michele has won acclaim for her portrayals of strong and capable women on television and feature films over her 30-year acting career. She currently co-stars on the CW Network's reboot of the iconic 1980s drama Dynasty, as Dominique Deveraux, a role famously played by Diahann Carroll in the show's original run. Michele has also recently played in Lee Daniels' series Star on FOX, as Midtown Records owner Ayanna Floyd; and in Ava DuVernay's critically acclaimed OWN series, Queen Sugar, as Darlene.
As a veteran of both Hollywood and network television, Michele has also launched her own film and television production company, MIX66. The company's first project is the docu-series, Mavericks, which explores the unexpected lives of women across the world. The first episode of the series marks Michele's directing debut and explores the heart pounding story of a female rescue pilot in the United States Air Force.
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Michele’s initial big break came in 1991 when she was cast in Mario Van Peebles’s gritty urban drama, New Jack City; a year later she was a regular on the TV series, Dangerous Curves (CBS). Her performance in the mini-series, Trade Winds (NBC), soon led her to a recurring role on New York Undercover, as attorney Sandy Gill. She then landed a co-starring role on Darren Starr’s splashy nighttime soap, Central Park West.
After appearances in a handful of feature films, Michele scored another major TV role as Detective Rene Sheppard in the Emmy-winning series Homicide: Life On the Street, which earned her a NAACP Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series nomination. She then turned in her badge to star in the top-rated hospital drama, ER, as Dr. Cleo Finch.
Michele’s well-regarded work on that series boosted her stock in the film industry and she soon co-starred alongside Will Smith in the Oscar-nominated feature film, Ali. Later she went on star in the feature film Dark Blue, opposite Kurt Russell, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, opposite Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. She has also made guest appearances on House (FOX) and The Following (FOX) and has also recently been seen on CBS's MacGyver & Blue Bloods.
Michele is also the founder of The Roundtable ChitChat, a women’s mentoring foundation, which mentors and empowers women throughout the United States. Michele resides in N.Y. with her 14-year-old son.
CHRIS L. JENKINS
CHRIS L. JENKINS
Chris L. Jenkins is an award winning journalist, producer and executive producer whose work has covered politics, poverty and social policy over a 17-year career as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post and independent filmmaker.
As a Post editor, he supervised the paper’s local political and criminal justice reporters, where he led award winning journalism on police involved shootings in the Washington, D.C. area and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement. As a reporter he covered immigration, social policy and politics, including the 2004 presidential election. He is also the co-founder and executive producer of “BrotherSpeak: Exploring the Lives of Black Men”, an award winning 5-part short film series published on the Washington Post website, which is now being turned into a full length docu-series. As an independent filmmaker, his short films also include Rikers: Innocence Lost, and upcoming productions for ESPN and YouTube.
Chris has also recently served as the managing editor for The Root and was co-founder and editor of TheRootDC, The Washington Post’s micro-site that focused on the Washington area’s African-American community. In both those roles he oversaw staffs that covered the death of Trayvon Martin and its aftermath, the George Zimmerman trial, and the beginning of President Obama's second term.
Chris is the author of several award winning stories and productions, including journalism that explored how the 2008 recession disproportionately impacted African- American women; a short film he produced won the coveted "Diversity in Storytelling Award" at SeriesFest 2017. Chris also contributed to The Post’s coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting massacre, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Discussing his Post reporting, Chris has been on numerous news broadcasts including WAMU, WCVE and NPR.
Eriq La Salle, is an American actor, director, writer and producer known for his performances in the films Coming to America and especially as Dr. Peter Benton in the NBC medical drama ER which earned him three NAACP Image Awards and nominations for a Golden Globe Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards.
At the time of his graduation from NYU, La Salle was cast in Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park production of Henry V. Soon after, he found continuous acting work on Broadway, off-Broadway and in several daytime TV dramas including One Life to Live, where he played the reporter Mike Rivers.
In 1988, La Salle starred alongside Eddie Murphy in the movie Coming to America as Darryl Jenks.
In 1994 the medical drama ER premiered on NBC with La Salle starring as Dr. Peter Benton. He held the role until leaving during the eighth season. He returned to ER for three episodes during its 15th and final season, including his uncredited appearance as himself in the opening of "Heal Thyself" to tell the audience of the death of the show's creator Michael Crichton. Also during season 15, he returned to direct an episode.
In 1996, La Salle made his directorial debut in the HBO made-for-TV movie Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault, starring Don Cheadle, James Earl Jones and Forest Whitaker, in which La Salle also played a pivotal role. Shortly after that, La Salle also directed the pilot for Soul Food: The Series on Showtime.
In 2002, he produced the feature film The Salton Sea, and in the same year, he produced, directed and starred in the movie Crazy as Hell. In 2003 he wrote, directed and starred in “Memphis", an episode of The Twilight Zone, and he has subsequently directed multiple episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: NY, and Ringer as well as the 2012 Hallmark Channel movie Playing Father.
After several years spent both in front and behind the camera, Eriq decided to face a new angle of storytelling and, in 2012, published his first novel Laws of Depravity.
In 2015, La Salle returned to television with a role in Under the Dome's third season, after having directed one episode of the second season. He directed an episode in the third season as well. He also had minor roles as an actor in CSI: Cyber (for which he also directed episodes), The Night Shift, Madam Secretary.
In 2016, Eriq directed the episode "Wingman" in the Fox series Lucifer and the episode "Black and Blue" of TNT's Murder in the First. Eriq co-starred as Will Munson in the 2017 superhero film, Logan. Eriq has also directed and produced multiple episodes of Chicago PD throughout its six seasons.
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The only daughter of Hungarian refugees, Christina was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she later attended Harvard University. Her careers prior to filmmaking have included that of a stage actor, restaurateur and nationally-ranked saber fencer. The recipient of a Dean’s Fellowship at NYU’s Tisch School of the Art’s Graduate Department of Film and Television, Christina studied under Spike Lee and Sandi Sissel, receiving her MFA in directing and cinematography in 2010.
Christina came to cinematography through shooting her own documentaries. Kink, her feature debut, premiered at Sundance in 2013 and The Director premiered at TRIBECA later that year. She has lensed films for James Franco, (As I Lay Dying, Child of God, The Broken Tower) Tim Blake Nelson (Anesthesia), Theresa Rebeck (Trouble, Poor Behavior) and Tate Taylor (Ma) and television for Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone). As a director Christina has directed on Queen Sugar for Ava DuVernay and is developing the feature film Valentine which she will direct in 2020. Current projects include the pilot of Filthy Rich for Tate Taylor and FOX Television as well as his upcoming feature Breaking News in Yuba County.
One9 is an award winning multimedia artist, director, producer and editor. His clients have included Google, A&E, PBS, Viacom, Sony Music, Smithsonian Institution and the Barclays Arena.
One9 made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed feature film: Nas: Time Is Illmatic which was selected to premiere as the opening night film in the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and has since toured the film internationally in London, Paris, Spain, The Netherlands, Australia, Korea and Japan. One9 produced a documentary on race in America with PBS called The Talk and co-executive produced and directed a two-hour film on the L.A Riots called L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later for A&E Network and executive produced by John Singleton.
Dr. Rachel Raimist is an award-winning filmmaker who most recently directed "Did I Lose You?", an episode of Greenleaf for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She was invited to join the Director's Guild of America (DGA) when she was named a season 3 director of Queen Sugar, the award-winning episodic television show produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey (OWN) after directing episode "Your Passages Have Been Paid”. She is also developing original TV content.
Raimist has also produced an episode of the docuseries Mavericks,, produced by veteran actor Michael Michelle and Chris Jenkins, Associate Editor of The Washington Post. This episode marks Michelle's directorial debut and brought the inclusive crew on location to film in Tucson, Arizona.
Raimist’s award-winning films have screened at festivals such as South By Southwest, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, San Jose Cinequest, and Women in the Director’s Chair, and on national and international television outlets and are housed in libraries on every major campus in the US.
Raimist is a tenured associate professor at the University of Alabama where she teaches media production in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media. She has taught screenwriting, videography, directing and documentary courses as well as travel-study courses, "C&IS in LA" and "JCM at Sundance," which are immersive industry-focused travel courses. Currently she teaches professional development, television industry and PA bootcamp online.
For six years, Raimist also served as Co-Director of UA's Creative Campus, an arts advocacy organization that supports student interns to build arts focused projects and events. Events such as the Black Warrior Film Festival were created as part of this faculty-led, student centered program.
Raimist served as faculty for the fall 2017 term on Semester at Sea's floating campus where she taught courses on global cinema, digital photography and women's literature. On this voyage she visited and taught field classes and led programs on four continents, in ten countries and thirteen cities in Germany, Spain, Ghana, South Africa, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Japan. Additionally her scholarship and production work has taken her to Nigeria, Mexico, England, Norway, Chile, Argentina and France. She believes that travel is a must for understanding justice and community in today's globalized world.
Matt Slamowitz is an award-winning editor who began filmmaking as a kid, creating claymation videos in his parents' basement. He started his NYC career as a production assistant on Law and Order and 30 Rock, and before long landed a job as in-house editor at the ad agency Barton F. Graf. In addition to editing, Matt has also directed his own short films, earning him the Next Great Filmmaker Award from the Berkshire International Film Festival. Out of the edit bay he's an avid traveler, drummer, and has fostered over 23 dogs to date.
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David Joseph is an award winning cinematographer, producer and director, who has lensed and developed an array of noted scripted and non-scripted productions during his 15 year career.
David began his career working for BET, directing and creating segments for Rap City, including "Throwback Thursdays", and developing other shows for the network, including "Spring Bling’s Rides", 'Rims & Runways" and "Wild Out". He also helped develop You Choose, the network’s voting initiative and directed Crank That Vote, a special in which the network crisscrossed the country, registering 100,000 young people to vote in 2008. The special was highlighted on CNN and garnered the top network rating for that quarter.
More recently, Joseph has produced episodes for scripted shows such as The Game, Being Mary Jane, and Read Between the Lines and MTV’s Hip Hop POV. In 2014, he helped lens the seminal documentary Nas: Time Is Illmatic which was centered around Nas’s classic Illmatic album. Also that year, he produced MTV’s "Sucker Free", segments for Fuse News and episodes for Centric’s docu-series Being. In 2017, he produced his first scripted film Perception of Violence (P.O.V.) which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival’s Creative Minds Group.
Over the course of his career, David's client list has included ABC, ESPN, HBO, Nike, Madison Square Garden, MTV, VH1, BET, Sony Records, Atlantic Records, Lifetime Entertainment and several other organizations and networks.
Stacey Foster is a Brooklyn- based editor of documentaries, commercials, and web content.
She recently finished editing ISABELLA ROSSELLINI’S GREEN PORNO LIVE! directed by Jody Shapiro. Framed around highlights from her hilarious and flirtatious monologue involving the Animal Kingdom, the film tells the story of life on the road of a touring performer and the creative process the artist goes through by charting the evolution of the Green Porno universe. It premieres at the 2015 San Francisco Film Festival.
She also edited the feature documentary Burt’s Buzz with director Jody Shapiro, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. The film is a portrait of the dichotomous life of Burt Shavitz— an allusive beekeeper who reluctantly became one of the world’s most recognizable brand identities.
Some of Stacey's other documentary credits include Animals Distract Me, a film by Isabella Rossellini, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, a half-hour special for VH1 about Pearl Jam's iconic album Ten, and the foreign language short documentary Life for a Child, directed by Academy Award nominated DP Ed Lachman, which tells the story of three children struggling to survive with juvenile diabetes in Nepal and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Stacey has edited numerous webisodes for clients such as Condé Nast, GQ, and TRESemmé. She also edited the PSA 'ART WLK '09, which won a NY Emmy for best commercial.
She not only works in the edit room, but has served as on-set editor in such remote locations as Nepal and Alaska to make the post production workflow more efficient. She also co-produced Laura Israel's award winning documentary Windfall, which tells the story of the inhabitants of a small, rural town in upstate New York and their struggle whether or not to allow industrial wind turbine development amidst their homes. Windfall premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at the DOCNYC Festival.
Michael Parry is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Raised in San Diego, Michael studied philosophy, film theory and literature at UC Berkeley before earning an MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute.
As a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Michael has lensed projects all over the world and moves between documentary, commercial and narrative work. Michael has enjoyed collaborations with such directors as Werner Herzog, Frank Marshall, James Franco, Thom Zimny and Morgan Neville.
Michael's work has shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, The Telluride Film Festival, Hot Docs Toronto, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
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Daniel D. Patterson is a swift and proficient director of photography, developing a unique naturalist vision for each story he works on.
Patterson lensed the first season and is currently prepping the second season of Spike Lee’s series adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. Previously he shot actor Roger Guenveur Smith’s one-man show Rodney King, also for Netflix and director Spike Lee; as well as the short Dirt, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and was nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize.
His feature, director Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, closed the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in June 2014. Critics praised Patterson’s work on the film, saying his beautifully framed widescreen compositions maintained a textured look, making his work one of the feature’s biggest assets.
Patterson lensed his first feature Gun Hill Road in 2011 and has not slowed since. His feature resume also includes director Shaka King’s Newlyweeds, as well as documentaries Out in the Night, Evolution of a Criminal and More than Conquerors.
His portfolio includes innumerable shorts, music videos and spots. Among his many career highlights are: the honoree interviews for the first Black Girls Rock! broadcast; a Teddy Bridgewater documentary sponsored by Cadillac; Eminem’s Mother's Day video, in which the rapper performed a heartfelt apology for his mom; Stag & Doe, which won the 2010 HBO Short Film Contest Winner at ABFF; and a series of interviews for American Express featuring Pharrell Williams.
DARIUS CLARK MONROE
DARIUS CLARK MONROE
A Houston native, Darius Clark Monroe, graduated with honors with a B.A. from the University of Houston, and an M.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Monroe has received fellowships and grant support from Austin Film Society, Tribeca Film Institute, Charles and Lucille King Fellowship, Spike Lee Fellowship, Warner Bros, Cinereach, IFP, IDFA, DCTV, and the Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund. He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" and "10 Filmmakers to Watch" from The Independent.
In March of 2014, Monroe world premiered his feature length documentary Evolution of a Criminal at SXSW. Evolution of a Criminal has screened at over 100 international film festivals, winning numerous awards including the International Documentary Association Emerging Filmmaker Award and Grand Jury prizes at Full Frame, Docuwest, and Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. "Its images, its shape, its tone, and its implications make it a terrific movie, as well as the birth of an artist," described The New Yorker. The film went on to be nominated for an Independent Spirit Award Truer Than Fiction grant and Cinema Eye Honor. In 2015, Evolution of a Criminal made its nationwide television broadcast debut on Independent Lens (PBS).