Documentary feature films
PRESIDENT Rosana Roth: VVP, Development for Reel World Management & President of Code Red Entertainment
Over the course of her career, Rosana Roth has developed and produced content across multiple platforms for both the US and Canadian markets. Senior positions include: VP of Development for Reel World Management, Head of Development for Reflector Entertainment, Creative Consultant for Cirque du Soleil Media, and Director of Development for TVA International. Rosana was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in 2018 for best cross-platform fiction for her work on an interactive digital series and mobile app for Lifetime Networks and Hallmark Channel. Rosana is Co-President of the Montreal chapter of the VRARA, a member of the Canadian Media Producers’ Association and voting member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. This is Rosana’s second year as a jury member for the Montreal Black Film Festival.
Mahalia Verna: Strategist & Producer
Mahalia Verna is a growth & impact strategist and versatile producer with over 20 years of experience. Most recently, she worked at E.D. FILMS, an award-winning Montreal-based animation and tech studio, as Senior Director of Strategy & Operations and Senior Producer.
Passionate about gender equity, inclusion and belonging, and next-generation talent, Mahalia’s engagements include mentoring for Women in Communications and Technology, serving as a board member of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC creatives, and as President of the Board of Kids Code Jeunesse. Most recently, she joined the Board of Directors of The 7 Fingers Foundation and was named President of Xn Quebec’s Equity and Inclusion committee.
Patrick Kabeya: Filmmaker
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Patrick Kabeya is a Congolese-Canadian Documentary Producer based in Ottawa, Canada. In the past 3 years, he’s produced a couple of shorts documentaries and two feature documentaries including “From Patrice to Lumumba (2019), “Congo – A Political Tragedy” (2018), “Congo – History Series” (2018-) “Congo – Nature” (2018).
Narrative feature films
PRESIDENT Ginette Petit: Film Producer
Drawing on over twenty-five years of experience in film production, Ginette Petit has worked on about five hundred short films and many features, among them And the Birds Rained Down by Louise Archambault (2019), Ça sent la coupe by Patrice Sauvé (2017), The Ring by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette (2007), The Collector by Jean Beaudin (2001) and Kabloonak by Claude Massot (1994), which were lauded by critics. Known for her attention to detail, rigor and infectious enthusiasm, Ginette Petit sets herself apart thanks to her generosity toward creators, her thorough understanding of the creative process and her sharp artistic eye, which she notably honed in her early years as a set designer and window dresser.
Alexandre Fortes: Filmmaker & Cinematographer
Alexandre Fortes is a visual storyteller originally from Brazil and recently based in Montréal – CA. Working nationally and internationally as a director and a photographer, Alexandre already received some awards like the Best Video Clip at the Toronto Indie Shorts Festival 2021 as a cinematographer, he was a semi-finalist at the Toronto Independent Film Festival 2018 and semi-finalist at the Meraki Film Festival Madrid 2018 for directing the short-film “The Movement”, he won Special Mention as a cinematographer at the Venezuela Five Continents IFF 2018 with the short-film “Deep Waters” and was also awarded the Best Video Prize Action AID – South Africa 2008.”
Danny Blanco-Hall: Actor & Singer
Born of Caribbean/South-American parentage and a veteran of the music and film industry, Danny Blanco-Hall began his singing career in1988 as a member of R&B band IMAGEZ who were featured at the famously renowned CHECKERS Funk club in Montreal. A decade later, Danny was cast in the hit musical RENT which launched his acting career into film and television. Credits include RIDDICK, X-MEN:DARK PHEONIX ,19-2, TRANSPLANT , including a wide range of voice-work in radio, animation, gaming and documentaries.
In June 2018, Blanco-Hall hosted a series of his own weekly Sunday night jams called SOULNUVÖ, continuing to further the scope of live urban music by supporting and promoting the current generation of young talent. At the halfway point of 2019, Danny is currently working on producing and participating in future indy projects and web series due in late 2020
Short and Mid-Length Narrative
PRESIDENT Laurent Maurice Lafontant: Founder of Massimadi & Filmmaker
Laurent Maurice Lafontant is the president of the Massimadi Foundation, which organizes the Massimadi festival of LGBTQ + Afro films and arts. Laurent has made two short documentaries on homosexuality in black communities in Montreal: Being Yourself (2012) and Beyond Images (2014). He is also a writer who has published several short stories and a novel “The Last Light of Terrexil”.
Of Haitian origin, Laurent arrived in Quebec in 2001. After completing a double major in film studies and literary studies, he graduated in Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal in 2008. Laurent has been involved in the LGBTQ + community ever since, by becoming a worker at Gris-Montréal and a volunteer at Arc-en-ciel d´Afrique, an organization that works for LGBTQ + people and their communities.
Vanessa Rancourt: Actrice, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur
Vanessa is an actress, director, producer and entrepreneur. She founded the House of Actors in 2016 and has made it one of Montreal’s most coveted hotspots for young artists looking to improve their acting and network with the industry’s elite. Notably, she and her students have met and performed in front of Oscar winners such as Brian Currie and Peter Farelly (Green Book), Emmy Award winners such as April Webster, Kenny Ortega and Keith David.
As a director, Vanessa wrote and directed the play ACT-TITUDE for its world premiere at the Fringe St-Ambroise Festival in Montreal in 2019. Her most recent short film “Her Face Her Body” led her to her first nomination in the ‘Best New Director’ category at the Vancouver Independent Film Festival. As an actress, she has appeared in numerous theatre productions in Los Angeles at the Sherry Theater and on television and cinema in Montreal such as “District 31”, “Deep Web” and the lead role in “RAZOR”.
Mora Etienne: Actor, Screenwriter & Director
Mora Junior Étienne is a Haitian actor, screenwriter and director born February 27, 1971, in Anse-à-Veau. He made his film debut with ‘Afaires Internes’ directed by Guy Elie in 1996.
The satisfaction of this experience led him to make his first film “Au Cœur du Danger” in May 1998. Actor, screenwriter and director, Mora offers his second feature film, “LeChoix de ma vie” released in 2001, then “Profonds Regrets” in April 2005. In 2007, Mora directed “Terrible Shock” a drama that was well received in theatres. Two years later, in 2009, “The Price to Pay” was his new film, and then Marozo, a television series written and directed by Mora Etienne in 2015. His 7th film production, “Until the Last Breath” had its first screening in December 2018 in Boca Raton.
Mora Junior Etienne has received several international distinctions during his career, including the 2011 Excellence Award presented to him in Boston by MPAH (Motion Picture Association of Haiti) and the high distinction plaque of honour from the Palm Beach Board of Commissioners for his work in the field of cinema in April 2020.