Président du jury
DANNY BLANCO HALL
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 through 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.
Over decades Tommy’s production experience in the film and television industry has been extensive. His credits as a Producer and Director (Assistant / Director) include over forty projects; Feature Films, Television Series and made for Television Movies, Documentaries and over a hundred National Commercials.
These include Television work for all three U.S. “Majors” – ABC, CBS and NBC and the Cables, i.e. FOX and MTV as well as Canadian Television; CBC, CTV, YTV, History and the Family Channel.
Regarding the youth market, of note, is the successful series Student Bodies (65 episodes) for FOX/YTV still in syndication around the world today!
In the feature film sector projects include studio and independent work for Hollywood, the UK and Canada. Actors of note: Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, George C. Scott, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugh Grant,Donald Sutherland, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Pierce Brosnan, Gary Busey, Jaqueline Bisset, Stephanie Powers, Robert Wagner, Helen Mirren, Billy Dee Williams, Greta Sacchi, and Genevieve Bujold. Tommy founded his production consulting company FELIX Productions in 1987, which completed contracts through 1999.Then in 1999 Tommy co-founded F.A.T. (Film & Television) Productions an Independent Canadian production company. In 2003 F.A.T. expanded to produce Film and Television product (in Canada) with U.S. distribution partners and Canadian co-producers for both the U.S. and Canadian markets.
Currently VP, Development for Reel World Management, and President of Code Red Entertainment, Rosana has over 25 years of experience in film and television. Over the course of her career Rosana has written, directed, produced, co-produced and developed content for film, television, web, mobile, and radio for both the US and Canadian markets. Networks include: Hallmark, Lifetime Network, National Geographic, Discovery Network, NBC, CBC, CTV and TVO.
Rosana has held a number of senior-level positions including: Head of Development for Reflector Entertainment; Creative Consultant for Cirque du Soleil Media; Brand Manager, NHL for Airborne Entertainment, Head of Development for TVA International and Director of Development for Allegro Films.
Rosana is experienced in developing content for multiple genres and across a variety of platforms including: podcasts, comic books, novels and live events. Her work has taken her from Montreal to Marrakesh.
Rosana is a member of the Canadian Media Producers’ Association and a voting member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. She was shortlisted for a Gemini Award for her writing for ½ hr youth series, awarded the President of Israel award for outstanding video production by Federation CJA and, more recently, nominated for the 2018 Canadian Screen Award for best cross-platform fiction.
Rosana holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Western University and a Masters’ degree in film production from Concordia University. She has also served as a member the grant selection jury for La SODEC.
Jean Jean is an Haitian-Dominican actor and filmmaker residing in Montreal. In 2017, he became the first actor from the island of Hyspaniola to win the Coral Award for Best Male Performance at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, Cuba and the Best Ibero-American Actor Award at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico, for his leading role in José María Cabral’s Capinteros (Woodpeckers), the first Dominican film to have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2017, the same year that it closes the Black Film Festival in Montreal, as well as the IFF Panama festival. In 2018, Carpinteros was chosen as the Dominican Republic’s official candidate to represent the country at the U.S. Oscars and Goya in Spain, and that same year, for the same role, the Dominican Association of Film Professionals ADOCINE awarded her two prizes: The Chair for Best Actor of the Year, for his international projection, and the Iris Prize for Best Foreign Actor.
After training at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV, Cuba) where he graduated in Documentary Direction (2008 – 2011), he made his first feature-length documentary Si bondye vle, Yuli in 2015, which earned him 4 awards for best documentary at the Caribbean Tales Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Rencontres cinémas Martinique, the Festival de Cine Latino e Ibérico de Yale, USA, and the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, where he also won the Human Rights Award for his in-depth analysis of Haitian migration in the Dominican Republic. Berlinale, TIFF, RIDM are other festivals where his work has seen the light.
Sarah has been working as a Producer, Writer and film consultant for the past fifteen years. From the first feature she premiered at SXSW about a notorious Montreal street artist, to last year’s Visions du Réel release about memory and grief in a small town, Sarah produces auteur filmmakers with a unique approach to storytelling. The company she co-founded with Selin Murat, Parabola Films, is a boutique production house supporting filmmakers seeking innovative or experimental ways to examine the world around them. Sarah is currently President of the Board of the RIDM, and has Chaired the Documentary Organization of Quebec’s Executive Committee, and the Canadian Film and Video Fund.
PRESIDENT DU JURY
Don is a native Montrealer and at age 15 became the first Afro-Canadian performer in Quebec to be seen for 6 years on the weekly television show “Like Young” as lead dancer for C.F.C.F. television, as well as Radio Canada’s “Fleur D’amour, Fleur D’Amitiés”. He ran his own dance school “The Dance Factory” for 16 years, was the first black male model to be featured on the cover of a national fashion magazine “Mens Wear of Canada” in 1969.As an accomplished actor, Don has been seen in over 80 film and television series, and was The artistic director of The Black Theatre Workshop for the 1987 / 88 seasons. His vocal accomplishments have enabled him to perform in many Musical Theatre productions, as lead guest vocalist in Gospel choirs, on television, and has performed on three separate occasions a the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. Don was the recipient of the 2010 Black History Award for achievement in the arts issued by the City of Montreal and The Round Table of Black History Month. In 2018 Don received The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Achievement Award for his accomplishments in the arts throughout Canada and abroad, and the prestigious Actra Award of Excellence.
VANESSA TATJANA BEERLI
Vanessa directed several short films, including Tv dinner … (Burp!), Nominated for the Genies Awards, before founding the organization Ciné Tapis Rouge in 2007. The objective was to support the influence of Quebec’s independent film industry internationally, while creating cinematographic exchanges between Quebec and various countries abroad. After 12 years of activities, more than 20 countries have joined Ciné Tapis Rouge which has led to more than a hundred of directors being able to meet new audiences.
In 2018, Vanessa helped a humanitarian organization create a film festival in Haiti which influenced her decision to return to film production. She produced a short film, called Ayiti mon cinéma, based on the delicate situation of cinema and culture in Haiti. This project sparked her desire to start working on her first feature film, a documentary about national cinemas around the world bringing together a dozen countries from five continents. The project, in co-production with Renée Beaulieu, is currently supported by SODEC.
Alongside a bachelor’s in Social Communication Pedro Ruiz is a photojournalist and filmmaker to whom we owe “Tropical Animal in Montreal” A portrait of the writer Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. He was awarded the Audience Award at the International Documentary Encounters in Montreal in 2009 for his film The Sweet Drift of a Child from Petit-Goâve, which plunges us straight into the wild imagination of the writer Dany Laferrière, and in 2012 for the movie Philemon Chante Habana, an intimate odyssey of songwriter Philemon Cimon. Pedro has recently produced On the Havana Roofs, a dazzling and poetic journey, revealing the characters of the people who live in the canopy of Havana
Phyllis is a talented film, television and theatre actor. She began her career on stage, playing lead roles with companies such as Montreal’s Centaur Theatre and Black Theatre workshop. She later went on to work in film and television in both English and French. Recent credits include an episodic lead in the American television series “Broken Trust” along with “The Bold Type”, “M’entends-tu?”, “District 31” and “Unité 9”. In addition to acting, Phyllis is also an accomplished singer/songwriter whose recordings can be heard on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. She’s also involved in advocacy with ACTRA National and ACTRA Montreal.
Josa Maule founded her school of Performing Arts (MSOPA) which has been serving Montreal’s Acting community for over 27 years, she has mentored thousands of actors, film makers and playwrights, encouraging them to have good work ethics, build bridges and grow their network.
Operating MSOPA, Josa Maule is a Casting Director, she has worked with numerous local and international Directors, many of these projects have received awards, nominations, and honorary recognition in the Entertainment industry worldwide.
Featured as “Acting Mama of Montreal” in Maclean magazine July 2016 edition 110 Canada stories. She has received a few awards for her contribution to the arts and community over the years. Her work continues to inspire artist of all ages, she has moderated master classes for Montreal Black Film Festival, judged on numerous Montreal Film festivals, Galas, Talent shows, and Pageants.
Stefan Verna graduated from Concordia University’s Film Production program in 2002. He has been active in the Montreal film community for the last 16 years as a Director, Cameraman, Editor & Video Instructor to inner city youth.
Drawn to cinema via political activism, Stefan Verna quickly realized that making films could be an agent of transformation around issues such as social justice, environmental issues and the plight of African communities around the world. His deep interest in politics, Hip Hop Culture and dance has fueled the type of projects he has pursued.
His camera skills have taken him to Cuba, France, Haiti, Mexico, the USA, in aboriginal and Inuit communities of Quebec. His images have been shown on various Canadian networks such as CBC Newsworld, APTN, Canal D, Bravo and Canal Evasion. As a video editor he has worked on TV shows such as La Course Autour de la Grande Tortue for Canal D, Chic Choc for APTN and Mordu de la Pêche for Discovery Channel and Boondocking for Canal Evasion.
His previous films are: Broken Strings (1999), Chocolate City (2003), Poetry in Motion (2004), Forever Loon (2010),Diversidad : a Roadtrip to Deconstruct Diner (2011), Drawing Blank (2012), Montreal: Jazz Stories . He is presently completing his second feature called NOMAD’S LAND: a documentary Rhyme and directing NIGHT WATCHES US at the NFB.