Writer/Director : Kelley "Kali" Chatman
Kelley “Kali” Chatman was born and raised in Northridge, CA located in the San Fernando Valley. She attended the world famous HBCU (historically black college & university), Howard University in Washington, DC where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Anthropology with a minor in Classical Civilization and film. While in Washington, DC she was privileged to secure an internship at National Geographic Television and Film, which sparked her interests even more into filmmaking.
After completion of her internship and graduation, she was recognized by one of her film professors and was hired by him to direct, shoot, and edit the very first Creole Dramatic Series to air in the country of Belize titled, Noh Matta Wat. She was the only female director on the television series, which helped her to navigate emotionally challenging scenes about the rape and sexual abuse of women.
She created a safe space for the actors and because of their comfort level with her, she was able to have them reach places that they expressed they had never gone as an actor before. When the season wrapped, Kelley returned to the states where she won a Paul Robeson Award for the Noh Matta Wat series. She then was later hired to film (camera operator) the behind the scenes of the PBS documentary, Prince Among Slaves, directed by Bill Duke. Bill Duke took a notice to her work ethic and when Kelley returned to Los Angeles, he hired her to direct and shoot PSAs for his company.
These experiences lead to Kelley securing her first job as a talent assistant at Entertainment Tonight located at Paramount Pictures and then later CBS Radford. Her skills in directing and camera work were recognized immediately and her assigned talent, Kevin Frazier, hired her to direct, produce, shoot, and edit news packages for his entertainment website,HipHollywood.com. While Kelley learned a lot of new skills in this position she wanted to make her own content which would combine her activism and filmmaking. Through her anthropology background she learned about child trafficking issues between the U.S. and Haiti. She then went to Haiti and investigated a catholic orphanage where the nun put girls as young at 12 years old on the streets for prostitution. The footage from this documentary led her to be accepted to USC School of Cinematic Arts.
She continued working on films focusing on social issues within the community which lead her to produce an advance Documentary project at USC called, “HomeGirls”. This documentary has now gone on to win several awards such as the Grand Jury and Audience Choice Award at the California Women’s Film Festival and for Best Short Documentary at the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival. More recently, Kelley was selected through a pitch competition to work with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s company, New Form Digital, and develop her webseries, "The Discovery of Dit Dodson" which is currently in production.
Kelley is the President of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Graduate Council and the Annenberg Fellow at SCA. Her long-term goal is to become a Director and content creator using media for social change.
Executive Producer: Garcelle Beauvais
Named one of People Magazine’s highly-coveted 50 Most Beautiful in 2014, Haitian- born actress Garcelle Beauvais immigrated to the United States at the age of seven with her mother and sisters, and has since charmed audiences with her dramatic and comedic abilities. A seasoned actress, Garcelle Beauvais recently starred in the upcoming indie film, "A Girl Like Grace," from executive producer Dan Garcia. "A Girl Like Grace" is a coming of age story about a young girl Grace from a small town discovering her purpose in this world. Garcelle plays Lisa, her alcoholic single mother lost in her youth trying to live a caviar life on a spam budget at the expense of her daughter. “A Girl like Grace” is slated to be released in Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Ohio, D.C. and Los Angeles in December 2016. Garcelle was also just announced as the host of “Window Warriors,” a store front skill-based design reality series on GSN, and has also completed filming her latest film project "Spider-Man: Homecoming.” The wildly anticipated addition to the super-hero series will release summer of 2017. In addition to all of the above, Garcelle currently serves as host on Fox’s daytime talk-show, HOLLYWOOD TODAY LIVE, where she breaks down the latest in entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity news.
Above all, Garcelle’s most important job is being a mother. She has been inspired by motherhood to write a children’s book series entitled ‘I AM,’ addressing identity issues relevant to many children today. The first book ‘I AM MIXED,’ about being siblings of mixed ethnicities, was released in August 2013. The second book, “I AM LIVING IN TWO HOMES,” addresses the difficulty of having parents who are no longer together as they discover the benefits of having two very different homes to explore and enjoy. The book was released on August 19, 2014. Her most recent book in the series, “I AM AWESOME” was published in 2015.
Looking back, Garcelle got her start when she began modeling at the age of seventeen and easily transitioned to acting in the Aaron Spelling series “Models, Inc.” After that, she co-starred opposite Jamie Foxx for five years on the popular WB sitcom “The Jamie Foxx Show.” For four seasons she also starred on the highly rated Emmy© Award-winning series “NYPD Blue.” She was recently a series regular on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash.” Other television credits include: memorable roles in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Arrested Development”, and “The Exes”, a starring role opposite Tim Daly in the ABC television show “Eyes” and guest appearances on “Human Target,” “Crash,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” and “The Bonnie Hunt Show.”
Most recently Garcelle can be seen in the film, WHITE HOUSE DOWN, directed by Roland Emmerich, where she stars alongside Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum as the First Lady of the United States. She can also be seen as the lead in the indie drama AND THEN THERE WAS YOU as well as the feature film, FLIGHT (directed by Robert Zemeckis), as Denzel Washington’s wife. She shot the independent film SMALL TIME alongside Chris Meloni and Bridget Monahan, directed by Joel Surnow which was released in April 2014. In between her acting projects, she also co-hosts for shows like E!’s “Fashion Police” and “Access Hollywood Live” on NBC.
Garcelle’s additional feature film credits include: the Film Independent Award- nominated AMERICAN GUN, with Forrest Whitaker, Marcia Gay Harden and Donald Sutherland, WOMEN IN TROUBLE with Simon Baker and Josh Brolin, BARBERSHOP 2: Back in Business, with Queen Latifah and BAD COMPANY opposite Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. She also shot the short film EYES TO SEE which focuses on the Haiti earthquake, inspired by the writer/director's personal involvement with the Haitian relief effort right after tragedy.
Garcelle supports the Step Up Women’s Network, a national non-profit that empowers women and girls to be strong and reach their full potential. She is also active with March of Dimes and Fonkoze.
She currently resides in Los Angeles and has three sons, Oliver, Jax and Jaid.
Executive Producer: Lisa Wilson
LISA L. WILSON is an Emmy Award winning producer and development executive from Houston, Texas. Lisa has produced more than 5,000 hours of programming including scripted, news, live entertainment and musical performances. She has developed content for FOX, CBS, ABC, REVOLT TV and other cable networks that has been seen in over 50 million homes.
Throughout her career Lisa has also dedicated time and resources to mentor and empower the next generation of female producers and content curators through professional development.
As a producer Lisa's mission is to develop content with the sole purpose of exploring life and discovering ourselves through the lens.
Co-writer: Yasemin Yilmaz
Yasemin Yilmaz is a Turkish-American writer who will travel to the ends of the earth in search of stories.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in English at UCLA, Yasemin spent two years traveling through Europe. She worked in the emergency room of a local hospital, acted as guide and translator to American tourists and learned ancient arts such as fortune-telling from the Turkish coffee cup and molybdomancy. She collected stories of doctors, bakers, psychics and many others to bring a voice to each of their experiences.
A founding member of the Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival (LATFF), Yasemin introduces Turkish films and filmmakers with the American audience. She recently received her graduate degree in screenwriting from USC, where her thesis was awarded distinction. Yasemin is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and intends on using her skills as a screenwriter to bridge gaps between cultures.
Producer: Victor Pourcel
Born and raised in Paris, Victor Pourcel developed a passion for storytelling at an early age, due to the influence of his grandfather, Jean Cosmos, a notorious French screenplay writer. After getting his Baccalaureate in economics with high honours, Victor studied humanities for two years in one of the most prestigious French hypokhâgne-khâgne. Admitted in Audencia, one of the top French business schools, he specialized in management of multimedia industries. Victor interned in Artmedia, the biggest talent agency in Europe, and was then hired to read, breakdown and criticize three screenplays a week for them, while finishing his Master degree in business in Nantes, and in Cincinnati, where he attended MA/MBA classes in art administration at the College Conservatory of Music.
Victor did his final internships in Los Angeles, in a management company and two production companies, one of which being run by Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), who became one of Victor’s mentors throughout the past years. Back to France, Victor worked for a production company, where he developed and produced a number of short films, including a prestige collection of short films adapted from unseen Boris Vian screenplays, and pre-bought by French national TV channels France 2 and France 3. Victor then worked for a year on a documentary about his grandfather, ‘A Life of Storytelling’, before heading to USC SCA Master program in Film and Television Production, in order to perfect his craft as a storyteller.
Producer: Adam Makary
Adam Makary is an Egyptian-American journalist and filmmaker currently receiving his masters in film production at the University of California. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Adam gained a BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo before working as a print journalist for his country's first independent English newspaper. He then continued as a news producer covering the lead up to and aftermath of the "Arab Spring" for several major news networks including Al Jazeera English, CNN, ABC and Channel Four.
Adam was the first AJE producer to cover the protests in Egypt on January 25, 2011, which led to the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and later, Mohamed Morsi. His coverage of the Arab Spring was also part of the work that landed AJE awards in 2011-2012, including the Royal Television Society Channel of the Year, the Peabody award for “enterprising and brave coverage” of the Arab Awakening, as well as the Columbia Journalism Award.
As a Coptic Christian who has lived as a minority both in America and in Egypt, his ultimate goal is to support minority voices and to ensure their films get made and seen.
Line Producer/UPM: Ian McClellan
Ian McClellan started as a company electrician on the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild went on to associate produce for Academy Award Winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman on their documentary The Battle of AmfAR (premiered Sundance 2013). He earned his MFA at USC in film and television production and is currently a set PA on Ten Days in the Valley for ABC. He would like to be a showrunner one day.
First AD: Star Victoria
Star graduated Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a degree in Film and Television Production. She was awarded the prestigious Mary Pickford scholarship to attend the MFA Program at the School Of Cinematic Arts at USC where she was the only incoming student to direct three short films in her 1st Semester. Star has directed several award winning shorts and has created a body of work that is thought provoking and inspiring. When she is not a honing her skills at USC, she is a sought after 1st AD and editor. She’s an invaluable asset to every production she works on. She recently worked as 1st Assistant Director on Film Independent’s Project Involve film, Get the Life and a Sundance Lab and Doha Film Institute feature, Marjoun and The Flying Headscarf. Her first edited feature, The Shadow Effect starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers was screened at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Also, In 2016, Star was accepted as a Director Mentee in the inaugural year of Ryan Murphy's Half Foundation Director Diversity Program, Star shadowed veteran director of Banshee, Outcast & American Horror Story, Loni Peristere on Fox’s Scream Queens. Star is also a Director Mentee of Executive Producer/Director Mike Listo, of How To Get Away With Murder, Notorious & Satisfaction.
Second AD: Megan Carroll
Megan Carroll is a filmmaker who is currently finishing her second semester in the Film & Television Production M.F.A. program. She was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where she graduated from Creighton University in 2011 with a double major in English and Graphic Design. In 2013, she was honored to work as a production assistant and sound recordist on a documentary in a small village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to attending USC, Megan worked at a marketing agency in St. Louis, Missouri, where she performed a variety of jobs including web design and development, project management, and video production and editing. Last summer, Megan solo cycled over two thousand miles from Portland, Maine, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just for fun.
Director of Photography: Xing-Mai Deng
Xing-Mai Deng, also known as Mye, is an American-trained award-winning cinematographer originally from Beijing. He spent most of his childhood traveling between China and the U.S., consuming cinema from every screen he came across. Eventually, he turned those countless hours of viewing into a lifelong pursuit – making movies.
As a storyteller since 2010, Xing-Mai thrives in contributing his unique talents and experience in a collaborative environment. For him, story always comes first. Crafting a specific look in service to the film's story and tone, his ultimate goal is to help realize the director's vision. He has extensive experience in capturing drama, comedy, thrillers, horror, and action; his body of work also includes vast applications of CG animation and visual effects.
Based in Los Angeles and Beijing, Xing-Mai holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film & TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Production Designer: Mollie Wartelle
Mollie Wartelle is a production designer and artist based in Los Angeles. She is obsessed with place and the history of objects and has been since childhood, when she followed her grandmother around a big old house full of antiques and peeling wallpaper. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mollie has degrees in Film Studies and French from Tulane University, where she moonlighted as a sculptor-ceramicist. For a while, she was a weaver and a children’s sewing teacher. She briefly worked as an assistant to three psychiatrists and later, as a candle and paper-maker. Mollie is interested in building unseen and unusual worlds. As a filmmaker, she hopes to bring life to stories by minority voices. She particularly enjoys films on children, memory, and nostalgia. One day, she may retire and become an archivist, a private detective, or a poet.
Production Design Consultant: Colleen O'Halloran
Colleen O'Halloran holds her MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in film production and a BA in writing/journalism from Georgetown University. She is a writer, director, and production designer with a deep passion for human rights and strong female characters.
Colleen recently worked as production designer on a feature film biopic about the life and career of Mary Pickford, 'The First'. She also designed a viral video for Vogue, 'Australian Psycho' with actress and cover girl Margot Robbie. She co-wrote and art directed the recent USC/Rabbit Bandini feature collaboration, 'The Mad Whale'. She designed two award winning shorts that are currently in the film festival circuit, ‘Only Light’, 'To Pick a Butterfly' and ‘Somewhere the King’. Colleen also production designed two Sloan Projects that are in post-production: ‘Spark’ and ‘True Colors’. She won the honor of 'Best Production Designer' at USC First Film Festival.
DIT/ Editor: Jeremy Deneau
Jeremy Deneau began learning post production in 2004. He was given 10 hours of footage and asked to assemble a 30 minute television show. With no prior video editing experience, he purchased a version of Avid Express DV and began learning on the job. Since, he has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from narrative shorts, music videos, infomercials, narrative features and several feature length documentaries, 2 of which have been screened at the Festival de Cannes. After many years of working independently, Jeremy returned to school in hopes of turning this part time work into a career. He is currently attending the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California pursuing a bachelor's degree in film and television production.
Sound Design: Derek Sepe
Derek is an LA based sound designer and re-recording mixer. He is originally from the areas of Seattle, Washington and Boise, Idaho where he continues to visit and support both communities.
Derek studied at USC's School of Cinematic Arts where he received his MFA working on numerous films in both production and post sound. Though his emphasis is sound and producing, Derek has a knowledge and respect for all disciplines of visual storytelling. Derek is a member of CAS, LA Post Production Group, and is currently a Production Supervisor and Sound Editor at Lunacy Productions.
Composer: Ramesh Kumar Kannan
Ramesh Kumar Kannan is an award winning music composer based in Los Angeles, California. He holds an associate diploma in piano performance from the Trinity College of Music, London and a graduate certificate in Film scoring from The University of Southern California.
Ramesh has his name attached to a great list of award winning films, documentaries, Tv shows and video games as the composer and in various other capacities in the music department. He has also composed music for the stage and helped many fine artists and bands produce records.
Ramesh is the proud winner of two Global music awards and was also a nominee for The Hollywood Music in Media award in the year 2015.
Associate Producer: Sade Joseph
Sadé is a Caribbean-American filmmaker, photographer and singer/song-writer born and raised in the Bronx, NY. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from Columbia University in 2011, she joined the production team for the ABC Daytime Television show the The View. Over four years she developed her skills as an executive assistant, production assistant and associate producer on the show before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a Master of Fine Arts at USC School of Cinematic Arts. Sadé is dedicated to giving others, particularly people of color, children and women, the opportunity to tell their own stories and showcase themselves as they see themselves through her narrative and documentary work. She is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Director's Guild of America John Frankenheimer Fellowship and 2016 Inaugural 30 Under 30 Caribbean- American Emerging Leader and Change Maker Award recipient for which she was honored at the White House.
Associate Producer: Madison Stevens
Madison Stevens received her B.A. from Bucknell University in 2014, graduating Cum Laude with honors in Political Science and English and a concentration in Human Rights. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Directing and Cinematography at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Previously, Madison worked for the United States House of Representatives and recently served as a financial analyst in the Gaming, Lodging and Leisure group at Macquarie Capital where she advised on mergers and acquisitions as well as debt financing transactions across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Website/Set Photographer: Sam Schmiedeskamp
Sam is a photographer and cinematographer at USC. She developed a taste for the visual arts at an early age in her scenic hometown of Portland, Oregon. Since moving to California she has shot for Snapchat, Adult Swim, and a series of other productions. Sam is currently majoring in Narrative Studies with a minor in Cinematic Arts where she aspires to create stories that empower a new, diverse generation.
Researcher/Consultant: Azmera Hammouri-Davis
Azmera was born and raised between the small town of Kea’au, Hawaii and the vibrant city of Miami, Florida. She recently graduated from USC with a dual degree in Social Sciences Psychology and Visual and Performing Arts Critical Studies, and started a project called “Break The Boxes” that aims to increase empathy amongst people from all walks of life through art. As a Gateway/McNair Research scholar, she conducted ethnographic research examining constructions of identity for students of African and Arab descent.
After studying abroad in Bahia, Brazil she became even more deeply invested in learning about modes of resistance for people across the African Diaspora and serves as youth program director for the International Society of Black Latinos for the passed three years. She enjoys training the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, listening to peoples stories, reading and writing poetry, and watching Hip Hop documentaries on her free time. She is excited to be on board as a ethnographic researcher for the Lalo's House film project, and cannot wait to learn from and grow with communities in Haiti.
Researcher/Consultant: Lorraine Estime
Lorraine is a current masters of law student at the University of Southern California specializing in Entertainment Law. Having grown up in a single parent Haitian household where religion predominated the atmosphere, values such as hospitality and philanthropy were instilled in her, as well as care-taking - especially of elders. She graduated from high school in to the real world and went on to study French language and literature at Spelman College. Thereafter, she set out to fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer by travelling the world. After having studied abroad in Martinique and Paris, she decided to pursuit her law degree in London, UK. With this more well-rounded view of the world outside the US, she has returned to the States in hopes of promoting globalization in both a legal and cultural perspective.