Carolyn A. Butts is the publisher/founder of African Voices, a leading non-profit arts magazine devoted to presenting fine art and literature by artists of color. Founded in 1992, African Voices will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2017. She has served as an assistant press secretary to former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall and a press aide to former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger. A former New York Post reporter, Carolyn was featured in Ms. Magazine’s October/November 2001 “Women to Watch” column for her outstanding achievements.
She has worked on many projects to increase the visibility of African-American artists in literature, film and art. In 1996, Carolyn co-produced a short film “Underground Voices” with Reg E. Gaines, the Tony-nominated writer of “Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk.” Footage from “Underground Voices” aired on the PBS special “I’ll Make Me A World.” She is also working on her first feature length documentary Imhotep Gary Byrd: The Drum Master, a portrait celebrating the pioneering radio show host/producer of “The Global Black Experience.” An unsung heroine, Carolyn is the founder the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series (www.reelsisters.org), an annual Brooklyn-based festival that highlights opportunities for women of color in the film industry. In 2016, Reel Sisters will be held from October 22-23, 2016 at LIU Brooklyn. Editor Chris Gore lists Reel Sisters under the categories of Best Black Film Festivals and Best Film Festivals for Women in the Ultimate Film Festival Guide.
Iman Childs is a filmmaker and media blogger with a passion for socially conscious films and television shows that work to connect cultures. A New York native, Iman is an alumna of Northwestern University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Film. Her senior thesis film, In Plain Sight, was screened at three film festivals in New York City. As a 2014-2015 Fulbright research grantee, Iman filmed a documentary in Rome, Italy concerning the lives of African immigrants and their integration into Italian society. The film, More than Sbarchi: The African Diaspora in Italy, is currently in post-production.
Newark NJ native, Lisa Durden is an award-winning content creator/producer in non-fiction television and feature film. Currently, Lisa serves as Curator of the annual Reel Sister of The Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series and the Broadcast Manager with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). In 2005, Ms. Durden launched, Lisa Durden Unlimited Productions, a multi-media company headquartered in New Jersey, that specializes in creating content for television, film, web and live audiences. She is the Executive Producer and host of The Lisa Durden Show airing in over 1 million homes.
She is Producer of ImageNation’s annual, star studded, Revolution Awards, honoring celebrities of color, who use their art for activism; Co-Producer of the upcoming, provocative, feature film, TTITLE VII that explores Same-Race Employment Discrimination in the workplace; Associate Producer of the award winning PBS’ feature documentary, Soul Food Junkies; Associate Producer of the critically acclaimed, Sundance Channel’s, 5 part docu-series, Brick City 1 (Director: Mark Levin & Executive Producer: Forest Whitaker), Director of her controversial, award-winning feature documentary, PROJECT WOW: Men On The Down Low, which broadcast in short form on the BET J series, Black Stories.
Jennifer Heslop is proud to be Reel Sisters Film Festival Film Coordinator for the past 2 years. She is also the founder of motivateArt, a creative consulting agency and resource hub for artists and creatives, providing Information, Inspiration and Interaction!
With a determined mind and a clear vision of what she aspires to in life along with her faith, Rose-Ann Green excels in everything she does. She is a focused and driven individual who is experienced in television broadcasting, production and multi-media. Rose is the founder of Green’s TV production and Media Consulting company. She is determined to change and enhance how media shapes our society by creating educational documentaries and TV series.
She has done extensive work as a TV Production volunteer instructor with church and community in media classes in Jamaica and Brooklyn. She is a native of Jamaica and a trained journalist. She is a mentor and inspiration to young people. Her greatest accomplishment is being able to live a life that others exemplify.
NICOLE MITCHELL, Volunteer Coordinator
Originally from The Bronx and now residing in Harlem, Nicole Mitchell is a graduate of CUNY’s The City College of New York’s Advertising and Public Relations program. She has always had an interest in all things entertainment and is passionate about the advancement and equal representation of people of color. She’s currently working as an administrative assistant in New York City and pursuing her goals as a professional in the media industry.
Ksisay Sadiki is a first time filmmaker and producer based in NYC. Currently, Ksisay serves as Production Manager of the annual Reel Sister of The Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series. In 2014, she assisted late documentarian Albert Maysles and completed the Filmmaker’s Collaborative and Production Program at Maysles Documentary Center. In 2009, she was the Talent Coordinator for ImageNations, 20th Anniversary Celebration of “Do The Right Thing.” She graduated with a B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Hunter College in 93’.