TBFF BLACK MARKET : Meet The Filmmakers

The TBFF’s Black Market returns with a Masterclass/Workshop that you won’t want to miss if you want to succeed in the film industry. Established filmmakers from Canada and abroad will come talk about their experience with filmmaking from creation, to financing, production, distribution. Seats are limited!

Randy Thomas (MODERATOR)

Randy grew up in Moncton NB and studied Marketing and Business Administration at St Mary's University before heading to Montreal to pursue a career in acting. Currently, Randy has recurring roles in two TV series and continues to mentor other actors through the Actor Advantage Program. A program that teaches actors how to earn a living as artists in show business. Randy also published his first book in 2015, the 6P's of Success for Actors. A book that outlines the six essential elements artists must consider in order to sustain a long-term career in the entertainment industry.

Tyler Dowey

Tyler began writing short films in high school. After graduating from Queen’s University with a degree in Film and Theatre Production he shifted his focus to feature length original screenplays. Since then Tyler has written ten screenplays. In recent years, several of these have placed highly in writing competitions. He recently wrote and directed his first feature for Pisgarie Entertainment. Entitled Salvage, the film is currently screening in competitions across North America including the EyeCatcher Film Festival, the Canadian Independent Film Festival and the Toronto Black Film Festival. When not writing, Tyler works as a Playback Operator on feature film and television productions that shoot in and around Toronto.

Ngardy Conteh George

Ngardy Conteh George is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with over ten years of experience in the field. While she has a diverse portfolio of work, she is committed to working with marginalized, and often unheard communities, especially those that represent the rich cultures and complexities of the African Diaspora. As a director she has achieved this with ‘Soldiers for the Streets’ (NFB/CBC Newsworld, 2004), ‘Dudley Speaks for Me’ (Best Canadian Presentation, Caribbean Tales Int’l Film Festival, 2016)) and award-winning Sundance supported feature length documentary ‘The Flying Stars’ (Best documentary – BronzeLens Film Festival, 2015). Partnering with veteran award-winning filmmaker Alison Duke, they recently launched Oya Media Group, a Black women-led production company with their first project, TV-hour documentary ‘Mr.Jane and Finch’ directed by Ngardy, premiering at the Toronto Black Film Festival and broadcasting on CBC in February 2019. In her next project, Ngardy is exploring the medium of cinematic VR with a 360 VR documentary ‘Wa’Omoni Rising’ in development. She is also an accomplished video editor working on television shows for Bravo!, Space, CTV and AUX.

Stephen Levy

When I finished my course in film directing at Film School, the course tutor said to me, “now go and make a film.” Years later, it’s so exciting to be embarking on an adventure with my first short film, Epiphany. I’ve had several different careers, from graphic design, acting, motion graphic artist, video producer, to VFX artist. I spent a long time acting in film and TV series for BBC, Channel 4 and many other channels, while working as freelance graphic designer for top 10 UK advertising agencies. My biggest change came when I left graphic design to pursue my passion for film by studying Digital Visual Effect at the University of Kent. This degree gave me the hands on experience of film making, visual effects, and post-production I’ve used in Epiphany. After graduating, I had a great opportunity with a corporate organisation, and started a new department offering motion graphic and video production there. In the last five years, I’ve directed and produced many corporate films and animations. I love being able to marry my passion for animation, photography, film directing and filmmaking. Steve Jobs said “You can’t connect the dots going forward, but you can connect the dots looking backward”. All the dots in my career – graphic design, motion graphics, acting, VFX and video production – have led to me to point where I have all the skills I need bring my story to life.

Anthony E Williams

From a Strongsville OH, a suburb Cleveland, Anthony E. Williams aka Tony has been mixing business with pleasure for some time now. As an actor he has been in Honey 4 (Universal) Step Up (Lionsgate) as well as independent films Astray (Amazon) & Arg Stairs (itunes).As a businessman he holds an MBA and has Executive Produced several films including his own award winning pilot "F.A.M." In 2016 he became the CEO of WMZ Entertainment, a production company where he brings his own stories to life.

Javier Badillo

Javier Badillo is a Venezuelan-Canadian film director with a decade of work in film and animation production. His films have won awards and screened at International film festivals, including Edmonton, Toronto, Cannes, Hoboken (US), London, and more recently, Harrogate (UK), where he won an Audience Choice award for his comedy Fatal Rhapsody. Javier has numerous short films under his belt including his film Coco Blue screening at this years TBFF. In 2018 he completed his first feature length film Road To Ithriyah. Javier has also taught and mentored other young filmmakers looking to get into the business.

Ina Sotirova

Ina Sotirova is a storyteller and explorer passionate about the world's diverse cultures, their unique traditions and expressions, and the people who make them come alive. Building on her solid background in journalism and photography, she discovered film as her medium in 2011. Within a year, her debut short doc, freedom2dance, which looks at the racist roots of New York City's only recently repealed 1920's Cabaret 'No-Dancing' Law, received the Du-Pont/Judy F. Crichton award for visual storytelling. Originally from Bulgaria, Ina now lives in Kingston, Jamaica, where she makes films, teaches and mentors inner-city youths at the UWI Community Film Project. Much of the inspiration for her short animation, Agwe, stems from her family's love of African art, music and culture and her own appreciation of ancestral traditions and spirituality. She is currently developing the feature script for Agwe: Priestess of the Moon and a low-budget family feature film based in Jamaica.

Aimiende Negbenebor Sela

Aimiende Negbenebor Sela is an award-winning writer/director. Her short films include Asa, A Beautiful Girl, A Day in the Life of Who, Blind Date, and her most recent surreal drama Utopia. Growing up from that kid watching The Sound of Music, one forever summer back in Nigeria, to the adult cozied up on a California love seat with TCM, dazzled by the complexity of the characters in 12 Angry Men; films have always helped Aimiende make sense of the nonsensical. Aimiende’s hope as a filmmaker is that her films show we all live the same lives, we’re just colored differently.

Michael Cory Davis

Michael is a triple threat: An actor, filmmaker, and producer. His directorial debut was the award-winning film, Svetlana’s Journey. Touched by the real-life story of a 13-year-old Bulgarian girl sold by her adoptive parents and trafficked to Holland for prostitution, Michael wrote and directed Svetlana’s Journey, a film based on her life. Svetlana’s Journey was the winner of the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival Best Short Subject Award and the HDFEST Deffie Award for Best HD Dramatic Film. Michael’s second film, Cargo: Innocence Lost, a documentary on sex trafficking in the United States, has been lauded for its effective spotlight on the issue here at home. Michael is the recipient of the prestigious People to People International (founded by Dwight Eisenhower) Make a Difference Award and was honored in a ceremony alongside the Prime Minister of Albania and the president of Relief International. His work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News Tonight, and The Tyra Banks Show, to name a few. Michael created Journey Film Group Inc., in 2005 and has created content for Lionsgate and AMC for the Emmy-award winning television series Mad Men for season two through five. Other notable clients include: The City of Los Angeles, Volkswagen, The Cairo Film Festival, Los Angeles Unity Coalition, National Council of Jewish Women.

Jacqueline King-Howell

Jacqueline King-Howell is a filmmaker originally hailing from Barbados, now based between Houston, Texas and NYC. Her first film Judy's Child, based on her personal journey with her mom's breast cancer fight, was selected for several film festivals and made the coveted top 20 HBO list for ABFF. That selection led to the film being included on the talent roster to LA executives and an invitation to pitch the full feature to a major production company. It also led to distribution deals with Comcast's Xfinity streampix, Unreel, Bid Slate, Amazon, and others. Jacqueline followed that with her dark dramedy, White Pickett Fence, that takes a look at the price one is willing to pay for the perfect life and image. The film, which gives a nod to Jacqueline’s love of Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone, has been the proud recipient of several awards including Houston MPAC’s Best Dark Comedy and LA Independent Shorts award for Best Narrative. Based on the reception of White Pickett Fence by the general audience and industry insiders alike, Jacqueline was hired to write, direct, and produce a segment for Sesame Street. That segment will air on HBO in February 2019. Currently, Jacqueline is working on additional projects for Sesame Street, pitching several projects (features and series) to major production companies and networks, in pre-production for her next film Am I My Father’s Keeper, and producing other projects by well known & up and coming writers who have sought her expertise in the filmmaking arena.