VISIONARIES OF CHANGE
Over the last year and a half, several important organizations were created to support Black producers and Creatives in the Film and Television Industry. The Black Screen Office, The Collective Bunch, and Cannes impACT program to name a few, are giving Industry artists a platform to be seen, supported, heard and opportunities to create.
Numerous Government supporting and funding initiatives and programs have been created as well.Are these programs working? Have we seen a tangible increase in the number of Black creatives working in front and behind the camera? Are we finally seeing change?
This panel will feature the creators of these organizations who will discuss what impact they have had on the industry since their creation and what they see happening in the future for Black and racialized Industry Creatives.
Moderator: Nadia Tchoumi: Storyteller, Entrepreneur & Executive Director CABJ
These days, you’ll find Nadia at Union Gospel Mission, managing media and communications as well as advocating for some of Vancouver's most vulnerable. Nadia spent 17 years as a broadcast journalist, travelling the country and working in markets from coast to coast. She got her start at Rogers TV Peel as a reporter, anchor and talk show host. She’s also worked as a news writer for The Weather Network, writing weather-centric casts for a national audience. In 2010, Nadia joined the CBC, working as a multi-platform reporter and anchor in St. John’s, Calgary and Edmonton. She then moved on to spend 7 years at Global BC, where she worked as a videojournalist. She also spent six years as an editor and freelance writer for Planet Africa Magazine, a Toronto-based quarterly publication that celebrates the achievements of the black community across the diaspora. Nadia is also proud to be among the first graduates of the University of Guelph-Humber (2006). Off-camera, Nadia is active in her community as a mentor.
Jason Mackay: Collective Bunch Society Founder & Executive Director (Executive producer for the Kid Carson Show on Z95.3FM and a partner in Rich&Jay Creative)
Growing up in Vancouver in the early 80s as a mixed-race kid with a black mother and white father was challenging for Jason. To overcome hate and ignorance, he subconsciously always tried to connect people of different backgrounds to come together and learn from each other. This approach stuck with him throughout his early adult life which, led him to gain experience in assembling different projects while negotiating budgets, resources and services within the marketing and advertising industry for the past 20 years. Acutely aware of how advertising and movies could be stereotypical in the roles they cast and eventually becoming involved in the industry as a partner in a production company, he noticed how the film crews were not diverse at all. His personal mission is to showcase all the diverse talent in the Vancouver film and creative industry, help support each other and drive business to everyone involved.
Omari Newton: Award-winning professional Actor, Writer, Director & Producer
(Senior instructor at The Vancouver Film School /Host Cannes ImpACT program)
Omari Newton is an award-winning professional artist. His original Hip Hop theatre piece Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and included a presentation at Canada’s National Arts Centre. A companion piece to Sal Capone entitled Black & Blue Matters will debut in 2022 at The National Arts Centre and Black Theatre Workshop. He and his wife, playwright Amy Lee Lavoie, are currently working on Redbone Coonhound—A Silver Commision from The Arts Club Theatre, and Blackfly—A commission from Montreal's Repercussion theatre. Newton’s work in Speakeasy Theatre's production of Young Jean Lee's The Shipment earned him Jessie Richardson Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor. Notable film & TV credits include: Lucas Ingram on Showcase’s Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State and lending his voice to the Black Panther in multiple animated projects (Marvel). Most recently, Omari has a recurring role as Nate on Corner Gas (the animated series) and a recurring roleas Corvus in Netflix’s hit new animated series The Dragon Prince.
Haydn Wazell: Media & Entertainment Producer and Software Developer, ZedDrive.ca & Tabula Dada
Haydn is a Vancouver-based media & entertainment producer and software developer. He sits on the national boards of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the Black Screen Office (BSO), and the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC creatives (CISF). Along with extensive film & TV producer-side production experience, has 10+ years in SaaS designing UX for media production workflows.