Meet Our Creators & Collaborators
Writer/Director of Seeking Mavis Beacon
Jazmin Jones is a Brooklyn-based, Bay Area raised visual storyteller and thot leader with BUFU: By Us For Us. Her aim is to build platforms for more vibrant and nuanced representation of the marginalized communities she’s a part of. Working across visual mediums, her projects often echo personal experiences as a queer, Black femme waging intimacy in the Post-Internet era. In 2015, Jazmin co-founded BUFU: a project-based collective interested in solidarity amongst Us, co-creating experimental models of organizing with You. The collective was awarded Eyebeam’s 2017 Trust Residency and received a 2020 residence with the Brooklyn Community Foundation Incubator Project. When Jazmin isn't investigating the disappearance of Mavis Beacon for her documentary Seeking Mavis Beacon, she can be found curating sights and sounds that evoke Black delight at @AllBlackASMR.
Writer/Director of Fighting For The Light
Yeelen Cohen is a non-binary Filmmaker, Actor, Writer, Producer and Theatre Artist based in Brooklyn. Born in Paris, France, and raised in Jacmel(Haiti), New York, Miami and the Bay Area, their multicultural upbringing deeply influences their artistic practice and view of the world. Yeelen’s work, often rooted in the personal, unfolds into larger conversations about identity, history, space, diaspora and technology. They co-founded and curated the Afrofuturism Film Festival in 2016, Assistant Directed the Haitian magical-neorealist feature Ayiti Mon Amour, and recently starred in Random Acts of Flyness on HBO. They won the mention prize award for Best Pitch at the Blackstar Film festival. They were a fellow at the 2020-2021 Black Public Media 360 incubator and as of recently a 2021 Flaherty Fellow. Their project was also selected at the 2021 Gotham Week (IFP).
Associate Producer of Seeking Mavis Beacon
Olivia McKayla Ross is a Caribbean American video artist, poet-programmer, and doula from Queens, New York City. Her work is motivated by oceanic media theory, and a curiosity about electronic video and power. She’s delighted by computer graphics, glamour magic, two-way mirrors, and the fantasies and anxieties of video transmission: immersion, absorption, surveillance, and control. Currently a grief doula-in-training, she hopes her practice as a “cyber” doula will encourage the necessity of care work across transmission culture. Olivia is an alum of the School for Poetic Computation and has taught at Black Girls Code, BUFU, POWRPLNT, Ethel’s Club, and Pioneer Works. Her work has been featured in Well Now WTF, Transfer Gallery, Bitch Media, Refinery 29, i-D UK, and i-D Italy. She can be found online at @cyberdoula on Instagram.
Co-Writer/Producer of The Square
Natalie Baszile is the author of the debut novel, Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for TV by writer/director, Ava DuVernay and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Winfrey’s cable network. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014 and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Lenny Letter, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, and elsewhere. She is a currently a resident at SFFILM and a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. http://nataliebaszile.com
Writer of Inheritance
Full-time director/writer/actor Fedna Jacquet was born in Boston to Haitian parents. She is a 2021-2022 Inaugural Still I Rise Documentary Fellow, a 2020-2022 National Black Theatre Playwright in Residence, 2019-2022 Huntington Theatre Playwriting Fellow, and a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting. Written work for the screen includes Isaiah (ABFF/TVOne Screenplay Competition Finalist, Homebase (Juilliard/NYU Showcase)), Inheritance (2020 Tribeca Chanel Through Her Lens Finalist, 2021 Urbanworld Film Festival), Circus (2020 HollyShorts Quarterfinalist) and Going Home. She is also currently working on two pilots: Model Minority (a half hour dramedy centered around an Asian American male lead) and Pefeksyon (a half hour comedy centered around a Haitian American family). Written plays include Black Mother Lost Daughter (Commissioned by National Black Theatre), Pefeksyon (Playwright’s Realm Finalist, DVRF Finalist, Studio Tisch), Inheritance (Classical Theatre of Harlem Playwright's Playground, Studio Tisch), Civic Duty (Commissioned by Suny Purchase), Gurlfriend (The Fire This Time Festival) and Heroes (Developed as a Huntington Fellow). Fedna is currently recurring as an actor on City On A Hill (Showtime) and FBI: Most Wanted (CBS) She has appeared on The Equalizer, New Amsterdam, Law & Order SVU, The Blacklist, and many others.
Writer/Director of Oceania Journey To The Center
Natalie Zimmerman is a Bay Area-based filmmaker and educator whose work has been exhibited worldwide in diverse contexts including Independent Feature Project, World Affairs Council and Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna). She is a former Fulbright Scholar, Headlands Center For the Arts Resident Fellow, and Resident Artist at the de Young Museum (SF) where she created Social Dream Lab— an exploration of the collective dynamics of dreaming and social revolution. In 2017, she organized a gathering of indigenous and western women engaged in climate change activism – On Fertile Ground: Integrating Perspectives Toward a Collective Future was funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Zimmerman is currently completing production on feature-length nonfiction film set within the context of climate change on a group of low-lying islands in the South Pacific. OCEANIA was featured at the Ji.Hlava New Visions Forum: US Docs in the Czech Republic last October. Zimmerman was most recently nominated and awarded a Filmmaker Residency funded by Theoria Foundation, Woodstock Film Festival and Gigantic Pictures and spent the month of May working with Barbara Kopple, Alex Smith and Yoruba Richen in Woodstock, New York.
Writer/Director of Toro La Cou
Pierre Michel Jean lives and works in Port-au-Prince, Haiti as a freelance photographer and filmmaker. He is one of the founders of K2D, a Haitian photojournalist collective, and he also contributes to their magazine "Fotopaklè". Pierre Michel Jean discovered photography as part of his courses in Social Communication at the State University of Haiti and later enrolled at CEPEC (Center for Photographic and Cinematographic Study). In August 2011, he graduated from Haiti Reporters, a program aiming at training Haitian professionals in Multimedia. Pierre Michel Jean has exhibited his photos in multiple collective exhibitions in Europe and America. In 2018 Pierre-Michel was honored with the Young Journalist Award for his work on the LGBTQI community rainbow campaign in Haiti. As Filmmaker, he made his debut in 2016 with the documentary "Les guérisseurs de l'ombre"-, in 2017 he directed the short documentary "L'oubli Pour Mensonges" on the Trujillo led Haitian massacre in 1937 in the Dominican Republic.. TORO LA COU is his first feature length documentary.