Panel Discussion: Diversity off and on screen
A great panel of industry professionals will talk about the under representation of Black talent off and on screen. They will share their experience regarding that issue as well as some ideas to help solve the problem in Halifax and the Atlantic region.
Laurens is a 3-time Emmy and a Peabody award-winning filmmaker and a Sundance Institute filmmaker fellow. Among Laurens' significant accomplishments, she directed and produced the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement which is Executive Produced by actor and activist Jesse Williams [Grey's Anatomy] and received an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding news special. Laurens produced the feature length documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution which premiered at Sundance and was named one of the top five documentaries of 2015 by the National Board of Review. She also produced the documentary Freedom Riders which premiered at Sundance, won three Primetime Emmys, and a Peabody. Laurens is also a consulting producer on the documentary The Rape of Recy Taylor which received a human rights award at its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival / Biennale di Venezia.
Lori is the Telefilm representative for all feature film clients in the Atlantic region. Her mandate is to develop and support feature film talent (producers, writers and directors) in the Atlantic region, primarily through investment in an annual portfolio of projects with budgets less than $2.5 million.
A filmmaker, playwright, actress, multi-media artist and singer; has worked in the film industry for 17 years in various roles. A former ACTRA Member; current member of AFCOOP, Program Committee at Centre for Art Tapes, Board member of The OM Arts Foundation and committee member of the Urban Music Advisory Committee under the director of Music Nova Scotia.
She was nominated for 3 ACTRA Maritime Awards and her short film Hustle & Heart won Short Film Face - Off. Her next short film, Horizontal Concavity, won Best regional Short at the Bluenose Ability Film Festival.
Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ who created and manages 7 festivals in Montreal, Toronto, New York City, Halifax and Port-au-Prince - including the Montreal International Black Film Festival, Canada’s largest black film festival; the very popular Toronto Black Film Festival as well as the New Halifax Black Film Festival . As chairman of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, she supports, awards grants and promotes independent films and artists who, otherwise, would not have been seen or heard. In 2015, Colas was awarded a Medal from Quebec’s National Assembly recognizing her leadership and contribution in the fight against racism and discrimination in Quebec.
With 20 years’ experience in film festival management, Jason currently serves as Program Director of FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, overseeing all aspects of film selection and curation across the organization’s family of events.