WHY RACIALIZED CASTING DIRECTORS ARE KEY TO BOOSTING REPRESENTATION ON SCREEN
The lack of representation on and off screen goes far beyond the performers, directors and creators we see every day in the news. Black and racialized creative leaders bring unique perspectives and enrich the stories being told as well. The choice of the right casting director impacts the entire universe of characters surrounding the protagonists. Black and racialized casting directors are more invested in creating an ensemble of main, supporting and guest players who represent the diversity we see every day on the streets.
With the fight for proper representation growing every day, are we seeing that fight extending to casting directors being hired in the industry? Are the executives, networks and streaming services working to include more Black and racialized casting directors in their projects’ teams?
Francine Alfred, Actress, Model, Host, Owner of Talent Unleashed
Francine Alfred is an actress, model and host who’s been featured in TV shows, commercials, music videos and magazines. She is also the owner of Talent Unleashed, a marketing and networking company that helps promote actors to some of the key players in the entertainment industry.
Hank White, Filmmaker
Hank White is a film industry veteran with over fifty years of experience as an Actor, Producer, Writer, Production Manager, Casting Director and Director in stage and film. A member of Nova Scotia Native Council Zone 12, a Member of the Northern Woodland Metis, of Mi'kmaq French Acadian Metis ancestry.
Founder of the Aboriginal and Visible Minority Shadow Program 2004 (Maritime Film Industry) A long-time ACTRA member (Actor’s union.) past chair of Diversity; Board Member of AAMP Alliance of Aboriginal Media Producers; Member of The Children's Wish Foundation N.S. Chapter since 1989; Founding member of Film Nova Scotia (1980s); Thirty-Two (32) years as a Real Estate Advisor with Public Works Canada (PWGSC) retired in 2008. Hank was awarded The 2008 Minister’s Award of Excellence in Employment Equity. Five years as a volunteer member of the Indigenous Working Group for Telefilm Canada. A Producer member of Screen Nova Scotia.
Koumbie, D&I Committee, ACTRA
Koumbie is an award winning actor, director, writer and producer based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia. In front of the camera she has appeared in a number of local productions with reoccurring roles on shows including CBC shows; Mr. D, Studio Black, Diggstown, Moonshine, and the final season of Outtv’s Sex & Violence. Since going behind the camera, Koumbie has directed a number of award winning short films, including the Short Film Face-Off winner Hustle & Heart, a 1k wave film, Ariyah & Tristan’s Inevitable Break-Up, and an episode of Studio Black S2. Their debut feature film bystanders recently premiered at Atlantic International Film Festival where it took home Best Atlantic Script. Koumbie is drawn to stories that feature new voices and perspectives.
Tiauna Jackson, Talent Agent
Creating a disruptive underdog culture, Hollywood Talent Agent Tiauna Jackson has opened doors for many emerging artists. Known for her historic election to the ATA Board of Directors, Jackson has been featured in the New York Times and Essence Magazine. The Jackson Agency is WGA and DGA Franchised.
Zora DeHorter, Casting Director
Zora DeHorter is a Nigerian born, London raised, Hollywood working and living independent/freelance film, television and commercial Casting Director. She is on the Board of Directors for the prestigious “Casting Society” (“CSA”). Since joining the Board, Zora is proud to be contributory in the formation of the ‘CSA BIPOC [Black Indigenous People of Color] Alliance’. She is also a faculty teacher at the two year acting conservatory “Theatre of Arts” (“TOA”) Hollywood.