Creatives Empowered and Reelworld Film Festival & Screen Institute presents:

 Pushing Through Racial Barriers

 A FREE Lunch Hour Webinar for Alberta’s Screen-Based Industries

Thursday February 25, 2021

12pm to 1pm MST

in partnership with AMPIA

Join us for a powerful and enlightening discussion on the challenges racialized talent face in Alberta’s screen-based industries – from emerging to established – and the solutions we all need to see.

We’ll share practical and supportive resources you can access now to create more opportunity and equity.

Moderated by Creatives Empowered Founder Shivani Saini, panelists include actor, producer, award-winning entrepreneur and activist Jesse Lipscombe, Emmy nominated Tonya Williams – the Founder and Executive Director of Reelworld, and award-winning Nigerian-Canadian filmmaker Omatta Udalor.

Watch Live on the Facebook Pages of Creatives Empowered, Reelworld and AMPIA and on AMPIA’s YouTube Channel.

PARTICIPANT BIOS:

Jesse Lipscombe

Jesse Lipscombe

Jesse Lipscombe is an Edmonton-based actor, producer, entrepreneur and activist, who started his acting career at age 14 alongside Sidney Poitier in the Calgary-shot film Children of the Dust.  Jesse continues to act and produce in award-winning productions, and is a multiple CSA and Rosie award nominee.  In 2018, Jesse was the recipient of the Obsidian Award for Top Business Leader in Western Canada, and he was named Community Man of the Year by Diversity Magazine. Through it all, Jesse’s top priority has been giving back to his community, which he’s done through multiple annual fundraisers and partnerships with Edmonton charities such as WIN House and iHuman.  In September 2017, Jesse and his wife Julia launched the #MakeItAwkward campaign to combat racism, misogyny, homophobia and hatred of all kinds.

Tonya Williams

Tonya Williams

Emmy nominated Tonya Williams is the Founder and Executive Director of Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute, now in their 20th year, and AccessReelworld.ca; North America’s largest recruiting database for racially diverse talent.  Through these organizations she’s been able to advocate and create more access and inclusion for Canadian Black, Indigenous, People of Colour in the screen-based production industries.  She currently sits on Telefilm’s Diversity & Inclusion Group, the Canadian Media Fund Black Industry Leaders Group, Board of Directors for WOW! Unlimited Media, The Black Academy, and is one of the founders and a Board Member of the Black Screen Office.  Tonya is based in Los Angeles.

Omatta Udalor

Omatta Udalor

Omatta Udalor is a Nigerian-Canadian producer, director and actor who tells stories from a different perspective, and strives for inclusive stories with a unique voice.  The founder of Floating Handcuffs Entertainment Inc., Omatta has produced 4 award winning short films: Texted, The Trials of Miss Mudimbe, The Citizen and A Path to Somewhere.  As an actor he’s appeared on Heartland, Hell on Wheels, Wynona Earp, Till You’re 16, in web series Private Dicks and The Katabasis and in feature films such as Global Meltdown, The Lost Cafe, and Valerie.  Omatta is an active member of the Calgary Society for Independent Filmmakers, a Cultural Instigator with CADA, and an advocate for diversity, inclusion, tolerant understanding and the empowerment of BIPOC artists and individuals.

Shivani Saini

Shivani Saini

Shivani Saini is a consultant, producer and skillful communicator with over 25 years of professional film, tv, media and arts experience.  Her company, Atelier Culturati, creates inclusive content and powerful engagement, with a vision to produce and support works that positively transform the human condition.  A graduate of Ryerson’s Radio & Television Arts program, Shivani has worked in all genres of media production; in every role from the creative to the business side, and select credits include the award-winning dramatic television series Blackstone.  She is a dedicated advocate for equity within mainstream media and the cultural sector, and the founder of Creatives Empowered, the first and only non-profit organization in Alberta for film + tv, media and arts professionals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.