Director Laurens Grant won an Emmy Award for directing JESSE OWENS, the first full-length documentary about the African-American Olympian and the 1936 Olympics. Grant also produced the Peabody and 3-time Emmy winning documentary FREEDOM RIDERS and the Peabody and Emmy-nominated documentary THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION. She directed the documentary STAY WOKE: THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT which received an NAACP Image Award nomination. Grant is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Documentary Branch (Oscars) and the Television Academy (Emmys) and a Sundance Institute Filmmaker Fellow.
Margo Precht Speciale
Margo Precht Speciale is a fundraising consultant and first-time filmmaker who has raised millions of dollars for the nonprofit sector including several human service, civil liberties and arts organizations. In 2016, Margo founded MPS Legacy Productions, an independent film production company producing cinematic works of non-fiction dedicated to promoting justice, peace, and equality through media. Margo served as the Marketing and Sponsorship Director for the Annapolis Film Festival where she fell in love with the power of storytelling through film.
Suzanne Kay is an award-winning filmmaker who co-wrote and produced Cape of Good Hope receiving numerous Best Film awards and nominations, including Honorable Mention for the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, National Board of Review, and NAACP Image Awards. She worked for CNN and the McNeil Lehrer Report and was a consultant for Sankofa.org, a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte.
Director of Photography
Hans Charles grew up in Washington, DC. Recently, Hans lensed the Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th directed by Ava DuVernay, He has shot for a range of directors as a camera operator including Spike Lee, and Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom, Sparkle) and has worked on several films including Entre Nos, In the Morning, and Dreams Are Colder Than Death. His television credits also include BET’s The Game, and The Start Up. His films as a cinematographer have screened at at festivals all over the world including, The New York Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival, the New York City Latino Film Festival, OutFest, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Zanzibar Film Festival, the BlackStar film festival, and networks like HBO and ESPN. Hans received his MFA from Howard University, where he studied under Bradford Young.
Jason Pollard studied lm at New York University. In 2007, he co- edited PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. He also co- edited SING YOUR SONG, a documentary about the life of singer/activist Harry Belafonte which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, he edited the PBS documentary SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Jason has received a degree in Bachelors in Fine Arts in Film & Television and a Masters in Cinema Studies, both from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Susanne Rostock’s filmmaking is a stunning 40 years of some of the most compelling documentaries of each decade. Her most recent film as director / editor, SING YOUR SONG, about Harry Belafonte’s life as an artist and activist, was chosen to open the U.S. Documentary Competition section of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where it was described as a story “told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style and musical panache”. This film was in theatrical distribution and aired on HBO, has received top honors in festivals around the world, the NAACP Image Award and a Gracie for Outstanding Director and was shortlisted for an Oscar.
Ambassador Attallah Shabazz
Ambassador Attallah Shabazz is a producer, writer, speaker and diplomat. She has written op-ed commentaries and articles for newspapers and periodicals such as Time, Essence, El Mundo, and others, as well as the new forward to her father’s classic, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Recently, she was appointed as the Ambassador-at-Large by the Prime Minister of Belize.
Andrew Solt is an Emmy- and Grammy-winning, producer, director, writer and documentary filmmaker. He owns the rights to The Ed Sullivan Show library and has created over 100 hours of new programming from the archive. Solt has done a number of documentaries on the history of rock and roll, including feature films about rock icons Elvis Presley and John Lennon. His entertainment output also includes numerous specials and series for broadcast and cable television.
Matthew White is a highly acclaimed documentary film producer. White produced award-winning Beatles documentary with Ron Howard which has been a box office hit. Matthew White began his career as Executive Director of the American Archive at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he conducted a historic inventory of public TV and radio archives, generating 2.5 million records from 120 distinct locations.