MEET THE FILMMAKERS
After a record-breaking year in film and television, Calgary was recently voted one of the top 10 cities to live and work as a filmmaker for the second year in a row, an exciting list to be included. The city and its surroundings have been the location of the making of award-winning movies, huge blockbusters and popular tv shows. Inception, Unforgiven, Ghostbusters Afterlife and Brokeback Mountain are a few of the numerous projects that found a home and beautiful locations in the area.
What does all this success mean for Calgary's Black filmmakers? Has all this attention helped them to realize their projects? Have there been significant changes in funding opportunities or increased support for these Black creatives looking to produce their films? This panel will focus on their inspirations, the obstacles, the improvements and the positive points of being a Black content creator in Calgary.
Kizzie Sutton: Executive Director - Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers
Kizzie Sutton is a social justice advocate, speaker, facilitator, mentor, and artist in the mediums of Film, Theatre, and Visual Arts. She is currently the Executive Director for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers. She holds a Diploma in Broadcasting, Radio and Television from the School of Communication Arts at Seneca College, and a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Theatre and Film Studies from Queen's University. Kizzie has applied her education to a gamut of capacities nationally and internationally including lighting and sound design, dramaturgy, production management, directing youth mentorship, and program management.
David Este - Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Social Work, The University of Calgary
Dave Este is a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Prior to getting graduate degrees in social work, he obtained a MA degree specializing in African Canadian and African American History from the University of Waterloo working with one of Canada’s leading historians on Black Canadian history, Dr. James Walker. During his career Dave has contributed publications to the discipline of African (Black) Canadian history, Canadian social welfare history along with pieces focused on contemporary issues confronting the African diaspora in Canada. He also co-produced the documentary “We are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies” which received the 2018 Governor General Award – “History - Community Programming”.
He has worked with the following organizations/groups such as “The Association of Black Social Workers (Nova Scotia), the Ontario Black History Society, the Race Relations Foundation of Canada, and the Black Canadian Studies Association. As well he contributed to the development of the recently formed “Federation of Black Canadians” and is a co-editor of the volume entitled” Africentric Social Work: Best Practice in Working with African Communities in the Diaspora” that was published in 2021.
Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker - BBIC Filmmaker - Director, Producer, Writer & Actor
Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker is a Canadian director, producer, and actress. Kamika is half-Jamaican, half-Chilean, and was born in Calgary, Alberta. Her passion is to understand people and help people understand themselves - which led her to studies in psychology at the University of Calgary. Kamika is the founder of her own mental health organization, blossoming from her experience with mental illness in her family - it is known as, The Walker Foundation. It is set to stimulate the minds of society to integrate and embrace mental health into our daily lives. Kamika's ultimate dream is to continue to write, act, direct, film, and tell stories that will change and inspire the lives of society.
Kathryn Fasegha - Writer, Director & Managing Director, BalminGilead Movie Productions Limited
Kathryn Fasegha is an award-winning filmmaker who released her first full length feature film "Treacherous Heart" in 2012. Her latest film “2 Weeks in Lagos” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019 and opened in Cinemas across West Africa in February 2021 and on Netflix in July 2021. “2 Weeks in Lagos” was nominated for an AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) 2020 award for “Best film by an African living abroad”
Kathryn has three feature films and two series currently in development. Kathryn is a member of Film Fatales LA; African Women Acting (AWA) Canada; the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF); Women in Film and Television Alberta (WIFTA) and the current president of Black Actors & Film Guild Canada, Alberta chapter.
Misha Maseka - Writer, Director & Producer
Misha Maseka is a writer, director and musician. Born in eSwatini to Zambian parents but growing up in South Africa, Australia and eventually Canada, she has observed many people and their small and unseen stories. As a storyteller of the African diaspora, she is determined to continue to magnify and make visible small and unseen stories of humanity through film, music and her words.
Sarah Uwadiae - BBIC Filmmaker
Sarah is a Nigerian multidisciplinary-artist and emerging filmmaker based in Calgary. Her short film Trapped (in her head) won a Merit Award at the 2020 Canada Shorts - Canadian & International Film Festival. She is intrigued by the experiences of BIPOC immigrants and desires to explore their stories through filmmaking.
Shae Kubur - BBIC Filmmaker
Shae Kubur is an aspiring filmmaker who was raised in Calgary, AB. Born into a Sudanese family, Shae has always had a fascination with film and hoped to work in the industry. As she got older, she realized a severe lack of black representation both on screen and behind the camera. Shae hopes to push boundaries within the Canadian film scene and provide a platform for other black artists.