Amy Adrion, Leslie Fields-Cruz, Justina Walford, Christie Herring, Patty Newton
Writer and Director
Amy Adrion is a director and writer whose work has screened at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals, been broadcast on PBS and MTV, and won numerous awards.
Amy’s debut feature, HALF THE PICTURE, celebrates the groundbreaking work of women film and TV directors and had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. HALF THE PICTURE won the #WhatNext Award at Sundance: London, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Lighthouse Film Festival and the Impact Award at the Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival. Amy won a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Student Film Award for her graduate thesis film, the narrative short SHOEGAZER, which was Executive Produced by Miranda July.
Amy is a graduate of the MFA Film Directing program at UCLA, with an undergraduate degree in Literature and Theology from Georgetown University. Amy grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
Executive Director, Black Public Media; Executive Producer, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
Leslie started at Black Public Media (BPM), then known as the National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. She was promoted to Director of Programming in 2005 and oversaw the distribution of funded programs to public television. Frustrated with the lack of content that spoke to the diversity of experiences of the African diaspora, Leslie curated the first season of BPM's award winning series AfroPoP: The Ultimately Cultural Exchange. Now entering its 11th season AfroPoP is still the only national public television series focused solely on stories about the global Black experience. In fall 2014, Leslie became BPM’s third Executive Director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the Black experience. Leslie serves on the board of directors of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and New Era Creative Space (NECS), a local community arts center in Peekskill, NY.
Justina Walford is a Japanese-American filmmaker and artistic director of Women Texas Film Festival. Critically acclaimed writer, producer, and performer of stage and screen, Walford was formerly the A.D. of Split.Id Stage Performances in Hollywood. During that time, she produced a dozen full-length productions and countless one-night shows, many of which were her original work. Justina left Los Angeles for New York City and began creating with husband John Wildman, including writing and producing the horror thriller, The LADIES OF THE HOUSE, shot in Dallas. A past board member for Sunday Assembly NYC, Asian Film Festival Dallas, and Women in Film Dallas, Walford is also an avid dog lover residing in Southern Dallas.
Christie Herring is an award-winning editor, producer, and director who has worked in documentary filmmaking for over 20 years. She recently edited and produced Code: Debugging the Gender Gap and edited (with Jean Kawahara) NOVA’s Point of No Return. Christie’s credits include work with PBS, National Geographic, A&E, MBC1, the History Channel, and numerous nonprofit and corporate clients. Her ITVS-funded film The Campaign aired on public television and screened at numerous film festivals and universities. She received her MA in Documentary Filmmaking from Stanford University, was a 2013 San Francisco Film Society Film House Fellow, is a member-owner of New Day Films, and is a 2018 American Film Showcase Expert.
Assistant Professor of Practice/Filmmaker, Patty Newton has worked professionally in film and television in Texas, Georgia and California as Producer, Director, UPM, and Art Director and everything in between. In 2001 Newton won the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle for producing the award-winning short, A Window That Opens. She also produced the Beverly Hills Playhouse production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea which enjoyed an extended run and was critic’s picks in both LA Weekly and LA Times. She was honored to work as Archival Producer on PBS/KCET’s Emmy award-winning documentary California at War, Tavis Smiley’s seminal civil rights documentary Stand and the PBS series Wired Science. She wrote, directed and edited the award-winning short film Pursuit which played for over three years on the domestic and international festival circuit. She Co-Produced the award-winning, short fictional drama Dawn that airs on HBO. Newton's NEA-funded social-justice based short documentary City HeARTs is a timely piece focusing on how the preparation and installation of a large public art piece helped change the lives of several ex-offenders. Set to debut in 2019, Newton shot, directed and produced her full-length documentary Alchemy: Portrait of a Wood Fire Kiln on location in Navarre Beach, Florida. The film features exclusive footage of the historic initial firing of the Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society’s 32-foot long anagama kiln and rare interviews with clay master/ artist Don Reitz.
Newton teaches art, film and video at the University of Texas in Arlington and was President, Women In Film Dallas in 2016.
Freda is a multi-talented media professional with a background in acting, writing, producing and under her company, KUUMBA Media, content distribution can be added to the list. She holds an MBA from Bryant University and is currently pursuing Computer Science as her second masters at Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus. She calls the University of North Texas, UNT, home as a past alumnus.
Freda is a Ghanaian-American, based in New York City and Accra. Her goal is to find the bridge between media and technology that compliments the African educational and entertainment sectors. KUUMBA Media, a video-on-demand platform to catch up on the latest African cinema, is founded by Freda and is operated by her and a small Afro-centric team in Brooklyn, New York.
For more info, you can go to www.watchkuumba.com and you reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org