is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy award winning filmmaker based in Miami, known for her character-driven documentaries tackling race, class and gender. Her documentary short Ferry Tales garnered awards at international film festivals, was nominated for an Oscar and premiered on HBO in 2004. Hole in the Sky - the scars of 9/11 received the Gold Award at the World Media Festival. Skydancer was featured at the Margaret Mead Film Festival, received nominations for best film, director and cinematography at the Shanghai Film Festival and premiered on PBS in 2011. Poetry of Resilience was awarded Grand Jury Prices at numerous festivals, including a Cinema for Peace Award-nomination in 2012. Esson has a longstanding relationship with ARTE and recently created and directed two highly rated five-part documentary series: Backroads USA (2014) and American Rivers (2016), which aired on ARTE in 2017 and PBS in 2018. She received the Simons Public Humanities Fellowship at Kansas University and her films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Knight Foundation, the
is an Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer. She produced the NAACP Image Award-winning PBS feature documentary, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, as well as the multi-platform community engagement initiative, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR). Bennett’s film credits include; Citizen King and Fisk Jubilee Singers for the PBS series “American Experience,” Hymn for Alvin Ailey for “Dance in America,” and the award-winning PBS mini-series Africans in America and America’s War on Poverty. She is a consulting producer on the Always in Season documentary (directed by Jacqueline Olive), one of ten films selected for Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access program 2018 and premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Award. Bennett is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Harvard College.
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers
is a Miami-based writer and filmmaker from Barbados whose work focuses on giving voice to the often-marginalized stories of the tropics. As a journalist, he has written for The Miami Herald and American Way. As a filmmaker, he wrote and produced the award-winning short film Papa Machete, which explores the esoteric martial art of Haitian machete fencing. The film world premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and had its U.S. premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Jason is also co-executive director of the Caribbean filmmaking and arts collective Third Horizon. Its annual Third Horizon Film Festival celebrates and empowers the new creatives emerging from the region. He is also cinematic arts manager of Oolite Arts, one of Miami’s largest support organizations for visual artists.
is a Caribbean-American screenwriter, director, and award-winning immersive media artist from Miami, FL. His most recent film project, Scenes from our Young Marriage, premiered at the Borscht and Miami Film Festivals, before being distributed PBS Broadcasting and Seed&Spark Online SVOD. Baez was awarded the Fledgling Fund's Rapid Deployment Grant in 2018 for his doc series about global warming and sea level rise in Miami, King Tide Hew also received the NAB Futures Innovator's Award in 2019 for his ongoing immersive reality projects produced in collaboration with the University of Florida's MET Lab. Baez serves as the Artistic Director of the After School Film Institute, a nonprofit organization mentoring at risk, inner-city students in South Florida.
Hector David Rosales
Director of Photography
is a Cuban cinematographer based in Miami. His work has been showcased at the Sundance Lab Miami, Clermont Ferrand, Vancouver Film Festival, Documenta Madrid, Havana Film Festival. In 2014 he won the special Jury Price at the 'Feria Internacional Cubadisco' for his work as director/DP at the documentary De Que Van...Van. In 2017 he won Best Photography at the Festival 'Muestra Joven ICAIC' in Havana for his work on the documentary Bateria (Director: Damian Sainz). Rosales left his native Cuba in 2017 where he earned a degree in Performing Arts from Cuba’s National School of Arts (ENA) in 2009, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematography in 2015 from FAMCA, Cuba's prestigious film school. He recently filmed the award-winning narrative short Me 3.769 (Director Elaine del Valle) which premiere at the Miami Film Festival and airs on HBO in 2019. As well as Hapi Berdey Yusimi In Yur Dey (Director: Ana Alpizar), a short film commissioned by Borscht, Miami.
has been working in the film industry for over 25 years. He has been awarded with an Emmy, and nominated several times for Genie, Gemini, CCE and CS Awards for best editing. Ricardo left his native Cuba in 1993, where he studied and worked at the world-renowned Cuban Film Institute in Havana. He is a Sundance Institute fellow as alumnus, teacher and adviser and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His keen sense of the human condition has contributed to the making of several award-winning films including: The Silence of Others (2018), Winner of the Berlinale Panorama Audience Award and Berlinale Peace Film Prize, Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Founders Award for Best Foreign NonFiction Film at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, Nominated for a GOYA for Best Documentary, The Blessing (2018). Sembene! (2015) premiered at the Sundance and the Cannes Film Festival. Marmato (2014) premiered at Sundance and Herman’s House (2012), which won an Emmy for for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming 2013, and was broadcasted by P.O.V.