Diversity Counts: Auteurs, Actors and Audiences
In this panel we'll explore ways for storytellers to use diversity as a tool to enrich themselves, their projects and the audience in a positive way. We'll discuss programs in the industry that assist filmmakers of diverse backgrounds, the importance and benefits of having a diverse cast and crew, festivals that encourage diverse stories and ways of marketing your project to the audiences who will embrace them the most. While there will be a direction to the conversation, audience participation is highly encouraged. So bring your questions and join panelists from Screen Actors Guild, Alliance of Women Directors, Troublemaker Studios (Spy Kids, Sin City, and Grindhouse) and the Producers Guild of America Diversity Committee for a lively and informative dialogue.
Vicente Williams is a Los Angeles based new media geek with a love of storytelling. His accomplishments include work on DVD titles from Universal, MGM, Warner Bros. and four years producing digital content at MTV. He has worked on projects for FOX, The RAND Corporation, The Learning Company and many more. Vicente is a proud member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group and the Producers Guild of America New Media Council. He currently serves on the steering committee for the PGA's Diversity Committee and created PGAdiversity.org, a site dedicated to promoting diversity in all aspects of the entertainment business. In 2010 he worked closely with fellow committee members on the PGA's annual Diversity Workshop which guides diverse projects and content creators to the next level. Vicente is also responsible for re-booting the PGA's Green initiative website, PGAgreen.org, and serves as the co-chair for the PGA's Broadband committee. His current projects include a documentary and a transmedia project being shot in Los Angeles. In his spare moments, Vicente volunteers with local entertainment charities and enjoys visiting his family in his hometown of San Antonio.
A native of Naperville, Illinois, and a musical theater graduate from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Downtown Chicago, Parvesh is best known for playing Gupta on NBC's sitcom OUTSOURCED. He is also the voice of the Transformer Blades in The Hub Network's TRANSFORMERS: RESCUE BOTS airing Saturday mornings. He also just executive produced his first film short, ...OR DIE, which is in post-production.
Cheena made his film debut as 'Samir' in 'Barbershop', and reprised his role in the sequel, 'Barbershop 2: Back in Business' He also appeared opposite Diane Keaton in 'Because I Said So'. TV appearances include "Brothers and Sisters," "Til Death," "ER," "The West Wing," "The O.C.", "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," "Crossing Jordan," "My Name is Earl."
(Why he put these tv shows in quotes and not capitalized them like he did in the first paragraph is just because he is lazy in his copying and pasting)
Cheena currently resides in Los Angeles, California where he regularly performs long form improvisation with his South Asian team, BROWNTOWN, and a the musical improv troupe, ALL-SKATE.
Next up, Parvesh will be filming the CBS pilot FRIEND ME by Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal.
Do you like him? He likes you.
Elizabeth Avellán is the Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. During the past decade, Avellán has produced a dozen films including most recently Spy Kids 4: All The Time in The World, Machete, Predators, Grindhouse and Blacktino, a 2011 SXSW World Premiere. In addition to producing family and genre films that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas as a thriving film community.
In May 2011, Adam Moore was named as Interim National Director of Affirmative Action & Diversity for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and leads the department from the New York office. Joining the Guild in 2005 as Associate National Director, he has been responsible for developing and implementing a national diversity plan of action to achieve accurate representation of those groups historically excluded from the entertainment media. Such efforts include the creation of educational programs, conferences, and workshops; development of public relations strategies; and the enforcement of diversity initiatives as outlined in Guild collective bargaining agreements.
In addition to facilitation and moderation of dozens of panel discussions and guest lecturing at colleges and high schools throughout the US, Adam serves as liaison to the New York City Task Force on Diversity in Film, Television and Commercial Production and is proud to have served on President Obama’s Disability Policy Committee during the 2008 Presidential Election.