College Professor, Vocal Coach, Actress, Singer/Songwriter
A college professor with a passion for music, Jay Harmony’s thirst for anything musical was started in the church. The winner of many prestigious music and entertainment awards, Jay Harmony was again honored at the Rose Theatre September 2015, where she received the “Raymond McKnight award of “Dedication and Excellence in Music”. Jay Harmony is one of Toronto’s most sought after singer/songwriter and she is on a mission to share her talent with the world.
Fans across Canada have enjoyed Jay Harmony’s performances at various events in popular venues including the Rogers Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the CNE and Massey Hall.
Until a year ago, Jay’s primary performances were of soul, rock and R&B. While performing and further developing her talent, Jay began to infuse reggae beats to her R&B songs that proved to be an instant hit with her growing fan base. Jay’s beautifully crafted sound, raspy yet delicate and is a reflection of her many inspirations and her innate ability to master genres from R&B and reggae to house, jazz and hip-hop and soul. Artists like Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, Beyoncé, The Beatles, Elton John, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, John legend, Etta James, R. Kelly and Prince have all had an impact on the music that Jay Harmony writes and performs; some influence her by their ability to write hit songs, others for their performance styles, and all for their captivating vocal abilities.
Jay Harmony continues to carve her own niche. She refuses to be relegated to any box. As a singer and songwriter, her talent is undeniable. She is a breath of fresh air and has the makings of a mainstream and international phenomenon. She has a range and vocal quality that is rare. Her magnetic personality coupled with her vocals, draws attention to her where ever she goes. Christine Bentley of CTV describes Jay Harmony’s vocal performances as “Powerful…”.
From performing at prestigious galas and board of trade’s events to winning several music awards, to being a semi-finalist for CHIN. Jay Harmony has taken her love and appreciation for music to new heights. “Music is therapeutic and it is as much a therapy for me as it is for people who appreciate my music. Let’s face it; with the way the world is, we could all use some musical therapy. Literally, that’s my only drug. I get high on music and I’m inspired to write about my experiences because I have found that they are never unique. Others can always relate and in many instances take comfort in listening to my melodic interpretations of them.”
Two albums to her credit Jay Harmony shows no sign of slowing down. Oct. 2015 released, debut album “No Giving Up”, and Oct. 10, 2016, her sophomore album “Ever Present”, are great inspiration; motivating others to pursue their dreams with undying passion. These albums are a testament of not only Jay’s vocal ability but also her lyrical prowess. Albums Available on iTunes and all online music distributors.
Connect with Jay Harmony:
Facebook: Jay Harmony Music
Red Carpet Host
Natasha Eloi, Actress, Red Carpet Host and Reporter, Toronto Canada
For over 22 years, Natasha Eloi has been honing her talents in-front and behind the lens with such fervor, that her mark as a female in the broadcasting industry must be viewed as nothing short of trailblazing.
Natasha recognized there was a lack of ethnic female representation in the broadcasting community; so this fueled her move to showcase her skills as someone who could capture stunning moving images to compliment her animated, outspoken, and extraordinary camera presence.
The management team at CityTV and CHUMTelevision wasted no time in utilizing Natasha Eloi’s growing popularity, as well as her photogenic appeal in several multi-media campaigns.
Natasha moved on to become the on-air face of Canada’s fledgling science fiction network, Space: The Imagination Station, which today is known as The Space Channel. Her duties included hosting, reporting, interviewing, shooting, writing and producing news and entertainment stories that have garnered a large world-wide appeal over the years.
Natasha’s expansive career has seen her interview astronauts, Sci-Fi celebrities, A-List directors and Hollywood stars, like Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Kit Harrington, Daniel Craig, Nicolas Cage, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Ron Perlman, Lena Hedley, Linda Hamilton, Juliette Lewis, Ellen Page, John Cusack, Chiwetel Elijifor, Mark Strong, Thandie Newton, Gerard Butler, Robert Englund, Hayden Christensen, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Matt Smith, Jared Padalecki, Neil Gaiman, Martin Campbell, Wes Craven, Zack Snyder, Frank Miller, Roland Emmerich, Chris Hadfield and Buzz Aldrin.
Natasha has produced over 10 years worth of news stories and TV specials focusing on the worlds of space, science, Sci-fi entertainment, urban art and pop culture. Having covered everything from red carpets to rocket launches, Natasha has traveled the world hosting and reporting stories from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John, Newfoundland, Cardiff, England, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego to Hawaii.
The next exciting chapter of her career has found Natasha cementing her footprints in the wonderful world of acting. She has successfully showcased her talents in national TV commercials, music videos, docu-dramas like Surviving Evil and Paranormal Witness, the web-series End of World, as well as live theater. YouTube 1, YouTube 2, Twitter
Randall P. Dark, Director, Cinematographer, Virtual Reality Producer and Playwright, Los Angeles U.S.A
Randall P. Dark is a pioneer within the digital media industry and renowned expert in emerging technologies.
Randall produced and directed the series pilot “Fast From The Past” for television and is writing a new Children’s Feature / APP “Easter Frog, The Brains Behind the Bunny. Recently he produced the 100 year history of Film and Television trailer, called “Moving Images” for SMPTE.
Other projects include: Executive Producer for “Angels Sing” starring Harry Connick Jr, Connie Britton, Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson as Santa. This feature film is being distributed by LionsGate. Randall also shot the “The Making of Angels Sing” that is included behind the scenes interviews that is in the DVD Release.
“Closing Escrow” that aired on Mark Cuban’s HDNet was Executive Produced by Randall. His documentary “Makarios: A Rising Tide” he produced and directed in the Dominican Republic was showcased on PBS Austin. He produced and directed two 3D documentaries that were shot in Tennessee and directed a 3 Camera shoot at the Stone Forest in the Yunnan Province of China.
Randall was the cinematographer for “Land Of The Giants – Exploring The Coast Redwoods” the first HDTV program for the National Park Service in 1997 for the visitors center theater in Redwood National Park, California. He also was the director for Texas Wild. This program was the winner of 10 national and international awards.
Back in 1986, Randall saw High Definition in Toronto for the first time and knew it was the future of moving images. A few short years later after working on the High Definition production of Chasing Rainbows for CBC, he founded HD Vision in New York City and Dallas. An undisputed pioneer in the emerging industry, Randall was the co-founder and creative force behind HD Vision Studios in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Television Arts and Sciences Academy and was named to the Advisory Board for The Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors. Dark also received one of the International Electronic Cinema Festival’s top honors: The Pioneer Award, bestowed in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the success of HDTV.
Over the years Dark and his companies has been involved in hundreds of projects including feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, corporate presentations, product launches, and live events just to name a few. This list includes:
Lonestar, FFH and Sandi Patty Digital Cinema Concerts (CinEvents), David Lee Roth Concert (Texas Instruments), “Wyoming Wild” “Texas Wild” (HDNET) “Artist in the Round” (Discovery HD & INHD), European Getaways (Wealth TV) Lemonheads (NET Electronic Cinemas) Buick Riviera Launch (Busch Creative), Victor Victoria On Broadway (Metropolitan/NHK), Sting in Central Park, Garfunkel on Ellis Island (NHK), Superbowl XXX (NHK), NBA All-Star Game (PacBell to Electronic Cinemas) Manilow Live (Angotti Prods), George Strait “Write This Down” (Bill Young Prods), Muddy Waters (MEG/NHK/WETA), Fiesta in the Sky (PBS), Atlanta Olympics (NHK) Thunder on the Brazos (Discovery HD) Wild Hawaii (INHD & HDNET)
Speaking Engagements – Key Note address at the Creative Storage Conference in Las Vegas, the HD Summit in Los Angeles and the Production Innovations Forum in Toronto, Canada. Randall also has spoken at events including MIPCOM, CASBAA–Hong Kong, Tokyo International Film Festival, Banff World Television Festival, National Association of Broadcaster’s Convention, International Electronic Cinema Festival, Consumer Electronic Show, creaTVty Zurich, Canadian Association of Broadcasters Convention, Hollywood Post Alliance, Ojai Film Festival, Bear Stearns Media Conference and NATPE.
Artistic Director – Macau China Digital Cinema Festival
Website – randalldarknews.blogspot.com/
Randall P. Dark was featured as the “Man in the Chair” for Maxell
Dorly Jean-Louis, Actress, Model, Host and Producer, Toronto Canada
Dorly Jean-Louis is a talented and dedicated Canadian Actress, Model, Host and Producer who is best known for her role as ebullient Journalist Talisha in the Canadian film Daniel’s Daughter. A career that now spans well over a decade, her industry credits extend beyond Canadian and U.S National commercials to include television series and feature films. Her competitive edge is due in part to her formal training in Broadcast Journalism. She’s been cast in many news related roles such as a TV News Anchor in the crime drama series Missing and as a Reporter in the dramatic comedy Vacation with Derek. Dorly also appeared as a recurring Guest Host on the weekly web series Twenty Something TV, an all Female Talk Show discussing controversial topics, fashion, pop culture and lifestyle.
Dorly has been recognized and inducted in the National Wall of Role Models at the Black Canadian Women Awards held in July 2016. Dorly is a performer to watch as she continues to make a name for herself in a cutthroat industry where scripted roles for black female leads are few and extremely competitive. She was cast as a Flight Attendant in the critically acclaimed television series 12 Monkeys And she played a Nurse on NBC’s science fiction drama Heroes Reborn. She landed both roles on merit as casting was open to all ethnicities. You will see Dorly star as LENORE ADAMS in the dramedy short film Whole Lotto Love directed by Chris Strikes, produced by Callow grove Entertainment. She plays a fiercely determined Career Consultant down on her luck who is on a mission to find a valuable lottery ticket misplaced by her ex-husband whom she loathes. Watch out for the film’s release in 2016 at a Film Festival near you.
Dorly was born on the island of Hispaniola in the Capital City of Port au Prince, Republic of Haïti. Her French speaking parents moved to Canada and settled in Montreal in favor of opportunities not possible under a Baby Doc Duvalier dictatorship regime. Her family later relocated to Ottawa so that she could continue her academic studies in English. Fluent in both official languages and Créole, her success in the business has been sustained in part by her dedication to her craft. Her love for acting evolved from appearing in student films and volunteering as a Reporter and Host for campus television and radio stations. After completing journalism school, Dorly did what most graduates knew to do: send countless demo tapes to news stations hoping to secure a job as a Reporter. It was during an internship at CTV that she took the counsel of a producer and submitted her reel to a talent agent instead. That advice paid off. As Brand Ambassador and Spokesmodel Dorly has worked for some of the world’s largest brands and global advertisers: Vichy, Neutrogena, Tide, Verizon, Lexmark, Samsung, P &G, Becel, AnheuserBusch, VISA and Johnson & Johnson to name a few. At ease in front of a live audience, she modeled the latest fashion trends on CBC’s Steven and Chris lifestyle show and was a recurring on air model on Canada’s national network The Shopping Channel showcasing designer clothing, jewelry and the beauty line Smashbox Cosmetics. Dorly is a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT) and is represented by affiliate professional industry unions: Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television And Radio Artists (ACTRA) , Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and l’Union Des Artistes (UDA).
Dorly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Mass Communication from the University of Ottawa, a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast and Print Journalism from Humber College School of Media Studies and a Canadian Fashion Designer Diploma a from the Richard Robinson Fashion Design Academy. When she’s not working on set, Dorly manages, creates, hosts and produces her own digital content on industry and fashion related events in the city. For media interviews, features, or to contact Dorly directly please visit her website: http://www.dorlyjeanlouis.com
Alastair Waithe, Director and Producer, Toronto Canada
With over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Alastair is one of Canada’s top music video producers who’s award winning work is played on Music Video Networks across the world, as well as collectively receiving hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and Vevo.
With over 100 music videos to his credit, he has produced videos for artists which include Avicii & Nicky Romero, Lady Saw & Flo Rida, Drake & Trey Songz, Chrisette Michel, Serena Ryder, Buffy St. Marie, Dragonette, Fefe Dobson, Shad, Nick Carter and Emily Osmond to name a few.
Not only has Alastair produced music videos for some of the biggest names in the music industry, he also produces content in other capacities, including TV, movies, commercials & music.
Alastair has worked with brands such as Nike, NHL, Weston Bread, Iceberg Vodka and the FIBA Basketball World Cup providing commercials and online content. He has also produced content for the political arena by delivering The Liberal Party of Canada’s 2010 convention film and theme song.
Alastair has traveled extensively across Canada, The US and Caribbean producing a wide array of projects, while establishing a reliable network of directors, editors, colorists, technicians, equipment vendors and post production facilities.
He leads various teams of professionals, achieving the highest results while always aiming to exceed expectations, servicing the needs of artists, corporate clients and creative agencies. Bringing together creativity, strategic thinking and an uncompromising quality of execution is what Alastair does best.
In recent years, Alastair has developed important relationships within the Caribbean. By producing Season One of ‘Caribbean Next Top Model’ Alastair has established an extensive network within Trinidad and Tobago. Alastair has also enabled the sharing of knowledge and resources between Canada and Barbados by sending skilled professionals from the Canadian film industry to teach and help develop workshops and at the University of the West Indies, EBCCI. Alastair’s work had gained the attention of the University, which in turn led to an invitation to be a guest lecturer as well as produce their first feature length film. This relationship with Barbados lead to Alastair using the Island paradise as the shooting location for the award winning music video for Avicii vs Nicky Romero hit ‘I Could Be The One’, winner of the Cannes Young Director’s Award with close to a hundred million views. UWI students and graduates were an integral part of the Barbados production team. Alastair has welcomed UWI students and graduates to Canada offering them a look at the Canadian film industry.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Alastair has an in depth understanding of the business and creative process, focused on enabling the vision and adding value to every project.
Working efficiently, while creating value through knowledge, experience and creative ideas. Alastair is dedicated to maintaining a reputation built on quality, service and ethics.
Melinda Michael, Actress and Model, Toronto Canada
Melinda Michael is a riveting, up and coming actress. She was born in London, Ontario (like stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling). She moved to Toronto to pursue her passion for acting in film and television, and to expand her modeling endeavours after being scouted. Melinda has been performing on stage since the age of three in dance and music recitals. It was love at first sight when Melinda, who had asked for a ticket to see The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto to celebrate her fourth birthday, was in such awe and could barely keep herself seated because she felt so strongly called to be up there on that stage too. At that moment, Melinda knew that acting was what she was meant to do. She became a member of Original Kids Theatre Company and had her first role with them as Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Since then, Melinda acted in every show put on by her elementary school, high schools, and university, which consists of her lead roles as Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Ortensia in The Mistress of the Inn. She was also a chorus member in the musicals Chicago, Once On This Island, and The Wiz, worked with the Young Americans during their world tour, and twice attended The Shakespeare School’s summer programmes in Stratford, Ontario. She competed internationally with the Amabile Choir – her experiences include singing for Queen Elizabeth II, and wining gold at the Choir Olympics in Bremen, Germany.
Melinda has trained extensively in her craft with renowned coaches at Toronto’s premiere acting schools, as well as in New York at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Melinda’s career focus is in film and television. She is currently working on sets for various independent short and feature length films. From being a representative of many ethnicities from around the world, Melinda is notably versatile.
Melinda absolutely loves learning. She did her undergraduate degree in English, History and Psychology at the University of Toronto. She has also lived abroad in Italy several times to learn Italian, and study fashion and footwear design in Florence. Melinda enjoys training in Martial Arts, and is proud to have done her own stunt work on set.
Lawrence Charles Benedict, Director, Producer, Actor, Author, Dialect Coach, Editor and Screenwriter, Los Angeles U.S.A
Lawrence Benedict, a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, and veteran of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, has performed on stage in over 42 full Equity productions, as well as in TV and film, in both United States and Canada, starring in the Canadian Police series, The Collaborators, (21 episodes). Lawrence is also an accomplished precision driver for movies and TV and did his own driving in The Collaborators.
While performing in both night-time and daytime TV in Los Angeles, he moved behind the camera and started his own company “Angus Lake Productions.” He has edited trailers for Disney and a full-length feature he edited “Forgiving the Franklins,” by filmmaker Jay Floyd, became a Sundance Selection in 2006.
As an Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer/Editor, Lawrence has taught at UCLA Extension, Learning Tree University, Screen Actors Guild, and tutors all walks of Industry Professionals. Lawrence gives seminars at SAG in Los Angeles, attended by SAG members who would like to edit their reels on the various popular editing systems, as well as get very precise insight into what casting expects to see on an actor’s reel, (and what they don’t want to see)!
Continuing to act on stage, he has been working out at MiMoDa Dance Studio in Los Angeles and, recently, performed for two years with an improv company, Joy Theatre’s “The Joynt” in the Noho Arts District.
He is the author of “The Video Demo Tape” – published by Focal Press, and the book “How to Shoot Better Camcorder Videos – Help from the Hollywood Pros,” available on Barnes&Noble.com, etc. He has co-written several screenplays and the latest is a pilot under consideration at major studios.
He is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund a book that will be the basis for a series of car-accident avoidance videos demonstrated by Precision Drivers entitled “Precious Cargo” – How to Lead a Car-Accident-Free Life.
“Lawrence just can’t seem to get his fill of the entertainment industry!” IMDB
Kwansa Shelley, Singer, Actress and Producer, Toronto Canada
Not many artists can say they have played to arena crowds of over 40 000 people, opened up for Eminem or toured four years straight, all before even releasing a single; but this is the story of Kwansa.
Although Kwansa grew up on stage as a child of musical theatre, her first experience leading a band came while backpacking through Ocean City Maryland. One night at a concert, after much coercion, her friends pushed her on stage to sing with the headlining band “The Zion Train”. She ended up becoming a lead singer of that band and toured with them through Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
She returned to Toronto where she began playing live and recorded her first “demo/mixtape” which attracted the likes of producer Rich Harrison
(Beyonce, Amerie), and James DiSalvio (Bran Van 3000). Kwansa joined pop/rock collective Bran Van 3000 while living in L.A. where they recorded the album “Rose”, on which she co-‐wrote and sang. “Rose” reached #7 in Canada and #2 in Quebec in its second week of sales.
For the past four years Kwansa has been rehearsing with Bran Van 3000 in Montreal and touring Canada, Mexico and Europe as a lead singer, a position that has brought praise and critical acclaim of her live show.
Upon returning to Toronto Kwansa was able to get back to her musical theatre roots when she starred in a Nuvo-‐Burlesque musical dinner show “Gynerchy” where she scored the lead role. As well as creating a new show called “J’ai Deux Amours” inspired by her experiences of being an English singer in Quebec as well as Josephine Baker and all of the great American singers who found their voice in Europe. The show made its debut at the Spoke Club in Toronto and is being prepared to be brought to Paris for Paris Fashion Week.
With her live and studio experiences under her belt, Kwansa is poised to release her first solo studio project. With a new profound love of electro and DJing inspired by infamous Montreal nightlife, combined with her broad musical and life inspirations and influences, we can expect an exciting debut from this rising star.
Judge & Sponsorship Representative
Ian Kilvert, Branding, Marketing and Sponsorship Executive, Toronto Canada
A native of Winnipeg, Ian moved to Toronto to attend Ryerson University where he received his Bachelor of Applied Arts in Radio and Television. Ian entered the marketing communications field with Cockfield Brown’s promotion agency – Nova Communications, working on the Esso and Sony accounts. This led to a similar role at McCann-Erickson where Ian eventually found his way into the advertising discipline where he held posts in Account Service at McCann-Erickson, Harrod & Mirlin and FCB/ Ronalds Reynolds. Ian worked on clients such as Coca-Cola, Rogers Communications, Labatt Breweries, LG and Mazda.
In 1994 Ian moved to the client side with Panasonic as Manager Corporate Communications. In his 18+ years at Panasonic, Ian was promoted to Director and ultimately held the position of General Manager Corporate Brand Management which included 8 years as a member of the Executive Committee. In this role Ian was responsible for all internal and external communications for the company including advertising, public relations, web based activities and corporate sponsorships. During his tenure, Ian negotiated and oversaw the sponsorship of the Canadian National Rowing Team, the Canadian National Snowboard Team and Alpine Canada as part of the company’s involvement with the Olympics in 1996, 1998 and 2010 respectively. Ian was involved in a total of 10 Olympic Games and was also instrumental in securing Panasonic as one of 4 Official Partners of the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.
Ian was responsible for orchestrating the integration of Panasonic product at Pearson International Airport, the Rogers Centre, the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, The Princess of Wales Theatre, The Manitoba Children’s Museum, Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Panasonic Theatre in downtown Toronto. As well, Ian helped co-ordinate the sale of large LED video screens in Niagara Falls, Ottawa Airport, and in Toronto on the CITY/OMNI building at Yonge and Dundas Square.
Following the company’s successful involvement in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Ian negotiated a sponsorship of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and helped to broadcast the first 3D hockey games in Canada.
Currently, Ian is involved as a marketing communications consultant helping companies evaluate, activate and leverage their sponsorships in the sports, entertainment and technology sectors.
Dominique Brownes, Actress, Writer and Producer, Toronto Canada
Dominique Brownes is a Montreal-born actress, writer and producer. Her first feature film credit was a role opposing Chris Pine in Will Smith produced “This Means War”. Dominique has also performed in 3 languages in plays, films, TV and web series.
Classically trained in theatre, Dominique has earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance and has also completed a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications Studies at Concordia University. She has acted in English, French and Creole.
As a producer, Dominique has worked on the development of lifestyle TV series pilot projects in Vancouver and Toronto and co-founded of LiberHaiti, a company that focuses on the promotion of new Afri-Canadian work and talent. Currently working on the completion of her first play, she enjoys spoken word, running in 4-inch high heels and learning new languages during her free time.
Cedric D. Lyons, Director, Editor and Producer, Los Angeles California
As an Emmy winning video producer and director, Cedric D. Lyons has over 30 years of experience in television and broadcast media.
Cedric began his career producing sports events, local TV programming and educational television programs for California State University Bakersfield where he attended college. His outstanding work was recognized by a local NBC affiliate KGET Ch 17, where he was hired as a live news director. There he mastered the art of multi-camera directing and video editing. In 1992, Cedric’s contributions to KGET helped the highly regarded production win an Emmy for best half hour news show.
Cedric moved to Los Angeles, CA to further his career in the television industry. He freelanced with multiple production companies to contribute to their success on projects such as awards shows, music videos, documentaries and national commercials.
In 1996 he was hired full time to oversee, director and produce a nationally and international TV program with millions of viewers worldwide.
Today, Cedric is an independent multi-camera director and producer of documentaries and commercial videos. In addition to producing films for schools, Cedric donates his time to local youth sports teams and provides video services for nonprofit organizations.
He has also found a niche for Sales Consulting and helping business owners in the corporate world build strong infrastructures to increase their bottom line. He has gained the trust of many businesses and nonprofit organizations all over the world by allowing them access to his corporate connections as an affiliate.
Cedric has a Bachelor degree in Communications from California State University Bakersfield and a certificate in Electronic Media. www.lyonsproductions.org
Lauren Watson, Actress, Producer, Writer and Director, Tasmania Australia
Lauren was born in Adelaide, South Australia before she relocated to Tasmania with her family at a young age.
Creativity spoke to Lauren from the beginning, participating in school plays, attending drama classes and developing her craft further in photography.
Since leaving Australia behind for the Vancouver film scene in June 2010, Lauren has hit the ground running, honing her acting skills through booking multiple independent films and enrolling in reputable acting classes.
Through hard work and dedication, Lauren booked her big screen debut, a small but pivotal credited role in the Hollywood Blockbuster This Means War (2012) starring alongside A-list Actors Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Chelsea Handler and 2005 Oscar Winning Actress Reese Witherspoon.
The success from there has continued with Lauren booking a role in the independent horror/thriller film From Beneath (2012), her first lead in a feature film. The movie was filmed in May 2011 over two weeks by Vancouver filmmaker David Doucette. It was sold to Acort International/Midnight Releasing in March 2012 and is scheduled for release October 2012.
Although focused primarily on acting, Lauren has expanded into filmmaking, directing, producing and script writing. Lauren first dipped her heels in to producing with the production of her short film, the romantic comedy Speak Now (2011) which was filmed August 2011, in one day and completed onto DVD just ten days later. The screenplay for Speak Now (2011) was written entirely by Lauren, showcasing more of her creative diversity. With this short film gaining momentum it was submitted to various festivals, including Sundance where it was accepted into the initial stages.
Her second short film, “Daisies” sees her script writing, producing and directing. She also has a small cameo in the film. It is scheduled to shoot August 2012.
The roles continued for Lauren with a lead role in the sexy, hot, dark web-series 13 Witches (2012) a fantasy horror by Sabine Mondestin based on revenge, in which Lauren completed her own stunts and worked behind the camera in production. A role in another web-series beckoned not long after for Lauren, scoring a supporting role in pilot episode of the upcoming Confessions of a Part-Time Assassin by Frank D. Paul. Performing her own stunts once more, Lauren has begun showcasing the depth, talent and commitment needed to make an impact in the film industry.
Judge & Sponsorship Representative
Luc Bendza, Actor, Fight Choreographer, Cultural Consultant, Beijing China
Luc Bendza (born May 9th, 1969) is a Gabonese martial artist and actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows in China. He is the first African to work in a well-known Chinese television series, his most famous one being, “The Legend of Bruce Lee.” In addition to his acting career, Bendza works as a cultural consultant for the China-Africa International Cultural Exchange and Trade Promotion Association in Beijing. He is also vice chairman of the International wushu federation Traditional committee, which allows him to promote Chinese martial arts in Africa and in the world.
Early life: Luc Bendza was born in Libreville, the capital city of the Republic of Gabon. At the age at 9, he met a Chinese interpreter working for a Chinese medical team who taught him the basics of both Mandarin Chinese and Chinese martial arts. In 1984, with the help of his uncle, 14 year old Bendza moved to China in pursuit of his dream: learning the essence of Chinese martial arts. The teenager stayed at the Shaolin Temple, where he lived with the Shaolin monks and practiced martial arts. Bendza later attended Beijing Language and Culture University and later Beijing Sport University, where he furthered his studies in martial arts. In the course of his studies, Bendza worked to master the philosophy of shaping his character through martial arts, resulting in him becoming the only foreigner in China’s martial art community with an advanced martial arts academic background.
Acting career: After graduating, Bendza proceeded to win many awards in China and abroad on martial arts competitions. His deep understanding of martial arts and high-level pedigree attracted the eye of directors, and he went on to secure roles in both movies and television shows. Bendza’s TV career began in 1991 when he took part in the production, Kungfu Kids, a film by the Lorimare Film company in Italy. Many of Bendza’s films showcased his talents of playing a villain, such as in The Mysterious Diamond, which was produced in South Africa. His work has been recognized by the Hong Kong agency, Jintong Entertainement, and he has cooperated with French film producers as a professional actor, fight choreographer, and director. In 2008, Bendza stared on “The Legend of Bruce Lee”, the Chinese biographic martial arts television series based on the life story of martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. He played the role of Jesse Glover, who was the first authorized martial arts instructor to be trained by Bruce Lee. Luc Bendza has worked with many famous martial arts film stars, including jakie Chan, Franckie Chan, Dong Wei, Yuan Biao and Shi Xiaolong…
Personal life: Bendza married Carol Wei in 2007 and the couple has a three-year-old son.
Steve Lareau, Producer, Toronto
Steve was born in Quebec, Canada and speaks both English and French fluently. He has been involved with the Entertainment Industry/Art community for more than 20 yrs as Digital Artist, Music/Movie Producer, Actor, Recording Artist, Marketer, Editor, Camera Operator, Web/Graphic Designer and Event Planner.
Steve is currently Producer at “MyDestiny Production” and Festival Director at “Open World Toronto Film Festival”
Sabine Mondestin, Producer, Director, Writer, Singer, Actress, Toronto
From a young age, Sabine showed an interest in both the theater and writing. At the age of nine, she played different roles on Stage, Commercial and Television Shows. Her greatest success came when she interpreted the role of Cleopatra, whom she played for four years.
More than an actress, Sabine was a columnist for the TV show “Noir de Monde” and a freelance researcher for national Radio and Television stations.
Ms. Mondestin also founded and owns the production company, “ MyDestiny Production “, with which she Produced, Directed, and Wrote the Web Series/Movie ”13 Witches”. She received several awards including the ”Outstanding Producing for a Sci-Fi Horror Series” at the Prestigious LAWEB festival in Los Angeles. Another Sabine success story is the Short Movie “Insanity” which is an Official Selection of many 2014-15 Film Festivals.
In addition to writing, acting and directing, Sabine is also a singer. She recently wrote and interpreted the lyrics for “Let Them Hate”, “Une Mangeuse d’hommes” and “I Just Want My Chocolate” three songs produced by Steve Lareau.
She wrote over 22 TV/Movie scripts and is managing multiple projects with budget ranging from $1000 to $5000000.
In 2014 Sabine stared in a lead role in “The Vagina Monologues” play, all nights were sold out and acclaimed by the media.
Sabine shoes blog gets thousands of visitors every month and gained popularity exponentially.
Her new venture the OWTFF is a Film Festival that help aspiring and established Filmmakers gain exposure and recognition.