Alyssa Bistonath - Emerging Directors Committee
Alyssa Bistonath is a Toronto-based photographer and filmmaker whose work investigates memory, time, and intimacy. The daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Bistonath offers a new nostalgia – images that are simultaneously fresh and evocative of family mementos.
Bistonath’s photography has been featured in public exhibits in Canada, the United States, and Europe. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts: New Media (2005) and a Master of Fine Arts: Documentary Media (2016) from Ryerson University. After completing her first documentary film Why We Fight in 2016, Bistonath began scripting the film Indian Kids which continues the discourse about the Guyanese diaspora.
Arika Jiang - Emerging Directors Committee
Arika is a film enthusiast who has previously been involved with TIFF, Regent Park Film Festival, and Cannes. Arika also co-founded the film magazine, Cinema Six, with the purpose to promote the growth of a film community in Toronto and unite cinema students, filmmakers, and self-proclaimed cinephiles. She is excited to help out with programming at Regent Park Film Festival once again!
Arzu Abbasova - Emerging Directors Committee
Arzu is the Operations Supervisor at the Aga Khan Museum, managing the Visitor Services team of staff and volunteers, and supervising delivery of events and performances. Prior to her start at the AKM Arzu was the Administrative Director at the League of Canadian Poets, overseeing local, provincial and national funding programs and managing annual book awards. She is a self-taught visual artist and freelances as a fashion illustrator. Arzu is very passionate about the arts, particularly cinema, and has been a member of the Regent Park Film Festival Programming Committee since 2014 and has been on the board at RPFF since 2016.
Babs Hopkinson aka Babs Jona - Emerging Directors Committee
An accomplished actor scored her 1st role with the Toronto based theatre Co. KYTES (Kensington Theatre Ensemble) which embarked upon a national tour in Canada. While touring most memorable experience was performing for inmates at the former “Prison for Women” in Kingston,ON. This is her 2nd year serving on RPFF’s Programming Committee. She’s developing her first screenplay “1888” based on “Jack the Ripper” and most recently added “Director” to her repertoire making her directorial debut this year on the short film “The Kiss Goodbye” recent work as an actor can be seen in the upcoming film “Sweetheart”.
Cayley James - School Committee
Cayley James is a screening coordinator, freelance journalist and film programmer based in Toronto. From 2012-2016 she lived in Glasgow Scotland where she pursued post-graduate studies in film and coordinated Document Human Rights Film Festival from 2013-2015. Since moving back to Toronto she has worked as a screening coordinator on the films The Messenger and Driving with Selvi.Besides working in film she has written for dandyhorse magazine and Torontoist exploring issues of cycling and gender in Toronto. She also listens to too many podcasts and bakes pies.
Djia Mambu - General Committee
Djia Mambu is a Journalist and Film Critics with a focus in women’s rights films and gender problems. She is writing for Africultures, Africiné, Cinéma Belge, Images Francophones, Africa No1 and Awotele where she also manage the Partnership with Film festivals.
She joined the Congo International Film Festival Film Program team in Goma, DR Congo, and she is in charge of the Distribution for Madjiki Prod.Djia is a member of the African Federation of Films Critics (FACC) and of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).She published “Des étoiles jaunes sur fond bleu” in Créer en post-colonie 2010-2015. Voix et dissidences belgo-congolaises (Ed. BOZAR/Africalia), about the rising of Congolese actors of the diaspora in cinema during the last decade.
Dragan Uzelac - Emerging Directors Committee
Dragan Uzelac is a film enthusiast and a proud resident of Regent Park. This is his second year volunteering at the Regent Park Film Festival committees. Dragan enjoys watching movies, writing, and directing. His first feature film is coming…soon.
Federica Foglia - General Committee
Federica Foglia is an award winning director. She graduated in “Multimedia Languages, Humanities Computing and History of Art, History of Theatre and Cinema”. After working on a number of films in Italy she emigrated to Canada where she presently works and lives. Her first short EXIT/ENTRANCE was selected for TIFF, Raindance Film Festival, and Reykjavik International Film Festival. Her latest award winning film FANTASSÚT has screened in film festivals around the globe, from Poland to Brazil, and from USA to Italy, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, Camerimage, and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. She was assistant to Academy Award nominated director Deepa Mehta. Recently she has been awarded the RBC Arts Access Fund in Toronto.
Ferdosa Abdi - School Committee
My name is Ferdosa Abdi. I am a life-long student and fan of cinema and I hope to be a film festival programmer someday. The preservation, curation, and celebration of cinema is my passion.
Gursimran Datla - General Committee
Gursimran Datla is an Independent filmmaker and film blogger who moved to Toronto in 2016 from India. Recently he completed his post graduation in Advanced Filmmaking from Centennial College .In May 2017, his short film ‘Refuge’, won ‘Best film’ award at Donny Awards. He wrote and directed five short films, screened at various film festivals.In 2016, Gursimran Datla, was one of the finalist of Sundance/Roger Ebert Fellowship for Film Criticism. Currently he is working on two short scripts based on immigration crisis and resistance among generations.
Jacob Thompson - Emerging Directors Committee
Jacob Thompson is an award winning Toronto-based Producer and Editor. His prior works include Eastern, a documentary that screened at the Regent Park Film Festival in 2016.
Mahlikah Awe:ri - Emerging Directors Committee
Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw (The Woman Who Walks In The Light) is a Haudenosaunee Mohawk/Mi’kmaw drum talk poetic rapologist; poet, musician, hip-hop MC and recording artist, arts educator, Social Change Workshop Facilitator, performance artist, artist mentor, radio host, festival curator, Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact for the TD Centre of Learning Regent Park, and founding member of Red Slam, an Indigenous HipHop movement. Red Slam’s debut 14 trax LP, Right Level is a mash-up of lyrical content relevant to indigenous struggles and resiliency. Awe:ri is a KM Hunter OAC Literary Arts Award finalist and published in 7 literary anthologies.
Malini Guha - General Committee
Malini Guha is an assistant professor of film studies at Carleton University. Her first book, From Empire to the World: Migrant London and Paris in the Cinema, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2015.
Marko Orlic - General Committee
After graduating from the University of Toronto, Marko has worked in the film industry in a number of capacities: distribution, programming, journalism/blogging, and on-set production. When not programming films, and marketing the finest pictures Mongrel Media has to offer, you can catch him blabbering about the movie he just saw at a local theatre or festival, DJing bars in Toronto’s west end, attending all of the concerts, love-hating the Raptors and Jays, writing, or podcasting.
Milan Kang - School Committee
Milan Kang (a.k.a Naru) loves listening to other’s life experience as the most meaningful story. She is a registered member of the Korea Television and Radio Writers Association (KTRWA); a filmmaker of Words Kept In a Stone (70 minutes, 2004) and 16 Takes on Korean Society (110 minutes, 2006) that was shown at Busan International Film Festival 2006. She worked as an instructor and facilitator at colleges and organizations in South Korea for over 10 years. Since 2010, she has been working in the social/community services area with marginalized populations in Toronto.
Nayani Thiyagarajah - General Committee
Nayani Thiyagarajah is a director, producer, and writer, dedicated to stories for the screen. She obtained her Bachelor of Journalism (Radio & Television) from Ryerson University, and her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University, focused on cultural production, diaspora, and gender & feminist studies. Her first feature documentary “Shadeism: Digging Deeper” (2015) had its World Premiere at the 2015 Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition. Nayani is an alumni of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Workshop for Diverse Creators and the HotDocs Festival’s Doc Accelerator Program. Above all, Nayani believes in love and magic.
Paul Nguyen - Emerging Directors Committee
Paul Nguyen is an award-winning activist and filmmaker from Toronto’s Jane-Finch area. In 2004, he created Jane-Finch.com to change negative stereotypes about his community.His impact is recognized by political and community leaders across Canada. He is a public speaker and media commentator on race, crime and youth issues.In 2006, he spent a year working with CBC’s The Fifth Estate following the lives of gang-involved youth in the Gemini-Award nominated Lost in the Struggle.He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Meritorious Service Medal, and featured as a noteworthy historical figure of Asian heritage by the Government of Canada.
Serene Husni - General Committee
Serene Husni is a filmmaker, video editor and translator based in Toronto. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. Her directorial debut Zinco won the “Audience Award for Best Documentary” from the Franco-Arab Film Festival in 2013. She is one of three women who founded Dalaala (Arabic for signification), an Arabic-English translation collective, and is one of the founders of Aramram, an Arabic speaking web tv based in Amman, Jordan. Serene is currently working on her first feature documentary.
Sunita Miya-Muganza - School Committee
Sunita Miya-Muganza is a dynamic and creative writer and director with the ability to envision the genesis of creative idea and manage a conceptual project from the beginning to end. In 2015, she founded Grassroots International Productions (G.R.I.P Media), a prestigious multimedia production company that, through the amalgamation of raw narratives, creativity, and diversity, develops and produces noteworthy audio-visual content for entertainment, business, and other forms.
Rodrigo Toromoreno - School Committee
Rodrigo has served Toronto’s various communities as a music educator and Spanish translator. He has also dedicated the past six years to higher education as a language and literature instructor at the University of Michigan. Enamoured with the arts, he completed his doctoral studies in colonial literature at the same university and has designed courses on Latin American film and literary history. Lately, he is acquiring new skills and experience by actively participating in the organization of local film festivals.
Tina Zafreen Alam - General Committee
Tina Zafreen Alam is a diasporic Bangladeshi poet who happens to reside in Toronto. She is a VONA (Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation) Alum and has worked at many film festivals including: Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).
Yasmin Aly - General Committee
Yasmin is passionate about the intersection of art, education and social justice.
She has been an educator for over 10 years and is currently a PhD candidate at
the University of Toronto where she conducts research and teaches courses on contemporary literature and film. Yasmin believes in the ability of art to create community and has co-founded film and theater groups for university students. In addition, she also works on visual art and film projects to highlight various issues.