Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
In late 90’s and early 2000’s, the increasingly known actress starred in several sequels, including Lost Kingdom 2, Kosorun2, leading to a Grand Achiever Award of the Global Excellence Recognition Awards in 2004.
By the mid 2000’s Omotola had catapulted into A-list status in Africa. She was awarded ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ during the African Movie Academy Awards in 2005 for her role in ‘Games Women Play’.
After shooting more than 300 straight to video movies, Omotola received her first cinema movie role in the 2010 film, Ije. The film was shot on locations in Los Angeles and Jos. Ije was at opening in the cinemas, the highest grossing movie. Last Flight to Abuja shot 2012, in which Omotola also starred now holds that record.
The movie beat Hollywood blockbusters like
Spiderman, Think like a Man, Ice Age, The Avengers and Madagascar to become the 2nd highest grossing movie in West African cinemas in 2012. Omotola has won over 60 domestic and international awards. She is termed Africa’s biggest box office queen.
Sokhna Diallo is a French child actress of Senegalese descent. She has already garnered quite a few well-known awards at only 14 years old. She was by far the most promising French actress of her age group.
Sokhna played the lead role in Maimouna Doucoure's film, Mother(s), which won a French Cesar in 2017 for Best Short Film. The film went on to win similarly at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. Sokhna is the youngest actress to have ever won Best Actress at Berlin FestShorts.
In addition, she won a Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival Special Mention for Best Actress, the Mecal Barcelona International Shorts and Animation Film Festival Award for Best Actress, and a Congo Festicab Award.
In 2017, Sokhna was a part of the Ascension cast, her first feature film project, that went on to become a blockbuster hit in France. Sokhna currently lives in Paris.
Eli Fola is a Nigerian born, New York based multi-disciplinary artist, saxophonist, DJ, Producer and talking drummer. He is the creator and pioneer of the genre and live set Yoruba Tech Soul— a fusion of traditional Nigerian sounds, electronic, jazz, house, and classical music. Eli’s work authentically preserves Yoruba culture and history through his immersive performances. He is often regarded as a saxophone genius and branded with the visual art world due to his powerful imagery that showcases Yoruba regality and spirituality in a modern context. His work has been featured in publications such as Wonderland Magazine, Vogue, Okay player to name a few. He has also been sought after by Grammy winning producer Swizz Beatz and Grammy winning singer Alicia Keys as well as brands such as Art Net, Bacardi, and Art Basel. Eli was a 2017 Ted Speaker and performer. His Ted talk focused on how music can be used to reconcile and highlight differences in culture and identity.
Siaka S. Traoré
Siaka S. Traoré is a Cameroon-born Burkinabe award winning artist based primarily in Senegal and Canada. With a degree in civil engineering and a passion for photography, Siaka through his work, highlights his fascination with urban arts, focusing on the social impact and esthetic. He creates vignettes that combine body movement, esthetics and symbolism capturing the performers’ complex movements and translating their body language through the overall composition.
In 2014, Traoré, a self-taught photographer, exhibited his work for the first time at Africa’s most prominent art platform, the Dakar Biennale. The group show hosted by Attis Gallery featuring his “Sunustreet” series, was a huge success and heralded the start of his artistic career.
Traoré is the recipient of the Orange Award for digital artistry awarded at the 2016 AKAA (Also known as Africa) Contemporary African art fair in Paris for his work “Dans ...ce”. This piece of work is part of the “Sunustreet” series, which was on display at the Mam and Donwahi Gallery booth. The series concept is focused on Dakar’s streets and a troupe of local urban dancers, from an idea based on combining human interaction with plastic expression while uniting emotion with light and kinetic art forms. Traoré uses the levitation process (comparable to that of professional athletes) coupled with the dancers’ athletic performances, to sublimate their strongest emotions and depict their life in society.
Traoré himself is a dancer and has practiced both Capoeira and Hi-Hop since childhood. His interest and experience are evident in the authenticity of his artistic interpretation of movement, performance, light and color. He nourishes his passion for the visual arts by constant reflection on the cultural wealth of various societies, their evolution and how they coexist in an ever-changing world. Like a star that illuminates a mysterious sky, his artistic swagger is laden with hope.
Traoré spends his time in Africa, America and Europe exploring the universe of dance, music, cultural traditions, science fiction, fantasy and sport in an attempt to rewrite the narrative of an evolving world. When he photographs, Traoré is in a state of perpetual introspection. He concentrates on the composition of the image and the emotions it communicates, which are the two most important elements for him to connect to the diverse sensitivities of his audience.
Rachid Badouri is a Canadian comedian.
Badouri was born to immigrants of Moroccan Berber origin. He studied at College Montmorency in Laval, Quebec where he had his first experience on stage. In 1999, he had a major appearance at Just for Laughs (Juste Pour Rire) festival in Montreal with a presentation about immigration. He also appeared in a number of comedic advertisements in Quebec media (television, radio, print media).
In October 2007, he launched his first one-man show entitled Arrête ton cinéma! .
Toyin I. Adekeye
A genius on a journey with elite vision & creative ability, who graduated from the Los Angeles Film School Hollywood, an artist with eyes for detail & passion for perfection.
This Nigerian born Los Angeles based award-winning director is the founder of Motherland Productions USA. He grew up in a rural community around a family who were cultured storytellers and lovers of art. He aspired to be a lawyer but after losing his father at a young age, he assumed responsibility early in life by assisting his mother in keeping the family together. In 2001, he migrated to the United States where he worked multiple jobs before he found his feet & later created Tomi International Inc in 2006 and Keyes Diagnostic Center in 2008.
Living in Los Angeles the worlds capital of filmmaking, he witnessed the power of moving images first hand & disapprove of how African stories were being told, he felt the urge & the need to tell those stories from a different perspective, he then sponsored himself through film school where he graduated top of his class as valedictorian of the Los Angeles Film School Hollywood class of 2012.
Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye has worked and traveled around the world acquiring knowledge in the world of art and cinema, some of his early credits are in “Whole ‘Nother Level” “Pitch Black” “You” “Deadly Silence” which have screened globally & on a world stage like the Cannes Marche du Film. His recent documentary “Bigger Than Africa” was nominated for the African Movie Academy Award 2018, this documentary has screened worldwide, won multiple awards around the globe and earned screening invitations from Ivy League schools like Yale.
He strongly believes the combination of his earlier rural upbringing in Africa & his adult life in the city of the United States shaped his storytelling ability & perspectives.
Celai West, is a quirky twelve year old who is making waves in the fashion, runway, vlogging and acting industry, all while proving you can never be too cool for school. She changed the industry standards when she became the youngest professional runway model to walk amongst an all-adult lineup in NYFW, at just ten years old.
French writer, director and producer, Malina Detcheva-Rossa is a Prix de Rome (Rome Prize) laureate.
She is best known as the co-creator and writer of hit TV series including “Zodiaque,” which received over 11 million viewers and 51% of market share, and was remade in both Germany and Italy, along with its sequel “Le Maître du Zodiaque.” Malina is the co-creator of the 12-episode sci-fi series “Mystère,” which became an instant hit in France and Italy. She also co-created the English-speaking series “Jo” with the renown Emmy Award-winning show runner René Balcer. “Jo” aired in more than 120 countries.
Malina grew up in Bulgaria where at the age of 14 she started publishing poems. She attended the prestigious la FEMIS Film School in Paris where she was granted a merit scholarship.
Malina’s first feature script, “According to the Flesh” was selected for the Emergence Director’s Lab, where she was mentored by Academy Award-winning French actor Gerard Depardieu.
Malina was Artistic Director of the French TV company Téléimage (1994-2000) and in 2007 she was offered the position of executive producer at TF1 (major French channel).
In 2018 Malina was accepted as a lyricist/auditor into the highly selective BMI Musical Theatre workshop Lehman Engel in New York.
Malina lives between Los Angeles and New York and works on multiple projects as writer/director, TV series creator and writer, and librettist and lyricist.