Marisa is an actress, screenwriter and novelist. She grew up in Bath, England, and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Her debut novel for Young Adults, Between You & Me, – a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Book of 2012 and recipient of a Kirkus star for “books of exceptional merit” – is available from Bloomsbury. Between You & Me was also selected for the American Library Associations’ 2013 Rainbow Book List of quality books with authentic LGBT content, and as a Kobo dazzling debut.
She is the narrator of numerous audiobooks, including Paula Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter, Kerstin Gier’s time travel trilogy Ruby Red, and Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie – an “inspired, emotional performance” for which she received a Publishers Weekly starred review.
Find out more and listen to extracts of all her books at marisacalin.com. She lives in New York City.
Faizan Fiaz is journalist and videographer who has lived and worked in Pakistan for several years for a number of international news organisations. Poshida: Hidden LGBT Pakistan is their first film, of which they say, “I’m excited to share some of the intriguing stories of Pakistan, my country of heritage and my home for best part of a decade. Pakistan is an endlessly surprising and heartbreaking place and it’s my hope to uncover some of it through film.”
t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow and Pushcart Prize nominee. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College. Her work has widely published and anothologized, including in The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as a part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shocklee and is a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow. Her first poetry collection, how to get over, was published with Red Hen Press, Spring 2017.
Blair Fukumura is a self taught film maker whose fifth short film is the award winning animated documentary The Night Cleaner. Blair’s work in both documentary and narrative short film explores the experience of the outsider voice within minority groups and stories that arise from intersectionality. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Blair lives and works in Mississauga, Ontario.
Jac Gares is a New York-based filmmaker. FREE CeCe! is her directorial debut documentary feature film. For five years, Jac served as producer and supervising producer of IN THE LIFE on public television, her work garnered awards from NLGJA, GLAAD, and Webbys. She produced specials and documentaries for the History Channel, Food Network, USA Networks and PBS’s premiere non-fiction film showcase, P.O.V./The American Documentary. Gares has a BA in English Literature from Rutgers University and an MA in Media Studies from The New School. Jacqueline has been named Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love, was featured in Cahiers du Cinema, and is a proud 2014 Jerome Foundation Emerging Film/Video Artist Grantee.
Samantha Lee is a filmmaker from the Philippines. Her recently completed film Baka Bukas (Maybe Tomorrow) won the Audience Choice Award in the recently concluded Cinema One Originals Festival in Manila. She has done a variety of freelance commercial work both in the Philippines and in Australia, where she completed her Master of Communication at RMIT University. She currently works as the Multimedia Editor for CNN Philippines Life.
Francis Luta is an emerging Canadian filmmaker with works ranging from fiction and non-fiction. To date, he’s directed seventeen short films, and is currently filming his debut feature “Alone Across the Arctic.” With a background in fine arts and graphic design, Francis Luta has exhibited art works in Berlin, Germany and Toronto, Canada, shows include Toronto International Art Fair, Berliner Kunstsalon and Preview Berlin.
Fawzia Mirza is a Pakistani-Canadian film and television actress, writer, producer and comedian. She is known for her works such as web series Kim Kardashian and the feature comedy Signature Move. She uses performance, personal storytelling & comedy to break down stereotypes across a multiplicity of identities: race, religion, sexual orientation, gender & defy the concept of the “model minority.”
Fawzia Mirza will also be in attendance at The Geopolitics of Queer
Steen Starr is a writer, playwright, performer, and filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her work for the theatre has been produced across Canada and in the US and her writing has been included in a number of Canadian and international anthologies. Older than what? is Starr’s second short film. Her first, Putting the “I” in Trans, circulated to film festivals worldwide and won the Audience Award as Best GenderBender Short at the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival
Doris Yeung 楊文穎 was raised in Hong Kong and California. She has written and directed films in China, Europe and the US and has studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, American Film Institute and Beijing Film Academy with degrees in Art History and Directing. She directed her first feature film, Motherland (2009) was named one of the 10 best Asian American Films of 2009 by Asian Pacific Arts Magazine. She was named “filmmaker to watch” by the Hollywood Reporter. She has resided and worked in Amsterdam since 2002 and founded the CinemAsia Film Festival, Netherlands.