Kweku Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, and grew up in America, returning to his homeland in 1993. He attended APA International Film School in Sydney and is very active in the South African Film and Entertainment industries, directing and producing projects with his South African production company Out Of Africa Entertainment and working on a variety of other locally produced films. Kweku Executive Produced acclaimed Novel “The Bang Bang Club” into a feature film, which was released in early 2011. Kweku is currently co-directing and producing a documentary feature about his grandfather entitled Mandela’s Children. He has worked with and supported Oxfam Australia and Make Poverty History. In mid-2009 he co-founded Africa Rising with his cousin Ndaba Mandela and their dream of changing Africa’s image and fostering young leadership and partnerships around the world was started. He supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Long Short Walk, a world walk for road safety, in memory of his 13-year old cousin Zenani Mandela who was killed in a crash 2 years ago.

Kweku Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, and grew up in America, returning to his homeland in 1993. He attended APA International Film School in Sydney and is very active in the South African Film and Entertainment industries, directing and producing projects with his South African production company Out Of Africa Entertainment and working on a variety of other locally produced films.

Kweku Executive Produced acclaimed Novel “The Bang Bang Club” into a feature film, which was released in early 2011. Kweku is currently co-directing and producing a documentary feature about his grandfather entitled Mandela’s Children. He has worked with and supported Oxfam Australia and Make Poverty History. In mid-2009 he co-founded Africa Rising with his cousin Ndaba Mandela and their dream of changing Africa’s image and fostering young leadership and partnerships around the world was started. He supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Long Short Walk, a world walk for road safety, in memory of his 13-year old cousin Zenani Mandela who was killed in a crash 2 years ago.

Helga-Liz Haberfellner WRITER, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR - TEACHER In more than 30 years in the TV industry Helga has won - * A Gold Hugo*A Golden Sheaf*An Honourable Mention at the Yorkton Festival*an Honourable Mention at the Columbus International Film Festival*The Anderson Consulting Award for Information Technology Writing*2 Prix Anik*3 Gemini nominations   *1 Gemini   *countless accolades from her students. Her experience stretches from researching to writing and budgeting, to directing and producing. She has worked in every aspect of the film and TV industries and has lately turned her skills to high-end corporate films and commercials, as well being a film doctor. Her great passion however, is making long format science and social science documentaries. She has worked on shows like Wonderstruck, Man Alive, The Good Sex Guide, The Nature of Things, Sesame Street, Midday, The Body: Inside Stories, Things That Move and The Daily Planet. Her independently produced films have been shown on Discovery Canada, The Life Network, Canal Plus, the CBC, Radio Canada , and CTV, and have appeared in the USA, England, Turkey, Australia, Germany, France and Japan. One of her shows, The Child That You Do Have, was selected by Discovery Canada to kick off the Canadian Discovery Channel at Hot Docs ‘96. She also has extensive teaching experience at both the community college and university levels. She teaches courses in visual language, film aesthetics, filmmaking, documentary production, editing, cinematography, storytelling, media writing, editing concepts, production budgeting, and information and communication theory. Helga has been associated with U of T’s McLuhan program since 1979, was a fellow of the Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity, is one of the founders of the Media Ecology Association North, and is one of the executive directors of the McLuhan Legacy Network whose goal it is to further the work of Dr. Herbert Marshall McLuhan. She is currently at work on a France-Canada coproduction about information and will be making a documentary in Ghana in February

Helga-Liz Haberfellner

WRITER, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR - TEACHER

In more than 30 years in the TV industry Helga has won - * A Gold Hugo*A Golden Sheaf*An Honourable Mention at the Yorkton Festival*an Honourable Mention at the Columbus International Film Festival*The Anderson Consulting Award for Information Technology Writing*2 Prix Anik*3 Gemini nominations   *1 Gemini   *countless accolades from her students.

Her experience stretches from researching to writing and budgeting, to directing and producing. She has worked in every aspect of the film and TV industries and has lately turned her skills to high-end corporate films and commercials, as well being a film doctor. Her great passion however, is making long format science and social science documentaries. She has worked on shows like Wonderstruck, Man Alive, The Good Sex Guide, The Nature of Things, Sesame Street, Midday, The Body: Inside Stories, Things That Move and The Daily Planet. Her independently produced films have been shown on Discovery Canada, The Life Network, Canal Plus, the CBC, Radio Canada , and CTV, and have appeared in the USA, England, Turkey, Australia, Germany, France and Japan. One of her shows, The Child That You Do Have, was selected by Discovery Canada to kick off the Canadian Discovery Channel at Hot Docs ‘96.

She also has extensive teaching experience at both the community college and university levels. She teaches courses in visual language, film aesthetics, filmmaking, documentary production, editing, cinematography, storytelling, media writing, editing concepts, production budgeting, and information and communication theory.

Helga has been associated with U of T’s McLuhan program since 1979, was a fellow of the Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity, is one of the founders of the Media Ecology Association North, and is one of the executive directors of the McLuhan Legacy Network whose goal it is to further the work of Dr. Herbert Marshall McLuhan.

She is currently at work on a France-Canada coproduction about information and will be making a documentary in Ghana in February

Richard prempeh  Partnering with long time friend John K. to start the production house, Village Communications,  Richard is famously known as the executive producer of the very popular TV series, Taxi Driver, Mr. Prempeh's village communications has been one of the leading production houses in Ghana for over a decade. Mr. Prempeh also has a long musical background managing greats like A.B Crentsil and others. He later formed the 'Dangomba' band, the first black group in Spain. Dangomba played for groups like 'Cool and Gang' As an entrepreneur, Mr. Prempeh is in the hospitality and real estate business.

Richard prempeh
 Partnering with long time friend John K. to start the production house, Village Communications,  Richard is famously known as the executive producer of the very popular TV series, Taxi Driver, Mr. Prempeh's village communications has been one of the leading production houses in Ghana for over a decade.

Mr. Prempeh also has a long musical background managing greats like A.B Crentsil and others. He later formed the 'Dangomba' band, the first black group in Spain. Dangomba played for groups like 'Cool and Gang'

As an entrepreneur, Mr. Prempeh is in the hospitality and real estate business.

Mr. Akunu Dake is a Development Consultant. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Development – a Culture & Tourism Development and Events Management Consult. He is also the Vice Chairman/Co-convenor, Ghana Culture Forum – a national Civil Society consultative forum on culture and development He was the first Executive Director of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival [PANAFEST] He was also one time the Ag. Deputy Secretary(Minister)/Special Assistant, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Director of Programmes of the National Commission on Culture, National Coordinator of the Community Youth Cultural Programme and Director of Education, Research, and International Relations of the National Youth Organizing Commission. Mr. Dake was a National Consultant for UNESCO in the implementation of the national project on mainstreaming culture in national development in Ghana and is currently; 1. Chairman, Board of Directors, Ghana Tourism Authority 2. Member, Ministerial Advisory Board, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts 3. Member, Board of Trustees, Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust 4. Member, Management Committee, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana Legon 5. Consultant and Panellist. British Council’s Tullow Group Scholarship scheme.

Mr. Akunu Dake is a Development Consultant. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Development – a Culture & Tourism Development and Events Management Consult. He is also the Vice Chairman/Co-convenor, Ghana Culture Forum – a national Civil Society consultative forum on culture and development

He was the first Executive Director of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival [PANAFEST] He was also one time the Ag. Deputy Secretary(Minister)/Special Assistant, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Director of Programmes of the National Commission on Culture, National Coordinator of the Community Youth Cultural Programme and Director of Education, Research, and International Relations of the National Youth Organizing Commission.

Mr. Dake was a National Consultant for UNESCO in the implementation of the national project on mainstreaming culture in national development in Ghana and is currently;
1. Chairman, Board of Directors, Ghana Tourism Authority
2. Member, Ministerial Advisory Board, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
3. Member, Board of Trustees, Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust
4. Member, Management Committee, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana Legon
5. Consultant and Panellist. British Council’s Tullow Group Scholarship scheme.

Kunyalala Maphisa

Kunyalala Maphisa

Ms Maphisa is a non-executive director of Novus3(Pty)Ltd and is an attorney by profession. She is the Founder and CEO of SubSaharan Concessions, a South African based investment and project development company with diversified interests on the African continent.

Prior to going into business, she served as Head of Africa Acquisitions and Group Legal Counsel at Amabubesi Group, a leading investment group in South Africa where she was responsible for originating and executing on the group’s transactions outside South Africa and the company’s legal matters. She served on some of the Boards of Amabubesi’s investee companies. Before joining Amabubesi Group, she was with Ernst & Young South Africa in the firm’s Accounts and Markets Unit where she was responsible for driving the firm’s expansion strategy into strategic growth markets including the Africa sub-area.

Ms Maphisa has served on the Board, Audit Committtee and Risk and Compliance of Etana Insurance, the 3rd largest business insurer in South Africa which was recently acquired by Hollard. She has also served as President of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, the largest association of professional and business women in South Africa and on the Council for Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), a representative body of business associations in South Africa amongst others.

She occasionally represents South African business at various international meetings, and forums including serving on the Committee of Standards at the International Labour Organisation at the United Nations in Geneva, representing South African business at SADC meetings and at regional African Union (AU) meetings in various African countries. She continues to write and comment on transformation issues and has presented papers at various national and international conferences. Ms Maphisa is an alumni and fellow of the Desmond Tutu Fellowship, through the African Leadership Institute at Oxford University, and a member of various bodies globally.

Rachel Bartels Rachel Bartels develops and produces entertaining content for curious kids. She is a Gemini Award winning producer who has worked with Canada’s top children’s television broadcasters for 20 years. When her spouse had the opportunity to move to Ghana for work, Rachel left her career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, eager to learn more about modern Africa and its stories. While in Ghana, Rachel has been working as the Director of Humanitarian Projects for the North American Women’s Association as well as developing a Social Media Strategy for the Canadian High Commission in Ghana. She is also helping Ghanaian producers to grow their own film and television industry by setting up skills training workshops in Accra and Kumasi. Rachel is excited to be a part of building this industry by means of the Black Star International Film Festival. Emerging technologies are bringing the world closer together and leveling the playing field. It is an exciting time to move forward in the digital environment to develop new ways share stories. Rachel seeks to use her experiences from Canada and abroad to bolster cross cultural understanding as she continues to produce high quality programming for kids worldwide.

Rachel Bartels

Rachel Bartels develops and produces entertaining content for curious kids. She is a Gemini Award winning producer who has worked with Canada’s top children’s television broadcasters for 20 years.

When her spouse had the opportunity to move to Ghana for work, Rachel left her career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, eager to learn more about modern Africa and its stories. While in Ghana, Rachel has been working as the Director of Humanitarian Projects for the North American Women’s Association as well as developing a Social Media Strategy for the Canadian High Commission in Ghana. She is also helping Ghanaian producers to grow their own film and television industry by setting up skills training workshops in Accra and Kumasi. Rachel is excited to be a part of building this industry by means of the Black Star International Film Festival.

Emerging technologies are bringing the world closer together and leveling the playing field. It is an exciting time to move forward in the digital environment to develop new ways share stories. Rachel seeks to use her experiences from Canada and abroad to bolster cross cultural understanding as she continues to produce high quality programming for kids worldwide.

Audrey Gadzekpo has more than 20 years of experience in teaching, research and advocacy on media, gender and governance, and more than 25 years practical experience as a journalist, working variously as a reporter, editor, contributor, columnist, talk show host, socio-political commentator and magazine publisher/editor. She obtained a doctorate degree in African Studies at the University of Birmingham, U.K., a Master of Arts in Communications from Brigham Young University, Utah, USA and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Ghana. Her research interests and publications reflect the nexus between media and gender; media, politics and democratic governance; media and developmental imperatives and media and conflict. She teaches courses in Print Journalism, Media, Culture and Society, Gender and Communication, Introduction to Gender, Communicating Climate, Qualitative Research Methods, Media Ethics and History of Media in Africa. She has also designed curricula for Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts programmes as and developed short courses targeted at journalists and academics. Audrey has conducted numerous media and communication training programmes for the media, public sector organisations, private companies, civil society organisations and the security sector institutions.

Audrey Gadzekpo has more than 20 years of experience in teaching, research and advocacy on media, gender and governance, and more than 25 years practical experience as a journalist, working variously as a reporter, editor, contributor, columnist, talk show host, socio-political commentator and magazine publisher/editor.

She obtained a doctorate degree in African Studies at the University of Birmingham, U.K., a Master of Arts in Communications from Brigham Young University, Utah, USA and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Ghana.

Her research interests and publications reflect the nexus between media and gender; media, politics and democratic governance; media and developmental imperatives and media and conflict.

She teaches courses in Print Journalism, Media, Culture and Society, Gender and Communication, Introduction to Gender, Communicating Climate, Qualitative Research Methods, Media Ethics and History of Media in Africa. She has also designed curricula for Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts programmes as and developed short courses targeted at journalists and academics.

Audrey has conducted numerous media and communication training programmes for the media, public sector organisations, private companies, civil society organisations and the security sector institutions.

Mantse Ayequaye, is the originator of the 'Chalewote Art festival' a premiere Art festival on the continent. This sort after festival has been featured on BBC, Aljezeria and other top rated media platforms around the globe. Attracting over 2000 participants annually, the festival sets the streets on Accra on fire! Mantse is a film editor and has worked with organizations like the 'Africa Channel and Mnet'. His passion is also documentary film making.

Mantse Ayequaye, is the originator of the 'Chalewote Art festival' a premiere Art festival on the continent. This sort after festival has been featured on BBC, Aljezeria and other top rated media platforms around the globe. Attracting over 2000 participants annually, the festival sets the streets on Accra on fire! Mantse is a film editor and has worked with organizations like the 'Africa Channel and Mnet'. His passion is also documentary film making.

Marina Schwabic. Marina has for more than 15 years, across 3 continents, speaking multiple languages and delivering positive results to stakeholders that met or exceeded expectations, achieved success both in non-profit and for-profit, business environment. Operated organizations in entertainment, banking, consumer goods and non-profits. From boosting philanthropic fundraising for non-profits and leading Marcomm departments to negotiating multi-million dollar content distribution deals, Marina maintain a track record of results. Studying Public Administration at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government solidified her expertise in a diverse array of executive level business leadership. She is a fervent believer that to get the job done, it takes passion and willpower and a unique combination of skills - some of which cannot be taught.

Marina Schwabic. Marina has for more than 15 years, across 3 continents, speaking multiple languages and delivering positive results to stakeholders that met or exceeded expectations, achieved success both in non-profit and for-profit, business environment. Operated organizations in entertainment, banking, consumer goods and non-profits.

From boosting philanthropic fundraising for non-profits and leading Marcomm departments to negotiating multi-million dollar content distribution deals, Marina maintain a track record of results. Studying Public Administration at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government solidified her expertise in a diverse array of executive level business leadership.

She is a fervent believer that to get the job done, it takes passion and willpower and a unique combination of skills - some of which cannot be taught.

Kwaw Paintsil Ansah AN award-winning Ghanaian film-maker, whose work as writer, director or producer includes Love Brewed in the African Pot in 1981 and Heritage Africa in 1989.His first feature, Love Brewed in the African Pot and Heritage Africa (1989), earned an immediate popular and critical acclaim throughout English-speaking Africa. Since then, Ansah has produced other films such as Harvest at 17 (1994), Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade (1994) and The Golden Stool, the Soul of the Asantes (2000). Ansah is a crusader for African filmmaking and dramatic art, working ceaselessly for improved funding and distribution of African films within Africa. He has been chairman of FEPACI and a leader in the direction of FESPACO. In 1998, Kwaw Ansah was awarded the Acrag Prize, the Living Legend Award for Contribution to the Arts of Ghana.

Kwaw Paintsil Ansah

AN award-winning Ghanaian film-maker, whose work as writer, director or producer includes Love Brewed in the African Pot in 1981 and Heritage Africa in 1989.His first feature, Love Brewed in the African Pot and Heritage Africa (1989), earned an immediate popular and critical acclaim throughout English-speaking Africa. Since then, Ansah has produced other films such as Harvest at 17 (1994), Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade (1994) and The Golden Stool, the Soul of the Asantes (2000). Ansah is a crusader for African filmmaking and dramatic art, working ceaselessly for improved funding and distribution of African films within Africa. He has been chairman of FEPACI and a leader in the direction of FESPACO. In 1998, Kwaw Ansah was awarded the Acrag Prize, the Living Legend Award for Contribution to the Arts of Ghana.

Paul Andrew Paul is a bilingual director/editor in Video/Independent Film Production with over 25 years of experience. His specialty is documentary editing with a strong emphasis on structure and storytelling. Paul is presently the picture editor on the American series Destination Baja Sur which will be airing on NBC Sports in 2016.   In 2015, he was the picture editor of another American based series, Angler’s Digest, which aired on the Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network. Some of Paul’s broadcast credits include editing episodes of God's Greatest Hits for Vision TV Canada, Trois Boxeuses, an hour-long documentary for Doc Zone on Radio Canada, and the French version of Season 1 of Artzooka for TF1, a French broadcaster.  Paul also directed and edited a documentary about St. Michael's Boy’s Choir for Salt and Light TV in Toronto.  Other documentaries he has edited include two feature length documentaries, Karmageddon and Brilliant, both of which have won awards at international festivals.

Paul Andrew

Paul is a bilingual director/editor in Video/Independent Film Production with over 25 years of experience. His specialty is documentary editing with a strong emphasis on structure and storytelling.

Paul is presently the picture editor on the American series Destination Baja Sur which will be airing on NBC Sports in 2016.   In 2015, he was the picture editor of another American based series, Angler’s Digest, which aired on the Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network.

Some of Paul’s broadcast credits include editing episodes of God's Greatest Hits for Vision TV Canada, Trois Boxeuses, an hour-long documentary for Doc Zone on Radio Canada, and the French version of Season 1 of Artzooka for TF1, a French broadcaster.  Paul also directed and edited a documentary about St. Michael's Boy’s Choir for Salt and Light TV in Toronto. 

Other documentaries he has edited include two feature length documentaries, Karmageddon and Brilliant, both of which have won awards at international festivals.

Ernest Kofi Abbeyquaye started in 1960 as a student in the pioneer class of the Arts Council Acting School. He later graduated from University of Ghana, School of Performing Arts with a Drama and Theatre Arts Major. He later undertook postgraduate professional training in film directing at the prestigious National Film and Television School at Beaconfield, Bucks, in the U.K. After returning from England, he worked at Ghana Films Industry Corporation and the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). Ernest has worked, filmed and travelled extensively throughout Ghana and abroad; filming in the US, the UK, Israel and throughout Africa. Ernest has been very instrumental in attracting and promoting international co-productions such those that produced the Dying of the Light 1992 (TV) and Deadly Voyage a HBO-BBC (TV) production.  He wasthe writer and director for Drums and Voices (1980) a documentary produced by Chris Burgman (WDR) Cologne and one of two Writer/Directors selected from Africa to work on the pilot for “Hopes on The Horizon” an international documentary produced by Blackside Inc. of Boston Massachusetts and funded by the Ford Foundation.  Other films he wrote, did the screenplays or directed include documentaries like “Ghana Reborn” and features such as “Confessions”, “Escape to Love”, “A Mother’s Revenge” and “The Other Side of the Rich”. After a long hiatus, he recently acted in the movie “Death after Birth” which starred some of Ghana’s and Africa’s top movie actors. Last year, he finished directing a documentary “Out of Africa: the contribution of African football player to the professional game in the UK” which was sponsored by the UK Lottery. He has served on boards such as the National Film and Television Institute Board of Trustees. He was also a founding member of ECRAG and other associations whose aims have been to promote the arts in Ghana. Ernest was recently honored for his contributions to Film in Ghana. He has recently teamed up with his sons to produce movies here in Ghana. Other movies in the works include the documentary Fancy Dress and a feature film with the working title “Wedding Blues”. Ernest continues his work in film mostly as a film consultant and also passing on his knowledge to younger actors and film professionals. Ernest and his wife Benedicta have five children and six grandchildren.

Ernest Kofi Abbeyquaye started in 1960 as a student in the pioneer class of the Arts Council Acting School. He later graduated from University of Ghana, School of Performing Arts with a Drama and Theatre Arts Major. He later undertook postgraduate professional training in film directing at the prestigious National Film and Television School at Beaconfield, Bucks, in the U.K. After returning from England, he worked at Ghana Films Industry Corporation and the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI).

Ernest has worked, filmed and travelled extensively throughout Ghana and abroad; filming in the US, the UK, Israel and throughout Africa. Ernest has been very instrumental in attracting and promoting international co-productions such those that produced the Dying of the Light 1992 (TV) and Deadly Voyage a HBO-BBC (TV) production.  He wasthe writer and director for Drums and Voices (1980) a documentary produced by Chris Burgman (WDR) Cologne and one of two Writer/Directors selected from Africa to work on the pilot for “Hopes on The Horizon” an international documentary produced by Blackside Inc. of Boston Massachusetts and funded by the Ford Foundation.  Other films he wrote, did the screenplays or directed include documentaries like “Ghana Reborn” and features such as “Confessions”, “Escape to Love”, “A Mother’s Revenge” and “The Other Side of the Rich”. After a long hiatus, he recently acted in the movie “Death after Birth” which starred some of Ghana’s and Africa’s top movie actors. Last year, he finished directing a documentary “Out of Africa: the contribution of African football player to the professional game in the UK” which was sponsored by the UK Lottery.

He has served on boards such as the National Film and Television Institute Board of Trustees. He was also a founding member of ECRAG and other associations whose aims have been to promote the arts in Ghana. Ernest was recently honored for his contributions to Film in Ghana.

He has recently teamed up with his sons to produce movies here in Ghana. Other movies in the works include the documentary Fancy Dress and a feature film with the working title “Wedding Blues”. Ernest continues his work in film mostly as a film consultant and also passing on his knowledge to younger actors and film professionals. Ernest and his wife Benedicta have five children and six grandchildren.