2019 Joburg Film Festival Jury
Award winning actress CCH Pounder portrays “Dr. Loretta Wade” on the CBS series, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS. In addition, Pounder will reprise her role of “Mo’at”
in James Cameron’s upcoming sequels AVATAR 2 and 3. Other notable projects include the television shows WAREHOUSE 13, SONS OF ANARCHY, REVENGE, BROTHERS, LAW & ORDER: SVU and HBO’s THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY, which garnered Pounder her fourth Emmy® nomination.
For seven years, Pounder portrayed “Claudette Wyms” on the critically acclaimed FX series, THE SHIELD, which earned her many accolades including an Emmy® nomination, the MIB Prism Award,” two Golden Satellite Awards and the “Genii Excellence in TV Award.” Other honors for Pounder include an Emmy® nomination for her role as Dr. Angela Hicks on the NBC series ER and an Emmy® nomination for her role in FOX’s The X-FILES. In addition, she received a Grammy® Award nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album” for GROW OLD ALONG WITH ME, THE BEST IS YET TO BE and won an AUDIE, the Audio Publishers Association’s top honor, for WOMEN IN THE MATERIAL WORLD.
Film credits include HOME AGAIN, RAIN, PRIZZI’S HONOR, POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, ROBOCOP 3, SLIVER, TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT, FACE/OFF, END OF DAYS, MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, ORPHAN, AVATAR, GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS and her breakout role in BAGDAD CAFÉ. A graduate of Ithaca College, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the school and was their 2010 Commencement Speaker.
Pounder serves on the Board of the African Millennium Foundation and was a founding member of Artists for a New South Africa. An advocate of the arts, she is active in the Creative Coalition and recent accolades for Pounder include the Visionary Leadership Award in Performing Arts from the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) in San Francisco, the 2015 Carney Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, 2015 Honoree at the Grand Performances Gala in Los Angeles, the 2016 SweetArts Performing Arts honoree from the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, the National Urban League’s 2017 Women of Power Award and the 2018 Bob Marley Award from AFUWI (American Foundation for the University of the West Indies).
In addition to her prolific acting career and advocacy, Pounder has been extensively involved with the arts as a patron, collector, gallery owner and museum founder.
Originally from Georgetown, Guyana, Pounder’s collection consists of Caribbean and African artists and artists of the African Diaspora. Her collection is heavily concentrated in the area of Contemporary Art but also includes traditional African sculptures. In 1993 Pounder and her husband, the late Boubacar Koné, founded and built the Musée Boribana, the first privately owned contemporary museum in Dakar Senegal, which they gifted to that nation in 2014. Pounder’s personal collection contains over 500 works of art, many of which she has generously loaned to Xavier University for a series of exhibitions and some which were recently on exhibit at Somerset House in England.
Zakes Mda, is a notable South African novelist, poet and playwright of more than 20 works. He has won numerous literary awards in South Africa and the United States of America. He studied in Lesotho, South Africa and the USA and is a founding member of the African Writers Trust, an initiative that aims to bring together African writers. Mda, is based in the United States, where he is currently Professor of English at Ohio University.
Raesibe Florence Masebe: Actor, writer, producer.
Born and raised in the province of Limpopo, South Africa. An actor,Professionally trained actress who has been in the game for more than 20 years.
Florence Masebe has made a mark in broadcasting and entertainment for more than 20 years, having worked in radio, film and television both in front of camera and behind the scenes. Some of her more prominent lead roles include work on popular dramas such as Generations, Muvhango, 7nde Laan, Soul City, Inkaba, Scandal and Task Force. Across SA borders, she plays the lead role in Morwalela, a health drama on Botswana Television.
Miss Masebe made history at the Durban International Film Festival 2012 as Executive Producer and star of the first ever professionally produced Tshivenda feature film Elelwani, which also got the honour of being the opening film of the festival. It is this role that won her the Best Actress in a Lead Role accolade at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2013.
More of her behind the scenes work include children’s programmes on the Kowee channel on DSTV. She created and directed ZeeZee, an animation storytelling series in IsiZulu. Another of her creations on the channel is a kiddies game show Piki-Piki, also done in IsiZulu.
She also co-produced and directed a documentary series on SABC2 called ‘I had it All’ which profiled South African icons who no longer have the fame and sometimes fortune they once enjoyed. She has worked as a News and Current Affairs Anchor on SABC TV and also hosted the program ‘Fokus’ with Freek Robinson. She holds a degree in Communications and Linguistics and continues to work in the media and marketing fields. She speaks all South African languages as well as Swahili. She’s a prominent voice artist and events MC.
Nataleah Hunter-Young is a film programmer and PhD candidate in Communication and Culture at Ryerson and York Universities in Canada. She has supported festival programming for the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, and the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa. You can find recent writing by Nataleah with Xtra, Canadian Art Magazine, the Gardiner Museum, and issue 58 of PUBLIC: Arts | Culture | Ideas for which she also served as co-editor. In 2019, Nataleah received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship and a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award for her research into late representation of police violence in contemporary art. She has a Master of Social Work from Ryerson University and was born and raised in community.
Femi Odugbemi is writer, filmmaker and Television Producer in Nigeria. He is currently Academy Director (West Africa) of the Multichoice Talent Factory. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), he is Co-Founder/Executive Director of the iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival Lagos and a former President of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN)
His creative works in film celebrate the rich diversity of contemporary African experience. He is one of the Founding Producers of the daily soap-opera “TINSEL.” He was as well Executive Producer of the TV drama series “BATTLEGROUND”which screened across the continent. His current work is a daily TV series titled “BRETHREN” also showing on the Africa Magic channels. His feature film credits include “MAROKO”(2006),”GIDI BLUES”(2016), “THE EVE”(2017), “4TH ESTATE”(2017), “MISSING PAGES” (2018) “CODE WILO” (2019) and many critically acclaimed documentaries, shorts and corporate films.
Femi has featured as a speaker/contributor in several international film/art/culture conferences and served on many creative industry initiatives. In November 2013 he received the prestigious Excellence Award of the Society of the Performing Arts of Nigeria (SPAN). In November 2018 Femi received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award from the Nigerian Film Corporation in recognition of his contributions towards the growth of the Film industry in Nigeria.