Brought together by a passion to help promote self-expression through film and video and create opportunities to build a foundation for the future, the WeOwnTV team dedicates their time and resources to the development and discovery of the young generation's "voice" in Sierra Leone.
Arthur PrattManager, Education and Creative Initiatives
As a drama teacher, filmmaker, youth organizer and pastor living in Freetown, Arthur Pratt leads the ongoing WeOwnTV efforts in Sierra Leone. A respected leader in his community, he has longtime commitment to working with underprivileged youth. Arthur is a compassionate and deeply motivating mentor. He has toured throughout the country performing original productions of Shakespeare. His credits also include numerous short films and plays created in collaboration with the youth he serves.
Lansana Mansaray, aka Barmmy BoyProduction Manager
An accomplished musician and filmmaker, Lansana Mansaray, aka Barmmy Boy exemplifies the talent and potential of his generation. Gifted at engaging his peers in creative collaboration, he is a natural mentor and instructor. Barmmy Boy assists in coordinating the commissioned productions produced by WeOwnTV: Sierra Leone. He has participated in media projects with iEarn, War Child Canada, cafesociety.org and has been honored by youth groups and the British Council for his film/video work.
Michaella SalluFinance Manager and Lead, Women's Producing Initiative
Michaella Fatmata Sallu is a script writer, director, practicing filmmaker and promoter of women's issues. Recently, finishing studies in accounting and finance, she heads up accounting for the WeOwnTV facility in Freetown. In addition, she serves as the lead and mentor for Woman go Tok, the women's producing initiative launched in 2011 to facilitate the creation of media by and about women that explores contemporary women's issues in Sierra Leone
Banker WhiteCreative Director & Founder
Banker White is a multi-disciplinary artist based in the Bay Area. In a perpetual state of creation and collaboration, recent work in film-video and the fine arts has been awarded and supported by Creative Capital, Freedom to Create, the California Council for Humanities and the Bay Area Video Coalition. Banker co-directed and produced the award-winning documentary Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. He is a graduate of Middlebury College (BA 1996) and California College of the Arts (MFA 2000).
Paula CavagnaroAssociate Director
Appreciating the independent, unfiltered voices that have the opportunity to be amplified through film, Paula Cavagnaro is a committed contributor - as a supporter and consultant - to independent film festivals and international film projects. Paula is a creative marketing and public relations professional with more than 15 years marketing experience established on a well-rounded background managing complicated marketing programs including promotional launches, event production, artist development and aggressive public relations campaigns.
Zach NilesAssociate Director & Co-founder
Zach Niles is the co-director and producer of the award-winning documentary Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. He is the associate producer of the film Peepers and for the television series Live at the Fillmore. Zach recently served as acting director for Cine Istitute, a film school in Jacmel Haiti. He also manages the band Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars and works producing and promoting music tours by artists such as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, George Michael and Madonna.
Anna FitchNorth American Producer and Mentor
An award-winning director and entomologist whose work has aired on National Geographic, Channel Four UK, and PBS. She won an Emmy for Best Documentary Directing in 2003 for BugWorld: War of Two Worlds and has been recognized with numerous other accolades for her films exploring the natural world. Anna's first narrative short The Burning Wigs of Sedition screened at numerous international festivals and was honored with the Audience Award at SF IndieFest 2011.
Alhaji "Black Nature" KamaraFaculty & Co-founder
Black Nature, many ways the inspiration behind WeOwnTV, began collaborating with the WeOwnTV team in 2002. A talented rapper, he is a member of the band Sierra Leone?s Refugee All Stars and currently on tour. While touring with the award-winning documentary Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars and the band, inspiring interviews with Black Nature have been featured on NPR, CBC, PBS, CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show and in major publications worldwide.
Alex ReiserNorth American Producer
Alex Reiser works in media production as a sound engineer, musician, documentary filmmaker, and formerly as a circus performer. He is currently touring as the production manager for the band the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. Alex produced and directed the independent documentary Homecoming in Southern Sudan, accompanying two "Lost Boys" as they reunited with their families for the first time after the civil war.
Advisors: Thoughtful and trusted guides
Bill Bourdon has spent the last 15 years helping a mix of organizations, including innovative technology startups, Fortune 500 brands and nonprofits, communicate their stories to the world. He is currently senior vice president at the Bateman Group, a boutique PR and social media marketing agency. Bill began his career in the public health sector, first as a director for a nationally known nonprofit, and later as a policy advisor for the San Francisco Mayor's Office.
Shelley Lazar is a music industry veteran whose company, SLO (a division of Live Nation Entertainment) provides ticket management services and one-of-a-kind fan experiences for world concert tours and events. With an incomparable client roster ranging from music legends The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan to the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict... Shelley has earned the endearing title of "Ticket Queen." She is recognized for her dedication to a myriad of non-profit organizations.
Wendy Levy is a senior strategist at Tomorrow Partners, an innovative creative agency in Berkeley, California with a focus on human-centered design, sustainability and social change. From 2004 - 2011, Wendy was Creative Director at BAVC where she created and directed the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, The Impact Dashboard project, The Mediamaker Fellows Program, and The Stream, a multiplatform public media series focused on interactive documentary, emerging technology and human rights. Wendy serves as an advisor to a diverse group of NGOs, social entrepreneurs and independent artists around the world.
Alphonse Munyaneza, a Rwandan national and a refugee himself, has been working for UNHCR since 1992 both in the field and at headquarters. He is an event, music and film producer with experience in managing multimedia campaign and events. As a passionate arts advocate, Alphonse manages the "4refugees artist global network" which supports the refugee plight trough arts. An avid musician, he plays guitar, bass, keyboard and percussions.
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwhine
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine is a first generation Ugandan-American working in photography, theatre, film and television. His credits include leading roles at The Public Theater, The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Kennedy Center and The Lincoln Center; Recurring TV roles on HBO's series Treme, Heroes, The Riches, ER and CSI; and the film Blood Diamond. Ntare has taught at Yale University and USC. Ntare has also taught theatre and film artists in more than a dozen countries in Africa.
Armed with a knack for tech support, a background in operations management and a heart the size of a small pig, David Robb brings to the table a very honest logical viewpoint. Always happy to lend a hand and make someone's life a little easier, David is a true believer in leading by example. David currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and three daughters.
Victor Zaud, creative director and founder of interface design and branding firm, Zaudhaus, Inc. splits his time between offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Along with leading the firm since its founding in 2000, Vic races Porsches, is a professional photographer and avid filmmaker. Vic has played instrumental roles in launching a number of other successful companies; including The Republic of Tea, JuiceBeauty, NetObjects and online advertising network, Glam Media.