Kiley Kraskouskas, Director/Producer
Kiley Kraskouskas is an award-winning producer and co-founder and president of Thinking Forward Media. Before launching Thinking Forward Media she worked as a producer and business developer for two top Virginia film companies, Rock Creek Productions of Reston, and Cortina Productions of McLean. She then served as producer and the principal fundraiser for The Last Song Before the War. Kiley is a sought-after instructor, speaker, and consultant whose expertise includes crowd funding, video production, and project management. Recent films for which she has consulted include: Teach me How to Sea, Coded Stories, and The Last Battlefront. Additional production and consulting clients include: The George Washington University, Daring or Nothing Productions, and The University of Maryland Small Business Development Center. Kiley serves on the board of Docs in Progress and is a longtime member of Women in Film and Video (WIFV). WIFV recently honored her with their Randy Goldman Scholarship, which provided tuition to the Maine Media Institute for the course, “Writing and Developing the Documentary.” She holds a Master Degree in Sociology from New York University and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Denver.
Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Editor/Producer
Leola brings rich international experience and a passion for foreign affairs to her work as an editor. She lived in Pretoria, South Africa (2003-2005) and Bamako, Mali (2001-2003) where she had the opportunity to attend the Festival-au-Désert. Prior to working in film, Leola received a Master's degree in international affairs from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Italian from the University of California, Davis. She attended film school in Pretoria, South Africa where she worked as an assistant editor and a researcher for the television documentary show Latitudes. Upon returning to the US, she worked as an associate producer for the Video Production Unit of the Defense Logistics Agency from 2005 to 2007, before joining the staff of Rock Creek Productions as their Senior Editor for their Washington office. Since starting her career as an editor, she’s been the recipient of the Washington, D.C. Women in Film & Video Randy Goldman Scholarship. She has edited projects for clients ranging from PerformTech, Lockheed Martin, Q’Nexis, and the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to editing the CINE Award winning video Better Built Together for DC’s Habitat for Humanity.
Andrea Papitto, Producer
Andrea Papitto has worked on various development projects in Africa for the past 7 years, ranging from ICT education, rural tourism, community-led development, and nonprofit management in countries like Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. She has a proven track record working with key stakeholders from the Ministries of Tourism and Culture, Education, Finance, and Social Welfare; Regional and District Councils, NGOs; national media; and the private sector. After years working in the nonprofit sector in Africa and the U.S., she decided to focus her energies on tourism development as a means of economic development by launching Thinking Forward Media with her partners from The Last Song Before the War. As Vice President of Thinking Forward, she oversees business development and project management for tourism and non-profit clients. She is a regular blogger on Africa.com and the Africa Travel Association. Andrea is a Member of the International Board of Directors of the Africa Travel Association, where she serves as the Co-Chair of the Youth Advisory Committee to engage youth in the tourism industry in Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Tourism Development with a focus in emerging destinations from New York University.
J. Tayloe Emery spent five exciting years as the Director of Creative Development at DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) and The ONE Campaign, two organizations founded by U2's Bono (along with Jamie Drummond and Bobby Shriver) that advocate for African justice and poverty issues. There he managed creative output as their team worked to get poverty and AIDS into the American line of sight by working with Hollywood produced popular and independent film, new media, music and television productions. In late 2008 Tayloe formed the JTE Creative Group to better assist the various campaigns, organizations and non-profits that were taking form.
While at DATA (later merged into ONE) Tayloe managed celebrity and VIP acquisition & education and developed creative outlets with their supporters to get a powerful anti-poverty message out to the American public. He and his team were fortunate during this time to engage and develop many of the world’s top actors, artists and sports figures into the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. Given his affection for the people and culture of Mali, Tayloe has generously donated both his technical expertise and understanding of international development to Essakane Film.
Jonathan Ingalls, Director of Photography
Jonathan has been a cinematographer on a wide variety of documentary films, having shot projects across the US, and in countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His recent cinematography work includes the film, City Lax: An Urban Lacrosse Story, winner of Best Feature Length Documentary at the 2010 Sonoma Film Festival, as well as additional theatrically released documentaries and various non-fiction TV series and specials for such outlets as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, A&E, History Channel, and PBS. Jonathan’s excited to be joining the Essakane Film team and returning to Mali to capture the imagery of its beautiful music scene, breathtaking vistas, and incredible people.
See Jon's work here: www.jonathaningalls.com
Assoura Albasko & Abraham Bojorquez, Festival Camera Operators
Kyle Centers, Intern
Kyle Centers has travelled extensively and lived in multiple places within the continental U.S. before moving to Virginia for high school. He attended Longwood University where he became involved in editing and videography and first encountered the rush of adventure filmmaking while long-board skateboarding the hills of Farmville, VA. After getting his Bachelors in Communication Studies with a concentration in Mass Media in 2010, he is now a graduate student at George Washington University’s Institute for Documentary Film. Kyle is honing his skills in shooting and editing documentary film under the advisement of Emmy award-winning filmmaker Nina Gilden Seavey, and spends his spare time interning for Essakane Film.