WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER
MEISSA HAMPTON Hampton is a writer, filmmaker and resident artist at the MIT Media Lab and Open Documentary Lab. She is an experienced, awarded storyteller who has effectively conveyed narrative across media. She was a Ford Scholar at Brooklyn College, receiving honors degrees in Film and Literature, before continuing studies at Stella Adler Conservatory and UCB theatre. She’s played key roles in more than 30 independent films and has earned multiple awards for her performances by Judges and audiences in national and international, commercial and independent film festivals, including ‘Best Lead Actress’ awards for her performances in Uptown (on which she was also a co-writer), Modern Times, Shadows of the Evening, and Fortunes of War, as well as a ProMax World Gold Award for VH1 – Lyrically Speaking (www.MHAMPTON.com). She is an active member of New York Women in Film Television (NYWIFT) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and a founding member of the Indies Lab, NYC and the Urban Artists Collective, organizations that nurture some of NYC’s most promising writers, directors and actors. She launched One Pair of Shoes Pictures in October of 2011. She Directs “A Social Cure,” which documents the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa and the burgeoning potential of our technologically empowered social networks to affect positive change.
LAUREN KOTZE completed her Honours Degree in International Relations at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2004 and went on to enter the mining industry. In 2008, however, she decided to pursue her passion for sustainable development more aggressively when she joined Eden Campus to study its business model of ‘education that pays for itself’. Through this work she became more involved with skills development and job creation, specifically in the creative industries. In 2011 she joined Praekelt Foundation as their Programme Manager for the Southern African region. In this role Lauren is responsible for ensuring that Praekelt’s mLearning and mJobs projects run smoothly and deliver a valuable service to their intended users. Through these projects, Lauren hopes to be able to capacitate African youth with sharp minds, relevant knowledge, useful skills, a link to industry, and access to workplace experience. She joins the team of ‘The Social Cure’ with enthusiasm to meet her philanthropic goals within the film industry.
Born in Bogota Colombia, Camila Celin began learning Guitar at age 9. Initially inspired by tradition and popular Latin American music, she went on to receive extensive training in classical guitar, jazz, flamenco, traditional Cuban music, and most recently Indian music. She has since collaborated with many great artists around the world, most notably guitar legend Debashish Bhattacharya for which she received a Grammy nomination in 2008. She also received the Miriam Gideon Award for compositional excellence and the “de Los Maderos Special” award for outstanding women performers. Her compositions have been featured in many prestigious music halls, theaters, and museums in New York including La MaMa theater the Metropolitan Museum, the MoMa, BAM in Brooklyn, Madison Square Garden, Joe’s pub, and “El Museo Del Barrio.” She has written music for short films, features, documentaries, dance, theater, and television.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
FAUSTO BECATTI studied film at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He knew from a very young age it was his deep passion. His ambition is to tell meaningful stories, create beautiful images, and move people. “I’m happy to be working on [The Social Cure] because it is not only for a great cause, but it holds the potential to impact so many lives.”
CASSANDRA RIDDICK is a Writer/Director and Producing partner at One Way or Another Production where she serves as the COO. Earlier in her career, Ms. Riddick became the business and international tour manager for major hip-hop recording artist, Akinyele. Cassandra spearheaded and negotiated endorsement and licensing deals for the artist. She pursuantly enjoyed the opportunity to work for the late legendary Hip Hop DJ Jam Master Jay of the famed rap group Run DMC. Cass began her career in television working as a studio technician and master control operator at the C-Span cable network. In 1997 she moved to New York and produced her own music video magazine show from 1996 – 1998. In 2006, Cassandra produced and directed the documentary Why Not DC? One Nation Under a Groove. Cassandra was a Top Ten Finalist, for the RAP-IT-UP BET/Kaiser Permanente AIDS Short Film Screenwriting Competition in 2006. More recently, Cass produced and directed her first narrative feature film Shining Star which was adapted from her award winning short film. Ms. Riddick holds a B.S in Communications from Bowie State University.
LISA-MARIE HUNT is a recent graduate of Manhattanville College, earning a degree in Communication Studies. She has worked within the film festival circuit as a volunteer at the NYU Tisch/ NYU Paris Edge Atlantic Film Festival in 2011 and also as a Screening Committee Member for the Nantucket Film Festival this past Spring. She has expressed her passion for service by maintaining a Resident Advisor position for two years of her college career and an Assistant Resident Director position during her Senior Year. Since 2006 she has also volunteered to serve in soup kitchens, community centers, elderly housing complexes, and parks throughout New York City and Westchester County. In 2009, Lisa traveled to Dublin, Ireland to assist developmentally disabled adults as part of the L’Arche program based in Baldoyle. Lisa is incredibly excited to be able to incorporate her love of film and her love of service on The Social Cure, and maintains that she could not have asked for a better team.
JENEL RONN has been involved in non-fiction media production since she graduated from NorthWestern University in 2008. She’s had the privilege of working in the field in varied aspects of production and post-production. Jenel is passionate about telling stories in an inspiring and creative way. She believes strongly in travel and helping others and her adventures have taken her to India, New Zealand and Nepal where she’s had the opportunity to experience the joy of volunteering and the thrill capturing her experience through writing and film. Ms. Ronn independently produced a 30-minute documentary about her Global Village volunteer experience in Tuakau, New Zealand with Habitat for Humanity which aired on PEG-TV in Vermont. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she works as a freelancer in film.
JEAN WU Currently graduated with a M.S. degree in Television Production from Boston University, Jean has worked as PA on the professional sets of TV shows, music videos and shorts, such as the FOX “The X Factor”, “Mobbed”, CBS “Let’s Make a Deal” and Syfy “Total Blackout” and “The Trolley Song” for American Idol Finalist John Stevens and Jennifer Hirsh. Her recent piece “Fragility” was awarded “Best Cinematographer” at the Boston 7Day PSA competition, also nominated “Best PSA” at 34th Annual New England Emmy Awards. Jean is really excited about this upcoming documentary that holds such an interesting subject matter.
LENA FEINDT was born in Hamburg, Germany where she earned her degree in Marketing & Communications at KAH Hamburg. At the age of 24, she spent 6 months backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. This same adventurous spirit is what later led her to accept a job working as a model agent in Cape Town. It was there that she discovered her passion for South Africa and it’s people. After meeting Meissa Hampton and learning of her efforts to raise awareness through “The Social Cure”, Lena was thrilled to join the team as a public relations professional.
Christopher Hampton is a writer based in NYC, but born in the deserts of the Southwest.
New York Women in Film and Television
New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development activities, and advocating for equity.
The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. NYWIFT produces over 50 innovative programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement, which recognizes women in front of and behind the camera, and Designing Women, which recognizes costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists in the industry.
NYWIFT is a nonprofit, 501c3 public charity, and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. It is governed by an 18-member board of directors. The board is elected by the membership. OPoS is proud to associate and honored to receive sponsorship for ‘The Social Cure’ from this outstanding and like-minded organization.