Cross-Border Conversation: Multi-role v single-discipline jobs in film & TV – what is the best approach?

Thursday 22 June 2023, 18:00-19:30 BST (UK time)
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Many people in film & TV production & post-production now perform hyphenated roles. From editor-writer-director, producer-director-academic and editor-sound, our speakers discuss the merits and challenges of working across several roles versus specialising in a single discipline. What is most enjoyable and effective for delivery? What is driven by choice and what by necessity? How do you present yourself to future employers? What experiences and advice do our speakers have?

Drawn from our mentoring community, our speakers are:
Natasha Griffiths, writer, director, lecturer (Jamaica)
Jack Goessens, editor, writer, director (Netherlands, UK)
Claude Niyomugabo, producer, director (Rwanda, UK)
Jendayi Omowale, filmmaker, writer, academic (Jamaica, USA, UK)

Natasha Griffiths
Natasha Griffiths is a screenwriter-director and educator from Manchester, Jamaica. She has a background in theatre (acting), which was the focus of her undergraduate studies. After graduating, she worked as a high school Theatre Arts teacher, and undertook various film training and screenwriting programmes. In May 2018 she completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
To date, Natasha has written a number of screenplays: shorts, features, one-hour television episodes and web-series episodes. A Fire and a Funeral, the pilot episode of her television drama series Showa was short-listed for the 2018 Sundance Episodic Lab. Her feature screenplay Lukewarm earned a place in the 2019 British Council / Jamaica Film & Television association / Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Feature Film Lab, and was short-listed for the 2021 Sundance Feature Film Program Development Track. Her short film, Home Sweet Home, was an official selection in the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and GATFEST International Film Festival (2020), as well as Caribbean Lens International Film Festival and Palm Bay Caribe Film Festival (2021). Natasha is currently a selected participant in the 2022-2023 JAFTA (Jamaica Film & Television Association) Propella film development initiative with her first animated short, Black N Shine.
Natasha has served as an adjunct screenwriting professor at New York University (TISCH School of the Arts), Hofstra University, Brooklyn College (Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema), and The University of the West Indies (Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication). She is currently a faculty member at The University of Technology, Jamaica, where she lectures in screenwriting.

Jack Goessens
Jack is a Dutch-born UK-based editor working in high-end TV drama and films. After graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jack worked his way up through the editorial department from trainee assistant editor to editor. His most recent credits include UK editor on Outlander season 7, editor for new Netflix series The Fuck It Bucket, and assembly editor on the Amazon show Three Pines. He won a Scottish RTS award for his work on short film Everyman, was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for Groom and nominated for the British Film Editors’ Chris Crookall Breakthrough Editor Award 2023. He’s a member of BAFTA and BFE.

Claude Niyomugabo
Claude Niyomugabo was born in Rwanda during a time when his tribe, the Tutsis, were oppressed by the majority Hutu government. After surviving the 1994 genocide against Tutsi people, he found solace in films and art, which helped him escape from the traumatic memories of what he had witnessed.
Claude would always stay out late watching movies at his neighbour’s house and, although most of the films he watched were action and war movies such as Rambo, Terminator, and many Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu movies, he was always drawn to drama. Over the years, as he and his friends would compete to write down the names of all the movies they had watched, he developed a strong love for cinema and the filmmaking process, and it also helped him to learn multiple foreign languages.
After starting his undergraduate course in fine art, he realized that he was more interested in using the camera than in painting and sketching. When his art teacher saw his first short film, she asked whether he was going to pursue a career in film or stick to art. It was then that he knew he wanted to make films and tell stories based on his childhood experiences and his life as an African man living in the United Kingdom.
Claude’s filmmaking journey has been challenging, but he has learned valuable lessons that have helped shape him into the filmmaker he is today. It has given him the determination to keep pursuing his career and passion as a filmmaker.
Claude is fluent in Kinyarwanda, Swahili, English and French. He also has a good understanding of Spanish and Portuguese.

Jendayi Omowale
Jendayi Omowale is a Caribbean-American filmmaker and writer focused on telling the narratives of those marginalised in the historical archive. She has worked for over four years as a journalist, including writing for the likes of Apartment Therapy, Condé Nast, and being an editor at The Interlude Magazine. Currently, they run an award-winning documentary series about Black artists and art history called BlackArrogance! which was awarded an NYU Diversity Reporting Grant, IMDb-qualifying Onyko Films Award, Best Documentary at 2021 NYC Webfest, Best Story at Genre TV Film Festival and officially selected for both the Berlin Lift-off Film Festival and Miami WebFest. She has an MPhil in World History from Cambridge University, with her dissertation looking at the role of Kittitian and Nevisian plantation societies in the political and legislative policies of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. For her undergraduate degree, she studied Journalism and Dramatic Literature with a minor in history and graduated with honors from New York University.

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