I am the Co-Founder and Director of Production for Black Belt Productions Inc. I have been in the film industry for over 13 years as a Producer, Director, and Director of Photography. Along the way I have educated underserved youth with the skills to work in the film and video industry. I take pleasure in collaborating and making people feel a part of the process/project whilst making their creativity come to life. On top of running my own video production company, I enjoy doing activities such as: playing sports, photography, and making the perfect cup of espresso/latte.
Carlie Howell (she/her/they/them)
I am a musician, composer, media artist and educator. I compose both lyric and instrumental music, and create accompanying visuals such as video art, graphic novel, choreography or interactive installations. As a performer, I love working with composers and singer-songwriters to interpret their music, and I enjoy touring internationally and the new artists I get to meet and cultures I get to experience. As an educator, I strive to provide frameworks within which my students’ thoughts, emotions and personalities can shine. From individual video poems to group soundscapes and animations to multi-class compositions and recordings, I never cease to be amazed at what they come up with! In all that I do, I seek to create physical and emotionally safe spaces where all can learn with ease and thrive creatively.
Shelley MacDonald (she/her)
I am an award winning performing artist, filmmaker and artist educator who is of Mi’kmaw( Ugpi’Ganjig,” Eel River New Brunswick) and Scottish Ancestry. I have spent the last 25 years working across Turtle Island collaborating with different school districts, universities, artists, Elders, television networks, film productions and community organizations both in person and virtually. I am passionate about creating meaningful arts and culture experiences that focus on social justice issues to help create systemic change. I believe that the arts are a way of bringing people together and a bridge to reconciling our shared history to create a brighter future for all. Since arriving here in Nova Scotia, I have continued on this path of Reconcili-ACTION through the Arts. I co-directed the film Nutuwiek? Can You Hear Us? and designed a decolonized collaboration rehearsal process for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s 2021 Youth Choir with conductor Christina Murray. Christina and I also co-directed Phase 1 of Ki’kwa’ju, A reimagining of Prokofiev’s Peter and The Wolf for The Fountain School, Dalhousie University in collaboration with local Mi’kmaw artists and Elders. I will be directing the film version for stage two in July 2022.
Michael O’Connell (he/they)
For the past 20 years, I have collaborated and innovated as an Artist Educator in classrooms and among communities of young people living on the margins. I love to co-create brave spaces that explore Identity, Anti-Oppression, and STEAM curriculums through music, movement and videography. Equipped with an ever evolving repertoire of upbeat and inclusive activities, I work to center the voices and leadership of young people in the creative process. I also tour and release music internationally under the artist name, Culture Reject.