Constance Ejuma (Ara)
Constance was born in Cameroon and raised in the US. She began acting as a teenager and went on to study theater at the University of Toronto in Canada. She later attended Leicester University in the UK where she received a master’s degree in Mass Communications. After completing her studies, she spent a brief time in the Washington, DC theatre community doing plays like The Emperor Jones and Death & The King’s Horseman before making the move to Los Angeles to further her training and advance her career.
Constance’s fascination with storytelling began at a very young age in her native Cameroon with exposure to Bollywood films. She’d spend hours in front of the television screen, mesmerized by the spectacle, singing and dancing; completely undeterred by the fact that rarely were these epic Hindi films accompanied by subtitles. It was through this experience that she came to understand the universality of stories and how storytelling can transcend barriers like language and culture.
In 2001 while still a student at the University of Toronto School of Drama, she was cast in the Canadian premiere of renowned Nigerian playwright and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s Madmen and Specialists. Years later, she was directed by Soyinka himself in a staged reading of his epic poem Samarkand alongside CCH Pounder and Danny Glover. In 2012, she starred in a play called Carry the World: Women and Peace opposite Academy Award Nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo. Constance’s television credits include a recurring role on TNT’s Proof (2015), and guest starring roles in notable shows like Monk (2009), 24 (2009), Southland (2011), and Eagleheart (2012).
Joseph Baird (Ben)
Joseph was born in Oklahoma City as the youngest of 5 kids. Bugs Bunny cartoons and I Love Lucy episodes sparked his interest in acting, and once his parents took notice, he was enrolled in a drama after school program. He stayed with it through most of his early years but left it completely in college for a new love, Archaeology, which took him to Italy, Israel, and Cairo for many adventures. The pursuit of acting was always in the back of his mind but not quite having the ‘chutzpa’ to go out and pursue acting as a career, he went to grad school in the one city that would make that experience enjoyable, Miami.
During his last year in school the death of a fellow student woke him up. Realizing how precious life was, he summoned the courage to move to Los Angeles after graduation. He started doing plays and indie films and eventually, one role led to another. Joe’s career took some leaps, and in 2012 a short-film he was cast in called The Percipient premiered at the Cannes Festival. His latest credits include guest stars on the CBS shows Criminal Minds (2014) & Scorpion(2014), a leading role in a UK film entitled Capsule(2015), a leading role in Ben & Ara (2015) which he wrote and produced, and a supporting role in King Cobra (2016) starring James Franco and directed by Justin Kelly.
Samone is the CEO of Wonder Worthy Productions®, LLC which creates high-quality film, television, and new media projects for the viewing audience. Working worldwide with established and innovative creative talents, Wonder Worthy Productions crafts every project into an exceptional piece of art that withstands the test of time. As its name implies, Wonder Worthy Productions seeks to produce high quality projects that exceed the expectations of its clients, partners, customers, and viewing public. Other films Samone has produced include A Promise (2014), The Percipient (2012), Kid's Inspire (2015) and My Brother’s Keeper (2016).
Nnegest is passionate filmmaker with 10 years experience working as a professional writer/director in Hollywood. Early in her career, she caught the attention of a top Hollywood film producer who optioned one of her screenplays after reading it. The film was never produced, but Nnegest took his interest in her script as a sign to keep writing.
Nnegest continued her climb up the industry ladder when she was courted to go work for reality genre pioneers, Renegade 83/Gold Coast Entertainment as a segment producer on their popular, hit reality series, Blind Date. Pursuing her passion for “talk” and advice-giving, Nnegest created, produced and co-hosted her own talk show, The Trace and Negest Show which aired in Los Angeles for 3 years. Recognizing her talents behind and in front of the camera, Renegade 83/Gold Coast picked up the show for production and it was sold to Lifetime Network.
Expanding her experience in the entertainment industry, the internationally distributed feature film, Phat Girlz by Fox Studios, starring Academy Award winner, Mo’Nique marked Nnegest’s feature film debut. As the Writer and Director of the film, Nnegest had the opportunity to learn every aspect of studio filmmaking, from casting to all stages of pre through post-production and marketing. After Phat Girlz, Nnegest took time off from the industry to travel abroad. While doing so, she was able to network with international television and film producers and began freelance work, writing, directing, producing and consulting in Europe and Africa.
Nnegest is currently in post-production on her 3rd feature film, Everything But A Man, starring Monica Calhoun (The Best Man franchise), Camille Winbush (The Bernie Mac Show), and Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes, Joy).
Q’ORIANKA KILCHER (Gabrielle)
Q’Orianka emerged on the world stage at the age of 14 with her portrayal of Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's The New World. Her performance won her the National Board of Review’s best breakthrough performance of 2006, the 2006 Alma Award for best Latin American actress in a feature film, a Critic’s Choice Award nomination, as well as numerous others.
As an actress, she has starred in other critically acclaimed film such as Princess Kaiulani, Shouting Secrets and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. TV appearances include Sons of Anarchy, Neverland, The Killing, and Longmire. A well-rounded artist, Q’Orianka is also a dancer, singer and lyricist.
Q’Orianka is a committed human rights and environmental activist, using her voice as tool to bring the need for universal dignity, compassion, justice and basic Human Rights, to the attention of the international community. She lends her celebrity, voice and energy as spokeswoman, collaborator and supporter to several international and national N.G.O.s and organizations such as Amazon Watch, Amnesty International, and Save America's Forests, to name just a few. Q'orianka is also frequently volunteering her time reading Howard Zinn’s The People Speak at various open to the community staged readings, and just joined the ensemble cast for the first People Speak Film Series (Starring Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, David Strathairn).
Michael Chieffo (Professor Hayes)
Michael has been an actor for over three decades, was born and raised in New York where he studied acting at The Juilliard School. His credits include working with renowned directors Barry Levinson on Disclosure, Tony Scott on Crimson Tide, Lawrence Kasden on I Love You To Death, Harold Becker on Mercury Rising, Mike Mills on Beginners as well as perhaps his favorite with Curtis Hanson playing the coroner in L.A. Confidential, to name a few.
A sampling of television shows Michael has guest starred on are: Mad Men, The Closer, The Mentalist, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Bones as well as West Wing, Boston Legal, CSI, Roswell and a particular fan favorite, The X-Files as the deranged Carl Wade. Favorite roles include playing the great Art Carney opposite Brad Garrett's Jackie Gleason in the CBS movie Gleason and playing Dave Madden/Reuben Kincaid in Come On Get Happy, The Partridge Family Story on ABC.
Most recently Michael has completed principal photography of the starring role of Curtis an extremely social phobic man in the Independent Feature Unreal Estate, directed by Todd Malkin and Nick Huntington. Unreal Estate has premiered at the IFS Film Festival and was honored with Best Dramatic Feature Film award.
Akuyoe Graham (Quismah)
Akuyoe is an award-winning actress, author, and educator. She possesses an extraordinary gift – the ability to sit with society’s outcasts and rapidly guide them to a life-changing experience of their own Beauty of Being.
Akuyoe’s personal encounter with her transcendent inner beauty was the culmination of a life-long journey, which she re-enacts in her highly acclaimed one-woman play, Spirit Awakening. She takes audiences on her odyssey of self-discovery – from tribal princess in her native Ghana, to British schoolgirl, to socialite-wannabe in New York, and finally back to her original African heritage and deeper spiritual Self. Whether in a prison classroom with a dozen inmates – or on stage before hundreds of students or regular playgoers – Akuyoe’s archetypal journey electrifies audiences and inspires them to look beneath their own social masks to their unchanging inner essence.
Akuyoe is the author of the best-selling book, “The Little Book of Transformation/7 days to a brand new you,” and can be seen in the films Switchboard, Faith and Dreams, The Good Wifey; American Pie, and Danika. As host for The Africa Channel, Akuyoe has interviewed President Dramani Mahama, acclaimed author Christopher Abani and film star Akosua Busia amongst others. She has been in numerous television shows and commercials and is currently working on bringing Spirit Awakening to the big screen.
William Mark McCollough (Manny)
William is an actor, director producer and native of Savannah, Georgia. He holds a B.A. in theater and political theory from Mercer University and a J.D. from American University. Prior to starting Fort Argyle Films, Mark worked as a staff member for a US Senator on Capitol Hill and later as an Assistant District Attorney in the prosecutor's office featured in Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil.
Mark has worked in theater, film and television and acted alongside Kate Beckinsale in The Trials of Kate McCall, Art LaFleur in Midnight Mover and Tom Cruise in Mena. Aside from filmmaking, Mark's other passion is traveling. He has backpacked through 17 countries, including Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Cuba and Nicaragua. And he has explored the back roads of 30 states on his motorcycle.
Mohamed Dione III (Najeeb)
Mohamed is a model, actor and filmmaker of Guinean and Senegalese descent. Before reaching high school, he had already seen a great deal of the world. While doing plays in elementary school on Roosevelt Island, he realized that acting was what his true passion. He has since been featured in plays, TV shows, commercials, music videos, student films, independent films, and feature films. Some of his credits are Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Across the Universe, Notorious, and Restless City which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. He has also posed for paintings by Afro-American painter Kehinde Wiley.
Frequent travel is a way of life for Mohamed. He is bi-coastal; living in Los Angeles and New York. He co-owns T-shirt Company, AxiologyTees.com, as well as Caramel Cappuccino films, a production company that produces films which articulate relevant issues of life and relationships in under-served or under-acknowledged communities. He enjoys horseback riding, opera, Congolese soukous, sports, and anything that has to do with cinema.
Emily Saliers (Andrea)
Emily was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Atlanta with her family while in elementary school. Like her fellow Indigo Girl Amy Ray, Emily began playing guitar at an early age. Although they had known each other for several years, Emily and Amy did not begin playing together until high school; their partnership has lasted until the present day. Amy and Emily adopted the name "Indigo Girls" in 1985. They were signed to Epic Records in 1988 and their major albums to date are: "Strange Fire" (independently released in 1987 and re-released by Epic in 1989), "Indigo Girls" (1989), "Nomads*Indians*Saints" (1990), "Rites of Passage" (1992), "Swamp Ophelia" (1994), "1200 Curfews" (1995) and "Shaming of the Sun" (1997) and their new album “One Lost Day” (2015). The album "Indigo Girls" won the Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary Folk Recording" in 1989. Indigo Girls appear in the movie Boys on the Side as a bar band in Tucson, Arizona.