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Karin Williams is veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker with extensive U.S. television credits and wide experience working around the Pacific. She was born in Aotearoa/New Zealand of Pacific Islands heritage, began her career as a reporter on the island of Rarotonga, and then worked for broadcast and cable networks in New Zealand and the United States.
Manuel Hamilton has been involved in tribal government for fifteen years as tribal chairman of the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians. As chairman, Manuel oversaw the formation of an eco-tourism facility still being constructed on the Ramona Indian Reservation. He also served as vice chair for one year, assisting the new leadership in it's transition role. He has been chairman of numerous youth sobriety committees and overseen several gatherings dedicated to the betterment of Indian people.
Dr Shirley Cheechoo is the Founder and President of Weengushk Film Institute located on Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario. Weengushk Film Institute - (WFI) is an artist-focused, film-training centre, dedicated to unlocking the creative potential of Aboriginal Youth and persons of diversity. While developing market leading skills and experiences to its participants, WFI will provide significant value by creating a mentorship network between students engaged in learning and industry professionals. This aim works to fostering skill development through arts training and the creation of access points to decision makers throughout this field.
Patricia Gomes is a full blood P’urepeche Indian from Los Angeles, California. She has produced several award wining shorts and overseen the LA SKINS FEST since it’s inception in 2007. In addition, she has produced several historical projects that address the lack of educational material on Indigenous people. She has recently won a substantial humanities grant for her work and the University of Southern California is seeking to collaborate with her. She also initiated and oversees the SKINS FEST Scholarship fund and youth workshops.
Ian Skorodin graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and began his directing career with an award winning feature film, entitled TUSHKA, based on the murder of a Native American activist’s family. After premiering at Sundance in 1998, TUSHKA went on to win Best Feature at the Arizona International Film Festival and the Spirit Award at the First Nations Film Festival in Chicago. In 2000, TUSHKA was distributed to DirecTV for domestic television distribution and Germany’s Pro Sieben for international audiences.