Quarterly Showcase at Museum of the Moving Image

Image above © Fernando Sandoval, Portrait of Ramy Youssef, at The Roster, held at the Museum of the Moving Image.

The Roster, an initiative funded by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and founded by Ghetto Film School (GFS), the non-profit which educates and develops the next generation of great American storytellers, backed by names like David O. Russell and Lee Daniels, located in the South Bronx, hosted its first event of the year at the Museum of the Moving Image.  This exclusive event featured an exhibit curated by television personality, news commentator, and past president of GlobalGrind.com, Michael Skolnik and filmmaker and actress, Paola Mendoza, showcasing emerging artists spanning a range of creative sectors from digital to documentary, performance, choreography and advertising. The event will also included a performance by Tony- and Obie Award-winning American playwright, actress, and poet, Sarah Jones.

Ghetto Film School (GFS) was founded to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. They demonstrate this commitment to the education-to-industry transition through The Roster, a new network advancing diverse young professionals in New York City’s media and entertainment industries. Members of The Roster have access to exclusive events, curated calendar of activities and job opportunities within the creative sector. Membership is free of charge.


Image above © Fernando Sandoval, Ghetto Film School, in collaboration with the New York City Council, presents, The Roster. Guest curators Paola Mendoza, and Michael Skolnik. A show case of emerging filmmakers and performers.

Based in the South Bronx, New York and MacArthur Park, Los Angeles, Ghetto Film School’s 650 students and alumni are annually engaged in the organization’s programming, always free of charge. In 2009, GFS led a partnership with the NYC Department of Education to open The Cinema School (TCS) in the Bronx, the nation’s first and only film high school offering students a rigorous liberal arts curriculum grounded in creativity. The Fellows Program is an intense, 15-month, after school honors course for TCS juniors and seniors who show incredible potential or skill in different areas of filmmaking. GFS LA, started in 2014 with partners 21st Century Fox and nonprofit Heart of Los Angeles, is a 30-month rigorous immersion in cinematic storytelling for Southern California teens. Ghetto Film School also houses the alumni-run Digital Bodega, a full-service boutique production company.


Image above © Fernando Sandoval, at The Roster, held at the Museum of the Moving Image.

By emphasizing storytelling at the intersection of art, business and education, talented young artists learn the skills necessary to build sustainable careers and live a creative life in the 21st century.

Michael Skolnik began his film career at the age of 20 as Executive Producer of Danny Hoch’s Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop. After his eleven-year, award-winning career as a film director and producer, Skolnik decided to change career paths and follow his true passion: becoming a television personality and news commentator and creating social media campaigns organizing young people to engage and be heard in the political process. Michael recently ended a seven year run as President of GlobalGrind.com, a multi-million dollar news website founded by Russell Simmons, that attracts over 8 million people a month.

Paola Mendoza is a Colombia-born, and LA-raised director, screenwriter and author. A few of her writer/director credits include Entre Nos (Honorable Mention, Tribeca Film Festival), Broken Tail Light (over 10 million views on YouTube), Autumn's Eyes (SXSW) and Z for Zendaya staring Disney superstar Zendaya Coleman. Her first novel, The Ones Who Don’t Stay, was published in Spanish by Penguin Books in 2013.

Sarah Jones is a Tony® and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer. She is perhaps best known to theater audiences for her multi-character, one-person show Bridge & Tunnel(originally produced by Meryl Streep) which became a critically acclaimed hit on Broadway. Sarah’s popular TEDtalks have garnered millions of views online. She is currently performing her new one-woman show, Sell/Buy/Date, in select workshop productions across the US, leading up to the world premiere at MTC in September 2016. Learn more about Sarah on her website http://sarahjonesonline.com/ and you can follow Sarah on Twitter @jonesarah, on Instagram @xosarahjones, and on Facebook at facebook.com/xosarahjones.


Image above © Fernando Sandoval, Portrait of Sophia Dawson, at The Roster, held at the Museum of the Moving Image.


Sophia Dawson is a Brooklyn-based artist and graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art and Performing Arts.  As a teen volunteer, Sophia participated in Groundswell Community Mural Project, a non-profit arts organization.  She subsequently took on a leadership role as a teen joining Groundswell’s team of professional artists.  She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2010 and her Masters degree in Visual Arts Administration from NYU in 2013.  She has participated in group exhibitions in both New York and Los Angeles as well as solo exhibitions at the Corridor Gallery in 2013 and Rush Arts Gallery in 2015.  Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2015 and published in Say it Loud magazine.


Image above © Fernando Sandoval, Portrait of Yara Travieso, at The Roster, held at the Museum of the Moving Image,, at The Roster, held at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Yara Travieso is a stage and film director-choreographer based in NYC. She is a 2016-17 Creative Capital Fellow, PS122 RAMP Artist, Vizcaya Museum Lost Spaces Fellow, and a 2015 recipient of NALAC through the Ford Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. While at the Juilliard School (dance BFA) she experimented with cinema and new forms of storytelling. Her films and productions have premiered with NYC’s Lincoln Center, BRIC Arts Media House, STREB, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Juilliard and The New World Symphony Center. Travieso has directed original short films for Hermes of Paris, Glamour and GQ, and is the recipient of an individual artist sponsorship from Kodak Films 2010.

Alcee Walker grew up in West Palm Beach, FL and attended St. Lawrence University in NY where he graduated with a B.A in Communications, Film Studies and Education. He graduated with an MFA in 2014 from SVA’s Social Documentary Program. His experience as a youth motivational speaker and passion for writing and film, led him to write his first book in 2009:  Hope I Make It Before Ya’ll Take It which was based off his personal life & growth. His second book, The Substitute #8, (2012) illustrates his experience helping the younger generation by bringing positive light, influence and hope for kids all over.  

Ramy Youssef is an actor and comedian from New Jersey. He currently stars in the Nick at Nite sitcom, See Dad Run, alongside Scott Baio and Mark Curry. He is half of the award-winning NYC sketch duo, Inside Joke Films, who have been official selections at the Chicago, San Francisco, and New York Sketch Comedy Festivals.

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