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© 2016 · Riverment :: KōKōnalitē Production.

Shayla Racquel (Writer/Director)

Government employee by day and filmmaker by night, Shayla Racquel is the quintessential creative, born and raised in the South but currently living in the city. She believes she gained her creative entrepreneurial spirit from her grandparents Joseph & Evelyn Thompson, both owning thriving Black businesses in Columbia, South Carolina. Diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease at birth and having a stroke at the young age of 12, her childhood battle with the disease is what brought her closer to the art of storytelling and the love of filmmaking.

Shayla Racquel is the Creator of the award-winning webseries “Quarter Century,” a narrative series following a group of post-grads who are trying to figure out what it means to be “grown.” The series has two seasons under its belt –  the first set in the eclectic city of Washington, D.C. and the second taking place in the heart of New York. In 2015, Shayla Racquel wrote, directed, and edited a short film titled “Life’s Checklist.” which follows two young adults as they question if they’re getting married for love, or for the sheer reason that marriage is one of life’s goals to complete. The short film was an official selection at seven film festivals and has won five awards, including Phenomenal Women In Film – Best Short Film.

Shayla Racquel bleeds orange & green, holding a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from the illustrious Florida A&M University. Felicific vibe with a unique appreciation for life, you will know Shayla Racquel when she greets you with “Smiles are contagious so get sick!” More information on Shayla Racquel’s various film projects can be found on www.shaylaracquel.com.

Mitra Arthur (Producer)

Mitra I. Arthur is a native of both Upper Marlboro, MD and Columbia, SC. Mitra has a background in Performing Arts Management & Education, Event Producing, Grant Writing, and various Theatre Arts areas including Performance, Dramaturgy, and Stage Management after time with various theatre companies, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Capital Jazz Productions. Mitra received her Bachelors of Arts in English and Music from Columbia College, SC.

Lindsey Sitz (Producer)

Lindsey currently works as a scriptwriter and production coordinator at production companies in DC (WILL Interactive & Fluent Visual). As an aspiring writer, she can not wait to help bring this important and extremely relevant story to life with Shayla at the helm of the ship. In her free time, she recounts embarrassing stories on the web, shamelessly endorses sweatpants as an acceptable form of outfit-ry, and enjoys an occasional glass of House Red.

Xavier D'Leau (Associate Producer)

X. D. is a blogger, social commentator, and digital content creator from New York City by way of the San Francisco Bay Area. X. D. takes his social commentary to his podcast “Jade & X.D.” on iTunes. On the business front, X. D. has owns his own Digital Creative Services agency under The X. D. Experience umbrella and represents some of the leading entities on the web. He recently sat as producer of the My True Colors Art & Film Festival featured in New York City. X. D. also presented at TEDxPSU as a featured speaker for the 2015 Push To Start Conference at Penn State University. D’Leau executive produced the award-winning web-series Quarter Century in it’s second season. He’s also been featured on TheRoot.com, The Grio, Mused Magazine and panels such as the infamous BasseyWorldLive founded by Def Poet, Bassey Ikpi and the National Urban League. You can find his work at xavierdleau.com

Ross Godwin (Director of Photography)

Ross Godwin is an award-winning filmmaker from Washington, DC, and an MFA graduate of American University. A writer, director, and cinematographer, Ross has worked on a variety of different projects across genres and across the globe; from Alaska, to Czech Republic, from Mexico to the Isle of Saba, and everywhere in between. His directorial debut, What You Sow, went on to win best student short at the Indie Gathering Film festival, while other projects, such as Forgotten River and Stow Away were official selections at the Environmental Film Festival and Escape Velocity respectively. His most recent film, 9 Seconds, is nearing completion and is expected to premier in the summer of 2016. Ross and Shayla teamed up most recently in 2015 on the award winning film, Life’s Checklist. The two team up again for the much anticipated civil rights inspired film, Riverment.

Jay Sweet (Editor)

Jay Sweet is a filmmaker hailing from Chicago, IL. In 2012, Jay graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications. He is a former commercial producer at ABC 27 in Tallahassee, Fl. He produced his first short film “Chain Music” in 2014. He currently resides in Nashville as a producer for his film company Take Heed Films. His latest work can be found on iamjsweet.com.

Corey Townsend (Social Media Manager)

Corey Townsend is a social media strategist with years of experience in brand development. With a passion for auspicious connections, he’s employed himself with major brands and have fostered results in every facet of his work. He’s worked for Save The Children, Girl Scouts of the USA and countless others. He is also a freelance writer for Very Smart Brothas, The Root, and Blavity. His work can be found on jarriebradshaw.com.