Festival Director - Michelle “Andrea Meshel” Smith, a native of Kingston Jamaica, started her career as a filmmaker in 2008 with a documentary entitled “I Wanna Be President.” Michelle “Andrea Meshel” Smith has written directed and produced several projects over the last eight years, including three short films “Descent,” “Alone,” and “Necrophilia.” She also co-produced the web series “Real Life.” In addition to producing, Michelle “Andrea Meshel” Smith has acted in numerous film and theatrical productions throughout the country. She is committed to portraying positive images of African people.
Michelle “Andrea Meshel” Smith loves and appreciates the power entertainment has to impact the lives of people around the globe. Along with Smith’s passion for the arts in its various forms, Smith has always been a strong proponent for Social Justice. She started the Central Baptist Church Social Justice Ministry and initiated a rights of passage program for the young congregants. The Pembroke Taparelli Arts and Film Festival is Smith coupling of her love for the arts and her passion for social justice. She wanted to take action and provide a platform for those “Artivists” (artist and activist) who seek to use their artistic voice for social change.
Smith’s festival experience was honed during her stint as Programmer for the inaugural Diaspora program for the Hollywood Black Film Festival in 2013. Michelle “Andrea Meshel” Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Adelphi University, and a Juris Doctorate from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Business Affairs and Legal - Vical R. Peterson is a graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law and earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Arizona. Ms. Peterson began her career providing counsel to senior management on employment issues at Pactiv Corporation and subsequently transitioned to a position in media at TV One. She has always had an interest in promoting artistic endeavors, which includes being a member of the California Lawyers for the Arts. To this end, Ms. Peterson has provided legal counsel for nonprofit arts organizations, musicians, managers and producers.
The Pembroke Taparelli Arts and Film Festival is important for artivists because it gives them the opportunity to showcase their work in a setting designed to promote the issues they are passionate about. The social justice issues most important to Ms. Peterson are those relating to and promoting equality for those facing discrimination.
Ronald Jackson - Digital Media Analyst - Ronald Jackson is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with B.A. degree in Psychology.
His primary professional experience is as a Financial Analyst building financial models for environmental remediation, antitrust, acquisitions and asset valuation reports. A long-standing interest in design and technology has lead him to digital media analytics where identifying, analyzing and presenting data can enhance problem solving and decision making.
A Los Angeles resident, Mr. Jackson enjoys music, art, biking, hiking, beaches, and sports.
New York Outreach and Co-Events Coordinator Deirdre Fisher-Kemp, works as a Project Manager at New York State Affordable Housing Corporation. Deirdre is also a Minister at New Light Baptist Church, where she also serves as Director of the Social Justice Ministry. Deirdre takes an avid interest in service and volunteers for several organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, Gods Love we Deliver and NYC Relief Bus. In addition to her volunteer work Deirdre serves as an Ambassador and Faith-based Coordinator and is an AIDS advocate. Deirdre is a supporter and lover of the arts, which brings her to joining the PTAFF team as our New York Outreach Coordinator. Deirdre is excited to be a part of the Pembroke Taparellli Arts and Film Festival.
Co-Director of Programming Latoya “Rozanne” Vereen is an award-winning film director and producer from Jamaica. She holds a BFA from theÉcole Internationale de Création Audiovisuelle et de Réalisation, (EICAR), France, where she majored in Directing and Producing.
Upon completing her studies in 2011, Rozanne returned to Jamaica where she operated her production company, Nouvelle Vague Images. Through her company, she directed and produced several commercials and documentaries for both local and international clients. Some of her clients include National Commercial Bank, Advantage General Insurance Company, Lullabye Baby Diapers, Western Union and Zone 3 Productions (Quebec), to name a few.
In 2012, her company collaborated with NovaProductions, one of the biggest production houses in France, to co-produce and direct the feature documentary, “Biga Ranx En Jamaїque”, which chronicles French Reggae artiste, Biga Ranx's journey around Kingston, Jamaica to find if playing reggae is something exclusively Jamaican. The documentary was broadcasted extensively by France Ô Television Station. In 2015 Rozanne won the American Silver Addy Award for best public campaign for the commercial Alive, Ministry of National Security and Justice.
Rozanne has lectured at the University of the West Indies as well as designed the directing and producing course outlines for the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (Carimac) Jamaica.
Other works to her credit include documentarian for the Puma-sponsored, One People documentary, produced by Justine Henzell, which was partly shot in Ghana, Africa.
Rozanne now resides in Los Angeles where is currently working on her feature film and is one of the programming directors for the Pembroke Taperelli Arts and Film Festival (PTAFF).
Co-Director of Marketing Oscar Armando is a Salvadoran American writer, producer, director, and entrepreneur who believes in empowering artists with the resources and tools necessary to "make gold."
Oscar is better known as "The Golden Boy" among his peers due to the significance of his name in the motion picture industry and his "heart of gold." His philosophy is to "always see the gold in everyone" and "keep digging until you find what you seek, not only in people, but in yourself and in life."
Unknowingly picking up where his father left off, Oscar's curious and creative spirit led him to pick up a camera at the age of six. On Christmas Eve 2016, Oscar reconnected with his absent father after so many years and discovered that he had been a filmmaker as well.
His resiliency, determined mindset, and passion for visual storytelling has allowed him to create beautiful relationships in the world of entertainment and collaborate on award-winning projects with filmmakers, entertainers, celebrities, and musicians.
Oscar has helped film festivals such as L.A. Film Independent, HollyShorts, and SPIFFest create unforgettable experiences. We are super excited to have him on board.
Co-Director of Marketing Blu Lindsey is an American filmmaker, entrepreneur, and producer. Since the end of Blu Lindsey’s enlistment he has worked hard to be known amongst his peers as a funny, reliable, and positive ball of energy.
You can find Blu playing Eazy-E's brother in the box office film entitled “Straight Outta Compton” Directed by F. Gary Gray. From stand up at the World Famous Comedy Store to booking the lead role in the sitcom pilot “Tracy and Rhonda”, some might say he hit the ground running. Blu is a proud veteran and loves to give back as seen on his YouTube channel with Blu’s grind and from his own mouth. Blu just loves to work and we're more than happy to have him on board.
Assistant Coordinator Melodi Gulsen graduated from the University of California, Fullerton with a B.A. in Communications: Entertainment and Tourism in 2015. Coming from an extensive background in Music Performance and Creative Assisting in the industry, she has spent the past two years shifting gears into the field of film. Since graduating, she has worked for an educational, acting-based web series as the head Production Manager, Social Media Director and Wardrobe Stylist, as well as, a Personal Assistant to a world-renowned painter in Venice, CA. During Melodi’s final semester in college, she discovered a love for film and television production and screenwriting. Thus far, she has completed scripts for a full episodic pilot and a short film. This year, she has been enjoying volunteering for various film festivals and events in Los Angeles and is thrilled to be a part of the PTAFF Team as Michelle’s right-hand Assistant coordinator.