The Rhode Island Black Film Festival gives a voice to diverse cultures. We welcome the Black, Afro-Caribbean and Latin both local and worldwide. With a varied lineup of narrative, documentary, feature and films. The Rhode Island Black Film Festival features emerging filmmakers, actors and film industry insiders sharing their passion for the artistry of cinema. Our mission is also to be a platform for increasing participation/presence of Black and other children of color minority youth in Rhode Island’s film production industry. We create opportunities for individuals at all stages of their life to enjoy the medium of film.

Ann Clanton Photo

Ann-Allison Clanton

Festival Founder and Manager Director

Ann was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Ann established the Rhode Island Black FIlm Festival in 2017. Childhood experiences of sitting on the beach in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts watching the film Jaws being filmed and working with the film production team of the documentary Traces of the Trade: Stories from the Deep North inspired the establishment of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival. Ann Clanton is the Founder and Manager Director of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival. Ann oversees the public programming and external partnerships. Going into the Festival’s 7th edition, she is responsible for guiding and overseeing the Festival’s overall vision and strategy while collaborating with the Board of Directors, our Beyond the Lens Academy institution of higher education and leadership team to further the Film Festival’s artistic and community impact.

Prior to starting the Fim Festival, Ann worked with the Traces of the Trade Documentary film team to set up community discussions on the modern day effects of slavery throughout New England including the Oak Bluffs Library in Martha’s Vineyard, and at Brown University in Providence. Ann also participates in the film festival circuit as a panelist and juror.

Additionally, she has worked extensively as a marketing and PR consultant for several nonprofits, contributing reporters for RINewsToday.com and other print and online publications. Ann has interviewed notable figures including former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young,philosopher and political activist, Cornel West, and covered VIce President Kamala Harris’ visit to Rhode Island in 2021. Ann is a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists, an affiliate of the National Association of Black Journalists. Ann has served on the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She currently serves on the Rhode Island Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Holiday Commission and Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island Board of Directors.

TYLER SHATFORD PHOTO - Program Coordinator

Tyler Shatford

RIBFF Program Coordinator

During his  academic journey as a marketing major at Johnson & Wales, Tyler developed a solid foundation in marketing principles, consumer behavior, and strategic marketing management. He honed his skills in various aspects of marketing, including market research, digital marketing, social media management, and brand development. His coursework has provided him with a comprehensive understanding of marketing trends and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.

What sets Tyler apart is his practical experience in marketing, which was gained through internships and part-time roles. At SealMaster he  was able to develop an email marketing campaign that had an open rate of over 35%. He was also responsible for creating all content that was posted on social media. Tyler considers himself  fortunate enough to have gained hands-on experience and a deep appreciation for the importance of data-driven decision-making in marketing strategy.



Rose Albert earned a BA in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in French at Salve and graduated from the School for International Training’s Graduate Institute with an MA in Intercultural Service and Leadership Management.

She holds a Masters from the School for International Training and a Bachelors of Science from Salve Regina University.

Rose is currently the Associate Director of the Multicultural Programs and Retention Office at Salve Regina University. In her current role, Rose advises the Multicultural Student Organization (MSO) and the Black Student Union (BSU). Rose Albert is a motivated and determined leader whose passion lies in the heart of service leadership, social justice, and community building. As a proud Haitian, Rose remains engaged with her country through her role as the President of a primary school in Haiti. L’Ecole Notre Dame de Fatima-Anbas-Morne, Jacmel is a school that the family built and opened in October 2008. The school focuses on furthering the students’ critical and analytical skills to become lifelong learners and further their participation as members of the global society. Rose is currently an alumna of the New Leaders Council 2021 Fellow in the Rhode Island Chapter. A graduate of the Institute for Nonprofit program in 2022, and an alumna of the inaugural class of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Equity Leadership Initiative.


Kamilah A'Vant

Kamilah A’Vant is Assistant Dean of   Justice  Equity Diversity  & Inclusion at the University of Rhode Island ​  She is Ex-officio on the A&S Equity and Anti-Racism Committee and supports College anti-racism activities and events. Kamilah is also a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker for the RISE JOURNEY in New York City.  Kamilah comes out of the media and communications arena having worked for Color Magazine, a Bridgetower Media Company creating diversity programming and partnerships with Boston area colleges and universities. Kamilah is the President of NAMIC ( NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR MULTI-ETHNICITY IN COMMUNICATIONS (NAMIC) New-England and member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists. She serves on the RI PBS Foundation Board of Directors,


Ariel Castillio

Ariel Castillio is owner of AIJ Media Labs and employed as a videographer for the Providence School Department Communications office. Ariel is a multimedia professional specializing in video production. Under AIJ he works with film productions, concert production teams and individual clients to assist them with branding and messaging.

JOnathon Clancy

Jonathon Clancy

Blending aspects of land, sea, and sky, Jonathan Clancy creates eye catching imagery that stirs imagination.

A third-generation photographer, Jonathan began his career shooting and writing for a slew of surf & lifestyle publications. In ten years he has had the privilege to work with some of the finest Rhode Island architects, designers, and restaurants. He has also been blessed with the opportunity to work with Grammy Award winning artists, legendary boat builders, international marketing tycoons, and some of the most interestingly ordinary humans this small world has to offer up. 

In 2016 he earned a New England Regional Press Association award for his journalistic endeavors.  

Inspired by the birth of his daughter, Evelyn, that same year he returned to his roots in photographic abstraction. The resulting “Cloudbreak” series blurred the line between dreams and reality, depicting coastal scenes reflected by the clouds in the sky.

Clancy continues to push the boundaries with his photography, paying close attention to lines, colors, and shape.


Ron Crosson

Ron Crosson is the Executive Director of Urban Ventures of Rhode Island. Urban Ventures of Rhode
Island assists entrepreneurs and micro-businesses expand their business and implement entrepreneur
ideas. Ron is also the Executive Director of the Providence Latin American Film Festival. He serves on
the Board of Directors for the Providence Housing Authority and is Vice President of the Southside
Cultural Center of Rhode Island. Ron has been in front of the camera as an actor in La Guagua: Door to
Door and stage productions at Brown University’s Rites and Reason Theater. Ron holds a Bachelor of
Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Alberto Genao Photo

Alberto Genao

Albert Genao has directed over a hundred  music, promotional, corporate videos, and short films.,as the principal owner of GENAO Films. Experienced in Pre Production and Post Production, Alberto works  with large production companies and small crews, Currently he is the Director of LatinxCine for Rhode Island Latino Arts, Alberto oversees, mentorship opportunities for future videographers and facilitates video production training.

Prior to working with LatinX Alberto worked for Terrero Digital. Alberto is experienced at visual storytelling and is part of Rhode Island’s emerging Latino Film Production community. Alberto is a presenter for the  Beyond the Lens Academy



Monique Peoples Graham, born and raised in Los Angeles, San Diego, Pasadena, California & later Massachusetts, moved to Newport RI in 2017 to help support her home salon FrankAntonio, established in 2009. She joined the Bike Newport board to help make it easier for more people to choose biking to get around Newport, as she does. She’s been a force behind local Black Lives Matter efforts, but many know Monique as a stylist at Frank Antonio Hair & Makeup in Newport, on tv/film sets and as a board member with RIBFF Rhode Island black film festival, as a volunteer at Newport’s MLK Community Center. However, she’s also mom to Jacob 9, fur Mom to Ella & Peanut, turtle mom to Bella, a yoga enthusiast, a life long learner, a voracious reader, and a published singer/songwriter as 1/4th of the Motown recording artist in the 90s girl group “Shades.”


Leshia Ivy

LESHIA IVY is a Registered Nurse (RN)  and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Leshia has an extensive background in nursing, hospice care, and children’s wellness. Leshia is a holistic wellness. As a Holistic Health Coach Leshia works with clients in the Aquidneck Island community to address their health issues based upon their diet, approach to lifestyle, and fitness changes in order to help them achieve their health goals. Alisha is the mother of three, Her Son, Jayden was a participant in our inaugural Beyond the Lens Academy. Leshia is an army brat who moved to the Newport Rhode Island area after her father was transferred to the U.S. Naval base in Newport.

Fredrick Lewis

Fredrick Lewis

Frederick Lewis is a Professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University, and a documentary filmmaker whose work has been seen on PBS stations throughout the U.S. and screened at more than 100 cultural/educational venues, including the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. He teaches courses in Contemporary American Documentary, and International Documentary Studies, and is a recipient of the Presidential Teacher Award, Ohio University’s highest honor for transformative teaching, curriculum innovation and mentoring. Originally from Taunton, Massachusetts, and a Rhode Island resident for 18 years, Professor Lewis has also taught at Boston University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Internationally he has been a Fulbright Specialist in Hungary and taught or conducted workshops in England, Germany, France, Ukraine, Romania, Malaysia and Vietnam.


DON MAYS is an Independent Filmmaker (Writer/Director/Photographer)
known for his films Box Preacher (2004) and God Talks to an Agnostic (2021).
Don established AFRI Productions, a film/video production company that specializes in
working with non-profits focusing on youth development and social issues. I also do
consulting work around the issues of program, staff, organizational development with
nonprofits, schools and state agencies.I own/operate a film/video production company
that specializes in working with non-profits focusing on youth development and social
issues. I also do consulting work around the issues of program, staff, organizational
development with nonprofits, schools and state agencies. Don has a Bachelor of Fine
Arts from Drake University and a Certificate in Classical Theater from the National
Shakespeare Conservatory.



Kendall Moore, PhD, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a Professor in the departments of Journalism and Film Media at the University of Rhode Island. Before joining the faculty at URI in 2003, she worked as a television journalist focusing on medical, health, race, and environmental issues. Moore has produced numerous independent documentaries that have aired on PBS and in various film festivals including Charm City (1996), Song in the Crisis (2004), Sovereign Nation/Sovereign Neighbor (2006), The Good Radical (2009), Sick Building (2014) and Jalen and Joanna: A Lead Paint Story (2017). She is also the director of the “Can We Talk? Difficult Conversations with Underrepresented People of Color” series.

Moore has also written and directed fiction and experimental films, including Philosophy of the Encounter (PoE) (67 min), about a college student’s journey to understand her racial identity. PoE premiered at the Arusha International Film Festival (Best Feature) in the Caribbean, and the Black International Film Festival in Nashville in October 2016.

She has received several grants and awards for her work, including two Fulbright Scholar Awards: Tanzania (2001) and Jamaica (Specialist, 2004); The Rhode Island Film Fellowship for Outstanding Filmmaking (2007); and, the recipient of two Metcalf Awards for excellence in journalism in 2015 and 2017. In 2018, she received an NAACP award for excellence in documentary filmmaking for Jalen and Joanna: A Lead Paint Story. In 2020, she received NSF funding for her film project focusing on various efforts to decolonize science, which she is focusing on as a Fellow at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab (2020-2021). In 2020, she was honored to receive the Faculty Excellence Award for Diversity at the University of Rhode Island. And in 2021-2022, Moore was selected to be one of 10 faculty members to serve as a mentor in the Mellon Faculty of Color Working group as a mentor.

She serves on the board of Story in the Public Square, the Rhode Island Black Film Festival, is a mentor for the She serves on the board of Story in the Public Square, the Rhode Island Black Film Festival, is a mentor for the Mellon Faculty of Color Working Group for the New England Humanities Council, She earned her B.A. from Syracuse University in Latin American Studies and an M.A. in Media Studies and documentary film from The New School for Social Research. Her PhD, which she completed at the European Graduate School for Media and Communication, focuses on black aesthetics, metaphysical philosophy.



Edwin Rubio is a freelance Cinematographer and Camera operator. He is an experienced Director of Photography for commercial videos, short films, documentaries, and feature films.

Edwin is a member of IATSE local union 481. For the last 15 years Ediw and a Motion Picture Association Lighting Technician. Edwin has worked on numerous film productions including the Groundskeeper, Hocus Pocus 2, and most recently Good Burger 2.

Edwin is a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Alberto Genao Photo

Christopher Westgate

Chris Westgate is a media scholar whose research program includes Latine media, popular music, and social identities. His articles have been published in Popular Music & Society; Media, Culture & Society; and 12 other peer-reviewed books and journals. In addition, Chris has presented at 30 international conferences. He is currently a Media & Communication Studies professor, a DEIB fellow, and a program co-director at Johnson & Wales University in Providence. Prior to this position, Chris taught at SUNY Oneonta and Texas A&M University. He holds a BS from Cornell University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from Texas A&M University. Chris has more than a decade of experience in the radio industry, having served as a vice president, news director, training director, production director, and disc jockey for six nonprofit and commercial stations. He also sits on the board of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the Center for Spiritual Living South Coast Massachusetts Teaching Chapter, and the Holmes Institute. On the weekends, Chris enjoys reading, writing, cooking, hiking, kayaking, cycling, swimming, working out, meditating, practicing yoga, traveling, attending music concerts, watching films, and spending time with family & friends.