2022-2024 WiFT Board Members
Shameka was born in New Orleans, La. She is a trained actress, having studied theater at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La and later finished her studies in acting and producing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Ca. While in San Francisco she performed onstage in The Black Nativity at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. She is known for her role inThe Giant’s Fairy which has won Best Picture at the 48hr Film Festival and screened at the Southern Screen Film Festival. She was also a part of the films Stay Woke; Iris; Liar, Liar Pants On Fire and Sugar, Alienated, Murderous Affairs (TV Series), Ink Red Dead Redemption II (Video Game) and Silence is Compliance.
Keota is an award winning actress, dancer, poet, singer, and pianist. She has worked in film since July 2010. Keota has earned a leading role in the short film Ripe Figs and Dr. Chevalier's Lie, an adaptation of Kate Chopin's work. October of 2017, Ripe Figs, made it's world premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival and earlier this year at the Greater New Orleans Film Fete. Dr. Chevalier's Lie premiered at the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival this June 2018. Film Girl Film Festival screened both Ripe Figs and Dr. Chevalier's Lie this year. Keota earned a supporting role in the webseries NOPD: Coven "Getting In", which premiered at the Dances With Films Festival. All three short films have been screening consistently at many film festivals across the US. She has made her U.K. debut at the Women Over 50 Film Festival for her lead role in Ripe Figs. She has also made an appearance on WWLTV News. Keota has won "The Award of Merit" from the Southern Shorts Awards for her "Achievement in Acting" in a drama. She is a children's rights supporter and volunteered for the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater New Orleans. Visit her website www.hellokeota.com for info!
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Ashley is a native of New Orleans, La. She followed the legacy of her mother and aunt by attending St. Mary's Academy Catholic high school. Once graduating from high school, Ashley earned her Associate's in Performance and Media Arts from Delgado Community College; Bachelor's in Film Arts from the University of New Orleans, and Master's of Science Degree in Business Entertainment from FullSail University. Ashley is currently a banker with Capitol One and spends her free time reading, watching movies, and completing her first novel. She truly enjoys meeting new people and exploring their personality. She believes everyone has a beautiful and positive heart.
BATON ROUGE CHAIR
Lizeth was born in Mexico and grew up in South Carolina. She moved to New Orleans in 2014 and fell in love with the culture and diversity that it offered. She became interested in the film industry and has been known for her work as Casting Associate on Brand Is Crisis as well as a Casting Assistant for various commercials. Lizeth is also an Actress and has earned a role in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Awakening and a lead role in a national commercial for Turbo Tax.
Jazzy Ellis is an IDC-trained Intimacy Coordinator, SAG-AFTRA stunt performer & actor, and film/TV consultant who began her film career in New Orleans over a decade ago after graduating from Princeton University in 2010. She got her start in film and TV in New Orleans. Jazzy won a SAG Award for her work as a stunt performer in Avengers: Endgame. She is a TV Academy member who has performed in over 75 film and television shows, most notably, Marvel's Avengers franchise, HBO's Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, AMC's The Walking Dead, DC's Doom Patrol, CW's The Vampire Diaries, CBS's NCIS: New Orleans and DC's The Suicide Squad. She is a Balanta-B'rassa (from Guinea-Bissau) and Akan (from Ghana) woman from New Jersey who enjoys learning about the culture (B'jah) and language (K'rassa) that her ancestors had before American slavery. She checks the "Black" box on American ethnicity forms. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She loves hanging with the girls, live music, karaoke, Latin dance, road trips, and outdoor adventures in her free time. For more on Jazzy check out her website, www.jazzyellis.com.
Angel is an artist and school teacher who serves New Orleans well. She is in her second term in office for WiFT-Louisiana as our Volunteer Chair. She has assisted our chapter in producing our events and programs. She continues to work hard, dedicated to Women in Film & Television-Louisiana.
Portia is currently serving WiFT-Louisiana as our Baton Rouge Chair. She has shown our chapter the utmost dedication and has produced quality events and programs for our Baton Rouge members.
Simone is a Brazilian Production Coordinator/APOC/Production Office
manager living in New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in
Communication - Film, and TV at FAAP University in 1991 and her Master’s
Degree in Marketing at Sao Judas University - Unimonte in 2008 in Brazil. She has natural leadership and management skills, which make her an experienced and creative Production Coordinator who enjoys taking on new challenges.
For the past 28 years, she has done productions in Brazil that include documentaries, short movies, feature films, commercials, TV Series, game shows, talk shows, live shows, lifestyle shows, and video clips. In Brazil, she worked at various TV Broadcasts like Rede Record, Rede Bandeirantes, TV Cultura, Rede TV. She worked at Productions Film Houses like Fly Productions, Framewave Productions, Lightstar Studios, and O2 Filmes. She had the pleasure to work at 02 Filmes with the Oscar-nominated director Fernando Meirelles.
Besides working as a Production Coordinator in Films and TV, she worked for 12 years as a University Professor at Sao Judas University teaching Production to the Major Film and TV Audiovisual.
Laura recently joined as an Honorary Board Member for the 2022-2024 term. Laura Cassidy is a native of Louisiana, and attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Theatre and music. Shortly thereafter Laura moved to Los Angeles to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actress. After several frustrating years she was given the advice "If opportunity doesn't knock, build your own door" (Milton Berle), and started her first production company. She now resides in New Orleans, as a Producer and Creative Director for her company, Indie Darling Films, and has produced several shorts (including Unicorn Poop, which premiered as a top 5 film at LA Film Prize) and feature films (including Phony, which played at 21 festivals world-wide and is distributed through Indie Rights). However, Laura is still perhaps best-known for a bit role in the cult classic, awesomely-bad movie Birdemic, a career move that will haunt her dreams and her IMDB rankings forever.