2023 Iris Award Gala
Thursday, December 14th, 2023, at 7:00pm.
VIP Patron Party, 6pm.
All ticket prices include an open bar and dinner.
2023 Iris Award Gala Host: Kyndra Joi
The 2023 Iris Award Gala returns to The Cannery, one the most unique, luxurious and unforgettable venues in New Orleans! This is a time to celebrate and honor our wonderful women out there making history in Film and Television.
2023 IRIS AWARD GALA HOST, KYNDRA JOI
Kyndra Joi has become one of the most sought-after Emcee’s that have hit the scene. With her humor and charm, she has been known to make the toughest crowd feel welcomed and seen! Now, Charleston Raised and New Orleans grown, Kyndra is the Co-Host of television show "OurStory"; Program Director of Power 504 Radio; Licensed Master Social Worker, Founder/Director of Gracefully Mindful Wellness Institute; Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, Certified Herbalist, Recording Artist, Emcee and newly a Published Children’s Author. Kyndra has earned a Master of Social Work degree from Illinois State University and has over 20 years of experience in the community servicing children and families, developing and implementing curriculums and entertaining the masses through integrating meditation in her performances and a heavy bass line in her repertoire. In addition, Kyndra is affectionately known as “Gullah Girl” in the community and actively educates and creates awareness of the Gullah culture through her new Gullah children book series and interactive workshops of language, dance, and song. Kyndra now blends culture and mindful meditation within the creative process to assist individuals, families, and groups to have a fuller experience in living through programming/curriculums, workshops, team development and consulting.
2023 IRIS AWARD GALA HONOREES
Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist
For more than 25 years, Sally-Ann Roberts co-anchored with Eric Paulsen the popular Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV in New Orleans. That newscast for many years was the highest rated local morning newscast in America. For more than a decade she also hosted WWL’s teen talk show “Our Generation”. Sally-Ann also contributed Quiet Hero reports on WWL’s Evening Newscasts, spotlighting community activists and volunteers doing positive
work in the region.
Sally-Ann has received Lifetime Achievements Awards from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and Press Club of New Orleans. And Sally-Ann retired from WWL-TV in February 2018, Sally-Ann was inducted into the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Hall of Fame. During New Orleans Tricentennial the Times Picayune honored Sally-Ann in its 300 of 300 series profiling influential New Orleanians.
She has received many awards in her more than 40 years of broadcast journalism, but this wife mother, and now grandmother of 5 is most concerned about the future of children. In 1994 Sally-Ann co-founded with Cathy Harris the mentorship organization Each One Save One. It was inspired by her mother Lucimarian who told Sally-Ann that it only takes one person to change the trajectory of a child’s life. For nearly 25 years Each One Save One has trained,
screened, and placed hundreds of caring adults in New Orleans public schools to encourage children.
This inspirational speaker and author of Going Live An Anchorwoman Reports Good News and Your Power is On: A Little Book of Hope, says her greatest joy in life was being the perfect genetic match to become a bone marrow donor for her baby sister Robin Roberts. Asked to what she attributes any success she may have achieved, Sally-Ann gives all honor, glory and
praise to God.
New Orleans native Stacey Muhammad is a visionary filmmaker and episodic director who has captivated audiences with her compelling storytelling and distinctive style. With a passion for exploring the human experience and shedding light on important social issues, Stacey's work stands at the forefront of contemporary cinema.
Known for her ability to infuse raw emotion and authenticity into her projects, Stacey's films resonate deeply with viewers, leaving a lasting impact. Her keen eye for detail, combined with her exceptional directing skills, bring forth narratives that provoke thought, challenge conventions, and inspire change. Throughout her career, Stacey has fearlessly tackled a wide range of topics, including race, identity, gender, and socio-political issues.
As an episodic director, Stacey has demonstrated her versatility and creativity by helming compelling stories across various genres. Her ability to create nuanced characters and elicit exceptional performances from actors has earned her a reputation as a director who brings out the best in her collaborators.
Since directing her first episode of TV on the groundbreaking series, "Queen Sugar" for OWN, she's gone on to direct numerous award winning television series including Blackish, Manifest, Bel Air, The Best Man The Final Chapters, Harlem, The Wonder Years, Power Book 3 Raising Kanan and James Patterson’s Alex Cross series for Amazon to name a few.
Stacey's dedication to her craft extends beyond her work on set. She is deeply committed to fostering inclusivity and diversity in the entertainment industry, striving to provide opportunities for underrepresented voices and to create a more equitable landscape for filmmakers of all backgrounds.
Visionary Filmmaker + Episodic Director
Secretary-Treasurer IATSE Local 478
Dawn Arevalo is the Secretary-Treasurer for IATSE Local 478, a Louisiana Notary Public, and a registered tax preparer. She also serves as Women's Committee Chair for IATSE District 7 and the IATSE Disaster Committee. Local 478 has over 1800 members covering crew working Film, Television, and Commercials in Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, and the Mobile, Alabama area. With over 25 years in theater and film as a stage manager, costumer, and costume supervisor, she coordinates the working of the local, administering contracts, and fighting for the rights of workers. Volunteering with Krewe de Pink to raise money for breast cancer research is her happy escape.
Katie Patton Pryor has served as the Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission since appointed by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome in April 2017. Katie works to attract, retain, and grow the creative economy and industry support in Baton Rouge and across Louisiana. She is a film advocate and regular speaker at film festivals and markets around the world. Katie is an adjunct professor at the Louisiana State University film program. Her university course focuses on industry trends, the social impact of screen storytelling, and the economic power of representation in film. Katie is the co-founder of Film USA, a national 501(c)6 trade organization of state and regional film commissions across the country which promotes the USA film industry worldwide. She currently serves on the Board of the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association and the LSU Faculty Film and TV Search Committee. She is the Founding Board President for the Louisiana Academy of Production, and serves by Governor appointment on the Naval War Memorial Commission. In 2015, she proudly served on the Mayor's Transition Committee for Women's Advancement. Katie received the Excellence in Sales & Marketing Award from Sales & Marketing Executives (SME) in 2021. In 2022, Katie was honored as one of the Baton Rouge Business Report Forty under 40. In 2023, she was named one of the influential community leaders in The Capital Region 500 and was selected for the 2023-2024 Alliance for Students CHANGEMAKERS cohort.
KATIE PATTON PRYOR
Executive Director, Baton Rouge Film Commission
AMELIA CHEN MILEY, CSA
Casting Associate, Coulon Casting
Amelia has always wanted to work in movies, and she brings her comprehensive knowledge of the film industry to every project she casts. After working nearly ten years in both reality television and feature film development in Los Angeles, Amelia relocated to New Orleans in 2013 with the goal of finding work in casting. Soon after, she connected with Liz Coulon and joined Coulon Casting on THE FANTASTIC FOUR as a Casting Assistant. In 2016, Amelia’s talent and dedication led to the upgraded role of a Casting Associate at Coulon Casting; soon after they began work on the films LOGAN and GIRLS TRIP. She was accepted as a member of the Casting Society of America in 2020. In the last decade, she’s earned credits on forty film and tv projects, including GET OUT, RENFIELD, EMANCIPATION, SECRETS OF SULPHUR SPRINGS, and the soon-to-be-released LISA FRANKENSTEIN. Her recent work on the Disney Channel series ULTRA VIOLET AND BLACK SCORPION contributed to Coulon Casting's first Emmy nomination.
Whether she is working with seasoned actors or discovering new faces, Amelia is still enchanted with the casting process. Fitting an actor into a tricky role, booking talent for their first show, watching someone connect with the director in a callback, or knowing from an audition that an individual has been sharpening their skills with classes, she feels privileged to witness so many actors’ career paths. She’s always admired storytelling and the visual richness of an auteur’s vision; she’s fortunate to continue on her journey to make movie magic.
Lauren R. Green: A New Orleans Native Making Waves in the World of Makeup Artistry.
Born and raised in the city of New Orleans, it was her love for transforming and enhancing the beauty of others that sparked the beginning of an exciting journey into the world of makeup artistry. In 2011, Lauren began her career at M.A.C cosmetics, where she honed her skills and developed a keen eye for detail. The rigorous training provided by the company every season following New York Fashion week ensured that all artists were up on current trends
displayed on the runway. Lauren used this level of training as a stepping stone to push her career to the next level. In 2017, Lauren took a significant leap by working on the makeup team for the TV show “Queen Sugar” Her work on this acclaimed series set the stage for her to become a makeup artist for a range of
notable TV shows, including “Cloak and Dagger,” “Black Bird,” “I’m A Virgo,” and “Sacrifice.”
On the film front, Lauren worked her magic on major productions like “Renfield,” starring Nicholas Cage, and “The Burial,” featuring Jamie Foxx. After her role as Key Makeup Artist on “The Channel” in 2021, Lauren joined the IATSE Local 798 Makeup and Hair Union in
2022 as recognition of her dedication and outstanding contributions. Her ability to enhance characters using some special effects techniques, her flawless beauty makeup applications, and her quick execution further solidified her reputation as a go-to artist in the
entertainment industry and a key figure within the makeup community.
Lauren R. Green’s journey from her New Orleans roots to becoming a makeup artist is a reflection of her dedication, artistic vision, and undeniable talent.
Lauren brings a sense of passion, creativity, and vision to the industry. Lauren is inspired daily by by other artists that she looks up to and that have played major roles in her development as an artist herself. Her positive attitude and tireless energy to the art also
contributes to the list of impressive credits and she will
continue to blossom, leaving a mark on the world of beauty and entertainment.
LAUREN R. GREEN
Screenwriter + Director
Eva is a New Orleans-based writer and director. Born and raised in Northern California, she lived abroad and traveled extensively, even working as a school teacher before settling in Los Angeles to work as a film and television editor to hone her craft of storytelling. In 2012, the film she edited, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short.
Her directorial debut, The Stand, won “Top 5” at the "Louisiana Film Prize", as well as a “Founder’s Circle Grant”. It screened at numerous film festivals, was Oscar-qualified and landed distribution with Shorts International. It was also featured in a four-page spread in American Cinematographer. Her second short, Breasts, started with a premiere at the "New Orleans Film Festival" before heading to the "Austin Film Festival" for its Texas premiere. It screened worldwide at over 23 film festivals, winning awards for best short drama, best story, two awards for social impact and a nomination for best director. Her third short, Stuck in the Middle was another "Louisiana Film Prize" contender before it was distributed free to school teachers across the U.S. while also getting picked up by several film festivals, ultimately finding international distribution with Gonella Productions. She has recently embarked on a feature documentary and has two feature scripts in the works.
Eva is drawn to dramas that explore humanity through authentic experiences and has a particular affection for stories that give marginalized communities a voice.