RFF 2020 Panel

“Harnessing the Power of Film in Addressing Racial and Gender Inequality”

On October 8th at 10:00 AM EST ReadingFilmFEST will present a very special panel discussion with filmmakers whose work has educated, enlightened and given a voice to issues of gender and racial differences. This discussion will focus on the ways in which films, both documentary and fiction, can bring new awareness to viewers on the experiences of others, bridging social, racial and political divides. The panel will include filmmakers presenting virtually and will be driven by audience and moderator questions.

Panelists will include:

Maria Del Rey – Grammy Award nominated music and media producer of LatinX content for children

Carolyn McDonald – Award-Winning LA-based Producer/Writer/Director of documentaries and narrative films.

Preston Chase – Canadian Filmmaker/Educator; Director MR. EMANCIPATION

Luisa Nova – Brazilian Filmmaker; Director THE WORLD INSIDE

Tracy Schott – Moderator ReadingFilmFEST Creative Director, Filmmaker/Social Worker; Director of FINDING JENN’S VOICE

Kelly Devine – Moderator Impact Campaign Consultant on national distribution and engagement strategies for major award-winning documentaries. 

To reserve your ticket and be apart of the discussion go to: https://watch.eventive.org/readingfilmfest2020


Maria Elizabeth Del Rey - RFF panelist

Maria Del Rey

Maria Elizabeth Del Rey is the founder of Studio Mirey, creating mixed-media, stop-motion films, and socially-conscious music for children.

MDR is Latin-Grammy-Award-Nominated music producer, 4X Parents Choice award-winning Gold, and Silver Award-winner. MDR was also the founder and publisher of ChildGood Magazine from 2012 to 2016. Her special parenting issues for creative families were on Apple Newsstand’s ‘What’s Hot List’ for over 170 weeks. She is a Pennsylvania Role Model by appointment by the Governor office through the PA Women’s commission.

Her body of work spans three decades of children’s music, educational series, and live multimedia bilingual concert tours at performing arts centers. Maria has sold millions of albums to the Hispanic and global children’s markets since 1989.


Preston Chase - RFF Panelist

Preston Chase

Preston William Chase is a seventh generation African Canadian and a descendant of William Parker. Parker escaped slavery in Maryland, and went on to play a key role in the Christiana Riots in Pennsylvania. It was his friend, the great Fredrick Douglass who convinced Parker to take refuge in Canada.

Born to a single mother in the Black community of downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Chase went on to become a high school teacher. He is also the family historian and a passionate advocate for greater awareness of a historic Black community, time has forgotten.

It was a desire for everyone to know the story of his great great uncle Walter Perry that led Chase to pick up a camera and begin recording the stories about him from the elders in his community.

Luisa Novo - RFF panelist

Luisa Novo

Born in Cascavel, Brasil, Luisa Novo graduated in Cinema from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. In 2011 she relocated to Los Angeles to continue her education at the New York Film Academy and UCLA, earning certificates in Producing and Business and Management of Entertainment and an MFA in Filmmaking. 

She has directed a number of short films both in Brazil and the US. She is passionate about women’s issues and committed to telling stories that can start a conversation and make people think. She uses her perspective and point of view to shine a light on subjects that mean something to her but are also greater than her, like self-image, self-worth, machismo, sexual harassment and assault, themes that arise from how society and culture affect women’s lives.

Carolyn McDonald - RFF panelist

Carolyn McDonald

Carolyn McDonald is the executive producer of HBO’s NAACP Image Award-winning film AMERICA’S DREAM, TNT’s Emmy-nominated films BUFFALO SOLDIERS and FREEDOM SONG, and the inspiring National Geographic documentary, BEARING LIGHT. She was a Creative Executive at Cinecom Entertainment Group, ran Danny Glover’s Carrie Productions, and was a part of the Warner Bros. TV advertising/publicity team fresh out of NYU’s Dramatic Writing/Film program. Carolyn has scripted works for 20th Century Fox and a variety of indie producers. Carolyn directed and produced the short film “P.N.O.K.” featuring Danny Glover & Elle Fanning, the documentary DESIGN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, and several music videos, short films, and corporate films. Carolyn is also a prolific photographer with her ongoing project NOUNS IN THE ROAD exhibition, and author of her memoir INFLUENTIA: 50 YEARS ON EARTH AS IT IS IN CAROLYN, now being released as podcast essays.

Tracy Schott

Tracy Schott

Tracy Schott is a producer/director and founder of Schott Productions. She has created hundreds of film and video projects, including films, television commercials, and content for television, web, and events. With Master’s degrees in both social welfare and video production, she specializes in producing content which addresses social issues. Her award-winning documentary film, FINDING JENN’S VOICE, is the centerpiece of the community engagement campaign Voices for Change, which seeks to educate audiences on the risks of intimate partner homicide. Tracy directed the Emmy-nominated reality show, DREAM WEDDINGS and the television pilot FRANKLIN STREET STATION, produced LOCATION, LOCATION!. She is currently in development on the documentary films BLACKOUT GIRL and FROM THE RIVER, and the feature “dramedy” LE BON CHEF. Tracy is the Creative Director and one of the original founders of ReadingFilmFEST.

Kelly DeVine - RFF Judge

Kelly DeVine

Kelly DeVine has served as the Artistic Director for the Global Peace Film Festival Artistic Director since 2006. Connecting story to community in action, the GPFF supports and amplifies the work of Central Florida civic, faith, educational and activist groups by curating film and media events to raise awareness and catalyze audiences. She has consulted on impact projects for award-winning documentaries such as BullyHow To Survive A Plague

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