The Equity Committee serves as an advisory board to Washington Filmworks’ Board of Directors and will provide film industry insight and input from historically underrepresented communities in order to foster diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and the statewide film industry. The Equity Committee will also hold the organization accountable for the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of its work.
Check out the Equity Charter to learn more about the Equity Committee’s mission and vision.
Enrique Cerna is a veteran journalist who worked in Seattle media for more than four decades. Cerna worked for 23 years at Cascade Public Media’s KCTS 9 and retired in February 2018 from his role as senior correspondent. Prior to joining KCTS in 1995, he worked as a reporter, producer and host for KOMO Radio and Television and KING Television.
At KCTS 9, Cerna produced and hosted award-winning current affairs programs and documentaries. He reported stories for national PBS programs, provided election analysis for the PBS NewsHour, moderated U.S. Senate, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Mayoral debates. In addition, he produced and reported documentaries covering critical social justice issues, the environment, and immigration. In addition, he documented the history and contributions of Latinos in Washington State.
Cerna has earned ten Northwest regional Emmy awards. In May 2022 he was inducted into the Hall of Achievement at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. Since March 2020, he has been a member of the WSU Board of Regents. He is also serves on the boards of KUOW radio, and the Seattle Chapter of the National Hispanic Journalist’s Association.
Davies Chirwa is a multi-award winning Celebrity Film Producer, who has received numerous prestigious awards throughout his career. With a strong background in media technology and an expert in virtual presentations, Davies is a visionary for serial entrepreneurship who is recognized as a prominent influencer in the entertainment, sports, fashion, and film industries. As the Founder of Channel A TV and DC Productions Media Group, Davies has made a significant impact in the world of media production.
His portfolio highlights a remarkable collection of exclusive media productions, featuring documentaries with prominent figures and events. Notable among his projects are documentaries that have showcased the likes of U.S Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden, NFL Super Bowl Champions, MTV Awards, BET Awards, U.S Soccer, NBA, Seattle Seahawks, UW Huskies Football, Seattle Sounders, FIFA, and many more iconic subjects and exclusive events.
Davies Chirwa’s dedication to serve the global community through many leadership platforms, digital storytelling content production, and his ability to capture the essence of life changing moments have solidified his status as a respected and renowned film producer in the media industry.
Olivia Evans is a grant-awarded, multidisciplinary visual artist, producer, and owner of Mama Wolf Media, LLC, based in Spokane, WA. Working in video, photography, drawing, film, and beadwork, her work is heavily influenced by motherhood, nature, the subconscious, and personal experiences – intertwining traditional and digital media to create narratives of the self. All these influences echo her eclectic cultural background of growing up as a Black, Italian, and Native woman. She boasts a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art, and a minor in Film from Eastern Washington University (2018). As a producer and social media manager for the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, an arts non-profit, she continues to elevate marginalized communities in film & art through Social Media posts, Documentary Film events, and other projects.
She has consulted at various organizations and schools such as, Spokane Arts, Artist Trust, Whitworth, Gonzaga, and 6-months as a Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition, where she empowered victims of Domestic Violence through visibility on social media, marketing materials, MMIWP campaign, and community partnered events. Her work has been featured in several exhibitions, for instance, Spokane Art’s SATURATE, Terrain 12 & 13, INT’L All Media Exhibition ‘22, Land Acknowledgement exhibition ‘22, and as a co-curator at the GU Urban Arts Center for “Home: Imagining the Irrevocable.” She has also been featured on KXLY, Krem2, and various radio stations. Today, she continues to expand her art practice in many facets, such as directing Spokane’s 1st BIPOC art, film, and music festival The Root Experience: Living Cultures of Art, Music & Soul, grant reviewing/ writing/ paneling, adjunct teaching, and film festival paneling.
Nike Imoru PhD, CSA is a casting director, actor, director, teacher of film and theatre.
She began casting in the Pacific Northwest and LA in 2006. Since then she has cast numerous feature films as well as multiple seasons of television. She was the executive casting director for Z Nation, Sy Fys, best original tv show. She is also the executive casting director for Going Home, Sony Affirm’s acclaimed series. Nike has given many actors in the Pacific Northwest their start in film and television. She is passionate about casting local actors whilst also uplifting the visibility and talents of actors from historically under-represented communities. Her relentless advocacy of local and diverse talent is embedded in her work as an educator and acting coach. She is the owner of The Actor’s Way studio, an online and in-person acting studio which she has helmed for as long as she has been casting. She has taught and coached hundreds of film actors and worked as an on set acting coach for directors John Carpenter and Wayne Wang. Nike is also a multi award-winning actor recognized and honored for her performances in classical theatre both nationally and internationally. In 2022 she was recognized by the Lunt-Fontanne Foundation as one of the top regional theatre actors in the nation. In 2023 she was the recipient of the Spokane Arts Leadership award.
Frances Grace Mortel (b. 1987, Manila) is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and community organizer. Previously a production designer/art director in the Philippines, she currently works as the Cultural and Digital Organizer for Asians for Collective Liberation in Spokane, serves on the board of Spokane Film Project and Spokane International Film Festival, and a member of the filmmakers collective Brown Girls Doc Mafia. Her works have been exhibited and screened across the United States and internationally.
The challenges of being a mother, immigrant, and queer artist of color fuel her commitment to tell and center narratives that examine intersectional truths, navigate intergenerational and diasporic identities, and inspire social justice. Presently, she splits her time between living with her family in the Pacific Northwest and pursuing her MFA at Bard College in New York.
Born and raised in Seattle, Myron is the owner of Chameleon Creative Services and has spent most of his career in the sound field. More recently he goes back and forth between sound and camera. Credits include Grey’s Anatomy, 21 and Over, World’s Greatest Dad and an Emmy for Bill Nye The Science Guy. Myron was the Past President and current committee member of C89.5/KNHC Public Radio Association, Co-Chair of Seattle Film Task Force and served on boards of Washington Film and Video Association, Seattle Ad 2, and the ITVA.
Malcolm Pelles is a professor, playwright, and filmmaker. He teaches screenwriting at Eastern Washington University. His plays have been performed Off-Broadway in New York City and in Washington, DC at places like the Kennedy Center. Malcolm has written scripts for CBS Entertainment, the National Football League, Gameloft, and the US Army. He has an MFA degree in dramatic writing from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts and an undergraduate degree in film production from Florida State University.
Michelle Mai Smith is a makeup artist and hairstylist with over 12 years of experience working in the film and entertainment industries. She has been a proud member of IATSE Local 488 since 2021 and loves to share her passions related to arts, music and entertainment with a special commitment to sustainable and equitable practices. Having started working in the film industry at just 17, Michelle has a deep understanding for the need for mentorship, guidance, and opening doors for those that hope to work in the industry. She strives to pay it forward, and hopes to be able to provide platforms and opportunities for underrepresented voices in the film community. An avid community organizer, Michelle has worked over the years with various organizations and charities in and around the PNW to help amplify the voices of local BIPOC artists and connect them with the greater community through events and fundraisers. As a voice of the newly appointed Equity Committee, Michelle is excited to get to work with her fellow members to create a more inclusive and equitable Washington Film Community for generations to come.