Christa Carr - Animator / Animation Artist
Christa is a Los Angeles-based animator, character designer, and color stylist. She graduated from the renowned Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, with highest honors, and also had the opportunity of studying abroad for a semester at the Musashino Art University in Japan, where she honed her skills in design and personality-based animation. A gamer herself, Christa is designing, storyboarding, and animating a scene about how primitive video games and their music inspired Enongo at a young age.
"A major goal in my career as an artist is to provide representation for Black women and show the multiplicity of our stories. Enongo has such a unique voice in hip hop music and I'm really looking forward to visualizing her journey."
– Christa Carr
More at www.christa-carr.com
Leah Coleman - Animator / Animation Artist
Leah is currently seeking her Master’s in Animation at Ohio State University. Previously, she attended Miami University and studied at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Inspired by her appreciation for both classic Western and Asian traditional animation masters, Leah has a refined talent for fluid, feature-quality character animation. Leah’s sequence explores Enongo’s anxieties over her relationships, career, and academic obligations, which parallels Leah's own life.
“It is truly an exciting opportunity to not only work on this documentary about a black woman and her journey through life, but also working with other Black women animators. I always talked about not having a chance to meet or find many women like me in a field dominated by the majority. Enongo will be an emotional journey for all of us, I think, because we are all going through that struggle of life, trying to figure out who we are, what our purpose is, and Enongo shows that in both her personal life and music. To have the opportunity to express her life through animation, is something I will do my best to reflect as best to her character as I possibly can!”
– Leah Coleman
More at www.leahcoleman15.com
Jessica Honore - Animator
Located in Queens, New York, Jessica graduated from the prestigious School of Visual Arts in 2011. Since then, she has worked with animation studios such as Cartuna and Titmouse, bringing to life such shows as China, IL, Superjail!, and Ballmastrz 9009 for [adult swim], and DreamWorks Animation's Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh on Netflix. Jessica (a big fan of video games) is animating a sequence of young Enongo imagining the dark and thrilling video game world of Super Metroid.
"As soon as I heard of Enongo, I was intrigued. It's not every day you hear of someone with so many talents and skills. I'm excited to be a part of the team that helps bring her story to life for the masses!"
– Jessica Honore
You can see Jessica's superb character animation reel here:
Brooklyn Lee - Animator / Animation Artist
Brooklyn is a Baltimore-based animator with a tremendous talent in charismatic character design and illustration. After working on numerous commercial assignments, Enongo will be her well-deserved feature-length debut. Brooklyn is designing, storyboarding, and animating a sequence about Enongo’s childhood, and how she felt like an outsider in Upstate New York as a daughter of West African immigrants.
“Working on a film about a fellow Black female artist fills me with so much joy. Enongo’s music is so inspiring and I can’t wait to share her story through my art.”
– Brooklyn Lee
More at www.bmoranlee.art
Shammah McVay - Associate Producer / Animator / Animation Artist
Shammah is an animator and designer living in Columbus, Ohio, and has studied at the Columbus College of Art & Design. Her work often explores themes of identity and representation in media. Shammah’s animated sequence concerns a deadly battle with depression, an experience that mirrors her own. In addition to being an animator and animation artist, Shammah is working on Enongo as an associate producer, aiding in outreach and fundraising.
“Once I heard [Sammus' song] 'Mighty Morphing' for the first time, it resonated on a spiritual level; it was me described so eloquently. Enongo is unapologetically Black, yet not afraid to be vulnerable. Her story is inspiring and I'm honored to work on this project. This film is needed.”
– Shammah McVay
Ruby Myles - Animator
Ruby is a Columbus, Ohio-based illustrator, animator and visual development artist who studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design. With a strong film and theatre background, she has been allowed the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects and hone her skills. Ruby will be animating with Shammah McVay on one of the film's most challenging and important sequences.
"Growing up as a singer myself, it was so incredibly easy to connect with Enongo. To have that initial connection, as well as feel and understand the story of a woman who looks like myself, and thousands of other Black girls in the world, was enough to feel I HAD to take part in whatever way I could. I am so excited and honored to be a part of such a history-making project!"
– Ruby Myles
Ariel Paxton - Animator / Animation Artist
After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta, Ariel is now in her final quarter of achieving her Master's Degree of Fine Arts in Animation at the acclaimed Savannah College of Art & Design. Ariel is a prolific and talented 2D animator and storyboard artist with a remarkable visual flair for design. Ariel is animating a sequence about how becoming a teacher for underserved students eventually led Enongo to discover the power of music. Ariel herself has been an art teacher to young children, and is applying this experience to her sequence.
"I wanted to be a part of this project because I love the style and feel of the documentary. Since I'm a 2D animator, I wanted to provide great visuals to go with this great film."
– Ariel Paxton
More at www.arielpaxton.com
Anaiyah Tatiana - Animator / Animation Artist
Born and raised in The Bronx, Anaiyah is an emerging character animator with an astonishing skill at personality-driven, fluid animation. She has worked on animated TV shows including Liverspots and Astronots and Monologue. She was also the lead animator on the documentary-animation hybrid short, Ballet After Dark, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and was presented by Queen Latifah and Dee Rees. Anaiyah is working on a sequence about the relationship between Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo and her fiancé, author Lanre Akinsiku.
"I’m really excited about this project because I love traditional animation and for a while I was afraid the hand-drawn style would die out. It’s so exciting being part of a resurgence in appreciation for this style. I’m also looking forward to participating in this new wave of filmmaking where, not only are people of color being represented on screen, but we also have the chance to work behind the scenes, too, and help with the accuracy of that representation."
– Anaiyah Tatiana
Patricia Battles — Motion Graphics Artist
Inspired by a myriad of art styles from the Disney animation renaissance of the 1990s and retro video games including Tomb Raider and Sonic the Hedgehog to graffiti art and Lisa Frank aesthetics, Patricia is a talented animator, illustrator, and motion graphics artist who has a phenomenal sense of color, design, and motion permeating all of her art. She studied at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York CIty and later transferred to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia on a Presidential Scholarship majoring in animation, and has since become a verified artist on Giphy.
"Being a part of the Enongo team feels too surreal: like being drafted into the NBA All Star League guided by 2 of the most amazing coaches on the planet (Dan Haskett & Kevin Schreck) with the MVP being Sammus! Being able to collaborate with a super talented crew of black women animators that I've gotten to know and admire feels very comforting; a sisterhood I never thought I would experience during my lifetime. With the current political climate, the BLM movement making a huge resurgence & the global pandemic affecting everyone's life in 2020, I'm extremely thankful and grateful to share with the crew and the world the very thing that has motivated me at a tender age and has been a constant source of therapy to get through hard times: creating art from the soul <3"
– Patricia Battles
More at: https://www.patriciabattles.com/
Dan Haskett - Senior Character Designer & Mentor
Dan Haskett is a veteran animator, director, and character designer who has been in the industry for over 50 years, and is a pioneering African-American artist in the field. He is best known as the designer of two of Disney’s classic female leads, Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) and Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991). Dan is also responsible for designing key characters from The Simpsons (including Moe the bartender, Barney the drunk, and Bart's teacher, Mrs. Krabappel) and various characters in Toy Story (1995). Dan’s first job in animation was at the age of 17, and was hired as an assistant animator on master animator Richard Williams’ New York-based production, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977) at just 23 years old. He has since worked for virtually every major animation company across North America, including (but not limited to) Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation, and Hanna-Barbera. He has also directed original animated shorts for Sesame Street.
Dan’s five decades of knowledge and experience have laid a creative foundation for our young animation team by providing the initial character designs of our protagonist. You can see Dan’s designs of her above and on our Instagram, @EnongoMovie:
Jessica Wachuku - Camera Operator
Jessica Wachuku is an independent filmmaker based in the Northeastern Region of the United States. Her passion for filmmaking and storytelling has led her to earn a degree from William Paterson University. Utilizing what she learned from college and working jointly with other creative individuals has led Jessica to work with many brands and companies looking for their stories to be told. She takes a unique and collaborative approach to her work producing stellar results. Her recent work includes documentaries for non-profit organizations and cinematic event films, as well as our project.
"Filming Sammus perform live was captivating. I can understand why [director] Kevin [Schreck] was compelled to share her story and artistry. When I was hired to film, I assumed this would be a simple one and done gig, but by the end of the night, I truly became a supporter of her and wanted to contribute anyway I could for this project."
– Jessica Wachuku
More at www.JessieChrisFilms.com
Bella Zinca - Camera Operator
Originally from Miami, Florida, Bella is a freelance camera operator and media maker living in New York City. She has filmed for various web series and commercial assignments. Enongo will be her feature-length debut.
"I was excited for my first camera credit on a feature film. After my first Sammus show I became excited to be a part of THIS feature film. Sammus' music says a lot of things I needed to hear, and I'm so happy I get to be part of sharing what a brilliant person Enongo is."
– Bella Zinca
Marcus Cochran - Assistant Editor / Production Assistant
Marcus Cochran is an emerging, multi-talented filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, a non-profit dedicated to helping underserved young New Yorkers enter the film industry. Although Marcus has made his own short films, Enongo will be his first feature-length project.
"Being given the opportunity to work on this project has been spectacular. In the beginning, I came into this, eager to get started, but curious to find out why this film was so important. Now I truly understand why a story like this deserves to be told to the world. Not only is the story itself unique, but the meaning behind it will speak to many."
– Marcus Cochran
EmmoLei Sankofa - Composer
EmmoLei is an American composer, singer-songwriter, record producer, sound artist, and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work stretches across music, visual media, and fine art. EmmoLei founded Bèl Son, a creative audio collective, in which she has worked with some of the best emerging filmmakers on a wide variety of award-winning films and visual media projects for top brands. Her discography encompasses over sixteen independently released albums, EP’s and singles collectively. EmmoLei has honed her craft as a mentee under renowned composer Michael Abels (celebrated for his work on Jordan Peele's acclaimed films, Get Out and Us). Enongo will be EmmoLei’s first feature-length film, and connects deeply to our protagonist's creative ambitions and struggles in the music industry. (She is also a long-time Sammus fan.)
"What's most exciting to me about being able to work on this documentary is that I feel deeply connected to Enongo's journey. I can relate to her in quite a few ways and am honored to channel that energy musically. Additionally, this will be my first feature film, so I am thrilled to push and stretch my creative muscles alongside a host of other talented artists."
– EmmoLei Sankofa
More at www.e-sankofa.com
Danielle Christine Ouimet - Associate Producer
Born and raised in Southern California, Danielle is involved with outreach and fundraising on Enongo. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
"I strive to be the best intersectional advocate I can. Often, it boils down to listening more than I speak, and using my voice to help amplify the important things others have to say. Enongo the human (and therefore the film) has so much to say that is so important. Why wouldn't I want this film made?"
– Danielle Christine Ouimet
Kevin Schreck - Director / Producer / Camera / Editor
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Schreck is an award-winning documentary filmmaker currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Kevin received both the Jerome Hill Award for Exceptional Work in the Documentary Tradition and the Award for Contribution to the Film and Electronic Arts Department of Bard College in 2011. His first major feature-length documentary, Persistence of Vision, was about the life of master animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and his 30-year quest to create his ultimately ill-fated magnum opus, The Thief and the Cobbler. Persistence of Vision screened at over 70 international film festivals and other venues on five continents to virtually universal acclaim, and became the first film to win both of the top prizes at the 2013 Buffalo International Film Festival: the Audience Award for Best of Festival and the Audience Award for Best Documentary. His second film was another documentary portrait of an artist, Tangent Realms: The Worlds of C.M. Kösemen, about a surrealist painter in Istanbul who is inspired by natural history and mythology.
"I wanted to make this film because I'm drawn to stories about creative people. But I rarely see stories about artists like Enongo spotlighted in mainstream movies. So, I wanted to amplify Enongo's incredible story while simultaneously giving an opportunity to artists who can tell it best, based on their unique talents and visions. I am honored and humbled to collaborate with an extraordinary team of animators and artists who deeply connect with Enongo's journey. We're all excited to help give Enongo's story the presentation it deserves."
– Kevin Schreck
More at www.KevinSchreck.com