Amir Sulaiman is a prolific poet, recording artist, actor, screenwriter and producer born in Rochester, New York. His poems cross subjects of love, tragedy and what it means to reconcile humanity with the unprecedented trials of modernity. He has toured across the US and the world. His critically acclaimed book of poetry, LOVE, GNOSIS & OTHER SUICIDE ATTEMPTS was published in 2012. In 2013, Amir released his latest album THE OPENING, the third in a unique trilogy project. A Harvard Fellow, a writer on Season 2 of RAMY (Hulu), Amir was first introduced to a National audience in 2005 when he was featured for two seasons on Russell Simmons’ groundbreaking series DEF POETRY JAM on HBO. Amir resides in Atlanta with his four daughters.
A refugee of the Vietnam war, Derek Nguyen began his career as a playwright and screenwriter before moving into directing and producing. His play MONSTER was produced at East West Players, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Public Theatre New Work Now, and was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Play by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2016, he wrote and directed THE HOUSEMAID, a Gothic romance/horror feature set in colonial Vietnam. Derek has been helping other artists and storytellers tell their stories and achieve their truest expression for over 20 years. He was the Director of Creative Affairs at GAMECHANGER FILMS and recently launched THE POPULATION with producers Mynette Louie and Mollye Asher. The company focuses on producing feature films by or about women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented groups.
Vanessa Benton is a black genre writer, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who specializes in creating large and often horrific worlds. Her stories are grounded in the psychological trauma that women of color and marginalized people face in those worlds. A graduate of New York University, Vanessa is currently staffed on a new drama/fantasy series set to air on a popular streaming platform (TBA). She previously worked as a writer/producer on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.