SFFF – BSR Diversity Panel Press Release


November 26, 2015
SFFF Press contact: NaNi Rivera, 505-988-7414 x102, [email protected]

BlackShirtReads Press contact: Joanna Smith 602-740-3645, [email protected]

On Saturday, December 5, the Santa Fe Film Festival and BlackShirtReads will co- sponsor a Diversity Panel in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Evoke Contemporary gallery – in the Railyard District. Moderated by New Mexico Women-In-Film Former President, Linda McDill, the central theme of the panel will be “what can filmmakers do to promote cultural understanding and make the world a better place?”

Diversity Panelists are set to include film producer Grace Santos, India-born filmmaker and aerospace electronics engineer Mukul Gadde, Iranian-born actress Saneh Boothe, New Mexico Film Office Outreach Coordinator Belle Allen and Native-American actress Kieran Sequoia.

Specific questions for the panel to consider are:

1. What is the role of movies in bringing cultural progress?
2. What can actors, producers and writers do to bring progress?
3. Can actors and producers make a difference in our world of religious and political radicalism?

Details are as follows:

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 pm, Evoke Contemporary Gallery hosts the Santa Fe Film Festival(SFFF) / BlackShirtReads (BSR) Diversity Panel.
550 S. Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Coffee, sparkling water and light snacks to be served

The global impact of radicalism in a post-Paris world emphasizes the need to bridge cultural and economic divides and each panelist brings a unique perspective to problem resolution:

In Odessa—screening at this year’s SFFF— Producer Grace Santos’s award-winning film echoes this:

“In the wake of a global economic collapse and social chaos, Texas secedes from the United States and a stark new border dynamic is born. Now, a desperate mother is forced to brave hostile territory to save her child’s life.”

Actress Saneh Boothe—who lived through the 1979 Iranian revolution— “saw an immediate shutdown of the creative arts.” Being from a country where men” cannot touch a female,” she wants to inspire young people to embrace their diversity and express themselves through film.

Belle Allen, passionate about diversity education, has taught abroad and has seen the immediate impact of cultural understanding. After just two weeks of working with Ecuadorian students, she saw student fear and resentment shift to appreciation.

For photographer and engineer Mukul Gadde’s, his filmmaking goal “… is to provide unique perspective into the nature of the [human] subject and to tell a story. The human subject is so intricate, so ever-evolving…”

Diversity Panel moderator Linda McDill, just recently completing four years as President of New Mexico Women in Film, believes that something as simple as how to pronounce someone’s name can have international implications.

As a female, Canadian born, Native American, Hispanic, multi-ethnic film maker and performer, Kieran Sequoia is interested in the unique experiences, limitations and boundaries that have provided a foundation for the telling of stories and realities that need to be known.

Three days after the Paris attacks, French President Francois Hollande declared that the terrorists had targeted “youth in all its diversity.” The SFFF/BSR Diversity panel intends to explore a re-direction of their aim.

Ticket Info:


Moderator and Panelist biographies:

More info on moderator Linda McDill:


More info on Grace Santos:


More info on Saneh Boothe:


More info on Mukul Gadde:


More info on Belle Allen:


More info on Kieran Sequoia:


About the Santa Fe Film Festival
The Original Santa Fe Film Festival celebrates all facets of cinematic arts – in New Mexico, regionally and globally. Our annual event honors everyone working both behind the scenes and on screen to bring the best of film creation, production and showings to the public. We constantly seek improvement in our respective crafts and provide filmmakers with resources to pursue their dreams. To that end, the Santa Fe Film Festival focuses on bringing together distinguished industry specialists and discriminating movie lovers through accessible screenings, panels, workshops and parties.

The Festival will continue to grow as the leading exhibition and educational portal for all things cinematic in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Film Festival is a cultural, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.

About BlackShirtReads
BlackShirtReads is an opportunity for screenwriters to workshop their screenplays via professional readings and critique by industry professionals. In January 2016, BSR will be accepting submissions of feature-length and TV pilot scripts. See http://blackshirtreads.net for more information.

Mukul Gadde
Photo by Michael Blitch - © Gasparilla International Film Festival
Photo by Michael Blitch – © Gasparilla International Film Festival
Saneh Boothe Headshots March 2013
Saneh Boothe
Linda McDill
Belle Allen
Kieran Sequoia s
Kieran Sequoia