Dave Haft – DIRECTOR

Dave’s work includes 200+ documentary-style and marketing videos in multiple languages. In the past decade, he managed $1.7M+ of creative projects in 15 countries that reached tens of thousands of educators and health practitioners around the world. He brings 20 years of experience in film production, creative direction, marketing and project management. In 2021, Dave was selected as a Docs In Progress Fellow. Prior to working in film, he was a Ballston BID Fellow and appeared in Washington Life Magazine as part of the 1776 Startup Incubator and his socially-responsible sourcing venture. Dave is a recovering tech-y. Dave established the social media strategy, processes and governance for the $50B U.S. Military Health System. Prior to that role, he was streaming videos before YouTube existed.

Mary Awosika – PRODUCER

Mary was born and raised in northern Virginia, however she spent her formative years in Nigeria, her father’s homeland. Mary is a first-generation Nigerian American, whose interests have always been creative. This led her to a career in journalism, where she became a features writer for then-New York Times owned, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a Pulitzer-Prize winning regional newspaper in South Florida. Along the way, she freelanced as an arts & entertainment writer and editor for several national travel publications. She transitioned into event planning while working for Destination DC, the convention and visitors bureau for Washington DC. There, she grew her intimate knowledge of Washington DC’s dynamic arts and culture scene. Most recently, she has worked in the corporate events field, managing upwards of 75+ events throughout the Washington DC community. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism, and as a mother of two, volunteers at her children’s school where she assists in creating and executing exciting cultural events for the school community.

Ellie Walton – EDITOR

Born and raised in Washington DC, Ellie Walton is committed to honoring stories of everyday revolutionaries. Through a blend of observational and cinematic visuals, Ellie co-creates documentaries through deep collaboration, authenticity, and visual poetry. She is an ongoing collaborator with DC based production companies, Meridian Hill Pictures and Unchained Stories. Her award-winning feature films include WALK WITH ME (2012), FLY BY LIGHT (2014), BRAVE GIRLS (2018), and LA MANPLESA: AN UPRISING REMEMBERED (2022), which have screened at festivals across the country and broadcast on the PBS’ America ReFramed. The recipient of the 2011 DC Mayor’s Arts Award and a Fulbright Scholar, Ellie’s work has been recognized by the Humanities Council of Washington, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Brandon is a DC-based filmmaker and co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon directed THE FIRST STEP (Tribeca, AFI DOCS, Amazon Prime); CITY OF TREES (Full Frame, PBS, Netflix); and the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH. Brandon won Best Director at the 2016 Chesapeake Film Festival and Indie Capital Awards, and was a 2022 & 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Brandon has directed over 30 short films commissioned by organizations including the AARP and US Institute of Peace. Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in film and cultural anthropology from Boston University.


Lance is a DC-based filmmaker and co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. Lance produced THE FIRST STEP (Tribeca, AFI DOCS, Amazon Prime); CITY OF TREES (Full Frame, PBS, Netflix); and the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH. Lance was selected to the 2018 Sundance Creative Producers Summit, the 2017 Impact Partners Documentary Producers Fellowship and was named to the DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list in 2021. Lance was awarded four Individual Arts Fellowships by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities between 2014-2022. In 2014, Lance received the DC Mayor’s Arts Award, the highest honor given to working artists in the city. Lance has served two terms as Board Member of Docs in Progress, and has been an active member of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA) since 2016. Lance holds a bachelor’s degree in history and film from Dartmouth College.


Josee is a bilingual filmmaker and journalist passionate about visual storytelling and creative advocacy. She formerly worked in legal aid and community organizing with immigrants in Washington, DC, and Madrid, Spain, after graduating from American University in 2020 with an interdisciplinary degree in Communication, Law, Economics and Government (CLEG). Molavi is a two-time Pulitzer Center grantee with three of her own short documentary films under her belt—including I Am The Land, a documentary exploring climate change through the lens of Indigenous spirituality in Puerto Rico. Her work continues to explore interconnected socio-cultural themes, such as environmental justice, cultural and artistic expression, immigration, and modern colonialism.

Youstine Faltas – ASSISTANT EDITOR

Youstine is an Egyptian-American filmmaker whose upbringing in Egypt and immigration to the US inform his thematic interests and perspective. Motivated by his first-hand account of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, he pursued a Dual Ba in Middle Eastern regional studies from Sciences Po Paris and sociology and ethnography from Columbia University in order to better tell nuanced stories of mobilization and identity. His academic background informs the construction of the social world in his storytelling. Youstine’s international experience in France and Egypt and his command of French and Arabic allowed him to work as an interpreter and to have better cultural and linguistic access to French and Egyptian cinema and stories, as he hopes to bridge intercultural gaps and bring perspective that would further enrich the American context. Youstine has worked as a writer and editor on many fiction and documentary projects, and has most recently worked as an editor for Lorenzo Fanti’s Maxime (2021) and has worked on French and English subtitles for Louise Heem’s feature documentary Juan (2021).