Yucef Mayes (Producer/Director/Writer/Editor)
Yucef is a graduate of The New School University of NYC, and a former writing fellow of Center of Black Literature from Medgar Evers College of Brooklyn, NY. Co-Founder of Shine Black Art & Film with cousin and partner Aaron Melvin, a film company which aims to broaden the narrative for underrepresented populations and people of color. Yucef’s first film DRIVER, featured at Newark International Film Festival, Harlem Hip-Hop Film Festival, and Baltimore’s Reginald Lewis Museum Screening Series. Yucef second short film ZAHRA AND THE OIL MAN (ZAOM) received Critical Acclaim recognition from Smithsonian Institute; ZAOM was Nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay from Black and Latino Film Awards in NYC. Won Best Short Film at Newark International Film Festival; Official Selection of American Black Film Festival in EMERGING DIRECTOR SHOWCASE; Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival; Color of Conversation Film Series in Denver; BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia. ZAOM is part of a series: BRICK PEOPLE, a series that explores complex narratives of the African Diaspora in urban America.
Kay The Kreator
(Director of Photography/Editor)
KAY THE KREATOR is a full time, freelance creative based in the NYC area. Kay specializes in content creation from inception to post production as a Producer, Director,Director of Photography, and Editor.For over 5 years, she has been developing as a content producer by Directing,Editing and shooting mainly short form content such as Music Videos, Sizzle Reels,Commercials, and Event recaps. After years of practice, The Gold Standa years of practice, The Gold StandardProductions was founded by Kay the Kreator, in which more roles were added to create a production crew. Although Kay the Kreator works independently as a freelance creative for hire, shealso has her own ﬁlm crew available for hire. They are currently working on producing Documentaries, short ﬁlms and features.
AARON MELVIN a native of East Orange, New Jersey, is an up-and-coming writer/producer. He co-penned and co-produced the short film, DRIVER with cousin/collaborator Yucef Mayes for Shine Black Art & Film, which both founded and co-own. A former intern-turned-writer for The Source Magazine, Aaron first delved into writing through journalism. He quickly found the genre “restricting” and was urged through an early mentor, Seton Hall Upward Bound teach Paul Buoniguoro, to study the “serious” writers. Baldwin, Morrison and Ellison filled a void that the hip-hop scene of the early 2000s left completely empty. He began to try his hand at short stories, with mild success in local publications and he never looked back. With DRIVER completed, Zhara and The Oil Man, Shine Black’s next short film, and a feature, HERE WE ARE under development, Aaron Melvin is well on his way to fulfill his dream, as he puts it, “just to be heard.”
PAULETTE JONES Currently, at sixty-nine years old Ms. Jones have venture in producing film
content for family owned company PLUM Media. Which consist of television
pilot “Tens Across the Board” web series “The Root of All Evil”.
She is currently is a co-producer for “Shine Black” short films “Zahra and
the Oilman” , Mr. Two Suits and Brick People.
Other film credit consist of associate producer on Terry D. Films “Big Boys
Don’t Cry”, “3 rd camera operator for Documentary “2017 Newark’s State of The City “. Serve as producer of “10 Across The Board “kids television pilot, co-produce 28 television episodes of Reality Dance for NBC Non-stop Philadelphia.Co-produced Anti-bully events at TRL Philadelphia, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Wild Wood, NJ and Webster Hall NYC.
HAKIMA BENJAMIN founder of Kennedyo Entertainment is a producer, writer, and director born and raised in Newark New Jersey. During her teen years, Hakima begin writing short fictional stories to mentally escape the reality transpiring around her. Hakima has set out to begin telling her story and stories similar to be presented nationwide. Hakima passion for art and entertainment will allow her to produce, write and direct stage plays that will show many aspects of her personal life as well as provide a sense of family, humor and overcoming tragedy. As well as show life and reality through television, film and live performances. To date Hakima continues to work with other directors and writers to help produce independent and feature films. Hakima is co-producer on the critically acclaimed the short film “Zahra and The Oil Man”. Hakima has also partnered with other writers to create a new television pilot “City Girls”.
Andrew Binger, Kareem Willis, & Malcolm Rolling
Yendor Productions is a boutique arts organization that assists with the managing of local arts productions. Yendor was founded by the Late Rodney Gilbert, a local icon and arts advocate of Newark NJ. Yendor Productions coordinates a plethora of programs that are executed in partnership with other active organizations in and around Newark with a vested interest in developing and sustaining the communities we work with. ADVANTAGE ARTS was recently created in partnership with Drew University and Newark Public School’s Office of Extended Learning. These civic engagement theatre class participants include Drew University students and Newark Public School scholars. Other notable programs include the NEWARK MURALS PROGRAM, ABANDONED LOT ARTS PROJECT (ALAP) and THE GATES INITIATIVE.
Actress/Social Media Director
Vernae Taylor is a Performing Artist, Author and Host, on a mission to inspire people to live life with purpose. In the recent release, Break Through she gives a glimpse into her upbringing, childhood and challenges she’s faced along her journey. As a proud alumna of Rutgers University and Connecticut School of Broadcasting, she has graced many stages and television screens across the country. As the founder of Triple Threat Vision, an events company, she has hosted a Sister-to-Sister talk back and The Family Affair: “A Collective Arts Experience,” creating a platform for entrepreneurs and talents within a family friendly atmosphere. She was last seen as “Aunt Grace” in the reprise of Off Broadway production, Another Chance, which debuted 22 years ago at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in NY and ran for two consecutive seasons at the "Tony Award Winning” Crossroads Theatre. She’s honored to be a part of Zahra and the Oil Man and wishes it continued success. Currently she’s penning her next literary work, LIFE, LOVE, LOSS (a collection of poetry) and gearing up for the return of the Gospel hit, Balance of Love: The Musical Journey, which made its debut at Atlantic City Harrah’s in 2019. She sings with the Praise & Worship Quartet at the True Love Center in Hamilton, NJ on Sunday mornings at 10am and leads Praise & Worship (once a month) at Faith Christian Outreach Center in Plainfield, NJ. To learn more about Vernae, follow her on Instagram and Facebook or visit https://vernaet.wixsite.com/vernaetaylor.