Chineze Anyaene / director / producer
Founder of Xandria Productions and Director and Producer of ‘IJE’: The journey“, Chineze Anyaene was born and raised in Abuja,Nigeria. She graduated from Regina Pacis college Abuja and later attended the university of Abuja, Nigeria. In 2005, Anyaene immigrated to Los Angeles, California and began a one year filmmaking program at the New York Academy.While at NYFA, Anyaene was recognized for creating an outstanding epic folktale, noted as the best “foreign film”of her graduating class.
Eager to hone her skills in filmmaking and pay homage to her passion for the same, she began work in pursuit of her Master’s degree. Chineze stands out as the first student in history of the New York Film Academy to not only make a feature film while in school- “IJE:The Journey“ -but also to receive a production sponsorship from Kodak. A first time feature director, her credits include 12 short films, two commercials and one music video.
Keith L. Smith / Director of Photography
Born in New Orleans, Smith graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1983, with a Bachelors of Art degree in mass communications. In 1989, Smith was accepted in the prestigious American Film institute (AFI), in Los Angeles,where he earned a Masters of fine Art degree. There he received AFI’s 1991 distinguished Remy Martin student schorlarship Award.
Smith began his film career as a camera assistant, working for such well known filmmakers as Oliver Stone and Bob Richardson,ASC. He worked with pair on “JFK””HEAVEN AND EARTH”,”NATURAL BORN KILLERS” “NIXON”. and on Oliver Stones “ANY GIVEN SUNDAY”. he was credited as additional Director of Photography.
As a cinematographer, Keith has worked on variety of projects including the independent film, ”play ‘d“, directed by Oz scoth, which was showcased on VH1 starring Toni Braxton and Fraizon Love. Smith has recently completed principle photography on two feature films:” A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND.” A feature length film directed by Leslie Smalls, and “MAMA I want to sing”, A film staring Ciara. The films were funded by code Black Entertainment and Louisiana Media services, respectively.
Currently, Smith is focusing himself on a career in Hollywood as a director of photography. His goal is to shoot films that inspire and entertain.
Paula Moreno / Producer
Born in Michoacan, Mexico, Paula Moreno has carried a passion for film since the early days of her childhood. At the age of 2, Moreno and her mother immigrated to the United states, putting this young girl on the path to pursuing her dreams.
Upon graduating from film school, Moreno directed and produced her first film,”Planet Far Away”, With the generation of much critical acclaim and Moreno’s receipt of the Best custom coursework writing and Best Directed awards for the same in Tokyo, Japan. This short catapulted her onto the international stage . Award winning films ”Lost Lives”(short format) and “Maquillaje” (feature –length), also produced by Moreno, followed close behind, In addition to these credits, Moreno has produced 8 commercials and directed 3 of the same, as well as directing a music video and directing and producing several documentaries examining the lives of people on death row in the American justice system.
In 2007 Moreno founded LYD Productions and shortly after joined forces with Chineze Anyaene to produce “IJE: The Journey” -a merger of Nollywood and Hollywood making Moreno as the first Hispanic producer to break into the Nigerian filmmaking industry. She is currently working with vision4media, as a producer with the conscious filmmaker and doing what she is best known for: motivating, persuading and provoking transformative thinking in the mind of viewers everywhere.
Genevieve NNaji / Chioma Opara
Genevieve Nnaji was born on the 3rd of May 1979, to an engineer father and school teacher mother. In 1998,she got admitted to study creative Arts at the University of Lagos where she begins auditioning for movie roles.
Genevieve has led the market into new territories today. She is quoted to be among the highest paid and most desired in Nollywood today.
These words describe her : Determined, Focused, Humble and creative. Today she has many Awards to her credit and in 2009 she Featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the episode ‘Meet the Most Famous People in the World‘. She is said to have been chosen due to her wide appeal across the African continent and all over the world
Omotola Jalade / Anya Opara Michino
Omotola’s educational background started in Christland Nursery and Primary School, Opebi Lagos. She proceeded to Command Secondary School, Kanuri, Kaduna then to Yaba College of Technology, Yaba Lagos.
She started her film career in 1995. Her first film is called Venom of Justice where she played the lead role. Her breakthrough came in quick succession afterwards. In 1996, she played the lead role in Mortal Inheritance and for her effort she won the best English actress and overall best actress at the prestigious THEMA AWARDS 1996/1997. She’s reputed with these awards to be the youngest living Nigeria to have won such.
Omotola till date has featured in over 300 films, She has equally won about 25 awards both locally and internationally. She is a United Nations Ambassador for WFP (World Food Programme) and has done countless of fund raising for the aforementioned. In 2005, Omotola walked Liberia with the First Ever female president in Africa, Ellen sir leaf-Johnson. Omotola is also a valued member and crusader for the SAVE THE CHILDREN FOUNDATION UK and has worked with them in a bid to put smiles on the faces of the children around the world.
Omotola in 2009, became the first African Artiste to headline a campaign for AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL in sierra-Leone to end Maternal Mortality which had had David beckham on its earlier campaign.
Odalys Garcia / Carolina Vasquez
With a large following among Latin audience, the multi-talented odalys Garcia has worked as a television host, recording artist and actress.
In 2009,after 2 years at the STELLA ADLER Academy of Acting in Los Angeles, ODALYS finished her 1st feature Film IJE-The Journey. In 2008 she joined playwright RICH NAJERA’S nationally recognized stage production lationo-logues T2U.As an admired celebrity,Odalys was spokesperson for Bally Total Fitness for three consecutive years. She was also the public face for Toma Leche,a GOT MILK Campaign.
In 2002 doors to the music world opened when ODALYS recorded her first CD VEN a VER. Her second CD, was released in 2006.At present she is devoted to her acting career and its evaluating projects in English and Spanish.
Ulrich Que / Jalen Turner
A tall, strikingly handsome and leading man of films. Larry James Jr. now known as ULRICH QUE was born in the town of LA Marque, Texas. After graduating with a bachelor’s of Art degree in Public Affairs in 2002,he then attended Howard University in Washington,DC to pursue his masters of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production.
He landed the leading role in Austin’s popular soap opera series titled ‘Shades of Life “where he won Best Male Actor two years straight.
Chem Ohameze / Papa Opara
He is one of the stakeholders in Nollywood today. The renowned actor was born in IMO STATE,NIGERIA. He graduated with a diploma in Mass Communication and a degree in Sociology from the university of Port Harcourt and was a successful businessman before he joined the Nigerian Movie industry in 1996.
A husband and father, Ohameze has acted many roles and looks forward to continuing his career as a prominent actor in the international film industry.
Jeff Swarthout / Don Deccico
An Actor, Writer and Producer Jeff Swarthout is ‘IJE’ IS Jeff’s 7th feature films since moving from New York city 6years ago. In New York, his primary focus was the stage with classical theater being his niche. He has performed with the Acting Company, The UTAH Shakespearean festival and the St. Louis Repertory CO. to name a few.
Other film credits include ‘DEVIL GIRL’ and ‘GARDEN OF THE NIGHT’. Television credits include “Another World “and “Trinity”.
Jeff holds an M.F.A from the University of Missouri Kansas City.