22 names.

Forest Whitaker

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx.

Whitaker was born on July 15, 1961 in Longview, Texas, to Laura Francis (Smith), a special education teacher, and Forest Steven Whitaker, an insurance salesman. His family moved to South Central Los Angeles in 1965. The athletically-inclined Whitaker initially found his way into college via a football scholarship. Later, however, he transferred to USC where he set his concentration on music and earned two more scholarships training as an operatic tenor. This, in turn, led to another scholarship at Berkeley with a renewed focus on acting and the performing stage.

Whitaker made his film debut at the age of 21 in the raucous comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High wherein he played, quite naturally, a footballer. He went on to play another sports-oriented student, a wrestler, in his second film Vision Quest. He gained experience on TV as well with featured spots on such varied shows as Diff'rent Strokes and Cagney & Lacey, not to mention the TV-movie Civil War epic North and South and its sequel. The movie that truly put him on the map was The Color of Money. His one big scene as a naive-looking pool player who out-hustles Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felson was pure electricity. This led to more visible roles in the "A" class films Platoon, Stakeout, and Good Morning, Vietnam, which culminated in his breakout lead portrayal of the tortured jazz icon 'Charlie "Bird" Parker' in Clint Eastwood's passion project Bird, for which Whitaker won the Cannes Film Festival award for "best actor" and a Golden Globe nomination. Whitaker continued to work with a number of well-known directors throughout the 1990s.

While his "gentle giant" characters typically display innocence, indecision, and timidity along with a strong underlying humanity, he has certainly not shied away from the edgier, darker corners of life as his occasional hitmen and other menacing streetwise types can attest. Although in only the first section of the film, he was memorable as the IRA-captured British soldier whose bizarre relationship with a mysterious femme fatale serves as the catalyst for the critically-lauded drama The Crying Game. Always a willing participant to push the envelope, he's gone on to enhance a number of lesser films. Among those was his plastic surgeon in Johnny Handsome, gay clothing designer in Robert Altman's Ready to Wear, alien hunter in Species, absentee father confronted by his estranged son in Smoke, and Mafia hitman who models himself after the samurai warrior in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, among many others. As would be expected, he's also had his share of epic-sized bombs, notoriously the L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi disaster Battlefield Earth. On the TV front, he was the consulting producer and host of a revamped Rod Serling's cult series classic The Twilight Zone, which lasted a disappointing one season.

In the early 1990s, Whitaker widened his horizons to include producing/directing and has since gained respect behind the camera as well. He started things off co-producing the violent gangster film A Rage in Harlem, in which he co-starred with Gregory Hines and Robin Givens, and then made his successful directorial debut with the soulful Waiting to Exhale, showcasing a legion of distaff black stars. He also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop"). He also helmed the fluffy romantic comedy First Daughter with Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton. Whitaker also served as an executive producer on First Daughter. He had previously executive produced several made-for-television movies, most notably the 2002 Emmy-award winning Door to Door, starring William H. Macy. He produced these projects through his production company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, which he shut down in 2005 to concentrate on his acting career.

In 2002, he co-starred in Joel Schumacher's thriller, Phone Booth, with Kiefer Sutherland and Colin Farrell. That year, he also co-starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room.

Whitaker's greatest success to date is the 2006 film, The Last King of Scotland. His performance earned him the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, For that same role, he also received the Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and many critical accolades. He has also received several other honors. In September 2006, the 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival presented him with its "Hollywood Actor of the Year Award," He was also honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2007, receiving the American Riviera Award. Previously, in 2005, the Deauville Festival of American Film paid tribute to him. In 2007, Forest Whitaker won the Cinema for Peace Award 2007.

In 2007, Whitaker co-starred in The Great Debaters with fellow Oscar winner Denzel Washington, and in 2008, Whitaker played opposite Keanu Reeves in Street Kings and Dennis Quaid in Vantage Point.

In 2009, Forest co-starred in the Warner Bros. film "Where the Wild Things Are," directed by Spike Jonze, which was a mix of live-action, animation and puppetry as an adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic children's book. Around the same time, he also starred in "Repossession Mambo", with Jude Law, "Hurricane Season", "Winged Creatures", and "Powder Blue". He appeared in the Olivier Dahan film "My Own Love Song", opposite Renée Zellweger, and was part of the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2009, in Nigeria.

He is married to former model Keisha Whitaker and has three children by her. His younger brothers Kenn Whitaker and Damon Whitaker are both actors as well.

Forest was given a star on the Hollywood Walk in April of 2007. In November 2007, Whitaker was the creative mind behind DEWmocracy.com, a website that let people decide the next flavor of Mountain Dew in a "People's Dew" poll. He directed a short film and created the characters for the video game. Whitaker has done extensive humanitarian work, he has been involved with organizations like, Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers. PETA and Farm Sanctuary, organizations that protect animals' rights. Close friends with Neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, Forest has helped raise awareness and funds for Dr. Blacks research. During the last couple of years, he has become a spokesperson for Hope North Ugandan orphanage and Human Rights Watch. In the year 2001 Forest received a Humanitas Prize. He was recently honored by The City of Los Angeles with the Hope of Los Angeles Award. And his entire clan received the LA BEST Family Focus Award. Last year he joined forces with "Idol Gives Back" and "Malaria No More"; he has become a GQ Ambassador supporting and fundraising for Hope North. He was a Surrogate for Barrack Obama's campaign supporting him across the United States.

Whitaker's multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, includes film, television and music production. He works closely with a number of charitable organizations, giving back to his community by serving as an Honorary Board Members for Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, the Human Rights Watch and The Hope North organization.

Michael Haneke

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world cinema, Haneke wrote and directed films in several languages: French, German and English, working with a great variety of actors, such as Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Toby Jones, Ülrich Muhe, Arno Frisch and the list goes on.

This grand figure from Austrian cinema was born in Germany on 23 March 1942, from a German father and an Austrian mother, with both parents being from the artistic world working as actors, a career that Michael also tried but without much success. At the University of Vienna he studied drama, philosophy and psychology, and after graduation he went on to become a film critic and TV editor. His career behind camera started with After Liverpool, which he wrote and directed. He went on to direct five more TV films and two episodes from the miniseries "Lemminge" (1979)_.

The years spent on television works prompted him to finally direct his first cinema feature, during his early 40's, which is somewhat unusual for film directors. But it was worth waiting. In The Seventh Continent, Haneke establishes the foundation of what his future cinema would be about: a cinema that doesn't provides answers but one that dares to throw more and more questions, a cinema that reflects and analyses the human condition in its darkest and unexpected ways outside of any Hollywood formula. Films that exist to confront audiences and not comfort them. In it, Haneke deals with the duality of social values vs. internal values while exposing an apparent perfect family that runs into physical and material disintegration for reasons unknown. It was the first time a film of his was sent to the Cannes Film Festival (out of competition lineup) but he managed to cause some commotion in the audience with polemic scenes that were meant to extract all possible reactions from the crowd.

His next ventures at the decade's turn was in dealing with disturbed youth and the alienation they have in separating reality from fiction, trying to intersect both to drastic results. In Benny's Video, it's the disturbing story of a teen boy who experiences killing for the first time capturing the murder on tape, impressed by the power of detachment that films and videos can cause to people; and later on the highly controversial Funny Games, where two teens hold a family hostage to play sadistic games just for their own sick amusement. The film cemented Haneke's name as one of the greatest authors of his generation but sparkled a great debate with its themes of violence, sadism and the influence those things have in audiences. At the 1997's Cannes Film Festival, it was the film that had the most walk-out's by the audience. In between both films, he released 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance and Kafka's The Castle, the latter being one of the rare times when Haneke developed an adapted work.

In the 2000's, he strongly continued in producing more outstanding works prone to debate and reflection in what would become his most prolific decade with the following films: Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, Time of the Wolf, Caché, an American remake shot-by shot of Funny Games and The White Ribbon. His study about romance versus masochism in The Piano Teacher was an intense work, with powerful performances by Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel, that the Cannes jury in the year were so impressed that Haneke managed to actually reverse their award rules where it was decided that film entries at the festival couldn't win more than one main award (the two lead actors won awards and Haneke got the Grand Prize of the Jury, just lost the Palme d'Or). With The White Ribbon, an enigmatic black-and-white masterpiece following the inception of Nazism in this pre WWI and WWII story focusing on repressed children living in this small village where strange events happen all the time and without any possible reasoning, Haneke conquered the world and audiences with an artistic and daring work that won his first Palme d'Or a Golden Globe as Best Foreign Language Film and received an Oscar nomination for the same category plus the cinematography work of Christian Berger.

2012 was the year that marked his supremacy in the film world with the release of the bold and beautiful Amour, a love story with powerful real drama and one where Haneke removed most of his usual dark characteristics to present more quiet and calm elements without losing input in creating controversy. The touching story of George and Anne provided one the greatest moments of that year and earned Haneke his second and consecutive Palme d'Or at Cannes and his first Oscar nominations for Best Direction and Best Original Screenplay - and it was one of the several nominees for Best Picture Oscar, winning as Best Foreign Language Film.

After abandoning a flash-mob film project, he returned to the screen with Happy End, a film dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe and again he debuted his film at Cannes, receiving mildly positive reviews.

Besides his film work, Haneke also directs theatre productions, from drama to opera, from Così fan tutte to Don Giovanni.

Christopher Papakaliatis

Christopher Papakaliatis was born and raised in Athens, Greece. His father, Manuel Papakaliatis was born and raised in Crete. Villy Malamis, his mother, is South African. His parents met in London, England, where they first begun dating. Four years later they got divorced, but they already have had two children, Christopher and Philippe. He also has two more siblings (Stefanos and Nara) from his father second marriage. Christopher was first cast in the age of 16 for a role in the TV drama series "Guards of Ahaia". A drama series, based on a novel by Tassos Athanasiadis, which was aired in 1992 by Mega Channel (one of the biggest private TV channels in Greece). After numerous roles in successful TV series as a teen actor in Greece, he decided to write his first TV script at the age of 23. "Our life is a path" was aired on Mega channel in the season 1999-2000 and was well recognized by critics and public. The following season he wrote and starred in the TV series "Take care of me" 2000-2001, and the following season he made the TV movie "Three wishes" 2001-2002. In 2003 he wrote and starred in the TV series "Close your eyes" which was one of the highest rating series in Greece. It was at that point that he decided to direct most of second and third season episodes with great success. In the TV drama "Close your eyes" a kiss between two men caused a great debate in Greece (as it was the first time for two male characters to kiss on air) and was followed by a fine by the Greek National Council for Radio and Television but was later withdrawn by The Council of State. In 2005-2006 he wrote, directed and starred in a new dram-thriller series "Two days only", which had controversial reviews. "Two days only" was not a big success in the rating board, but was acclaimed artistically as one of the best filmed TV series. In 2008 he wrote, directed and starred in the TV series "4". A story about four male brothers and their different lives. "4" was a big success in Mega channel but due to the economical crisis in Greece was not able to continue to its second season and was cut off the air in the summer of 2010. It was the same year that he got accepted as a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (EMMY International). In 2012, he starred next to Catherine Deneuve and Sebastian Koch in the feature film "God loves Caviar" directed by Iannis Smaragdis. "What If" is his first feature film. The film was written and directed by him, while on the same time he played the leading role of Demetris. "What If" is a love story in Athens during the European economical crisis and is now one of the biggest Greek box office hits. The movie was a commercial success in Greece for the 2012-2013 season and remained in theaters for more than 4 months, while it received very positive reviews. In 2015, his second feature film "Worlds Apart" was released. The movie made a 5m euro grossing in the Greek box-office, was released in 25 countries and received very positive reviews from the LA Times and other publications.

He has always been the music editor in all his TV series and in charge of the music scoring and songs played in the episodes. He also was in charge of the music editing in the film "What if".

Theatre: In 1993 he made his debut in the comedy " At last alone" written by Lakis Lazopoulos which opened in City Center theatre NYC and later toured throughout Greece. In 1996-1998 he played his first leading role in 'Les Parents terribles' written by Jean Cocteau. In 1999-2000 he played the leading role in The thief written by Maria Pacome. In 2001 he played in the theatrical version of the movie Shallow grave by John Golf. In 2007 he played "human voices" a puzzle of monologues written by Jean Cocteau. In 2011-2012 he played Volfgang Amadeus Mozart in the well-known theatrical play "Amadeus" by Peter Shaffer.

This period, he shares his time between Greece and Los Angeles preparing his upcoming TV and film projects.

Justice Leak

Justice Leak was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. His father, George, a former police officer, named his daughter, Liberty and son, Justice after vowing to do so while a young soldier in Vietnam. "My Dad said if he made it back home, he'd give us these names after his love for his country."

During his childhood, Justice was anything but fond of his name. "As a kid, you don't want to stick out. And when I was introduced to people, my name was (and still is) a conversation starter, which for me was a nightmare." Leak said. "But as you get older, you realize that it's good to have something that makes you different from everyone else."

Leak was a shy kid who "could easily blend into the walls." His quiet nature, however, made him a keen observer of human behavior, a skill that has served him well.

"All my life's experiences -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- have been preparing me to do this thing (acting). That's why I'm so thankful that I wasn't a popular kid!"

His first stint in the spotlight came during his senior year at Jefferson Davis High School. He was chosen to lead the marching band, and recalls his experience as drum major as the "best of both worlds in terms of performing and music."

"For the first time, I was in a leadership position," Leak said. "I couldn't hide behind anybody else, and looking back, that was the beginning point for me coming out of my shell."

After graduation, Leak attended college in Texas and later Auburn University. While there, he became involved in the drama department, mainly working behind the scenes. But that all changed when he helped a classmate with an audition.

"I told the director that I wasn't auditioning and was only helping," Leak said. "Afterwards, he stepped up and said, 'Why aren't you auditioning? You would be great in one of the leads.'"

His first role was the lead in Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible." During his senior year, he starred in every main stage play produced at Auburn and earned two Irene Ryan Award nominations. He was also named "best actor" by the university's faculty and students.

After earning a degree in theatre arts, Leak moved to Atlanta and was signed to the agency, People Store. He began doing commercials for companies such as Verizon Wireless, and later, had small roles in TV shows and independent films.

His agent felt he could do more and sent his resume to the casting directors for "The Great Debaters," a career changing moment.

As the buzz of The Great Debaters crossed the country, so did Justice, making his move from the east to the west coast; capitalizing on the momentum of this success. Once in Los Angeles, he was quickly signed by two leading agencies and booked back to back to back guest starring roles on three major network shows within a month's time - and the momentum shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.

Leak plans to remain humble, no matter how successful he becomes.

"I want to be known as a good soul with a kind heart, and a great artist who had the chance to make a difference in this world for the better and succeeded."

B.D. Freeman

Comedian and Host/Personality, B.D. Freeman has quickly become one of the most recognized faces in 'Pop Culture' entertainment on television. It's his uncanny ability to mine original comedy from the culture of American film, television, music, politics and people that has served to make him a fan favorite. But it's his natural charm and easy going style of delivery that has distinguished him from his contemporaries. Freeman is enjoying starring on Vh1's highly successful "The Greatest" series as well as VH1's newly re-booted "I Love The..." series. Over the past few years Freeman has honed his 'Pop Culture' comedy skills to a fine point while starring on shows such as VH1's Undateable and VH1's five part series, "100 Most Shocking Music Moments" as well as VH1's "The Great Debate." In "100 Most Shocking Music Moments" Freeman covered the most hilarious, unbelievable moments in music pop culture, and in "The Great Debate" Freeman delivered the final word on the most intense pop culture debates and questions of all time. Freeman also starred on VH1's four part series "Black to the Future," which aired continuously throughout the month of February 2009 on VH1. "Black to the Future" was created by the people who brought you VH1's highly successful "I Love The..." series. Told from an African American perspective from stars such as Freeman, Common, Jesse Jackson, Nick Cannon, and Marlin Wayans, "Black To The Future" gave viewers a giant dose of the music, movies, TV shows, products, fashions, fads, trends, scandals and major events that Black folks brought to the table from the 1970's till today. Freeman's talent as a quick-witted, fast, funny Host was highlighted in his role as Co-Host of the popular entertainment news series, "In the Cutz." As Host, Freeman provided viewers with an insider's look at happenings from all walks of entertainment including awards shows, red carpet premieres, insider parties and on-the-set interviews with stars of upcoming film and television projects. Freeman put his comedic skills to work by writing and performing his very own segment "My Take with B.D. Freeman" which featured his hilarious monologues that touched on a variety of topics each episode. "In the Cutz" was syndicated across 160 million homes nationwide. Freeman has entertained on several national television programs engaging the audience with his magnetic personality and gut-wrenching laughs. He has appeared on the Reelz Channel's series, "What I Learned About ___ from the Movies," and on "CD USA," DIRECTV's original series, which gave music fans a full hour of live music from today's hottest artists. He also emerged as a crowd favorite through his participation as a celebrity panelist on the "Greg Behrendt Show" and was featured across episodes for G4TV's "Filter" a countdown show highlighting topics that range from music and movies to TV and sports, examined from a man's perspective. Freeman's versatility is evident in the transition to his role on The N Network's "Degrassi: The Next Generation." The show featured him as Mr. Ellis, a funky and down to earth science teacher. Freeman easily embraced the character and the opportunity to move beyond his comedic persona and into a dramatic role. He proudly endorsed the messages and ideals of the show, and his performance brought a fresh and unique personality to an already amazing cast.

Additional credits include character work on "MAD TV," and co-starring with Eddie Griffin on his comedy DVD, N.T.V., both of which emphasized his outstanding creativity in comedy sketches. Freeman has entertained on the stages of some of the nation's best comedy clubs such as The Improv, The Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory unleashing hilarious characters on audiences from coast to coast.

Sharon Jones

Born Sharon Lafaye Jones in Augusta, Georgia, she moved to New York City at an early age. With a gifted voice, performing gospel songs in Church, since childhood, she has only recently received acclaim by the public and her peers in the areas of Soul, Funk and Rhythm and Blues. Until the late 90s she was still employed at her "day Job" as a Correction Officer at NYC's Rikers Island. Initially a backup session singer, she impressed Record Executives and - Producers Gabriel Roth and Philip Lehman, when she was the only one to show up for a recording session, and demonstrated her ability to sing on several different backup tracks. "Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings" were formed In 2002. They were comprised of Sharon Jones backed by members from three bands.From "The Soul Providers", Bosco Mann on bass, guitarist Binky Griptite, percussionist Fernando Velez, trumpet player Anda Szilagyi and organist Earl Maxton. They were joined by "The Mighty Imperials"s saxophonist Leon Michels and drummer Homer Steinweiss plus Neal Sugarman from "Sugarman 3". As "Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings", the band has released several critically acclaimed albums including "Naturally" (2005) and "I Learned the Hard Way (2010). A milestone in her career occurred in 2007 when she appeared in the film, "The Great Debaters", where she played "Lila" and sang "That's What My Baby Likes". Additioanlly, in the film's soundtrack, Sharon performs the Gospel classics "Up Above My Head" and "Two Wings". This film appearance along with the soundtrack music introduced Sharon to a much larger audience. Her subsequent TV appearances with The Dap Kings include a spirited mini concert on "Austin City Limits"(2008), as well as appearances on "Late Night With David Letterman" (2010) and "The Conan O'Brien Show" on TBS (2010).

George Wilson

George Wilson did not plan on an acting career. Growing up in Bastrop, his first brush with fame came as drum major in the Morehouse High School band.

Wilson graduated from MHS in 1965 and moved to Michigan, where he worked in a General Motors plant. The work did not always agree with him. He began spending time at Michigan State University in Lansing while an acquaintance was taking classes there.

He met a faculty member who helped him enroll in Lansing Community College, where he studied theater and began acting in stage productions. From there, he moved on to acting at Michigan State.

Wilson auditioned for a theater company in Detroit, where his first reading with a fellow thespian did not seem to go well.

Five seasons later, Wilson decided to take his talents to Los Angeles, where he enrolled in an acting workshop. Things did not go as planned on the West Coast.

Wilson worked as a diesel driver in Shreveport for the next 10 years. His acting career seemed to be over.

Auditions and acting workshops began to pop up around town, and Wilson decided to get back in the game. He landed his first movie role as a detective in the 2007 film "Cleaner."

He worked as an extra on "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," then landed a more sizable role in the 2007 film "The Great Debaters."

The Golden Globe-nominated film tells the story of Professor Melvin Tolson, who coached the Wiley College debate team in Marshall, Texas in the 1930s. The film was produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington.

Wilson said his role as the character "Samuel" required him to spend 30 hours in the make-up chair while he was made to appear injured.

Watching Denzel Washington at work, as both director and actor, helped enhance his own acting ability.

Wilson landed parts in the films "Longshot," "The Lazarus Heart," "W" and most recently "Cool Dog," slated to be released in December 2011.

Wilson said at 62, with some gray hair, he has no trouble getting roles that call for older men.

David Crockett

Crockett was raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. After graduating with high honors from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he began working for a commercial production company in Chicago before landing a job in the production accounting department on the Michael Apted film Blink (1994). Immediately after, he moved to Los Angeles and worked on a succession of films for New Line Cinema and Miramax.

He joined the DGA in 2000 and co-produced his first film (The Guru, 2002) the next year.

Crockett met Ben Affleck in 2006 and executive produced his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. Immediately following that film, he went to Shreveport, Louisiana to work with another actor/director Denzel Washington on his film The Great Debaters.

In 2009, he returned to Boston to re-team with Ben Affleck on next film, The Town which was his first film to be nominated for a Producer's Guild Award. While in production on that film, he met Graham King who offered him a position at King's GK Films as Executive Vice President of Production. While there, Crockett was involved with such films as Hugo, World War Z, and Argo.

Crockett left GK Films in 2013 to return to independent producing. That same year, he joined Rupert Wyatt on his film The Gambler (2014). The two had met while developing another project at GK Films.

Crockett currently has several other projects in development. He has 3 kids and lives with his wife in Los Angeles.

Rendell Bryce

Known for his work on Jurassic World, The 5th Wave, The Great Debaters, and for his upcoming role as "Nathan" on OWN's first scripted drama series "Queen Sugar". Rendell Bryce spent his first 11 years, growing up on the island Caribbean island of Trinidad in the West Indies until he and has family relocated to New York City. It's in NYC where his passion for entertainment was nurtured. Apart from his acting, Rendell Bryce sings and plays the piano and is producing his first feature length film, "From Zero to I Love You"

Gray Ellis

Gray Ellis was born in Alexandria Virginia. He lived the majority of his life within the Washington DC area with his Mother, Father and his two little brothers. Before adopting the stage name "Gray Ellis" he went by his legal name Dominique Ellis. The now 24 year old Actor wasn't always one who lived for the spot light. Gray attended various local schools within the Nations Capital such as Morningside Elementary, Andrew Jackson Middle School, Forestville Military Academy, Prince Georges Community College and the University of Maryland. Still young and unsure of his true Career, Gray jumped from Graphic Design to Criminal Justice searching for his destiny. Gray Ellis caught the "Acting Bug" over a Summer Church Retreat Film in which he featured as an extra. He loved the creativity of working on camera with others and wanted more. At the age of 22, he ran into a friend between classes at his College that would change his life forever. Gray's friend suggested a few auditions that he should look into to get started. He found himself many days just harassing friends on campus to do mini scenes so that he could better familiarize himself with developing technique and craft. He soon received his first invite for an film audition at Howard University named Class Act (2012). Nervous, unsure and shy, Gray attended the audition with many questions about himself still looming. He then found out in later weeks that he had been casted for the lead role of the film. Gray had a fortune that not many talents experience achieving on their first audition. Viewing a supported cast that outweighed him in credits, Gray surprisingly did not let that intimidate him. He in fact gained respect and trust of carrying the film quickly from his cast. This instilled a confidence within Gray that was born earlier than expected. Gray set fire to the local Washington DC Film Industry, landing fifth-teen credits during a nine month span. A few credits to be named but not limited to are, Fang (2011), Lovely Molly (2011), The Serpents Tongue (2011), Class Act (2012) , Abandoned (2010), and many others. In January 2011 Gray finally decided it was time to join the Union. On January 25th 2011 Gray Ellis officially signed as a AFTRA Talent.

Understanding the magnitude of becoming a professional talent, he soon began to look for a mainstream market in which he could work towards becoming a Academy Award Winning Talent. After great debate between relocating to New York and Los Angeles, Gray decided he would take his talent too Los Angeles to pursue his Film Career as a Professional Actor. With only twenty dollars in his pocket, Gray quickly boarded his South West flight to embark on the newest chapter of his Career. Since reaching Los Angeles Gray has done prime time credits such as Hart of Dixie (2011); Prime Suspect (2011); Boardwalk Empire (2011); Ringer (2011); Good Christian Belles (2012); Gangster Squad (2012); Dark Knight Rises (2012). Gray Ellis has also recently started up his first production company Motion View Productions LLC showing his versatility both in-front and behind the camera. With only six-teen months under his belt, this 24 year old Actor is definitely someone to keep close watch on. Gray is also taking training at the Stella Adler Academy in Hollywood Los Angeles, Gray Ellis is a dedicated and passionate as they come. He studies closely under the craft and technique of Denzel Washington and Will Smith, combining both charm and comedy with dramatic deliverance. The now SAG-AFTRA Actor, Gray Ellis is truly a talent that will be apart of our Industry World of Entertainment for many more years to come.

Michael J. Panichelli Jr.

Michael J. Panichelli, Jr. is an award-nominated actor, and award-winning film producer. A native of New Jersey, his training includes comprehensive studies, commercials and scenes at the Actor's Training Studio, stage acting at the Robert Patterson Studio, and stand up and Improv at the Comedy College.

Panichelli starred as a renowned schizophrenic psychiatrist in the award-winning "The Cage", for which he earned a 2008 "Best Actor" nomination at the Downbeach Film Festival. He starred in "The Bridge", which premiered at the 2009 Kenya International Film Festival. He starred in the independent horror film, "Acrimony". He also starred in and executive produced the multiple award-winning "Beautiful Man In The Buff".

Some of Panichelli's other acting credits includes "Sorrow Hill", "The Sacrament of Life", "The Ritual", "Head Case", "Omega One", "Mutumbo", "Jokerz Wild", and "The Golden Empire". Some of his other film and television work includes "Unbreakable", "Annapolis", "Rocky Balboa", "Changing Lanes", "Forensic Files", "Shadow: Dead Riot", "Sex & The City", "Oz" and "Law & Order".

Panichelli served as an executive producer on Blue Angel Entertainment, LLC's "Inside of Me", which was officially selected for the 2009 Queens International Film Festival and 2010 New Filmmakers NY screening series.

Panichelli has worked with some of the industry's best and brightest including Hollywood veteran, Clifton Powell (Ray), horror vixen, Brinke Stevens, horror villain, Tony Todd (Candyman), actor Robert X. Golphin (Denzel Washington's "The Great Debaters"), actor Tony Kates (Celebrity Boxing 11), Michael Blackson (The African King of Comedy), International Hip-Hop Recording Artist, Shakil, and a host of others.

As an actor, Panichelli gravitates towards challenging 'character' types. His preparation for playing just about any role is a result of his former occupation. He interacted with a diverse set of people having worked as a Senior Officer at the Southern State Correctional Facility. After being injured in the line of duty, he was afforded the opportunity to pursue acting full time.

Edwin Lee Gibson

Actor, Playwright Edwin Lee Gibson was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He began acting as part of the much-heralded Ross S. Sterling High School Drama Club. He began to get paid as an actor at age sixteen in a city-sponsored summer drama program. To date, Mr. Gibson has performed in over 90 professional theatre productions, in his 32 years as an actor. Edwin studied Mathematics at Paul Quinn College, where he also played baseball and sang in the choir. As a sophomore in college, a chance meeting with the late, famed female actor, Esther Rolle (Good Times), led to a role opposite her in a two-person show. Edwin went on to study at Texas Southern University in his native Houston, Texas where he was part of the university's debate and forensics team under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas F. Freeman (Freeman was the basis for the Denzel Washington character in, The Great Debaters). After college, Edwin spent eight years as a company member of The Ensemble Theatre in Houston (1987-1995). While working locally and touring in the theatre, Edwin was garnering success in the comedy world writing and performing sketch comedy and improvisation at Houston's Comedy Workshop (1987-1990), then as a stand-up comic (1989-1996). In 1995, Edwin moved to New York City. His knack for spinning characters and text made him a commodity first on the fringe of New York Theatre, then on major Off Broadway stages working with artists such as Michael John Garces, Carmen Rivera, Deb Margolin and later Kia Karthron, Jo Bonney, Bill T. Jones and Will Power. A chance meeting with Mr. Power led to Edwin winning the principal role in Powers' 2006 Lortell Award winning musical, The Seven. Gibson received overwhelming critical and commercial acclaim culminating with a 2006 OBIE Award (Off Broadway In Excellence) for Outstanding Performance. He also received the solo cover of the Village Voice for the week of 17 May 2006. Four of six plays he has written have been produced in New York City. His first play, a solo work entitled, Anatomy of a Knucklehead ran for127 performances over eight months in NYC. In 2008-2009, he received an NEA commission for his fourth play, Placebo. In 2010, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Commission and a Mondo Cane Commission for his fifth play, Five 'Til: Solo. Mr. Gibson is also a lecturer having given talks at Yale University, New York University, S.U.N.Y. Purchase College, Ithaca College, Point Park University Pittsburgh, Western Michigan University, and multiple other colleges and universities around the country. He has worked as a guest artist at Princeton University, City College of New York, and Youngstown State University, among others. Edwin is a member of Actor's Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, The Writers' Guild of America and New York Theatre Workshop's Usual Suspects.

Julia Newmann

Julia is scoring her 8th season of Fox's hit TV series, "Bones" with 3 time Emmy award winning composer, Sean Callery. ASCAP honored Julia with three Film and TV Music Awards for her musical contribution to "Bones" in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The "Bones" score was also nominated for Best Primetime Television Music of 2011 from the "Hollywood Music and Media Awards." Julia is an accomplished graduate from the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. In 2003, she earned her BM degree in music composition and doubled majored in USC's acclaimed Film Scoring Program. She also received the BMI award in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television through USC's Film Scoring Program. Shortly after graduation, she was a selected participant of the prestigious ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop. From then on forward, she has been actively scoring films as well as collaborating and aiding film composers on their projects. From 2005-2008, Julia assisted and orchestrated for James Newton Howard on several major films including the Academy Award nominated score to "Michael Clayton," "The Great Debaters," and "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" to name a few. And in 2006, Julia joined forces with composer husband, Cody Westheimer, and formed music production company, "New West Studios." She is presently working as a freelance television and film composer and resides in the Los Angeles area.

Courtney Rawls

Courtney Rawls aka Huey Rawls is a writer and director known for Life's Monologue (2015), Hell Thou Loose (2013), and Dana's Story (2017). Huey got his first glimpse onset as an extra in the film The Great Debaters (2007) where he sat right behind Denzel Washington. After recently graduating from KD Conservatory: College of Film & Dramatic Arts with a degree in Motion Picture Production he has begun to make a name for himself with his recent projects.

Kevin Brooks

Ever since he was a child, Kevin Brooks was captivated by movies. He grew from entertaining family members to stealing the show during his training at the K.D. Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts. While he got his start in the conservatory's Black Box Theater, he made his silver screen debut as an on-screen extra in "The Great Debaters" (2007). Since then he's continued to work in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on a number of stage, film and television productions, including an episode of TNT's "Dallas" (2012).

Kevin's first featured television appearance was on MTV's "The Ex and Why" (2014) (S1, E5). He recently completed filming "Carter High" (2016) alongside Charles S. Dutton and Pooch Hall, in which plays a running back for the Kimball High School football team.

Kevin was born in Queens, New York to Anthony and Marchelle Brooks. His family relocated to Mesquite, Texas in 1996 where he resides today.

Jeremiah Kissel

Jeremiah Kissel is a thirty-five year veteran of New England's professional stages, having performed major roles for Boston's largest theaters, including The Huntington, American Repertory Theater,The Lyric Stage, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, etc. He is the recipient of several IRNE and Elliot Norton awards, (most recently the 2014 Norton Best Actor for "Imagining Madoff"), and in 2003 was given Boston's highest theater honor, The Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. Recent stage appearances include "Three Farces and a Funeral" opposite Alan Alda, "Hamlet" with Jeffery Donovan, "Two Gentlemen of Florence" with Edward Herrmann, and "The Cherry Orchard" with Kate Burton. He has been a SAG member for thirty years, and earliest TV appearances date back to ABC's "Spencer For Hire". More recently he has appeared in "Black Mass", "The Fighter", "The Great Debaters" and "The Town". He can be seen also opposite Dana Delaney in the pilot episode of "Body of Proof" on ABC. Kissel also has an extensive VO resume, serving many commercial and industrial clients throughout New England, and has voiced several episodes of Boston produced installments of "Nova" and "Frontline".

Korstiaan Vandiver

Korstiaan "Kors Vandiver is a filmmaker and educator that hails from Atlanta where he took a serious interest in filmmaking after he served as an apprentice and eventually received some serious mentoring advice from educator and filmmaker Spike Lee. Education was always looming in the background as he came from a family of educators starting with his mother, as well as aunts and an uncle who were all teachers. Before education Kors started Blue Angel Entertainment, his multi-media company then took a leap of faith to Los Angeles where, within less than two months, he got a paid gig to write a script based on the life of singer John Legend. He worked for Starz "Martin Lawrence Presents: 1st Amendment Stand-Up" for a number of seasons before his work in Special Education and later head multi-million dollar funded non-profit afterschool funding for at risk youth. Kors would later write action/drama film, "Run Cholo Run", which screened in the Vice & Folly screening in Park City, Utah in 2012. Since then, Kors has garnered interest from organizations such as Sony/Columbia, Veralux Media & Fox. As a Director, he was nominated for his film "Entropy" in the 2012, 168 Film Festival. His film "LU", starring Nate Parker, was a 168 film finalist with 11 nominations including 'Best Picture', 'Best Director' & 'Best Screenplay', winning 4 awards and was an HBO/BET Urbanworld Official Selection. "LU" also took 1 award in the international One Lens festival and screened at a special Sundance board member event in 2014. As a screenwriter/filmmaker Kors has captured the interest of the agencies such as ICM, CAA, Gersh, WME as well as Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way and Anonymous Content. Kors, is currently producing his first feature film along with the help of his wife and closest producer partner Kimberly Vandiver with support of his partner company Innervision Filmworks w/ Dwight Wilson II as well as Phantom Four Films who were instrumental in the Dark Knight trilogy as well as other films. He also heads a drug prevention film program in Los Angeles focusing on mentoring high school age filmmakers/activists. Kors has worked in varying educational arenas such as West LA College, a number of middle and elementary schools and more recently he taught film at Wiley College in Texas, home of "The Great Debaters". Kors is always working towards creating meaningful projects that will have worldwide impact that will ultimately reach back to uplift the communities he serves.

Cory Patt

Born in McKinney, Texas, on June 27, 1985, Cory set his sights on acting at a young age. Mesmerized by action and dramatic films, Cory was confident that acting would be his career of choice. Raised as the middle brother of three boys in Greenville Texas, Cory did not pursue an acting career until he completed college, because his parents could not afford to make the parental commitment at the time. However, Cory's life changed after his freshman year in high school when his parents convinced him to follow a new and improved academic path; and he moved to DeSoto, Texas with his aunt in exchange for a better high school education. After successfully completing high school, Cory continued on to Grambling State University and later transferred to Louisiana Tech University where he completed his Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Information Systems.

A relative newcomer to Hollywood, Cory's first big break came with a role in the feature film, "The Great Debaters" while working as a computer technician at a casting company that was casting for "The Great Debaters." Cory was been afforded the opportunity of a lifetime to work with Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. They were very instrumental in educating him about working in the entertainment industry. Since then, his career has been moving full speed ahead.

Cory currently resides in Arlington, Texas. When not working, he enjoys website designing, basketball, writing poetry and spending time with his family and friends.

James Granville

James was born in Roseville, California on January 22nd, 1984. James started out as just a regular boy whose mother is Deborah Matchem and his father Jon Granville. James also has an older sister Actress Janea Granville. He grew up with only his mother and sister. He played sports such as basketball, soccer, and football. James played football from elementary school all the way throughout high school. At the age of 15 James went to an acting school called "John Robert Powers". After leaving them James continued his career in acting on his own. James landed his first movie called "A Stranger Within" as only an extra. Soon after that James had a lead role in the hit movie " Killer Campout" with his sister Janea Granville and Jillian Swanson. James is now doing well for himself, starring on such TV shows as Brotherhood and That's So Raven. Also with movies as 27 Dresses, The Great Debaters, and Tinker Bell with Brittany Murphy. James is now living in the New England area with his daughter Chloe Ann Granville who is going to be four years old as of October third 2007.

Idris Simon

Idris Simon is an award-winning screen actor, model and singer who stars in the short film WeakUs Link from Klean Slate Pictures. He also appears in the Bollywood feature film New York.

As an adolescent, he formed singing groups with friends and performed in talent competitions. In his high school yearbook, he was named Most Talented for his vocal and dance ability. He also began modeling as a teenager. His credits include the Philly Fashion Expo under the direction of Julie Welch (mother of rapper/actor Eve).

Idris holds a Bachelors of Science in English from Lincoln University. It was here that he discovered his love for singing failed to satisfy him completely. So he searched for new ways to express himself and fell into acting. While a student, his Major of Broadcast Journalism helped him feel comfortable in front of the camera and with writing. He subsequently landed roles in both feature length and short subject motion pictures.

Idris's roles range from a soldier, to a man faced with an impossible choice in the unreleased intense drama WeakUs Link from Klean Slate Pictures. But it is perhaps his leading role as "Boyfriend" in the multiple award-winning "Punch Me" that introduces his talent to the world.

In "Punch Me", Idris stars opposite talent from Denzel Washington's "The Great Debaters" and HBO's "The Wire". His work has been praised by audiences, co-workers and industry professionals. The project has screened or will screen at festivals and non-festivals in the United States and abroad.

Idris starred in a lead role opposite Fmr. Eagles Cheerleader D'Arcy Fellona in "I am man" an award-winning drama from Brotherside Entertainment, LLC and Emmy Award-Winner Janet Conner-Knox.

Idris is determined to be the best, turn heads and make people see and know who he is. He is ready to learn and grow quickly. The accolades his current work continues to receive should serve as the catalyst for his ultimate rise to the top.

Idris is certainly one to watch.

Maya Beiser

Over the past decade, Maya has created new repertoire for the cello, commissioning and performing many works written for her by today's leading composers. She has collaborated with composers Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, and Mark O'Connor, among many others. A featured performer on the world's most prestigious stages, Maya appeared as soloist at the Sydney Opera House, New York's Lincoln Center, London's Barbican and the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan and was a featured speaker and performer at the 2011 TED conference; her TEDTalk has since garnered over half a million views online.

Maya has conceived, performed and produced her critically acclaimed multimedia concerts, including World To Come, which premiered as part of the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall; Almost Human, a collaboration with visual artist Shirin Neshat; and Provenance, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2008 and forms the basis of her latest recording. Her sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall have been chosen by The New York Times critics as among the "Best Of The Year." She is currently at work on her newest project Elsewhere, a CELLoOpera, which premieres in fall 2012. Elsewhere is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical legend of Lot's wife, created by Beiser with director Robert Woodruff, composers Missy Mazzoli and Eve Beglarian and writer Erin Cressida Wilson.

Highlights of Maya Beiser's recent US tours include performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston and International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. Other recent performances include major venues and festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Athens. She has appeared with many of the world's top orchestras performing new works for the cello including the St. Paul Camber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, China Philharmonic, and many others.

Maya's latest recording, Provenance, has been a top selling classical and world music CD since its release in 2010. Her performance of Steve Reich's Cello Counterpoint, a piece written for her, is featured on the Nonesuch disc You Are, which was chosen by The New York Times as one of the top albums of the year. She is also the soloist on the Sony Classical CD release of Tan Dun's Water Passion, and has performed his Academy Award-winning score Crouching Tiger Concerto with orchestras around the globe. She has released four solo CDs on Koch (now E1) including Oblivion, Kinship, World To Come, and Almost Human.

Maya has been a featured soloist on several film soundtracks. Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, she is the featured soloist on M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, and Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman (to be released in June 2012).

Raised on a kibbutz in Israel by her French mother and Argentinean father, Maya Beiser is a graduate of Yale University. Her major teachers were Aldo Parisot, Uzi Weizel, Alexander Schneider, and Isaac Stern. Maya was the founding cellist of the new music ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

Jonathon Walter Cox

Jonathon Cox is a composer and songwriter living in Dayton, Ohio. He has written music for short films, features, stage and other forms of media. Jonathon comes from a musical family and began playing music at an early age. He picked up a set of drum sticks and taught himself to play the set by copying his older brother. Over the next few years, his natural affinity for percussion lent itself to other instruments. He bought a neighbors' old Charvel bass guitar for $10 and used it to teach himself while playing along with his favorite bands, namely Nirvana and Metallica. Inspired by Eric Clapton's 1992 album, Unplugged, Jonathon took up his grandfathers' hollow body Gibson electric guitar and managed to figure out how to make it work. Jonathon formed a rock band during his sophomore year of high school with a few of his friends and began learning how to write songs. His fascination with songwriting carried him through high school and into college. He entered Ohio Northern University as a music composition major in 1997, studying under Dr. Sunny Zank and Rosemary Williams. The next 4 years saw a dramatic change in Jonathon's writing style. He began writing small instrumental and choral works and developed a growing interest in electronic music. After graduation, Jonathon applied for and was accepted to Ohio University's Master's of Music Composition program, where he was a graduate assistant to Dr. Mark Phillips. Film music had been Jonathon's passion for a very long time. One of the deciding factors in him attending OU was the fact that they had a very well respected film program. Immediately upon arrival in Athens, Ohio, Jonathon introduced himself to the head of the film program, stating, "I'm here to write film music!" Jonathon has been working on independent films ever since. He scored Jeff Yanik's (The Avengers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) film festival favorite and award winning short Murder at Midnight in 2003 and an anthology horror feature film called Death4Told, starring Margot Kidder (Superman) and Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead, Django Unchained) in 2004. In 2008, Jonathon scored Robert X. Golphin's (The Great Debaters) short, Beautiful Man in the Buff, directed by Ziahd Hussien. 2010 saw Jonathon team up with Jeff Yanik again, this time on a retelling of the Edgar Allen Poe Classic The Tell-Tale Heart. The post-apocalyptic romantic comedy feature, Dating a Zombie, written a directed by Jack Abele (Death of the Dead), was completed in 2012 and a second feature team up, Future Stakes was finished in 2014. Currently, Jonathon is working on Red Brick Road Comics steam punk feature Marley's Ghost: Ambassadors of Steam, directed by Rob Stilfield and is slated to write a follow up score Within Arms Reach later on this year.

22 names.