Festival Producer

Rachael Loughlan is a freelance film festival consultant and project manager. She has worked in the film industry for 10 years, providing strategic support, event production, programming and venue management to a range of venues and film festivals, including Glasgow Film Festival, TIFF and EIFF. Rachael has an MLitt in Film Journalism from University of Glasgow and has been producing Film Africa since 2014.



Isabel Moura Mendes is a Portuguese Cape-Verdean arts and cultural manager, with strong practice in international cultural relations, artistic exchange and African (& Lusophone) film curation. She holds an MA in Arts & Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is based, and has been programming for Film Africa since 2013.



Jacqueline Nsiah is a cultural anthropologist, freelance film festival and arts & culture consultant. She has eight years’ experience in the international film festival circuit, having worked in the UK, Ghana, Brazil and Germany in a variety of roles, and is the co-director and curator of UHURU festival in Rio de Janeiro and producer of Black Star lFF in Accra. She recently joined the Mokolo project committee, a pan-African platform for African cinema.


Festival Coordinator

Naomi Rathod is currently on the ICO’s FEDs Trainee Scheme with Film Africa. Her role as festival coordinator is allowing her to experience several aspects of organising a film festival, while also exploring a new cinema. She studied Film & Screen Studies and Psychology at Bath Spa University, and began pursuing a career in film in 2015 through volunteering at London Asian Film Festival. Naomi is of Indian heritage and specialises in Indian cinema and dance.


Shorts Programmer

Sheila Ruiz is currently Head of Programmes & Operations at the Royal African Society, following five years as the Society’s Events Programme Manager. Prior to this, she was Communications & Programming Consultant for the Africa Centre and previously worked as a freelance events producer for various community arts projects. She is of mixed Spanish/Equato-Guinean heritage and bilingual in Spanish and English. She tweets at @SheilaRuiz


Shorts Programmer

Silja Frey is a consultant and project manager with 10 years’ experience working in-house, agency side and freelance. She has worked with filmmakers for the past couple of years, with a focus on the creative community from across the African continent. Silja has degrees in economics and advertising. She tweets @Siljafrey


Education Coordinator

Joanna Brown is the Film Africa Education Programme Co-ordinator. After graduating in English from Cambridge University, Joanna joined the BFI, where she co-ordinated special events. Now, after six years as a Primary Teacher in Haringey specialising in Reading Enrichment, she is building an educational programme across the Royal African Society, starting with school programmes for Africa Writes and Film Africa.


Marketing Coordinator & Submissions Advisor

Awra Tewolde-Berhan is a writer and film blogger. She has worked at various film festivals as a writer and researcher, including the UKIFF (London Iranian Film Festival). Exploring her Eritrean heritage, she is currently working on art-related community projects and as a freelance video editor. Awra holds a BA in English and Film from the University of Portsmouth.


Submissions Advisor

Robin Steedman is a fourth year PhD student in African film studies at SOAS University of London. She researches the phenomenon of Nairobi-based female filmmakers and her academic study will be the first about this female led industry. She has book chapters forthcoming in publications on archives of atrocity in Kenya by Brill and African cinema by Wiley-Blackwell, and her film reviews have appeared in the African Studies Review. Her passion for African film extends beyond the academy and she is now in her third year as a documentary submissions advisor for Film Africa. She hopes to research the exciting field of African documentary production more formally in subsequent projects.


Print Traffic Coordinator

Magda Rotko has worked for the Toronto International Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and Glasgow Film Festival. She holds an MA in Film Studies from the University College London and MA Hispanic Studies from the University of Glasgow. Originally from Poland she’s now based in Scotland.


Submissions Advisor

Nellie Alston is a keen film enthusiast who has been working for the film distributor Verve Pictures since finishing the ICO’s FEDS scheme in 2015. Her desire to watch and share undiscovered or alternative films with others has resulted in her programming for the Barbican’s Chronic Youth Film Festival and now as a submissions adviser for Film Africa.


Guest Liaison

A translator and interpreter by training, Ladis B. Sité is an experienced communications and PR consultant who has supported both technical and creative teams internationally. Ladis has also worked as a facilitator for corporate social responsibility and cultural projects in Equatorial Guinea, and is currently a member of the Spanish interpreters team within the African Union. He tweets @Ladislao_BSite