Hellura Lyle, Co-Founder/Co-Director
After graduating with honors from Wesleyan University with a BA in American Studies, Hellura worked freelance in film, television, theater and video production in New York City and Los Angeles. In 2008, she shifted her focus to programming and launched her documentary film series, Doc Watchers, at Maysles Cinema. She is also a programming partner for the New York African Film Festival. In her spare time, Hellura makes one-of-a-kind wool scarves and handbags.
Riding the cotton pony since 1981
Toccarra Thomas, Co-Founder/Co-Director
Toccarra is a nomadic artist and arts administrator. After receiving a BA in Anthropology from Smith College and a MA in Media Studies from The New School, she had a blast paying down some of her student debt by working for StoryCorps, New York Foundation for the Arts, and African Film Festival, Inc. Still about 40k in the red (no pun intended), she finally decided to go freelance and pursue her dream of running a film festival with an amazing cast of characters.
Surfing the crimson wave since 1994
Jessica Sederquist, Outreach and Development Coordinator
Jessica is an arts administrator and gender consultant extraordinaire. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA summa cum laude in international relations and gender studies. After studying at the University of Ghana her senior year, she moved to New York City and served as program manager at African Film Festival, Inc. and as production coordinator for CreativeChaos. She currently works in the vice president’s office at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Jessica is thrilled to be a part of the luminous force behind The Unmentionables Film Festival!
Sitting on a nice Merlot since 2001
Muriel Placet-Kouassi, Venue and Volunteer Coordinator
After receiving her Ph.D. in French from LSU in 1995, Muriel has taught in the United States and in Burkina Faso. After a year and a half in Niger, she has returned to NYC and currently teaches at The New School. She has been volunteering at the African Film Festival since 2003. Muriel is delighted to be part of The Unmentionable Film Festival team. She is also the proud owner of a beautiful and warm one-of-a-kind wool scarf made by Hellura Lyle.
Doing time since 1978