As we get ready for the upcoming Documentary Outreach to Morocco, let’s introduce the crew who will be joining this journey. Each member brings unique talents and perspectives, coming together to learn more about documentary storytelling and the Moroccan people. This trip is focused on mastering a documentary filmmaking process that is efficient, effective, and ethical, adhering to professional standards. Through this learning experience we are partnering with local social impact organizations to create a series of short documentary films that showcase Moroccan solutions stories.

Below is a photo and a brief bio of each of our crew members and outreach leaders. Take a moment to get to know your fellow storytellers before we start this adventure. Establishing connections now will help make this an amazing and impactful experience for everyone.

Connor Baldwin


Hello! My name is Connor Baldwin and I am a rising senior at Marquette University. Currently I am studying Digital Media with a minor in Theology. Through school I have been able to engage with a variety of interests. I have worked as a writer and director for film and even had a small play performed with my school. I try to combine my interests in film and theology and make content that is thought provoking and cultural. 

Previously I had studied a semester abroad in Morocco and have an elementary understanding of Arabic. Currently I am working with my school’s Center for Peacemaking writing articles and interviewing guest speakers. I previously worked on my school’s newspaper and radio. Recently I have finished a short film called, “Wis-dumb on the Web.” a story about a man who goes from rags to riches thanks to an internet sponsorship.

Claire Choi


Claire Choi (she/her) is a mixed media filmmaker and spoken-word poet based in Queens, New York. Her passion for both fields started in high school with a self-made documentary on her grandpa’s escape from war and reciting poetry through the national Poetry Out Loud competition. She has self-produced several short films in college with one of them, victoria, picked as an official selection for the Twilight Showcase and Art Fest 2022.

In 2019, her self-written and recited poem, “Grandma,” won first place at the KoreanAmericanStory NYC ROAR Story Slam. 

Choi specializes in editing and directing with an interest in cinematography. Her films explore themes of diaspora, grief, generational trauma, family histories, and relationality. After graduating, she has worked with the likes of Sixty First Productions, Salpuri US, Ain’t I a Woman Campaign, GOOD DOCS, and the Asian American Arts Alliance as a production assistant, marketing intern, video editor, and project facilitator. Currently, she is finishing a community zine project and starting a personal documentary on her grandma at the Woodward Residency. Choi’s passion for exhuming true and personal stories lie at the intersection of documentary film and poetry. Through pursuing documentary filmmaking, she strives to keep learning how to build support as a community through storytelling, understanding that collective care is the only way forward.

Desoni Cooper


Hello, my name is Desoni Cooper, I’m a current senior at Ithaca College majoring in Documentary Studies and Production, along with a minor in Economics. My passion lies in documentary filmmaking, post-production, songwriting, and poetry. My mission is to use my artistry to shed light on social issues, such as discrimination and injustice. 

For example, my thesis documentary explored the resilience of a black circus performer facing discrimination and colorism, who uses her struggles to inspire young black girls. I am skilled in the areas of pre-production, production, and post-production. I would love to get your contact information to learn more about your position and if your company offers any positions related to my interests.

Shelby Rose Eroen


My name is Shelby, I am a filmmaker from Los Angeles, California and I just graduated from Skidmore College. I have been interested in filmmaking for all of my life. My creative journey started when I was in elementary school making movies with my friends on iMovie. I loved filming random things with my friends and editing it together. I made it my goal to stick with this passion and have been creating movies ever since. 

I was on the board for my high school film festival (Archer Film Festival) and made a short film during my senior year of high school called “The Zoom Call.”  The short film was a finalist for Best Film in the Archer Film Festival, and was also nominated for Best Horror/Sci-fi/Fantasy Short at the All American High School Film Festival. 

During my time at Skidmore College, I chose to minor in Media and Film Studies and take classes relating to the study of film, as well as take screenwriting/storytelling classes to count towards my English Major. In my spring semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Prague, where I spent five months making another short film with a team of amazing women. Our film, “Eliška and the Pink Dress” won an award for Best Film + Video Undergrad Short Film at American University’s Vision Awards. I love everything in the filmmaking process, from writing the story, to editing the footage. My area of expertise is writing and directing. There have been some challenges, such as creative differences between film professors and the filmmakers, but these challenges have helped me realize that filmmaking is a group effort and requires flexibility. I have more experience with narrative film and I am excited to learn how to make a documentary in Morocco!

Faysal Farah


Hey I’m Faysal, a Somali-Australian creative and communications specialist based in Melbourne, Australia.

I love stories that focus on diverse communities and audiences that drive social change. As the Executive Producer for the Voices of Australia Podcast, I’ve told unique stories from across Australia, particularly from communities that often go unheard. 

I’ve led creative platforms such as Watu Australia which centred African Australian stories and a short-lived creative digital mag called Finesse.

Although I’m a cinema tragic, I have a limited folio of my own completed works. Despite this, I have been a creative advisor and assistant on various films, creative projects and exhibitions and was in 2022 the Creator and Associate Producer of a web series called ‘No Waiting’.

Beyond media, my day job is usually working in public relations and communications. I’ve held roles in Federal politics, and philanthropic and environmental non-profits.

Rachel Fogarty Noonan


Hi! My name is Rachel Fogarty-Noonan, and I’m a Film, Television, and New Media major at San Diego State University. Beyond film, I have a deep passion for creating visual art and graphic designs. Currently, I am the Designer for SDSU’s novelty art magazine, Creative Collective. Additionally, I am involved in Media Management as the Public Relations and Social Media coordinator for SDSU’s service-based organization, Delta Beta Tau.

My biggest goal is to create art that resonates with a larger audience and to use film as a means of cultivating community.

Amelia Godbold


Hello, I am Amelia Godbold, future film, television and media producer. I am currently in my final year of a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television Production in Melbourne Australia. I adore the creative media world and my primary joy is turning great ideas into a reality. Expanding and nurturing the writers and directors around me creating interesting and exciting media.

Before starting my degree I worked as an administration and marketing assistant for two years during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns, this time taught me an important lesson about myself, in that I do not want to be stuck behind a desk the rest of my life. This time showed me the value and importance of film and television, a medium that gave most of us comfort during the hard times of the pandemic. This time also taught me how much of a privilege it is to be a filmmaker. I have the honour to create art and be in the creative media industry.

I am now happily no longer behind a desk. Instead I am studying and creating films for my university degree, while bartending at night to pay the bills ( a job in which also inspires new and interesting stories.) My hospitality job has inspired a key philosophy of mine; that everyone has a story, you just need to be looking out for them.

My past filmmaking experience includes a variety of short and experimental films. In which I have written, directed, produced and edited. I find the best way to learn and grow is by being on film sets, so you will often find me helping out my fellow classmates on their film projects. I have been an extra on multiple films, (my interest in fashion coming in handy as I am able to become a variety of character for different time periods and scenarios.) I have crewed in a range of roles, from a boom operator, production designer, to a gaffer and occasionally a cinematopher.

However my passion and talents lie in producing.

Recently I have produced two films;  a 15 minute documentary exploring pub culture in Melbourne, Australia and a 16mm short film called “Hard To Swallow.” The latter has gone on to win multiple awards, including Best Short Film in Oceania for the World Indie Film Awards and Best Directing and Cinematography at Cineverse film festival.

“Hard to Swallow” was a fantastic project working with brilliant creatives and was a film that taught me great life lessons in how to create a safe, fun and enjoyable production environment. Shooting on 16mm taught me valuable skills in the importance of planning, organisation and problem solving, it is a medium that forces you into being clever. I have taken these skills and mindset into my filmmaking on digital with fantastic results.

The world is an incredible, layered and interesting place that I wish to capture. Whether it be through documentary, fiction, photography or written work. I believe that everywhere and everyone has a story. Film has a special capacity to shine a light on the world around us, and I cannot wait to make a beautiful documentary together.

Christina Grey


My name is Christina Grey, but my nickname is Nina – feel free to call me whichever! Although I was born in Florida, I moved near Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 2, making French my native language alongside English. For this reason, I love opportunities to integrate and explore new cultures that diversify my interests in life that help form new facets of my identity and self-expression.

I am an avid people watcher, always curious about humanity, and my friends would call me a documentary junkie. Being raised somewhat a chameleon, it hasn’t always been crystal clear to me where my career would land. I’ve worked and studied in multiple realms, from fashion publishing/styling, social media marketing, education technology and social entrepreneurship.

I am a passionate person that operates best in creative settings, written and visual, but that enjoys the more practical administrative side of projects as well. I am currently an MA student for Social Entrepreneurship in London and thereafter hope to develop a career in impact production. Making impactful content statistically measurable in given areas of targeted viewer behavioural reform geared towards societal shifts is an area I feel would strongly prove that documentaries can be strong champions in attaining the UN’s SDG’s.

My hope on this journey together is to discover how stories that should matter to everyone not only reach communities where they can be seen and appreciated, but offer innovative means for individual, community, and global involvement once recognised. When it comes to some issues we all know the saying: “some things once seen cannot be unseen” but sadly in this oversaturated world that is no longer true. I hope together we can uncover new and powerful means of delivering informative solutions to issues through the lens of structured observation. I can’t wait to discover the world of documentary making with you all, and of course, to share many laughs along the way!

Melissa Herzberg


Hi I’m Melissa Herzberg. I’m a Bachelors student studying Mass Communications and Environmental Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. My most current jobs are at the jazz radio station and the YMCA.

Out of all of the classes I’ve taken, anything to do with filmmaking have been my favorites. I love the planning and creativity to it all, as that is my dream job.

I want to help create documentaries that share the different stories and viewpoints in our world.

I originally grew up in Kansas City and then moved to Illinois half way through high school. But my love for documentaries started in elementary school when I would sit and watch National Geographic on the floor of my childhood living room. I’m extremely excited for this literal life changing experience. YAY MOROCCO

Luke Hughes


Hello gentlepeople! My name is Luke Hughes and I’m a local Washingtonian! I very much enjoy crafting narratives in film, as writing is one of my passions. However, since I’ve been taking the film program, here at Eastern Washington University. I’ve found that I fit best into roles such as Director or Editor. Telling a worthwhile story is what really drives me, so most of the projects that I’ve worked on have been anchored around a documentary format.

I am not one to make things for recognition, I have had my projects showcased in small theaters and symposiums here at EWU. But, the reason I make films is not for recognition. It’s because I love the art of making films, be it in the editing studio, writing lab or behind the camera. I’ve even had the opportunity to be an actor in some films and plays!

Some skills that I have that may come in handy are; practical effect work, editing, crafting narratives and being able to find a story, wherever I may be. Some of the documentaries have been mostly around the unfortunate problems that plague the world around us and the resources to get out. Invisible was a project from my first year, we took a good look at the homeless population in Spokane. While also showing people resources that they can use.
This year we are making one about the local food bank system, while also trying to connect it to a more universal problem (food insecurities). While a project I’m very passionate about, but won’t be finished for another year or so, is an actual Bigfoot documentary, if you believe it or not! I’ve been out on multiple expeditions and have had the opportunity to interview local people in the undisclosed town that we are centered around. My greatest skill that I have, and that I think anyone can do, is being able to talk to anyone. I am a naturally very friendly person and learning about people and making friends wherever I go, is how I’m known to the people around me.

Olivia Johnson


Olivia is a passionate storyteller at the compelling intersection between journalism and filmmaking. Beyond studying in a classroom, her work is firmly rooted in her community, bringing her to court rooms and fishing boats alike. She’s covered a range of topics spanning from disability and displaced persons rights to music reviews and adventure film and photography, making her a chameleon in her field. 

At the center of her work is an abiding devotion to communication and deep connection. Olivia is forging her own path by studying at two universities in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. As a top student at both University of King’s College and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, she brings dogged determination to every project. She specializes in journalistic feature writing as well as cinematography and directing. Hailing from the Rocky Mountains and wild grasslands of Alberta, Olivia grew up with an affinity for the rugged. Many backpacking, ski, canoe, horsepacking and climbing trips later, Olivia embarked on a mountaineering expedition in Alaska in the spring of 2022. Here, she solidified her ethos of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, a relevant skill in asking the tough questions. As of 13 years old, Olivia felt a calling to pursue documentary film. She sees it as a golden pairing of visual aesthetic, advocacy, connection, communication and adventure. Swearing by the power of visual storytelling to say what words cannot, Olivia seeks to not only inform but to inspire. Her latest documentary Sea Legs explores the lobster fishing industry in Nova Scotia. Her latest feature piece follows the story of a Rwandan refugee’s path to Nova Scotia at the intersection of immigration and healthcare policy. Olivia’s photographic work can be seen on her Instagram. 

Ella Kemp


Hi everyone, my name is Ella, I’m a Belgian first-year student at the University of York (England) currently studying human geography and environment. I am yet to find my area of expertise, especially in the creative field where I have no experience, so I cannot wait to start! However, I have experience travelling. Last academic year, I was on a gap year during which I travelled across five countries, meeting different people, cultures, and stories. 

This reinforced my interest in the influences and impacts of humans on the environment and vice versa, which connects directly to my studies. If I don’t know what field life will lead me to, I hope the Actuality Abroad programme will allow me to know how to share the stories of all the incredible people I might meet in the most authentic way possible.

Jaclyn Reed


Hello all! My name is Jaclyn Reed. I’m a senior at San Diego State University. I am a part of the Film Production program at SDSU and have a passion for documentary filmmaking. The way I see the documentary process is that there are 7 billion people on this planet and each one has a unique way of navigating the world. It’s fascinating and I want to be able to tell those stories. This is why I love documentaries. It can be so raw and real or even helpful and uplifting. My creative journey started when I was young, my goal was to be an animator, drawing every day and making funky little clay figurines. I found my love for film when I took a film history class at my community college. That ultimately changed my life.

When it comes to the narrative side of film I’m a floater and have general knowledge in all areas. Oftentimes I find myself in the art department or as the BTS photographer.

I’m so excited to be working alongside creatives like you guys and am excited for this opportunity to make something we can all be proud of!

Paris Saray


Hi everyone! My name is Paris Saray, and I’m a documentary filmmaker studying film production at UC Santa Barbara. I originally got into filmmaking from an art background, as I was at first simply exploring the medium for a class assignment. However, I found myself consistently gravitating to film as a means of expression, which led me towards taking production courses. 

Here, I was able to finally discover the creative outlet I had always been searching for, and my passion for documentary storytelling has grown ever since.

Again, coming from an art background, my work consists of heavily poetic modes of communication meant to amplify the beauty within each and every subject I encounter. Always exploring unconventional ways of documenting, my focus when storytelling is crafting an engaging experience that a wide variety of audiences can relate to in a sort of interconnected fashion. Working on multiple productions in the past has shown me the value in each and every subject’s story, and I look forward to broadening the scope of which I view different ways of life by continuing to explore the world and its inhabitants.

Primarily, I work as a camera operator as well as a producer, however, I also have experience sound recording, and directing! I’ve also just picked up animation as a pretty useful skill stylistically, and my university has given me access to a variety of up-and-coming composers looking to perfect their work through any project possible. Overall, I really just enjoy bringing people’s stories to screen, and I hope to make a really cool piece with my peers in the near future!

Chaitanya Thard


I am an Independent filmmaker based in India, with an experience over 5 years, directing short films & documentaries in different genres. I have been told my films have an interesting & unique tone to it making them artistic & different. My major inspirations in my work are Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorcese, Salvador Dali & watching a lot of comedy films. 


Yasmine Tohme


From Beirut, Lebanon, Yasmine is a recent graduate from Connecticut College with a double-major in Film Studies and Italian Studies. From a young age, Yasmine always enjoyed going to the video store and renting DVDs out with her father. Her love for film further developed in middle school when she enrolled in a film elective class. She anxiously waited each week to see what the teacher would pick for everyone to watch.

Yasmine felt connected to the power of storytelling and how it connects people across the globe. This led her to creating a couple of short documentaries from middle school into high school.

Today, Yasmine has explored filmmaking mainly through directing and editing. Aside from creating three short documentaries and a short fiction film at Connecticut College that have been recognized in multiple film festivals, she studied film in Prague, as well as interned at a film production company in Rome last summer where she participated in the making of a documentary written and directed by Italian filmmaker Davide Ferrario. Earlier this year, Yasmine was awarded the Film Studies Creative Production Prize for ‘outstanding achievement in film production or screenwriting’ at her college’s Honors and Awards Ceremony. She excitedly looks forward to reconnecting with documentary filmmaking through cultural immersion and collaboration.

Ammar Yonis


Hello, my name is Ammar and I’m based in Melbourne. The first time I ever considered making a film was to document the struggle of buying a Nike tracksuit while I was in university. It was a documentary about a student who stopped hanging out with his friends while saving for the tracksuit but once he saved the right amount and went to buy it, he had lost all his friends. That was like 5 years ago.

Since, I’ve had the blessing of meeting other likeminded filmmakers and was able to write and direct my third short film this year.

Currently, my biggest motivators are Park Chan-wook, and Takashi Miike… For a better understanding of my film brain, you can find me on Letterboxd at





Robin Canfield is an accomplished storyteller, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. He has spent the last 15 years tell stories in 30+ countries around the world. He co-founded Actuality Abroad and leads documentary workshops around the world, producing films that highlight the efforts of local changemakers. Under his guidance, Actuality Abroad has mentored hundreds of emerging documentary storytellers and contributed over 300+ ‘solution stories’ to the public domain.

With extensive expertise on collaborative documentary storytelling, Robin’s writing has been published by the Huffington Post, the Student Filmmakers Magazine, and in academic textbooks. His upcoming book, “The Impact Documentary Field Guide: How to Research, Plan, Film, and Finish Documentaries on Positive Change” is pending release with the Taylor and Francis publishing group.

A regular speaker at festivals and educational conferences, Robin advocates for a collaborative approach to real-life storytelling. He is currently in the early stages of a international research project to establish ethical standards and best practices for cross-cultural collaborative storytelling.

Erica Negrini



Hey Guys! My name is Erica, and I am a New York based cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. Through my work, I aim to capture the essence of our collective human experience. I explore themes of social change and self-reflection, with a particular focus on gender inequality from a feminine perspective. By amplifying the voices of our generation and exploring authentic moments and raw emotions, I explore the human condition and find the beauty in shared experiences. I have directed and edited several award winning documentaries and have had the privilege of studying filmmaking all over the world including Prague, Bologna, and Guatemala. This year, I am finishing up the final coloring stages in post production for 4 short films as a director of photography. I am very excited to work and learn from you all as your documentary mentor!

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner