Calling All Filmmakers & Film Lovers!

DEFF presents the Mid-Atlantic Filmmakers Panel 2021

The DEFF Filmmaker’s café is for those in the film industry to share their experiences, new trends, and opportunities. This year, we are proud to present a diverse group of world class creators in various stages of their  careers. You don’t want to miss this! Feel free to ask your questions in the chat or ask to join during the Q and A session on FB live with us from 6-8 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2021.

DEFF Facebook Live

Our DEFF 2021 Panel Director & Producer


Official Down East Flick Fest Filmmaker’s Café Moderator

Donna has many gifts, is well-published, and has won many wards as an academic. She has made enormous contributions to DEFF, especially as our resident Director of our annual Filmmakers Café. She will moderate this FB live event on Sunday, November 21st, followed by our DEFF 2021 Awards ceremony.  View here at from 6-8 pm.

Academic Bio

Donna Kain, Associate Professor, joined the ECU faculty in the fall of 2004. She teaches courses in rhetoric, technical communication, writing for business and industry, discourse analysis, visual discourse, theory and practice of new media, risk communication, editing, and project management. Her research focuses on risk communication and natural hazards including severe weather, climate change, and sea level rise; information technology applications for the classroom; and the uses of genres in professional settings. Dr. Kain is also Assistant Director of the Center for Natural Hazards. Related positions have included editor of Technical Communication Quarterly, the journal of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (2013-2018); Director of Outreach and Communication for the ECU Renci Engagement Center; senior staff analyst for Compuware Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and technical writer/editor for Engineering Animation Inc., Ames, Iowa. Dr. Kain served as Secretary and then Vice Chair of the faculty from 2015 to 2018.


American actor, director, and stunt performer.

While not appearing on the panel this year, Rick is the producer of this year’s panel. Rick plays Ira Carroll in Boardwalk Empire. He is a co-star in the fourth season episode “Resignation“. He has been active since 2000 and has also appeared in the films Thank You for Smoking (2005), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009). Rick Kain is known for his work on Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), DC Noir (2019) and Fishbowl (2018).

To see Rick in action, visit his IMDB demo reels page linked here.

Down East Flick Fest 2021 Filmmakers’ Café Panelists

Ahday Griffin, Filmmaker

Ahday Griffin, Filmmaker

Ahday Griffin is a writer and film maker dedicated to telling non-traditional stories. He has a BA in Electronic Media & Film from Towson University where he wrote, directed and produced provocative and socially relevant films such as “The Cycle,” “Necessary Evil,” “The Last Supper,” and “Shhh.” In addition to his work in independent film, Ahday’s film making experience is augmented by his work on major network shows, and the production of music videos for local artists. He currently holds an internship at Jax Media, where he assists the development team with script coverage and various production tasks. 

Brooke Linsalata, Director-Writer-Actor

Brooke Linsalata is a director, screenwriter and actress who graduated from Full Sail University in 2019 with a BA in film. After graduation she hit the ground running, writing, directing and producing five short films including a western, “Meet Me in the West,” and a romantic comedy “Gianna.” She is currently in pre-production for her latest project, “Curse of The Family.” In addition to her work behind the camera, Brooke has also worked as an actress in a number of film and theatrical productions, and as well as honing her craft with three different improve groups. Brooke’s on camera work can be seen in the award-winning feature film “Fishbowl” and Little Big Town’s “Sugarcoat” to name a few.

Eduardo Sanchez, Writer-Director

Eduardo Sanchez, Writer-Director

Eduardo Sanchez was born in Cuba in 1968. He studied television at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD and film at the University of Central Florida in 1994. It was at UCF where Eduardo met his Haxan Films partners and in 1998 he co-wrote and co-directed THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. He has directed various indie features and has recently moved into television, directing such shows as SUPERNATURAL, LUCIFER, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and the first four episodes of the Glen Morgan (THE X-FILES) BBC America series, INTRUDERS. He was the Producing Director on Season 4 of the USA series QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and directed the series finale of that show in March.

Ursula O. Robinson

Ursula O. Robinson, Writer-Actor-Producer

Ursula O. Robinson doesn’t just teach. She does. The South Carolina State University drama professor appears as Chenise in the next episode of “Hightown,” a crime drama series in its second season on the Starz cable channel (The Times & Democrat November 13, 2021). Ursula is known for her one-woman shows, comedy acts, and her prowess as a writer of personalized monologues. She is the Drama Program Coordinator and a Tenured Professor of Drama at South Carolina State University. This award-winning playwright is also the Artistic Director of Ursula O. Robinson Productions (UORP), a comprehensive artistic company. As chair of the Creative Spiritual Arts Department at Spiritual Foundation Ministries in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Ursula uses her God-given talents to edify the Body of Christ.

Erica Rowe

Erica Rowe, Editor-Producer

Hailing from Maryland, Erica has been an Editor in the DMV area for over a decade. In that time, she’s worked on a wide variety of content and genres; everything from documentaries and promos to short and feature films. 

Currently, Erica works as a freelance editor working on mostly educational content. On the side, she co-owns a multiple award-winning production company, SHRUG Productions, where she acts as Producer/Editor. 

Harold Jackson III, Emmy-nominated Producer

Harold Jackson III, EMMY Nominated Producer

Harold Jackson III has produced, written, and directed multiple films, series, and documentaries and is a critically acclaimed writer, director, and filmmaker. Some of his award-winning productions include “BURN: The Evolution of An American City,” a documentary about the current state of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its history of Black Wallstreet and the Tulsa Race Riot. “Last Night” (ABFF BEST SCREENPLAY/AUDIENCE CHOICE Winner), The HBO Best Film winning “Unarmed Man,” and the critically acclaimed “The Forgettable Life of Liam White” with a cast of Jasmine Guy, TC Carson, and singer Brave Williams.  Up next for Harold is the suspense thriller “Gaslight.”