Barnard Jaffier – Executive Producer / Director
British-born filmmaker Barnard Jaffier has been in the film business for over 25 years as an editor, producer, and director.
Jaffier’s journey into film began with the production company Blackside Inc., the company that produced the landmark, Emmy award-winning documentary series, Eyes On The Prize: The Civil Rights Years.
Other award-winning and critically acclaimed projects Jaffier has contributed his editing and producing talents to are: African American Lives, The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, Citizen King, This Far by Faith, Ken Burns Jazz: History of America’s Music, and the Peabody-awarded documentary Malcolm X: Make It Plain.
Barnard Jaffier is the founder & CEO of Jaffa Films.
Robyn Greene Arrington – Executive Producer / Writer / Creative Advisor
Robyn Greene Arrington is an award-winning creative spirit with varied experience in the media industry. Currently, Robyn is an Executive Producer and creative advisor for Jaffa Films’ various media entities, developing several scripted & non-fiction projects. As Head of Programming & Production at TV One & Cleo TV, she was an integral part of the team that shaped the networks’ creative vision for scripted, documentary, non-fiction, lifestyle, and digital content. She was a driving force behind the networks’ most acclaimed content, including the multi-award-winning music documentary series, “Unsung”; the investigative crime & justice limited series “Two Sides of the Truth”, which Viola Davis narrated and executive produced; and the top-rated movies Bobbi Kristina, When Love Kills, and Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story. Greene Arrington also worked in creative services at HBO, Lifetime, A&E, and BET. A highlight of her career is producing Hav Plenty, a nationally distributed, theatrically released indie film. Inspired by her parents’ example of social responsibility, Green Arrington frequently “pays it forward” by mentoring, giving speeches, participating on panels, and other film and television events that contribute to the growth of aspiring storytellers.
Samuel Pollard – Senior Producer/Consultant
For over 25 years, Samuel Pollard has had a significant role in bringing programming that illuminates the Black experience in America to both television and theatrical audiences. Pollard has edited award-winning films, including Jim Brown All American (2002); American Roots Music (2001); Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (2000); Bamboozled (2000); 4 Little Girls (1997); Girl 6 (1996); Clockers (1995); No Dreams Deferred (1994); Surviving the Game (1994); Jungle Fever (1991) and Mo Better Blues (1990). Pollard has also co-produced the critically acclaimed When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (HBO). Pollard’s credits also include the series: I’ll Make Me A World, and The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, both broadcasted nationally on PBS. Pollard is a Professor at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. Pollard won an Emmy as Producer and Supervising Editor for the Spike Lee co-produced HBO project When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.
Robin Espinola – Consulting Producer
Robin Espinola is a documentary filmmaker, producer and writer. Her work has appeared on PBS, HBO, Lifetime, and Investigation Discovery. Most recently, she served as a senior producer for a six-part documentary series, which aired on ABC in the fall of 2020. In 2019, Espinola received the Eric Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for The Chinese Exclusion Act, a documentary she produced and co-wrote with Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu for public television. With Burns and Steeplechase Films, she produced numerous historical documentaries for the American Experience series on PBS, including The Pilgrims, Death and the Civil War, Into the Deep, and Eugene O’Neill. For Detour.com, she wrote and directed two immersive audio documentaries about history. Espinola has been recognized with two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a News and Documentary Emmy Award for research. She began her career at Blackside, Inc., in Boston, the company best known for producing Eyes on the Prize, the seminal television series on the history of the civil rights movement.
Cindy M. Birch – Supervising Producer
Award-winning producer and writer, Cindy M. Birch, has consistently created meaningful and impactful content which resonates powerfully with audiences. Ms. Birch’s work spans the spectrum of both television and feature film projects. As Lead Writer and Producer, Cindy Birch teamed with Director and Series Producer, Barnard Jaffier and won a Silver Telly award for TV One’s four-part series, Murder in Black and White. The series was also nominated for a National Association of Black Journalists Excellence Award and hailed as an Emmy contender in the LA Times. Cindy returned and teamed once again with Barnard and produced Heart of the City: Katrina Five Years Later for BET News/Viacom, which won a New York Association of Black Journalists award. Cindy brings to Jaffa Films her producing and writing talents, but also her keen marketing and business acumen from the arts and entertainment worlds. Currently, Cindy oversees projects in development at Jaffa Films and continues to leverage her writing skills in fleshing out scripts, treatments, and series bibles from Jaffa Films’ pipeline of entertainment properties.
John G. Ives – Advisor / Consultant
John Ives has more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, as an attorney as well as a producer, distributor, and entrepreneur. He supervises finished and partially completed feature films and documentaries, helps to place films at festivals with domestic and foreign distributors, and concludes deals with cable TV networks—as well as provides consultation on editing, music selection, and clearances. Ives has appeared on countless panels at markets, festivals, and film schools. Ives co-founded Cinecom Films in New York, responsible for the development, acquisition, and release of such films as Robert Altman’s Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Oscar-nominated El Norte, Jonathan Demme’s ground-breaking Stop Making Sense, and Academy Award winner A Room With A View. Ives has worked with Robert Altman, John Sayles, Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, Jonathan Demme, John Waters, the novelist Dennis Lehane, documentary filmmakers Malcolm Clarke (Prisoner Of Paradise), Laurie Kahn-Leavitt (A Midwives Tale, Tupperware!). Following Cinecom, Ives was President/CEO of Film Dallas Pictures, which helped create two Academy Award winners, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Trip To Bountiful. At Film Dallas, he developed and supervised several productions, and released the critically-acclaimed Man Facing Southeast.
Charles Jones – Associate Producer
Charles Jones is a producer and editor of film and video. Jones graduated from Howard University with both a B.A. and an M.F.A. in film production. Following graduation, Jones worked as an archival researcher, then went on to write and direct commercials and PSAs for various production houses in Washington, D.C. Jones has worked on independent documentaries, like The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, and PBS series African American Lives. Jones separates his time between working on productions and teaching. Jones was a lecturer for the Art Institute of Washington, D.C., and spent four years teaching film and video abroad at the American University of Nigeria.
Mikael Short – Associate Producer / Social Media Director
Mikael Short has a decade of experience in communications and news media, which translates seamlessly to her role as Associate Producer with Jaffa Films. Ms. Short assists in production research, shoot logistics, and talent management. Mikael maintains Jaffa Films’ online presence through websites and social media via research, copy editing, and design. She drives traffic and audiences to Jaffa Films’ online content, which is assisted by her understanding of the ever-changing digital environment. Short also supervises solicited TV and film script submissions and offers feedback to Jaffa Films’ production team.
Polina Montgomery – Line Producer / Production Manager
Polina Montgomery has been working in the filmmaking industry for sixteen years, mainly as associate producer and production manager/designer for independent feature and short films, commercials, corporate videos, TV pilots, and music videos. Polina has also worked at the Digital Film Academy in New York. Polina produced, cast, directed, and edited two short films, while conducting marketing and training for a software development and database marketing company in Great Britain. Polina is a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, England, where she obtained a B.A. degree in Theatre: Design for Performance. Prior to College, Polina won several awards for her artwork and photography in Rome, Italy, where she grew up.
Sasha Courtland – Development / Production Coordinator
Sasha Courtland has worked in television and film for the past 15 years as writer, production coordinator, and show producer. Courtland is experienced in managing complex logistical projects, on time and within budget. An eye for the next big trend in film and television, along with expeditious problem-solving and quick thinking in the field, Sasha is fun and personable yet fastidiously organized. Courtland has become an incredible asset to Jaffa Films’ brand, as she also works with Jaffa Films’ nonprofit organization, Jaffa Media Works, under the stewardship of Founder Barnard Jaffier. Causes Sasha is passionate about are Civil Rights and Social Action, Arts and Culture, Poverty Alleviation, and Gender Inequality. Courtland has worked on projects involving clients: BBC, BET, MTV, and Eurosports, Berlin. Courtland is an experienced pâtissier – skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads, and other baked goods.