Barnard Jaffier – Executive Producer/Director

British-born filmmaker Barnard Jaffier has been in the film business for 20 years as an editor, producer and director.

Jaffier’s journey into film began with the production company Blackside Inc., the filmmakers who produced the landmark, Emmy award-winning documentary series, Eyes On The Prize: The Civil Right 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.


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.

Cindy M. Birch – Producer/Writer

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. Cindy Birch is also the Executive Director of The Short Film Awards. The nonprofit organization, affectionately known as The SOFIES, is a global film community honoring the Giants of Short Film.

John G. Ives – Legal Counsel

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.

Andrea Cauthen – Business Manager

Andrea Cauthen is a multi-media artist and designer. Prior to joining Jaffa Films, Cauthen studied Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design, which led Cauthen to working in the fashion industry. Her love for visual imagery continues as she embarks on numerous independent projects exploring culture and identity within the African Diaspora. Collaborating with Jaffa Films, Cauthen has created the overall visual marketing, while managing multiple feature film and television productions.  An intrepid traveler and photographer, Cauthen continues her passion of photography, where she has won several awards for her artwork and photography and has creative work published in National Geographic, Reggae France, ARC Magazine and Bloomberg Business Week.

Lewis Erskine – Editor

Lewis Erskine has been a film editor for more than 20 years. His credits include the award-winning The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords; Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind (American Experience); and two and a half episodes of the Ken Burns series, Jazz: A History of American Music. Erskine edited the Emmy award-winning The Murder of Emmett Till, which premiered at Sundance 2003, and The Fight, about the two historic bouts between Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, a Sundance 2004 special jury selection. Erskine’s Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple and Freedom Riders each premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, respectively. Erskine received the Eddie and Emmy awards for editing in 2012, for the documentary, Freedom Riders.

Sasha Courtland – Production Coordinator

Sasha Courtland has worked in television and film for the past 15 years as Writer, Production Coordinator and Producer. Courtland is experienced in managing complex logistical projects, on time and within budget. An eye for expeditious problem solving and quick thinking in the field, Courtland 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 Courtland 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.

Charles Jones – Associate Producer/Assistant Editor

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 PSA’s 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. Jones is in the process of producing several short projects and now returns to Jaffa Films as an Associate Producer.

Mikael Short – Production Associate

Mikael Short has a decade of experience in communications and news media, which translates seamlessly to her role as Production Associate with Jaffa Films. Short 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.

Maria Souza – Director/Producer’s Assistant

Maria Souza pursues her love of making films, recently completing her MA at New York University, NY. Souza brings her unique perspectives in observing life as a woman of color. Currently, Souza is developing a documentary short on the challenges of incarcerated women of color in her native Brazil. Souza supervises scheduling and the advancement of daily production efforts for Jaffa Films.