Roland Legiardi-Laura is a filmmaker and poet. His documentary Azul, a study of Nicaragua’s people and history through their poetry, won nine international film awards and three ACE nominations. Mr. Legiardi-Laura’s poetry has been widely published and anthologized. He founded Words To Go and P.O.E.T., America’s first traveling troupes of performance poets. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and founder of its Fifth Night Screenplay Reading and Short Film series. Over the past five years The Fifth Night has produced 190 screenplay readings. Thirty-six of those screenplays have already been made or are currently in production. He is the editor of Poetry-in-Translation at Bomb. He has been a nominator for the Rockefeller Media Arts Program. Mr. Legiardi-Laura has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Foundation of the Arts. He has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, NYFA, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. He is on the board of Advisors of the Nantucket Film Festival, the New York Comedy Film Festival and the East Village Parks Conservancy. Legiardi-Laura’s current documentary film project is a three-part series entitled The Fourth Purpose: The Enigma of Public School. Roland has worked over the years in his home community, the East Village, as a board member of the East Village Parks Conservancy and the East Village Community Coalition to preserve its artistic diversity, immigrant and working class history and its architectural heritage.
Amy Sultan is the Director of the Power Writers Program at Nuyorican Poet’s Café. Amy co-founded the Power Writers Program in 2001 with Roland Legiardi-Laura and Joe Ubiles. From 1997 through 2008, Amy was a Co-Executive Director of the Early Stages Program, an arts education organization. In 1997, as Executive Producer of the Nantucket Film Festival, Amy steered the fledging festival through its crucial second year. From 1990-1994, she was Director for Film in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting. Amy is a former business agent for theatrical unions in New York City, where she represented designers and performers in the entertainment industry. In 1987, as a collaboration with Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, she created a technical training program in film and theater arts for minority young adults. Over the past twenty-five years, Amy has served as a community advocate for children’s arts programs and as a lobbyist for the performing arts for various organizations.