Young Entrepreneurs In Film & Social Media Panel

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Panel Members

Daniel Calderon - Daniel was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. In 2007, he received his B.S. in business management and finance from City University of New York, Brooklyn College. After graduating, he worked at Target for 7 years in retail management, labor relations, talent development, and recruitment.  In 2014, he left Target and accepted a Sr. Human Resources Business Partner role at There, he led recruitment, employee relations, and labor relations initiatives for the company’s largest facility in the world. Though he was happy with his career, he was ready to pursue entrepreneurship and launched his company, Four Thirty an innovative freelance creative agency that is a visual catalyst for forward thinking lifestyle brands.


Chelsea Odufu – Newark Native Chelsea Odufu, began her journey at the "Parson School of design" where she took photography, digital and graphic design classes, she then went on to attend New York University Tisch School of the Arts as a Martin Luther King Jr Scholar due to her proven academic excellence, leadership, and passion for social justice throughout high school. Chelsea has successfully created her own production company "O Chel$y Productions", directed, produced, and wrote her own short film “The Love Below" as well as interned for major television networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and The Rachael Ray Show, The Source Magazine and Jones Magazine, where she produced and directe content with musicians such as Meek Mill, Big Sean, Juicy J, Luke James, Chance the Rapper, Ab Soul and more. She has also directed for Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Pharell. Chelsea is currently working for Honorary Oscar winning Filmmaker Spike Lee on his new film Chi-Raq as well finishing up her latest short film titled Ori Inu: In Search of Self that she created with her older brother Emann Odufu. Chelsea challenges the boundaries of gender, beauty, and individuality embodied by the aesthetic of her company O Chel$y Productions. She is extremely ambitious and realistic at the same time; and is always able to deliver her vision. film.


Yuri Alves – Yuri Alves is a Newark-raised filmmaker who has written and directed films, primetime television programs and commercial projects in the U.S. and Europe. Yuri has completed more than a dozen films, including a feature film, “Xavier” at the age of nineteen. His most renowned short films include, "Broken Clouds" and "Exit Road": each having earned acclaim and recognition with festivals and audiences worldwide. Alves directed two primetime dramatic series, which premiered on Portugal’s RTP Television: “Tempo Final” (2010) and "Filha da Lei" (2017), both to critical acclaim. Alves recently completed a series of short films produced in Newark, “Echoes of Fado”, “On the Cusp” and “Grind for Life”. Alves is in post-production on his first feature length documentary, "Paint the Rust."In 2012-14, Alves served as Head of Production at Fox Digital Studios in Los Angeles, and Yuri is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of DreamPlay Media. Alves is a graduate of the New Jersey City University Media Arts program, and splits his time between Los Angeles and New Jersey.


Alyssa Simone Thompson - 2003 She went to New World School of the Arts high school, where she studied the Art of dance. She then went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University in psychology in 2007.She was an aspiring Dermatologist taking on several medical assistance jobs throughout summers, college days and there after. With dance engrained in her heart, Alyssa has never stopped performing, creating art on stage and captivating audiences. Movement, grace , poise, balance, direction, & harmony made Alyssa who she is today. Alyssa articulates her artistry as someone who takes pride in making people feel good look good and captivating emotions. like someone who tells stories through her designs and lives out loud, always. Leading her to create. LOLA by Alyssa Simone founded in 2014 by Alyssa, she knew her aha moment would escape the ordinary and bring about fresh new concepts to the fashion world. She has a thing for creating acrylic purses designed with lego bricks. That Idea also earned her a product license agreement with the extraordinary company Warner Bros. for the wicked Wonder Woman design she made back in 2015 that exemplifies all warriors of the universe who live out loud and never conform. Alyssa plans to spread living out loud, always around the globe passionately and in harmony.


Nimi Hendrix -A graduate of Newark's own Rutgers University, Nimi started his film career late. After using a toy camera to shoot his first music video, directing was seen as a gift and seemed to come natural to the self taught filmmaker. He started shooting for artists in his Secret Society crew, but once other local musicians wanted to hire him he had to save up and purchase his first professional camera - the Canon 7D. Once Nimi's client base grew he decided to take the risk and switch career paths to the dismay of his family who expected him to continue his education through med school. The unpopularity of his decision however drove him to excel in the field to prove that he didn't make a bad choice. Budding into one of New Jersey's most sought after lensmen, Nimi created Secret Society Motion Pictures to groom other area creatives into becoming filmmakers themselves. Over the years he's taught hundreds of aspiring directors - some that went to film school but didn't get enough out of it. In 2014, Nimi made his feature film debut directing "Death Coast", a raw no budget street tale about the influx of gang violence in Newark. The film started to grow heavy acclaim in the city before the film's promotion was derailed by violence off camera that mimicked the stories told on the big screen.