Yoko is a prominent casting director and film producer and generally known as “Japan’s ambassador to Hollywood“. She gained prominence due to her involvement with The Last Samurai, Babel, and Memoirs of a Geisha. The Japan Times referred to her as an “all-round interpreter of Japan for U.S. movies”. She was pivotal in the discovery of Ken Watanabe for The Last Samurai and the casting of Rinko Kikuchi for Babel who both went on to be nominated for Academy Awards underlining her perceptive judgement for authentic star quality.
Yoko worked alongside Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun and she continues to be active as a Casting Director, working with directors like Rob Marshall, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, James Mangold, WashWestmoreland and Angelina Jolie.
Yoko believes that “ The moment you discover your “role”, is the moment you begin to shine. “
Anse Tamara Gray
Anse Tamara Gray is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. She is an Islamic scholar and is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, and worked for twenty-five years in the field of education, before moving into the non-profit world.
Shaykha Tamara works as Executive Director for Rabata, building and sustaining its many and varied educational projects including Daybreak Press publishing, the publisher of the award winning book, “The Drummer Girl”.She is also a public speaker often engaged to speak about issues of gender, leadership, Islam, and spirituality; locally, nationally and globally. Her book, Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, is in its third print.
Tamara is on the advisory board of Muslim Women’s Association of Chicago and the Muslim Anti-Racism Committee and on the board of the Collegeville Institute ’s Interreligious Fellows Program, working to develop educational programming for faith leaders around social justice issues.
Sabrinah Morad grew up under the shadow of mental illness and knows first hand how the topic is not one usually raised openly in Malaysian society.
“Culturally, we live in a fairly superstitious society, where mental illness can be misdiagnosed as [someone] being charmed by black magic or possessed by evil spirits.
Morad’s new children’s book tries to destigmatize this illness and looks at depression from a child’s perspective. Grey Bear Days centers around an eight-year-old boy, Little Bee, who must deal with a grey bear who “steals” his mother.
Chris is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Base FX. He began his film career with multiple writing and producing credits, two director credits, and one film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, he designed the Base FX’s training program, Base Camp, providing a foundation for Base FX’s continued growth and success. Chris is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and USC’s School of Cinema-Television.
Base is Asia’s leading visual effects and animation company with production studios in Beijing, Wuxi and Xiamen, China, and an office in Los Angeles. Base FX opened its first overseas production facility in Malaysia in June 2018 .
The vote to establish in Malaysia according to Chris was facilitated by the securing of a location “that offers an aspiring creative community, a young and eager talent pool and strong government support for a new initiatives” It retains a strategic alliance with Industrial Light & Magic and has won Emmy Awards for work on “Black Sails,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Pacific,” and earned Oscar and BAFTA nominations for its work on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Dzameer Dzulkifli is Managing Director and a Co-Founder of Teach For Malaysia. Armed with his M. Eng. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London, Dzameer is a passionate educational devotee. He truly believes that Teach For Malaysia will be the nurturing ground for future visionary leaders who will enhance Malaysia’s educational and national landscapes.
Prior to founding Teach For Malaysia, Dzameer channeled his enthusiasm and determination as a management consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2007, where he played a key role in the implementation of a human capital blueprint for a prominent economic region in Malaysia. As a weekly volunteer teaching Mathematics at the UNHCR Burmese Refugee Education Centre in Kuala Lumpur, his dedication significantly impacted the learning capabilities of the schoolchildren, accelerating their Math progress from a Primary 4-level to a Secondary 2-level within the short period of 9 months.
Saw Teong Hin
Saw Teong Hin is an award-winning Malaysian film director, writer and producer with a career of more than 30 years. “Puteri Gunung Ledang” (2004), Teong Hin’s directorial debut, was the first Malaysian submission for The Academy Awards (2004). It was also the first Malaysian film invited to the Venice International Film Festival (2004).
His production company, Real Films, produced the musical tribute to Malaysian superstar Sudirman, “Hoore! Hoore!” (2012) as well as the Penang Hokkien film, “You Mean The World To Me” (2017), one of the most critically acclaimed and successful films of 2017. Real Films also provides production support for international movies filmed in Malaysia, including Ang Lee’s “Lust: Caution”.
Aside from winning the Boh Cameronian award for co-writing the book for “Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical”, Teong Hin has directed for the stage, with great success. His theatre directorial credits include the iconic “Emily of Emerald Hill” for The Georgetown Festival (2010), a dance drama “Silat” (2012), an original Istana Budaya musical “Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road!” (2013) as well as the stage version of “You Mean The World To Me” (2014) on which the movie is based.
His career reached a new high when he directed the 2017 South East Asian Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Harith Iskander is a Malaysian actor and comedian. He is considered to be “the Godfather of Stand-Up Comedy” in Malaysia, having also won the Asia’s Best Stand-Up Comedian Award 2014 by Top 10 of Asia Magazine.
He won the Funniest Person in the World competition in December 2016.
Chuck Williams has over 18 years of feature film development experience. A 21-year Disney Feature Animation veteran, Chuck served as a development exec, writer and producer on several films. He conceived, wrote the first approach and produced Brother Bear (2004), and likewise worked as a writer and producer on several other Disney development project. Under John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, Chuck was asked to head the Disney Shorts program which was the vanguard for the Pixar development process into Disney.
From 2013, Chuck has lead the development of both animated and hybrid films at Marza and heads their US office. He works closely with Original Film and Tim Miller & Jeff Fowler of Blur Studios to develop Sonic the Hedgehog for Sony Columbia. As well, he is producing the upcoming animated feature Mean Margaret to be release in 2019 by Open Road and Dadi International, as well as having several other features, TV shows, and even a VR feature-length project in active development.
Chuck is a passionate filmmaker, a veteran in emotional, big scale stories, and a relentless pursuer of quality, family entertainment.
Tommy Le Baker
Tommy is an artisanal ‘bread engineer’, on a constant mission to explore different ingredients to make the best bread. Equipped with expertise in patisserie and boulangerie from his years away in France, in a defining moment he decided he would make his way back home to Malaysia. On a random bus trip, he discovers an atta flour mill and took home some supplies which he started experimenting on. This led him to make the perfect Malaysian sourdough. He was finally *Home*. Tommy can be found constantly experimenting out of his “Tommy Le Baker” bakery at Kampung Atap.