MEET THE YOUTH FX STAFF
Bhawin Suchak - Program Director
Bhawin is an educator and filmmaker who believes in the power of film and digital media as a tool of empowerment to amplify youth voices and build community. In 2008 he founded Youth FX, a digital film and media arts program for young people in the South End of Albany, NY. Bhawin directed the award-winning feature documentary, The Throwaways (2014) and filmed and edited Free to Learn (2004) along with producing several short documentaries that have aired on PBS. For 15 years he has taught media arts at the Albany Free School and was the co-director of the school from 2007-2015. He has worked with youth teaching film and digital media at locations across the capital region including: The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Albany High School and The Arts Center of the Capital Region.
Darian Henry – Assistant Director
Darian is a talented cinematographer and director and one of three youth founders of the Youth FX program. She has been involved in several award-winning Youth FX film projects including Inside The Ring, Mama’s Boy, Tyler, Third Rail and It’s Natural. Darian’s goals as a filmmaker is to create content: documentary, narrative or experimental films that offer perspective into a world, a mind, a way of life, that has yet been represented by mass media. As an artist, she aims to provoke thought, encourage community dialogue and bring forth ideas of other possibilities while also challenging the status quo.
Majestic Tillman - Program Assistant
Majestic is an actor, screenwriter and director and one of three youth founders of the Youth FX program. This is his eighth year of involvement with the program, starting as a 14 year old learning his craft to moving on to become a peer educator and program assistant. Majestic specializes in acting and screen writing and has played a lead role in several award-winning short narrative including: Ghost, Third Rail, Mama’s Boy, Breakout and The Wanderers. Majestic has also been a lead actor in several stage productions across the capital region and Off Broadway with the Women With Voices Theatre Ensemble.
Rashid Howell – Program Assistant
Rashid is a director, editor and sound recordist and is currently a junior at The College of Saint Rose, studying communications/new media and business. He is one of three youth founders of the Youth FX program, which he has been a part of for 8 years. Specializing in sound, grip and electric, Rashid has helped youth peers learn and understand the various technical aspects that go along with film making. Rashid believes that the Youth FX program allows youth to obtain skill sets that can be applied outside film making and digital media. Skills such as: communication, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership.
Michael Mejia - Creative Director
Michael Mejia is an educator and film maker with a concentration in documentary, music videos, and narrative films. He has been an educator in several organizations throughout Albany NY including; The New York State museum in 2009, The Liberty Partnerships Program in 2011, and has been apart of Youth FX since 2010, currently serving as a program assistant. Michael received a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute and plans to continue to learn, educate, and create for the in the film industry in years to come.
Noelle Gentile - Teaching Artist
Noelle Gentile’s career in theater education began with the New York State Theatre Institute as a performer and outreach teacher. Noelle spent 8 years in the New York City Public Schools as a drama teacher, encouraging students to explore and respond to social issues in their world through student derived theater pieces. For the past 5 years Noelle has worked in Albany, NY as a resident artist at Albany High School with the Theatre Ensemble and Capital Repertory Theatre. She has created several multi-media theater pieces, in collaboration with Youth FX filmmakers, local actors and visual artists.
Gaetano Vaccaro - Teaching Artist
Gaetano is a musician, multimedia artist and educator. He has been an arts instructor to youth for almost a decade, in music, film and new media. He has been working with Youth FX since 2009 and recently has been implementing the media in the classroom through the MediaWorks program at Albany High School since 2011. Gaetano Vaccaro has been performing music professionally for over a decade in a multitude of genres. In addition to his duet work Taína Asili and his work with 7-piece world music group Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde, Gaetano has toured the country numerous times and put out two albums with hip hop/rock band Broadcast Live.
David Easton - Director of Development
David B. Easton is a writer, producer, and educator. David joined Youth FX in 2016 after moving to Albany from NYC where he managed a variety of production roles in film and commercial production since graduating from New York University’s Tisch Film School in 2003. Outside of his work in media and film, David taught at Brooklyn Free School for 7 years and is an on-going workshop facilitator for the Brooklyn-based non-profit, Culturally Responsive Education. He has also enjoyed acting in films such as Half Nelson (2006) and several other short films.