The Galaxy Built On Hope Team
Writer & Director
Roger Christian's innovative work created the 'used universe' look for George Lucas's original Star Wars film, winning an Oscar for Set Decoration presented at the Academy Awards. Christian also brought this aged yet futuristic look to Ridley Scott's film Alien, winning a BAFTA nomination. Christian created the iconic lightsaber prop and helped realize the famous little robot R2-D2. His signature work created an entirely new look for science fiction film.
George Lucas commissioned Christian's directing debut, the haunting medieval myth Black Angel. When the short film was rediscovered and restored, it went viral and reached almost a million hits on YouTube.
Lucas asked his former Set Decorator to become his Second Unit Director on Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Star Wars. When Lucas relaunched the saga with the Prequel Trilogy, he again called upon Christian as Second Unit Director for Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Now established as a director, Christian went on to direct his own second film Dollar Bottom and won a second Oscar, this time for Best Dramatic Short Film. Other directing credits include the cult classic feature The Sender and the critically acclaimed Nostradamus.
The new feature-length documentary Galaxy Built on Hope is based on Christian's autobiography Cinema Alchemist, detailing his work creating the 'used universe' for the first Star Wars film, now called Episode IV: A New Hope.
Christian continues to direct actively, with a feature version of his short film Black Angel currently in pre-production, starring Toby Kebbell, Tcheky Karyo and John Rhys Davies. Filming will begin on location in Morocco in October 2022.
Christian has also created a new sci-fi animation series called Replicants on Atlantia, now in pre-production, with eight episodes to be released in 2023.
With a Midas touch that escalates ordinary into the extraordinary, Ritz has the gift of sharp business acumen, coupled with her infectious passion and drive to place her amongst the top league of Canadian producers.
Pursuing a Doctorate in Strategy & Cinema , Ritz is backed by impressive academic background of Triple Masters in Business Administration & International trade.
With a career spanning over 2 decades in Banking & held portfolios as Vice President for a prestigious bank in India , Ritz has the sixth sense for every dollar invested versus Return.
Ritz spearheads global projects in world cinema as Executive Producer & leads both Creative & Production teams of entertainment business across multiple continents. Relationships are the cornerstone of her work & personal philosophy. This philosophy has strengthened & nurtured teams , joint venture partner relations & created success stories for the teams & the group.
Parth Jani has made waves across every industry he has worked in. Having a bent of mind to help and enable people, he pursued in medical sciences before switching his approach from saving lives to saving ideas that bring life to the future.
His professional experience showcases a growth curve that covers working as a sales associate. Prior to bootstrapping his own company (Jani Ventures), through the sale of projects in domains including real estate & equity whose combined total has brought to life Jani Ventures & Jani Entertainment Productions.
Shaji Nada is the Founder and Chairman of Ideal Group, which is comprised of Ideal Developments, Ideal Entertainment, and Ideal Ventures.
As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, Shaji is driven by a desire to disrupt conventional business models. He is passionate about assembling extraordinary teams to realize ambitious goals.
Ideal Developments' construction projects throughout Canada. They range from high-rise and mixed-use residential, to commercial and conversion projects, and luxury custom homes. www.idealdevelopments.com
Ideal Entertainment is an international leader in content creation and distribution in the film and music industries. Ideal Entertainment is currently working with a renowned composer, A.R. Rahman on several film projects. It has also begun a new venture with A.R. Rahman and celebrated actor, producer, and recording artist, Will Smith. www.idealentertainment.com
Ideal Ventures identifies and provides seed funding for successful ventures, including tech and sustainable startups. www.ideal.ventures
Strategic growth, and establishing and leveraging powerful partnerships, drive forward the growth of each subsidiary of Ideal Group. www.idealgroup.ca
Wardour Studios Hollywood
Mr. Steven Nia, JD, MS-CSE, is a true visionary and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in Entertainment and Technology sectors. As the Chairman and Founder of Wardour Studios, Hollywood, Mr. Nia commands a wide range of business, creative and strategic skills and resources, combined with excellent leadership.
Through Mr. Nia's leadership, vision and strategy, Wardour Studios has flourished into a leading next generation global film studio, with a fast growing and diversified presence in motion picture production, television programming, home entertainment, digital distribution, streaming platform enabling international distribution and sales.
Chief Operating Officer
Wardour Studios Hollywood
Ms. Angelina Leo (MBA, BSBA) serves as a board member and Chief Operating Officer of Wardour Studios since its inception. Angelina is responsible for the Wardour Studios' film operations from development to release. In addition to managing the Creative/Development group, she also oversees Animation, Casting, Business Affairs, and Physical Production, including Film & Development Finance, Post Production, Film Technologies, and Music.
Leading Wardour Studios' team members, Angelina has built Wardour Studios from a small independent studio to a diversified next generation global content creator and distributor. As an Ex-TV host/anchor, Angelina brings a wealth of experience, both on camera and off camera, driving production, financial methodology, processes, best practices and synergies in co-production and co-finance. Angelina brings extensive experience in motion picture productions and distributions, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales.
Archaeologist Dr. David West Reynolds was so inspired by the realism of Roger Christian's "used universe" look for Star Wars that he traveled to North Africa to track down the original filming locations of planet Tatooine in Tunisia. His adventure transformed him into a Lucasfilm location scout and he went on to become a New York Times #1 best-selling author of seven Star Wars guide books.
Richard Crouse is the regular film critic for the 24 hour news source CTV's News Channel and CP24. He is also the author of ten books on pop culture history including the best-selling The 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen, Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils and Elvis is King: Costello's My Aim is True and is a frequent guest on many national Canadian radio and television shows.