LIFT Welcomes Summer Staff – July 2022


(L-R) David Nguyen, Esteban Powell and Mena Fouda


July 15, 2022

Welcome to Summer 2022 Staff

Thanks to the Canada Summer Job program, supported by the Canadian Government, we are able to welcome two summer staff to LIFT this summer. David Nguyen is our new Education and Outreach Assistant this summer at LIFT. He will be assisting our Education and Outreach Coordinator Shenaz Baksh and our Education and Outreach Administrator Iman Abbaro in day-to-day coordinating of the summer workshop season. Esteban Powell is our Technical Assistant this summer at LIFT. Esteban will be assisting our Technical team, Robin Riad, Noah Henderson and Karl Reinsalu, in the equipment room and production facilities. Additionally, Mena Fouda joins us this summer on a stipend from the Cinema Studies Institute of the University of Toronto, where she is currently completing her Masters in Cinema Studies. Over the course of the summer she will be assisting in the delivery of community outreach events, developing our student outreach strategy and taking on creative social media projects.

“The workshops and resources available at LIFT are invaluable to filmmakers and creatives! I’m so excited to play a small part in helping emerging talent create and share their stories, in addition to learning much more about the world of analogue filmmaking during my time here.”
—David Nguyen

David Nguyen is a Toronto-based filmmaker and creator. Originally wanting to pursue the arts after high school, he instead completed a degree in the earth and environmental sciences and worked briefly as a field technician. The increasing accessibility of video editing tools and content sharing platforms, however, inspired him to pursue his passion for creating, recently finishing Humber College’s Film and TV Production Program. Comfortable on both a film set and in a post suite, he is keen to apply his skills on amazing and diverse projects, and hopes to combine both his education backgrounds and work on projects with a positive impact on the world.

“It is an absolute honour to be welcomed into the LIFT team within the Tech Department, as it is known to be a genuine cultural center for the art of film. With a needed sense of community coming back now with more in-person activities, this place will only become more crucial as things evolve. Their equipment, talent, and facilities hone wealth of knowledge. Having just started, I have already learned so much, and am taken aback by everyone’s kindness and expertise. To be working within one’s field and to be a part of the impact in its community is something I continue to dream about, except here—I see it.”
—Esteban Powell

Born in Mexico and setting roots in Scarborough, Esteban Powell is a multimedia artist that has recently embraced writing and filmmaking. Currently entering his thesis year at Toronto Metropolitan University for Film Studies, he also recently published his first book as a fundraiser for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He hopes to dedicate his craft to themes of mental health, diaspora, and the unifying power of stories. His mediums of choice are 16mm film, pen and ink, and acrylic. He is eager to continue playing with the formats he already loves, while being open to learn more about all aspects of filmmaking.

“I am delighted to be joining LIFT this summer as an intern, and to hop under the different umbrellas that make up this sprawling space! So far I have been immersing into Cayley and Robin’s worlds: those of outreach and development, and the technical. In these months, I hope to soak in as much as I can about experimental and analog practices, community-building and liaisons of all fascinating caliber, and unfamiliar facets of film learning, production and sharing.”
—Mena Fouda

Mena Fouda is an artist-in-growth, drawn to the different frequencies of: film, word, music, movement. Her path drifted to LIFT as part of completing a Master’s in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She seeks to grow slowly into intentional and sustainable practices—stumbling onto multi-disciplinary territories like textile play and ecologically conscious chemigrams, studying the theremin, and caring for sweet cat-bird companion Baba Ganoush.