Website Banner_ FMW 2020.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 5.51.56 PM.png

NANCY BANNON

Willow

Willow is a magic realism folktale drama about an 8 year old girl who leaves her house in the middle of the night in search of her drug seeking mother only to find herself in a magical forest with a strangely intentional german-shepherd dog, flying feral kids, a commune of tree-sap-drinking dancing women and a giant matriarch creature. Young Willow discovers untapped strength and courage during her adventure and returns home to mom with newfound insight and conviction about ending the trauma in her home and breaking the cycle of addiction.

Nancy Bannon is a filmmaker and performer. She was recently nominated for a Certain Age grant in honor of Lynn Shelton and was a member of New York Stage and Film’s 2020 Filmmaker Workshop. Her feature screenplays have been recognized by festivals, contests and labs (including 2X Nicholl QF) and her short screenplay, “Blood” was published in The Southampton Review. Original theater work includes: Cornfield, Puncture, The Pod Project. As movement director: Romeo and Juliet (w/ Orlando Bloom) on Broadway, more. Off-Broadway: Occupied Territories, a play (nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards) which she co-wrote and plays a leading role. Nancy was a professional dancer for over a decade, most notably with Doug Varone and Dancers. Awards: 3 Princess Grace Awards, a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award, multiple prizes and scholarships. BFA: Juilliard. Faculty: SUNY Purchase, Rutgers University, American University (current), Wyo Film Festival and The Studio Acting Conservatory.

Recent press:  bit.ly/redefinelynnshelton nancybannon.com

Headshot-cam - David Baugnon.jpg

DAVID BAUGNON

Trip

When a troubled pre-med student persuades his religious, terminally ill mother to try magic mushrooms, they go on a psychedelic romp through New Orleans, reconnecting until a fight exposes a rift in their relationship he’s desperate to heal before he loses his mom forever.

David Baugnon is an award-winning filmmaker and writer, chosen as one of the International Screenwriters' Association Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2018. His feature screenplayTrip finished in the Top 50 of the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His hour-long TV script, The Messiah Project, won several awards including Showtime's Tony Cox Television Pilot Competition at the Nantucket Film Festival and the Silver Prize at the Page Awards in 20013 and he was named a Fast Track Fellow by the ISA in 2015. His directing credits include the feature documentary Art in the Face of War which won Best Documentary at Lake Havasu Film Festival 2009 and the Special Jury Prize at Newport Beach Film Festival 2007, among other wins. His short documentary Matisyahu screened in more than 50 film festivals worldwide and won the Grand Prize at AOL Moviefone Short Film Festival in 2006. www.davidbaugnon.com

profile_pic - Rob Bellon.jpeg

ROB BELLON

Pariah

In a post-human Earth ruled by an oppressive regime of intelligent androids called "Titans," a lone human girl named Rania (14) has grown up in secret, under the protective custody of a friendly robot family. But when the Titans discover Rania, she will have to flee her only home, face the evil robot empire, discover the frightening truth of her past, and connect with her inner potential to save the last vestiges of humanity.

Rob Bellon is a graduate of the Columbia University MFA film program, where he earned his degree in screenwriting and TV writing. Rob's thesis, Pariah, a dystopian sci-fi pilot about a human girl searching for her family in a world ruled by androids, was selected for the 2020 New York Stage and Film Television Workshop, as well as for the invite-only Imagine Impact Creative Network. Rob has written four TV pilots, two feature screenplays, and he has directed three short films. He is a two-time Telly award winning animator and VFX artist. He interned at independent production company Big Beach, and has a BA in English from Binghamton University, where he studied postcolonial literature. Rob loves history, growing plants, and ice skating with his family.

29872646_10216856325946882_6519765701783

ANIKA BENKOV

The Bitter Pill

The Bitter Pill is a romantic-comedy-gone-wrong between an internet misogynist and a radical feminist who used to be childhood best friends, and reunite as failed young adults, living in their parents' basements, and working at Whole Foods.

Anika Benkov is a writer based in New York who tells stories about the kinks in life and in ourselves, loneliness, and growing pains at all ages. Their award-winning short film, The Binding of Itzi' received the Jewish Film Institute's Annual Completion grant and is currently screening at film festivals worldwide.  Their screenplays have been recognized in the Sloan Mentorship program at Columbia University and made it to the second round of the Sundance Development Lab competition.  They are currently finishing their MFA in film at Columbia University. 

YC_221_1%20-%20Yakira%20C_edited.jpg

YAKIRA CHAMBERS

MysEducation

Two teenagers from the same side of the tracks change their world by battling MysEducation in the Chicago school sector coupled with the harsh realities of the south side of Chicago while becoming the best of friends.

Yakira Chambers is a Los Angeles based writer/producer/actor from Chicago. She is a 2021 Viacom CBS Writers Mentoring Program alum, and just wrapped a fellowship in the 2021 NY Stage and Film Filmmakers workshop. Yakira has an (MBA) Masters of Business Administration and a background in Corporate America. Yakira has developed her original pilot with eOne and is developing a feature film with State Street Pictures. Yakira is currently staffed on "NCIS: Hawaii" and is repped by Brandy Rivers at Industry Entertainment and A3 Artists Agency.

Kim Picture - K. D..jpeg

KIM DEMPSTER

The Watchers

Air Force pilot Major Zoe Osborne's life is turned upside down when she encounters an unidentified flying object and sets out on a journey to try to understand her experience. Along the way she clashes with the military, the government, Evangelicals and alien chasers, eventually finding solace with a group of scientists and ufologists.

Kim Dempster has put her unique signature on numerous projects including commercials, music videos, inter-active and narrative film. As both a writer and director, Kim has always been attracted to projects with a social conscience. Kim’s short films have been recognized at many film festivals. In 2008 Kim directed Marmalade, a feature film produced by Goldheart Pictures. In 2013 she wrote & directed, Stop The Nightmare, a series of short films about human trafficking. In 2014 she brought the atrocity of modern-day slavery to the streets of New York with a series of live performances. Kim spoke at TEDx about the creative community’s ability and responsibility to use their skills to incite change. As well as her theatrical work Kim has enjoyed a successful career as a commercial director. She has spent the past two decades honing her visual skills while directing national and global campaigns. Kim also wrote and created The Gods of Park Avenue, an interactive series for P&G. Kim is an active member of The Directors Guild of America, Women in Film & Television and Film Fatales.

Jennypic%20-%20Jenny%20Halper_edited.jpg

JENNY HALPER

Ways to Hide in Winter

Based upon Sarah St. Vincent's acclaimed debut novel, this is the story of a woman, long stuck in the small town she grew up in, whose unexpected friendship with a war criminal forces her to reconcile a legacy of trauma and grapple with her own notions of good and evil.

Jenny Halper’s adaptation of Laura van den Berg's story What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, The Burning Season, was a Sloan Grantee via the Tribeca Film Institute, received a Film Independent Fellowship, placed on the Athena List and the 2016 Black List, and received a 2018 Sloan Grant from Film Independent. Her adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s At Risk received a Film Independent Fellowship and placed on the 2018 Black List. She is currently developing several TV series and recently adapted a non-fiction book for Social Construct Films (The Mauritanian). As EVP of Film at Maven Screen Media her credits include The Kindergarten Teacher, American Honey, Skin, and A Mouthful of Air. As a fiction writer, she is an Our Stories Emerging Writer Award winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee with stories published and reprinted in places including the Chicago Tribune, Roxane Gay’s Pank, Joyland, and the Southeast Review, and her story collection was a finalist for the 2015 St. Lawrence Book Prize. She is represented by Untitled Entertainment and CAA.

large_DSC9848%20-%20Alessandro%20King_ed

ALESSANDRO KING

Goodman

Clarinet whiz kid Benny Goodman soars from dire poverty to jazz royalty, only to risk it all to form America's first interracial band.

Alessandro King is a New York-based writer. Alessandro’s screenplay Goodman has placed in multiple recent contests, including the Academy Nicholl Fellowship (quarterfinalist), Cinequest, Screencraft, WeScreenplay, Creative World Awards, Write L.A., and the Atlanta Film Festival. His pilot Cartunion also has multiple placements, including current second-round status for the Sundance Episodic Lab. Alessandro’s stage plays have been produced or developed at Primary Stages, The Cherry Lane, The Tank (7x7), The Flea (Serials), Trustus Theatre, New Dramatists, Fordham University, and Sarah Lawrence College. He is the winner of the 2011 Trustus Playwrights Festival, a semifinalist for New Dramatists membership, a two-time semifinalist for the O’Neill Conference, and a three-time finalist for the Heideman award. BA: Sarah Lawrence.  MFA: Fordham/Primary Stages. alessandroking.com

Cuseapture_edited.jpg

SAVANAH LEAF

Earth Mother

A young pregnant mother of two struggles to gain custody of her first two children while facing the decision of what to do with her soon to be born third child amidst poverty and drug addiction.

Grammy nominee, Savanah Leaf has transitioned from 2012 Olympian to accomplished director and photographer. Her work weaves art and creativity with a deep humanity and poignant social commentary. In 2019 Savanah was asked to write and direct a new video for Marvin Gaye's 1971 classic 'What's Going On'.  It was the first in Universal Music's ‘Never Made’ series; great songs that never had a music video.  By focusing on current racial and social struggles in the US, from the water crisis of Flint, Michigan to the perennial horror of school shootings, and the chronic depravations of the US Healthcare system, the film highlights the continuing relevance of Marvin’s question nearly 50 years later.  In The Ayes Have It, Savanah visually imagines Tiana Clark’s poem, written in response to the murders of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin – both very young, African Americans who were murdered almost 60 years apart in similar circumstances. Her filmmaking is genuine, emotional and timeless, traits that can be seen in recent work for Tena through AMV BBDO, and her lockdown animation project #wemattertoo, which studies prison life in America during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Savanah’s experience as part of the GB Volleyball team gives her a unique insight into the work of an athlete competing at the highest level, and she has applied this skillset to successful collaborations with Nike, Adidas, and Fila among others.

Guru%20Ramanathan%20-%20Guru%20Ramanatha

GURU RAMANATHAN

Londoni

After immigrating to Whitechapel, England in 1980, Indian doctor Abhimohan Sushant is pulled into a violent gang war between Bangladeshi gang Anchor Yard Massive and neo-nazi group Brass Monkeys, while trying to carve a life for himself.

Guru Ramanathan is a versatile storyteller with ample experience in both the art and business of entertainment. Having worked extensively across film, TV, podcast, journalism, and publicity projects in his career, he has elevated diverse, impactful and thought provoking narratives in several sectors of the entertainment industry. Guru currently does brands publicity at ID, supporting an array of high caliber clients such as Nintendo, Peloton, the NAACP LDF, Reddit, Cricut and CORE. He continues to produce new creative works outside of his role as well, including an upcoming graphic novel magazine and his podcast The Passion Project, which he created and co-hosts. He also recently served as the Vice President for the Collegiate Association for Artists of Color, an organization that supports artists of color in higher education, having worked on a docuseries, podcast, zine, animated web series, and clothing line in his role. Prior, Guru shot, produced, edited, and directed a feature length documentary, Hyper—, and has written and directed several short films. Guru was also the Managing Editor for Washington Square News' magazine Under the Arch, served on the Fusion Film Festival’s Executive Board, and wrote for the philanthropic fashion magazine Mission Magazine. He graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, being a University Honors Scholar and receiving the Dramatic Writing Award for Excellence in Episodic Writing by an Undergraduate.

Traven Rice Headshot - Traven Rice.jpg

TRAVEN RICE

Red Rock Falls

When a grieving park ranger starts sleepwalking after a rock climber is murdered in her small mountain town, she begins to doubt her own alibi.

Traven Rice is a New York City-based filmmaker devoted to telling stories about the extraordinary moments that make up our everyday lives. She recently completed the pilot for Division Street, a digital series focused on a withdrawn young girl who is sent to live with her cranky grandmother in a magical neighborhood in NYC. The pilot screened as an official selection at the Slamdance Film Festival, ITVFest and Raindance, among others. It was featured in the FilmShop collective’s Breakthrough Series and screened in competition at SeriesFest 2019, where it won a development award from the Caz Matthews Fund. Rice studied film at FAMU, in Prague, Czech Republic, where her first short film, The Night Tram, was nominated for a Student Academy Award. She has written and directed numerous short films and is currently developing her first feature film, a psychological thriller, based in the small mountain town where she grew up.

IMG_4584%20-%20Charia%20Rose_edited.jpg

CHARIA ROSE

True Story

After a failed suicide attempt and stay at the hospital, True must return to the mundane suburban life she so desperately wanted to escape.  As she struggles to survive her senior year of high school, she discovers an underground punk collective run by people of color that takes her on a journey of deep self-discovery, mental wellness, and falling in love with the Black woman she is becoming.

Charia Rose is a writer and director. An artist from Detroit, Michigan, she firmly believes in art as a means for deep reflection and strives to use it for social change. A self-proclaimed "Midwestern Baddie", she is dedicated to showing the world that, contrary to popular belief, there ARE black and brown people in the Midwest AND they have amazing, interesting, and multifaceted stories to tell. Recently, she directed the short film With(out) You, which is making rounds on the festival circuit. You can find her shouting about Mariah Carey and how to end systemic racism on Instagram @charia.

IMG_3072-2%20-%20Minnie%20Schedeen_edite

MINNIE SCHEDEEN

The Ark

Set in a future where humanity has been rendered infertile and artificially reproduced children (ARCs) are allocated through a Lottery system, The Ark follows a group of women from disparate backgrounds whose lives collide when one of their city’s only children goes missing.

Minnie Schedeen is a writer-director originally from Los Angeles, California who grew up writing stories in the Pacific Northwest. A graduate of USC School of Cinematic Arts, Minnie was a Sundance Ignite Fellow in 2017, a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow in 2018, a former directing shadow on CW’s Jane the Virgin and a finalist for Ryan Murphy’s HALF Initiative. Her feature film screenplay Farmhouse has been supported by the Sundance Feature Film Program in 2017 and most recently featured on the 2019 Hit List. Farmhouse will continue to be supported by the Sundance Institute Talent Forum in 2020. Ultimately, Minnie is fascinated by science-fiction as a means to explore human nature and hopes to pioneer a firm place for women’s stories in genre storytelling. minnieschedeen.com

ShawnAloneStill%20300dpi%20-%20Shawn%20S

SHAWN SNYDER & JASON BEGUE

Sannyasa

A retiree in suburban South Florida fixates on Hindu notions of non-attachment and fancies he might spend his final chapters as a wandering Western monk.

Shawn Snyder: After receiving a BA in Religion from Harvard, Shawn Snyder spent his twenties as an itinerant singer/songwriter. In 2015, he completed studies at NYU’s Graduate Film Program and, in 2016, was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” To Dust, his first feature, co-written by Jason Begue and starring Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig, premiered at Tribeca in 2018, winning both the “Narrative Audience Award” and “Best New Director” for Shawn. The film was released theatrically in 2019 and went on to be nominated for “Best Screenplay” at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.

JBEGUE HEADSHOT - Jason Begue.jpg

SHAWN SNYDER & JASON BEGUE

Sannyasa

Jason Begue: Born in Los Angeles, CA to Colombian and Argentinian immigrants, Jason’s passion for filmmaking began at an early age when he won the 1999 CineVegas Youth in Film competition. In 2010, he graduated from The School of Visual Art's Directing Program in New York. In 2015, Jason co-wrote the screenplay To Dust with NYU alum Shawn Snyder. The script went on to receive both the NYU and Tribeca Sloan Student Grand Jury Prizes and was selected as one of the participants of IFP’s 2015 Emerging Storytellers. Jason would go on to co-produce To Dust along with Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, and Ron Perlman. In 2018, the film, starring Son of Saul's Geza Rohrig and actor Matthew Broderick, premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival where it received the Audience Award for Narrative Feature. In 2019, Jason Begue and Shawn Snyder were nominated in the Best Screenplay category by the Independent Spirit Awards for To Dust. Jason is currently enrolled in NYU’s Graduate Film Program.