SMALL SELECTION OF FILMS PRODUCED BY ME
Based on a true story, and funded in part by the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Film Grant, Afronauts tells an alternative history of the 1960s Space Race:
It’s July 16th 1969 and, as America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, a group of exiles in the Zambian desert are rushing to launch their rocket first.
In 1964, immediately following Zambia's independence, grade school science teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso set up the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research, and Astronomical Research in an old farmhouse 7 miles outside of Lusaka. Without resources (the £7,000,000 grant he applied to from UNESCO never came through), he hoped to launch a spacegirl (17-year-old Matha) and two cats into space before America or Russia could. To prepare his astronauts, Nkoloso rolled them down hills in 44-gallon oil drums or cut the rope of a swing at its highest point to simulate weightlessness. We do not know what became of them, other than that Matha became pregnant and was taken away by her parents.
Writer/Director: Andrew Harmer
Starring: Cerith Flinn, Jan Anderson, Kenneth Collard
Producers: Liam Garvo, James Heath, Lucas Zaiden
Set in a post-apocalyptic 1950’s, The Fitzroy hotel, a derelict submarine beached just off Margate, is the last place for a traditional summer holiday. Bernard, the hotel’s bellboy, cook, maintenance man and general dogsbody faces a constant battle to keep the decaying hotel airtight and afloat.
But when he falls in love with the scheming femme-fatal Sonya, he is thrown into a web of lies, backstabbing and chaos. As his world implodes, Bernard must choose between the woman he thinks he loves and the hotel submarine keeping them all alive.
‘You would have everything. You’d have the hotel, you’d have me. You would save us both.’ – Sonya
Director: Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher
Writer: Eli Wentzel-Fisher
Starring: Allie Hankins
Producers: Fabian Martin Diering, Lucas Zaiden
Earth is uninhabited by man. Most died, few left for Titan, a moon of Saturn. With them they took the remnants of humanity, what was left of it anyway. But there was an accident, the ships were damaged, and the remnants lost. They arrived on Titan without their history and soon began to lose their memory.
Sankofa is a film about the woman they asked to find it.
Writer/Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Starring: Thomas Castle, Tony Doupe, Joshua Miles
Producers: Brice Budke, Lucas Zaiden
Prospect is the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl on a toxic alien planet. She and her father hunt for precious materials, aiming to strike it rich. When the father is attacked by a roving bandit, the daughter must take control. Prospect premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.
Director: Micah Van Hove
Writer: Sam Jones
Starring: Lucas Elliot Eberl, Johnny Wactor, James Wilson
Producers: Nate Kamiya, Lucas Zaiden
From the executive producer of BOYZ N THE HOOD comes the stark, and un-flinching, MENTHOL, a dramatic and bleak snapshot of the modern plight of the 20-something. Four male twenty-somethings spend twenty-four hours reliving their high school glory days.
The drugs, video games, and boozing ends in a moment of terrible violence in this bleak and unflinching portrait of 21st Century male nihilism.
Writer/Director: Michael T. Smith
Starring: Lina Boycheva, Roxanne Ebrahimi, Rowena Diamond
Producers: Zeke Hanson, Lucas Zaiden
Amputee. International Superstar. Dying patient. Broken child. Lonesome nurse. What do they all have in common?
Umbrella is an independent feature film; a multi strand narrative drama that explores themes of forgiveness. It follows the lives of four main characters, and how they each discover reprieve in different ways.
We have all suffered moments in life where we wish we could turn back the clock and make amends for our mistakes. During the story of Umbrella, we wish to tell a story where dwelling on our past does not help resolve our future. These characters all commence on a discovery in which each and every interaction we experience, can and does make a difference, be it big or small and how we can make a better future for ourselves and our families.
Director: Ryan Tillotson
Writer: William Sterling
Starring: Josh Beren, Carrie Keranen, Sandy Hale
Producers: AJ Audet, Lucas Zaiden
If death is only the beginning, what comes next? In life, Roy Harper, played by Josh Beren, was a man of “grand insecurities.” When struck by a bus he thought his problems were over. Turns out this was only the beginning of something new…
His problems followed him to the afterlife and the first thing he’s tasked with when he gets there is to put it all on the table in mandatory group therapy sessions. When the game is therapy for the dead, the journey is anything but ordinary. Taking lessons from a still suicidal Ernest Hemingway (Sandy Hale), Roy finds that the best place to find new life is here, in death.
Sharing the circle with seven other sadly deceased, Roy finds a familiar face… Cheryl Jenkins (Carrie Keranen). Roy knew and loved Cheryl in life but was held back by the insecurities he couldn’t get over. With the fresh new start of eternity, can he work past his issues and get what he never could in life? Through the adventures of this strange new world and the questions posed in therapy, can Roy and Cheryl work through their problems with sex, love, and death and find a way to be happy? What they come to find is that without each other, no.
Writer/Director: Tighe Kellner
Starring: Amelia Felbinger, Robert A. Felbinger, Jess Kellner
Producers: Phyllis Boudreaux Kellner, Francesca Blumbo Costa, Lucas Zaiden
The two Boa Brothers survive on the streets as wanted criminals and victimize civilized society to further impound their nihilistic philosophy of “survival of the fittest.” The chemistry between them has fueled their imaginations, creating an outrageous reality to exist in as they dress up in fantastical disguises (Pirates, Cowboys, Super Heros, Women, Martians, Ninjas, Naval Officers, Eskimos, etc.) to hide their identity each time they commit a crime. This dramatic dark comedy, crime, adventure, mixed in with the whimsical elements of the brother’s characters, will create a a suspenseful energy filled with childish flouts.
The Sneaky Boa Brothers is a story of how bonds are broken. In this film I intend to focus purely on capturing a visual character story about the tragic separation of two brothers who have had nothing but each other their entire lives.
Especially now that my brother Jess and I communicate on a level of construct and possibility that I have always yearned for, and finally obtained, the fact that Jess and I will be acting in this film together as the two brothers will only aid me to create the most passionate and powerful project of my life.
Writer/Director: Tighe Boudreaux Kellner
Producers: Lucas Zaiden, Max Macat, Jonny Leahan, Tighe Boudreaux Kellner
Shaun Fleming, former Disney voice actor for shows like Kim Possible, world renowned didgeridoo player, and former apprentice of Todd Shipley met Jonathan Rado and Sam France of Foxygen while at Agoura High School in Southern California. After several years of playing with the live band, Fleming helped aid the success of Foxygen's breakthrough album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.
In 2013, after joining the band Foxygen, Shaun Fleming left the green and golden fields of his hometown of Agoura Hills, CA to become the third roommate in a 700 square-foot, pre-war, closet-free Manhattan apartment. He was welcomed to The Big Apple by a nasty flu virus that drained the last bit of California sunshine out of the skinny, Macaulay Culken-looking 26-year-old’s body. As he recovered, cabin fever supplanted the flu, and his relentless creative drive took over. Low on funds and bored out of his mind, he spent the next two weeks alone in his bedroom writing and recording what would become the debut Diane Coffee LP My Friend Fish. Despite his limited means (using a pseudo drum kit consisting of a snare, one broken cymbal, and a metal pot, recording parts with an iPhone’s voice memo app, playing a detuned guitar rather than a real bass, etc.) My Friend Fish sounds fully realized and remarkably polished. From a Donovan-esque song about Sriracha, to experiments with distortion and garage-rock, to songs like “All The Young Girls” in which he gleefully channels Tom Jones with sex-bomb confidence, on My Friend Fish Fleming’s spell-casting powers are in full effect, inspiring panty-tossing glee. After you finish listening, you’ll wonder as you stretch out in bed and enjoy a cigarette, “Who is Fish?”
Fleming, a member of the illuminati-lite tapped fellow members Joey Lefitz and Emily Panic to play drums and bass when they met at the secretive groups annual ice cream social. They later met guitarist Jared Walker and keyboard player Steve Okonski who were members of a rival dance crew. after repeatedy getting "served" by each other, The 5 put their differences aside and saved the rec center prior to their first tour opening for Nashville band Those Darlins and later Gardens & Villa in early 2014.