Dina wants to change the world with the power of touch, but the hardest person to hug is herself. This new web series is a funny, sharp, woman-led comedy with a strong main character. We've completed the pilot episode, and we invite you to join us to finish all of Season 1 for 2018 release!
Inclusion StatementCreated by a woman, CUDDLE features a strong female character whose story forms the backbone of the series. We've assembled a team with multiple women in leadership roles, in front of and behind the camera (writer, producers, lead), and we're committed to inclusion in casting and hiring.
About The Project
CUDDLE is a comedy series about finding intimacy in a world addicted to social media.
Dina, a fledgling cuddle therapist, wants to save the world with the power of touch; but the hardest person to hug is herself.
We’ve put together a remarkable cast and crew, and created a pilot episode that’s funny and heartfelt. We have the talent in place, and a comedic, relevant story to tell, and now it’s time to grow our audience and supporters so we can bring CUDDLE Season 1 to you in early 2018.
So what’s a cuddle therapist anyway?
A cuddle therapist is paid by the hour to provide professional, platonic touch, hugs and companionship. Cuddle therapy emerged in Portland, Oregon a few years back and since then has cropped up around the country, with feature articles appearing in Rolling Stone, the New York Times and numerous other media.
Why this story?
Adeline, our creator and writer, first heard about cuddle therapy after moving to LA: “I thought it sounded both funny and sad, which is my favorite combination – I love stories about underdogs and lonely characters.”
Cuddle is about our human need for intimacy. In this digital age, we spend more time interacting with people online than in person, which might be one reason why cuddle therapy has been on the rise for the past decade. Now, more than ever, Americans need a hug.
Adeline met John, our director, at the Austin Film Festival where both had scripts in competition, and where John’s films have played. They started talking about Adeline’s script, which was then a feature-length project. They both agreed it would make a great series, and saw an opportunity to craft an episodic project that’s comedic but at the same time speaks to our need for connection in the modern world.
Taking cues from well-crafted character-driven series like High Maintenance, they decided to focus the story very distinctly on Dina, as she strives to build her reputation while facing her own loneliness.
Meet the characters
Dina (Hope Shanthi) Dina struggled as a bit player in LA trying to make it big. Now, she’s decided to pack it in and move back to Seattle where she grew up. After a lot of soul searching, a lot of self-help and a lot of therapy, she’s decided she can serve the world best as a professional cuddle therapist. Equipped with the key to happiness, she just wants to hug the whole world.
Saul (David Klein) Dina's neighbor, client and confidante. After years of pretending to be a good, straight husband and father, he gave up the act, and ran away to be with the love of his life, an art director named Charles. Now that Charles has passed, Saul has no intention of falling in love again, so he uses cuddle therapy to keep himself healthy and happy.
Mrs. Bernbaum (Patricia Haines-Ainsworth) The well-intentioned but overbearing Mrs. Bernbaum will do anything to help her son Ruben become socially "normal," even if it means hiring a cuddle therapist.
Ruben (Ryan Sanders) Ruben moved back home temporarily, but some time ago temporary turned into permanent. While he contentedly plays video games and attends the latest comic con, his mother strives to help him with his social life.
- May 2017 Shoot pilot episode – √ completed
- Oct – Nov 2017 Fund Season 1
- Nov 2017 Shoot remaining Season 1 episodes
- Dec 2017 Edit remaining Season 1 episodes
- Early 2018 Release Season 1
When you support us by becoming a backer, you’ll be the first to see season one – and you’ll know that you’re supporting a show that’s homegrown and made by committed artists.
We can’t wait to see where the story of CUDDLE takes us. We’d love for you to come along for the ride!
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Thank you so much!
Adeline, Connie, Hope, John, and the whole CUDDLE Team
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About This Team
We've put together a multi-talented team to create the first season of CUDDLE:
Adeline Colangelo, creator, writer. Adeline a screenwriter based out of Los Angeles. Some of her credits include the animated series LITTLE BIG AWESOME for Amazon Prime, and the Nickelodeon shows, SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION and ALIEN DAWN. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival’s Enderby Entertainment Award for screenwriting.
John Helde, director. John is an award-winning director based in Seattle. His 2015 feature PHOEBE'S FATHER premiered at the NYC Independent Film Festival His latest feature, BROWN’S CANYON, crowdfunded successfully on Seed&Spark and launches in the fall of 2017. More at www.trythisfilms.com
Connie Villines, producer. Constanze is a film and video producer with over 20 years of experience in both film, television, and corporate video productions. She has worked on numerous productions throughout the US and Europe and is also a corporate and non-profit event producer.
Hope Shanthi, "Dina", co-producer. Hope Shanthi is a professional actress born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she currently resides. Film and series credits include WALLFLOWER, CHALDEA, PHOENIX RUN and BOOK NERD PROBLEMS. As an actor, she most enjoys diving into characters that surprise and convey the human experience as honestly as possible. In addition to narrative and scripted work, you can catch her performing stand-up comedy and improv. See more at www.hopeshanthi.com
Ryan Davis, producer of marketing and distribution. Ryan Davis is a film publicist and communications professional with ten years experience in the film industry arts marketing. Named by Media Inc. as one of Washington State's most influential women in film, TV, and media, Ryan has worked with outlets ranging from CNN and The New York Times, to community newspapers and local radio.
Brad Wilke, producer of marketing and distribution. J. Brad Wilke is co-founder and principal of Smarthouse Creative. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington's Department of Communication, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
There Is No Mountain, music. This Portland, OR-based husband-and-wife duo combines percussion, guitar, and an affinity for vocal harmony to create a unique brand of turn-on-a-dime psychedelic pop with intricate, world-music-influenced arrangements. Reviewers have tried to peg the duo's musical influences in genres ranging from jazz to folk, ancient music to psychedelic rock, and world music to doom metal. Band members Kal Giaritta and Matt Harmon just call it “pop with a short attention span”.
Brian Overholt, director of photography.
Montana Tippett, production designer.
Ron Leamon, costume designer.
Amy Enser, editor.
Matt Sheldon, location sound mixer.