The subject of grief and loss is universal yet it isnt always depicted in every way grief can manifest in someone. We want to show everyone who has suffered with losing a loved one, or is currently having a difficult time coping, that they're not alone in the way grief has displayed itself in them.
Inclusion StatementOur team is comprised completely of women and people of color. Two demographics that are highly under utilized in film. We have also chosen a very diverse cast in race and age. Our project's main goal is to show people that are emotionally suffering that they aren't alone. Total inclusion.
About The Project
The protagonist is a 28 year old woman named Lydia who attends a bereavement group for people who have lost a loved one to cancer. As she hears the different stories of loss around the group and how grief has manifested itself in so many different ways, she is triggered to remember different memories during her father’s illness where each stage of grief affected her own life.
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About This Team
Phoebe Pearl (Writer, Director, Lydia)
Phoebe Pearl is an LA native. She has been dancing since the age of three, with training in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap. She attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and then moved cross country to attend The Boston Conservatory majoring in dance. She became a Radio City Rockette in 2009 at the age of 19 and left the company at the end of 2016 after she spoke out against the Rockette's performance at the presidential inauguration.
Since then, she has redirected her career to focus on acting in TV and Film. She has been studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse NYC since November 2016 with teacher Neal Matarazzo. She has also worked with Bob Krakower for on camera study. This past year she has appeared in HBO's The Deuce and has been cast in multiple short films. She wrote Stage V to pay respect to her father's memory and also to create a piece of art that people fare and wide can relate to.
Chelsea MacLaren is a New York based actress, singer, writer, and producer who moved to the the big apple in 2010 to pursue her passions and has loved every second of it. She’s been professionally singing for two years with Vali Entertainment but can’t remeber a day when she wasn’t singing. As an actor she has been featured in short films and on television, most recently on Investigation Discovery’s SCORNED: Love Kills. Chelsea also loves producing, making projects she is passionate about happen. She co-produced a feature film, ERIC BLAIR AND I, and is now executive producing short film STAGE V. Although Chelsea has been drawn to performing since she was a child, she actually went to college for creative writing and has been working on two pieces that are very close to her, a collection of poems about her twenties and a one women show, FOUR BOXES, which is slated to make its
debut later this year.
Leeann Ortiz (Co-Executive Producer)
Hey! I am Leeann Ortiz, born and raised as a military brat in California and Hawaii. Acting, dancing, and directing has been streaming in my blood ever since I can remember. From directing my first
"film" at 8 years old with my cousins (a spin off of the Blair Witch Project), to choregraphing performances and learning about acting with each film I watch from every genre imaginable. Constantly moving as a child has taught me to adapt to my surroundings and I very much enjoy learning about different cultures and people. People fascinate me and people are my passion. Not only did I want to be a part of film, but I needed to be a part of film. After living in San Francisco and achieving a successful career, I knew it wasn't enough. I packed my stuff and drove cross country with my partner of 10 years, to New York City.
New York City has allowed me to meet people just like me, who've accepted me as part of their community. The art scene, the film scene, the theatre scene and the people have struck a cord in my heart. Here is where I met my friends Phoebe Pearl, Chelsea Maclaren and Jacqueline O'Kelly, my team for our short film, Stage V. Phoebe, our director/writer presented me with the opportunity of co-producing this short with a team of creative, empowering women, and I couldn't be more elated.
What excites me most about this project is how it's focused on something every person deals with at some time in their life. The possibility of relating with someone a world away who I'll never know gives me the drive I need to give it all I've got. Pairing that drive with a great story and our amazing crew of awesome women, I'm confident that we'll be able to deliver a peice of art I will forever be proud of.
Jacqueline O'Kelly (Co-Executive Producer)
Jacqueline O'Kelly is an actress and writer living in New York City. She received her theater training from the Beverly Hills Playhouse, under the direction of Robert Zimmerman and Peter Allas, in San Francisco. She has appeared on stage most recently with the Firescape Theatre in San Francisco as Brenda in Four Dogs and a Bone, Maggie in Reunion Special, Tammy in The Last Barbecue, and Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest.
Jacqueline grew up in Carlisle, Massachusetts studying theater and music in and outside of school. She holds two degrees from Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Psychology and Tenor Trombone Performance, respectively.
Stage V will be the second short film Jacqueline has produced. Jacqueline looks forward to collaborating with this amazing all-female production team on this inspirational film, written by and starring her fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate and actor.
Jamal Solomon (Director of Photography)
Being from Brooklyn has left an indelible mark on Jamal's cinematography --
"Finding the beauty in that visceral environment and how the two interacted with each other was always fascinating to me. Even at a young age, when I didn't understand art, [I knew] THIS was ART."
Jamal has been working in the industry for 7 years in New York City, as well as internationally. Shooting short films, feature length movies, as well as artistic videos for brands and artists has brought him the insight of understanding the needs of all types of stories and genres. In 2014, he won the Zeiss Precision Image Award; and recently, his contibution behind the camera on the short film Flowers, allowed for the film to win Best Short at the 2016 American Black Film Festival. The film went on to air on HBO throughout 2017. 2018 has brought opportunities in television, with TVOne's UNCENSOREDseries where Jamal lenses episodes featuring Lala Anthony and Charlemange. The latter episode garnered the network's highest rating for the season. For him, these momentous achievements cemented the belief that improvement is key and should be utilized in strengthening each and every frame.