This is a podcast WITH AND FOR filmmakers, writers, actors and brave makers of all kinds. You'll hear actors dramatically read scripts and get back stories behind why and how brave movers and shakers create culture shaping work. It's all about the brave stories behind brave making.
Hosted by Tony Gapastione and Rebekah Amosah with featured correspondents.
Find us on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Googleplay, Spotify and more.
Currently living in Paris, France, Christopher is a multi-talented writer-director-actor who has worked on over 150 films, theatrical productions, VR, video games, and immersive entertainments on three continents. His feature film ‘The Bellwether’ was released in 2019. He has written and directed 360 films as well. He has been commissioned for multiple feature length screenplays, television pilots, and plays alike. He recently added “Narrative Designer” as he wrote for the videogame “Ary and the Secret of the Seasons”. His VR branching narrative “The Werewolf Experience” is currently in production. Cirque du Soleil called him “A huge asset to the creative process.”
Jen McGowan is a director based in Los Angeles.
Her most recent feature film, the survival thriller, RUST CREEK, was released in theaters January 2019 by IFC Midnight and hailed as “the feminist thriller Hollywood needs right now” by Harpers Bazaar.
She just finished directing her first episode of television, The Purge for Blumhouse.
McGowan's first feature KELLY & CAL (Juliette Lewis & Cybill Shepherd) premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews. She got her start with award-winning short films, CONFESSIONS OF A LATE BLOOMER and TOUCH, which played at over a hundred festivals worldwide winning the majority.
In partnership with Level Forward, she is the creator of Glass Elevator, an international skill-sharing, networking & jobs resource for professional women in film & television. With nearly 4,000 members, Glass Elevator was named Best in LA by LA Weekly, is part of the Sundance Women’s Initiative Resource and was featured in Forbes.
Co-created with her partner Eliza Lee, their TV series, Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small American town is being produced by Shaun Reddick (GET OUT, BLACKkKLANSMAN) and Yvette Yates of Impossible Dream Entertainment.
ME YOU US, is the next feature she is set to direct. A teen rom com update to HITCH it is being produced by John & Catherine Davis at Davis Entertainment.
Take the Lead Foundation identified McGowan one of 50 Women Who Will Change the World in Media & Entertainment and WeForShe selected her for the 2019 DirectHer program. A Film Independent Fellow, finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, recipient of the AWD Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing she was named one of Vulture’s Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring.
Follow her on Twitter
Craig Sim Webb, a widely-traveled speaker-singer-songwriter who sometimes enjoys wearing other hats such as "author", "dream analyst-researcher", "inventor," and "friendly frisbee fanatic".
He is a McGill University physics graduate and had the good fortune to be part of the pioneering research team at Stanford University that brought lucid dreaming to the mainstream a few decades ago. Craig has designed personal growth and educational tools distributed worldwide, yet his TV remote often still confuses him. His book The Dreams Behind the Music reveals little-known dreams that inspired tremendous success for over 100 top artists, and highlights principles anyone can use to harvest their own dreams for significant breakthroughs.
To learn more, visit:
What are you doing to get your projects started, made and completed?
Weekly SHORT THOUGHTS ON BIG IDEAS.
Our January screenwriting class starts January 6th 5pm PT/8pm ET
Richard J. Bosner, also known as Rick, produced the politically-charged true story Fruitvale Station starring Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan which received the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category and the Sundance Audience Award, U.S. Dramatic, presented by Acura along with 44 nominations/wins during the 2013 Awards Season.
Bosner also produced Nick Sandow’s The Wannabe starring Patricia Arquette, with Executive Producers, Dean Devlin and Martin Scorsese. In the summer of 2015 he executive produced Other People starring Molly Shannon and Jesse Plemons which was the opening night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Bosner was honored as one of the LATINX 2019 Trail-Blazing producers. He is currently in post-production on Axelle Carolyn’s horror feature Crones with Blumhouse TV and Amazon Studios. He also Produced the dramatic thriller, BlackBear, starring Aubrey Plaza and directed by Lawrence Michael Levin which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2020.
Follow him on Instagram
Check out his production company:
Brave Faves from our live chat with producer Richard J. Bosner were impossible burgers, @krystinawrayjackson faved Marvel 616, and the movie Antebellum and @TonyGapastione faved the book: No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings, founder of @netflix.
Kirin Bhatty is a celebrity makeup artist that has achieved many steps in the industry. She has made many artists shine like Zoe Kazan, Tessa Thompson, Jenny Slate, and others. Bhatty was born in a family of immigrants from Pakistan.
Los Angeles native and UC Berkeley graduate Kirin Bhatty became a professional makeup artist after a brief stint in publishing. Inspired by beauty images in the magazine she worked for, Kirin began assisting on-set, contributing in any way she could to build a career in makeup. Today, with her characteristic emphasis on glowing skin, Kirin collaborates with top photographers on fashion editorials and advertising, as well as creating memorable looks for red carpet events. Kirin’s editorial clients include Vanity Fair, V Magazine, CR Fashion Book, Teen Vogue, ELLE, Marie Claire and Vs. Her celebrity clients include Tessa Thompson, Freida Pinto, Kaya Scodelario, Kate Upton, Florence Welch, Jenny Slate, Rosario Dawson, and Zoe Kazan.
Kirin will be chatting live from New York.
For her future, she wants to keep working with amazing women and make them feel beautiful. She states: “At the end of the day, I’m a makeup artist because I like to make people feel good.”
Tony faved chocolate covered expresso bean from @traderjoes Kristina faved @majorlazer f@kirinstagram faving NYC’s @mahzedahrbakery
New LIVE CHAT monthly with LA film school student Tobey Lynn.
What's it like to go to film school?
Brave Faves this week:
Tony Gapastione: LSTN Headphones
Krystina Jackson: Amazon Book
Tobey Reyes: New Girl on Netflix
Join us for our monthly chat with actress/dancer/singer Zoey Lytle who moved to NYC this year to pursue her dreams and goals on Broadway.
Cody Smart is an L.A.-based independent writer and script doctor from Chile. She holds degrees in English Literature & Linguistics, Screenwriting, Development and Producing. She worked as a script analyst for Sony, she’s a judge for multiple script and film competitions, she’s written some award winning shorts, she’s head of the coverage department at Story Data, she's the face of the vlog The Helpful Reviewer with tips on Screenwriting, and she teaches Script Doctoring at UCLA Extension.
She takes pride in helping writers take their work to the next level.
Hollis Morrissette was born and raised in Lansing, MI (Capital to the state) and home to Michigan State University. Growing up, Hollis has always been interested and involved in arts and entertainment. At the age of eight, Hollis got his start with his first theatre role which inducted him officially into the arts and entertainment industry. It was then he discovered his love for not only acting, but singing as well. In elementary school, he joined the choir serving as the lead singer touring the city for Christmas concerts. Moving on to high school, Hollis continued great academic achievements such as class vice president, and continuing his musical journey in orchestra where his parents put him at the age of nine. While Hollis loved acting, he took a break from it in high school, and found his love for modeling where he was scouted and worked for Hollister and Co.
In college, Hollis transitioned from modeling back into acting where he served as lead roles in theatre and small PSA commercials. After graduating with his degree in theatre and psychology, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in entertainment.
At the age of 20, he got his start on television as a guest star on HBO’s hit show Vice
Principals. From then, he’s starred in a number of short films, television shows and voiceover work to name a few. In 2020, Hollis won his state title as Mr. Michigan United States, making history competing in a pageant during a pandemic, walking away as Mr. United States 2nd runner up, Gentleman of the year honoree, and winning an academic achievement award. During Hollis’ 19-year career, he not only has acted, modeled, and found success in his pageant, but he also
owns his own online boutique clothing store, has written and released music, started his YouTube channel, and is currently writing his third book. Hollis Morrissette is a powerhouse that sees and shows no signs of stopping or slowing down in the future.
Ben Duffy has bled filmmaking for the past 17 years of his life. He started off making skate videos with his best friends on driveways, and now is a filmmaker with 10 documentaries under his belt, 4 of which are features. In the humble opinion of this writer, Ben Duffy has redefined the meaning of micro budget filmmaking. If money fell from trees, Ben grabbed the pennies while others got to the bills first, and always finished the film with the pretty penny. We Are Skateboarders, Bens most acclaimed published film, was made from him riding on bus’s with expired weekly bus passes to get to the shoots, holding two skateboarders, a big ass tripod, and a heavy loaded camera bag…and lets not forget about the food stamp grocery bill for when the shoot was over. Ben transformed digital video tapes to an hour and 50 minute, 2nd highest viewed feature length skateboard documentary for the price of what could have cost the average production nearly 900,000 dollars. That was just the beginning of this humanitarian’s career. While Ben could have used his existing success as a skateboard documentarian, he chose to diversify and tap into the world of the underdogs, the community of people who are never fully seen; fully heard. Using only crowdfunding campaigns as a financial source to carry him through, Benjamin created Amazon Prime featured documentaries on autism and the world of disabled people as professional athletes. When I talked to Ben he told me that after his what would much later be his most financial successful film, Tin Soldiers, featuring 4 time Paralympic gold medalist, Alana Nichols, he was fucking over filmmaking. It wasn’t until 6 months later a quadriplegic man spoon fed Ben a new idea to document love and sexuality in the disabled community, did he find himself crying on his friends couch that he was living on and said, “I have to believe that this this going to work, because I have nothing left to lose”, Ben raised in total 55 thousand dollars to turn what was a caterpillar of an idea to a beautiful butterfly that will fly this November. Ben also said, or should I say, boldly states, that Take A Look At This Heart is the film he wants to be remembered by because it the only film he’s made that no one else can touch - it is truly a 1 of a kind unique demonstration of passion and pulling something from with in you that you didn’t know you had in order to find the love for yourself that’s been missing for so long. Maybe it is that you need a heart of gold in order to be successful while running on empty. Or maybe Ben has showed the world with his films that in order to fill the emptiness with gold, you just can’t stop running. This website shows Bens endless search for the little miracles that remind us we are human, and it all started with a camera 5 times the size of your new iphone.
Watch some of Ben’s work here:
Here is Episode 1: HOPE
Here is episode 2: “Love and Suicide”
Meet filmmaker: Miguel Angel Caballero (Director, Writer, Producer) and his film team which include producer and actors of the film: ACUITZERAMO
Follow him on IG;
The film's IG page
Subscribe to our YOUTUBE PAGE
Watch Killer Couch
Four years after Jordan's death, filmmaker Justin Robinson set out on an 8 year journey to bring his brother's story to life. With the help of 102 interviews and 300+ home videotapes, equaling 450+ hours of footage, "My Brother Jordan" chronicles Jordan's life and death and paints the bond of brotherhood between Jordan and Justin Robinson.
BEHIND THE SCENES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5zls...
written, produced, directed and edited by Justin Robinson
Born and raised in Texarkana, Arkansas, Telvin quickly immersed himself into the entertainment industry after graduating college in 2012. He's booked numerous National Commercials including being the National Spokesman for "Black People Meet dot com." Telvin has also appeared on numerous television shows and films including Fox's Deputy, CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful, and later this year an episode of Black-Ish. His latest film "Tazmanian Devil" was an official selection to the ABFF (American Black Film Festival) in Miami this year where it won the Inaugural John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film for the director. Telvin's goal and purpose in life is to inspire others to never giving up on your dreams and if you believe something stand on it with integrity even if you have to walk alone for a short time. Be the best you can be and trust God!
Parker Jesse Chase is a Honduran-Irish-American screenwriter & costume designer residing in Los Angeles, CA. Chase’s work is dramatic, addressing themes to challenge society expectations, understand the complex layers of human relationships, & the art of overcoming traumas. Her latest release, “The Ghost Who Walks” released on Netflix this past April and was ranked the #8 film to watch in the US. Chase is currently producing her first feature film “An Ideal Candidate” starring Callie Deering, Adria Dawn, Matt Gorkis, and introducing Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model Winner Jaslene Gonzalez.
****with special guest appearance from Danielle Merri
Lisa L. Wilson is an Emmy® award winning producer from Houston, Texas. Lisa has produced programming in all sectors of media including live news and entertainment, musical performances, scripted television and film. She has developed content that has been seen in over 50 million homes. Throughout her career Lisa has also dedicated time and resources to mentor and empower the next generation of female producers and content curators through professional development. As a producer Lisa's mission is to develop content with the sole purpose of exploring and discovering life through the lens. Recently she produced for Jada Pinkett on her show RED TABLE TALK.
Francy loves editing and her passion is in unscripted. There is so much magic in realism for her. She mainly edits documentary films and reality television. But recently cut a friend's short film recently and had a blast. And film had a nice festival run and was used as a jumping-off point for her friend's directing television career. Recently Francy finished working on a doc that played at the most recent Outfest, " Freedia Got a Gun." It was accepted at Tribeca and Afi docs this year, as well. She's edited films that have gone to Sundance, Belingdale, Tribeca, and all over the world. She's currently working on a 6 part doc for HBO, but it hasn't been announced yet. Francy loves to talk about editing process and workflow, and how to get into the industry especially working as a minority and woman in the industry. She's done teaching in the past and recently did a session with grad students at UC Santa Cruz.
See her resume of work here:
Tony and Krystina chat with Clayton Davis. He is Variety Magazine's Film Awards Editor. He founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of AwardsCircuit.com.
He's covered awards, film, and television for more than 15 years. He's the founder and president of the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, and a member of Critics Choice, AAFCA, and NYFCO.
@Variety Awards Editor/ AwardsCircuit Founder / Black-Latino Writer
Irene Tu is a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. In 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle singled her out as an “artist on the brink of fame,” on the heels of being named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Stand Up Comedians” (SFist) and one of 20 “Women to Watch” (KQED). She has performed at numerous festivals including SF Sketchfest, Comedy Central’s Clusterfest, RIOT LA, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, and Outside Lands. Irene has opened for comedians such as Patton Oswalt, W. Kamau Bell, Brian Posehn, Anthony Jeselnik, Gary Gulman, Judah Friedlander, Hari Kondabolu, and Aparna Nancherla. You can see her on season 2 of “Take My Wife” and on VICELAND’s “Funny How?”
Follow her on IG: https://www.instagram.com/irene_tu/
Irene was named one of Vulture’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know in 2019”
“She is confident onstage and offstage. Her caring demeanor belies a dark side that I can relate to.” - W. Kamau Bell
“She excels at pleasant—almost parental—condescension and the confident undercut” - Portland Mercury
LIVE CHAT with actor/writer/director Josh Ruben who debuted his first feature film at Sundance 2020.
He is now gearing up for a release on Thursday October 1st, 2020 via https://www.shudder.com/ (which you can try out for FREE for seven days).
Just in time for Halloween.
Irving Ruan is a Chinese American writer, actor, comedian, playwright, and software engineer.
His work has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Funny Or Die, CollegeHumor, and elsewhere. He is a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto.
He graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Computer Science and has studied improv, sketch writing, and satire at The Second City in Chicago.
Irving lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is represented by Danielle Svetcov at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.
We are grateful for Irving's continued hosting on our podcast and highlighting the art of writing and comedy!
One of the pieces we discussed on the podcast:
The Prison Within is narrated by Hill Harper (The Good Doctor, Homeland, CSI:NY, Covert Affairs) and author of Letters to an Incarcerated Brother, which speaks to the current mass incarceration crisis. Director Katherin Hervey, a former Los Angeles Public Defender and volunteer prison college instructor, is the first filmmaker to gain access to chronicle these intimate and revealing sessions inside San Quentin Prison.
People incarcerated for murder inside San Quentin Prison transcend the barriers of the punitive prison system by working with victims of violent crime to unearth the root cause of their own violence. Each character undergoes a radical transformation revealing how every human being, on both sides of the wall, can break out of their own personal prisons to stop the cycle of violence.
The Prison Within exposes the devastating impact untreated trauma has on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in San Quentin prison. The prisoners and survivors come together and participate in the Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG)—an innovative restorative justice program enabling prisoners to discover how the trauma they’ve experienced contributed to their criminality and to understand the impact their crimes have on their victims. Together, the prisoners and survivors confront and expose the pain, shame, and rage caused by the extreme trauma they’ve experienced throughout their lives.
We are asking the audience to set aside what they think they know about incarcerated people. Most people in prison are first a victim. Anger and violence stems from untreated trauma. When our justice system excludes the notion of rehabilitation, it necessarily perpetuates the cycle of violence by failing to address trauma. And the fallout from untreated trauma ultimately affects the entire community. This film serves as an example of how all people can change, how we can evolve as a community, and the power of connecting to the humanity in others, even those who have committed harm.
Episode 74 is hosted by Krystina Jackson + Tony Gapastione
Darious Britt is a Director, producer, screenwriter and actor.
He attended film school at the University of Arizona and graduated in May of 2012 with a bachelors in Media production.
He toured his short film “Seafood Tester” to four international film festivals including the oscar qualifying Aspen Shorts fest in 2012.
Darious created the youtube channel D4Darious, in August of 2013 and it has since grown to over 140,000 subscribers and over 5 million views in three years.
He have Toured his first feature film “Unsound” on the film festival circuit screening at over 20 international film festivals, winning 7 awards including best director at The Pan African Film Festival in 2015.
He loves telling stories and helping other filmmakers learn the craft to reach their highest potential as storytellers.”
He vlogged the entire journey with his first freature film UNSOUND on youtube.
At minute 33 we share a TRAILER to THE SCARLET THREAD can be found here:
Watch the BBC film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ptvmahVE-s&feature=emb_logo
It’s been 30 years since the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a psychological disorder - being gay is no longer considered something that can be ‘cured’. 'Gay conversion therapy' attempts to change sexual orientation through psychological, spiritual and sometimes physical means. It's been widely labelled unethical and potentially harmful. But so-called gay conversion therapy is still widely available around the world.
BBC News Arabic has met a doctor in Jordan who’s been offering ‘gay conversion therapy’ and talked to people who have suffered as a result of going through this so-called treatment.
It is extremely rare for a doctor offering this controversial practice to speak openly and this is the first time anyone has covered this issue in depth in the Middle East.
This film highlights the emotional toll experienced by two young people who, in a desperate attempt to fit in, undergo ‘gay conversion therapy’. This film exposes the negative impact of such therapy and we hear details of what both characters experienced and how the treatment almost cost them their lives.
We also hear from a doctor who practices gay conversion therapy who believes homosexuality is a psychological disorder that can be cured. The film is about two people’s emotional struggle to be accepted and to love freely despite social stigma and family rejection.
A film by Jason Hanasik.
Animation by Leah Nichols.
Live Chat with Hollywood Teen Actresses Izabella Alvarez + Talia Jackson hosted by Tony Gapastione
Most recently Izabella can be heard voicing the lead spunky character, 'Ronnie Anne Santiago,' in Nickelodeon's "The Casagrandes." The animated series tells the story of 11-year- old Ronnie Anne after she moves to the city with her older brother Bobby and her mom, where they now live with their big, loving multi-generational family, the Casagrandes. By depicting stories based on Mexican-American and Latino themes, "The Casagrandes" is a bridge to Latino culture.
And will be seen as lead in the in the upcoming CW's "The Republic of Sarah," currently in production.
LA Times writes, "Izabella Alvarez, a Rising Latina Star, commands desperation-ridden scenes with skill and maturity."
Talia Jackson has been auditioning since the age of 7 and didn't get her first break until August 2018 when she booked the series regular role of Jade McKellan in Netflix's Family Reunion and Zoe in ABC's Station19. She booked the series regular role of Dusty Gable on ABC/Warner/Berlanti/Diablo Cody pilot Raised by Wolves in 2017 but it didn't get picked up. Talia is also a singer and will release her first single "I'm not Jealous" in July 2019.
Talia moved from Wisconsin with her mother and brother to Santa Barbara in February 2009 after a divorce to be near relatives and to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress and singer. For 10 years she auditioned and booked 1 small independent film and a couple of commercials but didn't book a TV role or film that actually aired somewhere. She was close to giving up on her acting career right before she booked a starring role in Family Reunion and Station 19 in the same month.
***Follow BraveMaker's correspondent IRVING on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/irvingruan/
INFO ON OUR FEATURED GUEST:
Charles Yu is the author of four books, including the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which was a New York Times Notable Book and named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, and was nominated for two WGA awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld. He has also written for upcoming shows on AMC and HBO. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate and Wired. His latest book, Interior Chinatown, was published in January 2020.
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/203055/how-to-live-safely-in-a-science-fictional-universe-by-charles-yu/ Interior Chinatown: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/216162/interior-chinatown-by-charles-yu/
Website: http://www.charlesyuauthor.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/charles_yu
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Kyra Jones is a queer Black multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker based in Chicago, IL. Kyra received her degree in Theatre and Gender Studies from Northwestern University. As an actor, she's appeared on Empire (Fox), Chicago Justice (NBC), Kappa Force (Revry), Seeds (OTV) and more. She's the co-creator, executive producer, and star of the award-winning web series,The Right Swipe (OTV). She's currently in pre-production for her first feature film, Go to the Body, a boxing film that tackles sexual violence in the Black community. In addition to her work in film, TV, and theatre, Kyra is also an educator and advocate, working with survivors of gender-based violence. She's represented by Stewart Talent.
Teen singer/actor Becky Alex is on the show to talk about her song and music video.
Watch her video here:
Behind the scenes here:
Légère Creative was founded by Minna Rogers to fill the need of rest and introspection in our culture and daily lives. Busy schedules, routines, and living on auto-pilot often causes us to lose sight of ourselves and our creative energies. Each person is gifted with a desire to create and thrive, and we want to honor, nurture, and cultivate that at Légère. Through our programs, participants take the time to slow down and create, to get back in touch with their innermost, creative selves. This provides the opportunity for introspection and rest at a spiritual level, causing a ripple effect to other arenas of life, and creating the possibility of living life more aligned with self and purpose. The goals of Légère: To use creative arts to facilitate healing and renewal. To provide a safe space to explore creativity and self. To explore mind-body connection. To locate the source of your deepest inspiration and creativity . To connect with others who are interested in looking inward. To provide inspiration and the opportunity for rejuvenation, so participants can return to their lives refreshed.
Our last film selection for our VIRTUAL FILM FEST was: THE LOST, a short film written and directed by Vincent Cortez.
In this interview Tony and Krystina interview the very talented CORTEZ FAMILY who produced and acted in the film.
Find more about the film here: https://www.mitchellstreetpictures.com/
Meet the filmmakers of WONDER on HBO
Gabriel Furman and Javier Molina
INSTAGRAM: @wondertheshort / @therealtalkfilms / @gabriel_furman / @everydayisamondayproductions
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/wondertheshort/ / https://www.facebook.com/therealtalkfilms /
Special Guest Andres from the San Mateo Pride Center, hosted by Krystina Jackson + Tony Gapastione
Oscar Nominated WALK RUN CHA CHA BY LAURA NIX
WATCH THE FILM HERE: https://vimeo.com/380740144
Paul and Millie Cao reunited in California after the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor.
Directed by -Laura Nix
Laura Nix is a director, writer and producer working in non-fiction and fiction. Her most recent work, a short film titled WALK RUN CHA-CHA (Tribeca Film Festival) launched on New York Times Op-Docs fall 2019. Her critically acclaimed feature documentary INVENTING TOMORROW, about teenagers around the globe tackling environmental issues through science, premiered in US Competition at Sundance Film Festival 2018, was broadcast on PBS’ series POV, and won awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Seattle International Film Festival.
Tiauna Jackson is a Talent and Literary Agent for The Jackson Agency. Ms. Jackson built her agency from the ground up within the entertainment industry’s most competitive market, Los Angeles. Anchored on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, California, Ms. Jackson built her agency from the ground up within the entertainment industry’s most competitive market, Los Angeles.
Anchored on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, Tiauna decided to start her own agency after finding barriers of entry for writers of color, LGBTQ+, and Senior Citizens.
Writer/Director: Spencer Folmar in conversation with Timothy Mcmahan King and licensed social worker Aimee Noel.
Filmmaker Jason Hanasik documents a story of childhood trauma. When Nick Hurndon was six years old he and his two older brothers were set on fire by their stepfather in their San Francisco home. Now in his early forties, Nick is a retired Marine and is raising two sons that are about the same age he was when he was set ablaze. This is a film the effects that abuse had on Nick's sense of self worth, and the ways in which one man is interrupting a cycle of violence so that his two sons can thrive.
Co-Host Keren Southall
You just need to listen.
Thank you to Reverend Yolanda for her creative force. He has curated and music and life's work of Beyoncé into life changing, culture impacting expression of humanity and empowerment for black women.
Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is the H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Her womanist scholarship explores how Scripture treats foreign women and how this has led to the oppression of women of color who encounter the Bible today. She is also a PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University.
Rev. Norton is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and she holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University.
Special thanks for our BraveMaker ambassador: Keren Southall for co-hosting the conversation.
Mia Mercado is a humor writer based in Kansas City. Her work has been featured in places like The New Yorker, the New York Times, Washington Posts’s The Lily, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Bustle, McSweeney’s, and Hallmark Cards. Her debut collection of funny non-fiction essays Weird but Normal explores the contradictions of being a person, sharing the awkward, uncomfortable, surprisingly ordinary parts of life. Weird but Normal comes out with HarperOne on May, 19, 2020.
Order Mia's book "Weird But Normal": https://miamercado.com/book
Mia's website: www.miamercado.com
Mia's Twitter: www.twitter.com/miamarket
Mia's Instagram: www.instagram.com/mia.market
TV showrunner and show creator JEFF LIEBER. Originally from Chicago, now in LA, Jeff co-created LOST and his most recent credits include episodes of Charmed, Lucifer, The Originals, Impulse and NCIS: New Orleans... to name a few.
Follow him on Twitter if you want to write TV!
He's always sharing tips and once we get out of shelter in place he's gonna come up to the Bay to be with us!
Hope you are all staying well during SHELTER IN PLACE and taking care of yourself.
Enjoy Ragiv's story and meet him online live: April 7th or 8th, 2020.
To sign up go to BraveMaker.Org and subscribe to our email list.
Episode 53 is up! We had to postpone our film screening with these two--but we get them on our podcast. Great guys who have lots to share. Recorded on ZOOM via NYC + LA.
Find them online:
Danish on Instagram
Their movie: THE ILLEGAL
Suraj on Twitter
If you liked the film LIFE OF PI, actor Suraj Sharma talks about working with (one of) the 500 pound tiger from the film!
So much going on right now in our world regarding Covid-19/Corona Virus. We're sad to postpone our March and April events in order to flatten out the virus growing.
This podcast also includes a short response about our February 2020 film screening Burden. It created a lot of conversations which is what we had hoped for, but we never want to increase the hostility and aggression for people of color and specifically the black community in this experience. Take a listen.
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Look over our FISCAL SPONSEES
As interviewed: Irving Ruan
Henry Alford is a humorist and journalist who writes for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair. His stories have also appeared in Spy magazine, the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vogue, The Village Voice, McSweeney's, Harper's, the Los Angeles Times, and The Paris Review. He is the author of five books Including How to Live, which won the James Thurber Prize for American Humor, and his most recent, And Then We Danced.
Henry's writing in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/henry-alford
Bruce Springsteen Interview for Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/09/bruce-springsteen-cover-story
MUSIC at the end of the podcast by Neil Swany
Tony met director Andrew Heckler and producer Robbie Brenner (Oscar nominated for Dallas Buyer's club) at Sundance in 2018. Burden is an award winning film, Audience Award and it is premiering in the Bay Area 2/24/2020 before it rolls out at the end of February and March nationwide.
If you love theatre, especially Broadway theatre and the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, you'll love all of Rick's stories.
Rick Negrón has worked on two of theatre's greatest hits: In the Heights and Hamilton. He was selected to perform both of these shows in Puerto Rico which was quite the full circle experience because he was born and raised in that very place.
He plays the role of KING GEORGE III with quite the swagger. Don't miss it!
Rick on IG
Rick on Twitter
TICKETS FOR HAMILTON SF:
Rick talks about his brother-in-law's New York walking tour:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brandon Armstrong struck gold when he booked a role touring as DONKEY in Shrek the Musical.
Take a listen to how he was hand picked by Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform in Puerto Rico (after many, many auditions). He is now a resident of San Francisco. He plays Hercules Mulligan and James Madison at the Oprpheum Theatre on Market St.
Find him on IG
I (Tony) met Kathryn connected on Twitter after I saw her at ACT's WAKEY WAKEY co-starring with actor Tony Hale.
Go see it! You have ONE MORE WEEKEND to see it in San Francisco, Valentine's weekend.
Follow her work! She's also on the show DEPUTY on THURSDAY NIGHTS.
Underwear for all shapes, sizes + preferences. That's Play Out Apparel. A non-gendered place to get the underwear you've always wanted. (Have you heard about Athleisure? You have now!).
What is the story here? Ask Abby Sugar: Entrepreneur, fashionista and LGBTQ+ advocate. From NYC but currently living in the Bay while attending Palo Alto's Founder's Institute. She'll also be at BraveMaker's 2/24/2020 event. She's open to get connected with you and talk!
IG + Twitter
Recorded in Park City, Utah FROM SUNDANCE.
Tony and Diane talked about meeting in Chicago at the Blue Whiskey Film Fest, her Oscar/Emmy nominated and Peabody/Sundance winning film MINDING THE GAP as well as her two full length documentaries at South By Southwest this March, 2020--AND ALL THE WORK IT TAKES TO MAKE MOVIES!
Follow Diane on Twitter
Her short film CLIFF SUPERFAN
See her production group
Blue Whiskey Film Fest
Jim Cummings and Tony Gapastione sat down in a hallway, yes a hallway and just talked. And it's all recorded for our listening pleasure.
Jim is very accessible. Say hi on Twitter:
Watch his short film THUNDER ROAD:
See his production company here and look up the films BEAST BEAST, THE BETA TEST AND THE WEREWOLF
**Thanks + shout out to Jeremy Hersh and Twitter for making connections that create stories that become films.
Another great interview from correspondent IRVING RUAN! @irvingruan
Claire Friedman is a staff writer on Showtime’s Desus & Mero. Previously she wrote for Saturday Night Live, in which she won a Peabody award for as well as an Emmy nomination. Her comedy has been published in the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Harvard Lampoon.
Claire was born and raised in New York City. She attended Hunter College High School, Harvard College, and Harvard Business School. She lives on the Upper West Side, where she spends her free afternoons wandering through Zabar’s in a full sweatsuit.
Desus & Mero Season 2 premieres on Showtime February 3rd. SNL's "This Is U.S." sketch: https://www.metatube.com/en/videos/404138/SNL-This-Is-U-S
Claire's piece in The New Yorker, "Deleting Instagram, Installing Instagram: The Vicious Cycle": https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/deleting-instagram-installing-instagram-the-vicious-circle
Joy Elizabeth Hoover is MAKING CHANGE + CUPCAKES IN LAS VEGAS.
From her INSTAGRAM:
She's a life + mama
founder + ceo | @cupcakegirlsorg @localforall
podcast | @humanswhogiveashit
ambassador | @lululemon
social impact coach 👇🏼 joyhoover.com
Interviewed by BraveMaker correspondent IRVING RUAN (listen to his BraveMaker interview ep 20)
Caitlin Kunkel is a writer and satirist. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, among others, and she's a co-founder of the Satire and Humor Festival as well as The Belladonna Comedy. Along with the other Belladonna editors, in 2018 she published the gift book, "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay." She created the online satire program for The Second City and teaches and gives talks around the world.
Caitlin's Website: www.caitlinkunkel.com
Satire and Humor Festival: www.satireandhumor.com The Belladonna Comedy Publication: www.thebelladonnacomedy.com New Erotica for Feminists: www.neweroticaforfeminists.com
The Second City - Writing Satire for the Internet: www.secondcity.com/classes/chicago/online-writing-satire-for-the-internet-2020/ Class Instructors: Riane Konc: www.rianekonc.com Brooke Preston: www.brookeprestoncomedy.com
You might know him from playing YOUNG/TEEN RANDALL PEARSON on NBC's "This is Us"
But he also stars in the new film directed by R.J. Daniel Hannah called: Miss Virginia starring UZO ADUBA (out now).
Follow him on IG
This guy is a rising start. Catch him on a new film March 2020 on Disney+.
Listen to find out more.
His film starring Uzo Aduba + Niles Fitch + Matthew Modine is coming to BraveMaker 12/5/19!
Get tix: bravemissvirginia.eventbrite.com
Follow him on IG
And he won a SAG AWARD for BEST STUNTS.
Cool story. Never give up. Wakanda forever.
Mark is also a TARGET MODEL + RECENTLY was seen playing Basketball in a scene on SHAMELESS.
Find him on IG:
Currently (as of Nov 2019) Sullivan is in NYC in SLAVE PLAY but he's originally from the Bay Area! You can also find him on: Wu Tang: An American Saga.
Follow him on the Socials:
Friendly, witty and British--this is: Adam Campbell.
You might have seen him on a show called GREAT NEWS playing Greg, the young executive producer of the cable news show "The Breakdown." It did two seasons on NBC and now can be streamed on Netflix.
Or you might have seen him in an episode of Drunk History.
Or you might have met him at the SAG AWARDS (That was me, Tony). He's now voicing a character in the new animated film I'm working on called: PICCOLO.
Enjoy our conversation.
Adam tweets to his six friends every leap year (let's help him grow his followers).
From LOS ANGELES--
Tony and Loretta have worked together before on 1440 and Counting and Neighbor (Tony's two short films available on Amazon Prime).
While on set recording voice-over for a new animated project called PICCOLO, they sat down and chatted about Loretta's career from four years on Broadway in Dream Girls, to winning in an Emmy for Grey's Anatomy as well her live performance in Los Angeles happening this week. They also reflected on their first meeting at the airport in San Francisco.
Loretta is the best.
Follow her on Instagram
And binge her show FAMILY REUNION ON NETFLIX
or catch her on this season of Black-ish on ABC.
Actress Izabella Alvarez is a rising Latina star (according to the LA Times).
She's had roles in:
Splitting Up Together (and more)... AND had a leading role in one of BraveMaker's favorite feature films: COLLISIONS!
Now she's voicing the lead character RONNIE ANNE SANTIAGO in Nickelodeon's THE CASAGRANDES. (and she's only 15 years old!).
Congratulations to this brave talent!
Find her on all the socials:
Liz Manashil is straight up filmmaker GOLD.
Podcast co-host of MAKING MOVIES IS HARD + writer/director of two feature films: Bread and Butter and now Speed of Life (screening Thursday November 14th in Redwood City)--(and new mom of baby boy)--- Liz Keeps it real. Take a listen to her process of making micro-budget films, casting diverse body shapes, and creating a canon of 5-6 films she's proud of (before she dies!).
Tickets here to see her DAVID BOWIE inspired sci-film in Redwood City: https://bravespeedoflifemaker.eventbrite.com
SPEED OF LIFE
They say write what you know. I (Tony) know the church world. I've had this unique perspective being both an ordained pastor and filmmaker. I love it and I often roll my eyes at it. I have to poke fun at myself and the institution that I have been a part of for most of my life. It formed me and messed me up. We have good hearts, but we are also ridiculously stubborn, privileged, irrelevant, offensive, racist, power hungry, awkward and down right wrong. (If we would only admit it we might be able to do more good in the world, which is why most of us pastors get into the "biz" to begin with. Oh well, it's been good fodder for my screenwriting. I still believe in the church and value my faith in God...but I also think we need to laugh and pick it apart. So...Here ya go.
Let me know what you think. Want to help me produce it?
From BraveMaker correspondent Irving Ruan:
I had a super energizing interview with Jeremy. We talked about his experience at art school, how much he struggled to make ends meet as an artist when he first moved to New York (e.g. sitting on top of a milk crate and using a table left on the sidewalk for his studio), and his beginnings submitting cartoons to The New Yorker magazine.
In short, we went deep on the artistic journey and how he dealt with an avalanche of rejections.
His Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeremywins
His Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jeremywins
His website: https://www.jeremywinslife.com
His Waldo cartoon that we talked about at the end: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw9ryh_ncPK/
Daniel is a filmmaker exploring sexual identity , gender formation + religion in his newest film.
We will host https://www.fortheyknow.org/ in October 2019.
Find Dan on all the Social Medias:
Tuesday 10/15/19 in Novato Ca
Wednesday 10/16/19 Redwood City CA
Actor Jesse Garcia is on the podcast.
Not only did he star in one of our BraveMaker film DARLINGS---the feature screening of Collisions. He's starred in and led other TV shows like Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (and you'll be seeing a lot of Jesse in 2020 on certain amount of unannounced streaming shows! Stay Tuned)---but he acted in a BROADWAY PRODUCTION of Pee-wee Herman's show! If you listen in on this episode--you'll hear podcast host Tony Gapastione try to do his best impression of PeeWee's iconic laugh, (which sounds a lot like Tony's real laugh). 🤣
Follow Jesse on Instagram
Watch Jesse's short film THE PRICE WE PAY
Evan is our resident photographer, web designer + BraveMaker! A very passionate, committed and driven guy...and he's a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT--take a listen to his story and see what motivates him!
Looking to get odd jobs done around your house? Need some extra labor for moving or landscaping from a non-professional yet hardworking student? Want to connect with teens and help them find work? He's got a solution for you.
This guy! He's funny and generous. Free tickets to the first 20 people who reach out to him.
Wanna follow our programmer and assitant director RHOBERTINO?
Join us OCT 16th for an amazing documentary
FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
Rebekah + Tony talk about the process of getting his feature film THE THORNS WE LIVE WITH of the ground.
In this podcast we share a 22 minute dramatic (table read) reading with actors. Please note there is a sensitive scene that deals with suicide and adult language.
For more information on the film or to invest:
The unconventional route to comedy and creative writing.
Short film: ANDI
Starring Irving as the AGENT.
Another interview with our BraveMaker podcast correspondent Jon Fusco who sat down with RIVER GALLO. River [pronouns he/his] is a GLAAD award-winning Salvadoran-American filmmaker, actor, writer, model and intersex advocate with interACT. His work explores the dynamics of personal and confessionary storytelling, and media's healing abilities through re-envisioning minority narratives. He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts MFA program.
"Ponyboi," his USC thesis which he wrote, co-directed, and acted in, is the first narrative film created by and starring an out intersex person in the history of cinema---produced by Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson. This year River received the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards. He was named one of the “Most Exciting Queer People to Follow in 2019” by Out Magazine and made PAPER Magazine’s list of “100 People Taking Over 2019”.
He's known as Detective Alex Sanchez (#DetectiveHottie) in CBS' Bold + The Beautiful but he's also my (Tony) buddy.
Enjoy our chat from TWIST (cafe) in Los Angeles (Hancock Park).
Follow him on INSTAGRAM
During a visit to Spain, Rebekah sits down with friend, YouTuber, & Content Creator Katya Constantine. They talk of Katya's experience growing up in Spain, finding her Niche, finding the power of YOU (being yourself), shutting down your negative voice, and all about being real with procrastination and anxiety.
Follow Katya on her social media channels:
Instagram and Twitter: - kat_constantine
Youtube: Katya Constantine
Well, our first ever SUMMER FILM FEST is complete!
Now, let's recap!
A few references:
On the Corner of Ego + Desire film by Alex Ferrari
Dragon Theatre GENDER SHORT PLAYS
Melanie Victor's Actor's Lounge Podcast
to DOUBLE your donations!
We could have called this segment FILMMAKERS IN CARS TALKING ABOUT MOVIES. Listen to find out why.
Florida filmmaker Kevin O'Brien + Tony Gapastione chat about the making of At the End of the Day, Screening SUNDAY JUNE 2nd 10am at Century 20 theater. Kevin calls his film a story about the tension between the LGBTQ+ community and the evangelical church. A very BRAVE film. A very BRAVE filmmaker.
Follow KEVIN on Instagram
Tricia not only survived cancer but made a movie about it. When her stage 4 breast cancer metastasized to her brain she was faced with even more obstacles to overcome. She wanted to survive and she also wanted to become a parent with her husband Matt. Once she started pursuing that dream through surrogacy she had to answer the question: what if she wasn't around to meet her child? So she started filming the journey and rest is history. Love Always, Mom is a love story to an unborn child.
We hosted Tricia and her film Monday May 13th, 2019. But this interview was recorded December 2018.
Say hi on Instagram
Link for the film and screenings
THE BRAVEMAKER FILM FEST KICKS OFF THIS FRIDAY MAY 31ST, 2019!
Welcome JON FUSCO to the BraveMaker family. Jon's debut short film THE GUY will premiere on the west coast with us on June 2nd at 630pm in the Redwood City, Ca, Century 20 theater. Tickets here.
Recorded January 2019 in the cold of Sundance, Park City Utah, Jon and Tony dish on all things filmmaking, festivals and podcasting.
Check out Jon's FILM articles
See the kickstarter to THE GUY; his film here.
Follow him on IG https://www.instagram.com/jimscam/
3 Short film podcasts by JON
How to make a short
pod 2 production
Episode 9 is an adult conversation. NSFW or young children.
Diana Kelly, author of THE SKY TURNED GREEN AND THE GRASS TURNED BLUE. DIANE'S STORY.
About the Story: When Diane’s lover and friend, Jack, comes out seven years into their relationship expressing his well-kept secret desire to transition from male to female, Diane’s world turns upside down. With little information to help answer the question ‘do I stay or do I go’ Diane searches for direction on her own. Navigating the murky waters of the unknown that accompany the challenges of Jack’s changing persona, she is guided by love, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice. In this true story, Diane provides her personal and intimate view into gay the lesbian community in her attempt to gauge what impact Jack’s changes might have to their relationship and to her own authentic self.
Race + gender biases. We all have them but what do we do about them?
We were honored to host a San Francisco filmmaker and her film that challenges us to confront our hidden biases and understand what we risk when we follow our gut. Through exposing her own biases, award-winning documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser highlights the nature of implicit bias, the grip it holds on our social and professional lives, and what it will take to induce change.
After the film we had a dialogue with leaders who are also doing work in the race space:
Ana Avendaño + Andre Henry (full interview with him on ep 7).
You will also meet BraveMaker's first FISCAL SPONSEE Samah Damanhoori who is making an animated film on her experience of liberation from her oppressive past. More on that soon.
Anti-racist educator, writer, and activist ANDRE HENRY joins the BraveMaker PODCAST.
Find him on Instagram:
Dig in, listen and get activated.
Want to sign up for Andre's HOPE AND HARD PILLS?
Want to become a patron of his work and financially support him?
The second interview of our Spain sessions with multimedia artist and designer Diptee Thapa. Join us as we talk about the power of connection and collaboration, her life as a spiritual teacher, using obstacles to increase creativity and so much more.
ENJOY MUSIC BY SMXF (in our outro!)
Have original music to share? Email your selections to email@example.com and we'll find a way to promote you!
Our first ever PODCAST recorded LIVE WITH AN AUDIENCE... at BOX in Redwood City, Ca.
NOTES & links from our panelists in this conversation :
Matt's TEDx Talk
Erin Ashford: Photographer
San Mateo Pride Center
Join us for our next event MARCH 25, 2019. BIAS DOCUMENTARY at Century 20, RWC.
*Suicide prevention LIFELINE*
Rebekah went to Spain for three weeks and this is the first of her interviews. Enjoy a conversation with Sheena Karegi and the ups, downs and changes of a designer's life. Go behind the scenes and hear how she BRAVELY rediscovered her creativity.
ENJOY MUSIC BY CLOUD5 (in our outro!)
Have original music to share? Email your selections to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll find a way to promote you!
500 Miles. 2 best friends. 1 wheelchair.
That is I'LL PUSH YOU an incredible documentary by filmmakers Terry Parish and Chris Karcher. This interview co-director Terry Parish came to the BraveMaker office before our monthly screening to share about his journey.
For more on Terry's creative agency see:
For more on the film or to order: Use code: BraveMaker for a discount.
What are the odds that when we screen a film set in SPAIN Rebekah would actually BE IN SPAIN. Take a listen!
PS. February film screening is FEBRUARY 22ND 7PM IN REDWOOD CITY at Box Inc! Live music and LIVE PODCAST RECORDING with special guest Matt Nightingale and Director Nicolas Jara screening his film GUARDIAN. This event will feature an in-depth LGBTQ+ discussion. It is sure to be an eye-opening event.
Tony & Rebekah interview each other and share their creative journeys.
Rebekah on IG
Tony on IG
Questions, comments, or composed music? email: email@example.com
Post/respond on social with:
JANUARY 19TH FILM SCREENING IN REDWOOD CITY 2019
The very first episode of the BraveMaker podcast hosted by Tony Gapastione & Rebekah Amosah. Scripts, stories & conversations with creators.
Filmmaker Richard Levien won the audience award at the Mill Valley Film Festival October 2018 with his touching coming of age immigration story: Collisions. His film stars Jesse Garcia (currently filming Netflix's Narcos: Mexico and the El Rey Network's From Dusk Til Dawn) and Ana de la Reguera (also of TV shows like Narcos, Amazon's Goliath and Power).
He had all star cast of two amazing children as well.
Listen in to hear the journey of bravely making this movie and telling this story.
He did a private screening for BraveMaker on 12/17/18 in Redwood City.