the new frontier of indie filmmaking
This is the true story of four filmmakers choosing to work together to find out what happens you when you make indie films replicable, scalable, ethical and sustainable.
Courtney Hope Thérond
Courtney Hope Thérond is an award-winning screenwriter and director who has screened films at festivals such as BFI London, New Orleans, Outfest, Nashville, and St Louis. Her latest short Rehearsal, which tackles the grey areas of consent, premiered online on Short of the Week, received a Vimeo Staff Pick, and was featured in RogerEbert.com, Fast Company, and No Budge.As a screenwriter, Courtney has twice been a finalist at Austin Film Festival. Her pilot Between Us Girls was a finalist in the Screencraft Pilot Launch, a semi-finalist (top 50) for the ISA Fast Track Fellowship, and won its category at Cinestory.Courtney was a fellow in the inaugural Constellation Incubator and her fictional podcast Persistence of Memory was chosen for the Gotham Week Project Market.Courtney is a graduate of NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and was a Cinereach Film Fellow. She wrapped her first feature film A Time Apart in 2022 and is developing her second feature with StudioFest. Courtney writes and directs narrative and branded content in Los Angeles and New York.
Elishia K Constantine
Elishia is extremely good at one thing. And that is story. Whether she's listening, crafting or sharing, Elishia's passion for story is what fuels her desire to build a world in which queer women and nonbinary folks get equitable opportunities to see characters who look and love like them as the protagonists.Elishia finished film school a little before Twitter even had its first birthday. She then completed a degree in Media and Cultural Studies, and received a masters in Nonprofit Management. After twenty years of public service, Elishia's experience with large organizational systems and humanitarian work makes her uniquely positioned to blaze a new path in independent media — one where the artists and fans who are most often marginalized have the opportunity to see and tell their own stories.In 2021 Elishia founded Canon Divergence, a story studio that focuses on inclusive queer storytelling. She's currently working on the short superhero film Black Sage, and the feature romantic drama, Epic Fail or Something Like It. Elishia very much just wants to see more women and nonbinary folks kissing and having a a gay old time onscreen. If that's your jam, find her @elishiathegreat on all the things where people are social so you don't miss a second of the story.
Post-graduation from USC Film School, Liz spent several years directing for the PBS/Hulu series "Just Seen It." She also directed shorts and music videos at this time, including Beth Thorney's "You're So Pony." In 2015, her debut feature (which she wrote, directed, produced and cast), Bread and Butter, was released by The Orchard. It played on Hulu and airlines across the globe in addition to VOD platforms. HelloGiggles called it, "an absolute must-watch for women everywhere.”Her second feature (which she wrote, directed, produced and cast), Speed of Life, was called "delightful in just about every way" by noted film critic Tim Cogshell (of NPR's "FilmWeek") and aired on Showtime. Recently, Liz directed Lina, starring Laura San Giacomo and Sandra Seacat as well as Witchy (starring John Ross Bowie, Morgan Bastin, Christine Weatherup and Sean Wright) which is playing top genre fests including Popcorn Frights, Abertoir, and Screamfest.She’s attached to direct and help produce I CAN CHANGE, a sci-fi feature written by Amy Starbin, and starring Jennifer Carpenter and will be making BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, her Storymade contribution, in 2023. She is also the co-host of hit podcast Making Movies Is Hard!!! Liz Manashil specializes in feminist content with a whimsical twist.
Naomi McDougall Jones
Naomi McDougall Jones is a storyteller and changemaker. She has written, acted in, and produced two award-winning feature films. The first, Imagine I’m Beautiful (2014), collected 12 awards on the film festival circuit before receiving a theatrical and digital distribution deal and is now available on AmazonPrime. Her second feature, Bite Me (2019), was released via a paradigm-shifting 3 month, 51 screening, 40 city Joyful Vampire Tour of America that took the country by storm, and is now available on iTunes, GooglePlay, and Amazon.She is currently at work on her next two feature films, Hammond Castle, for which she received the honor of being the first artist in residence at the final home of Ernest Hemingway in Sun Valley, Idaho, and The Control Room, a psycho-sexual thriller she has co-written with Christian Coulson. Naomi is an advocate and thought leader for bringing gender parity to cinema. Her writing on this has appeared in The Atlantic, Ms. Magazine, and Salon.com and she gave a virally sensational TEDTalk, What it’s Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood, which has now been viewed over 1 million times and can be seen on TED.com.Naomi’s first book, The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, debuted as a #1 Amazon bestseller and received an electric critical response, with The Christian Science Monitor calling it, “...an outpouring of passion that will change the ways in which movies are seen,” and is now available wherever books are sold. Naomi is currently at work on her second book, Light in Broken Places: What I Learned about Womanhood, Whiteness, and Writing from the Ghost of Ernest Hemingway. She is a Founder of The 51 Fund, dedicated to financing films by women. Their film, Cusp, won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. More at www.naomimcdougalljones.com