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Team Bios

Barclay Deveau

Director (she/her)

Barclay DeVeau is a director/producer who grew up acting in films, television and Broadway shows. She played Liza Minnelli's daughter in the Tony Award winning musical, The Rink, Drew Barrymore's best friend on the big screen and appeared with Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino in the classic film, Scarface, all by the age of fifteen.
 

Renowned director Alan Pakula (Sophie's Choice, All The President's Men) took DeVeau under his wing when he recognized in her a passion for filmmaking that went beyond appearing in front of the camera. With his mentorship and support, DeVeau began to study all aspects of directing. She has gone on to collaborate on numerous films, television shows and theatrical
productions, including projects for 20th Century FOX, Universal Studios, Disney and Paramount. She has earned several honors for her work, including two Emmy Awards, special recognition from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a Sony Music Director's Award. She has also been honored for her theatrical directing work on Twelve Angry Men as performed by Twelve Impassioned Women. DeVeau recently executive produced the acclaimed film, To Leslie (2022), which garnered lead actress Andrea Riseborough an Academy Award nomination for best actress in a leading role.


A graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, DeVeau is dedicated to raising the visibility of women in front of and behind the camera.

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Francis dela Torre

Director of Photography/writer (HE/Him)

Based in Los Angeles, Filipino-American filmmaker Francis dela Torre is an award winning cinematographer, writer and director. He graduated from the prestigious School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and made his directorial feature film debut with Subject: I Love You, inspired by the true story of the “I Love You Virus” which was launched from the Philippines in the year 2000 and quickly spread across the globe.  The film premiered to much acclaim at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2011, and starred Briana Evigan (Step Up), Kristin Bauer (True Blood) and some of the biggest screen stars in the Philippines, including Jericho Rosales and Gary Valenciano.

 

In the years since his directorial debut, dela Torre has directed numerous films, including Blood Ransom, which starred Alexander Dreymon (The Last Kingdom) and Filipino box office phenom, Anne Curtis.  Rotten Tomatoes called dela Torre a “filmmaker to watch” and he was praised for the hypnotic quality of his filmmaking.

 

Dela Torre recently completed principal photography on his latest feature, East of Western, which is scheduled for release in 2023.  In addition to his feature films, dela Torre has directed several episodes of television series, including Leverage: Redemption and Amazon’s Almost Paradise, on which he also serves as Co-Executive Producer.

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Kim Coleman, CSA

Producer/Casting Director

Kim Taylor-Coleman, CSA is a Los Angeles-based Casting Director known for her work in Film and Television. She received an Emmy nomination for her casting work on the acclaimed Emmy-nominated television show American Crime (ABC) created by John Ridley. Some of her past television credits are Dear White People, She's Gotta Have It! (Netflix) , Snowfall (F/X) pilot, The Good Doctor (ABC) pilot and season 1, Greenleaf (OWN), The Haves and the Have Nots, Survivor's Remorse (Starz) and If Loving You Is Wrong (OWN). Her latest television work includes series Wu-Tang: an American Saga (Hulu) , Lovecraft Country (HBO), The Good Lord Bird (Showtime), Genius: Aretha (Nat/Geo) The Upshaws, Madam C.J. Walker, Family Reunion (Netflix), Heels (Starz) and Woke (Hulu).

 

She has received 3 Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America for excellence in casting for her work on Dope, Dear White People and most recently, Spike Lee's Oscar winning film BlacKkKlansman. Her most recent feature films include Da 5 Bloods (Netflix), Space Jam 2 (Warner Bros.), Fatherhood (Sony), Harriet (Focus Features), Little (Universal) and Night School (Universal). She also casts all television and feature films for the prolific writer, producer, director Tyler Perry.

 

Kim is a CSA member and an active member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the Casting Directors Branch Executive Committee.

Mara Burros Sandler

Producer

Mara Burros Sandler is a highly accomplished producer, devoted philanthropist, mother, and activist with a deep passion for social justice. Her passion for philanthropy was initially sparked by personal tragedy, having lost her mother to
ovarian cancer at the age of 57, after a five-year battle with the disease. In honor of her mother, Mara co-founded the Janet Burros Memorial Foundation and served as its director for 15 years, with a focus on women's health.

 

Her dedication for using storytelling as a tool for advocacy around national and global issues led her to establish Be Forward Productions, which aims to shed light on voices and stories that need to be heard.

 

She has co-produced multiple theater projects, such as Gun & PowderJust for UsOKLAHOMA!The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, and Thoughts of a Colored Man. In
addition, she recently demonstrated her ability to shepherd powerful messages onto the big screen when she served as the Executive Producer for her first feature film called Hide, a film centered around domestic violence during the pandemic. Some of her other film credits as co-producer include The Art of Making It, I Am, Killer Bees, Newtown, and Unsafe Spaces.

 

Outside of her professional endeavors, Mara sits on numerous boards, including the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Big Vision, The Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, One
Nation One Project, and Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Her commitment to social justice is also reflected in her work with Represent Justice, for which she served on the committee for the film Just Mercy.

 

Mara holds a BA in psychology from UW Madison, and a MA/Ed.M. in counseling psychology from Teachers College Columbia University.

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Cort Fey

Director of Photography

Cort Fey, ASC is a cinematographer who has photographed feature films, documentaries and commercials worldwide. He has also been at the forefront of the second Golden Age of
Television, crafting many visually splendid and culturally significant icons of the last two decades.

 

Adding fresh layers to his growing mythology, Cort’s film career began when he lensed an epic B&W super8 film of his older brother driving around the block. From there it’s only been up. After dabbling in performance magic and deejaying school dances, Cort achieved a degree with honors in American History at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn he was an award winning photog and editor for the school newspaper and cofounded the filmmaking club
where he auteured a live action version of Scooby Doo. Cort followed that with a master’s degree from the USC School of Cinema.

 

Working as gaffer, camera operator, and 2nd unit DP, Cort’s career quickly took off when he was promoted to DP mid-season of the McG produced FOX actioner Fastlane. Since that pivotal opportunity, Cort has proven himself on such genre defining touchstones as LOST, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, YOU, and The Flight Attendant. He has artfully lit and lensed the supernatural Grimm, Fear the Walking Dead and True Blood. Most recently Cort has accepted the challenge of reinterpreting the highly anticipated Paramount+ limited streamer based on the classic 90s mega-hit, Fatal Attraction.

 

Cort’s recent feature work includes the earnest Netflix family adventure Finding Ohana for director Jude Weng and producer Ian Bryce. Cort delivered lush and exciting visuals with the talented young cast on the streets of New York, beaches of Hawaii and caves of Thailand. The movie quickly shot up the Netflix chart and soon became the number one streamer for the platform in the US and worldwide.

 

Cort has a keen understanding of technology and a dogged passion for storytelling. He is known for his evocative lightning and use of camera movement to support the scene and
elevate the project. Cort thrives in a collaborative and communicative team and supports respect and kindness always.


Off-set, Cort enjoys his family and loves outdoor adventures in backpacking and road-tripping. He is an avid brewer of beer and home developer of film as well as ferocious player of board games.

 

Cort currently lives in Los Angeles and is represented by Innovative Artists.

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Carla Thomas

Costume Designer

“Some said Carla, how you get so fly. I said from not being afraid to fall out the sky.”

 

Fly Girl. Costume Designer. Wardrobe Stylist.

 

Carla “Fly Carla” Thomas is a costume designer, wardrobe stylist and style contributor. She is a creative and motivated Local USA 829-IATSE union wardrobe professional who loves all things fashion. She can do it all! She’s the one designing and styling your favorite commercials, tv shows and movies! Hailing from Baltimore, cultivated at Howard University and now thriving in Brooklyn, Carla is always on a plane or in a showroom. Find her talking fashion and inspiring as Fly Carla on Instagram. 

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Amanda Durante

Hair / Makeup Artist

Amanda Durante is a Bronx based make-up artist that specializes in character design.  She is a graduate of The Make-Up Designery in NYC. Since graduating , Amanda has started her own makeup business, Amanda Huginkiss LLC, and has worked on a variety of diverse film sets. She is well versed in a variety of styles, from natural looks to SFX, which means she can make you beauty or the beast. 

Christine Kim

Editor (SHE/HER)

Christine Kim (Editor) is a narrative film editor who was recently praised by Variety as achieving "a John Hughes-inspired emotional energy" on the award-winning comedy Babysplitters. In addition to recent work on the network series' The Big Leap for Fox and Endgame for NBC, she has cut indie features 1UP, Dramarama, 40-LoveEthan Mao, and was an additional editor on Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. Her extensive studio experience as a first assistant editor includes Solo: A Star Wars StorySullyAlice in WonderlandGangster Squadand Deja Vu, and she has also served as an assistant editor on many features, including David Lynch's Mulholland DriveMaleficentPirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndRecountUnstoppableToo Big to Fail, and the TV series Battlestar Galactica. She recently finished editing episodes of a limited series for Disney+ based on The Santa Clause movies, and is currently cutting the feature film East of Western.

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Yvette Janine Jackson

Composer (Any Pronouns)

Yvette Janine Jackson is a composer and installation artist who brings attention to historical events and social issues through her radio operas. In 2020, she established the Radio Opera Workshop, a scalable intermedia ensemble, to experiment with sound and narrative performance. The ensemble will premiere Left Behind at the Venice Music Biennale in September 2022.

 

Yvette’s work has been presented across North America and Europe, including Audiorama, Fylkingen, and EMS in Stockholm; Borealis Festival in Bergen; Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; and in collaboration at Vienna’s Museums Quartier Tonspur and the International Festival of Computer Arts in Maribor. Her album Freedom, produced by the Fridman Gallery in New York, debuted as Contemporary Album of the Month in the January 2021 issue of The Guardian and its track “Destination Freedom” won the Giga-Hertz Production Award 2021.

 

Hello, Tomorrow! for orchestra and electronics co-commissioned by American Composers Orchestra and Carnegie Hall will premiere in October 2022. 

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Brooke Perkins

Writer/Producer (SHE/HER)

Brooke Perkins attended Tisch School of the Arts and is a believer in the transformative power of performance and storytelling. She is a training consultant to first responders and public safety personnel, focusing on how to minimize cognitive bias in decision making. In her work she addresses the very real phenomenon of how characteristics, like the gender, can influence perception and action in destructive and dangerous ways. She is excited to bring her creative and professional spheres together, and to work with her long-time friend, Director, Barclay DeVeau.

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Jenna Von Oy

Writer (She/her)

Jenna von Oy began her professional career at the ripe young age of 6, and her 39-year career has led to an eclectic list of creative endeavors.

 

Von Oy spent her early years making her mark in the television and film industry, most notably on NBC's Blossom, where she spent five years portraying America’s quintessential best friend, Six LeMeure. After filming over 100 episodes, the show entered into syndication and came to a close, coinciding with von Oy's acceptance to the University of Southern California’s prestigious film school. She followed college with a memorable role on another long-running series, UPN’s The Parkers, which enjoyed a five-year run before entering into syndication. 

 

Von Oy moved to Nashville in 2007, continuing to travel back and forth to Los Angeles for work while also building local ties, including a several-year stretch on the Nashville Film Festival board, and serving as headline speaker for events such as the 2017 Tennessean’s Nashville Storyteller’s Project Series.

 

She has spent the past decade of her career focusing on being an author and storyteller, penning a candid monthly blog for PEOPLE Magazine that gave way to a two-book series with Medallion Press, called Situation Momedy. Her first book was released in November 2015, followed by its sequel in 2017, which included appearances on shows such as Home & Family and the TODAY Show. Her penchant for writing led to a position as associate editor and lead writer for Nashville-based digital lifestyle publication StyleBlueprint, where she continues to hone her skills. She also continues to lend her talent to film and television, most recently appearing in the 2022 season two premiere of Call Me Kat.

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Caileigh Scott

Writer/Co-Producer (She/Her)

Caileigh Scott is a storyteller in the forms of acting, writing, sketch comedy, and digital design, with a passion for elevating the voices of women. She is the co­founder of the women's sketch group Girlcrush Comedy, which explores the unique bonds of the sisterhood through humor, and has worked on stage and on screen in New York, Los Angeles, regionally, and internationally. Outside of her work, you may find her making friends with cats at parties or somewhere on horseback.

Mandy Steinberg

Producer (She/Her)

Mandy Steinberg has produced and post produced numerous films and television shows.  During her tenure with NBC Universal her credits included Identity, Fear Factor and Deal or No Deal.  She also served as Executive Producer at Fish Eggs, a BDA Award winning film/tv graphics company.  Steinberg currently runs No Other Way Productions, a 20,000 sqft post production facility in Los Angeles.  She is thrilled to be combining her producing experience with her activism on The Cassandra Project.

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Dani de Jesus

Producer (She/her)

Dani de Jesus, CNN Original Series + Film Independent Docuseries Fellow, is an award-winning educator, facilitator, and filmmaker from Los Angeles, CA. During her undergraduate years at UCLA, de Jesus was highly involved in organizations advocating for women’s rights, such as UCLA’s Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, The UCLA Clothesline Project, and the UCLA Sexual Violence Awareness Advocacy group.

 

After graduation, de Jesus worked as the director of development at Craig Anderson Productions for six years in Culver City where she collaborated with incredible writers, producers, and executives to bring movies (On Golden Pond, Meltdown, For the Love of a Child, The Christmas Blessing) and several series to the small screen.

 

de Jesus then became a high school teacher in Maui, was a National Education Association/Teach Plus Fellow and was named the 2011 Hawai’i Economics Teacher of the Year.  Through her work with other dedicated educators and the national college-prep program AVID, Maui High School has led the state of Hawai’i to the highest percent increase in college enrollment from 2012 to 2017.

 

Recently, de Jesus relocated back to LA to form the television/film production company ALEJANDRO FILMS with her sister Leslie Alejandro and her brother-in-law Kevin Alejandro in order to tell stories that ELEVATE and ENGAGE, highlighting the FilAm and Latinx communities--front and center. She has produced the short films A Cohort of Guests starring Sarah Drew, Adult Night with Kevin Alejandro and Lesley Ann-Brandt, award-winning A Woman Reported with Moira Kelly, and various music videos, including the recent Asian American Pacific Islander anthem Gold by Ella Jay Basco, featuring Ruby Ibarra.

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Laura Mitterman

Producer (they/them)

Laura Mitterman is a devoted activist and arts enthusiast.  They were born and raised under the shadow of the NYC skyline and drawn to the performing arts at a very young age. They occasionally appear on stage with their most recent performance at the  Stonewall Inn, New York’s most historic gay bar. By day, Mitterman is a board certified veterinary surgeon, caring for and advocating for animals. Their activism also extends to feminist and diversity causes as well as climate change. In their current home of Washington DC, when they are not working they can often be seen on the front lines of marches and demonstrations at the White House and the Capitol fighting for progress.

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Debbie Chesebro

Producer (SHE/HER)

Debbie Chesebro is an award-winning creative producer with 100+ feature films, commercials, documentaries, and short productions under her belt. Her sharp eye and practical expertise have brought successful completion to projects across the creative spectrum -- from large 350+ international crew member productions to local projects of 10 crew or less; and built effective and efficient infrastructure to major Hollywood budgets of $100 million and independent projects of $1 million or less.

A graduate of USC Film School, her meticulous hands have
supported the full infrastructural roll out of creative projects from start to finish, as well as guiding productions to resolution as they work through challenges of every kind. Her work has been a part of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival's Director's Night Showcase and won Best in Show at the 2009 W3 Awards for Comedy - Short Category. She was Senior Producer at the online comedy collective Jash, funded by Google and founded by Adam Carolla, Michael Cera, Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts and the comedy duo, Tim & Eric. She produced the company's live channel launches at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest as well as the company's online content.

 

She produced Michael Cera's short film "Gregory Goes Boom"; which won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival's Shorts Competition. Her screenplay "Prom Queen", written with Tyson FitzGerald, won several awards including the 2010 Script Pipeline Screenwriting competition and has made the finals of the AAA Screenwriting Competition as well as the semi-finals of Nicholl Fellowship. "Prom Queen" was optioned by Jeremy Garelick and Classy Films in August 2016.
 

She currently works in production at Supper Club Studios and lives in Los Angeles.

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Melissa Llewellyn-Alston

Co-Producer (SHE/HER)

An experienced producer and line producer, Melissa began her career over fifteen years ago as a Music Video producer, working with the likes of Rihanna, Drake, Wiz Khalifa and Ricky Martin to name a few.

 

She then transitioned into the film/tv world, first working with director, Barclay DeVeau, on the feature film Blood Ransom in 2012.  Melissa has since produced and line produced dozens of film and television projects including King of the Dancehall, Dear Best Friend for BET+, Super Turnt, SEND|HELP, a seven episode series currently streaming on ALLBLK, and the upcoming supernatural drama, Wicked City.

 

Melissa prides herself on being a holistic thinker and motivator who is able to balance the creative with budget and delivery schedules.  She is thrilled to be reunited with Barclay and proud to be a part of this important and impactful project.

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Stephanie Blackwood

Co-Producer (SHE/HER)

Hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta and carrying her southern charm with her wherever she goes, Stephanie Blackwood graduated from college with a degree in Molecular Biology, she worked in a genetics lab, and then decided her childhood dream of working in film was a better idea.  She began her film career working as a 30-year-old intern for Spike Lee on the feature film Miracle at St. Anna.

 

Stephanie then packed up her cat and moved to New York working in a lab by day and going to film school by night. After finishing film school at the New School in New York, she began moving up through the production office working both in independent films like Shame and high profile projects like Girls.

 

Over the last decade, she has been fortunate enough to work with many great directors such as Steve McQueen, Cary Fukunaga, Nicole Holofcener and Lynne Ramsay. Stephanie most recently worked on the feature film White Noise, directed by Noah Baumbach and is currently Line-Producing Lost on a Mountain in Maine for Balboa Productions.

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Rebecca Ikler

Co-Producer (She/Her)

A graduate of Penn State University, Rebecca holds degrees in Telecommunications and International Studies. A fortuitous alumni connection led her to an internship in production management at MTV in New York City and she never looked back. Some favorite credits include Senior Production Manager for The Wiz Live! (NBC) and Production Manager for The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper (Comedy Central). Recently, Rebecca has worked as a line producer on shows for ABC, NBC, and Paramount. Rebecca is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America and resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Dr Nancy D. O'reilly PsyD

Executive Producer

Nancy D. O'Reilly, PsyD, founded Women Connect4Good, Inc., a 501(c)3 foundation, to help support other organizations working to advance women and girls. She also serves on the boards of several social-profit groups, including the National Women’s History Museum.  

Dr. Nancy’s latest book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other in Work and Life (Adams Media/Simon & Schuster, January 2019), was released as an audiobook in early 2022. Her earlier book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media/Simon & Schuster, December 2014), was also released as an audiobook in August. In addition, she and her team continue to gain momentum with the Lift Women Up campaign. Originally created to complement a documentary that aired on PBS featuring her work championing women’s equality and advancement, #LiftWomenUp focuses on the steps that we all can take to help each other continue advancing towards gender parity.

Dr. Nancy has earned numerous awards including the prestigious Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman Media, and a Women Making History Award from the National Women’s History Museum for making a significant contribution to her field. She was also honored in Washington, D.C. at the 2018 Canales project with 20 other women, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Supporting women is Dr. Nancy’s passion and purpose. Her popular podcast “Smart, Amazing Conversations with Dr. Nancy” examines the stories of life and leadership of smart, amazing women and men whose stories connect us, and helps listeners understand that the possibilities are endless if we support each other and lift one another up.  She is honored to partner with Barclay and her team on The Cassandra Project.

www.drnancyoreilly.com

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Mari Acevedo

Executive Producer

Mari Acevedo is the Owner and CEO of Birns & Sawyer, a renowned cinema equipment rental and sales company with offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Manila.  In 2018, Birns & Sawyer was purchased by employees as an ESOP and in 2019, Acevedo became the first female CEO of the company in its 65 year history.

 

Acevedo is an expert in digital camera systems, multiplex systems, LED lighting and support gear, with 27 years of broadcast camera system integration experience.

 

Acevedo is a fierce supporter of gender balance in the film and entertainment industries.  She has worked tirelessly through outreach programs, networking, professional development and advocacy to achieve gender equality both above and below the line.  She is thrilled to be making her executive producer debut with The Cassandra Project.

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Sabha Ganai Md. PhD

Executive Producer

Sabha Ganai MD, PhD, MPH, FACS, FSSO is a surgical oncologist and cancer disparities researcher educated at University of Southern California, University of Massachusetts, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She is also a surgical ethicist with training at the University of Chicago MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. She is an Associate Professor and Director of Surgical Education at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and serves populations across the rural Northern Plains requiring complex surgical care.


Dr. Ganai prioritizes highlighting workplace equity and tackling disparities in the delivery of care to patients in need. As a trained ethicist, she recognizes an ethical imperative to prioritize justice in the distribution of resources and opportunities to those with specific needs, barriers, or
disadvantages. She recognizes that The Cassandra Project is uniquely situated to give women a voice, elevate their experience, promote advocacy, and ultimately level systemic barriers that affect the many women and their loved ones who remain unheard and unfortunately ignored.  She is privileged to participate in this endeavor.

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