In creating So(u)l, I took the time to dig deep beneath the surface and pay respects to who I am and the Mexican-American culture I grew up in and learned about at UCLA. It's about celebrating the “Pocho” and my family.
It's also important for me to debunk racial stereotypes the industry often casts to people of color and of course to honor the Latina queer activist, Gloria Anzaldua and my great Chicano Studies professor, Olivia-Alvarado.
I went back to my indigenous roots to cultivate something that reminded me not just of the Latino community but all communities that celebrate a spiritual way of being. To celebrate Mesoamerica and also Native American culture, this is a story about concepts like Twin Flames and Two Spirited people.
I want to demonstrate that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, creed, ethnicity, we all have a soul. you are not alone and there is so much beauty in your breakdown.
I want to demonstrate that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, creed, ethnicity, we all have a soul. You are not alone and there is so much beauty in your breakdown.
- Alyssa N. Griego
AbOUT THE FILMMAKERS
"So(u)l" was produced with OutSet: The Young LGBT Filmmakers Fellowship with the LA LGBT Center & OutFest.
OutSet is a non-profit that teaches young adults the practical tools to bring their stories to life through the medium of a short film.
Alyssa N. Griego
Alyssa N. Griego is a L.A. based spoken-word artist, writer/director, and UCLA graduate with a degree in History and minors in Chicanx Studies and Film & T.V. At UCLA, Alyssa’s activist spirit propelled her to be apart of the Cultural Affairs Commission, attend the UC Lobbying Conference and lobby in Sacramento, CA for bills like Fund the UC and UConsent. As a continued ARTivist, Alyssa has also written/directed the short films Flowers Have Bonita Bruises and Against the Mirror. In addition, she was also involved in a UCLA research project in Oaxaca, Mexico, focused on transnational migration & improving the process of remittances. Currently, Alyssa is writing a short film Pochx with Mitu.
An L.A. native, (I know right?...she's a unicorn) Marisol Nava is a graduate from California State University of Northridge with a Major in Television Production. Marisol's creative ambition led her to direct numerous short films including, ACT UP: J.T.'s Experience and The Angel Within Josh. Her most recent work was as senior producer of the feature film, Take The Money And Run. In addition to filmmaking, Marisol's intersectionality serves as her motivation to illuminate and debunk stereotypes around race and identity.
Dylan Gunaratne is enjoying his current position as a PR & Marketing intern at the virtual reality company, CryWorks. His passion around de-stigmatizing mental health issues drew him to become a crisis line counsellor at the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center and host/preditor of an on campus talk show on mental health issues at California State University, Los Angeles where he is majoring in Television, Film & Media Studies with a minor in Communication Studies.
As a Harvard grduate, Michael's vision to bridge entertainment, technology and education came alive after teaching a film program in Morocco, which inspired him to attend USC Film School shortly after. As co-founder of CreatorUp!, Michael brings his expertise in teaching, filmmaking and independent producing to strengthen communities and empower people to create their own stories in a way that inspires community and innovation.
CAST & CREW
Director of Photography
Daud Sani is a Pakistani born cinematographer based in Los Angeles, CA. Impacted by colorful mixtures of cultures and experiences, he brings a bold, eclectic point-of-view to all of his work. You can check out more of his stunning cinemtography and directorial work at: http://www.daudsani.com/
Shana Eva was born in New York, but grew up in Coral Springs, Florida. She began her training in dance at the age of three and performed competitively throughout adolescence. By eight years old, she had enrolled in a performing arts academy and continued to hone her skills in acting, singing and dancing. Eager to investigate further opportunities, Shana relocated to Los Angeles in 2010. Almost immediately, she landed roles in Spike TV's, "1000 Ways to Die" and "Tattoo Nightmares" She then snagged a lead role in the TV miniseries, "Alien Persona," which aired on the largest network in Russia. Her most recent works include spots in national ads such as, Garnier Fructis, Wingstop, Gillette, Direct TV as well as music videos with international artists including Ice Cube and Lady Antebellum. Her role as "Jen" in the viral phenomenon, "Angela vs Bath & Body Works" gained a slew of media attention from everyone from BuzzFeed to Entertainment Tonight. Her most recent notable work was acting opposite Amy Schumer in a promo for the film,”Trainwreck” and she just wrapped filming on the motion picture, “Shadow Fighter”, featuring Burt Reynolds, set to release late 2016. You can see some of her comedic sketch comedy work on the ‘Dirty Cues’ YouTube channel which has been featured in a gamut of entertainment digests. Her ultimate goal is to inspire the way others have inspired her and utilize her successes as a platform for helping others.
There was never a shadow of doubt in Bri Oglu's mind when it came to her purpose in the world: storytelling. Having had a complicated upbringing, Bri experienced a range of cultural and socioeconomic lifestyles. She considers this her greatest asset as an actor because it enabled her to empathize with a broad demographic. She earned a BFA in acting at The School of Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University. After moving to Los Angeles in 2014, she was quickly represented and studied with Doug Warhit. Warhit speaks highly of Bri stating that she is a talented actress "gifted in both drama and comedy." She later fine-tuned at UCB, Second City and Stan Kirsch Studios. Bri returned last week from filming a lead in an independent feature-film shot in The Hamptons, NY. and she is currently in the process of festival submissions for her first self-produced film that she wrote, directed, produced, cast and starred in. After previewing the short, Del Weston, founder of AOF Fest LA, posted the following on social media:
"Bri Oglu made a movie called Same Love, she just shared it with me, I cried. I actually cried, real tears, not those crocodile ones that I usually force out when they tell me that there is no more frozen yogurt at Sizzler. She is a brilliant filmmaker who you may know as a writer, producer, director, actor and songwriter. Thanks JD for making the connection."
Bri values the heart she and the cast & crew put in to "So(u)l" and is honored to be here celebrating their "heart and soul" at Oufest 2016.
"Chala Savino is delighted to be a part of the "So(u)l" cast in the role of Linda. Her TV/Film credits include BARBERSHOP THE FINAL CUY (Mariela Cruz) and SOY NERO (Hillary)...both films premiered this year! Regional Credits included IN THE HEIGHTS (Daniela), CINDERELLA (Charlotte), and THE REAL HOUSEKEEPERS OF STUDIO CITY (Rosario). She has embarked on a new journey making youtube videos called BAD BOYFRIENDS THAT MAKE ME WANT TO SING. You can see them on her website at www.chalasavino.com. She thanks her dad and her grandma for always supporting her and her dreams! They are no longer here but always around in spirit.
Bella Rose Maltzman
Bella Rose Maltzman is an 11 year old actor, dancer, model and host from Orlando, Florida. She is actively involved in central Florida films, and commercials. Professionally managed and represented out of Los Angeles. Bella Rose started acting at the age of 6 when she expressed a true desire to be on television. Her passion for acting is very strong and she consistently takes new acting classes as well as workshops. Bella Rose recently completed her eighteenth film, even appearing in the feature sequel film Dolphin Tale 2 in Clearwater, Florida. Her desire is to continue travel to both New York and California, as well as any other location that would help her experience growth in film and television. An interesting thing about Bella Rose is she is the granddaughter to a Native American drummer/musician/artist "Blue Spruce Standing Deer" and is a Federally registered Native American. Her tribal nation is the Taos Pueblo, Taos, New Mexico. She also has the desire to appear in Native American films and television. She has two older brothers that are also actors.
Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the beautifully creative and passionate project, "So(u)l". She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from California State University in Long Beach and continues her training in L.A at John Rosenfeld Studios. Rachel can be seen in numerous web series and other short films such as "Fameless", "The Prom Date" and "The Girl and the Graduate". Rachel is also very involved in the theatre community, staring in productions such as "Dracula" and "Dancing at Lughnasa" with the bicoastal theatre company, Theatre 68.
Nami is a Los Angeles based film composer, originally from Tel Aviv, Israel. Her credits include over 40 films, theater productions, commercials and video games. Her films have screened worldwide, claiming multiple international awards. As an active member of Women in Film (WIF) and the Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC), Nami is passionately involved in the film community, and was recently invited to be a guest speaker at a Filmmakers Alliance masterclass held in Hollywood. She is a graduate of the highly rigorous Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV program (SMPTV) at the University of Southern California, where she was privately mentored by composer Thomas Newman. Upon graduating, the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) selected her to participate in their mentorship program as well. Nami holds a B.A. in multi-style composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, where she was admitted directly to sophomore year. She had recorded music at East West Studios, Capitol Records and Warner Brothers. Her works have been performed by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, The Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva and Helix Collective (upcoming). Being bisexual, Nami is very excited to be part of the "So(u)l" team and support the film's message.
Thank You Chris & Shari!
And to our dedicated cast & crew that made this film possible with their heart and hustle.
Sol: Shana Eva
Rain: Bri Oglu
Linda: Chala Savino
Younger Sol: Bella Rose Maltzman
Mischa: Rachel Zink
Mentor / Producer: Michael Tringe
Writer / Director: Alyssa N. Griego
Producer: Dylan Gunaratne
Production Designer: Marisol Nava
Executive Producer: Chris Ranta
Executive Producer: Shari Page
Line Producer: Tina Pavlides
Production Coordinator: Jessica Broutt
Locations Coordinator: Jen Olson
1st Assistant Director: Michael Tringe
2nd Assistant Director: Casandra Cisneros
Production Assistant: Evelyn Hernandez
Production Assistant: Cameron Segura
Production Assistant: Paloma Renee
Script Supervisor: Joseph Gualtieri
Still Photography: Katherine Cattani
Transportation: Daniel Rivera
Director of Photography: Daud Sani
1st Assistant Camera: Scott Simock
2nd Assistant Camera: Jenise Whitehead
Assistant Camera: Roman Zorrilla
Digital Imaging Technician: Jordan Maltby
Composer: Nami Melumad
Cello: Ro Rowan
Viola: Jennifer Wu
Violin: Alexey Kochetkov
Key Grip: Bailey Clark
Gaffer: John Elkin
G&E PA: Syd Reyes
Production Design: Marisol Nava
Art Department PA: Adrian Duann
Art Department PA: Crystal Marquez
Art Department PA: Jariel Bey
Production Sound Mixer: Bill Leboeuf
Boom Operator: Mara De La Rosa
Make Up/Hair: Violet Vang
Make Up Assistant: Rebecca Geddes
Casting Director: Sherri Henderson
Casting Director: Vanessa Knight
Casting Director: David Seiden
Outfest Program Coordinator: Jessica Broutt
LifeWorks Mentor Coordinator: Nia Clark
Shot Boy #1: Ivan Rios
Shot Boy #2: Victor Gerstein
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