Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer
Since they first joined forces, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer have gained an impressive level of experience from working on big budget Hollywood films to non-paying indie shorts. Learning the many assets of filmmaking and how they operate depending on the size of the production, they spent their days on movie sets and their nights pounding out feature-length screenplays for future development. In 2002, they formed Parallactic Pictures, a company to showcase their writing and directing abilities.
Parallactic Pictures's first project was a feature length documentary on best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) titled Postcards From The Future: The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary. Shot on location in Pennsylvania, the film documents Chuck's landmark year of 2003 with the release of two new books and the unveiling of two world tours. Dennis and Kevin premiered the film in Portland, Oregon to a sold-out crowd and the DVD later went on to sell thousands of copies on Chuck Palahniuk's official website.
In the summer of 2005, Dennis and Kevin turned their attention back to narrative film with Absence¸ a low-budget thriller shot on location around Long Island, NY. Absence tells the story of a kidnapping in an idyllic suburb and how it affects three very different people, each with their own motives. The film was recently completed and after having a successful premiere at The Long Island Film Festival and taking two nominations at the Erie Horror Film Festival, Absence now seeks distribution.
As they gear forward towards their next production, Our Lady Of Sorrow, a script which has quickly gained an underground buzz for its originality and controversy, Dennis and Kevin have never lost sight of their many ambitions in film and continue to co-write screenplays for future development. Together they've penned a number of scripts including Presence, a semi-finalist in the WriteMovies.com International Script Competition, …And Hell Came With Him, a rip-roaring Western exploitation in the spirit of Kill Bill and most recently, Shed, a lean mean horror tale about a couple who discovers a kidnapped victim, bound and gagged, in the shed of the cabin they're staying in.
Originally from Virginia and now living in New York, Parker has accumulated a long list of credits and recognition for his work on everything from spot commercials to music video to independent feature films. Two of the student films he wrote, directed and co produced were selected for special showings at local and regional film festivals and were nominated for awards. One of those won Best Student Honors at Chicago's Silver Images Film Festival, and another short he produced in May 2002 made it into the Cannes Film Festival as a part of the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker program. That film ("Grandchildren") first received two special award grants for its completion before going on to also win Best Short Film at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival.
As far as feature work, Parker directed and co-produced a 35mm independent feature film, Fortunes, starring Mike McGlone (The Brothers McMullen, Bone Collector, Dinner Rush), James Urbaniak (Henry Fool, American Splendor), Tony Hale (Fox's Emmy Award winning "Arrested Development") and including an appearance by The Station Agent's star, Peter Dinklage. He also directed and co-produced a DV feature, Greenpoint Tavern, now in post production. He is currently slated to direct and associate produce a spec TV pilot, now in development, to be shot in Philadelphia in Fall 2005.
Parker recently co-produced a 35mm short film directed by one of the youngest well-known opera and theater directors in Europe. That director came to this country with recommendations from Guiseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) and Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow Up, Zabriskie Point, Eros) for his work in Italian opera and theater. That film has been acquired by the Independent Film Channel. And lastly, Parker co-produced and directed a super 16mm short film satire about the mass psychosis of living in an age of orange alerts and suspicious packages.
Having worked on nearly 100 feature films, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and with a perspective gained by an over-the-shoulder vantage point of such acclaimed directors as Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Regarding Henry, The Birdcage), Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs.Doubtfire, Stepmom), and John Avildsen (Save the Tiger, Rocky, Karate Kid), David Sonkin learned first hand, the process and value of creating artistic and commercial success.
Applying a blend of practical knowledge and passionate vision, Sonkin's first feature (Friends, First and Foremost) brought him an unprecedented double-screening, consecutive standing ovations, and a nod for Best Feature at the 1999 Long Island International Film Expo. In 2001, he turned his eye towards the subtle complexities of the frighteningly intelligent thriller, The Empath (starring Dan Lauria of The Wonder Years fame, and John Shea, currently the star of the cult TV hit, Mutant X). Taking advantage of every ounce the cutting-edge 'HI DEF' format would offer, Sonkin blends time, story, color, and performance into a sublime cinematic masterpiece (The Empath is represented by Echelon Entertainment).
With existing commitments to produce The Book of Joe (starring Joe Mantegna), and the bold and rollicking comedy, Publicity Stunt (with an all-star cast including Chris Lemmon, Cliff Robertson, Dom DeLuise, Charles Durning, Jack Klugman, and Dan Lauria), Sonkin's increasing industry profile will serve to position his company HiLo Entertainment as a formidable leader in the category of independent film production.
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Since launching her acting career in 1997, Leia Thompson has worked steadily in a wide range of media including film, television, theater, national commercials and pop music. She has collaborated with top names in their respective fields including, Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Akroyd, Bill Pullman, Andrew Wilder, and Andrew Gurland.
Leia has worked as a principal in over a dozen films including The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Orphan King, Black People Hate Me and They Hate my Glasses, and most recently as the lead in the feature film, Why George? Along with her recent appearance on CSI:NY, she has appeared on seven networks including ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, and Fuse. Leia has recently been featured on the new FX series, "Starved", and on multiple episodes of MTV's "Damage Control". With ten national commercials to her credit including AT&T, Budweiser, Sam Adams, Cutex, Dominos Pizza, and Conair, Leia has quickly become a casting favorite.
An accomplished singer in her own right, Leia has performed since 2000 as a front singer in the award winning, trio-chic band, “Ripe” and has been featured as a guest artist in studio and live performances for many indie bands on the NYC music scene. In addition to her many achievements as a performer, she has contributed much of her talent and energy to the production end of projects in film, music and theater.
Leia's responsibilities behind the scenes have been every bit as diverse as her many talents. She has worked as a makeup artist and hair stylist for ID Models and a host of other photographers, associate producer on two pop rock albums, and musical coordinator for film. Currently working on her directorial debut on the "darker-than-life" music video, "Silent", Leia has proved that she is completely hands-on. Whether she's in front of the camera, on stage, or behind the scenes, Leia brings passion, commitment, and vitality to every project and is an invaluable and integral asset to the HiLo Production team.
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