WE DID IT WITH YOUR HELP!
If you missed our campaign, you can still be a part of our Running with Sharks Team. Make a contribution via PayPal, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join us at the Co-Executive Producer or Executive Producer Level!
And thank you!
It's not easy to live a healthy lifestyle – especially when you can feel the judgmental stares of everyone at the gym. Maybe the water aerobics class will be easier on your ego, you think. But you are dead wrong. Here’s a comedy about that.
Running with Sharks is about a woman on the first day of a health kick. She encounters resistance from some rather unlikely bullies, but she has a surprise for everyone in the end.
Though it’s terribly embarrassing, Running with Sharks is loosely based on an experience that we (Producers Nancy and Nilou) had when we cashed in a Groupon-type deal at a swanky gym. From the first day, it was clear that we were on someone else’s turf, and we treaded lightly. Then after one of us was yelled at and told “this ain’t your grandma’s water aerobics,” we had to stop laughing nervously in fear and start writing.
Big Plans for the Little Short
Once you help us produce this film, we will submit it to festivals such as Sundance and Toronto, among others. We also think the concept has legs for TV, and so the finished short will be used as a pilot presentation in pitches to TV networks that might dig the story of a really awkward lady being bullied by older ladies.
Yep, that’s right, we were bullied by old ladies. Don’t you feel badly for us? Help us feel better by contributing to our campaign. Please.
Seriously though, we wanted to tell this story because we personally believe that karma is a not-very-nice person, and we try to treat others as we would like to be treated. Since everyone we have pitched Running to has a similar story, we have no doubt that it will strike a chord with TV execs, brand reps and festival programmers alike.
New Production Company
Your contribution to Running With Sharks will not only help make a dream come true, but it will also help launch our new production company, Eyes Up Here Productions.
Don’t forget the Perks! As we mentioned, we want to treat others as we’d like to be treated, so here are some treats for you – there are health coaching sessions, massages and more from lovely friends, who want to help.
We’ve got a cracker-jack group of ladies behind this film, and we cannot wait to bring on more. We'll be sending updates as we add cast and crew to our team.
Nancy Vitale (Writer/Producer)
Nancy is a founding member of Eyes Up Here Productions, and the writer of its first production, Running with Sharks (Spring, 2013). She has worked in TV development (TV Land) and in film (Emerging Pictures, Columbia Film School). In theatre, she is the Producing Artistic Director of Noor Theatre, which co-produced Food and Fadwa in May, 2012 (New York Theatre Workshop). Past theatre includes: Williamstown Theatre Festival (Resident Dramaturg/Literary Manager), McCarter Theatre (Literary Assistant/Copywriter), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Literary Associate) and Passage Theatre (Resident Dramaturg/Artistic Consultant); she developed productions at NYTW, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Araca Group, New Georges, Arab-American Comedy Fest, Columbia University SoA and Carnegie Mellon SoD. She holds her M.F.A. in Theatre (Columbia University School of the Arts) and her B.A. in English (Oakland University). Nancyvitale.com.
Nilou Safinya (Producer)
A founding member of Eyes Up Here Productions, Nilou is a NY-based producer working in theatre, film and TV. She is originally Iranian and lived, traveled and studied in different countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, before moving to NYC to attend Columbia University. Her mission is to work on global and culturally diverse issues, helping to bring people together through the arts. Nilou has many credits in NY theatre, including work at Juilliard and with the Alternate Theatre Co. She worked for 3 years in TV and film development and production at Levantine Entertainment before turning freelance. Nilou is also a partner of Grandma's Chicken Pants (GCP), a high end creative & content development production company who has worked all over the US and in 22 countries around the world. GCP is currently producing a family TV show all about interacting with cultures worldwide. Back in NYC, Nilou is concurrently developing a youth outreach public performance piece in NYC. Nilou also sits as President of the Board of Directors for Noor Theatre.
Suha Araj (Director)
Filmmaker Suha Araj is often found overhearing, watching, or telling a story. Her work explores the displacement of immigrant communities and her passion lies in bridging cultures. Her latest feature script, Khsara explores the humor created from the contrast of cultural expectations. Khsara has been developed with the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and RAWI, Torino Film Lab, Dubai Film Connection, EAVE, IFP No Borders and Suha was chosen for the Emerging Visions program by IFP and the Lincoln Center. She participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus and Talent Market in 2012 and she just completed the short film, The Cup Reader which was shot in Palestine in 2012 and will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. For seven years she was part of the film selection committee of the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco and has also served on the LunaFest Board of Advisors. Her short film, I am Palestine screened at festivals internationally and is used as an educational tool. She served as a story advisor to the Sundance selection, Slingshot HipHop and produced the narrative short, Fruition. Installation art (Displacement, Inshallah Falasteen, Buried in Michigan) and acting (Chocolate in Heat, Suitcase) have inspired her storytelling in new mediums. She is a co-founder of DivineCaroline.com, a publishing platform for women to tell their stories and is currently a teaching artist with the Tribeca Institute.
Meg Kettell (Cinematographer)
Meg is a filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. She has shot narrative and documentary films for the last twelve years. A member of IATSE Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild) and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Meg has spent the last several years traveling the world, working and shooting in over 25 countries and across the United States, most recently shooting a film in Beit Jala, Palestine. While at NYU, Meg won the Bahoric-Meisel Scholarship for Women Cinematographers two years in a row. She continues to work on a mixture of projects including shorts, music videos and documentaries. Kettell is currently developing several projects.
Without the following fantastic folks, we could not have put this together:
George Englezos, Drifter Creative
Yoonju Shin, Esq.
Jennifer Peralta-Ajemian and Robin Carus, J&R Creative
Dr. Jane Katz - The W.E.T. Workout
Kelvin Geary & Katherine Simmons, Bodyspace Fitness
Carmela Palazzo, Body Beautiful Wellness
Jason Van Nest
Three of Us Studios/NYConservatory for the Dramatic Arts
Michael Roderick, Small Pond Entertainment
And our brain trust committee: Noelle Ghoussaini, Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Amanda Feldman, Maha Chehlaoui, Sharon Stanton, Sam Theilman, Theresa Vitale and many more!