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Knives is a sponsored film by Fractured Atlas. Contributions must be made payable to Fractured Atlas & are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Larissa Rhodes
New York, New York
United States
3 Team Members

**Remember to keep checking back as we will be adding perks during our campaign!**


Ryan is a curious young shopping cart collector trapped in his mundane parking lot. He’s the smartest one in the whole store- but has no other audience than Devin, his kinda-cute coworker. His home life is no better. The son of a single father Highway patrolman, Ryan and his dad are mutually aloof. One day, a mysterious utility truck arrives in his parking lot carrying an even more mysterious man living within. This man, Clinton, is a knife sharpener, traveling town to town grinding edges and moving on. A string of unexplained stabbings have gipped the area all summer, and Ryan knows who he suspects. Enlisting his dismissive co-worker and eventually his reluctant dad, Ryan spearheads his own investigation into the cagey vagrant.


Life in the suburbs is designed to be easy- everything is available at your finger tips, everything a quick ten minute drive away. But growing up in convenience culture causes a strange anxiety, a need to find a place in a landscape designed for automobiles, not teenagers. Knives is a film about a young man’s misguided attempt to find that significance in his menial job. Stylistically, the film will reflect temperament to reflect the mundanity of his lot. This naturalism will alternate with moments of  visual constriction, reflecting his fetishistic fascination of the suspense movie in which he thinks he lives. The film itself will reconcile the director’s own experiences growing up in suburban New Jersey with the cinematic stylization of filmmakers he grew up loving, such as Spielberg and De Palma.

As current Columbia University MFA film students, our projects receive guidance and support from our faculty members and fellow colleagues. However, we have learned that true filmmaking takes a community and with our audience in mind, our creative team strives to produce a short film that will achieve success both through the film festival circuit, as well as through creative success that only comes from strong leadership, keen business skills, exceptional talent, and most importantly, a dedicated, passionate team.


Peter Friedman - CLINTON

Peter Friedman is an American stage, film and television actor. Born in New York City, Friedman’s feature film credits include The Savages, The Messenger, Synecdicge, New York, Prince of the City, Daniel, The Seventh Sign, Single White Female, I'm Not Rappaport, I Shot Andy Warhol, Safe, Freedomland, Paycheck, I'm Not There, and Breaking Upwards. Was nominated for Broadway's 1998 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Ragtime."

Marc Menchaca DAD

Marc Menchaca is an actor, writer and director. He starred in HBO’s GENERATION KILL, and has worked on several TV series, including: TREME, PERSON OF INTEREST, FLASHFORWARD and most recently L&O: SVU, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER and recurring on Showtime’s HOMELAND. His first narrative feature film as a writer, THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, which he co-directed and starred in, premiered at SXSW and is currently playing other festivals with plans for a fall 2013 distribution.

Paul Castro JR - RYAN

Paul Castro Jr. Born in Brooklyn New York, but raised on the Jersey Shore. Recent graduate from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Acting, exclusively from the Meisner Studio. Most recently completed filming “The Skeleton Twins” with Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Ty Burrell,“Black Dog Red Dog” directed and produced by James Franco, and the main role in the Indie Feature “Buffalo Boys” which recently won “Best Coming of Age Film” at the Manhattan Film Festival and “Best Crime Drama” at the Indie Gathering. An avid video gamer, chicken parmigiana connoisseur, and an enthusiast of T.V. shows such as: "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead".

Chloe Levine - DEVIN

Chloe will make her feature film debut as SUNDAY WILSON in Hilary Brougher’s thriller "INNOCENCE" produced by Killer Films which will have its US Festival Debut in the DARK MATTERS FEATURE Category at the 2013 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL. She has recently completed production on the Columbia MFA shorts APRIL/MARCH and BODY OF CRIME. Other projects include the MFA short “Little Shadow” which screened at the Columbia University Film Festival & Palm Springs Shorts Festival and she starred in the Award Winning Short “LOOP PLANES” written/directed by Robin Wilby and Produced by Killer Films.

Chloe made her Theatrical Stage debut in 2013 as RACHEL in Stefanie Zadravec’s “SAVE ME” at The Barrow Group. The Production was directed by Co-Artistic director Lee Brock.

Chloe began acting at the tender age of 6 with a Guest Star on THIRD WATCH and a small role in the feature film Second Born by Jevon Roush. Chloe is New York Based.

Who We Are

Aaron David DeFazio- Writer & Director

Aaron David DeFazio is a NYC based filmmaker pursuing an MFA at Columbia University. Inspired by watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in bed through the eyepiece of his VHS camcorder, his career began at a Hollywood Video in New Jersey. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, he completed “The Loop” (2010) and “Interpose” (P’town FF 2012). His most recent directorial effort “Top Floor” premiered at SXSW 2013 in the Narrative Shorts Competition.

Larissa Rhodes - Producer 

Larissa Rhodes is an award-winning producer/editor/cinematographer. She has worked for Academy-Award winning producer Paula DuPré Pesmen (Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Cove, and Chasing Ice), and Academy-Award nominated producer Jerry Aronson. Larissa graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Film Studies and a BA in International Spanish for the Professions from University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently pursuing an MFA from Columbia University, School of the Arts. Recently, she spent 4 months on a ship traveling around the world to 14 countries documenting 6 innovators who through technology try to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

Daniella Kahane - Co-Producer 

Daniella Kahane is an award-winning writer/director/producer. She has worked for Academy-Award winning producer Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump, Stepmom, The Devil Wears Prada, P.S. I Love You), and is currently associate producing Academy Award nominated Edet Belzberg’s (Underground Children, The Recruiter) latest documentary about genocides, as well as executive producing Samantha Buck’s documentary Best Kept Secret. Daniella graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English and Film Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University and is currently pursuing an MFA from Columbia University, School of the Arts where she is developing a feature written by Mark Jude Poirier (Smart People, Goats) and producing a number of other shorts, the lastest of which Top Floor has been officially selected to premiere at South by Southwest.

Emma Wang - Co-Producer

Emma Wang is an MFA candidate in Creative Producing at Columbia University film program. She grew up in Shanghai, where she has produced news packages and student magazines for China Central Television. She attended Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where she double majored in Communications and Visual Arts. During her time at Columbia, she has produced short films including Silver Dollar (2011), The Wongs (2012), Say You Love Me (2012), Death and The Lovers (2012), On the Sea (2013), Falling (2013), and April, March (2013).  She also assisted the producers on the independent feature Someone Else (2012).

Mike Rossetti - Director of Photography

Mike Rossetti is an award-winning cinematographer whose work has been featured on national networks such as PBS, BBC America and NBC. His work has also screened at numerous festivals, including Sundance (“Slavery By Another Name”), SXSW (“Top Floor”), Palm Springs & Busan International Film Festivals (“Johnny Loves Dolores”), and many more. He has photographed a wide range of projects, from short films and documentaries, to webisodes and narrative feature films, including Josiah Signor’s “Bastards of Young” which was selected for IFP’s 2012 Post-Production Labs.

David Brody - Unit Production Manager

David Brody has been working as a freelance line producer and production manager on films, television, music videos, and commercials for the last five years. He started while finishing school at Sarah Lawrence College, successfully pitching, creating, and producing a college cooking web series for The Food Network his senior year. After graduating, he went on to create and produce a second cooking show for the network before starting his own production company. His passion has always been commercials and this year he finished a large campaign for the National Kidney Foundation, producing 25 PSAs to raise awareness for kidney disease. He recently finished producing a series of commercials for Warheads the candy and two digital shorts for Nickelodeon. 

Emily Shesh- Assistant Director

One might think that a woman raised on Long Island, educated in Philadelphia and currently residing in Harlem might have the sophistication of a billy goat and the candidness of a nursing home resident. Be that as it may, Emily Shesh has managed to successfully channel the vitality in herself and her surroundings into her work as a writer and filmmaker.Her screenplays are heavily focused on female protagonists with an approach ranging from emotionally grounded reality to comedy. She is based in New York City and is currently pursuing her MFA in Screenwriting for Film and Television at Columbia University.


We are grateful to have such a talented crew who have worked on projects from feature films to TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire: Doug Durant, Adam Richlin, Lena Tsodykovskaya, Angelos Rompolis, Dwane Harris, Winston Shaw, Leah Dworkin, Chloe Reisen, Jenna Josepher, Amy Wadford, Brendan Burdzinski, Michael Minard, Joseph Mastantuono, and Filip Kasperaszek.

Script co-written by T. Sardoni.


See some of our amazing perks including original KNIVES storyboards created by Lisha Jiang: 


Films, even short ones are expensive and in order to do this script justice, we need your help! Filmmaking is a community art and each person brings a unique craft of trait to the process. And this process is expensive. From location fees, permits, transportation, and food to the actual camera equipment, lights, props, costumes, and even 35mm film developing. We are looking to raise $15,000.00 to make this film. Before working in film, this number would have seemed outrageous. However, after numerous productions and making our budget, and remaking our budget, this number reflects the lowest possible amount necessary to bring this film to life.  

Actual Cost of this Movie - $28,335.00

We have received a significant amount of in-kind donations, discounts, and donated services.

Your TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION will help us pay for many of our production expenses such as:

  • Seven nights lodging for twenty crew and 4 cast members. Our incredible crew is donating their time and because we are filming on location, we must house everyone on location or risk a 4 hour commute to the city each day
  • Three meals a day and snacks for six days for twenty five people
  • Film Equipment rental: We are lucky to have a lot of equipment provided to us by Columbia University, but there are some things that our school is not able to provide and we must source them independently
  • Van rental, grip truck and other transportation to Holbrook, New York
  • Film processing and transfer so that we can start editing our film
  • Location Fees and Permits
  • Wardrobe for actors and props for production design and art department and picture cars including our incredible Knife Sharpening Truck

What if we Raise More than our Goal?

Well, we have stretch goals!! At our stretch goal of $28,335 we can cover:

  • All additional production expenses!
  • All of our extra fulfillment fees like fiscal sponsorship and crowd-funding fees, accounting fees and costs of mailing all our amazing perks to you.
  • Post production expenses such as editing, color correction, and original music composition for the score of the film.
  • Initial film festival submission fees so this movie can reach its audience!

We have detailed a number of great perks or ways for our team to say thank you for your contributions, and any donation made to this campaign is TAX DEDUCTIBLE, thanks to our generous fiscal sponsorship that we received from FRACTURED ATLAS (https://www.fracturedatlas.org/). 

Other Ways You Can Help

We as students understand that some people may not be in position to support a film financially.  

  • You can also help us by spreading the word about our film and campaign either by "sharing" this campaign with your friends and family
  • Like our Facebook page dedicated to the film: https://www.facebook.com/KnivesTheFilm
  • Donating a perk that we could offer to one of our supporters - we love adding new things!
  • Sharing this campaign on your social media like Facebook and Twitter
  • Work for a business or non-profit that might want to be associated with the film? Tell them how to become a film sponsor.
  • Are you a reporter, blogger or other type of connector? Write a story, give us a shout-out!
  • Live in Holbrook or Patchogue NY? Contact us! We are looking for help in many ways and would love to talk to you.

So please help us get the word out about this film and remember, every single dollar makes a difference and will help bring us closer to our fundraising goal! 

We are so grateful for your support!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 179 people in 1 month
101% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 3, 2013
In partnership with
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Cart Collector Thank You

    Special Thanks on our KNIVES Facebook page!

    29 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $25USD
    Grocery Gratitude

    Special Thanks in the film credits + Special Thanks on our KNIVES Facebook page!

    42 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $100USD
    Picturesque Parking

    All of the Above + Digitized Storyboard from our incredible artist Lisha Jiang!

    15 out of 30 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $250USD
    Film Benefactor

    All of the above 
+ An Official Poster of the Film (amount over $25 is tax-deductible)

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $500USD
    Film Sponsor

    All of the above + Framed Production still from the shoot. (amount over $50 is tax-deductible)

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $1,500USD
    Premiere Benefactor

    All of the above + 2 tickets to the film's Premiere at Lincoln Center, in NYC (amount over $70 is tax-deductible)

    2 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $3,000USD

Associate Producer

    •Associate Producer credit on the film + a 2 hour visit to our closed set during production in Long Island, New York, to meet the cast and crew (travel and accommodations not included, but hugs and lunch are!). (amount over $15 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Co-Executive Producer

    •Co-Executive Producer credit on the film + a 2 hour visit to our closed set during production in Long Island, New York, to meet the cast and crew (travel and accommodations not included, but hugs and lunch are!). + 2 tickets to the film's Premiere at Lincoln Center, in NYC (amount over $35 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $10,000USD
    Executive Producer

    •Executive Producer credit on the film & our eternal gratitude for helping us make our dreams come true.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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