Confronted with the sudden but long anticipated news that her estranged, drug addicted mother has passed away, twenty-three year old Norah finds herself at a crossroads. Only a few months sober herself, Norah wonders if this is the moment that will end up overtaking her. Made by an exclusively female and non-gender identifying creative team and crew, and starring Tony & Grammy nominee, Norm Lewis, 2020 Drama Desk Award winner, Mary Bacon, Tyree Robinson (Boardwalk Empire), and introducing writer/producer/actor, Josie Burke, Heirloom asks the question; can nature ever truly be overpowered by nurture?
WRITER, PRODUCER, "NORAH"
Josie Burke is an actor, writer and producer. 'Heirloom', a short film that she wrote, produced and starred in alongside Tony & Emmy Nominee Norm Lewis and Drama Desk Award winner Mary Bacon, was made with an entirely female and/or non-gender identifying crew, and to date has been accepted into the LA Independent Women's Film Festival, Toronto International Women's Film Festival, Monmouth Film Festival, Berlin Indie Film Festival, the 8 & Halfilim Awards, Austin Lift-Off Film Festival, Cranford Film Festival, Sweet Democracy Film Awards, Big Apple Film Festival, Florence Film Awards, International New York Film Festival, Los Angeles Indie Film Festival, Block Island Film Festival, SOHO International Film Festival, New York Shorts International Film Festival, Amsterdam Lift-Off Film Festival, and USA Film Festival, winning five of them. As an actor, her stage roles include The Accidental Kiss (The Dream Up Festival/Theater for the New City), and Belgrade Trilogy (4th Street Theatre, NYC). Her film roles include features Impossible Monsters (alongside Santino Fontana), and Worth Fighting For (available for streaming on Amazon Prime). Josie is a proud graduate of the Atlantic Theater Company's Full Time Conservatory Program, and a former student of the late, great Wynn Handman. She was born and raised in Jersey City, where she still lives.
Norm Lewis is a veteran film & theater actor from Eatonville, Florida. He is known for the Oscar-Nominated film 'Da 5 Bloods' (2020), 'Scandal' (2012), 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert' (2018), 'Sex and the City 2', 'Better Things', 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt', 'Bull', 'Daytime Divas' and more. In addition, he was nominated for Broadway's Tony Award in 2012 for his role as Porgy in Gershwins' 'Porgy & Bess', alongside Audra McDonald (Bess) and David Alan Grier at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2018, he performed in the musical revue 'ExtraOrdinary' in the American Repertory Theatre production at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts alongside Patina Miller. He was cast as the Phantom in the Broadway production of the 'Phantom of the Opera', alongside Sierra Boggess, becoming the first African-American to play the role on Broadway. Some of his other Broadway credits include Javert in 'Les Miserables' at the Broadhurst Theater, King Triton in 'The Little Mermaid' at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Jake in the musical 'Side Show', John in 'Miss Saigon', The Specialist in the original company of the Tony and Grammy Award-Winning 'The Who's Tommy' and Eddie in 'The Wild Party', to name a few.
Tyree Robinson is a classically trained actor and vocalist living in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, and native of New Hampshire, Robinson is best known for his role as Samuel Crawford in seasons two and three of HBO's Emmy Award-winning series Boardwalk Empire. A naturally gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, he records and performs with several NYC bands including the jazz outfit Twin Danger, and punk impresarios Hotter Than A Crotch. He also has a number of independent film and studio projects in the works.
Mary Bacon received the 2020 Drama Desk Sam Norkin Special Award for her performance as Patti in "Coal Country" by Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank, with original music by Steve Earle, and her portrayal of Susan in "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Chad Bekim with Partial Comfort Productions. She has worked with many wonderful directors, playwrights, and actors over her career; with theatres in New York City, both Broadway and Off-Broadway, including the Public, Lincoln Center, The Mint, Primary Stages, Second Stage, TACT, and others, with directors and playwrights including Michael Greif, Trevor Nunn, John Michael La Chiusa, Sybil Pearson, Charles Busch, Jenn Thompson, Vivienne Benesch, Lisa Rothe, Davis McCullum, Pam MacKinnon, Theresa Rebeck, Horton Foote, Hallie Foote, Daisy Foote, Pete Gurney, John Tillinger, Tom Stoppard, James Still, Lisa Peterson, Johnathan Bank, and Stephen Wadsworth, Shelley Butler, Chad Beckim, Heidi Armbruster, Dina Janis, Kate Hamill, and Sarna Lapine. In film and tv, she has guest-starred and recurred on SVU, Criminal Intent, Law and Order, Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Boardwalk Empire, The Lost Girls on Netflix, and Three Pregnant Men, among others. She lives in NYC with her son and husband Andrew Leynse. Carnegie Mellon Drama.
Miriam Grill is an international stage director with a focus on women and global issues. Recent directing credits include Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), Medea (Lenfest Center for the Arts), Chinese Opera and Modern Drama (Lenfest Center), War with the Newts (New York Puppetry Festival), etc. She served as a producer on acclaimed interactive installation Frankenstein AI, which premiered at Sundance 2018, and as an acting consultant on Cirque du Soleil founder Franco Dragone's The House of Dancing Waters in Macau. She has also been Assistant to the Scenic Designer David Korins on many Broadway shows including Annie, Motown, Sonya Vanya Masha and Spike, as well as the international tour of Chinglish, and Here Lies Love at The Public, etc. Her love for exploring new expressions of theatre-making has previously brought her to direct a documentary style, all-female theatre piece called Women in Taiwan and found a university theater department in Guangzhou, China with a mentorship program for female directors. She received her MFA in Directing from Columbia University and is currently a Professor of Theatre at City University of New York.
CO/LINE PRODUCER & ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Carrie is an independent producer and aspiring post supervisor based in New York. Her background in post production comes from her positions as Post Coordinator for VICE News Tonight, Operations Manager at Sim, and Client Services at Light Iron, a Panavision Company. Carrie's films have screened at various festivals including Fantasia, BFI London Film Festival, OutFest Fusion, and Seattle International Film Festival. Her short THE INVADERS by Mateo Marquez was acquired by Gunpowder & Sky and can be watched online. She’s in post production on the documentary CHASING CHASING AMY by Sav Rodgers, narrative feature TRIPLE THREAT by Stacey Maltin, horror short THE WALK by Victoria Negri, and in development on high school dramedy I LOVE YOU, MARGOT ROBBIE, written and directed by Sav Rodgers. She is a co-founder of Martini Shot, an art salon based in New York for creatives of various mediums and backgrounds to gather and showcase their work.
Matthew Messinger has produced and cast internationally for TV, film, theater, commercials, animation, digital, and interactive. He cast and associate produced “American Dreamer,” starring Jim Gaffigan, Robbie Jones and Tammy Blanchard, which premiered at the 2019 Los Angeles Film Festival. Other credits include Walt Disney Picture's “Beauty and The Beast” (Academy Award-nominated for Best Picture), NBC's “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Broadway and West End, London’s “Side Man” (Tony Award for Best Play), and the BBC's iconic “Absolutely Fabulous” series. His film work for Museum of Modern Art includes “Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures” and “The Girl In The Watermelon” for the New Directors/New Films series. He has cast for Dreamworks/SKG, Warner Brothers, ABC, Disney Theatrical, PBS, Touchstone Pictures, Nickelodeon, and CBS.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Katherine Castro is a New York City-based Cinematographer. After studying architecture and photography while living in the Dominican Republic, Katherine returned to Boston in 2008 where she began working in film and TV as a Local 600 Camera Assistant. Applying her design and photography background along with the invaluable lessons she has acquired over the years working in production, Katherine brings a unique style and viewpoint to her cinematography. Her work spans narrative, music video & documentary and has recently been screened in film festivals such as Indy Film Fest, Woods Hole Film Festival & Asian American International Film Festival in NYC.
Riley Patterson is a filmmaker who specializes in cinematography. Born and raised in Durham, NC, her background in film began at a young age. A drive for creativity led her to a BFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She now works professionally in New York City for companies like Nike, Apple TV, Thistle, New York Fashion Week, and American Ballet School. Loving to tell stories is a passion that she chases through visuals.
2ND ASSISTANT CAMERA
Katie is a NYC-trained camera assistant and cinematographer who now resides in New Paltz, NY. She likes to balance out her creative projects with crew positions, and has worked in narrative, commercial, and corporate settings. She has a passion for genre filmmaking and any project that allows her to experiment with aesthetic to enhance storytelling.
3RD ASSISTANT CAMERA
Growing up as a queer kid in the rural south, Demi turned to fine art and photography to escape and dream of something bigger. She later attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where I discovered filmmaking and fell in love with being behind the camera. She now lives and works in New York City; specializing in narrative and documentary work. She appreciates all aspects of cinematography -- technical, artistic, and managerial. It's her goal to make her sets a safe and healthy working environment for her crew, and she enjoy learning how to be a better leader. You may have seen her short documentary and Vimeo Staff Pick, "CINEMATOGRAPHER," which shares the stories of 6 cinematographers: Autumn Eakin, Reed Morano, Kate Arizmendi, Allison Anderson, Maria Rusche, and Emoni Aikens. Her work has played in festivals around the country including Outfest LA, Cannes Lions, Sarasota Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival, Athena Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival, and more.
Sofia is a Venezuelan filmmaker who has been based in NYC for the past 6 years and is also a huge backpacker who has traveled 32 countries! She loves to portray the human mind and the subconscious self onto the screen as a way of self-healing and for the viewers to experience it and project their inner truths in their own way. When she’s not directing, she also loves to work as a DP and Gaffer, since it's the unique technical art of materializing the works of the mind's world.
Alex is a trans woman from Detroit who's been in New York for five years, loving and hating every moment of it! She works in fashion and pursues a waste-free life. She also enjoy cooking vegan food from scratch, creating her own clothing, and exploring the exploitation of art for capitalistic gain.
Rikki Porter is a Southern California native, who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is an alumna of Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, where she obtained her MFA in Cinematography. Rikki’s eclectic and outstanding work as a Director of Photography includes several short films, documentaries, and experimental films. In 2019, her work was on display in the short film, Good News. The film was honored at the 57th New York Film Festival and acknowledged at the Maryland Film Festival. Aside from her expertise as a Cinematographer, Rikki has an extensive background in lighting, sound, and electronic music. In her spare time, Rikki is an avid rock climber. She has combined both of her passions when asked to shoot videos for outdoor rock climbing events. Her other pastimes are drawing and graphic design. Rikki’s latest interest is developing a green thumb!
SOUND ARTIST 1
Zhen is a composer, sound artist, photographer, filmmaker, and adventurer. She has received her master’s degrees in Film Scoring from NYU, and Electronic Music Design from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Zhen’s music is deeply valued by her collaborators for the depth, sensitivity and the unique voice she brings to the projects across multiple music genres. Her ringtone work, ”Jade”, was the winner of the Microsoft Nokia Ringtone Competition, which you might have discovered in Nokia products. “Talking Goods”, an electronic music work, commissioned by the Shanghai International Arts Festival, premiered at Shanghai Theatre Academy. She also lead the campaign #NoOneIsAnIsland, featuring asian women’s voice for #BLM, which was presented at Times square and Femalefaces. Zhen works closely with Film at Lincoln Center, NYFF, Story Collider after she embarked on her journey in film. Zhen truly believes in the power of storytelling, no matter the method or medium. While traveling between visual and auditory, those two different worlds, she is always looking for the interdependence in between to better tell the tale.
SOUND ARTIST 2
Anna Khromova is an enthusiastic, creative, proficient, and professional location sound mixer and boom operator based in New York. She holds an M.S. degree in engineering as well as a diploma from the New York Film Academy. Anna works emphatically on every project to create a robust understanding of her clients' needs and the opportunities and challenges in each shooting environment. Whether feature film, TV series, short narrative films, or small independent documentary projects, her expertise stands out as much as her dedication to building effective working relationships with cast and crew. Anna is passionate about the creative and collaborative process of the film industry and is driven by the power of sound to shape one's experience.
SOUND ARTIST 3
Eliana Zebro is a music composer and audio engineer working in audio production and post-production for media projects, especially films, videos, and podcasts. She currently resides in New Jersey and can often be seen wearing a pair of good ol' mixing headphones.
CHU (VIVIAN) WEN CHEN
HAIR AND MAKEUP
Chu (Vivian) Wen Chen is a New York City-based makeup artist specializing in beauty and character design. Vivian was freelancing as a wedding makeup artist before she attended Make-up Design school in NY and became a Master Makeup Artistry graduate. She went through intensive training after graduating, designing makeup for a series of beauty and fashion photoshoots and designing a wide range of characters utilizing beauty and special effects makeup for Film and TV.
EDITOR & POST SOUND
After first completing a Bachelor Degree in Arts in Media and Social Communication, Luisa, originally from Venezuela, decided to refine her skills as a filmmaker and move to Australia where she worked freelance as a Film Director and Editor. In 2013 she completed her MFA with Honours with the project experimental project "(i could only dream to be) Reborn" which took her to the 2013 Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival, and was part of the 2015 Melbourne Queer Film Festival. In 2018 she was awarded a Best Editing Certificate of Excellence for her work as Film Editor in the short film "Whales" in the Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival." She is now located in New England where she is working as a film editor for short narratives and experimental pieces.
Katherine Cartusciello is a New York City-based composer and sound designer. Recent credits include “Apart Together,” episode 2 of the podcast series Walks of Life by Blindspot Collective and La Jolla Playhouse, and “Horrid Conditions,” a music theater piece which appeared in episode 2 of Village Song by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Her work has been performed by chamber ensembles including TAK Ensemble, Counter)Induction, and Daedalus Quartet. She graduated with Departmental Honors from Columbia University in 2016, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Music. She is the recipient of the ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award, and currently attending an MFA program in Music Theatre Composition at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Liz Chidester is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, actor, and teaching artist originally from Virginia. The Chicago Tribune called Liz "one of the most truthful actors in this city." Liz is a Company Member of FIREBRAND THEATRE and an Artistic Affiliate with AMERICAN BLUES THEATRE. She has contributed as an actor, composer, and collaborator with Chicago Children's Theatre, Raven Theatre, Writers Theatre, Cabinet of Curiosity, Theatre at the Center, Mercury Theatre, Sideshow Theatre Company, and Route 66. Before March 2020, Liz was at sea developing folk music and puppetry with NYC's PIG PEN THEATRE COMPANY in Phantom Folktales. With her band LIZ AND THE LOVELIES, she released the album People Pumping Pedals (2014), EPs Progress into Simplicity (2017) and Otter Hill (2015), and singles "My Way/Your Way" (2018) and "Sleep In." (2019). During the pandemic, the Lovelies lovingly disbanded, and Liz formed a new solo project LIZ LUTHIER with her feminist record collective MURMURATION RECORDS. Her newer single "The Great American Chestnut Tree" (2020) was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered. Liz will release singles throughout 2021, including "Gift That Moved You" (2021), with her EP otherside of the darkest timeline releasing in fall 2021. Liz teaches group 'ukulele classes and private voice, piano, guitar, and uke classes at the OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC. She is represented by Shirley Hamilton.
Rachel Salin is a Script Supervisor from the lower Hudson Valley area of New York. She has worked as a Script Supervisor on several short films such as Appetite with Besties Make Movies, web series such as Maestro’s Magical Music Box with Dream Sweet LLC, as well as the feature film Triple Threat by Stacy Maltin. She has a passion for nurturing creativity by making certain the written word translates as seamlessly and beautifully as possible to the screen. She also has a passion for travel and meeting new people and hopes to be able to work as a script supervisor all over the world.
DIGITAL IMAGE TECHNICIAN
Brittany Jeffery (she/her) is one of the few freelance artists in Brooklyn, NY. She hails from New Mexico, and like her hero Georgia O' Keefe, finds beauty in the light, architecture, and hyper-local cultural signifiers of her former and adopted homes. Her film work is focused in two departments: Camera and G&E. She is currently working towards union membership. However, Brittany has always been happiest working in a wide variety of creative mediums. She writes, edits, draws, and paints. Her work can be found on screens big and small around the world.
Jennifer is the Owner and Creative Director of Ignite The Stoke, a virtual Brand Management agency based in Scottsdale, AZ specializing in marketing, graphic design, and web design. She is passionate about growing companies through collaboration and progressive strategy, bringing together talented professionals—merging their ideas, networks, and competencies. During her free time, she enjoys participating in outdoor activities, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Marika grew up in a no-stoplight town in Indiana and moved to New York City to study film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. They became a color assistant at Deluxe New York/CO3, an international film and television post house, where they worked on independent and studio features (Pariah, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Wolf of Wall Street), and episodic television (The Americans, Elementary). After Deluxe, they went to Box Studios, a boutique-style post house and advertising agency, where they did color grading for fashion films (Prada, Balmain, Alexander Wang), music videos (Madonna x Steven Klein), and independent features (While We Were Young, Mistress America, Magic in the Moonlight). Marika's current work includes shorts/features (narrative and experimental), commercials for broadcast and web, VR, documentaries, and music videos. One of their favorite aspects of running their own business is being able to have direct communication with all their clients. They believe having easy-to-understand and personable interactions makes working within a technical + artistic environment the most enjoyable for everyone.
Nathalie is a budding producer and wearer of many creative hats born and raised in NYC. She wrote, produced and starred in the short film Stuck, which appeared at The Adirondack Film Festival and was a semi-finalist at the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, and is currently in post-production for the short Survival Job. Prior to COVID, she was the Associate Artistic Director of Core Artist Ensemble, a theater company based out of the Barrow Group. She is a graduate of Cornell University and is also an accomplished voiceover actress. Favorite credits include Pokémon, Hardee's, Gevalia Kaffe, and a boatload of educational content. www.nathaliefrederick.com
ASIA E. MARCHE
Asia E. Marche is a professional actress, whose credits include stage, television, and film. She holds a B.A in Psychology and Criminal Justice, is an independent psychological researcher and Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She is very passionate and purposeful, in assisting and investing in our underserved communities, that have slipped between the cracks. Outside of entertainment, her career began in public service with the NJ State Parole Board, Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH). Through this, it has influenced her pursuit to produce content that integrates her passion for art and academia. The experiences that she’s gained through her personal and professional endeavors, has equipped her to lend her skill-set in bettering the lives of the disenfranchised. Marche has a history of producing in various mediums, community organizing surrounding initiatives, events, and promotional short form content for artists and entrepreneurs. Currently, she is producing her first docuseries, Obstruction of Justice: The True Meaning, which showcases and explores the fundamentals of her research area, ex-offender reintegration.
ON SET COVID NURSE
Maxím Casas is an Emergency Room Registered Nurse who serves Jersey City, NJ. She is a Hudson County native, born and raised in Hoboken, NJ. Maxím has a Bachelor’s Degree from Steven’s Institute of Technology and a Master’s Degree from Montclair State University. With 6.5 years of Emergency Nursing under belt and working the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, she possesses extensive knowledge in all things medicine and is always eager to lend her expertise where she is needed. She currently lives in Bergen County, NJ with her husband, John, 2 year old daughter, Savanna, and pup, Nora Jones.