• Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle

Program Recipient

The Ego

When small town Gemma moves to Los Angeles to become an actress but takes a job at a mysterious clinic which promises to make clients' dreams come true, she slips into a nightmarish reality with only one way out: the scariest of all.

  • IMDB
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

     Alex Cirillo is a producer and the Co-Founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet, a film & media incubator, and Big Vision Creative, a production company specializing in developing feature films and series. Big Vision’s Kickstart Diversity Program has been featured in The Washington Post, OUT Magazine, Slate, IndieWire, and Bust Magazine. Cirillo got her start at Washington Square Arts & Films, where she produced TV pilots, commercials and digital content. While at WSF she also worked on feature films including JC Chandor’s MARGIN CALL and ALL IS LOST.

     Cirillo Co-Produced Tahir Jetter’s feature film HOW TO TELL YOU'RE A DOUCHEBAG, which premiered at Sundance 2016 and was selected by IndieWire as a Breakout Hit of the Festival. The film sold to BET, AMC and Sundance Selects internationally. She also produced narrative feature LIGHT OF THE MOON starring Stephanie Beatriz and Michael Stahl-David, which premiered at SXSW '17 and won the Audience Award.  
     Cirillo is currently in post-production on feature documentary POWER OF PEARL, supported by AM Docs Film Fund and environmental activists Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau, and Greek co-production EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL starring Tonia Sotiropoulou, Hannah Herzsprung and Alexis Georgoulis. She’s an adjunct professor at NYU teaching audience building, marketing, and distribution for filmmakers and writers, and has had the opportunity to speak on these topics at a White House Round Table and film festivals nationwide, including SundanceSXSW, Newfest, SeriesFest, Savannah Film Festival, and ATVFest.

  • IMDB
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

     Dani Faith Leonard is a comedian and producer, and co-founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet and Big Vision Creative. Big Vision Empty Wallet is a film and media incubator that creates awesome programs, encouraging independent creators to get their work made and seen. This past October, they launched Kickstart Diversity, an incentive program designed to support film and TV projects created by women, POC, and the LGBT community. Through BVEW and separately, Dani has produced over 300 interactive events and live theatre productions, in addition to short films and digital content. She has led conversations about audience building, distribution, and creative collaboration at the Sundance Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival, aTVfest, SeriesFest, and the Downtown Las Vegas Project.

     In 2014 - 2015, she co-produced and hosted Big Vision Creatives, a live-streamed show powered by ABC News. Current projects include feature film EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL, and feature documentary POWER OF PEARL, both currently in post-production. She performs stand-up and sketch comedy regularly in NYC and is working on a slate of comedy projects, including a live show, titled Unmotivational Speaking. In 2016, her comedy work was featured in Esquire, Nylon, Refinery 29, Entertainment Weekly, and more.


  • Instagram - White Circle
  • IMDB

     Maria Allred is an award-winning filmmaker and film fatale. In her "unapologetically bold" debut feature film, The Texture of Falling, she took on an impressive number of roles including writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, and art-director, "taking auteur theory to the next level" according to critic James Berardinelli.
     The film premiered at the Marbella International Film Festival (Spain), where she was nominated Best Director, then went on to a theatrical release across four major U.S. cities. Prior to directing her feature, she had three short films with television premieres on Oregon Public Broadcasting.
     Since childhood, Maria has passionately studied painting, poetry, philosophy, creative non-fiction, and various forms of dance. In addition, she has for eight years participated in Jungian-based process groups with author Paul Levy. Not coincidentally, her filmmaking-strongly informed by visual art, music, philosophy, and movement-is poetic, symbolic, and visually driven. She received her BS in Liberal Studies, Film Focus, from Portland State University.
     Allred is intrigued by pushing cinematic expression into new terrains while also keeping the audience thoroughly entertained.
     Critic Maggie Stacu raves about Allred, "To say that she is talented is an understatement. What she has created is, simply put, one of a kind. Not only that, but it's poignant to our time."

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Vimeo - White Circle
  • IMDB

     Racheal Cain Stephens is a writer, director and production designer who began her filmmaking journey as a young actress. In 2005, at a callback for a commercial in Miami, Florida, she realized her heart was behind the camera and began to steer her focus toward writing and directing. Racheal attended Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts where she honed her craft, writing and directing several short films including a psychological horror, Roaddog, and a dark comedy, The Clancy Family Funeral Home, both which went on to play at several international festivals. She graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Film Production.

     In 2015, Racheal was hired as Director of Videography for the social media marketing company, Go Be Social Media, where she directed commercial content for high-end clients including PackIt Coolers and Strut-This Athletic Wear and, in 2016, she simultaneously began working in Client Services at Quixote Studios where she worked with celebrity clientele on a daily basis. She currently works as a freelance Production Designer in Los Angeles, designing films, commercials and music videos. Most recently, she designed a series of commercials for Klay Thompson's shoe line, ANTA KT4, and music videos for various artists and bands including the video "Daisies" for Stephanie Poetri.

     All the while, Racheal has worked simultaneously to drive Alaska forward. The screenplay won First Place in the Los Angeles Screenplay Competition and placed in several other national competitions, the project was selected into the Big Vision Empty Wallet Kickstart Diversity incubator program, and she raised over $63,000 toward production on Kickstarter through the film's social media fan base. 

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Vimeo - White Circle
  • IMDB

     Originally from Nebraska, Lance got his start making movies at a young age. Shooting and directing home movies with his friends and editing them from VCR to VCR, Lance has always been about pushing the boundaries and challenging the existing standards. 
     Lance studied film at Full Sail University in Orlando, FL where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completion, Lance moved west to Los Angeles to apprentice and work as a camera assistant. He credits sitting on the dolly with the DPs discussing their lighting plans and watching the team work all around him for his keen sense of lighting and feeling. 
     Since, Lance has turned full time cinematographer and travels the world doing what he loves. He has shot on 5 continents, every climate imaginable, from shorts and features to network TV shows, documentaries and commercials. Lance is currently a resident Cinematographer for SNL, most recently lensing the hit sketch "Grouch" with David Harbour.

     As a seasoned independent casting director with over 10 years of experience, Bess Fifer has played a key role in shaping numerous careers across film, Broadway, and television. Bess cut her teeth at New York's most in-demand casting office, Telsey + Company, where she worked on a diverse range of high-profile projects, such as SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE, JONAH HEX, I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, RENT, IN THE HEIGHTS, and over 100 national commercials.

     After striking out on her own in 2010, Bess' keen eye for talent and her professionalism have been consistently sought after. Bess’s most recent projects include SXSW’s 2017 Audience Award Winner THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, the indie feature WETLANDS, and POTTERSVILLE for Netflix. Earlier work includes casting THE HUMBLING starring Al Pacino and helmed by legendary Writer/Director/Producer Barry Levinson, and the independent comedy BERT AND ARNIE'S GUIDE TO FRIENDSHIP.

     Associate Casting Director work includes THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY with Rachel Tenner Casting, directed by and starring Ben Stiller, Seasons one and two of MARVEL'S DAREDEVIL as well as season one of LUKE CAGE, with Julie Schubert Casting, and acting as the New York Casting Associate on season one of STRANGER THINGS with Carmen Cuba Casting. Bess also had the pleasure of working with the legendary Peter Bogdanovich on SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY with Jen Rudin Casting. When she's not on the clock casting the features ALASKA, LINGUA FRANCA, and CATCHING UP, Bess can be found swinging kettlebells, listening to rap from the 90's, or brunching with her favorite women. Bess Fifer currently resides in New York with her husband Mark, and their 4-legged children Jackson, Rufus, and Pete.

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Blogger - White Circle

     Morgan Ryan is a LA based Art Director, Stylist, blogger, and model, with experience Creative Directing and styling fashion editorials and videos for clients such as Paul Mitchell, Orly, The Bu Kombucha, Reebok and Clinique.

     When she's not writing, snapping polaroids, or getting inspired while roaming LA by foot, Morgan is happiest collaborating with other artists.


Last September, 524 backers contributed $63,388

on Kickstarter to help bring ALASKA to life!

Check out all of our film's generous backers below!


Stacey Kate Accad

Robert Adam II

Andrew Adams

Diana Adams

Joshua Adams

Carol Adipietro

Edmond Aggabao

Mithra Alavi

Corben Alley

Daniel Almeida

Amanda Alvarez

Amanda Amat

Christopher Amick

Mischa Andreski

Salina Angelique

Tommy Avallone

Manny Baajour

Stephen Ballentine

Natalie Barajas

Anita Bardeen

Kayla Barrett

Emilia Barrosse

Brian Barrow

Tatiana Bears

Anna Megan Becker

Andrew Scott Bell

Torie & Ben

Julia Beney

Brad Bennett

Zach Bennett

Madeline Berger

Adam Bertocci

Jaclyn Bethany

Lauren Blackwell

Keith Blank

Laura Blank

Teresa Blank

Andreas Blx

Andrew Bockholt

Agatha Bolanos

Brittany Bolton

Alana Bombino

Andreea Borcea

Jennifer Borcea

René G. Boscio

Chris & Tiffany Bowling

Sydney Clara Brafman

Heather Brooke Brawley

Thomas Breeden

Lauren Brinkman

Thomas Brophy

Logan McKennah Brown

Denise Minium Bryant

Noël Brydebell

Leigh Buck

Kelly Bumford

Paul Burgess

Kristen Burke

Nika Burnett

Amy Burns

Hugh Burruss

Robert Buyea

Kevin & Kim Caleca

Kevin Caleca Jr.

Kyle Caleca

Jennifer Callaghan

Kaitlin Callaghan

Kathryn Callaghan

Monica & John Callaghan

Tom & Brigitte Callaghan

Alex Caperton

Adriana Camino

Christina Campagnola

Donna Campagnola

Gwenda Cannon

Angela Carbone

Adam Carboni

William Carruth

Richard Castro

McKenzie Cato

Marion Cécinas

Jamie Cernich

Dan Chen

Wes Chew

Nic Christian

Jesse Cirillo

Angela Clouse

Rachel Cocca

Taylor Cohan

Jackie Coleman

Maeghann Coleman

Crystal Collins

Adriel Conde

Elise Costa

Victoria Cragg

Amanda Cryer

Timmoy Daen

Cowboy Dan

Sedrie Danielle

Ali Darr

Julie Darr

Spencer Darr

Brandon Davis

Edvina DeDecker

Stephanie DeDecker

Andrea DeLeon

Seri DeYoung

Tobias Deml

Daniel Dombrowsky

Walter Dorfman

Nardo Dorsin

Carissa Dorson

Bill Drummer

Colin Duffy

Jaromir Dukaczewski

Jon Dummit

June E.

Kristen Eck

Steve Eifert

George Ellett

Dylan Elliott

Hannah Elizabeth

Charles Eltonga

Avital Epstein

Andrew Fairbank

Brittany Falardeau

Blake Feldman

Michael Felker

Nancyann Fiedler

Alex Fierro-Clarke

Maggie Fish

Adam Fiske

Quinn Fluet

Mike Ford

Keller Fornes

Nick Forte

Chris Danger Rose & Kismet Rogue Fox

Sharon Canedy Fritz

Jeffrey Frost

Molly Fuller

Tim Gaither

Christina Garcia

Hali Gardella

Dhugal Gardner

Lauren Gartner

Robert Gates

Marcus Alexander Gazioch

Eric Geiger

Graham Geisler

Jacqueline Gerdne

Justin Giddings

Nancy Gilbert

Laura & John Gilbert

Dennis & Sandy Gilbert

Keith Gillis

Inga Girshfeld

Vanessa Rask-Gitzen

Kari Glasser

Adam Ross Glickman

Taylor Goins

Josh Goldman

Travis Golino

Adrián Aurrecoechea González

Katrina Gray

Lindsey Green

Dani Groton

Nicole Groton

Taras Demian Groves

Joe Gunawan

Paul Guo

Julie Hargreaves Hall

Elyza Halpern

Dorothy Hamilton

Michael Hancock

Vicki Handy

Joshua Harris

Freddy Heath

Jen Hegyes

Steve Hegyes

Ann Hebert

Brad Herman

Anna Herrera

Charles C. Hickinbotham

Kathi Highfield

Jeremy Hill

Shelby Hiller

Cassandra Holden

Adam Holloway

Nash Hoover

Evan Houston

Travis Houze

Michael Hughes

Joe Humpal

Sherry Hunter

Arantxa Hurtado

Raymond Hutchinson

Brooke Ishibashi

Lexx James

Sam Jeffreys

Adam Johns

Nick Jones

Eric Jungmann

Cassie Keet

Jessica Kelley

Ginger Kester

Dae Kim

Tom Kinner

Adrien Kirschfink

Carolyn Kirton

Jolene P Knox

Alyssa Kompelien

Kai Kousa

Julie Krallman

Geenah Krisht

Monica Kuhns

Doug Kusuke

Jesse Laier

Alexander Lakin

Simone Lapidus

John Lamar

Kent Lamm

Morgan Lariah

Nathan Larimer

Dylan Lawrence

Nikki Lee

Pete Lee

Jacqueline Legan

Mallory Leigh

Eric Leslie

Colin Levy

Tiffany Lin

Michael Lindo

Rachel Lindover

Han Long

Caleb C. Lorentz

John Luff

Shamrin Lullo

William L. Luther

Kevin Lyons

Carrie M

Erica Malloy

Micayla Mancuso

Haley Manrique

Melina Maraki

Joette Marie

Alexa Maris

Grace Marrero

Lea Marshall

Korey Martin

Rebeca Marques

Michael Matus

Jennifer Masty

Bradley Maurer

Christopher S McHenry

Noreen McQuinn

Kirby Mekler

Ren Michelle

Antje Mies

Steven Millan

Brenda Mills

Jeff Mizushima

Robert Bryce Milburn

Ashley Millemoth

Kris Monroe

Madeline Morales

Teresa Morales

Art Morris

Kennedy Morris

Melody Morris

Sarah Morris

Willam Morris

Andi Morrow

Ken Moulin

Alanna Murphy

Mark Mulcahy

Tav Murphy

Cindy Calhoun Nadler

Neha Nandakumar


Fran Nelson

Leah Nelson

Robert Nichols

Patrick Nissim

Benediah Noodlestein

Amanda Öman

Akin Omotoso

Katherine Oostman

Paul Osborne

Nicolás Osuna

Shannon Owens

Aaron Pagniano

Joseph Papa

Natasha Parish

Lexa Payne

Blake Parker

Michael Parks

Barbara Pederzini

Andrew Penczner

Mark Perrett

Adam Perry

Lilian Philipsen

Hudson Phillips

James Pickens

Elk's Pride Pictures

Stephen Pimblett

Jorge Sanchez Pimienta

The Pirate Pimp

John Polatsek

Christopher Pollock

Grant Porter

Perry Powell

Karen Pridavka

Alexa Printz

Two Pumps Productions

Jonathan Quick

Rachel Ra

Max Jacob Radbill

Kelly Rakowski

Jeffrey Ramirez

Onofre Ramiscal

Thomas Reading

Emily Reas

Meriem Rebai

Logan Rees

Shanda Renee

Polina Resenchuk

Beth Riley

Giuseppe Rinaldi

Timothy Robbins

Xander Robin

Pauline Roger

Daniel Rose

Phillip Ross

Justin Rossbacher

Catherine Rost

Christina Ruck

Nicole Ruwe

Brian Ruwe

Paul Ryan

Chris Rydo

Ben Saffer

Jonathan San

Prash Saka

Becky Lunsford Sakoff

Will Sampson

Cristiana Marié Santos

Ralph Sarlay

Benjamin Schellhase

Nancy Schneider

Finneas Scott

Kaitlin Scott

Ron Scott

Brett Seals

Brandon Seevers

Stefan Seidl

Brittany Selzer

Aletha Shepherd

Robert Shill

Shervin Shirazian

Marc Shull

James Siewert

Joe Simmons

Andy Skinner

Emily Skye

Eric Sloan

Thomas E Smith

Kaleigh Spencer

Barbara Soares

Pam Cox-Sobeck

Morgan Spiering

Caitlin Stedman

Lars Steenberg

Shannon Stevens

LuAnn Strobel

Alan C. Strutz

Valerie Sue

Christopher Swanson

Ryan Swanson

Sherry Swanson

Ricky Swasey

Susie Talbot

Isabella Tan

Melinda Telford

Karim Theilgaard

Christian Thompson

Ginger A. Thompson

Jessica Thompson

Tim Trott

Rico Turrubiarte

Lisa Tucker

Scott Uhls

Amalia Valsecchi

Tifanie Vansach

Aaron Isaac Vasquez

Sean Verdecia

Benjamin Verhulst

Pauline Victoria

Marcos Vidal

Jon Michael Villagomez

Katerina Vollten

Shalin Walker

Grace Wang

Claire Wasmund

Brent Watkins

Ian Weir

Linda Wellman

Valerie Wicks

Eduardo Wienskoski

John Wikstrom

Janelle Wilcox

Adam Willis

Alexis Wilpon

Bonnie Wilpon

Codey Wilson

Corsica Wilson

Neil Wilson

Tina Wissner

Demi-Lea Worrad

Jennifer Elizabeth York

Josh Youngerman

Ally Young-Price

Katie Zeim

Stephen Zelonis

Kirsten Zastrow

Drop us a line!