Cornelia Duryée (Co-Writer and Director)
Cornelia has had a long and prosperous career in the arts, in various incarnations, but it was her relationship with Madeleine L'Engle that led the former playwright and stage director into the world of film. L'Engle (well-known writer of works such as A Wrinkle in Time and the Austin Family series), Cornelia's Godmother and mentor, invited her to adapt several of her novels and plays for the screen.
With Madeleine's encouragement, Cornelia adapted two of Madeleine's novels: Camilla Dickinson and Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun. The latter was a finalist in the First Glance Screenplay Competition, a semi-finalist at Slamdance, and has received numerous other accolades.
In 2015 Cornelia directed West of Redemption, starring Billy Zane, Kevin Alejandro, and Mariana Klaveno; a tense, award-winning thriller, which won the Best Feature award at the Jefferson State FlixxFest, Best Dramatic Direction at Eugene FF, and Staff Pick Award at Manchester FF, among many others. It continues to make the rounds of ongoing film festivals.
In 2012 Cornelia directed Camilla Dickinson, with a cast including Adelaide Clemens, Cary Elwes, Samantha Mathis, and Gregg Sulkin. The film garnered critical success, winning, among others, the 2012 Best Narrative Feature and 2012 Best Director awards from the Women's Independent Film Festival, as well as the Best Narrative Feature award from the Eugene International Film Festival. It's available on Amazon, Youtube, and iTunes.
In 2006 Cornelia wrote and directed The Dark Horse, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and went on to win Best Feature Drama at the International Family Film Festival, among other awards. It is available on Amazon.
Cornelia co-founded Seattle Shakespeare Company, directed there, and served as its casting director for seven years. A classically-trained actor/director, she directed stage plays for twenty years before moving behind the camera. Her enjoyment of filmmaking extends into the realm of production, where she served as Executive Producer for cult favorite JourneyQuest Season 1, a producer of JourneyQuest Season 2, and as a casting director for The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, as well as many other productions. Cornelia is in the process of writing and developing numerous projects for Kairos.
Madeleine L’Engle (Author of the novel Camilla, co-author of screenplay)
Madeleine was born in New York City. She is the author of more than sixty acclaimed and popular books for adults and children, including novels, collections of essays, plays, and poetry. She is perhaps best known for A Wrinkle In Time, which won the Newbery Medal, and for her distinguished series of memoirs, The Crosswicks Journals. She has received The ALAN award for outstanding contribution to children’s literature from The National Council of Teachers of English and The Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Library Association.
Larry Estes (Producer)
Larry began his corporate career acquiring videodisc rights for release on RCA’s SelectaVision VideoDisc system. In 1984 he became Senior Vice President of Feature Film Acquisitions at RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. From 1987-93 he developed and operated an arm of Columbia TriStar Home Video’s acquisition program, specializing in quality independent feature film development and financing. His films at CTHV includes Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies and videotape, Patrick Sheane Duncan’s 84 Charlie Mopic, Allison Anders’ Gas Food Lodging, Carl Franklin’s One False Move (co-starring and co-written by Billy Bob Thornton), John Sayles’ City of Hope and Passion Fish, Neal Jimenez & Michael Steinberg’s The Waterdance, Mike Binder’s Crossing The Bridge, Bob Goldthwait’s Shakes The Clown, John Turturro’s Mac, Stacy Cochran’s My New Gun, Philip Haas’ The Music of Chance, Keva Rosenfeld’s Twenty Bucks (produced by Karen Murphy) and Anthony Drazan’s Zebrahead. He was responsible for supervision of more than 60 movies during his time there.
In 1992 Larry accepted the Independent Feature Project/West “Findie” award and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Entertainment Business by both Entertainment Weekly and Premiere magazines.
Before joining ShadowCatcher Entertainment in 1998, he produced Coldblooded, Santa Fe, The Mating Habits Of The Earthbound Human, and six science-fiction films for Showtime Networks. At ShadowCatcher he produced the landmark Native American film Smoke Signals and was an Executive Producer of The Book of Stars and Getting to Know You.
In 1999 in an internationally televised ceremony, he accepted The Interfaith Council’s Christopher Award for producing Smoke Signals. The other motion pictures awarded at that ceremony were Maya Angelou’s Down In The Delta, Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.
In 2000, he co-founded the independent feature film distribution company Outrider Pictures, where he served as co-chairman until mid-2001. He returned to producing in 2001 with Sherman Alexie’s debut as writer-director, The Business of Fancydancing.
He served as Executive Producer of The Heart of the Game, a popular Seattle-based documentary feature that premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, and was the first film acquired for distribution by the new incarnation of Miramax Films. He recently produced The Dark Horse, written and directed by Cornelia Duryée and West of Redemption, written by Meagan Daine and directed by Cornelia Duryée.
Estes has spent the past twenty years (following his ten years at Columbia TriStar) producing small feature films and serving as consultant to others on controlling cost and setting up their own independent film productions. He also served for five years as Professor of Practice/Producer-in-Residence on the faculty of the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television in Tucson, Arizona.
Rich Cowan (Executive Producer)
Rich is the president and Chief Executive Officer of North by Northwest Productions, a full-service film and video production company located in Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho.
Founded in 1990 by Rich and two partners, the company currently employs 40 staffers, delivers in every format and genre—from 35mm and High Definition to streaming video, feature film to commercial—and has established client relationships with top national firms.
Rich was responsible for the creation and development of North by Northwest Entertainment which over the past 14 years has delivered over 40 feature films and now has its own foreign and domestic distribution company.
Rich has functioned as producer of Wayne Wang’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers; Wrong Turn at Tahoe starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Harvey Keitel; Give ‘em Hell, Malone starring Thomas Jane and Ving Rhames; Norman starring Richard Jenkins and Dan Byrd; Family Holiday a Lifetime Original Movie; Whacked with Patrick Muldoon & Judge Reinhold; The Big Empty with Jon Favreau, Rachael Leigh Cook, Darryl Hannah, Sean Bean and Kelsey Grammer; and Hangman’s Curse with David Keith and Mel Harris.
Rich produced and directed The Basket, starring Peter Coyote and Karen Allen. He also directed Shadow of Fear starring James Spader, Aidan Quinn, Robin Tunney and Matt Davis. He also just finished directing The River Murders, starring Ray Liotta, Christian Slater, and Ving Rhames.
As a teenager, Rich directed his first program at KING-TV in Seattle. After graduating from Washington State University, Rich was hired by KHQ-TV in Spokane, where he produced PM Magazine segments and directed daily newscasts. After another stint at WSU to receive a Masters in Human Nutrition, Rich returned to KHQ to produce and direct documentaries, news specials, and sports programming, acquiring the position of Community Affairs Director at KHQ before starting North by Northwest.
Mike Vukas (Director of Photography)
Mike has a passion for photography that led to the beginning of a filmmaking career. Now with over twenty years of experience in the industry he still finds it fascinating. He spent the first ten years honing his skills in the commercial and corporate world. In 1993 He earned an IFVA Nell Shipman Award for his camera work on Pieces of Eden.
In 2001 his focus shifted to feature film production where he gaffed such films as Home of The Brave (2006, DP Tony Pierce-Roberts, BSC, starring Samuel L Jackson and Jessica Beil), The Big Bang (2009, DP Shelly Johnson, ASC, starring Antonio Banderas and Sam Elliot) and Knights of Badassdom (2010, DP Sam McCurdy, BSC, starring Steve Zahn and Peter Dinklage.)
In 2002 he produced the award-winning Indie feature Tattoo a Love Story, Directed by Richard W. Bean. Always wanting to put his hands on the camera, in 2008 he shot Morning on Maple Street, a zany short directed by Adam Boyd, which was screened at numerous film festivals and won several awards.
Camilla Dickinson is his first feature as Director of Photography.
Currently he can be found hanging out with all sorts of strange creatures as the gaffer on the NBC hit show Grimm.
Ben Dobyns (Editor)
Ben worked for six years as Director of Development for Dead Gentlemen Productions, where he oversaw the business and creative development of both new media and feature films, most noteably the cult hit The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, for which he was executive producer.
A film instructor at the Tacoma School of the Arts from 2002-2004, he now works full time on motion picture production, aside from the occasional guest lecture at the Seattle Art Institute. Recent credits include editing and co-producing The Dark Horse, directing the short film November, and working as an assistant director on several critically acclaimed features, including Battle in Seattle, Zoo, and Perfect Sport.
Dobyns also provides consultation and workshopping services for screenwriters and has written three feature screenplays. In addition to his film work, Ben recently collaborated on the development of the Demon Hunters role-playing game and directed its companion movie, which was published in May of 2008 by Margaret Weis Productions.
He has directed three low-budget feature films (Only a Paper Moon, Demon Hunters, and Unreality) and numerous shorts (including Attack Ad, winner of the CurrentTV $15k Launch Challenge), is working on his second novel, is a published short-story author, and performs regularly around Seattle with his jazz trio.
BC Smith (Composer, Original Musical Score)
Whether working with a large orchestra, rock band, peyote singers, Japanese noize, or djs and electronics, BC Smith is one of those rare composers who is firmly entrenched – and thoroughly fluent – in a world of diverse and eclectic musical styles.
Scoring credits include Smoke Signals (winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award and Filmmaker’s Trophy), The Mod Squad, the original feature film Outsourced, the song "Empty Skies" for Jim Sheridan’s film Brothers, the animated film Mermaid Tale 2, the feature documentary Burn, and the film Kiss Me directed by Survivor host Jeff Probst.
Recently, BC also scored The Break Up Girl produced by Hunger Games and Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray and director Stacy Sherman, director Tobe Hooper’s latest horror film, Djinn, and the score for Adult World starring John Cusack and Emma Roberts. Most recently, BC completed the score for Camilla Dickinson.
Album credits include performing keyboards and electronics for the bands Good Charlotte, Hollywood Undead, Dashboard Confessional and the Veronicas.
Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee (Casting directors)
Recent and current feature film credits include casting for the new DreamWorks picture The Help, based on the bestselling novel and starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Allison Janney and Bryce Dallas Howard, as well as the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury-Prize winner, Winter’s Bone, which also received the 2010 Gotham Award for Best Feature and Outstanding Ensemble Cast.
Winter’s Bone also led last year’s Independent Spirit Award nominations, receiving both the Best Supporting Male (John Hawkes) and Best Supporting Female (Dale Dickey) awards, and garnered Academy Award nominations for Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress) and John Hawkes (Best Supporting Actor). At the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Barden/Schnee Casting was represented by the films Higher Ground, the directorial debut of actor Vera Farmiga, starring Farmiga, Bill Irwin, Joshua Leonard, Norbert Leo Butz and Donna Murphy; Win Win, directed by Tom McCarthy and starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Bobby Cannavale; The Son of No One, directed by Dito Montiel and starring Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta and Katie Holmes; Flypaper, starring Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd and Tim Blake Nelson; and Silent House, directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau.
Other recent films include the reboot of Conan the Barbarian; Peace Love and Misunderstanding, directed by Academy Award nominee Bruce Beresford and starring Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyle MacLachlan; Conviction with Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Minnie Driver and directed by Tony Goldwyn; Every Day with Helen Hunt, Liev Schreiber and Brian Dennehy; The Big Bang starring Antonio Banderas; New York Casting for Paul Haggis’s The Next Three Days, starring Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, and Olivia Wilde, and the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s What’s Wrong with Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Toby Jones.
Most recently, the team handled casting for the hit Pitch Perfect (and Pitch Perfect 2), Still Alice starring Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore, the Robert Downey Jr-Robert Duvall drama The Judge, Get On Up, August: Osage County, and the award collection machine Dallas Buyers Club.