Meet The Filmmakers
Producer | Co-Director
Leah Warshawski produces documentary-style features, television, commercials, and branded entertainment in remote parts of the world. Her first feature, FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013) won 6 awards including the Critic’s Award (Sebastopol Doc Festival) and the Audience Award (Napa Film Festival), and screened at more than 65 festivals. Leah’s career in film began in Hawaii working in the marine department for LOST and HAWAII. She is currently co-ep for the feature doc PERSONHOOD (2017-18), and advises filmmakers on outreach, marketing and hybrid distribution plans. In addition, Leah co-founded rwandafilm.org, a “LinkedIn” for Rwandan filmmakers supported by Bpeace and The Academy of Motion Pictures. When she’s not on a plane, you can find her swimming, hiking, and dreaming of whales. IMDB FULL CREDIT LIST
Co-Director | DP | Post Supervisor | Editor | Motion Graphics
Todd is a jack-of-all-trades with 25 years experience in production and post. He specializes in documentary storytelling and adventure films such as PLATINUM (2007). As post-production supervisor for FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013), Todd provided creative direction for a dynamic graphics package, handled all distribution deliverables, and edited a music video for the film. Recent feature documentary projects include OUT OF LUCK (2015) and THE BREACH (2014). When Todd is not in front of his screen, he likes to mountain bike, snowboard, and chop wood for his wife (Leah). IMDB FULL CREDIT LIST
Thomas Lee Wright
Over 4 decades in the film business, Thomas Lee Wright has worked as a production executive at Paramount and as a story editor for Disney, written screenplays for every Hollywood studio and produced documentaries for the Discovery Channel, Human Rights Watch, and others. Wright has always been a proud fan and colleague of Warshawski/Soliday having served in a similar capacity on their previous film FINDING HILLYWOOD. See previous work on IMDB.
Determined to merge her love for film and human development, Ni’coel is one of our most passionate EP’s. She began her career 20 years ago as a Producer in her own print production studio in Los Angeles and later entered the motion picture industry assisting Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman at Montecito Picture Company. After years of integrating business practices and insights from the worlds of Visual Art and Storytelling, Management and Communication, infused with her studies in Biology and Psychology; Ni’coel consistently finds creative ways to increase human intelligence, particularly inside Cause and Commerce. Her latest endeavor is in Technology. She is co-founder of Block26, a Silicon Beach production company that finances, develops and licenses Blockchain technology. Her first documentary project, FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013) won 6 awards.
Sara Lynne Wright works both in front of and behind the camera in Hollywood. She worked at Mike Medavoy’s company, Phoenix Pictures, helping produce their recent film THE 33, and in the writer’s room on USA’S hit show WHITE COLLAR. She has produced several award-winning short films, most notably the romantic comedy TRIXIE’S SCORE, which was selected as one of the “Ten Best” in Seattle Shorts Film Festival history. Premiering in HollyShorts at Graumann’s Chinese Theatre, it also won Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the Women’s Independent Film Festival and was picked up for world-wide distribution by Shorts International. Sara earned her bachelor’s degree at Harvard with a major in English and American Literature and Language and minors in Dramatic Arts and Spanish. She collaborated on numerous shows at the American Repertory Theatre, including full-length productions she directed of ANGELS IN AMERICA, DOUBT, and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.
Doug has spent the last 35 years married and editing, and he feels equally passionate about both. His experience as an editor ranges from network television to children’s drama to sports marketing to feature films. He has worked on narrative feature films, corporate promotional videos, his kid’s school projects, and long and short form documentaries. He loves the technical part of his craft and he really enjoys finding the human story in everything he works on. He cries while watching sentimental movies and he’s pretty gullible. Doug’s recent filmography includes: Hedgebrook – Women Authoring Change (2014) TV documentary special, Mother Nature (2013) narrative feature film, “What She’s Having” (2013) TV pilot, Rudy Maxa’s World (2010,11,12) TV travel series, “Winging My Way Back Home (2010) feature documentary and Platinum – The Legendary Banked Slalom (2007) feature documentary.
Gloria is a fine art and portrait photographer based in Kansas City. Her work has been included in exhibitions across the country – in the collections of the High Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Kentucky Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, to name a few. Gloria’s photographs are published regularly in the Sun Magazine and New Letters Magazine. Her published book titles include: From the Heart: A Mosaic of Memories, Among the Ashes, Convergence and Kutuuka. Gloria is the founding director of the non-profit organization Change the Truth which provides assistance and opportunities to Ugandan children.
Consulting Editor | Story Producer
Eric Frith creates films that have screened at top festivals including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), South by Southwest (SXSW), Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and many, many others around the world. These projects have received numerous awards and been acquired for distribution, both nationally and internationally, by Miramax, Dream Entertainment, Cinema Management Group, Off the Fence, Independent Lens, American Masters PBS, and Phase 4 Films. Most recently, Eric served as editor and co-writer for award-winning documentaries and narratives including THE BREACH (2014) FROM THE SKY (2014), THE HERO POSE (2014), SONG OF THE NEW EARTH (2014), FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013), EDEN (2012), A LOT LIKE YOU (2012), and HEART OF THE GAME (2005). He loves spending time with his wife and son on Vashon Island, WA. and making music with friends. IMDB FULL CREDIT LIST
Dawn applies a lifetime of keen observation, good humor and physical performance into characters. For more than a decade she’s developed compelling characters for little screens (iOS apps) to big screens (independent films) and all sizes between, delivering a range of commercial, educational and entertainment projects. Clients include corporate (Hasbro, Nike, T-Mobile, AT&T), tech (Microsoft, Skype, Amazon), independent (Wizards Play Network), academic (UW, Stanford University), nonprofit (The Gates Foundation), and public broadcasting. Beyond technical credibility in motion graphics and animation with degrees in theatre, art, and animation art & design, her clients cite her ability to instill emotion and humanity into her characters, giving them personality and a story. Dawn credits her experience in and love for theatre and sport for insights into how characters should move, feel and create a presence. When not designing, you can find her taking in the latest in musical theatre or blazing new trails while training for her next marathon.
Brad Anthony Laina
Brad Anthony Laina is a multi-talented composer, producer, and musician based in Seattle, WA. Notorious for his singing and songwriting in the folk-rock quintet Vaudeville Etiquette, he also dabbles in astrophysics and loves avocado sushi rolls. Over the course of his career he has composed music and mixed audio for feature films, commercials, and music libraries – allowing him to produce a wide variety of musical genres. He has worked in Hollywood with Emmy nominated composer Philip Giffin (Die Hard, Boomtown, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure) creating music for Starz Network, Lifetime, Elle Magazine, Versace, and more. He later served as Studio Director for Seattle music house and post facility BlackRapid Media, where he produced several albums and music libraries. Brad currently splits his time between national tours, producing music for films, and petting cats with his wife. http://bradanthonylaina.com/
Illustrator | Graphic Designer
Born and raised in New Jersey, on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. After graduating from Tyler School of Art in 2011 she moved to beautiful Kansas City, MO where she works and plays. By day, she can be found drawing illustrations for Hallmark Greetings, and at night, she can’t help it, she draws some more. A few of her freelance clients include FANDANGO, Pegasus Magazine, and IMBA MEANS SING (documentary feature). She has been featured in numerous publications including THE HUFFINGTON POST and NPR. She strives to make art that makes you think and laugh. To see more of her work visit her WEBSITE / SHOP / STORE, or CLIENT LIST.
Outreach Assistant | PA
Chelsea is a student in the Colgate University class of 2017, where she studies Sociology and Film and Media Studies. When she’s not studying, you will likely find Chelsea doing something outdoors or catching up on the latest Netflix trend – or maybe even doing both. Chelsea joined the Big Sonia team in 2015 to help with social media and outreach for the film. Big Sonia is her first project in the film industry.