2021 October Participants

Jay Michaels

Hailing from the cityscapes of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, Soul & Spoken Word songwriter/recording artist, Jay Michaels, began hitting the ground running in music in 2018 and has manifested into a versatile, innovative and multifaceted artist in a very short time, and had no intention of slowing his momentum down anytime soon.

Born into a family of musicians spanning back three generations, Jay’s music sustains a charismatic mix of many diverse components that showcase his musicianship and defining factors, which delivers up a signature sound and stylization that sets him aside from your run-of-the-mill artist. A lot of Jay’s songwriting is inspired by and attributed to his life experiences; from disaster relief to pushing through hard times, he garners a lot of his material by writing music that is not only inspirational, but therapeutic and spiritual as well. And while his artist influences are limitless, some of his notable favorites stem from industry heavyweights such as Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and many others.

George Fadale

George Fadale aka Doeboy$ – Rapper, Singer, Event Coordinator, MC/Host, Promoter, and more (@DjDoeBoy91) – CEO of The Dreamz of Music Network (@DreamzofMusic) – The Dreamz of Music Network is a collective of Businesses and entrepreneurs that have come together to provide free and paid services to the creative community of Pittsburgh.

Mark Cantu

Mark Cantu is a Pittsburgh filmmaker and Texas native. Starting with action feature films, he has moved into horror-comedies shot exclusively in Pittsburgh. MASSACRE ACADEMY is his first horror feature, and will be followed up by the werewolf horror comedy, WOLF HOLLOW, filming in 2022.

MASSACRE ACADEMY is a love letter to 80s slasher films. Filmed in Pittsburgh, the film centers around former star athlete Kris McNeil as she tries to put her life back together after the murders committed by Carnie the Killer Clown. Now two years on, as she is about to finish therapy, another round of murders begins and she must face Carnie once more in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

John Nicholson

John Nicholson has been playing music for over twenty years, but has only recently gotten into the live scene. Along with his brother, he is half of the band DogWall, a group debuting their “Fluid Rock” sound, a term coined by John to describe their ever-changing nature as musicians. Their self-titled first album is expected to release sometime in October. They can be found on YouTube and Facebook.

Kelly Fuls

Kelly Fuls has had a very colorful life. He started filming short films with his late partner Matt James in the Harrisburg area. He studied digital media production at The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. After a 10 year hiatus and doing stints in the band Lou Garou, performing as a fire breather, and as an alternative model, Kelly returned to the film game in 2019 with his short film entitled Social Media Rehab. Up next is a Horror Christmas Comedy entitled Deck The Halls With Lots Of Zombies.

Social Media Rehab: A therapist councils a group of social media addicts, with various afflictions

Aeyron Moore

Aeyron Moore is an award winning filmmaker based south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Working primarily in commercial and narrative film, his company “Stone Phoenix Productions” started as a band of friends making films out of whatever resources they could find. Aeyron and his team has worked with organizations and companies such as Honda of America, Delta Airlines, Warner Bros, and ESPN.

Captain Happy Sun is an example of the team’s roots, having a love for film troupes like Monty Python and Mel Brooks. This movie was put together in 2012 by sheer will and what dumpster diving could provide is the closest thing to experiencing the high of drugs without ever taking a hit. After wishing upon the wrong star; a lowly office worker must survive the friendship of a chaotic deity and the madness that comes with it. If you have not yet taken part in this establishment’s lovely selection of alcoholic beverages… Now is the time. Saddle up and enjoy the ride… if not, we’re sorry… kind of…

Fire & Ice

Joan Papalia-Eisert and Paul Eisert have been performing together for thirty-nine years as Fire & Ice. As songwriters, their repertoire includes several originals as well as covers. They were in the bands Daystar and Some Of Us. Joan and Paul have performed throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and now in Pittsburgh since 2016. Paul also performs as a soloist and Joan is an accomplished poet.

Ivette Spradlin and Lenore Thomas

Hoping Tomorrow Will Already Be Different From Today is a collaborative video by Ivette Spradlin and Lenore Thomas. The base image of timelapse clouds from Ivette’s bedroom window in Troy Hill, captured over 2-3 years, were manipulated by Lenore who responded to the colors found in the sky and created blocks that move through the silhouetted row of homes on the bottom half of the screen. The pace of the video is determined by the music Mureed by Michael Harrison. It was created for the Microtonal Music Festival where the Del Sol Quartet performed live with the projection at The Andy Warhol Museum. Made only weeks before the world went on lockdown, the video felt particularly poignant during the pandemic, a representation of the movement and changes that continue to occur despite physical stagnation.

Ivette Spradlin is a Cuban-American photographer, video artist and educator whose work centers around the emotional aspects of transition, adaptation and balance in one’s life. Ivette taught photography at CMU for 11 years and recently moved from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. Lenore Thomas is an artist, friend, puppy mom, girlfriend, sister, aunt, teacher and fashion lover who is working on being more vulnerable in order to get the most out of life. Lenore is currently Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Arts at the University of Pittsburgh.

Fernando De La Cruz

Fernando De La Cruz is a Cinematographer, Director, Writer, and Actor. He is best known for his work on projects like Shattered, Hollow, Genocide, Our turn, Odium, and many more.

Mr. De La Cruz was born on December 31st, 1993, in Union New Jersey. The second of three children, Fernando’s first career path was a counselor. This changed once he went to college for Graphic Design. After picking up a camera he knew that Film was the right path for him.

Being mainly self taught Mr. De La Cruz would start production on his first Personal project a short called “Shattered”. He would follow this with Hollow, The Message, Genocide, Our Turn, Odium & On Set!

Mr. De La Cruz is only beginning his long career in film with a multitude of projects on the horizon.

Xayne Allen

Xayne Allen is a indie filmmaker that loves making cool content

LOR follows a man that gets a call and must make a choice that can change his life.

Alexander Collins

Alexander Collins is a British media composer, with roots in indie rock, as a former singer/songwriter in a band. He has composed music for BBC Countryfile and the animated short ‘Blue’s Dream Suite’ among other projects. Alexander loves to compose music for the orchestra but is equally passionate about electronic and rock based music production.


Film description: After the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, and people are getting back to their lives, Mark, a vaccine skeptic, soon realizes that he has no other choice but to take the vax.

Director’s Bio: Edsta, born and raised in Romania, is now a filmmaker based in New York City. Since he was little, he always had a big passion for making movies. He would continuously watch the behind-the-scenes videos of each film on DVD, until he realized that filmmaking was all he ever wanted to do in life. During his teenage years, he started getting involved in every possible local film production he could get his hands on. At the age of 21, Edsta moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking, where he quickly discovered his artistic style in both photography and cinematography, with the growth of his social media presence. Now that his first short film, “Take the Vax”, is under his belt, Edsta and his production partner and friend, Fesal Jaber, plan to continue sharpening their writing and directing skills in order to make even greater movies in the future.

Craig Veltri

A Nashville recording artist from Pittsburgh. His music can be found on Spotify and all streaming services.

Timante Morris

Things Not Proud Of is a story about accepting consequences. Written, Produced and Directed by film student, Timante (tim-on-tay) Morris, Things Not Proud is a student film that was made during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic. Things were bad, but that didn’t stop Timante and his team from making a great film, and bringing his vision to life. Timante would like to thank family, friends, Point Park University for supplying the resources needed to make this film a success, and especially his crew: Laine, Amina, Simone, Quey, Jack and the amazing acting talents of Charlie and Valena. And we also can’t forget Butters for his help and guidance on set. They are what brought this film together.

“This is not my film, it’s our film. I couldn’t have done this without my friends and fellow film students. We out here making moves, period.” – Timante Morris.

Jess Klaire

J. Klaire is a Pittsburgh indie filmmaker who learned from George Romero himself. She made her first feature at the age of 18 but has been involved in the film industry since the young age of 14. THE BRONZE CULT was inspired by the talents of director “Robert Eggers” and it is being expanded into a bigger universe coming soon in 2022.

Santos Ortiz-Pasterick

Santos Ortiz-Pasterick is an American content creator/entertainer that focuses on developing projects that entertain audiences. These projects consist of media such as film, music, and written content. Santos created DowncastSpark Productions on November 11th, 2016.

Lavender: Follow the journey of the feeling of loss and letting go. The death of a love one is never easy to accept. Lavender tackles the topic head on. Based on a true story, follow the story of a young man who goes to build a shine to say his final goodbye to a loved one.

From My Perspective: A short film make is 48 hrs. Follow the journey of a photographer coming to terms with his thoughts and realizing his worth.

Lauren Keller

Lauren Keller is an independent filmmaker based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and artist. She currently attends Point Park University, studying for a B.F.A. in Cinema Production with a focus in Cinematography and a minor in Photography. She also has touched into feature and commercial work as well, providing services for companies such as Netflix and Covalent.

Tail Lights: A victim of domestic abuse is pulled over for a broken tail light, but what’s in her trunk is worth more than just a warning.

Tim Teets

Tim Teets is a 47 year old, husband, father of 3 and lifelong fan of film, especially those released in the 80s. And with the help from friends and family he created o73 Films, so he could make his own no budget films.

With Eno La, Tim sets out to show you don’t need a large budget or giant cast to make a film. Shot over a single day using only himself and his dog, Eno La tells the story of a day in the life of a man alone.


Forged in the fires of the service industry, Dayshift cooks up some tasty jams for the working class, both on and off the clock. With their debut album, Clock Doubt, the trio sets out to open the listener’s mind and intrigue the senses with their creative exploration and musical digestif.

Layne Balla

Porters, a rock band from New Kensington, PA. Porters is Layne, lead singer and guitarist, and Liam, drummer and clown horn enthusiast. They just released their self titled debut “porters” on every streaming platform.

Tom Konkle

Bio Actor Director Co-Writer Tom Konkle

20 years industry veteran Tom Konkle, recently co-wrote, directed and starred in the award-winning feature film, Trouble Is My
Business. Konkle also recently directed the short films The Longest Knife and Hyperion Chronicles, appeared in the series Baskets on the FX Network with Zach Galifianakis and Emmy winner, Louie Anderson. He served as a staff writer for Warner Brother’s.

Tom has been described as a techie with the mind of a poet. A working performer with a long list of screen and stage acting credits, who also writes and directs with a thorough understanding of production, post, distribution and promotion through social media. Konkle has over 100+ IMDB credits and a number of award winning projects. He is a skilled indie producer as well with a lifetime of learning all aspects of the craft from mentors. Tom worked with producer Graham Ford (Time Bandits, Brazil, Gandhi), performed with John Cleese. Tom has also worked for all of the major networks and on stage as a performer, director and writer. Konkle is the co-owner and partner in the integrated production/post-production company Lumen Actus, LLC based in Burbank, CA.

Trouble Is My Business

Roland Drake falls for two sisters from the Montemar family. One woman is dead and the other wants to kill him. Passion, murder, and betrayal. Just another day at the office.

Private eye Roland Drake cracks cases and romances femme fatales in 1940’s Los Angeles while corrupt cop Detective Barry Tate rules the city. A tale told in the classic style of film noir. Drake has fallen on hard times in a harsh world. He has been evicted from his office and disgraced by a missing persons case. Ruined in the public eye and with the police. it seems like it’s all over for Roland Drake. Then, redemption walks in – with curves. The owner of those curves is a sexy, dark haired beauty named Katherine Montemar.

Jessica Bella

Jessica Bella is a full-time musician, working on music every day. Music has always been a huge part of her life, and since she has become a songwriter, music has taken over as the greatest mission of her life, and music will be the legacy she leaves for the world.

Lauren Elissie

Lauren Elissie is a singer-songwriter whose imagination cannot be caged. She uses her passion for music as a way to tell the stories that soar through her mind. She hopes she never looses her sense of wonder or her ability to share it through her craft.

King Fez

King Fez is a seven member world beat rock band bridging Eastern and Western cultures with an energetic blend of original and traditional music. Based in Pittsburgh, they are a favorite of the local bellydance scene. The band has performed at Summer Fridays at the Frick, Silk Screen Festival Gala, Pittsburgh Glass Center, R.A.N.T., the Polish Hill Arts Festival, Twin Lakes Arts Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Hafla, Hard Rock Cafe, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and at many other performance venues throughout the Pittsburgh Metro. Formed in 2013, they express a diverse range of musical styles, from traditional Arab and Turkish to rock, folk, world music, classical, and punk.

Jason Burke

Mindbender: Doctor Thomas Sage had it all. He was a tenured, respected psychologist who helped his patients. He had a loving family. But one day, it all went wrong. After a patient went rogue and had a terrible setback, Dr. Sage is fired from his practice. With a sick daughter, a broken marriage, and funds now tight, Dr Sage seeks revenge on the world that turned its back on him. What lengths will a good man go to when his life’s work is ruined overnight? Find out in this award-winning, twisted psychological thriller, “Mindbender”.

The Limbo Cafe: Atria Romero is tired, lost and broken, and she’s looking for a fresh start. When she stumbles into a cafe and comes across a charming barista, the two begin to share their stories with one another. But in THE LIMBO CAFE, nothing is as innocent as it seems. Journey through the dark world of secrets, lies and betrayal in this 80’s style horror, in the vein of Freddy’s Nightmares or The Twilight Zone. Enjoy this deep character descent from Nostalgic Nightmare Productions.

Shackles: We awaken every day, bogged down by adult responsibilities. The anxieties and depressions of the world have their ways of hurting our bodies and our spirits. We continue the fight, step by difficult step, though the toxic relationships, the bills, the tedious work, and the heartache. Through this short quarantine film “Shackles”, we band together to defeat our inner demons find the light of a new day.

Jason is an award-winning filmmaker (writer/director/actor), having been on over 70 film sets in the past four years. His directing credits include Mindbender, The Limbo Cafe, and Shackles. He’s also an independent author, having published five books since 2016. His available book titles include Never Say Goodbye, Behind Empty Eyes, and Fields of Madness. He’s also an activist, self-help blogger, YouTuber, and sports/film journalist. His company “Nostalgic Nightmare Productions” loves to find new ways to make you shiver through his shared horror universe, and he wants to create original work with depth, character, and a strong message

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