TYLER WILLIAMS – Role of Grant

Tyler is a native South Carolinian.  He enjoys baseball, football, riding dirtbikes and working out at the fitness center.  He is in the 105th division of wrestling at his school and came in 4th in the state.  He is also learning to play the guitar.  “Crossing the River” is his first film and after the experience he thinks acting would be a fun career.  He looks forward to keeping in touch with all the friends he made through the film.


Landon is from South Carolina.  He is a boy scout and enjoys football, baseball, wrestling, riding dirtbikes, and is learning to play the drums.  He was in a stage production of “Alice in Wonderland” and was initially supposed to be a tree, but ended up playing one of the jurors.  “Crossing the River” is his first film.  He enjoyed meeting the crew, especially 1st AD Dessa Vanderhorst.

DESIREE ROSS – Role of Michaela

Desiree began asking about becoming an actress at the age of three.  After asking for several years she finally began acting during the fourth grade.  Her first large project was playing a lead role for a series of ten health videos for ETV.  Next she landed a supporting role for a pilot show called HOME by New Daydream Films.  Her first dramatic lead is playing Michaela for a short film written and directed by Emilie McDonald surrounding the issue of cross burnings, which brings light to a topic her own mother had experienced in her youth.  When not auditioning, filming or practicing her craft, Desiree likes to hang out with her friends and shop.  In middle school she is an honor roll student, cheerleader and soccer player.  At church she is a lead singer for the youth band and volunteers frequently to help with her little brother’s ministry.  She just enjoys living life to the fullest.


Bruce Smolanoff has been acting professionally for over 20 years.  His one-man show MY NEW YORK had a long run in both NYC and Los Angeles, and was an L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week.  He has worked with many directors including Reggie Rock Bythewood, Gary Winick, Alan Rudolph, Robert Wise, and Melvin Van Peebles.  He has appeared on several television shows including LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER SVU, LAW & ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT, NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, THIRD WATCH and was the “first guy to get whacked” on THE SOPRANOS.  He also appears in the upcoming Nathan Silver film SOFT IN THE HEAD.

MICHELLE MILLS – Role of Jemmalou

Michelle Mills is an actor and writer from Charleston, South Carolina.  She was a personal trainer and martial arts instructor for most of her life before diving into acting and writing 7 years ago.  She has trained in both South Carolina and Los Angeles and recently became a member of SAG.  She has appeared in several short films, commercials, and 3 feature films.


EMILIE MCDONALD – Director/Writer

Emilie McDonald is an NYC-based filmmaker, writer and actor who graduated from Vassar with a BA in film and drama.  She wrote and directed the short narrative film OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSESin 2010 (Big Apple Film Festival, NewFilmmakers, Blue Sky Film Festival & Flicks in the Garden) and was co-writer and producer of the short MY ELENA in 2008.  She is currently in a development on a feature film based on the true story of a doctor she knew as a child, a Bronx-born Jewish doctor who relocated to rural South Carolina in the 1950’s (semifinalist Tribeca All Access 2010; semifinalist Creative Capital 2011).  Emilie was Director of Development of Feature Films at Milk & Honey Films (L.A.), where she worked on developing Leonard Cohen’s BEAUTIFUL LOSERS into a feature, and Creative Director at Filmmakers Alliance (L.A.), an independent filmmakers collective.  Read more at Emilie’s website or blog


Tammy Arnstein has directed and produced several short experimental and fiction films that have screened at film festivals across the U.S. and has contributed to documentaries that have aired on television nationally (P.O.V.’S, WAGING A LIVING) and internationally (AMERICA’S RATION SYSTEM on CNN-IBN).  In addition to being a filmmaker, she has worked in a number of fields including immigrants rights policy and advocacy, higher education administration, museum and media education, and public television administration.

MATTHEW WOOLF – Director of Photography and Associate Producer

Born in England, Matthew Woolf is a world-traveled Director of Photography. He has been shooting commercials, music videos, documentaries and films since 1995.  Inspired by the magic of cinema as a child, Matthew has a passion for bringing stories to life through collaboration and hard work.  Before leaving the UK, Matthew had shot THE INBETWEENERS, the first digitally shot movie to receive national UK distribution. He also built a successful career shooting commercials and music videos and today enjoys continued success on numerous commercial campaigns with heavy hitting production companies and directors.  Comfortable shooting on all formats both film and digital,  he has lensed multi-award winning films such as COURTING CONDI and THE CRIMSON MASK, & heartfelt and impactful documentaries.  Matthew’s work has been featured in cinematography publications including The International Cinematographer Guild Magazine. In this ever-changing world of cinematography, Matthew, always at the forefront, constantly strives to be challenged.

NATASHA GILIBERTI – Associate Producer

Fresh out of NYU’s Tisch school of the Arts, Natasha is a producer based in New York City. Born of a French father and an American mother, Natasha doesn’t feel 100% French or American….During her time at NYU Natasha spent six months in Paris working in international sales at the prestigious French film company: Les Films du Losange which has produced most of Eric Rohmer, Barbet Schroeder and most recently Michael Haneke’s films. Natasha has also interned at United Talent Agency, Avy Kaufman Casting, and HBO Films. Since graduation this past May, Natasha has produced various short form projects and has worked as Production Coordinator on features, commercials and shorts. Her life goal is to produce projects with high levels of artistic integrity that make people happy.


Native New Yorker Matt Sarno graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota and has been working in the film and television business for the past ten years.  In addition to numerous television credits for networks such as MTV, Bravo and National Geographic, he edited SIDE BY EACH, an independent comedy feature starring Blythe Danner and Larry Bryggman.


Chie Morita currently serves as the casting director/movement director for Panicked Productions and the Producing Intern at Joey Parnes Productions, which is currently producing END OF THE RAINBOW (on Broadway spring 2012). With Panicked, she has cast/choreographed FOLLOW THE LEADER and ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (in conjunction with the Midtown International Theater Festival), which was awarded 7 MITF awards.  She was also recently the casting intern at the Public Theater, where she assisted on Summer 2011’s Shakespeare in the Park pairing, ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL/ MEASURE FOR MEASURE, the national tour of HAIR, LOVE’S LABOR’S LOST, and KING LEAR (with Sam Waterston), as well as over 25 readings and workshops. She has had the pleasure of assisting on works for David Byrne, Alex Timbers, James Macdonald, and Delroy Lindo. As a freelance casting director she has cast JOURNEYMEN (A short film by Sarah Jenkins, starring Keith Randolph Smith), BALLAD OF SAD YOUNG MEN (Mixed Phoenix Theater Group reading) and STAG (SUNY New Paltz).

ANDREA ROSE – Marketing Director

Andrea Rose is an alumna of NYU’s Broadcast Journalism school. Her background is an amalgam of sales, marketing and entertainment. Early in her career Andrea worked as a talent assistant at Creative Artists Agency and as a casting associate for shows on NBC, Sci-Fi Channel, CBS, and NBC and did post marketing on Disney’s UNBREAKABLE and 102 DALMATIANS.  In 2003 she was the Managing Director for the IFP Market (Independent Feature Project). The films entered into the Market that year included BORN INTO BROTHERLS and MARIA FULL OF GRACE Andrea had the pleasure of promoting the IFP Market films at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.  Andrea’s digital sales experience began at Forbes Magazine and more recently as an Account Manager for and Cool Mom Picks.  Andrea is excited to be part of this powerful film and is enjoying spreading the word about CROSSING THE RIVER.


Robert Kennedy has contributed soundtrack music and sound design to a number of film and theatrical productions including SUPERDOLL and is a lapsed professional rock musician  and producer.  During the daytime he works for the New York Hall of Science.

KYNA MORGAN – Publicist

Kyna Morgan is a publicist, PR practitioner and marketing professional focused on independent films.  She is motivated and inspired by the power of film to help move the world forward, and is passionate about working on empowering and visionary projects which have the potential to create positive change in the world.  She is founder and editor of the Her Film blog and global project to build audiences for films by, for & about women, and has worked on the award-winning documentary film There Once Was an Island about some of the world’s first environmental refugees, as well as the award-winning short film Nanuq, a stop motion animated and live action film which retells an ancient Eskimo myth.  Also a film researcher, her work on African American women filmmakers of the silent and early sound eras of cinema is part of the Women Film Pioneers Project at the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University.  Kyna has written a narrative short film about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which she plans to direct in 2013.

KATYANNA JOHNSON – Communications and Curriculum Specialist

KatyAnna Johnson recently graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a MA in International Educational Development. She studied peace and conflict resolution education, and particularly enjoyed curriculum development projects. Previously she coordinated service-learning and facilitated civic engagement programming in Baltimore as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and oversaw research of the school design  for a series of social justice academies as the Program Director of the Unitarian Universalist Community Schools Campaign. At Concordia College she studied Public Relations, and has utilized skills in communications and media relations during several positions, most recently while working for the Department of External Affairs at Teachers College. This year KatyAnna has thoroughly enjoyed working directly with youth as an advisor to the high school youth group at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, and tutoring K-8 students in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

5 thoughts on “Team

  1. Audrey says:

    Very Dynamic Group…I look forward to the film.

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