The Filmmakers

 
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Director/co-writer

 

Monica Sender is a writer/director from South Brooklyn’s Russian-Jewish community. She attended a Yeshiva for 12 years and grew up in an environment where religious customs, family values, and American identity were principles often in conflict. Her individualism and contemplative nature developed early and guides her work. 

She moved to Los Angeles to attend University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, and has worked professionally since graduating; dividing her time between post production, writing, and directing. She’s supported some of Hollywood’s most challenging films through Post Production: The Great Gatsby, Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad, and The 33, and is an experienced leader as a Director and Post Production Supervisor. 

Sender is known for creating a number of successful music videos since receiving her MFA. While at USC, faculty nominated her and classmate Ryan Coogler to direct the advanced “CTPR 546” projects of their year. Soon after, DirecTV selected her to create a short film in 3D. 

She was a finalist for the 2016 Sundance Writing Lab, 2017 Sundance Episodic Lab, and the 2016 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, with her screenplays Personal Influence and Swans of Sheepshead Bay. And in 2017 she was hired to write a screenplay based on the life of Emma Goldman, recently completed and presently known as Riot Girl: The United States of America vs. Emma Goldman

Monica looks for narratives that embrace the human condition; the fragile balance between ideas of self and the circumstantial challenges of being. 

Troublesome Creek is her feature directorial debut. 

 
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Wesley Mullins

Screenwriter

 

Wesley Mullins grew up in the Appalachian Coalfields of Eastern Kentucky. He earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Kentucky and completed his graduate studies at Morehead State University. In his education, he focused on creative writing and film theory. 

Wesley worked as a business writer for thirteen years, working in the sales and marketing departments of three of the largest companies in the country. He now lives on a small farm in rural Kentucky and is one of the only organic farmers in the state to raise multiple breeds of heritage turkeys. 

Wesley’s writing primarily focuses on telling the stories that grow naturally out of the fertile environment of small towns in his native Appalachia. He has authored three produced plays and his short fiction has appeared in the literary journal Appalachian Heritage. 

Troublesome Creek is his first screenplay. Early drafts of the script won numerous awards, including First Prize for Drama from Fade In Magazine. The script was performed live onstage at the Harlem International Film Festival and was honored in dozens of other festivals and competitions. 

 
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Producer

 

Ben is an LA-based film producer who cut his teeth working in New York. As a Development Coordinator for Tribeca Productions and Scott Rudin, he assisted in the packaging of commercial films such as; Little Fockers, It’s Complicated, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. He then made the transition to Physical Production, and apprenticed for several above-the-line individuals on a variety of films including Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut Jack Goes Boating; Doug McGrath’s I Don’t Know How She Does it; and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine

After several years of working in Development and Production, Benjamin’s passion for storytelling and entrepreneurial spirit led him to produce his first feature film, This is Where We Live, starring Tobias Segal, Frankie Shaw, and Marc Menchaca. The film premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and garnered several awards in the festival circuit including Special Jury Award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast, Best Narrative Feature, and Emerging Directors Award. The Orchard acquired the film for distribution, and it’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, and Sony PlayStation. 

Since then, Benjamin has produced several independent feature films gaining Theatrical and Video-On-Demand distribution: Transpecos (2016 SXSW Audience Award), a Border Patrol thriller starring Gabriel Luna, Johnny Simmons, and Clifton Collins Jr.; and Big Spoon, a comedy starring Zachary Knighton, Isabelle McNally, and Agustin Silva. 

Two films are presently in post-production: Burning Kentucky, a thriller set in Kentucky starring John Pyper-Ferguson, Emilie Dhir and Nathan Sutton; and Playing God, an action comedy starring Hannah Kasulka, Luke Benward, Michael McKean, Alan Tudyk, and Marc Menchaca. 

In 2019 Ben will produce the dramatic feature film, Troublesome Creek

 
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Director of Photography

 

As a child, Fady’s fascination with his father’s Minolta ignited his passion for taking pictures. Years later, he used it to capture the 2003 invasion of his hometown in Baghdad. 

Despite car bombs and death threats, Fady developed a career in filmmaking in Iraq, holding key positions in producing, cinematography and sound design on several award-winning projects, while simultaneously earning a degree in engineering from the University of Baghdad. He has spoken about these challenging experiences to global media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, The Guardian, Le Monde, BBC, CNN, ABC and NPR. 

Fady left Iraq in 2007 when he was awarded a prestigious scholarship to study at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He earned an MFA degree in Film and Television Production with a concentration in cinematography and documentary. 

Fady’s work has played in festivals around the world and broadcast on major television networks, like National Geographic and the Sundance Channel. He is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus, and was a candidate for the ASC Heritage Award, and has won the Premio Rossellini and three Webby Film and Video Awards. 

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