ABOUT THE FILM

The internal journey of a young woman confronting her own internalized fears after being attacked outside of a gay bar.

 

Ataraxia is a film about 32-year-old female-bodied, queer identified photographer, Mickey, who, due to experiences with trauma and rape as a teenager, has built her adult life around making “safe” choices and hiding behind the lens of her camera. Until she meets Olivia, a 30 year old “straight” woman who pushes Mickey’s understanding on what it means to actually live and not just to survive.

(INFO ABOUT CREW & FUNDRAISING BELOW!)

CAST

STEPHANIE DEMOTT

MICKEY

Stephanie DeMott is a devised theater maker, professional collaborator, and actor.  She graduated summa cum laude from SF State University with a B.A. in Theater Arts and Creative Writing, and received her M.F.A from the American Conservatory Theater.  She has performed with A.C.T., Magic Theatre, TheatreFirst, Word For Word, and Mugwumpin, among others. Favorite roles include May in Fool For Love, Sara in Stop Kiss, Orlando, Lady Macbeth, and Mercutio.  Stephanie has taught for CIIS, specifically at Burning Man exploring devising theater under extreme conditions, and for A.C.T.'s Studio program.  In 2015, she took part in Jon Tracy's first Groundswell intensive in San Miguel de Allende, and in 2016 developed and performed a piece for SMA's theater festival, TEATRAL. She is also a company member of the award winning devised theater company, Mugwumpin, and is currently helping brainstorm their next piece.

EMILY HU

OLIVIA

Emily Hu is an actor, writer, and producer based in the Bay Area.  It was always a dream of hers to become a full time working actress since she was a little girl, and to tell stories of people who didn't have a strong voice.  She credits her growth as a human being and actor from her studies with Jim Jarrett (the last teaching disciple of Sanford Meisner) and Melissa Thompson-Esaia at the Meisner Technique Studio.  Emily resides in San Francisco and is currently represented by Stars the Agency.

CREW

HALEY SEPPA
Writer / Director

I have a passion for exploring the intimate and candid moments of relationships, whether they are between friends, family, or any other kind of relationship along the spectrum.

 

By utilizing traditional narrative storytelling and framing, paired with the less represented discourse of queer relationships, I aim to create  a space that subverts traditional representations to create new forms of critical inquiry in familiar visual language (a fancy way of saying that I like to challenge the expected.)

 

As a human being, I love love, cheeky humor, and dad jokes.

SAM SMITH
Producer

Hi, my name is Sam and I’m a fourth-year student and film major at San Francisco State University. As long as I can remember I have been interested in film and filmmaking and I’m excited to be working as the producer on this project. I'm looking forward to working and collaborating with a bunch of bad-ass women to create a female-driven original story.

Jude Allard
1st Assistant Director

Jude Allard is a nonbinary transgender writer, director, actor, AD, and producer who will graduate from SF State with a BA in Cinema this Spring. Typically, they like to explore ideas about identity, relationships, and society, with queer themes in magical realism settings. They are currently in the post production process of their comedy-turned-tragedy thesis film about trans women turning to witchcraft.

TESS DENHAM
2nd Assistant Director

I am a junior at San Francisco State University, where I am majoring in Cinema and minoring in Business.  I have been working/creating shorts since freshman year in high school and entered into the Adobe Youth Competitions two years in a row, placing second and third out of 1400 people around the world. I ultimately see myself becoming an editor or an AD in the industry and maybe one day end up directing, but I can’t thank everyone enough for all the experiences people have given me.

FAVIENNE HOWSEPIAN
Director of Photography

Favienne Howsepian was born and raised in the Bay Area, attending undergrad at San Francisco State University with a major in cinema and minor in French. She was lucky enough to study abroad several times, traveling to Paris and Shanghai to expand her knowledge and practice of world cinema. 


Favienne received her MFA in cinematography from the American Film Institute Conservatory in June of 2016. Several of the short films she shot premiered at festivals across the nation. Her AFI thesis film, "Snowplow", was nominated for Best Drama at the 2017 Student Emmy's. Favienne was the recipient of the 2017 ASC Student Heritage Award for her work on "Snowplow".

Favienne is currently based in Los Angeles, and an active member of the International Collective of Female Cinematographers.

SARAH JAFFE
First Assistant Camera

Sarah Simka Jaffe is a Bay Area-based cinematographer and focus-puller. She’s a graduate of UC Santa Cruz's Film & Digital Media program. Since 2016 she’s been full-timing in the camera department, working on documentaries and narrative films. She’s passionate about stories of characters who are usually out of the spotlight, especially those who are resilient to the challenges they face. She approaches the process of working on set with a desire to change the industry to be more diverse and inclusive, both on and off screen, and she’s excited to be a part of this project.

JEN BAIL
Second Assistant Camera

Jen Bail is an independent filmmaker living in the Bay Area. After completing her education as an art therapist, Jen decided to apply her interest in psychology and visual storytelling to her first love, movies. She began her career as a production assistant and gradually gained experience with both camera operating and editing.

 

Since 2016, Jen has been a full-time editor-for-hire, acting as lead editor on multiple short films, commercial documentaries, and music videos. In 2018, she cut her first full-length feature. Her love of both on-set production and post-production processes grows with each collaboration and project. In her free time, Jen plays drums in her band, reads comics, and thrift store hunts for movies to grow her extensive VHS collection.

CELIA FOGEL
Script Supervisor

Celia has a background in theater management, educational video production, and child wrangling. Intrigued by the entertainment industry her whole life, she’s excited to be part of this film. She’s a lover of puzzles and has an ever-growing collection of polyester shirts. 

ALEXANDER ZANE IRWIN
Art Director

Alexander Zane is a documentarian, dance filmmaker, and production designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. His work has screened in festivals around the country and deals with themes of queer perspectives and sociopolitical change.

DEIDRE CHARLENE LOCKLEAR
Gaffer

Deidre Charlene Locklear is a cinematographer living in the Bay Area. After graduating from Academy of Art University in 2016, she has been working on her craft creating feelings and emotions with lighting and lensing. She is thrilled to be working closely with other female filmmakers and is excited to join this hard working team. 

DIANA RODRIGUEZ
Key Grip

More to come...

NATALIE TOMMASINO
Production Assistant

Natalie Tommasino is in her third year at San Francisco State University for theatre and cinema, studying management and production.

 

Natalie has stage managed for productions like Cymbeline & Hair and Laramie Project. She looks forward to being a part of more film projects and learning more about cinema.

GABE MARTINEZ
Production Sound Mixer

Gabe Martinez just celebrated his third anniversary working in the industry as a production sound mixer. His experience includes narrative, documentary, reality, corporate and feature film works and has worked with many amazingly talented crew members and cast as well as some well known athletes. He loves meeting and working with new people and is a passionate problem solver with anything sound related. 

SHERI MCLENDON
Set Mom / On-site Nurse

More to come!

DR. VANEETA SANDHU
Story Consultant

Dr. Vaneeta Sandhu is a psychologist who has a passion for teaching, learning, speaking, training, and writing. Her ongoing work includes consulting for education, health care, and tech industry clients in efforts to support individual and group/organizational initiatives related to cross cultural and generational dynamics, DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) initiatives, change management, and awareness of mental health. She can't help but bring all of who she is into her work including energy, enthusiasm, and humour (lots of it - not guaranteed to be good!).

NIC STRACK
Story Consultant

More to come!

Selected for sponsorship by the 
SFSU Queer Cinema Project!
INVEST IN WOMEN - INVEST IN ART!
Let's change the stories that are being told, together.

We have officially finished filming and are underway with post production!

Everything went as smoothly as possible (not to say that preparing for the shoot was not stressful because believe me, there were definitely days where naps were required!) But this crew was AMAZING. We ended up with a 95% Female or Gender Non-Binary identified crew and the energy on set with indescribable. There was such a huge level of collaboration and efficiency and SO MUCH TALENT. I could not be happier about how the process went. 

We have officially kicked off post-production which includes cutting together both an 8-minute version (for grad school) and a 15-17 minute version (for festivals.) We have begun work with our composer, Greer McGettrick, as well as  work on color (artist TBD) and sound mixing. 

We are aiming to have both done by May. This means a lot of late nights and early mornings. :)

Thank you all SO much for your continued support whether it be emotional, intellectual, physical, or monetary, each piece has been crucial for this to come to life.

With so much love & gratitude,

Haley Seppa

 

p.s. If you are interested in a bigger role, being a corporate sponsor, or an Executive Producer, or just didn't have a chance to donate and would like to, please contact me directly at haleyseppa@gmail.com!

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About the film:

The last few years have been particularly hellish for a lot of women. From the election of a "pussy grabber," to the #metoo movement, and so much more, many of our issues have been front and center. But let's be real, these have been issues for ages for so many woman. So much so, that sometimes we interact with them as second nature. Some of these issues, like the notion of having to be aware of who we are when we inhabit space, particularly at night, has become so ingrained in our everyday that it doesn't even seem unusual anymore.

 

This film explores, in a kaleidoscope fashion, both the mundane and extraordinary toll this takes on the lives of the female bodied, through the journey of Mickey, a 32 year old queer woman living in Oakland & Olivia, a straight woman two women who unexpectedly fall in love and get attacked after their first kiss. This event also forces them both to confront their own fears, in a world that continues to fear difference.

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