'Stylishly executed and stunningly performed, [solitary] is packed with visual poetry and bursting with sociopolitical ambition.' ... Kristofer Jenson, BostonReel

the filmmakers

 writer/director  derek j pastuszek

writer/director derek j pastuszek

born in philadelphia, educated in boston, and trained in los angeles, derek j pastuszek is an award-winning filmmaker whose style and stories exist on the border between the literary and the cinematic. he holds a bs in film & television and a ba in english literature (from boston university, 20l2) -- and a master of fine arts degree (from the american film institute (afi) conservatory, 2015). a lifelong hockey player, pastuszek played in all four collegiate years at bu – serving as his club team’s captain as a junior and senior. in his post-graduate year, he worked for the philadelphia flyers’ snider hockey foundation -- bringing his love for the game of hockey, along with off-ice tutorship and mentorship, to philadelphia’s at-risk youth. in this time, he continued his filmmaking pursuits by writing & directing book trailers and music videos for various authors and musicians. in 20l3, pastuszek moved across the country and began his studies at the prestigious afi conservatory in los angeles. at afi, pastuszek developed, workshopped, and completed several features, pilots, and web series -- and also penned a 20l5 afi thesis film, the duke: based on the memoir ‘i’m the duke’ by j.p. duke. last year, his screenplays -- his feature, herland, and pilot, the prophet -- found success in many top-tier industry awards and workshops. and this year, his first film as writer/director, [solitary], premiered and has been playing in festivals worldwide -- also winning a number of awards on its journey, including the grand prize at the cine gear expo film series competition 2016 and the grand prize at the march on washington film festival 2016. currently, pastuszek is hard at work with other projects -- in post-production for his next short, islander, and in development for his first feature-length film as writer/director, which is set to shoot in late 2017.

 lead actor  kofi bamfo

lead actor kofi bamfo

Kofi Bamfo, a dynamic artist who brings his own truth to each role.

Bamfo has appeared on stage in the lead role of The Good Negro and as “Tom Robinson” in To Kill a Mockingbird. Most recently, he acted along side Clancy Brown (Shawshank Redemption ) in a television pilot. 

He was born and raised in Washington, D.C. to Ghanian parents. From the age of 7, Bamfo found himself either in front of or behind the camera or performing on stage. Discovering his aptitude for performance at a young age, Bamfo fell in love with the idea of putting himself inside the story through acting and theatre. As an only child, he would drift into scenarios in film thereby allowing himself to feel the effect of the characters on screen. He would literally see himself inside the story and reenact the performances, which sparked his journey into the craft. He gravitated towards playing characters which moved the audience and evoked emotion.

He made theatre his major focus in high school, starring in numerous school productions, such as Hamlet and Othello.

At the age of 22, Bamfo, inspired by his passion to perform, moved to Los Angeles to pursue his calling as a professional actor. Bamfo studied with actor, director and writer, John Crowther (known for his one-man show Frank Lloyd Wright and the
film Missing in Action). He assisted with the production of Crowther’s Frank Lloyd Wright, which allowed him to gain hands-on experience in professiona l theatre. Thereafter, he studied with Gregory Berg at the Berg Studio for 4 years. Having gained training in method acting from Crowther, he was able to expand his range based on Berg’s Yale-based technique.

Bamfo has appeared on stage in the lead role of The Good Negro and as “Tom Robinson” in To Kill a Mockingbird. Most recently, he acted along side Clancy Brown (Shawshank Redemption ) in a television pilot. 

 producer  cédric gamelin

producer cédric gamelin

dric Gamelin recently earned an MFA from the American Film Institute (AFI). He received an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management in California and a BA degree in Marketing and International business with a focus on Entrepreneurship from ESSEC Paris, a Business School amongst the world's top lO.

These past two years, Gamelin produced Archimedes, an award winning documentary and [solitary]; a short film exploring the cruelty of solitary confinement in prisons, which is nominated this year at Vail Film Festival and Cannes Short Film Corner.

In addition to his passion for Art and Cinema, Gamelin has a special interest in Social Issues and Worldwide Cultures. Currently, and among other projects, Gamelin is developing a narrative TV series about the Erasmus Programme. 

 producer  fabrizio carlo muscia

producer fabrizio carlo muscia

Fabrizio Carlo Muscia is a Film & TV producer, who has, from an early age, been immersed in the world of entertainment.

He had his first on-set experiences with Mario Monicelli's television mini-series, "Come Quando Fuori Piove", broadcasted on the Italian National Television’s Channel RAI 1, and the Frazzi brothers’ international theatrical drama, "The Sky is Falling".

Fabrizio graduated from University College Dublin in Ireland, with a BA in Sociology and Politics, after studying at Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville East Tennessee.

Before attending the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory of Los Angeles in 2013, Fabrizio had worked as a television journalist and as an executive producer on high-profile sport events such as the FIFA Brazil World Cup Qualifiers and Champions League games.

With a dozen short-films produced to date, some of them which obtained recognition from film festivals around the world, Fabrizio works on both sides of the Atlantic on the development and production of feature films, documentaries, and TV series. 

 producer  halee bernard

producer halee bernard

Halee Bernard is a LA based producer from New Braunfels, TX. She earned her BS in Advertising from Boston University and received her MFA in Producing from the American Film Institute where she was the recipient of the Robert Mandel Scholarship. Her AFI thesis film VESSELS won the prestigious 2015 Iris Prize, a £30,000 international award for LGBTQ media. The short has screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide including the Los Angeles Film Festival and Frameline40. 

At the AFI Halee produced five short films and an AFI Directing Workshop for Women's project, GUBAGUDE KO, by writer/director Philiane Phang starring Mahershala Ali. The film premiered at the 2016 American Black Film Festival where it was a finalist in the HBO® Short Film Competition and acquired by HBO Films. She also co-produced [SOLITARY] by writer/director Derek J. Pastuszek which had the privilege of screening at the White House after winning the Grand Prize at the 2016 March on Washington Film Festival.

Halee’s recent work includes producing PINEAPPLE, a television concept Arkasha Stevenson wrote and directed for Project Greenlight Digital Studios. Halee is also the assistant to a manager at Anonymous Content and producer of the Golden Globe winning TV show MR. ROBOT.


 cinematographer  shadi chaaban

cinematographer shadi chaaban

Raised in both Belgium and Lebanon, Shadi chaaban grew up in the midst of cultural opposites, which instilled in him a strong curiosity that shaped his identity as a human and filmmaker. His work as a DP includes Yves Saint Laurent’s art film "MIRRORS", “DOOMSDAY” a collaboration film with Die Antwoord, Roger Ballen and Amanda Demme, and feature film “SAILBOAT” which he shot second unit for. He also works as a MILO motion control operator on Tabletops commercials. Most recently, Shadi earned his MFA degree as a fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory.

At the expense of not being a social media rockstar, Shadi rejected the more material pursuits of fame and fancy cars and chose a more selective route to work on projects that he believes are genuine and honest. As a storyteller, he seeks to enhance his narrative skills, widen cultural exchanges and is a big fan of character driven films. He believes that stories are not only confined to the frame defined by the lens, but rather everything that is experienced through life. He strongly believes it is about quality, not quantity and the purpose of filmmakers comes out of a necessity and hunger to tell stories that matter.


"Let there be light." 

 production designer  kelly fallon

production designer kelly fallon

A graduate of the American Film Institute, Kelly fallon has been working as a production designer and set decorator since completing her MFA last June. During her time at AFI, Kelly designed nine short films and five experimental visual projects, one of which won the Best Production Design Award at both the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and the Los Angeles Movie Awards. Since graduation, Kelly has designed two feature films and set decorated a third, all slated for release in 20l7. 

 production designer  andrea arce duval

production designer andrea arce duval

Andrea Arce Duval holds a BA in Audiovisual Communication from the Ponti cal Catholic University of Peru and possesses a strong passion for visual storytelling. She has worked on several lm productions in Peru, Mexico and the United States. Some of the movies in which she’s worked as a Production Designer include SHARE by director Pippa Bianco (Cannes Film Festival 2015, Cinéfondation Selection), BEHIND THE MIRRORS (Palm Springs International ShortFest 2012, Best of the Fest Award) and A DOCTOR’S JOB (Telluride Film Festival 2011, official selection), the latter two both directed by Julio O. Ramos. 

 editor  salvador peréz garcía

editor salvador peréz garcía

Salvador Peréz García is a film editor with experience in narrative fiction, documentary and web content. He got his BA in Audiovisual Arts at the University of Guadalajara, where he worked on several short films including ALPHA Y OMEGA and CHABELA QUERIDA (starring renowned Mexican actress Patricia Reyes Spíndola). He also directed and edited a documentary about the making of ESCUADRÓN 2011, an animated miniseries for the 2011 Pan American Games.

He recently received his MFA with a specialization in Film Editing from the American Film Institute, where he was one of the recipients of the prestigious Tom Yoda scholarship for talent and academic achievement, and where he edited over a dozen shorts, all of which showcase his range, skill and creativity in bringing stories to life. One of his thesis projects, THE DUKE: BASED ON THE MEMOIR "I'M THE DUKE": BY J.P. DUKE, was shortlisted for the 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Awards and has been an official selection in over 20 film festivals, including the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. He has also been individually awarded for his work with Best Editing accolades in various film festivals including the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival and the Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival.

Currently, Salvador is based in Los Angeles and is working on several projects including the feature films STAG (directed by Karen Moncrieff) and ¡HE MATADO A MI MARIDO! (directed by Francisco Lupini Basagoiti). 

 composer  katy jarzebowski

composer katy jarzebowski

Katy Jarzebowski is a film, concert, and multimedia composer. She enjoys keeping busy with collaborative adventures and is currently attached to several feature film projects, including the documentary After Spring (dir. Ellen Martinez & Stephanie Ching; Ex. Prod. Jon Stewart), which will premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Her first feature film collaboration, Aram, Aram (2015, dir. Christopher Chambers) was praised in The Hollywood Reporter ["The score by Katy Jarzebowski gives the film an electric charge"] and screened at the Los Angeles, Montreal, and St. Louis Film Festival before an extended theatrical run in Los Angeles. Katy has also scored featurettes for the Sundance Institute, the LA Times, and California Environment al Protection Agency.

In 2014, she was chosen as a composer fellow for the Sundance Institute's Music and Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound under the direction of Peter Golub and with distinguished advisors as Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Harry Gregson-Wil li am s, and Blake Neely. Katy also took part in the ASCAP/NYU Film Scoring Workshop with advisors Mark Snow and Sean Callery and the BMI Commercial Music Workshop and was named one of ASCAP's 'Top Composers to Watch.'

Katy received a BA in both Music Composition and Film Studies from Yale University and recently completed a Masters in Music Composition with a concentration in Film Scoring at NYU. Her academic acknowledge me nt s include the Elmer Bernstein Award, Sorel Scholarship for Women in Film Scoring, ASCAP Film Scoring Fellowship for Study Abroad, and Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Studies. An avid traveler, she has also studied music composition in Paris under Martin Matalon at IRCAM and researched the work of Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone in Italy at the NYU Florence campus. Her work for string quartet and vocals, “Old World,” was premiered by the acclaimed ensemble, The JACK Quartet, and she spoke at the Music and the Moving Image conference, presenting a paper entitled "Hans Zimmer and the Music of Gladiator: Exploiting the Feminine Ideal.”

Katy is forever grateful to her parents for being unapologetically militant cinephiles and her grandparents for passing their musical genes over one generation to the next; she thanks them every day for their enthusiastic support. 

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