Cycle is a short narrative drama about a forty-year-old hispanic man named Alvaro who is out collecting recycling bottles one morning when he finds an unconscious nineteen-year-old girl named Elise. Alvaro ends up helping Elise to the nearest hospital by transporting her there on the trailer of his bicycle. However, Elise only speaks English, and Alvaro only speaks Spanish. On the way to the hospital, the two struggle to communicate while Elise processes her traumatic experience.
Ultimately, this film is about overcoming systemic disempowerment through compassion and empathy. Following a hotly contested election and produced in a climate of social change, we truly believe in the message of this film--and in our ability to tell it successfully.
We're honored to be working with a cast of talented actors that we trust to bring our vision to life! Our cast is composed entirely of professional working actors from LA, and it's exciting to watch them transform the lines into fully formed characters. Take a look at our talented cast below!
ELISE: DEBBY GERBER
Elise is a young college freshman that wakes up by recycling bins with no memory of the previous night’s events. She’s strong willed, but suffers from the shock and trauma of what might have happened to her.
ALVARO: ALBERTO MANQUERO
Alvaro is a former doctor that escaped his troubles in Mexico by emigrating to the US. With only broken English and useless credentials, Alvaro collects glass bottles to get by. Every day is the same until he comes across a traumatized young girl next to a recycling bin…
DANNY: ANDREW CHLON
Danny is a no-nonsense man interrupted in the midst of his morning jog.
NURSE: ROSARIO KISH
The nurse is a kind woman in the middle of her professional career.
In order to make this film a reality without bankrupting our poor crew, we're going to need your help. Making a film isn't cheap, and we need help funding equipment, props, costume, makeup, and more. With long days on set, the food costs also add up. In addition, our cast is full of professional working actors, and we're compensating them for their time.
But fortunately, we have lots of exciting perks to offer! These range from titles in our credits to tickets to the premiere to t-shirts and more!
Check out some of our potential designs below:
Of course, absolutely none of this would be possible without our extraordinary crew. It's been a fun, challenging, and incredibly exciting process to get to work on this project together, and we look forward to completing the film with your help.
Get to know our fabulous crew below:
LEAH BLEICH - Producer
Leah is a UCSB student currently completing her fourth and final year as a Film & Media and Psychology double major. Since joining the film major, she's tried to seize every opportunity to practice film production that she could. She started The Filmmaker's Co-op, UCSB's film production club, in January of her sophomore year, and has been leading the organization ever since. She also serves as an executive member of a variety of other film organizations, including Women in Media, The Limitless Coalition, and CamCon. Outside of UCSB, she's interned at a variety of film companies including The Exchange, Mandalay Sports Media, and MAS Production. She's thrilled and honored to be producing this film with such a talented cast and crew.
NICOLE JOHAL - Director
Nicole is a driven third year at UCSB, studying Film and Black Studies, with a desire to create socially conscious media. She hails from Fontana, CA, where the influence and background of her mixed-race family has influenced her interests in public policy, and social and environmental justice. Nicole has previously worked on several short films, including Stuck, I Hate Everything, and The Hostage. With this film, Nicole hopes to highlight issues of disempowerment, cultural and social divides, as well as the struggles of navigating our own environments while in search of self-recognition. After graduation in the Spring, she hopes to work towards a career in post-production while continuing to pursue her interests in social and environmental activism, domestic and abroad.
QUINNOLYN BENSON-YATES - Writer
Quinn is a passionate screenwriter and director who has been involved in many previous film projects including the short films Why We Fight, Running on Empty, Away, and Anchored. She also wrote and directed the award winning short film Stuck, and is currently working on a feature length script as part of her screenwriting Lazarus Scholarship Award. Quinn is a fourth year Film and Media Studies and Psychology double major studying at University of California, Santa Barbara.
OLIVIA LUCERO - Director of Photography
Olivia Lucero is a fourth year Film & Media Studies major at UCSB. After having worked in camera department on short films such as My Big Fat Lesbian Bat Mitzvah, Soul’d, and I Hate Everything and directing a short documentary titled Planted, she has found a passion for cinematography and directing. She believes film is a powerful medium that helps to influence change in the world and hopes to continue making meaningful films after graduating.
SIERRA BOVE - Production Manager
Sierra is a fourth year Film and Media Studies major with a passion for all things film. She has previously worked in the camera department for short films such as My Big Fat Lesbian Bat Mitzvah, Soul'd, and I Hate Everything. This is her first time working as a production manager, and she's already learned so much about the making of a film from this experience! She can't wait to see Cycle come to life!
HARRISON WAYNE - Camera Operator
Harrison is a second year at UCSB majoring in Film and Media Studies. Since high school he has been involved in film production, and worked on the 106 production “Above the Curve” in 2015. While his interest has been focused predominantly in the camera department, Harrison aims to direct a 106 project by the end of his college career. He strongly believes in equal rights and fair treatment for all people, making “Cycle” an exceptionally meaningful film for him.
JAMES LEE - 1st Assistant Camera
James is a third year, Jr. transfer from Southern California. He has worked on multiple short films and a low budget feature film as a camera assistant, however, Cycle is his first short film here at UCSB. Having a bit of a language barrier between him and his parents, James bonded with his family through this visual medium. James strives to work in the Industry as a camera assistant, but eventually hopes to become a Director of Photography.
ALEX GORMAN - 2nd Assistant Camera
PHIL CHAN - Gaffer
Phil is a third year transfer student from Hong Kong. His love for aesthetic beauty pushes him to pursue lighting in this project. Phil has directed several short films and is current directing a web series. As a gaffer, Phil understands his duty to care for the lights as well as electrics.
IMMANUEL MELECIO - Script Supervisor
Immanuel is a first-year film and media student from Watsonville, California. His affinity for film began in childhood and followed him throughout high school - during which he began working at the DigitalNEST (a local technology youth group/nonprofit), as one of its lead videographers, taking contracts from local clients and businesses to produce short documentaries, short narrative films, and advertisements. On Cycle, Immanuel will fill the role of script supervisor, which involves keeping track of continuity and taking notes on each take to help the editor organize and evaluate the footage. When not taking script notes and writing bios of himself that are much too long, Immanuel enjoys worrying about taking script notes, letting Leah stroke his marshmallow palms, and asking Noah if the sound was okay.
RICARDO ABUNDEZ - Grip
Ricardo is a 3rd year transfer student from Watsonville, California. His passion for film began in his high school where for 4 years he created short narrative films and has since then worked on several projects ranging from small documentaries to 15 second commercials. Ricardo plans to go back to his hometown and create a documentary that focuses on his hometowns agriculture workers and their mistreatment.
SRUTI MAMIDANNA - Editor
Sruti is a fourth year UCSB Film and Biopsychology student. Involved in the visual arts at a young age through dance and theater she naturally gravitated towards film as a new medium to explore experimental and narratological art. She has worked on a few personal and independent projects at UCSB and is as a production assistant for an independent production company in the Bay Area. Sruti is excited to be working as an Editor for "Cycle"
RYAN TIEFEN - 1st Assistant Editor
JOSH BEVAN - 2nd Assistant Editor
Josh is a first year film and media studies, communications double major who grew up in love with the romanticism of filmmaking. In later years, this manifested into the desire to write, and the desire to edit. He was quick to push into the film department, despite his communications major, and leaped at every opportunity available. Among those was this student film: staffed by wonderful people every inch as intelligent, passionate and talented in the exact same areas that he strives to be. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn, a fantastic opportunity to make friends with those as passionate about film as he is, a fantastic opportunity to add his name to what will inevitably be a beautiful piece of work, and a fantastic opportunity to say something positive amongst the stressful times of today.
KAI GOH - Data Wrangler
NOAH NORTON - Sound
ALEX ESPINOSA - 1st Assistant Director
Alex Espinosa, first year UCSB student and Film Major, originally wanted to be a writer and actually published his very own book. However, after writing it, he realized his passion was in film and now aspires to write and direct his own movies. This is the first production Alex has worked on and he is excited to tackle the job of First Assistant Director in hopes that this opportunity will move him forward toward obtaining his goal. Alex looks forward to the extreme stress and overwhelming anxiety (fun) of making a film.
ANNIKA YIP - 2nd Assistant Director
Annika is a third-year Film & Media Studies major at UC Santa Barbara from San Marino, CA. This is her first time working on a production at UCSB but she has worked with Wong Fu Productions, Fine Brothers Entertainment, Dallas Lovato, 626 Night Market, and World of Dance in the past. She is excited to take on the role of 2nd Assistant Director and cannot wait to see "Cycle" transform from script to screen.
HEX DUARTE - Art Production Assistant
Hex is a senior Theater major who has worked on eight UCSB mainstage theater and dance productions in various positions from wardrobe to prop master to Stage Manager. Hex plans to continue his education into a master's program of Arts, Festivals, and Cultural Management in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has previously worked as a PA on the UCSB 106 Film Project “Stuck”, and is currently working on “Cycle” as Prop Master. Hex joined the crew as he fell hard for the pitch presented of the script and finds the importance in sharing these type of stories that need to be heard.
ANDRES MONTIEL - Art Department
EKATERINA WALCH - Grip
Ekaterina is a fourth year at UCSB studying Film and Media along with Russian. Ever since she was little, movies always dazzled her and when she grew up she realized that she could bring that same magic to others. Given recent events, she believes it is important to celebrate each other's differences and love one another.
STEVEN GARCEA - Grip/Marketing
Steven Garcea is a third year Film and Media Studies major at the University of California Santa Barbara. Recently becoming an Emmy Award winning Producer and Golden Mic Award recipient for best Newscaster, he has always been interested and involved in Film, Television and Radio. He is currently working on the highly anticipated short film Cycle as a Marketing Coordinator along with other production jobs to help the process of the films completion.
HANNA JOHANSEN - Makeup Artist
Hanna is an exchange student from Norway visiting California to learn about the diverse culture and traditions. Hanna does the make up for this production, practicing her skills to one day become the best. “Cycle is important to me because it reflects the different cultures colliding here in California, and how well it collides.”
SYDNEY BLACK - Makeup Artist
Sydney is a third-year Film and Media Studies major at UCSB with many years of experience in film production. She has been interested in film ever since she was seven and has been producing her own creative videos ever since. Although she specializes in filming and editing, Sydney will be helping out with the Art Department and make-up.
VIVIEN LE - Marketing
Inspired by her love for Asian soaps, Los Angeles-native Vivien Le began her career as a Communication and Film/Media Studies major at UCSB in 2013. Nearing the end of her academic career as a research assistant at the UCSB Communication Department and student of theory, Vivien tackles her very first production as Cycle’s Marketing Coordinator. With a great understanding in film theory and marketing through her studies at UCSB and work with the Chinese Overseas Marketing Services Corporation, she hopes to contribute her skills while learning and partaking other aspects of film production. As an aspiring Asian American filmmaker, she hopes Cycle’s demonstration of compassion without cultural boundaries may provoke social change, opening new opportunities for those chasing dreams in careers once thought impossible.
MIKA PHAM - Set Photographer
Mika Pham is a first year Film and Media studies major and hopeful double major in Communications. On crew she acts as the set photographer, one of the grips, and graphic designer. With a background heavy in photography, journalism, and graphic design, she hopes to pursue storytelling in the industry as a screenwriter. She looks forward to making like a sponge and learning everything she can whilst working alongside everyone on crew.
ELENA GREENBERG - Craft Services
4th year snack curator.
ISRAEL VASQUEZ - Editing Consultant
Thank you all so much for visiting our page! We're thrilled to be working on this project, and we can't wait to bring this script to life.
Risks and challenges
As a group of student filmmakers working on a relatively modest budget, we have to find creative ways to bring our artistic vision to life. While we wish we could rent the fanciest equipment and purchase the most elaborate sets, we need to work within the parameters of what we can realistically get our hands on. With the help of our backers (that's you!), we hope and believe that we can do this story justice.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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