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Welcome Behind The Scenes of
ALL HAIL ANASTASIA

Logline:

First her father and now her lover. A haunting cycle of history ensnares a young black woman as she is overlooked and unprotected.

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Malcolm X

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A Proud ReFrame Production

Not only over 50% of our Crew were women, but we were led by women in almost all departments.

It's the reason why we overachieved.

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FEATURE FILM TITLE:

ALL HAIL ANASTASIA

Genre:

Thriller/Drama

Length:

75 minutes 

Location:

GA, USA

ABOUT

Jump to Filmmaker Bio's

PRODUCTION COMPANIES:

CONTENTIOUS FILMS - Steven Dudley

&

NEFERTYLA PRODUCTIONS - Tyla Harris

PRODUCERS:

Executive Producer/ Producer - Steven Dudley

Executive Producer/ Producer/ Line Producer - Tyla Harris

Producer - Khidhar Jabari

Associate Producer - Kathleen McAuley

CO-DIRECTORS:

WRITERS:

EDITOR:

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:

Khidhar Jabari

Steven Dudley

Kathleen McAuley

Story/ Screenplay - Steven Dudley

Writer - Khidhar Jabari

Mya-Breyana Morton

CAST

SYNOPSIS

The Bench it started and ended

This is a story about the black woman’s plight. We unravel the death of Anastasia and how the people who were supposed to love her the most failed her by acting because of or for Anastasia. She was overlooked and unprotected, no one truly saw her, except her big brother but it was too late.

 

Throughout the narrative, we unearth pieces of her life story, such as her familial trauma and the pressures it put on her to succeed. We watch the failures of Anastasia’s father and her lover, a father himself, as they prioritize their own desires over their daughters' well-being, their actions trigger a series of tumultuous events that intertwine their families' destruction. Now, forced to face the harsh reality of their negligence, one father seeks revenge as the other desperately tries to hold on to what he has.

 

An age-old tale of the things we do for love in the state of grief, with a modern twist.

The Truth of Being a Black Woman

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” – Malcolm X

More than 60 years ago, Malcolm X shone a light on a severe inequity in American culture, and yet it still holds true. Injustice can be seen in every corner of America but no more than the black woman. This movie brings to life the reality that this isn’t only a cultural problem, it can be seen within our families, and it can even happen across borders. We highlight this narrative to change its course and to stand with black women everywhere.

Anything for my Girl

Being a girl Dad has a different set of rules. It is innate, the love hits differently, the protective natures of our brain hyperinflate, and something happens biologically that can’t be controlled. We mutter the words “anything for my girl” constantly, but what happens when the oldest part of the brain tries to override the system with desires for a basic need? What if you make a short-term decision that satisfies that basic instinct but in the long term it contradicts the paternal instinct that always makes you say “Anything for my girl”? This film also highlights the cost of selfish decision-making and the outcome of surrendering to your basic needs.

NARRATIVE DIRECTION

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STRUCTURE

The film unfolds as a Fabula/Syuzhet as we reveal the story in non-chronological order and drop in and out of timelines and character perspectives. 

Our story’s guiding light is Anastasia but we never really get to know her, by design. Throughout the film, we drop into the catalytic conversations between Sean and Anastasia that led to the destruction of their relationship and the tipping point for Anastasia before her death.

POV's

Sean's world collapses, Martel's revenge, Malik's discovery, The Johnson's Trauma, and finally Anastasia's truth.

FILMMAKERS

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

In the realm of storytelling, this young, hard-working, and diverse filmmaking team has passionately crafted an authentic narrative with a meaningful core. Their shared love for the art of filmmaking resulted in a beautiful story that bridges gaps and celebrates the diverse tapestry of human experience.

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Meet the Johnson's

Evette Watkins

As ANASTASIA

With training in musical theatre, Evette Renee has starred in musicals and stage plays in many US cities across the East Coast, as well as various independent short films. After graduating from Georgia State University, she received training at Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Voice Over Studios in Atlanta, GA. Evette expands her creativity off-screen by entertaining, inspiring, and educating her social media audience, and she will be releasing a new single in spring 2024. She is looking forward to working with Tyler Perry soon!

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Larry Rhem

As MARTELL

Larry Rhem is from Kinston, NC but moved to Atlanta, GA in middle school. He always had a love for storytelling but did not realize he had a gift in creating until his freshman year at Clark Atlanta University. Since then, he’s never looked back. Working on student films and theatre productions only enhanced his passion. In 2008 he became one of the cast members for the dating prank show “Hell Date” season 2. This lead to additional roles in television shows such as “Being Mary Jane”, “Devious Maids”, and “Survivor’s Remorse” to name a few. He has trained with the late great Carol Mitchell Leon, Terri J. Vaughn, and Rob Mello amongst others. In 2016 he was cast as a recurring character in BET’s “The Quad” and performed for both seasons of the show. Then in 2019 Larry would go on to work as one of the leads in the romantic thriller “Friend Request.” Having a relentless passion for telling stories, Larry went and received his MFA in creative writing from Full Sail University and added screenwriter to his resume. He recently was hired as a script consultant for the film “The In -Law Gang” staring Clifton Powell. Larry is still performing, coaching actors, and writing his first feature film and a tv pilot.

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Darian Rolle

As MALIK

Darian Rolle is a Bahamian-American television, film, and stage actor. He credits an insatiable curiosity paired with his early years in the church as to what led him to the arts. Darian graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a BA in Theatre. Most notable projects include; Till (2022) and The Wonder Years (2021) 

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Evette Watkins
Larry Rhem
Darian Rolle

Zing Ashford 

As CHELSEA

With training in musical theatre, Evette Renee has starred in musicals and stage plays in many US cities across the East Coast, as well as various independent short films. After graduating from Georgia State University, she received training at Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Voice Over Studios in Atlanta, GA. Evette expands her creativity off-screen by entertaining, inspiring, and educating her social media audience, and she will be releasing a new single in spring 2024. She is looking forward to working with Tyler Perry soon!

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Dasan Frazier 

As Amar

DaSan is unique, as he can successfully portray a wide variety of characters on screen. DaSan consistently gives compelling and genuine performances, whether playing the sociable and charming Luke on CHIDERA or the tortured and complex Anthony in the TRUE LOVE DaSan has consistently proven himself to be a valuable and rising talent in the industry. He starred in two independent films: THIRST and BLACK CARD. He was a supporting actor in a Sag featured film titled ALL HAIL ANASTASIA and a day player in Will Packer PRAISE THIS. On the commercial side he Co-Stared in DISNEY 100TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY commercial and played a principal act in a JUICY FRUIT commercial. Presently, he is in production as a member of BLAZER-FRESH on GoNoodle as (Marquis) a principal member of the group. Also in production, he’s playing the down to earth with ATL swag and personality Rome on TOUGH LOVE ATLANTA. Additionally, he received acclaim from publications, social media platforms, and brand collaborations.

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Zing Ashford
Dasan Frazier

Gilbert Glenn Brown 

As REGINALD

When you look at Gilbert Glenn Brown’s resume you’ll catch only a glimpse of this consummate 21st century "Renaissance Man.” A seasoned performer, a veritable multi-threat with a body of work that crosses several genres: stage, television, screen, voiceover, writing, directing, producing, and director of photography. Gilbert originated the role of R&B singer Jett Slade on "The Young & The Restless", recurred as Dean Evan Foley on the Emmy Winning "The Inspectors”, and appeared alongside Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell in "Best of Enemies" in the pivotal role of Howard Clements. He recurred as James Michael Chapel in DC's “Stargirl" and as Jones in “The Walking Dead: Darryl Dixon”. He has also appeared as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Aretha Franklin biopic "Respect" with Jennifer Hudson and Forrest Whittaker, as Dr. Riley in Walter Mosley’s "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” with Samuel L. Jackson, and as Judge UW Clemon in the upcoming biopic "Lilly” alongside Patricia Clarkson. Gilbert has always been creative, whether it was writing and drawing his own comic books, stories and plays. He was born and raised in New York City into a very Jamaican family, which no doubt formed the foundation of his drive for excellence, his love of music and dry sense of humor. While in high school, he caught the acting bug on a dare, when the Mind-Builders Creative Art Center’s touring company, Positive Youth Troupe performed at his high school. This dare proved to be the best gamble of his life… and may have just about saved it. Mind-Builders and Positive Youth Troupe dedication to the empowerment of youth, giving them a voice all through the arts, gave him the confidence and skills necessary to set his sights on a professional acting career. It instilled in him the value of hard work, importance of the arts and its ability to transform and elevate. He took those skills and continued his education at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received a BFA.

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Gilbert Glen Brown

Meet the Wesley's

Steven Dudley

Steven Dudley

As SEAN

Steven refused to follow in his mother's footsteps for 30 years. It took his first child and a quarter-life crisis for him to accept the calling. It was the last thing he would ever expect to do but after one online class at the beginning of Covid, Steven knew that the fire in his belly had been lit once again. 
Luck or fate, Steven found instant success with an award-winning writer and filmmaker and built a memorable character for a sci-fi short Film 'Test Drive'. The short film has gone on to win multiple awards. 
Next up Steven won a supporting role on a Hallmark/UpTV Movie for Television 'The Engagement Plot' which became UpTV's biggest and best release. 

Steven then beat out the competition for a highly anticipated sci-fi film 'Ohryis Project' acting across Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts.  

Steven 

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Elle Lisic

As CASSIE

Elle Lisic has been captivating audiences on both stage and the screen since the age of 6. Born with a passion for performing, Elle's love for acting blossomed at a young age when she stepped onto the theater stage for the first time. Since then, she’s performed in eight theater productions, showcasing her versatility and natural talent. Her standout moment came when she portrayed Susan Waverly in the heartwarming White Christmas the Musical, a role that remains close to her heart.

 

Transitioning seamlessly to television, Elle made her small-screen debut at the age of 8 as Young Susan Broberg in the Peacock limited series, “A Friend of the Family,” working with Anna Paquin and Colin Hanks. Continuing to carve her path in the television and film industry, Elle had a blast taking on the role of Young Duela on Gotham Knights, a DC Studios project for the CW Network. She also had the opportunity to share the screen with acclaimed actors Emily Blunt and Chris Evans in the 2023 Netflix blockbuster "Pain Hustlers," solidifying her status as a rising star.

 

Beyond her acting pursuits, Elle is a multifaceted talent. She is an avid dancer and artist, showcasing her creativity and dedication to her craft. Family plays a significant role in Elle's life, and she shares her love for the arts with her brother, who is also an actor. The two siblings not only share the stage but also support and inspire each other in their respective endeavors. Off the stage and screen, Elle is a compassionate soul with a love for animals. She is the proud owner of two dogs and a bearded dragon, finding joy and companionship in the furry and scaly members of her family.

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Elle Lisic

Katerina Eichenberger

As BECCA

Katerina Eichenberger is an actress, singer, and mover. Film credits include a supporting role in Places Please opposite Jessica Lange and directed by Michael Cristofer. She has recently starred in Secrets Beneath the Floorboards (Lifetime), and I Will Never Leave You Alone (Telluride Horror Film Festival), among others. TV credits include Fox’s Monarch, Star, and ID TV’s Your Worst Nightmare. Most recent theatre credits include The Exterminating Angel (2021) Ubu (2020) and Spirits to Enforce (2019) all with Vernal & Sere Theatre Company. Katerina is based in Atlanta and is signed with the Stewart Talent Agency (NYC & ATL) and David Laffey at Wonder Street Management. Katerina also serves as Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of Admissions and Enrollment for Stowe Story Labs. She loves supporting screenwriters, baking homemade sourdough, yoga, and throwing dinner parties.

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Katerina Eichenberger

The CREW

The best CREW of all TIME!

Producer Q&A

Question 1

How did the filmmakers meet?

Steven, Khidhar, and Tyla met at an Atlanta acting school where their relationship started with Tyla and Steven yelling Meisner repetition exercises at each other while Khidhar mediated and coached them through it. Now bonded through the art of acting, Steven came to Khidhar with a story, which they curated and refined over a few months. Convinced they had crafted something exceptional and film-worthy, Tyla took charge, turning their shared dream into a tangible reality (with much less yelling).

Question 2

How was it funded?

Self-funded - Funding would have not been possible without the incredible females in Steven’s life, his wife and his Mum (Carol). They believed in his vision and supported him financially and mentally throughout the journey. Steven’s first career brought him success and gave him a chance to go all in and bet on himself.

Question 3

Inspiration behind the story?

The inspiration for the story started with Steven writing about the scariest and most fearful thing he could think of, losing his daughter. As Steven unraveled this story in his head and put pen to paper, he soon began to realize that this story had far surpassed just a story of fatherhood. He came to Khidhar with a good story but together they dug deeper and deeper to extract a beautiful piece of writing that delicately brings to light cultural realities and strife.  

Question 4

How long did it take?

The journey always starts years before you realize but in this specific case… It took Steven 6 years to establish himself in a new career, 9 months to write the story, 3 months of pre-production, 9 days of filming, and most likely 6 months of post-production. From start to finish, one and a half years but that doesn’t include the much-anticipated final stretch of festivals and distribution.

Question 5

How did you chose the SIGMA fp Camera?

SIGMA fp

Question 6

What is the goal of AHA?

A rising tide raises all boats. The principal goal of this film is to act as the tide for the filmmakers, the cast, and the crew who graciously gave their time and love to this project. Everyone took a risk on this film, and with great risk comes great reward. We plan to shout the names of everyone involved in this project from the rooftops and give them are gratitude and credit. The goal is for ALL HAIL ANASTASIA to be a remarkable success so everyone is elevated to the next tier they are trying to reach.

Question 7

What is your favorite scene?

Khidhar Office scene - Malik and Reginald. 

I think this scene reveals a lot of the nuances that come with grief. It shows that no one has the perfect way to handle the loss of a loved one. 

Tyla Car scene - Chelsea and Amar

My favorite scene is between Zing (Chelsea) and Dasan (Amar)!

It's such a lighthearted addition to the movie that truly shows how love and jokes can transcend any situation. It was a blast to film and watch Zing improv some hilarious zingers (no pun intended); it allows us as the audience to take a deep breath before true chaos ensues.

Steve - Johnson's garage scene

During production, we had to change this location last minute from an autobody shop to a home garage. We were nimble and pivoted quickly the day before the scene and we were also very lucky that the house we rented just so happened to be a great shooting location. We staged the garage quickly and it was set for the actors to unleash a beautiful 8-minute, uninterrupted scene.  I wish we had more time for coverage but for what we had the actors delivered some brilliant work. Malik's presence impacting his father, Chelsea's arc from nonchalant to caring sister, and Amar's willingness to protect his father. The dynamics just worked, the energy was real and they played off of each other beautifully.

Question 8

How did you manage filming during the strike?

The timing of the strike was obviously hard for us but we were dedicated, and quite frankly bull-headed on getting this film shot before winter hit. We were running blind in many ways and we hit every speed bump along the way. We had our dates set, we had our crew set, and we were far too presumptive but with 9 days till our shoot date we pushed and pushed and pushed our SAG representative and she came through with our interim agreement. God, fate, or, incessant badgering whatever it was, someone was looking out for us. Tyla worked her socks off and got our film cast with incredible talent in 8 days. It was a mad rush, with the day-before casting changes, schedule changes, location changes, and last-minute adjustments, to say we were stressed is an understatement. Our heads were about to pop off but we made it and it made the film that much more gratifying.

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