cast & crew
Short interview with Ben on set, about his approach
Ben Zolno – Writer/Director/"Ryan"
Ben started his career in Chicago in the late 90s, as a documentary filmmaker by day, and improvisational actor by night. Combining these polar-opposite skills resulted in a unique style – using comedy to convey messages of change.
Working out of New York, LA, and eventually New Zealand, Ben’s work has led not only to millions of views online, but also social and environmental policy change around the world. Doing everything from being an audience warm-up guy for a national talk show, to being a field producer for Dr. Phil, to helping two Oscar winners produce their documentaries, he’s pretty much done everything in the business, except what got him into the industry in the first place – making a narrative feature film.
#STATUSPENDING is his narrative feature film debut.
Ivana Palezevic – "Lizzie"
Ivana’s professional acting debut was as a teenager, on the New Zealand TV’s cult kids’ mystery Freaky, and later, The Killian Curse.
A graduate of reknowned New Zealand Drama School, Ivana produces, directs and performs for her critically-acclaimed Lonely Shakespeare Collective, in Wellington.
#STATUSPENDING is her feature debut.
Kelly Kilgour – Producer
Since 2003, Kelly has worked professionally as an actor and writer, and subsequently transitioned into production.
Kelly produced the indie sci-fi romance feature film, CHRONESTHESIA (renamed LOVE AND TIME TRAVEL), which was in competition at Austin Film Festival (2016) and selected for the NZ International Film Festival.
Kelly co-developed the acclaimed television documentary series Songs From The Inside (Maori TV), which he is now developing as a narrative movie, with support from the NZ Film Commission.
Jane Fletcher – Co-Producer
Jane is a Wellington-based writer, director, and producer.
After completing her MA in Scriptwriting at the International Institute of Modern Letters (Victoria University of Wellington), she has written and directed several short films, and worked in various crew roles in film, television and VFX.
Overseas, she worked in the camera department on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and as offline editor of 360 Production/BBC Worldwide’s YouTube channel, HeadSqueeze, while making ten mini-documentaries and eight music videos.
Jane is happy to once again work with her colleagues, to produce her first feature project.
Pilar Alessandra – Story Consultant
Pilar is a world-renowned script consultant and author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter, who helped shape the story from initial outline to final cut.
Pilar started her career as Senior Story Analyst at DreamWorks SKG and, in 2001, opened the On the Page Writers’ Studio in Los Angeles. Her students and clients have written for The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Family Guy, Warner Bros, DreamWorks, Disney and Sony and have won major awards.
Pilar's work continues at On The Page Writers' Studio, and her top-ranked screenwriting podcast by the same name.
Steve Barr – Story Advisor
Steve is screenwriter and producer based in New Zealand, and working frequently in China and home town of Los Angeles.
Steve was co-writer on the hit NZ dance film, BORN TO DANCE, and producer on the mumblecore film HANG TIME. As he develops further projects, he serves as a mentor to members of the NZ Writer's Guild and the country's film community.
Jason Tolley – Casting, Rehearsal Supervisor
Jason is a Wellington-based actor, writer, and director.
From early casting through the end of the shoot, Jason helped develop the characters on #STATUSPENDING by leading actors through improv and Meisner-based exercises, pushing them to an authenticity that would not otherwise be possible.
Whilst playing roles in several dozen shows in the last ten years, Jason serves as Performance Director of Screenplayers' Sandpit, a weekly collaboration between writers and actors to develop stories to their full potential.
more bios to come!