Eli Jane was born in Michigan and from an early age loved playing sports which led to being a competitive gymnast and diver.
As a teenager she began modeling and along with 35,000 others entered Seventeen Magazine’s cover model contest where she finished as the runner-up. She was then featured on the Oprah Winfrey show as as “An Up & Com
Eli Jane was born in Michigan and from an early age loved playing sports which led to being a competitive gymnast and diver.
As a teenager she began modeling and along with 35,000 others entered Seventeen Magazine’s cover model contest where she finished as the runner-up. She was then featured on the Oprah Winfrey show as as “An Up & Coming Star” and began working with the famous Italian photographer Giovanni Leonardi appearing on several international magazine covers.
At 18, Eli moved to Los Angeles and became the first model and investor in the clothing line she helped launch Von Dutch.
She then began her career in television and film both behind camera as an associate producer and producer and in front of camera as an actress and stuntwoman, appearing in hundreds of music videos, national commercials, television projects and films. Since 2019 Eli has booked four leading roles in feature films
Kelcey Watson was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska to Amanda and George Watson. There, he would get the acting bug at a young age doing plays in High School and Community Theater. Later he joined The John Beasley Theater & Workshop. Where he would work under the tutelage from Screen and Stage actor John Beasley (Sum Of All Fears, Sinist
Kelcey Watson was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska to Amanda and George Watson. There, he would get the acting bug at a young age doing plays in High School and Community Theater. Later he joined The John Beasley Theater & Workshop. Where he would work under the tutelage from Screen and Stage actor John Beasley (Sum Of All Fears, Sinister 2, The Purge:Anarchy) He would later study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and The School at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he would study Meisner from ensemble member Amy Morton (Chicago P.D., Up In The Air)
After his best friend, Amber Ruffin (Amber Ruffin Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers) came back to town for visit, she convinced him to move out to Los Angeles, CA to further pursue his career. A very versatile and powerful actor with incredible range, Kelcey has gone on to Star in many award winning TV, Movie, and stage plays including Ryan Murphy's 'Hollywood', Powderkeg's 'East of La Brea', RedBird, and international award winning short film 'Malaria'. Kelcey also had the privilege of starring in the world premiere of Ellen McLaughlin's 'The Oresteia' at The Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington D.C. as King Agamemnon directed by the legendary Michael Khan.
Joan Wong was born and raised in Oakland, California to Jack and Yan Wong. She has one younger sibling, May. Joan is also the niece of Kung-Fu Master (Sifu), Wong Jack Man, who was best known for his controversial duel with Bruce Lee in 1964. Joan got her first taste of martial arts as a young girl from her Uncle Wong Jack Man when they u
Joan Wong was born and raised in Oakland, California to Jack and Yan Wong. She has one younger sibling, May. Joan is also the niece of Kung-Fu Master (Sifu), Wong Jack Man, who was best known for his controversial duel with Bruce Lee in 1964. Joan got her first taste of martial arts as a young girl from her Uncle Wong Jack Man when they used to play Kung-Fu games along with her cousins Chris and Stephanie (WJM two daughters). She then also briefly trained with her uncle in Kung-Fu at his studio in Fort Mason, San Francisco.
Being raised in the Bay Area, it was easy for Joan to keep her heritage and Chinese language of Cantonese. Growing up, Joan has always loved performing whether it was Chinese Folk Dancing, piano, singing, Ballroom Dancing, or even putting skits and magic shows on for family, friends, and on stage. Doing school plays was where she fell in love with acting.
After graduating college from Cal State University of Northridge, with a degree in Business Management Science, Joan decide to stay in Los Angeles, where she did some modeling and immersed fully into the acting world. Joan also had the opportunity to travel to Bangkok, Thailand to model, MC, and do radio commercials. While in Bangkok, Joan’s love for sports and racing truly came out. She got sponsored by Team Birel to race professional Go-Karts. Being one of a few female top racers, Joan was asked to race composition cars too! However, she turned it down to return to her true calling of acting back in Los Angeles.
Joan has studied with East-West Players, The Groundlings, Meisner Technique, and was a long time student at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. She will always call The Beverly Hills Playhouse her home. She even studied with greats like the Oscar winning writer/director Paul Haggis! Along with acting training, Joan has done some boxing training with The Saucedo Brother’s, who’s gym is sponsored by the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya. She is also keeping up with her love for martial arts by training in Wushu Kung-Fu with Master Hu Jianqiang.
With all that training, Joan has landed roles on shows like ARLI$$, Rock Me Baby, Monk, The Closer, Touch, and amongst many more movies & television shows. She even got to work with the funny and talented Whitney Cummings in Pet Friendly! And in the anticipated debut film The Way, directed by Khalili Dastan, Joan will be playing a Qi-Gong Master on death row. Be on the look out for Joan Wong, because this is just the tip of the ice berg with so much more to come!
Lorenzo Antonucci is series regular in “Paradise City” starring Bella Thorne, Cameron Boyce, Drea de Matteo & Perry Reeves. Lorenzo is also an Executive Producer & Writer on the series, which is on Amazon Prime also charted No.1 on multiple platforms (transactionally). He’s Co-starred on Episode 5 Season 8 of “Game Of Thrones” (2019) two
Lorenzo Antonucci is series regular in “Paradise City” starring Bella Thorne, Cameron Boyce, Drea de Matteo & Perry Reeves. Lorenzo is also an Executive Producer & Writer on the series, which is on Amazon Prime also charted No.1 on multiple platforms (transactionally). He’s Co-starred on Episode 5 Season 8 of “Game Of Thrones” (2019) two episodes of the hit series “Ballers” (2018) on HBO alongside Dwayne Johnson. Lorenzo was also on 4 episodes of Days Of Our Lives & starred in the controversial TV movie, CRACKA.
Up and coming supporting roles in post production are:
"White Elephant” Bruce Willis, John Malkovich & Michael Rooker — "Paradise City" (the feature) John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Stephen Dorf. "Reactor" Bruce Willis, Patrick Muldoon & Mathew Marsden “The Free Fall”, a Horror film starring: Andrea Londo & Shawn Ashmore (all set to release 1st quarter 2022)
Lorenzo began his producing & writing career in 2015 with “What Now” featuring Ice Tea, Bizzy Bone alongside many icons following 2017 “American Satan” (Showtime) starring Malcolm McDowell, Denise Richards, John Bradly (Game Of Thrones) Bill Duke & Olivia Culpo. In 2019 he also produced the controversial TV Movie “CRACKA” the trailer went viral exploding the internet. Cracka premiered in the 2020 Pan African Film Festival (Oscar Qualified) It also charted No.1 on GooglePlay No.2 on iTunes and No.3 on Amazon Prime - Lorenzo also is a Writer & Executive Producer of the TV series “Paradise City” streaming now on Amazon Prime.
Dastan Khalili, filmmaker, charitable force, and poet, infuses humanity and global consciousness into everything he does. An award-winning writer and director with over 33 wins and 5 nominations, his latest film, the action/drama film, The Way, that is currently on demand on cable and online, has garnered more than fifty awards and eight nominations worldwide.
Khalili began his filmmaking career in 1995 after graduating with a BA from the Pomona University Theater Academy. His first feature film, which he both directed and starred in, a psychological thriller, Insomnia Manica,premiered in 2005 and was called by the LA Times “an elegantly shot mood piece set amid the downtown LA lost crowd, and the intense Khalili creates a striking screen presence.” Since then, he has directed nine feature films, including the 2018 award winning documentary, Master, currently streaming on Amazon Prime, which tells the story of Master Zhou Ting, a globally recognized Qigong, Tai Chi and Kung Fu Grandmaster. His first book of poetry, 90 Two, based on a two word line format Khalili calls diaverse, has just been published and is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, among other outlets.
With decades of experience in directing, acting, writing and producing, the filmmaker is dedicated to telling compelling and illuminating stories inspired by the rich, colorful fabric of humanity. With a passion for eastern philosophy and literary classics, through his Alliance of Light Films, Khalili’s mission is to combine his love of martial arts with a spiritual journey for his films’ characters. The Way, inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel The Final Days of a Condemned Man, tells the story of Jane Arcs (Eli Jane), who was condemned to death after brutally killing her opponent in an underground street fight. Jane undergoes a transformation under the tutelage of a fellow inmate and Qi Gong master, learning the way of Qi Gong and embracing her punishment in the spirit of redemption.
Born in Tehran, Iran to an Iranian father and an American mother, both architects, Khalili lived in both countries until the Iranian revolution, when in 1981, the family moved to the United States permanently. Khalili grew up surrounded by culture and creativity with a lineage on his mother’s side of actors -- his grandmother was a theatre actress, and great grandparents were vaudevillian actors in theater and silent film. At a young age, his father introduced him to classic literature and to poetry, a love of which he continues to have to this day. He moved to LA to pursue acting in 1996, also working behind the scenes in almost every area of filmmaking and went on to direct a wide range of projects including the documentaries Making of a Dream and Earth Turns To Gold, which won Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Khalili balances his filmmaking career and family life with his charitable work advocating for natural building as President of the renowned California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (CalEarth.) Founded in 1991 by his father, Nader Khalili, CalEarth is a nonprofit organization committed to providing solutions to the human need for shelter through research, development, and education in earth architecture. CalEarth develops and empowers the public in environmentally sustainable building designs--houses anyone can build, that meet modern-day standards for safety, beauty, energy efficiency, and comfort. CalEarth’s designs have been studied by NASA, endorsed and used by the United Nations, featured in countless world media outlets, and awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Reza Safinia is a multi-instrumentalist composer and producer raised in London and living in Los Angeles. Prior to working in film he was a songwriter and record producer/engineer with work spanning from pop to underground. He has toured with Destiny’s Child and worked with artists as diverse as Dr. Dre, Britney Spears and underground UK rapper Akala.
His influences are a tapestry of romantic era classical music such as Debussy and Satie, Hip Hop, as well as a shifting spectrum of electronics and shamanistic music. His textured approach fuses orchestra with contemporary production, exploring soundscape as much as harmony and melding the two to serve the image in a tactile way.
Reza has released two albums this year on his Music and Texture imprint, Yin and Yang. Yin is a post-classical album, expressed in a contemplative arrangement of piano and cello, with glimpses of modern electronic textures appearing throughout. Yang is its counter, an electronic album peppered with live piano and cellos. The albums are a holistic and meditative body of work exploring cosmic connections as well as the balance and polarities of the feminine and masculine energies present in us all.
Reza’s musical eclecticism is a reflection of his lifelong interest in Eastern philosophies and martial arts. As a yoga practitioner as well as a Daoist, the producer’s artistry is often expressed as a fusion of two worlds, marrying classical orchestration with elements of contemporary electronic music. This melding of diverse soundscapes allows for an immersive and cinematic experience in his music.
Reza’s love affair with music started at the age of five, when his aunt gave him a Barry White cassette… he was so entranced with every aspect of the music, from that famous silky vocal, to the sweeping string arrangements, rhythmic syncopations, the snare sound… He listened to that tape so many times, he had memorized every single arrangement of every instrument down to the cowbell on every song by his next birthday, when he moved onto Michael Jackson, but at this point Reza was already more interested in Qunicy Jones’ production and decided that’s who he wanted to be when he grew up. Shortly after that came a lifelong obsession with Prince which led to him writing his first songs on a Casio keyboard.
By his teenage years, Reza was making four track demos, delving deep into every genre of music, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Run DMC, NWA, Guns N Roses, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, it all started mixing in his mind, informing his own artistic palette. Over the years Reza became more and more influenced by both electronic ambient music, and romantic era classical music.
On the one hand studying Schubert’s impromptus and on the other studying Aphex Twin’s approach to tweaking the hell out of a synth… all the while infusing the latent knowledge of soul, hip hop and rock from his younger days.
Some of Reza’s notable scoring work includes the feature film, The Trust, starring Nicholas Cage and Elijah Wood, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Mercy, the Starz show P Valley, and the HBO Max period martial arts show, Warrior, originally conceived by Bruce Lee and produced by Justin Lin.
Chris Smith is proud to be a producer on "The Way". Chris has been working in film and television in Los Angeles for over 15 years. His projects have covered every form of media from game shows to commercials, music videos to film. Getting back to working on films that try to be a voice for good in the world is his new goal. "The Way" fits in nicely with that philosophy. He'd like to thank the crew and cast for making this a memorable and fantastic experience even while working through all the challenges of a low budget film with the additional task of doing so during a pandemic. Good work everyone.
Born and raised in Belarus, he moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. After graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia with a B.A. in Film and Media Arts, he moved to Los Angeles as part of Temple’s L.A. Internship Program.
Since then, he has been living and working professionally in Los Angeles for over ten years. He has worked extensively in the grip and electric, and camera departments in order to gain a stronger footing as a cinematographer. To date, he has completed over 300 productions including short films, features, music videos, commercials, and web series.
Culminating this experience, he decided to step up to the next level, and in recent years completed his MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory. Since then, he has shot short films that have premiered in the L.A. Shorts Festival, New Filmmakers LA, and Beverly Hills Festival, as well as music videos for artists like Jaden Smith and 2 Chainz.
Vanessa Plaza Lazo is an Ecuadorean Production Designer, who started her career in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in 2012 and has been living in LA since 2016.
Her multicultural and artistic view has gotten her to work in a wide variety of projects, such as Tv shows, Ad commercials, music videoclips, theme entertainment attractions, independent features and Theater.
Between the projects she has worked on we find: Big Brother Argentina, Extreme Makeover Home Edition Latin America, Foster the people - Pick U up, Halloween Horror Nights, Dramarama the movie, among others.