CHRIS SPENCER Co-Director and KIM SWINK Writer, / Producer, Director
Kim and Chris have lived, raised their family and worked in television production in NYC for more than 20 years. Originally from Arkansas, Kim has been a freelance writer, producer and director for clients including HBO, The Independent Film Channel, Comedy Central, Bravo, and Sesame Workshop (a.k.a. Children’s Television Workshop) and directed such talent as comedians Chris Rock, Whoopie Goldberg, Sinbad, Bernie Mac, Andrew “Dice” Clay and The Kids In The Hall; musicians Jerry Jones and Randy Travis; and actors Kyle McGloughlin, Lara Flynn Boyle and Virginia Madsen. She has written and directed several short films and also created and produced the Flywheel Film Festival in New York City, which produced and showcased 18 short films by 18 directors.
In addition to numerous industry awards, Chris is an Emmy Award-winning director who, since moving to New York from his native New Zealand, has produced and directed television shows for HBO, VH-1 and Comedy Central as well as numerous commercials, marketing campaigns and music videos. He has shot with an impressive list of talent including: Michael Jackson, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Emma Thompson, Bill Maher, James Gandolfini, Sarah Jessica Parker and The Rolling Stones. Chris is currently an Executive Vice-President at HBO in New York City where he oversees the production and creation of promotional content and interstitial programming for all 15 HBO and Cinemax channels.
Valley Inn is their first collaboration on a feature film and they are very excited.
CHRIS and KERI ELDER / Executive Producers
Native Arkansans Kerri and Chris Elder have made Springdale their home for the past 20 years. Their entrepreneurial spirit and varied successful companies have established them as valuable members of the Northwest Arkansas business community. This is their first, but certainly won’t be their last, venture as independent film producers with a focus on positive, family-friendly films shot in Arkansas and employing Arkansans, for the mutual benefit of the local economy, film industry, and enrichment of the area.
SAMARA YESHAIEK / Producer
Samara’s feature films include Into My Heart for Jean Doumanian Productions (Mighty Aphrodite, Bullets Over Broadway), Say You’ll Be Mine, Outside Providence, A Shot At Glory, Ciao America, and When Zachary Beaver Came To Town. In July of 2001, Samara helped to launch the New York based Revere Pictures where she not only worked on creating the company’s financial and developmental structure, but was responsible for the delivery, distribution and marketing of their films I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead starring Clive Owen and Charlotte Rampling and The Door In The Floor, starring Kim Basinger and Jeff Bridges. In 2002 Samara co-produced Corn, starring Jena Malone (Pride and Prejudice, Donnie Darko, Stepmom) and in 2003 she produced Approaching Heaven starring Mathew Carey (The Banger Sisters, Old School). Other films include Waltzing Anna and New Jersey Film Festival winner Second City’s BuzzKill. In 2009 she began producing award-winning promos for HBO’s Treme, In Treatment, True Blood, How to Make it In America, Life’s Too Short, Bored to Death and Girls. While living in Brooklyn with her family, Samara continues to produce promotional and marketing work for television and online companies and is in development of a TV series and two feature films.
NELSIE SPENCER / Writer
Nelsie's career as a writer began in 1987 when her two-character play, My Heart Belongs to Daddy (co-written with co-star Laury Marker) premiered at Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre in Westport, Ct.This was the first of many sold-out and critically acclaimed productions. As a writer and performer Nelsie has worked with super agent Ari Emanuel, Jane Fonda, Dorothy Lyman, Gloria Steinem, and Tony-Award Winning producer and director Dash Epstein and Morton De Costa respectively. Her sexy, comic novel, The Playgroup, was published in 2003 by St. Martins and her romantic comedy screenplay, A Girl's Best Friend, was recently optioned and is slated to shoot this year. Nelsie was also a stand-up comic and radio talk show host. She is currently ghostwriting two memoirs and rewriting her black comedy Day of the Dead Daddy.
BLAKE ELDER / Director of Photography, Producer
Blake has been making films in Northwest Arkansas since the ripe old age of ten. After completing studies at The New York Film Academy, Blake has worked on productions for HBO, A & E (Arts and Entertainment Network) and has been an Associate Producer, Director of Photography and Editor for Oktane Media Ventures in New York City. In the summer of 2011, he was the Director of Photography and a Producer for the feature film Five Dates. Blake has directed, produced, written, edited, and/or shot numerous short films, such as Lasting the After, and promotional videos for clients including J.B Hunt and the Nantucket Comedy Festival. He is currently the Founder and President of South State Productions.
KENN WOODARD / Producer
Kenn has twenty-five years of experience in theater, film and television in both national and international media markets. He recently produced the award winning short, The Sowers, which won the Audience Choice and Best Cinematographers Award at the 4320 Film Fest in Bentonville in 2012. Last year he worked on four feature films, three short films by Arkansas directors and two web series, as well as directed his first music video, December Rain, for local artist, Tracy Pruitt. Born in Arkansas, Kenn has returned and is currently a Board member and Creative Director of Seedling Film Association and he is also on the Board for Last Night Fayetteville.
We’re so happy to have the following actors attached and excited to be a part of this production:
JOEY LAUREN ADAMS / Althea
Actor/Writer/Director Joey Lauren Adams has portrayed many memorable characters throughout her esteemed career in film including such classics as Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. But it was her performance in the title role in Miramax’s Chasing Amy (which premiered at Sundance in 1997) that earned her a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical.’ Her extensive list of film credits include Universal’s The Break-Up, Columbia’s Big Daddy, 20th Century Fox’s A Cool, Dry Place and Lionsgate’s In the Shadows. Throughout her career Ms. Adams has supported the efforts of independent film, having starred in over twenty. She just wrapped the independent dramas She Loves Me Not with Cary Elwes and Sequoia National Park. On the small screen Ms. Adams recently played the love interest to Toni Collette’s character in the Showtime hit drama series The United States of Tara.
Ms. Adams stars alongside Isaiah Washington and Tim Blake Nelson in Alexandre Moors’ Blue Caprice. Based on real life events, Blue Caprice is a thriller about the sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington, DC, area in October 2002. The film is an official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will premiere in the NEXT section.
No stranger to the Festival, Ms. Adams’ directorial debut Come Early Morning was a part of the Official Selection in 2006, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in Drama. The critically-acclaimed film starred Ashley Judd as a southern woman coming to terms with her life in a small-town, rural community. The stellar cast also included Tim Blake Nelson and Jeffrey Donovan.
Lansbury has performed on Broadway and in numerous films including The Truth Can Be Adjusted, The Hurricane and Scent Of A Woman. Lansbury has also had roles in television programs such as Law & Order SVU and Murder She Wrote, where he acted alongside his aunt, veteran actress Angela Lansbury.
A native of “God’s Country” (a.k.a. Rusellville, Arkansas), and graduate of Hendrix College, Natalie has appeared in 33 films, from the big-budget box office favorites October Sky, Walk the Line, and Biloxi Blues, to the no-budget, critically-acclaimed independent films Sling Blade, One False Move, and Shotgun Stories. She has been honored to work with some of the industry’s best directors, including Mike Nichols, Faye Dunaway, Joe Johnston, James Mangold, Carl Franklin, Harry Thomason, Keith McDaniel, Gary Hawkins, Jeff Nichols, and Billy Bob Thornton.
For her performance in One False Move, Natalie received a Two-Minute Oscar from Interview Magazine (other recipients that year included Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman, and Jim Broadbent for The Crying Game). In 1997, Natalie and the cast of Sling Blade were nominated for Best Performance by an Ensemble Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2000 she was invited to participate in Robert Redford’s prestigious Sundance Institute filmmaker’s Lab along with Sally Field, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Khandi Alexander and others. Natalie’s alma mater, Hendrix College, presented her with the 2008 Odyssey Award for Lifetime Achievement in Artistic Creativity. She was named to the Advisory Board of the George Lindsey/U.N.A. film Festival in 2009 and for a decade now has been a Friend of both the festival and “Goober.” In 2009 she received the Best Actress Award at the Gatlinburg Screen Fest for her work in the short film Seed of Doubt.
When she’s not filming, Natalie performs in 4 to 6 shows a year at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, the oldest family-owned dinner theatre west of Mississippi. She frequently speaks at schools and universities, civic organizations and church groups, and has served for years as a judge for the Little Rock 48 Hour Film Festival at the THEA Foundation Scholarship Auditions.
Candice Hinkle has appeared in countless productions on both stage and screen, and her film credits include the 2010 rendition of True Grit where she played Mrs. Floyd, the landlady of a Ft. Smith boarding house.
COLLEY BAILEY / Lee Dickson
Colley caught the acting bug while doing his best James Dean impersonation in a high school stage production of Rebel Without a Cause. After attending the University of Central Arkansas as a Theater major, he headed to LA where he studied with Ivana Chubbuck Studios and worked with Actor’s Advantage Showcase. His feature film career began in 2010 with leading roles in Donner Pass and Madison County. Once he began writing Worldline: The Story of Talon Evans and studying to become a producer of his own material, Colley decided to bring his film career back home and form Lone Rock Productions, in order to utilize the incredible talent pool of writers, directors, cinematographers and composers coming out of his home state, Arkansas.
SOME OF OUR ARKANSAS CAST MEMBERS...
Candyce Hinkle, Kenn Woodard, Jordan Scott, Mark Landon Smith, Mandy Fason, Jaclyn Marlan, Hugh Kincaid and Jocelyn Morelli are among the many talented Arkansas actors who have been cast to date.