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  • Kathryn Musilek-

TRAVIS: Film by Melissa Stephens, co-created by Leslye Headland


A man tries to make amends to a woman he believes he sexually assaulted in college.

Short film by Melissa Stephens

Co-Created by Leslye Headland

Co-stars Melissa Stephens and Brett Goldstein


Melissa Stephens, filmmaker and comedian has teamed up once again with co-creator Leslye Headland on a poignant and affecting short film poised for release on Vimeo on February 25, 2020. The film depicts a conversation between a survivor of sexual assault who has been unable to name her assault as such agrees to meet an old acquaintance at a coffee shop. Much like the exploration of things said and unsaid in her 2019 short, Peen, it's the meaning we so clearly can draw from the gaps in conversation that unsettles us. Originally written as a sample idea for a TV show Stephens was writing on, her close colleagues Leslye Headland and Brett Goldstein encouraged her to take it on as a piece in its own right. Thus she decided to tell the story in her own format on her own terms as a short film instead.

Leslye Headland, co-creator, writer and director of Netflix's Russian Doll, worked with Stephens and Tom DeTrinis on the Slamdance-premiered series, Finding The Asshole, to much acclaim and attention at the 2019 festival. The series is a surrealist romp through such subjects as Hollywood, fashion and the violent anxieties of social interaction in general in a hilarious, borderline slapstick tone. It's as hilarious as it is unsettled. The press called it "a captivating foray into the collective subconscious" (Ain’t It Cool), "jarringly dreamy" (Film Threat), and “truly incredible” (Nightmarish Conjurings).

Melissa Stephens is a comedian, writer, and director from the Peach State. Melissa is a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company, has been a member of Groundlings’ Sunday Company, and regularly performs stand-up around Los Angeles. She has written, and will be performing her one-hour special, “Some Assembly Required”, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2020. Her directorial debut, Peen, was a Vimeo Staff Pick, and the short series she has written and directed, Finding The Asshole, was chosen to show at Slamdance and is currently in development with Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) producing. Melissa is a writer for the AMC series For Life, which comes out in 2020 and is excited to direct her first feature this year, along with all of her other irons in the fire.  TV/Film: Californication, Outsourced, Key and Peele, Transparent, Bajillion Dollar Listings, Black Monday, New Girl, House of Lies, Rhett and Links Buddy System, Thin But Poor, Get Up & We're Here, Finding The Asshole, Travis and Peen. Theatre: Bachelorette, Reverb, Cult Of Love, Species, and Do Like the Kids Do.

Leslye Headland is an Emmy nominated writer, director, and producer. She began her career writing and directing the Seven Deadly Plays series (IAMA Theatre Company), including Bachelorette and Assistance, which both had successful runs in New York. Bachelorette was the basis for her directorial film debut starring Kirsten Dunst. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Her other film credits include writing the 2014 remake of About Last Night starring Kevin Hart and writing/directing Sleeping with Other People starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie which also premiered at Sundance in 2015. Most recently, Headland served as writer, director, and showrunner for Netflix’s acclaimed series Russian Doll, which was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and nine Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the latter of which it won three. Headland’s additional TV writing/directing credits include: pilots for HBO, ABC and NBC, as well as Terriers (FX), Blunt Talk (Starz), SMILF and Black Monday (Showtime), and Heathers (Paramount).

Brett Goldstein is a stand up comedian, actor, writer and director who won the 2016 BIFA for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Adult Life Skills. He co-wrote and stars in the critically acclaimed feature Superbob. His television credits include Hoof The Record, Derek, and Uncle and BBC2 pilot The Pact opposite Sarah Solemani. He was most recently seen in Doctor Who opposite the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Brett's six-part anthology series Soulmates, which he co-created with Will Bridges, will premiere on AMC this year. Brett has also co-written the feature This Nan's Life with Catherine Tate, which is also due this year, and is produced by DJ Films and directed by Josie Rourke. Brett served in the writers' room for Bill Lawrences's upcoming series Ted Lasso or Apple which he starred in opposite Juno Temple.

Melissa Stephens on Instagram

Photos and info for download at here

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