Writer/Director ~ Nikki Braendlin


Nikki Braendlin began her artistic career studying at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting, Los Angeles. Small television and film roles ensued (eg. Desperate Housewives; For Your Love; LAX; The Job) but she soon changed her focus to producing and directing.

She was a co-founder of the Imago Festival and producer of The Tim and Joe Show (both a collection of original one-act plays). In 2013 she produced award-winning playwright Timothy McNeil’s Machu Picchu, Texas, which garnered “Critic’s Choice” from the LA TIMES and “Pick of the Week” from LA WEEKLY. Nikki also founded and, for five years, served as President of Hear Me Roar Productions, an all-women’s theater company that produced benefits for women’s and children’s charities. Through HMR and her work as a counselor, she also ran writing and acting workshops for at-risk teenaged girls and produced shows of their original works.

As High as the Sky is Nikki’s first film as a writer/director. Her other screenplays have placed in several competitions, including those sponsored by Slamdance, the Austin Film Festival, the Page Awards and the Los Angeles International Women's Film Festival.

Nikki is an executive member of Women in Film and a member of Film Independent, the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales. She also serves as a mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation.


Producer ~ Lena Bubenechik

Lena is originally from Ukraine and is a Film Independent: Project Involve fellow. She has produced several projects for directors including Jennifer Lynch, Barbara Stepansky and Nina Menkes, as well as for AFI's Directing Workshop for Women.

She recently produced an episode for ITVS' FutureStates, ACADEMY FOR GIRLS, directed by Nisha Ganatra and starring Alexa Vega (SPY KIDS, MACHETE KILLS), Renée Felice Smith (NCIS: LOS ANGELES) and Janina Gavankar (TRUE BLOOD).

Lena is currently in development on several feature projects.

Director of Photography ~ Tarin Anderson

A native of Seattle and resident of Los Angeles, Tarin earned her Masters degree in cinematography at the American Film Institute (AFI) after studying film at both Vassar and Hampshire College.

Tarin has shot a wide variety of projects including feature films, commercials, music videos, and documentaries.  She has worked with Academy Award Nominees Ed Harris, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Madigan, Peter Weller, as well as Hugo Weaving, Brian Cox, Jack Davenport, and Judy Greer. She has shot commercials for Honda, Dodge, Bloomberg TV, Disney, HP, McDonald’s, and many others. Her numerous music videos include Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Chris Cornell, CSS, Lenka, and Young the Giant. She has also shot documentaries featuring James Brown, Rihanna, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRECord project. Tarin recently finished shooting miniatures for Adult Swim and a fashion spot for Native Son. She has worked all across the US and internationally in Brazil, Argentina, and the UK.

Editor ~ Laura J. Fisk

Laura Fisk began her career with Native American director Valerie Red-Horse, editing several short films. Her big break came when she was asked to edit Valerie Red-Horse & Gale Ann Hurd’s television movie CHOCTAW CODE TALKERS.  It aired on PBS in November 2010 and was an Official Selection for the United Nations Association Film Festival in October 2011.  She edited the short film, ANYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL IF YOU SAY IT IS; it screened at Bad Robot Productions and was well received.  Laura has cut many TV and web promos as well as short documentaries. 

Composer ~ Kristen Baum

Kristen is an LA-based film composer.She has been honored with the Sundance Fellowship for Feature Film Scoring and the BMI Conducting Fellowship. Classically trained as a pianist with a master of music in theory and composition, she has studied and worked closely with film composer Christopher Young. She wrote additional music (source) for THE BOOK OF ELI and orchestrated for PRIEST and WHEN IN ROME. Her scores for independent films include: ASSASSINS, ECHO, NEVER AGAIN, THE THINGS YOU LOSE IN THE OCEAN, and CICERO IN WINTER.