Writer/Director ~ Nikki Braendlin

AS HIGH AS THE SKY is Nikki’s first film as a writer/director. BALLOONS, a feature dramedy, is slated to be her second. It is being produced by Karen Tenkhoff and Lisa Barrett McGuire. (Logline: A reluctant friendship with two endearing misfits ultimately forces a reclusive meter maid to confront his obsession with death and the guilt that accompanies it.)

Nikki recently adapted the New York Times' best-selling memoir, Fast Girl, based on the life of Olympian turned high-end escort turned mental health advocate Suzy Favor Hamilton. The film is being produced by Eleonore Dailly and Amy Smart, with Smart attached to star. Nikki is also the co-writer of the television pilot, SUNDOWN, inspired by the work of the Intelligence Project staff at the Southern Poverty Law Center. EUE/Sokolow and Autopilot Entertainment are producing. 

Before working in film, Nikki studied at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting, Los Angeles and co-founded Hear Me Roar Productions (HMR). An all-women’s theater company, HMR's performances were designed to bring awareness and financial aid to women’s and children’s charities. Additionally, through HMR and her work as a group home counselor, Nikki ran writing and acting workshops for at-risk teenaged girls, helping them create and perform scenes from their personal histories. 

On the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Women Directors, Nikki also serves as their Festival Outreach Coordinator. Additionally, she is a member of Film Fatales and Film Independent. 

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.