Born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, Maggie moved to Miami in 2005 to study Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. She enjoyed her business studies, but her craving for creative work push her to switch to the School of Communication where she produced multiple short films and received a Bachelor’s degree in Motion Picture and Economics. Upon graduation, she received a full scholarship to continue her education in the M.F.A in Producing Program. While completing her Masters, Maggie founded CineStation Entertainment L.L.C. Maggie has worked for various film festivals for the past 8 years and while in Miami has served as a filmmaker liaison and Programming Director for the Miami Short Film Festival, where she is exposed to fresh content from around the world, and practices her knack for spotting up-and-coming talent.
Felipe was born in Medellin, Colombia, where he grew up and developed his passion for film. He completed the University of Antioquia, filmmaking program in 2004. In 2005 he moved to the United States to pursue an education as a film director. In 2007, he received an Associate in Arts degree with the highest honors from Miami-Dade College and transferred to the University of Miami. There, he graduated magna cum laude in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Motion Pictures and Economics. Following graduation, Felipe was offered a full scholarship to attend graduate school at the same institution. His M.F.A. studies focused on micro-budget features development. Felipe has directed music videos, commercials, and short films. He currently teaches digital production and storytelling at his alma mater. El Empantanado is his first feature.
JUAN PABLO SOLANO VERGARA
Juan was born in Bogotá, Colombia. In 2005, he produced the feature El Silencio no Existe, premiered at Washington Independent Film Festival. In 2008 he wrote, directed, and produced the short film El Huésped. El Huésped won in 2009 the Best Short Film award in the New Artists section of the Cartagena Film Festival. In 2011 he produces “Speechless”, directed by Ana Osorio and Diego Bustamante, feature film project awarded with the production grant from the Colombian Cinema Fund. “Speechless” premieres in competition at Cartagena Film Festival in 2012. International premiere was at Miami Film Festival and the film continues to attend festivals around the world. “Speechless” will premiere in Colombian theaters this November.
Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Daryl’s love affair with dramatic writing and the arts commenced at the age of seven, writing plays to be performed at subsequent birthday parties. When she could no longer coerce her friends to perform, Daryl took her plays to school where she acquired a real stage and convinced teachers to do the coercing for her. Before her formal entrance into the world of film, she attended Lafayette College where she obtained her B.A. in Political Theory. Then in 2008, Daryl worked in our Nation’s Capitol for Congressman Scott Garrett as an Assistant to his Press Secretary. She has a certificate in screenwriting from the New York Film Academy and is currently finishing an MFA in Screenwriting at the University of Miami. She has completed multiple feature screenplays as well as works in short form and episodic television. Daryl has work in development for kid Entertainment companies, and serves as Producer of Marketing and Distribution for El Empantanado.
First Assistant Director
Melanie was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated from the Honors Motion Pictures Program at the University of Miami. She has edited two features for Christ Effect Entertainment and co-produced one of them, “Youth of Christ”. Two of her short films, “The Dreamer” and “Breakaway Street”, have won the Dean’s Choice Award at the University of Miami Film Festival and have been screened at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. “Breakaway Street” also won the Best Student Film of the Year from UM at the CinemaSlam Competition at the Miami International Film Festival. For her latest short film, “The Problem with Mr. Withers”, she received an award for achievement in producing at the 2011 University of Miami Film Festival.
Working in documentaries and commercials, David’s seven years of professional work behind the camera exhibit a clear understanding of the medium and high level of creativity. He is currently head of production at Las Vegas based, Super Star Me Studios. His commercial work include a TV spot for Prosecco. He won cinematography awards for the acclaimed short film BREAKAWAY STREET, currently cruising the festival circuit. While most directors of photography view the low-budget film world as limiting, David sees it as a challenge ripe with opportunities. His firm understanding of the cinematic language, his technical abilities, and his raw enthusiasm, dedication, and sense of humor were a driving force in bringing El Empantanado to life.
Mabel was born in Bolivia and moved to the United States when she was 11 years old. Her passion for art began at a very young age. In 2009, she moved to Orlando, FL to enroll at Full Sail University to pursue a Film Bachelor of Science Degree. During this time, she designed and fabricated elaborate sets for short films shot in digital, 16mm, and 35mm formats. She was awarded numerous course awards and the most prestigious award in every graduating class: the Advanced Achievement Award. Since her graduation in April 2011, Mabel has worked in the Art Department in short and feature films, music videos, TV commercials and TV series.
KAREN SABEL LEWIS
Karen is a freelance costume designer based in Miami. Growing up in Puerto Rico, she began sewing and designing her own clothing at an early age, learning from her late grandmother who was a locally well known seamstress. She attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for Fashion Design. After college, She created custom beaded garments for several boutiques and worked several years as a Multi Store manager for American Apparel. Combining her love for design and performing arts, she has been part of the art department in features, shorts and commercials. She currently works as a visual merchandiser and stylist for Madewell and writes for “Little Lesbian Big World” a South Florida lifestyle blog.
John has a master’s degree in mass communication from The University of South Florida. He has taught advertising writing at Flagler College in Saint Augustine the last seven years. Aboard the Amara Zee with the Caravan theatre company, he traveled from Florida to Maine and back researching a book of narrative nonfiction, “On Caravan” (2004). While traveling for seven months he realized that that his loves of literature, traveling, and sailing were all related. He has lived aboard his sailboat Whimsy in Saint Augustine since 2008. His time at Flagler College introduced him to filmmaking and now he works as a freelance filmmaker. David O’Connor recruited Ellis to be the sailing master for El Empantanado after the two traveled together aboard the Amara Zee.
Robert Little is a professional freediver with over thirty years of experience. He is a certified freediving instructor by the FII organization (Freediving Instructors International). Martin Stepanek, a multiple time world record holder in freediving, trained him. Robert is an authority in safety training. His attention to detail and the needs of divers make him a leader in the industry. Robert served as a consultant and underwater safety coordination for El Empantanado.