The Team

Nipper Knapp (Aaron)

Nipper graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Theatre. He was a founding member and Artistic Director of the Trueblood Theater Company in New York. After moving to LA, he has worked in film, TV, and dozens of commercials, notably in numerous spots directed by Errol Morris. He and his cowriters Matt Letscher and Andrew Newberg won the Best Writing award for their original pilot “Gentrification” at the New York TV Fest.

Matt Letscher (Bert)

Matt currently plays Tom Bradshaw, Carrie’s dad on “The Carrie Diaries,” the WB’s hit prequel to “Sex and the City.”He’s been featured in dozens of other TV series as a regular and guest star.He has appeared in more than 20 films, including Atom Egoyan’s upcoming Devil’s Knot, The Mask of Zorro, Gods and Generals, and Gettysburg.

Bob Clendenin (Manager)

Bob is probably best known for his current role as Dr. Tom Gazelian on “Cougartown.” He also played Dr. Zeltzer on “Scrubs” and numerous other comedic roles on TV. His films include Star Trek, Race to Witch Mountain, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and L.A. Confidential.

Nick Smith (Stunt Double for Nipper)

Nick is one of Tucson’s most revered skaters. He’s sponsored by Larosa and BLX and has skated competitively and in countless videos. Nick will choreograph our stunts, advise on skate gear, and serve as the stunt double for Nipper Knapp.

Oliver (Dog)

Oliver is a quick-witted, affectionate German Wirehaired Pointer who lives in Tucson with his family. Stretching into the role of Aaron’s sidekick is a dream come true. This is his first film.

Troy Hollar (Producer & Director)

Troy is an entrepreneur with diverse experience in launching ventures, producing media and entertainment, and building brands. In 2012 he founded LoveMakers, a film and TV development and production company. Current projects include Grace of a Stranger, See You in a Hundred Years (based on the memoir by Logan Ward), Stone, and “Gentrification,” winner of the Best Writing award at the New York TV Festival. Prior to LoveMakers, Troy founded and managed multiple technology firms. He has produced and directed more than 70 plays and live events in New York and elsewhere and managed theaters including the award-winning Soho Rep and Malaparte, where he produced new American plays with Artistic Director Ethan Hawke.

Andrew Newberg (Co-Writer)

Andrew graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia as a two-time Graham Fellow. In 2010, he and his cowriters Nipper Knapp and Matt Letscher won the Best Writing award for their original pilot Gentrification at the New York Independent Television Festival. Prior to moving to New York, Andrew was a charter member of The Second City—Detroit, where he performed for three years. As a Hopwood award-winning playwright from the University of Michigan, he had several of his plays workshopped in New York City. He’s taught improvisation classes at Bennington College, Columbia University, Artistic New Directions, and served as a Core Faculty member of the Writing Division with The Second City.

Scott Cross (Co-Producer)

Scott is the co-founder and co-director of the Vail Film Festival and the Colorado Film Institute. He is a filmmaker who has worked in film and as a successful business founder and manager for the last twelve years. As part of his work with the Vail Film Festival, Scott has negotiated key partnerships with world renowned brands, including Starbucks, Gap, United Airlines, Firefox, and the Virgin Group, as well as a major charity partnership with Product RED. Scott is also the co-founder of the Baja International Film Festival, launched in November 2012, and the co-president of the filmmaker social network IndieProducer. Scott is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Sean Cross (Co-Producer)

Sean is a filmmaker and entrepreneur who has spent over a decade working in film. In 2004, Sean co-founded the Colorado Film Institute and the Vail Film Festival. As Artistic Director, with his brother Scott, Sean helped build the reputation of the Vail Film Festival’s internationally recognized film program. Sean also secured long-term relationships with major industry partners, including Universal Pictures, Paramount, Brillstein Entertainment, and the Screen Actors Guild. Sean Cross is also the co-founder of the Baja International Film Festival and the co-president of the filmmaker social network IndieProducer. Sean completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond, and his graduate studies at New York University.

Damon Mosier (Cinematographer)

Damon has shot three feature films, including the recently completed UNSOUND, based on the short film SEAFOOD TESTER, which Damon also shot. GRACE will be Damon’s umpteenth short film.

Christina Marafino (First Assistant Director)

Christina was first assistant director on Darious Britt’s recently completed UNSOUND, her second feature as AD. GRACE will be her fourth short film project.

Shelby Gaines (Composer)

Shelby Shook Gaines is a producer, composer, sound designer, artist, and collaborator. He works with a wide range of artists as well as creating original music and sound for every medium.

Sosi Mehren (Theme Song Writer & Performer)

Sosi may have come to music by birth, when you consider where she started. Sosi was born near Detroit and moved to Tucson when she was eight. There she discovered a love for singing, and people took notice. Her big voice landed her leading roles in musical theater, she sang the National Anthem at Race for the Cure, and was invited to train with Roger Love and Kira Fontana in Los Angeles. An antique Garcia guitar from her grandmother plus a teacher who recognized her natural connection with melody led her to the classical guitar. From those fundamentals her songwriting talent emerged. The GRACE theme song “Holding Your Ground,” a finalist in the 2014 Tucson Desert Song Festival, is the title track on an album currently in production. She lives with her family and Australian Shepherd in Tucson where she will enter high school this fall.

John Douglas (Original Music)

John Douglas is your Funk specialist, your Acid- and Latin-Jazz All-star, and a seasoned Be-Bop professional. With dexterous ease, he rips the high notes, caresses the low notes, and rocks the melodic scales in between - all without compromise on clarity or tonal quality. Again and again, his exclusive trumpet style is described as "hefty", "technically accomplished," "unexpected," and downright "phat!" Douglas' composition and performance career began while studying at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. During these years, John collaborated with three players to form The Tracy Science Quartet. Since that inception, keyboardist Craig Taborn, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and bassist Trent Mitchell have earned their own notable levels of musical recognition and achievement. John formed the first John Douglas Quartet in Detroit in 1991 to perform standards and original compositions. In 1996, John and five other players embraced a new musical era called Jazzhead — arguably one the most influential modern jazz — and most award-winning — bands from the Midwest in recent times.

Douglas’ pioneering spirit continues to thrive as he performs in venues in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Import Music Festival and ParaDisco in Amsterdam, and at the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland with celebrated blues diva Bettye LaVette. Television appearances include “Ground Zero Blues Divas Festival” with host Morgan Freeman and Bettye LaVette and a commercial for Adidas with Theo Parish as a part of Adidas’ worldwide Sounds of the City advertising campaign. Douglas has performed with legends including the Machito Orchestra, Los Munequitos De Matanzas, Allan Barnes (Donald Byrd's Blackbirds), Gladys Night, Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Larry Smith, Kevin Good (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), and P-Funk's Larry Frantangelo. He has toured nationwide with The Temptations, The Four Tops, and the Dramatics. Album recordings include performances with Francisco Mora, Theo Parrish, Althea Renee, Gayelynn McKinney, and the Dramatics. Even as times change, so has Douglas' exploration of possibilities and creative endeavors. You can find Douglas working with Francisco Mora's Outerzone Orchestra, Straight Ahead, Scott Gwinnell's Big Band Jazz Orchestra, Dennis Wilson’s Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, the Jerry Ross Band, and the long standing Sunmessengers. He continues to explore new dimensions with a pulsating line-up of jazz musicians forming the present-day version of the John Douglas Quartet.