...explores the intricate relationships between women...and attempts to delve into race relations in modern day America...


“When two female childhood friends announce their adoption of an Ethiopian boy over a celebratory dinner, the evening takes a heated turn as guests debate raising a black boy by white women in present day America. “

Where it all began...

Narrative Short Film + Female Gaze + Present Political & Social Climate + an African-American Writer & a White Immigrant Writer in the writer's room...

Amadi Comes Home organically came about from heated talks of the time - to further discussion with an inclusive group of women around race relations. As progressive as our team’s artistic conversations and relationships are, it is important to us all to show the hurt and anger of a heated conversation that ends badly. We feel that our ability to really talk and really listen to one another allows us to go to uncomfortable (and important) places within the work.

Furthermore, the writers envisioned unique points of view for every character that were convincing in their own right. We hoped to blur the line of right vs. wrong, protagonist vs. antagonist, and enter moral gray territory.

From that, Amadi Comes Home, developed.


The Creative Team / Woman Gang & Our Mission

“Casting Call | The Project” Co-Creators Julie Asriyan, Laura E. Bray and Jenna Ciralli wished to expose the limiting tropes for women in the entertainment industry and create a call to action for female writers, directors and content creators to change the narrative. After amassing over 2.6 million views, this team was delighted to find an expansive audience for a future project.

“Amadi Comes Home” speaks to the collective, collaborative style in which we are working on and off screen. We have a team of seven diverse women working passionately and with great integrity to get this film on its feet: Writer Laura E. Bray, Writer/Actor April Matthis, Director/Actor Julie Asryian, Co-Producer/Actor Jenna Ciralli, Actor/Co-Producer Kezia Bernard-Nau, Co-Director/Co-Producer Jessica Burgess and Co-Producer Kendall Cooper.

You can meet them all below.

April Matthis & Laura E. Bray

Laura E. Bray || Writer ||

Laura is an Australian writer based in NYC. Her first play produced in New York placed second in the Venus Theater Festival. More recently, moving into work for the small screen, her pilot 'Undocumented' was optioned by Escapade Media & Alex Alexander at 412 Entertainment and is currently sparking interest from both American and Australian networks. Her writing has placed in festivals such as The Gateway LA/Australians In Film Awards, The Finish Line Script Competition and The Austin Film Festival - TV Pilot section) || WEBSITE ||

April Matthis || Writer || "Nicole"

April DeAnn Matthis is a New York-based writer/performer originally from Texarkana, TX. An Obie Award-winning actor, April has worked consistently in the New York downtown theater scene for the nearly twenty years. Notable theater credits include world premieres at Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, and The Public Theater, most recently with the groundbreaking experimental theater company Elevator Repair Service, where she is a company member. April is an alumnus of The Sundance Institute’s Theater Lab where she has helped develop new works for the stage. She is currently in development for her lead feature film debut, premiering in 2019. || IMDB || WEBSITE || REEL ||


Julie Asriyan || Director || "Taline"

Julie Asriyan is an award winning actor/ filmmaker/ producer whose work has been featured in IndieWire Women & Hollywood, Huffington Post, NY Magazine, LA Magazine, Adweek, Time Out NY, and Ashton Kutcher's A+ and Jill Soloway's Wifey.TV

As an actor, Julie has appeared on stage & screen in theatrical, commercial and independent film productions. She is a New York Innovative Theater Awards nominee for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role. (NY – The Flea Theater, Theater Row, Gene Frankel Theater)

Behind the camera she has served as Creator, Director, Producer, Creative Director and Editor of independent short films, music videos, theatrical productions and new media projects as well as being an accomplished still photographer.

Julie is the co-creator of Casting Call | The Project - a viral web video addressing women's representation in film and TV– a 2017 Webby Award Honoree , dubbed “A Must-See Video" by RogerEbert.com .

Her recent ultra short film HOME, an allegorical take on her own experience of displacement, has been named finalist in director's Terry George x Creative Armenian human rights film challenge.

A multicultural and multilingual creative who's personal projects focus on storytelling through the female gaze and the experience of the "other". She currently stars in “Our City. Our Story” commercial campaign for the National 9/11 memorial & museum – which highlights her true life story as a refugee, an actor and a New Yorker.|| IMDB || RESUME ||

View some of Julie's most recent work below:


Jenna Ciralli || Producer || "Anna"

Jenna Ciralli is a New York and Montana based actor, writer & producer. Born and raised in Montana, she is continually influenced by the earth that was beneath her feet during her childhood. Her early theatrical work included NYC performances at The Flea, Access Theater, Theater Row, Barrow Group and the Gene Frankel followed by a turn to film technique and writing and producing her own work.

Willow Creek Road, a Big Sky Grant recipient from the Montana Film Office, is currently on the festival circuit - a short she co-wrote with Director Francesca Mirabella. || IMDB || WEBSITE || REEL ||

View some of Jenna's most recent work below:

Kezia Bernard-Nau || Co-Producer || "Michelle"

Kezia Bernard-Nau

Kezia Bernard-Nau, a Trinidad native is an actor, writer & producer. She spent her formative years in Trinidad, moving to Brooklyn at the age of eight. Kezia continually uses her black and Caribbean roots to inform and drive her work as a performer. Some of her work includes commercials for American Family Insurance and Autotrader.

A recent short film she took part in, tackled the heavy topic of race and is currently making its rounds at films festivals, starting with the Audience Awards. Kezia has also done theatrical work, taking on theatrical activism head on and putting a voice to women who have been battered. Her performance A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer raised over $2000 for The Voices of Women and Girls benefit.

Her work is geared towards including voices that are misunderstood and underrepresented.||  IMDB || WEBSITE ||


Jessica Burgess || Co-Director || Co-Producer

Jessica is an award-winning director and producer who has created for clients such as MoMA, Jay-Z’s Life+Times, Vice, Gravity Media, and the art blog, Future Tongue. With a background in Art History, her work often focuses on the visual arts and contemporary artists. In narrative work, she loves small-town characters with outsized personalities and uses her upbringing in the mountains of North Carolina to inform their visual landscapes.Jess' work has screened around the country at festivals such as New Orleans Film Festival, Slamdance, and Big Apple Film Festival.

You can check out her work || HERE ||

Kendall Cooper || Co-Producer

Kendall Cooper is an established Casting Director and Producer. Her expansive list of credits include work on: Home Land, Detroit, The Oscar nominated feature Loving and Mercy Street for PBS. || IMDB || WEBSITE ||

Attached Crew

Blaine Dunkley || Cinematographer

Blaine Dunkley is a freelance Cinematographer and Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his years of experience behind a still camera, his DP credits include over 15 narrative shorts, three features, and countless commercials, music videos, web series' and plugs. Blaine has lensed projects for Jack Daniels, Enterprise, Fed-Ex, Virgin, Gibson, VEVO and Discovery networks. His Cinematography was most notably featured in Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor's film "California Eccentrics" and "Romantic Encounters with Melinda Hill" a raucous internet TV comedy starring many of Hollywood's most loved comedians. || IMDB || WEBSITE || INSTAGRAM ||

View some of Blaine's most recent work below:

Cheyenne Ford || Art Director

Raised in New Orleans, Ford has an affinity for plants, bright colors, a melange of architecture, and the use of improvisation. In narrative work, She loves to explore the beauty in darkness and the psychological wonders surrounding life and death. The filmmaking process excites her most when many components meld together through humble collaboration and elevate the story to something new and unexpected. Some of her most recent work includes the recently released Feature Film Wilding, starring Liv Tyler, Bel Powley and Brad Dourif. || IMDB || WEBSITE || INSTAGRAM ||

Attached Cast

(L - R: April Matthis || Nicole. Lauren Villages || Jackie. Julie Asriyan || Taline. Jo Mei || Aliza. Jenna Ciralli || Anna. Kezia Bernard-Nau || Michelle)

Our Goal (Oh, the places we'll go)

We dream big. We shoot for the stars. Quite simply our goal is to create the most fully deeply realized short film that we possibly can. Collectively, we have a tremendous amount of tenacity, talent, vision and scrappy filmmaking drive. We plan to use every drop of that to take this project from seed to the film festival circuit. Applying to Tier A festivals such as Toronto // Berlinale // Sundance etc and then working our way from there. We want Amadi to be a calling card for every single artist involved. One that allows them to step up and step forward and have their voice be even louder in their next project. Not only is our goal to get this project completed and out into the world, but also to continue to build our community...a community that gives voice to women, the underrepresented and their stories. We love having a creative family and want it to keep growing.

The Budget

Sometimes pie charts speak louder than words. So, we made you one:


And here it is in old fashioned numbers:


Request The Script

The script is something that we're really proud of. If you're interested in reading it, you can requested it.

Financial Investments

We are honored to hold Fiscal Sponsorship via FROM THE HEART PRODUCTIONS. This means that all financial investments to help make this project possible are tax deductible. Their IRS 501(c )3 Certification can be viewed HERE.

If you're interested in making a financial investment, a donation, sponsor us or whatever you'd like to call it, you can do it below. It's as easy as pressing that button and you'll be taken straight to From The Heart Productions and can safely and securely donate there.

Executive Producer Credit & Donor Perks

When you donate, you help us tell this story! But, you already know that...want to know what you get?

See below:

$1 - $49 = Private NYC Screening, Special Thanks in Credits

$50 - $99 = All of the above + Exclusive Stills via email + Signed copy of DVD

$100 - 499 = All of the above + attend VIP cast party

$500 - $1000 = Executive Producer Credit on the film, IMDb Credit, VIP pass to all film festivals + All of the Above

If you have any further enquiries or questions, our Producer, Kendall Cooper & the team can be reached via email below. We'd love to hear from you!

Thank you, from the entire team for helping us to make this project. You won’t regret investing in us!

Yours Sincerely

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