2018-19 Film Grantee Bios

Haley Anderson  is a filmmaker and writer with a background in playwriting and poetry. She currently attends New York University’s Graduate Film Program as a Dean’s Fellow. A Houston, Texas native with roots across the Gulf, her work explores coming-of-age experiences, family, race and the class divide in the American South and in marginalized communities. Her recent experimental piece, Presence, recently played at the closing event held for Basquiat’s exhibition BOOM FOR REAL in London. Her third short film, Get Out Fast, premiered at Slamdance Film Festival where she was named a filmmaker to watch. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sara Driver Production Grant and the 2017 Wasserman 2nd place King Award. 

Pillars is a proof of concept film for Gulf, a non-linear feature that explores transgenerational trauma, genetic memory, and experiences of her relatives across three generations as they struggle to make a life in the American South. Gulf is a semi-finalist project for the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Grant. She is currently in post-production for her fourth narrative short film, Summer Animals, which was made with generous support from Kodak. Haley’s work has been featured at The New Orleans Film Festival, Lone Star Film Festival, I-D magazine, No Budge, Culture Magazine, Vimeo, and the Barbican in London. 

 Haley’s grant is sponsored by DUALIST.

Nora Kirkpatrick.   In 2018 Nora created, wrote and directed Door No. 1, a first of its kind live-action VR comedy series, starring Snoop Dogg, Steve Little, and Ravi Patel, now airing on Hulu. In 2017, Nora sold her TV show, ASSISTED LIVING to CBS, executive produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum. In 2016, Nora created a five-part VR comedy series, VIRTUALLY MIKE AND NORA for Hulu with SNL alum Mike O’Brien, which is currently airing on Hulu.

In 2015, Nora starred in the film PINK GRAPEFRUIT, which won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2015, and sold her TV show, BEST SELLER, to Comedy Central, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Olivia Wilde. She was a founding member and accordion player for the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, with whom she toured the world, and played Letterman, Conan, Kimmel, and Coachella, among others. The group won a Grammy in 2013.  Nora has played many roles in film and TV, including on THE OFFICE, GREEK, JENNIFER FALLS, and Paul Lieberstein’s latest feature, THE SONG OF BACK AND NECK, which premiered at Tribeca in 2018.

“I am honored to join the incredible community of filmmakers The Davey Foundation has gathered over the last few years. Their passion for supporting young artists is palpable and I couldn’t be more excited to work with them to make this film.”

Zack Borenstein.  Zack is an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning, & Writers Guild Award-winning writer, director, and comedian from Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live, & Alternatino.  He has directed, written, produced, and performed original comedy for NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, Netflix, MTV, TruTV, The New Yorker, McSweeneys, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, and more. He created Garlic Jackson Comedy, which The New York Times called, “Some of the City’s best writers and performers.”

“I am honored to be selected for this generous grant with the Davey Foundation by its wonderful members. Ever since a close friend (Ted Schaefer) made a film with them in the early years, I have been a fan. Especially in this era of big studio films, I’m thrilled to be part of a community dedicated to enabling weirder, and hopefully cutting-edge, independent films. They also write very funny emails. Thank you to the foundation and its donors for making this possible.”

Zack’s gear grant is sponsored by Film Exchange.

Colten Ashley is a Native American filmmaker based in Orem, UT by way of the Farmington, NM and Window Rock, AZ. His interest in film started at a young age through watching John Ford and Howard Hawks westerns with his Navajo grandmother while she babysat him. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Media Arts Studies in 2014. In 2013 he won the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Writing Award for his short script On A High Arid Plain, which he later directed and released in 2015. When not working on movies or television he enjoys watching Kenjki Mizoguchi movies, visiting the Orem City Library, and cooking with his wife – and frequent collaborator – Lydia.

Colten’s local grant is sponsored by Proper Brewing Co.