GTA V Actress and Sundance Producer Attach “Emmett” Director Bridget Stokes To Female-Run Narrative-Feature “Born That Way” through Cross Country Productions

Article via Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELESJune 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Grand Theft Auto V actress Michal Sinnott (Tracey De Santa) and Sundance producer Kristen Murthaattached Bridget Stokes to direct “Born That Way.”

Stokes joins the predominantly female-team following “Emmett,” her sophomore directorial feature, with Rita Wilson and Miles Brown (Black-ish).

The team released a live-action proof-of-concept, animated by Animation-Director Jordan Bruner, with Cinematography by Tanzania-Unit DP Katherin Machalek.


“The beauty of this film’s written into the structure of the script. I was drawn to ‘Born That Way’ because of its truth-searching characters, unconventional story-line, and the theme of love in the modern world,” says Stokes.

‘A Magical Realist Present Day Fable For The People,’ the film explores parallel-realities, human-connection, race, gender, immigration status, and sexuality through live-action and animation.

“The story’s about our connectedness to each other, the earth, to animals. It digs into deeply painful territory. The animation gives it humor and levity. It’s political and of the now, and it feels vital at this moment in time, in our divided America,” says Sinnott.

Written by Sinnott and Mary M. Parr, it was Quarter-Finalist in Gotham-International Screenwriting Competition, top 15% for Academy Nicholl Fellowship, 2nd round (Finalist) for Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, & accepted into Big Vision Empty Wallet’s Kickstart Diversity Program.

“Bridget’s artistic vision and unique point-of-view bring an exciting, elevated, and important take on our story. I’m thrilled for her leadership and voice as part of the BORN team,” says Murtha.

Filming began Summer 2017 in Tanzania, and continues in NYC in Fall 2018, with the goal of gender, race, and sexuality parity within the crew.

Also announced: Co-producer Emma Berdie Donson, Associate Producer Michelle Kantor,  Music-Coordinator Nwaka Onwusa, Assistant-Editor Claire Fishman, Marketing-Director Brittany Hottmann, and Social-Media Team Jordan Snowden, Eliza O’Donovan, Janéa Tyler, Cody Wood.

The proof-of-concept includes Music by Patrick Burke, Sound-Design by Martin Carillo, and Assistant-Editing by Kat King. Actors Stephanie Ann Whited and Chris Schermerhorn round-out the video, featuring people and animal-life from NYC streets, and Maasai children from Tanzania. Cross Country Productions is establishing a film-fund for their work with the Maasai.


The team’s currently making actor attachments.

“Born That Way’s” repped for legal-counsel by Bianca Grimshaw (Beasts of the Southern Wild) of GKSD (Moonlight).

Contact Brittany Hottmann at for inquiries.

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“Yahoo Finance: Warner Brothers, BAND AID Co-Producer Joins Grand Theft Auto V Actress to Produce Film “Born That Way”

Article via Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK, June 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Grand Theft Auto V actress Michal Sinnott has attached Warner Brothers producer Kristen Murtha for her feature film in development, “Born That Way.”

Kristen Murtha joins film Born That Way with experience producing for Warner Brothers, working for DreamWorks, and most recently as associate producer for the 2017 LEGO movie and co-producer for Sundance-acclaimed Zoe Lister-Jones film BAND AID.

“The ‘Born That Way’ script was unlike anything I’d read before. It’s unique and beautiful, and presents some interesting challenges as a producer. Simultaneously, it presents opportunities to make something no one has ever seen,” says Kristen about “Born That Way.”

Described by Michal as a “A Magical Realist Present Day Fable For The People,” “Born That Way” explores parallel realities, human connection, and gender through a combination of live-action and animation.

“The story deals with our connectedness to each other, to the earth and to animals – we tackle a lot of heavy stuff, but the animation gives that heaviness levity,” says Michal.

Acting for the screen and stage since age 7, Michal is known for her role as Tracey De Santa in Grand Theft Auto V. A passionate world traveler, Michal co-wrote “Born That Way” with best friend Mary M. Parr on a 6 day USA cross country road trip.

With initial investment from private investors Dina and Fred Clements and Dyna Drones, Michal is meeting with directors and actors to round out the “Born That Way team.”

Filming for “Born That Way” will begin in 2017 in Tanzania, Africa, and will continue on location in New York City in 2018.

Kristen’s producing experience with BAND AID will bring unique opportunities for a diverse production crew for “Born That Way.”

“Working on BAND AID has been the highlight of my career to date. Being surrounded by strong, capable women under the leadership of the powerhouse that is Zoe Lister-Jones was an incredibly empowering experience,” says Kristen.

Also joining the “Born That Way” team as Co-Executive Producer is Emmy and Gemini Award winner Rob Travalino. Rob brings 2 decades of experience as a creator, writer, and story consultant for DreamWorks, Disney, Lucasfilm, Warner Brothers, and Sega of America.

“‘Born That Way’ is an incredibly timely story with a fascinating approach to its telling. And Michal is full of passion and is surrounded by people who believe in her,” says Kristen.

Please reach out to Alana Maiello at for press inquiries.

Media Contact: Alana Maiello, Born That Way, 8057960334,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:


We’re a recipient of Big Vision Empty Wallet’s Kickstart Diversity Program

Born That Way is a recipient of Big Vision Empty Wallet’s Kickstart Diversity Program. The program encourages diversity in storytelling at the independent level by supporting projects written, directed, and/or produced by Women, People of Color and Members of the LGBTQ Community. 


Read about the program at SLATE and like the BVEW Facebook page to keep up with all the Hollywood diversifying developments.

Through the program, we will receive 15-75% discounts from vendors nationwide for everything from camera rentals to sound design to deliverables to marketing, which will allow us to save money through all stages of production and give you, the investor, more bang for your buck. The program also offers exclusive access to education and distribution opportunities, that will aid us in building and activating our audience. So grateful!