25 million dollars, 8 safety deposit boxes, and months before anyone will know it’s gone. But Harrison’s (Gil Bellows) perfect heist turns deadly when his safe-cracker, Mack (Michael Eklund), discovers their getaway pilot brutally murdered. Someone knew about the job, someone set them up. Stranded in a frozen hangar, held hostage by someone outside, loyalty turns to suspicion and friends turn to enemies. Now it’s a race against time as the band of thieves try to uncover the rat and escape their troubled pasts… if they can survive the night.
A dark and intricately structured genre film, Dead Draw is a story where every motive is questioned, every moment is critical, and every secret could prove fatal.
GIL BELLOWS - “HARRISON”
Gil Bellows has appeared in the films The Shawshank Redemption, Love and a .45, The Weatherman, Parkland, Kill the Messenger and will appear in Life on the Line. On TV, along with playing Billy Thomas on Ally McBeal, Bellows has starred in The Agency, Terminal City, and Ascension. As a producer, he Executive Produced the Independent Spirit Award winning feature Sweet Land and won the Emmy and Peabody Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe and Producer's Guild Award for Temple Grandin. Bellows also completed his directorial debut, 3 Days in Havana, in which he co-wrote and directed, produced and starred in the film.
BITSIE TULLOCH - “SARAH PARKER”
Bitsie Tulloch is a prolific actress and Harvard University graduate known for consistently working on both the big and small screens. Most notably, she plays the female lead on NBC’s hit drama Grimm and recently appeared alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti in the Tom Hanks-produced feature Parkland. Tulloch stars opposite Tim Roth in the indie Chronic that premiered as an Official Selection at the 68th Cannes Film Festival where it won Best Screenplay, as well as in the upcoming NFL drama Concussion with Will Smith opening on Christmas Day, 2015. Additionally, she’ll next be seen guest starring on the popular comedy series Portlandia during the upcoming season.
Tulloch was also in the Academy Award winning silent film The Artist, which took home Best Picture, and for which she was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Ensemble Cast. Other notable film credits include Neil LaBute’s Lakeview Terrace with Samuel L. Jackson and the independent film Riding the Pine, Uncross the Stars with Barbara Hershey and Ron Perlman. On television, Tulloch starred in Ed Zwick’s NBC drama series Quarterlife, has appeared in a recurring role on Outlaw, and had guest starring roles in House M.D., The West Wing, Cold Case, and Moonlight.
MICHAEL EKLUND - “MACK”
Michael Eklund is an award-winning actor, known for disappearing into every role he plays. Recently, Eklund terrified audiences in The Call where he starred opposite Halle Berry. Eklund starred in Errors of the Human Body, a psychological thriller/drama for which he won multiple best actor awards at the LEOS and Fantastic Fest.
Eklund’s upcoming releases include Mr. Right with Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick, Into the Forest with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood and The Confirmation with Clive Owen. Eklund’s most recent release, Eadweard, has garnered Best Actor Accolades for his riveting performance of Eadweard Muybridge on this year’s festival circuit. Other feature credits include 88 Minutes with Al Pacino, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Gunless, The Divide, The Day, and The Entrance.
FAUST CHECHO - “JONES”
Faust Checho is an actor and filmmaker. Checho started his film career starring in The Fields, opposite Acadamy Award Winner Cloris Leachman. Last year, Checho starred in three independent films, In Between Days with Amy Jo Johnson, The Rowboat with Adam Scarimbolo, and Strange Nature with Stephen Tobolowsky.
On the small screen, Checho’s television credits include USA's Royal Pains, and A&E’s Those Who Kill with Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy.
Always studying his art, Checho continues to train with a gamut of world-renowned coaches and recently Larry Moss, Patsy Rodenburg, and Jean-Louis Rodrigue. Stage credits include Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Neil Simon’s Rumors, Tennessee Williams’ Ten Blocks On the Camino Real, Woody Allen’s Central Park West, and Harold Pinter’s Celebration.
ANDY AHRENS - “DALLAS”
Andy Ahrens is thrilled to be a part of Dead Draw, a passion project turned legitimate. Working closely with the Rocket3 production team from the beginning, Ahrens has sought an eclectic mix of acting opportunities and creative partners. You can currently catch him on the upcoming season of Chicago Fire, as well as Jupiter Ascending, NBC's Mercy, and The Chicago Code.
He also enjoys dabbling in theatre where he is currently playing Sam Phillips in the Million Dollar Quartet. Creation is his muse, making the behind-the-scenes work with the Dead Draw team so special.
SLAINE CARROL - “CARVER”
After tussling in the streets of Boston for years as an underground rapper, Slaine caught a break in the music business and the film industry almost simultaneously. When news broke in the Boston Herald that Slaine had been added to House of Pain’s new lineup, Ben Affleck was looking for an actor that could bring street credibility to an essential role in his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. Affleck opened up the newspaper and found his answer.
After Gone Baby Gone, Affleck cast Slaine in the bank robbery hit, The Town, as get away driver Albert MacGloan. He went on to play a dim-witted criminal in Andruw Dominik’s Killing Them Softly alongside Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Ray Liotta.
He had his largest role to date in the indie mafia flick By The Gun with Harvey Keitel, Ben Barnes, and Toby Jones.
BRIT SHAW - “GRACIE”
Brit Shaw can soon be seen in Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, which is the final installment of the Paranormal Activity series. This Paramount Pictures’ horror film is directedby Gregory Plotkin and will premiere October, 2015. Shaw’s film and television credits include, Walk The Line, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End, Masters of Sex, Nashville, Royal Pains, CSI, and Entourage. Shaw’s accomplished acting career is matched by her writing talent. She wrote, produced, and starred in Rock and a Hard Place Production’s comedy, It’s Not Me, It’s You.
BRIAN KLEMESRUD - WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, EDITOR
Brian Klemesrud is an award-winning writer/director out of Chicago, Illinois. While Dead Draw is Klemesrud’s first feature, two of his other screenplays Recursion and The Mushroom Man are in various stages of pre-production. A true independent, Klemesrud has worked in production and post-production. Cutting his teeth as a grip, Klemesrud moved onto Set Builder, 2nd AC, 1st AC, 1st AD, Assistant Editor, and Editor, Writer, Director and Producer. Currently Klemesrud is represented by Lena Roklin of Luber/Roklin Entertainment, and he works as Creative Director at AL Media, earning 18 Reed awards and 10 Pollie awards for excellence in directing, writing, and producing.
JIM TIMPERMAN - CINEMATOGRAPHER, PRODUCER
At age 11, Jim Timperman discovered his life calling while watching a movie at the Indiana theater in Bloomington. But being unable to procure a Spaceship or a Wookie co-pilot, Timperman decided to go with his fallback career: Cinematography. Probably a good choice. Timperman has shot hundreds of commercials and over 30 feature films on 35mm, 16mm, Super 16, HD, Alexa, Red One, Epic and Dragon, and Canon C500.
Shooting in a studio or on location in cities as far flung as London, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Florence, Prague, Warsaw, Mumbai, Tokyo, Lima, and many others, Timperman’s work has won awards at film festivals and in the ad agency world. Timperman is currently in pre-productionwith Zack Parker (Proxy, Scalene) on his next film that will shoot in Chi- cago in 2016.
FAUST CHECHO - PRODUCER, ACTOR
Faust Checho began producing feature films in 2009 with the award-winning psychological thriller, The Fields. Checho oversaw all aspects of production and starred in the film with Academy-Award Winner Cloris Leachman. Checho’s second feature (Proxy, directed by Zack Parker) was critically acclaimed (“A Hitchcockian Mindf**k of a movie,” - SF Bay Guard- ian) and premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Proxy was acquired for distribution by IFC Midnight and went on to garner a multitude of accolades and awards on the festival circuit.
Dead Draw is Checho’s third feature film as actor/producer and his first collaboration with writer/director/friend, Brian Klemesrud. In between acting and producing Faust also works as a Development Executive with Evergreen Media Group (The Conjuring).
DAN KOLEN - PRODUCER
A Chicago-based producer, Kolen has coordinated undercover shoots in Tijuana, Mexico for CNBC’s Crime Inc., managed hundreds of cast and crew in multiple cities for The Onion’s VICE-parody EDGE, and is now creating a documentary in a medium-security prison in Iowa. Kolen has produced a range of work from PBS shows, to award-winning ads for U.S. Senators and Congressmen, to more than a hundred educational videos for W.W. Norton, along with making experimental art films in his off time. Dead Draw is his first narrative feature.
KATIE BRYAN - PRODUCER
Katie Bryan has had more than a decade of experience in production spanning reality television to documentaries to national advertisements. She began her career working for legendary documentarian and news journalist Bill Kurtis, making hard-hitting documentaries such as Cold Case Files. She has worked as a writer, producer and occasional set designer on projects with high profile clients including Meow Mix and Kmart to major networks like the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Katie’s love for production led her to working on her first scripted feature Dead Draw.
MARK YAEGER - COMPOSER
Born into a musical family, Yaeger developed a passion for music at an early age, influencedby classical composerssuch as Beethoven and Chopin. His musical education began with piano lessons at age 4, followed by the violin.
Yaeger’s ability to convey emotion through music to pictures ultimately led him to Klaus Badelt studios (Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Olympics 2008) where he collaborated with Badelt on several projects. Yaeger has composed original music, written songs, played solo instruments, and produced the score for more than 30 Hollywood and independent films. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
GUEORGUI LINEV - COMPOSER
Linev is better known by his stage name Crooked Waters and is a Bulgarian-American musician, producer, and composer of minimalist chamber, orchestral, and film music. He is also the founder, composer and producer of LA-based band Kan Wakan, which rose to prominence in 2014 with the release of its debut album Moving On. The album earned high praise from the editors at Rolling Stone, who called it ”Dreamy, intricate stuff worth repeated rehearing’s,” The Fader dubbed them, “One of the most exciting acts of the year,” and Buzzbands LA listed it as their #1 album of the year.
An artist who pushes himself out of his musical comfort zone, Crooked Waters incorporates orchestral, r&b, trip hop, electronica, jazz, folk and psychedelia. Named under Yahoo Music’s ’11 Best New Artists of the Year’ and LA Weekly’s ‘10 best songwriters in Los Angeles in 2014,’ he is currently writing and producing Kan Wakan’s sophomore album.
Becky Levi & Jim Becker - SONGWRITERS
Chicago based singer-songwriter Becky Levi teamed up with Chicago’s infamous Jim Becker to create an exclusive original soundtrack for the Independent Feature Film Dead Draw. Levi’s love for traditional music took her to Southwest Virginia and the deserts of West Africa where she immersed herself in studying roots music. In 2015 she performed and recorded with Chicago folk band Glass Mountain, sharing the stage with Frank Fairfield, Larry Keel Experience and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys. Becker is a musician, producer, and sound engineer who has played around the world since the 1980s. He has shared the stage with Neko Case and Wilco and has toured most recently with Califone and Iron and Wine.
Becker and Levi have a passion for both traditional and modern music along with a talent for producing authentic recordings to match the sounds of the 1950's. With their vintage recording techniques, musicianship, and a little help from some of Chicago’s best players these two mastered songs with an early country sound. Together, they set the stage for Dead Draw’s spaghetti western tone in modern day life.
PHILIPPE THIBAULT - DIGITAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR
Philippe Thibault got his start with Anthem VFX in Vancouver in the early 2000s. He was nominated for a VES Award by his peers for Outstanding Compositing in 2007 (Tin Man), and was nominated twice and won a Gemini Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on Sanctuary (2009). He was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstand- ing Special Visual Effects for Tin Man in 2008 and Sanctuary in 2009.
In 2010, along with Sebastien Bergeron and Matthew Belbin, Thibault moved to Montreal and founded Folks VFX where he is now Digital Effects Supervisor and VP. Folks VFX has built its reputation for its focus on storytelling and artistry. Their most recent work includes Zero Hour (ABC/Disney), Ascension (SyFy), The Messengers (CBS/CW) and TUT (Spike). Thibault and his team are currently working on the original drama The Art of More (Sony/Crackle) and the pilot The Patriot (Amazon) written and directed by Steve Conrad.