Director & Writer
Award winning filmmaker Ky Dickens directed the documentary FISH OUT OF WATER which used animation, LGBT narratives and historical analysis to deconstruct the seven Bible verses used to condemn homosexuality. FISH OUT OF WATER was a breakout success on the festival circuit, winning four festival prizes and securing North American distribution by First Run Features immediately after its initial release.
Most recently, Ky joined forces with Rock the Vote & Equality Illinois to direct the Vote Naked Illinois campaign, which resulted in over 500,000 absentee ballot requests in Illinois and dramatically impacted midterm elections. Ky won the 2010 UK Yahoo! Holiday Video of the Year award for her viral cell phone video about a lost snowman. She was a Documentary Juror for Chicago’s Reeling Film Festival and has been a panelist at the Chicago International Film Festival and the Show Me Justice Film Festival.
Her current feature film project, SOLE SURVIVOR, profiles four people who, through the vagaries of fate, were the only survivors of otherwise fatal plane crashes. SOLE SURVIVOR provides them with a sensitive platform to tell their stories. It will be released in 2013.
As a producer, Ky has worked on a wide variety of feature and short films including THE WIDOW, directed by Ryan Logan, JAMIE AND JESSIE ARE NOT TOGETHER directed by Wendy Jo Carlton and RANGE LIFE directed by Robert Trondson. By day, Ky directs TV commercials at the world-renown production studio, MK FILMS (mkfilmsgroup.net).
Ky graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Vanderbilt University. She is a member of the Chicago chapter of Women in Film and she was the keynote speaker at the 2011 conference of Methodist Clergy in Houston Texas.
Currently Anna Patel is a film and video editor at Foundation Content in LA. In the past six years she has edited films, documentaries, trailers, commercials, viral web spots and music videos. She has worked with a diverse amount of clients on numerous projects including The Arctic Monkeys, KD Lang, Matt and Kim, Nike, Levis, Clorox, SnapDragon, Music Box Films, Warner Brothers and At&t. Her passion lies somewhere between directing stop motion short films and editing compelling and life altering documentaries, such as Sole Survivor. She brings creativity, trust, collaboration and a strong work ethic to the editing room. Also she always will have a cup of warm tea and a smile waiting for you.
Susan Aurinko founded FLATFILEgalleries in 2000. In the nine years it was open, the gallery grew to be one of the largest in Chicago, and continually received national and international press for many of its 200+ exhibitions. In 2003, Aurinko was named "One of 25 People Making a Difference in the Arts in the Midwest" by Dialogue Magazine, and in 2007, she received Columbia College's Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Among the gallery's highlights were many political exhibitions, including the record-breaking Domestic Tension which featured the residency of Wafaa Bilal which received press in over 80 countries. Bilal credits Aurinko with being a visionary to allow the project to be played out in the gallery. University College of London geographic sociologist Alan Ingram is currently writing a book about the exhibition in which Aurinko figures prominently as a source. During the years of the gallery, Aurinko was known for pushing the envelope with the content of the exhibitions she curated. Through the gallery, Aurinko became very involved in Chicago's arts community, actively working with or serving on the Boards of several major organizations including the Chicago Artists Coalition, the City of Chicago's Chicago Artists Month Advisory Committee, Chicago Sculpture International, the Community Arts Assistance Program award panel, and Ballet Chicago, among others. Currently Aurinko serves on the Art Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago, its Collection Management Subcommittee, and the Boards of Directors of Chicago Artists Coalition, The Chicago Photography Center, and Universe of Poetry.
Amy's early love of theater and study of it, in tandem with communications at Saint Mary's College, foreshadowed her career reaching audiences with a range of film-related pursuits. Amy has been producing commercials in Chicago for fifteen years. She has had the opportunity to produce many projects for top-tier clients including Pantene, Revlon, McDonald's, Coors and P&G. Initially having been introduced to the craft in post-production, her work has evolved as she has taken on producing jobs in animation and efx in both Chicago and New York. She got a taste of producing for independent film with her work on "Range Life", directed by former Blue Meanies punk band drummer Robert Trondson. That paved the way for her to continue in her love of independent film making as one of the producers on "Sole Survivor". She currently exercises a balance of the creative and practical, working as one of the senior producers for MK Films Group in Chicago. She contributes to creative development and manages the bidding and negotiating of projects for MK Films Group's five directors working in live-action and tabletop realms.
Other past affiliations include Avenue Edit, Peter Elliott Productions, Big Deahl Productions and MTV. She has also enjoyed contributing her skills to past productions of the annual fundraising film for Off the Street Club.
When not producing commercials and films, she is focusing on her biggest production project to date: keeping up with the exciting and unpredictable lives of her two young children.
Director of Photography
Throughout six years of professional experience, Tom has been fortunate to work on a wide variety of projects including documentaries, commercials, music videos, and feature films, in both the camera and lighting departments. These jobs have ranged over fourteen countries on five continents and some of Tom’s most challenging assignments include: filming from a hot air balloon over Turkey, a dugout canoe in the swamps of Sudan, the back of a dogsled team in Canada, and speeding through the crowded streets of Pakistan on a motorized rickshaw.
Documentary work in particular is a constant source of inspiration for Tom. Tom specializes in work that involves humanitarian causes and wildlife or anthropological subjects and has tried to develop a set of skills which supplements working in remote places or difficult environments. Professionally, he prides himself on being reliable, dedicated, passionate, and having the ability to blend creativity with an eye for detail. In addition to Steadicam operation and aerial photography experience, Tom has location experience in the following countries: Japan, India, France, Great Britain, Canada, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Kenya, Sudan, Pakistan, and Peru.
Receiving her Master's degree in Media Studies from DePaul University, Alexis will examine the intersection of media and culture within each survivor's story and the subsequent impact on their recovery. Alexis has worked in arts management for more than a decade with some of the country's most renowned and vital artistic organizations, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet and River North Dance Chicago. As a Marketing Manager and Director of Marketing and Communications, Alexis has focused on strategic communications, creative and branding initiatives, media management, and audience development projects with partner organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra and the Auditorium Theater. Incorporating film production into her personal and professional interests since 2008, she is thrilled and honored to be a part of the Sole Survivor team. Alexis received her B.A. in Psychology and Art History from University of Vermont.
Since moving to Chicago in 2003 from Vermont, Kristen has worked in marketing and community outreach for Time Out Chicago, Whole Foods Market and the Chicago Reader, where she currently serves as the newspaper's Marketing Director. Kristen likes to create work that is collaborative and community-oriented, as evident in productions & campaigns including the Chicago Reader Biker Village for Pitchfork Music Festival and the major launch of the reinvented Reader, which included pop up events to celebration the revamped publication. In addition to her position at the Reader, Kristen co-manages the video production company Yellow Wing Productions, which she co-founded with Ky Dickens in 2007. In 2009, they released the breakout documentary film Fish out of Water with First Run Features, produced by Kristen and Fawzia Mirza and written and directed by Ky. The film, which explores the relationship between homosexuality and the Bible, had a successful run in the festival circuit and won four juror awards. Currently they are working on the film Sole Survivor, which examines the impact of survivorship on the human condition and is set to release in Summer, 2012. In June, 2009 Kristen received a 30 Under 30 award from the Windy City Media Group for her achievements in the LGBTQ community, and serves on the About Face Theater Junior Board. Kristen is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Columbia College where she will begin teaching Collaborative Consumerism, a course she devised for the college, in Spring, 2012.
Joanna Lakatos joins the Yellow Wing team as the Sole Survivor film's Business Manager. She brings six years of experience building support for arts and social change in Chicago as a development and communications consultant. Joanna has built extensive expertise with donor relations and institutional fundraising and has worked with a wide array of not-for-profit groups working to actualize their plans for growth and expansion. Her client list includes the Old Town School of Folk Music, Hubbard Street Dance Company, 3Arts, Christopher House, UCAN, and the Garfield Park Conservatory, among many others. She has also worked for national organizations such as the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and The Firelight Foundation. Joanna supports the film by working to build strong and compelling partnerships between the team and other artists, supporting organizations and funders. Joanna graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a degree in English Language and Literature. She also received a Summer Links Fellowship in recognition of her commitment to community engagement and social change. Joanna has long been passionate about meaningful filmmaking and about the experiences and narratives that bind us together as humans. She is grateful to be humbled and inspired by the individuals involved with this film on a daily basis.
French composer Franck Rapp, who lives and works just outside of Paris, has composed and arranged four albums, from jazz, to house, to pop music, has a catalogue of over 150 pieces, and has created music for a variety of commercial clients including the Chateau de Versailles, a production of Romeo and Juliet, Braun, Batida, Pepsi and many others. He has also composed for theater and film, and was recently commissioned in the US to create a suite of five compositions for the Centennial of the Executives Club of Chicago, which was performed in a concert at the end of 2011 by musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Born and raised in Eastern Europe, Lilly Lilova has always loved
the art of film. She currently attends the Illinois Center for Broadcasting and
is an intern for the film production "Sole Survivor" by Ky Dickens. She hopes
to become a filmmaker of documentary film in the future.