Meet The Crew
The Director - Sonia Sebastián
Based in Los Angeles, award-winning Spanish director Sonia Sebastian has a vast experience spanning theater, television, and film. Her passion for telling stories involving diverse and dynamic characters is a common through-line while bringing a personal cultural perspective to her work.
Before settling in the United States, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Royal Academy of Drama in Spain and then studied film and television at the prestigious International School of Film & Television in Cuba, where she met many students from across Latin America.
Sonia has co-directed more than fifteen multi-cam episodes for Spain’s TV networks Mediaset and TeleMadrid. She was the showrunner, writer, and director of the first online web series in Spain, Girl Seeks Girl, produced by Movistar (Telefonica).
She brings a distinctive humorous style to her work, and she likes to think of herself as an actor’s director, having worked with talents such as Dermot Mulroney, Penelope Ann Miller, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Ethan Herisse, Alexandra Billings, and Parminder Nagra.
She’s currently in post-production on her feature film The Kiss List for Marvista Entertainment. Her third film, The Virgin of Highland Park, an inspirational coming-of-age story, recently premiered on Pluto TV. Her feature film Freelancers Anonymous, produced by Full Spectrum Features in Chicago, was recognized by ReFrame and IMDbPro with the gender-parity stamp. Sonia’s first feature film De Chica en Chica, is available on Amazon Prime Video. Her commercial work includes Netflix, Google Pixel, Google Home, Disney, Tinder, Roomba, Walmart, Nature Made, and PayPal.
Sonia has served as a juror for the International Emmy® Awards competition to recognize excellence in international television programming, among other Film and TV contests worldwide.
The Writer, Producer, Executive Producer - Heather Older
Heather is an Oregon based screenwriter and producer who currently serves as the Executive Director of the McMinnville Short Film Festival in McMinnville, Oregon. Her credits include 'Above the Desert with No Name,' and the award winning short, 'AC.' Prior to this she wore many hats and headsets on various film productions and served as Production Coordinator for Jon Favreau's Dinner for Five, as well as the Project Manager in the Entertainment and Media Division at Korn Ferry International in Los Angeles. She holds a BFA in Communications Design from Syracuse University and attended Central St. Martins in London where her concentration was storytelling through fine art photography.
Producer, Executive Producer- Maarten Cornelis
Maarten Cornelis is an entrepreneur and an entertainment veteran with over two decades of experience in the industry. He is a award winning Producer, Director, Light Designer, Actor and Film Festival Manager.
Maarten is the CEO of Gatehouse Entertainment (http://www.gatehouse-entertainment.com/), a company focused on film and theatre productions. Past credits of the company include “Dinner For Two” , “Music Garden", "Do not open the door". Broadway productions include “The Importance of Being Earnest(ly) LGBT+” and all FunikiJam shows.
He is the co-owner of Tin Mirror Studios (https://tinmirrorstudios.com/). Tin Mirror Studios is a creative studio on a 10,000 sq. ft. movie and TV oriented campus. Located in Kings Park, NY.
Maarten was born in Belgium and grew up in Los Angeles. He is currently based in New York City, and divides his time between both NYC and Los Angeles.
Producer- Mauricio Arrioja
Born in Mexico, Mauricio's passion for film began with making homemade films. His early studies at Sorø Academy in Denmark, alma mater of famous writer Hans Christian Andersen, sparked his interest in storytelling that spans cross-cultural divides. While living in Europe, he studied diverse film movements including Dogme 95, style and lighting techniques of film noir and German Expressionism.
Mauricio brings over 10 years of television, commercial, music video, and motion picture production experience. He has worked with Viacom, Univision, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Emmy's, The TV Academy, AFI Fest, Hola Mexico Film Festival and several award-winning directors and filmmakers. Arrioja specializes in increasing office efficiency, event planning, stakeholder/vendor outreach, safety, acquiring new projects and overseeing them from development to exhibition.
He holds a B.A. in Film and Television Arts from California State University, Northridge, an A.A. in Cinema from Los Angeles City College and is actively involved with Film Independent Los Angeles and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).