About Spirit of Iris

Iris Cummings Critchell embodies the phrase, coined by Louis Pasteur, “life favors the prepared mind”.  After hearing of her marvelous adventures and stores throughout the years, I felt like her American story needed to be shared.  It is a story of inspiration and preparation for life. Yet, many people have never heard this story and it should be told.  The documentary follows a trail blazing woman, who not only swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II.  She has continued flying, teaching and inspiring minds to be prepared for whatever life brings to them. Iris is almost 95 years young.  She still swims daily; maintains a current pilot’s license and instructor rating and has given many historical presentations.

Spirit of Iris Iris Cummings Critchell embodies the phrase, coined by Louis Pasteur, “life favors the prepared mind”.  After hearing of her marvelous adventures and stores throughout the years, Spirit of Iris I felt like her American Spirit of Iris story needed to be shared.  It is a story of inspiration and preparation for life. Yet, many people have never heard this story and it should be told. Spirit of Iris  The documentary follows a trail blazing woman, who not only swam in Spirit of Iris the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Spirit of Iris Air Transport Command in World War II.  She has continued flying, teaching and inspiring minds to be prepared for whatever life brings to them. Iris is almost 95 years young.  She still swims daily; maintains a current pilot’s license and instructor Spirit of Iris rating and has given many historical presentations.

The story of Iris exemplifies the pioneering stories of the first women who flew on behalf of the US Military during WWII…and the colorful lives that they led and contributions they made afterwards.

Crew Biographies

CORINNE JAYAWEERA

Director/Executive Producer

Corinne Jayaweera has enjoyed her career in various academic roles and settings. At the DruckerSchool of Business, she lead the Mentor Program and Kravis Concept business plan competition. Corinne left CGU to focus on her fledgling film and event planning company. She has grown from producing her first documentary in 2008 to directing and producing documentaries and narratives. Corinne is active in the PSA program at Women In Film and has produced and has been on the producing team of multiple PSA’s. Outside of her own projects she has worked as a unit production manager, as well as a wardrobe manager. She is extremely proud of her, loving and supportive family. In Corinne’s spare time she enjoys country line dancing, white water rafting and taking walks in the woods.

CHRIS BURGARD

Producer

In 2007, award-winning filmmaker Chris Burgard created the groundbreaking film “BORDER” that defined this generation’s border and immigration reality. As creative and strategic media director for Herman Cain, he was dubbed the most dangerous media man on the planet and was credited with developing the new Avant-garde genre of political messaging.

KAREN MCMILLEN

Consulting Producer

Karen McMillen (Consulting Producer) has been producing, directing and writing award-winning educational video for over 20 years for organizations including The Smithsonian Institution, The National Archives, The Getty Museum, Claremont Graduate University, Harvard University, Children’s Hospital Boston, The Louisiana State Museum, and a host of others

KEVIN LYONS

Camera Operator

Kevin Lyons has more than 15 years of experience in the video and film industry. His professional history includes positions as a Video Producer, Editor, Graphic Designer, Audio Visual Engineer and Web Developer. He truly is a multimedia professional. Since 2006 he has developed and operates his own video production business. He has won such awards as the CINE Golden Eagle Award and the Telly Award for Cinematography and Video Editing

ANTHONY JACKSON

Production Assistant

Anthony Jackson started acting for television and motion pictures at the age of seventeen. Over the years he has found himself behind the camera producing commercial and independent projects.  He has worked as an assistant director, screenwriter and producer.

PHOEBE KRUEGER

Camera Operator

Phoebe Krueger is a documentary cinematographer and camera operator who graduated NYU’s TISCH program in 2004. She moved to the LA area and works on feature film, TV, documentary and live theater projects.

PAIGE OUELLETTE

Paige Ouellette is a 5th grader who enjoys dance, acting and being on stage. She is a dedicated Girl Scout and loves reading a good book.

XANDER LOVE

Post Production

Xander Love is a Post-Production Editor who has worked with Little Bonanza Productions since 2010. In that time, he has been one of the creative minds behind some of the most influence political videos of the decade. His videos and editing style have helped pave the way for many other filmmakers who have produced some of the most shocking videos of the last few years.

KAYLEE-ANNA JAYAWEERA

Photographer/Production Assistant

Kaylee-Anna has been a photographer for 5 years and really enjoys the process of film making and story telling.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to Iris Cummings Critchell for sharing her time and wonderful shared experiences

Joyce Raef
Pat Raef
Leon Nowlin
Special thanks to my loving always supportive family
BJ Alden
Kristen Alden
Amy Taylor
Surya Jayaweera

Reco’s Magic

A middle-class, southern Californian family of five face the loss of their house as their business falterers. The kids decide to become entrepreneurs themselves and launch an unexpectedly successful product.

The children’s entrepreneurial spirit come to the rescue of a middle class family when they face hard financial times.

Crew Biographies

CORINNE JAYAWEERA

(CJ Raef)

Director/Producer

Corinne Jayaweera has enjoyed her career in various academic roles and settings. At the DruckerSchool of Business, she lead the Mentor Program and Kravis Concept business plan competition. Corinne left CGU to focus on her fledgling film and event planning company. She has grown from producing her first documentary in 2008 to directing and producing documentaries and narratives. Corinne is active in the PSA program at Women In Film and has produced and has been on the producing team of multiple PSA’s. Outside of her own projects she has worked as a unit production manager, as well as a wardrobe manager. She is extremely proud of her, loving and supportive family. In Corinne’s spare time she enjoys country line dancing, white water rafting and taking walks in the woods.

LEON AERYK

First Assistant Director and Producer

BRUCE FINN

Director of Photography

Bruce Finn is credited as the Director of Photography on more than a hundred major television network episodes and pilots. His work on some of the world’s most famous hologram’s include the Michael Jackson hologram “Slave to the Rhythm”.
Awards earned include: EMMY Cinematography MultiCamera “8 Simple Rules” ABC Primetime, EMMY Cinematography Single Camera “My Indian Summer” CBS Daytime.
He is an avid Inventor that has been recognized for his contributions to improving the efficiency of television production with his novel lighting devices and has been issued a dozen Patents for his innovative lights. As well as actively shooting he has recently begun teaching Cinematography at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

MARIYA PYTER

Script Supervisor

Mariya Pyter is a Russian director, screenwriter and producer. She began her career in St. Petersburg, Russia. While still in Russia, she worked as a theater production manager, interviewer, presenter and assistant director. Inspired by the tradition of American cinema she moved to Los Angeles to continue her development as an artist.

Her latest film “The Dead are Silent” is based on the novel by Arthur Schnitzler whose novel “Rhapsody: A Dream Novel” was the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Mariya is an active member of Women in Film and part of the Artemis Women in Action film festival marketing team. She supports the empowerment of women in the film both in front and behind the camera.
She conducted Directing Workshop at the Rough Cut film festival in Philadelphia this year and shot WIF PSA for the charity “A New way of Life: re-entry project”.

Currently, Mariya has two short films (“Taste to be wicked” and “The Dead are Silent”) in the festival circuit, two optioned scripts and a feature “On the way to Lovetown” in development based on her short film with the same title.

CHASE BELL

Music Composure

Chase Bell is a LA based pop songwriter and composer who produces, performs, and writes his own music. Chase has performed throughout Europe, Africa, and the States his original style of pop music; a unique and modern blend of pop/rock, funk, and cinematic styles.

Early in 2016 Chase released his cinematically driven pop EP “Whatever Love Means” which has two duets sung with his sister Emma Bell. Also on the EP is the anthemic pop song “Whatever Love Means To You” accompanied by its music video where Chase travels across the city of LA asking its diverse residents the intimate question “What Does Love Mean?”

Chase is currently promoting his upcoming Pop/Funk EP “Ain’t Funkin’ Around” releasing the single “Turn Me On” in November 2016.

CODY EBBELER

Editor

Cody Ebbeler is an American filmmaker located in the heart of Hollywood passionately driven by metaphysical concepts, thrilling experiences and emotive soundtracks. Ebbeler has been photographing since the age of 9, studied music theory, and also dabbled with in mechanical engineering, electronics and web design. After attained a B.S. digital photographic degree he went on to photograph with Amazon and other companies around the US. Since moving to Los Angles, he has directed films with Lamborghini, Ferrari and local musical artists.

Cast

Ronan Barbour

Aubrey Trujillo Scarr

Kaylee-Anna Jayaweera

Everett Jayaweera

Sorin Jayaweera

Dad

Mom

Older Sister

Older Brother

Yougest Brother