Shelter Me

: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development


A young woman fleeing a domestic abuse situation becomes ensnared in a homicide investigation that threatens both herself and a young child she has befriended.


In this dramatic suspense thriller mixing elements of Sundance Film Institute Award Winner "The Spitfire Grill" and the Academy Award Nominated "Winter's Bone", a young woman seeks refuge in a Washington D.C. homeless shelter, where she becomes involved in an unfolding murder investigation that threatens not only herself, but the life of young child she has befriended.


The narrative tapestry of "Shelter Me" deals with a multitude of social issues ranging from from domestic abuse and homelessness, to illiteracy, alcoholism and human trafficking. It also features a racial and gender diverse cast of characters whose stories we feel will resonate with a wide ranging audience. The lead character Jeanie Carpenter is a 22-year old woman whose resolve to end the cycle of abuse in her life sets the stage for a dramatic, suspenseful and inspirational journey.


Jerry Vasilatos - Producer/Director/Co-Writer

Jerry is a native Chicagoan who graduated with his film degree from Columbia College in Chicago. His first film "Solstice" was awarded the Silver Award by the Charleston International Film Festival, the Bronze Award by the Houston International Film Festival, and was broadcast by Lifetime Television in 1994 and 1995. The film is currently undergoing a 2K restoration under Jerry’s supervision for release on streaming platforms for it’s 25th Anniversary in 2018. Moving to Los Angeles in 1996, Jerry spent 10 years working in film and television, out of his boutique editing studio Nitestar Productions. While in Los Angeles, Jerry’s work included editing DVD featurettes produced by Trailer Park, 10 segments of the series "Breaking In" produced for the Reelz Channel and co-producing / editorial duties on twenty three episodes of the weekly syndicated series "Made in Hollywood". Jerry also edited "Now You Know", the romantic comedy written and directed by "Clerks" star Jeff Anderson presented by Kevin Smith and also worked with the late great television luminary Richard Hatch, of "Battlestar Galactica" fame. Returning to Chicago in 2007, Jerry now works on projects between his hometown and Los Angeles. Named by New City as one of the top 50 people in Chicago’s booming film industry, Jerry's credits include a wide variety of projects including commercials, music videos, documentaries, short films, and 4 episodes of the History Channel series "Gangland". He is presently the Chicago City Producer of the world renowned 48 Hour Film Project while developing several projects for his company Nitestar Productions at Cinespace’s Stage 18 in Chicago. "Shelter Me" is the first of those projects.

Jerry Vasilatos on IMDB

Sara Caldwell - Screenwriter

Sara is an award winning screenwriter/filmmaker, published author, and a digital media instructor at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She is also co-owner of House of Gorey Productions, a small company specializing in the horror/thriller genre. Sara’s short films have been recognized with many awards, including "Best Short Film" at the Indie Horror Film Festival, the Los Angeles Thriller Film Festival, the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, and the Creative Arts Film Festival. Her screenplays have also received many accolades, including "Best Screenplay" at the Shivers International Film Festival and the Dazed4Horror Film Festival, as well as 1st Place in the Horror Category of the Cannes Screenplay Contest. Previously, Sara was a producer/writer for Amphion Productions in Chicago and Motion Masters in Charleston, West Virginia. She was also a writer/ producer for Worldnet Television in Washington, DC, an internationally televised program of the United States Information Agency. Sara is the author of three industry related books, including "Splatter Flicks – How to Make Low Budget Horror Films" (Allworth Press). She received an MFA in Screenwriting from California State University Northridge (CSUN).

Sara Caldwell on IMDB

Angie Gaffney - Associate Producer

Angie is one of the many players leading the revitalization of the Chicago film industry. Named by New City as one of the top 50 people in Chicago’s booming film industry, Angie is an award-winning producer, speaker, and entrepreneur with experience in film, television, commercials, and theatre. Angie’s most recent projects include Guidance, the latest installment in Black Apple Media’s short film partnership with DePaul University, along with The Orchard’s series "The Jamz", The Onion’s "Tough Season", Black Apple Media’s original TV pilot "Public Housing Unit", Jennifer Reeder’s "Signature Move" (Official Selection SXSW 2017), and the upcoming feature films by award-winning directors Zack Parker and Jack C. Newell. Previously, Angie worked as the Executive Producer at the renowned satirical newspaper, The Onion, where she was instrumental in the development of Onion Labs - their digital agency. Currently, Angie also serves as the Executive Director of Stage 18, a non-profit entertainment incubator and development lab located on the lot of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Stage 18 develops local narrative content and connects qualified filmmakers with capital networks. Angie has produced off-Broadway theatre in New York, and has worked in Los Angeles with Anonymous Content and Escape Artists. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Angie is a proud graduate of DePaul University.

Angie Gaffney on IMDB

Sarah Clark - Casting Director

Sarah has worked professionally in the film industry for eight years. Casting has always been her bread and butter, but she's also an Emmy Nominated producer and still produces selectively. She’s been lucky to work on films like "August Osage County", "To the Wonder", "Rudderless", and many many more. Sarah has seen thousands of actors for hundreds of commercials with clients like Nike, Corona, Cracker Barrel, Honda, and hundreds more. Passionate about casting, she does her best to make sure everyone is taken care of and the best possible cast comes together.

Sarah Clark on IMDB

Anamaria Hepburn - Co-Producer

Anamaria I. Hepburn is a Film Producer based out of Chicago and Los Angeles with a background in TV/Video and multimedia marketing. Since age 12 she has been pursuing her goal to work in the TV and film industry which brought her from Europe to Chicago. She was awarded a scholarship from Moody Bible Institute, where she studied multimedia communications and film. While still in college she landed an internship at TLN, a cable network in Chicago and soon after she found herself directing and producing episodes for TV-shows. Anamaria wrote, produced and line produced several TV and film projects. Her short Home of Superman won an Award of Excellence at the Los Angeles Movie Awards in 2011.

Anamaria Hepburn on IMDB

John O'Shaughnessy - Director of Photography

John grew up in the Chicago area and attended Columbia College. After graduating with a BA in filmmaking he embarked on a career in cinematography. He helped establish and operate Image Dynamics, Inc. as co-owner from 1992 through 1997, until he sold his interest and moved to Los Angeles to pursue motion picture and television work. He graduated from the prestigious American Film Institute with a MFA in cinematography in 2003. John worked on multiple projects with fellow AFI grads Ed Zwick and Marshal Herskovitz including the first multimillion dollar internet show, “Quarterlife,” starring David Walton and Elizabeth Tulloch and the CBS pilot “A Marriage,” with Bruce Greenwood and Miranda Otto. John Also worked on “Buppies” for BET as well as several movies and television shows including “Sex and Breakfast” with Elizia Dushku, Alexis Dziena, and Macaulay Culkin, and “Outing Riley” with Nathan Fillion and Michael McDonald.

Several short films John shot were award winners including “Shooter” (Hatchfest, Urban World, San Francisco Black Film Festival), “Among Thieves” (Sundance, Palm Springs, LA film Festival) and Effloresce which won best cinematography at the World Music and Independent Film Festival. John Also did extensive work as second unit cameraman on television shows such as “Sopranos,” “NCIS,” and “Cold Case.”

John O'Shaughnessy on IMDB


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