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Female Producers Launch Eyes Up Here Productions

Funding Deadline for Provocative Bullying Comedy, April 11

NEW YORK, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Eyes Up Here launches their first production, Running with Sharks, with a fundraising campaign. Producers Nilou Safinya and Nancy Vitale created the company to develop great stories for stage and screen in collaboration with artists they believe in. Eyes' first project, Running with Sharks, is a comedic short film for anyone who has ever felt judged in a swimsuit. Slated for production in May 2013, it will be funded through Indiegogo, with the campaign ending Thursday, April 11th.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130409/CG90294)

Writer Nancy Vitale was inspired after an embarrassing run-in with bullying octogenarian gym rats. She says, "From day one, it was clear that I was on someone else's turf. After the instructor yelled 'this ain't your grandma's water aerobics,' I stopped laughing/being scared and started writing."

The film will be helmed by Director Suha Araj whose short film,The Cup Reader, has been accepted into this year's Tribeca Film Festival. Cinematographer Meg Kettell joins her. J&R Creative will be casting Running, with the cast soon to be announced. Following production, Producers Nilou and Nancy will submit the film to festivals such as SXSW and Sundance, pitch the concept for television development and explore licensing the concept for branded content.

Promotional partners providing Indiegogo campaign perks, cross promotion and more include Body Space Fitness, Nicole Burley Coaching, Small Pond Enterprises, Xurus Wine, Body Beautiful Wellness and Olympic Medalist Dr. Jane Katz, among others.

For more information about Eyes Up Here Productions or Running with Sharks, contact Nilou and Nancy at [email protected]. Additional information available on Facebook, Twitter (@RunningWSharks) and online at eyesuphereproductions.com.


Nancy Vitale (Writer/Producer) She is a founding member of Eyes Up Here Productions, and the writer of Running with Sharks. She has worked in TV development (TV Land) and in film (Emerging Pictures, Columbia Film). In theatre, she is Producing Artistic Director of Noor Theatre, which co-produced Food and Fadwa in May, 2012 (New York Theatre Workshop). Past theatre includes: Williamstown Theatre Festival (Resident Dramaturg/Literary Manager), McCarter Theatre (Literary Assistant/Copywriter), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Literary Associate) and Passage Theatre (Artistic Consultant); she developed productions at NYTW, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Araca Group, New Georges, Arab-American Comedy Fest, Columbia University SoA and Carnegie Mellon SoD. She holds her M.F.A. in Theatre (Columbia University SoA) and her B.A. in English (Oakland University). Nancyvitale.com.

Nilou Safinya (Producer) A founding member of Eyes Up Here Productions, Nilou is a NY-based producer working in theatre, film and TV. Originally Iranian and having lived in and traveled to many different countries, her mission is to work on global and culturally diverse issues, helping to bring people together through the arts. Nilou moved to NYC to attend Columbia University. Her many credits in NY theatre include work at Juilliard and with the Alternate Theatre Co. She currently sits as President of the Board of Directors for Noor Theatre. Nilou worked for 3 years in TV/film development and production at Levantine Entertainment before turning freelance. She is also a partner of Grandma's Chicken Pants, a high-end content development production company with credits all over the US and in 22 countries around the world. Nilou is concurrently developing a youth outreach public performance piece in NYC. 

Suha Araj (Director) Her work explores the displacement of immigrant communities, and her passion lies in bridging cultures. Her feature script, Khsara was developed with Sundance Screenwriters Lab, RAWI, Torino Film Lab, Dubai Film Connection, EAVE, IFP No Borders. Suha was chosen for IFP and Lincoln Center's Emerging Visions program. She participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus and Talent Market in 2012. Her short film, The Cup Reader, shot in Palestine in 2012, premieres at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Her short film, I am Palestine screened at festivals internationally. She served on the selection committee of the Arab Film Festival (San Francisco), LunaFest Board of Advisors, and as story advisor on Sundance's, Slingshot HipHop. She produced the narrative short, Fruition. Installation art (Displacement, Inshallah Falasteen, Buried in Michigan) and acting have inspired her storytelling. She is a co-founder of DivineCaroline.com and is a teaching artist with the Tribeca Institute.

Meg Kettell (Cinematographer) Meg is a filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. She has shot narrative and documentary films for the last twelve years. A member of IATSE Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild) and a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Meg has spent the last several years traveling the world, working and shooting in over 25 countries and across the United States, most recently shooting a film in Beit Jala, Palestine.  While at NYU, Meg won the Bahoric-Meisel Scholarship for Women Cinematographers two years in a row.  She continues to work on projects including shorts, music videos and documentaries. Kettell is currently developing several projects.

To view this video on YouTube, please visit:


Media Contact:

Nilou Safinya, Eyes Up Here Productions, 212.731.9193, [email protected]

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