An extraordinary story about a family working together creatively:
Two of the FIVE SISTERS went to Yale, two to Harvard, one to Denison and then formed a movie production company after years of doing other things. Everyone wears at least two hats: production and finance; directing and producing; acting and directing, etc.
The sisters continue to support each other’s having separate work, and the family believes strongly in having interests and involvement outside of the film business. The youngest sister, Charity, for instance, continues to teach in the LA city school system.
Their mother went to film school (the oldest student at the time to go to AFI), where she began to win awards for her screenwriting. One of the scripts she wrote was set in Buffalo (where the five sisters grew up). The five sisters optioned the script, and their company produced it — MANNA FROM HEAVEN.
Their father retired from the University (SUNY) at Buffalo to join his daughters’ production company.
Filmmaker/sister Gabrielle and the Rotary Clubs: Gabrielle won an Rotary Ambassadorial scholarship from the Amherst South Rotary Club. She went to Toulouse, France, where she studied film. As she says, “The Rotary scholarship changed my life. I ended up studying film, and it has led me in the direction I am now. My sisters and I believe strongly in running a socially responsible business, and we are interested also in giving back to the community (as with our connection with Habitat for Humanity on Manna From Heaven). I credit the values of and experience I had with the Rotary Clubs as influencing me with their ethics and sense of community responsibility. Three Rotary members in particular in Amhers – Reed Taylor, Jay Beck and Larry Green – introduced me to these ideals, and I am grateful to them and the Rotary Clubs of the district (which covers Buffalo and part of Canada) for having given me a remarkable and life-changing opportunity.”