Sherri VandenAkker was born and raised in central Massachusetts. She now lives north of Boston with her husband and two children. Sherri is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in English, and University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Ph.D., with concentrations in Rhetoric & Composition, Modern Poetry, and Contemporary Poetry. Sherri is a Professor at the Springfield College, School of Human Services, Boston campus, where she teaches writing, literature, and research skills to adult learners in face-to-face and online formats. She has written numerous articles and worked on two books. The award-winning feature documentary My Name is Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic is her first venture in film.
UHP PROJECT TEAMS
Cesario founded UHP with Joe in 2008 and formally established the LLC in 2009. As a co-founder of UHP, Tio was involved in the production of Breaking: Los Angeles and Undiscovered L.A. Cesario was born in the Philippines, raised in Philadelphia, PA, and moved to Los Angeles in 2002. He credits the inspiration for his pursuit of acting and filmmaking to a scene he did early in his career in New York with Al Pacino in a film titled, People I Know. Since then, his roles and responsibilities have been both in front of and behind the camera, directing five multi-camera episodes for Recorded Live and Chasing Skirts. Tio continues his pursuit of independent filmmaking while acting for Hollywood’s film and television industry.
Editor | Director
Breaking: Los Angeles & Undiscovered L.A. Team
Yale is an independent filmmaker. He has been working with digital media since 1993, at its dawn. He has produced and edited fictional shorts and music videos. Breaking: Los Angeles marks Yale's first collaboration with Unlikely Hero Productions as a producer and co-director of the feature-length documentary. He is also working with UHP and Aid Africa on the untitled feature-length documentary on women in Uganda.
Ryan D. Kuper
Breaking: Los Angeles Team
Breaking signifies Kuper's first venture in the documentary filmmaking process. His music career began when he started promoting local concerts at the age of sixteen. Within a year, Kuper launched his recording company, Redemption Records, debuting many acts that went on to prominent labels: Inch (Atlantic), Martin Dam (Hybrid/Sire), Motion City Soundtrack (Columbia) and many others. In 2001, Kuper amalgamated his label experience with less-than-traditional artist development practices and launched the management/consultation firm Boundless Entertainment. With Boundless, Kuper secured deals for The All-American Rejects (DreamWorks), Andy Dick (Milan/BMG), The Reunion Show (Victory), A Kiss Could Be Deadly (Metropolis), and provided consultation work for a slew of impressive clients including Nokia/Whirled, HBO, IRIS Distribution, Hits! Magazine, Linda Perry/Custard Records, Joe Ruffalo, etc. In addition to working with UHP on Breaking, Kuper works as a music industry advisor and is a significant contributor to the Billboard books "Start & Run Your Own Record Label" and "The Musician's Handbook." He frequently teaches industry classes, speaks at conferences throughout the country, and recently earned his executive MBA from Pepperdine University.
Cinematographer | Producer
The Next Greatest Generation Team
Peter’s professional life was working in post-production for many documentaries and television series over more than thirty years. Keller has been active in social causes most of his life. He is executive director of Aid Africa and has been working in Northern Uganda since 2005 and travels there two or three times a year. He is also on the board of, and active with, Valley View Vaulters, a non-profit organization that works with both handicapped and non-handicapped people of all ages and abilities doing gymnastics on horseback. Peter’s wife Irene recently retired as a fourth grade school teacher in Van Nuys. His elder daughter teaches mechanical engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and is working on her PhD. His younger daughter is a veterinarian in New Zealand.
Tim Heath Leuzarder
Producer | Director
Skipping Joy Team
Tim is a New York based actor, writer, and director. Most recently, his one-man show Mentor-ized enjoyed two sold out runs at The Barrow Group Theatre and The Peoples Improv Theatre in NYC. Tim's television credits include recurring guest star roles on The Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and As The World Turns. Additionally, he appeared in the 2012 television pilot Erroneous Convictions where he provided comic relief as an egotistical Hollywood celebrity. Tim's directorial and writing credits include the short film Fecal Matters. Skipping Joy marks his first venture into documentary filmmaking.
Producer | Director
Skipping Joy Team
Stacy lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her husband Andrew and their beloved English Springer Spaniel, Maggie McGee. She is certified life, executive and leadership coach with 20 years of experience in working with a team of brilliant change agents who have created paradigm shifts in companies around the globe, including JPMorgan Chase, Cisco Systems, IBM, NovaAmerican, TATA Industries and Adidas. Stacy is a published writer and sought after speaker dedicated to creating shifts in perception and shattering self-limiting beliefs. Skipping Joy marks her first venture into producing documentary films.
CORE DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Founder | Producer | Director
Writer | Director
Joseph Brocato is a native of Atlanta, GA, and now resides with his wife and two children in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Joseph began stage acting as a teenager and this love for the stage eventually led to his directorial debut (1997) at the Riant Theatre in NYC. He went on to direct several Off-Broadway shows, including The Rebirth of Social Acceptance. He co-founded the NYC-based nonprofit theatre company, Legend Productions, that produced Off-Broadway shows, including the critically acclaimed staging of Rafael Lima's El Salvador and The Big Funk by John Patrick Shanley. As a film producer and director, his first full-length documentary, Breaking: Los Angeles, received U.S. and International distribution in retail stores through MVD Entertainment and digitally through EyeFilm Releasing and The Orchard Entertainment. As an executive producer, he secured distribution for the award-winning documentary My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic. Joseph is also a published writer and his article, Leadership on the Line, won the GAMA International Journal's 2018 Editor's Choice Award.
UHP PROJECT TEAMS
The Brocato-VandenAkker team is currently working on four feature documentaries: Skipping Joy, The Next Greatest Generation, and two untitled projects.