Writer / Director

Lisanne's new photo

Lisanne Sartor

After graduating from Yale University with an English degree, studying sculpture and photography in Italy, and working for a NJ state senator, Lisanne Sartor moved to Los Angeles to be a writer/director. She got waylaid when she was admitted to the DGA Assistant Director Training Program. She quickly discovered that, although assistant directing doesn’t necessarily lead to directing, it’s good training for any aspect of filmmaking. If you survive it. Which she did. Barely. But after seven years, she had a bad back, nerve damage in her feet and a Biblical appreciation for caffeine. It was time to stop managing movie sets and write. She got an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, where she won numerous screenwriting awards, including the Samuel Goldwyn Award. Her original screenplay, “Cleaverville,” was produced by Don Enright of Alexander/Enright, and aired on Lifetime Television. She’s written an MOW for the DeAngelis Group in Italy, had a script optioned by Hearst Entertainment, and developed projects with Roth-Arnold Productions, among other companies. She recently completed a short film, “Six Letter Word,” which she wrote and directed via the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. “Six Letter Word” has already screened at film festivals across the country and will screen at the American Pavilion at Cannes Emerging Filmmaker Showcase this May. She’s currently polishing the feature version of “Six Letter Word.”


Xiaolin Yu

XiaoLin Yu

Born in China, Xiaolin is Los Angeles based producer who holds an MFA from the American Film Institute (AFI). Her credits include the documentary “Space Times Square” and a short entitled “Six Letter Word” that was recently included in many Film Festival nationally and internationally. Xiaolin originally moved to the United States in order to train at the Joffrey School of Ballet after her recognition as a top performer of Classical Chinese Dance in Shandong province. Her interest in film and TV as artistically expressive media eventually led her to complete undergraduate studies in Communication and Mass Media at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Xiaolin currently works as an assistant chair in the film department of the School of Media, Culture & Design at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. She has several film projects underway that bridge in some fashion the two distinct cultures found in China and the United States.


Derrick D. Pete

All of his life, in one form or another, Derrick has been involved in the creative process. His undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering from University of Florida, Gainesville.  He worked for Exxon Chemicals for four years in their research and development division. He is the author of two patents dealing with the purification of highly reactive olefins in mixed hydrocarbons. That was life #1.

After deciding, enough was enough…life #2 began as he decided to move to Hollywood, CA. After three years, he graduated from UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting program and while in the graduate program, he was honored with the prestigious Showcase Award, gaining the attention of Hollywood agents and producers.  He was represented by Creative Artists Agency (Jared Hoffman) and his writing was introduced to notable Hollywood figures (Actors: Billy Crystal & Paul Reiser, Director: Rob Reiner, and Producer: Linda Obst). With the mindset and determination to get ideas to the screen, he decided to take up the directing mantle. Derrick wrote and co-directed a micro budget feature distributed straight-to-video. Currently, Derrick is working with Pierce Brosnan’s production company on a live action/animation script and is currently in pre-production on his sci-fi/musical feature, I Am Music.

Executive Producer

Tani Cohen photo

Tani Cohen

Tani Cohen recently executive produced “Six Letter Word”, written and directed by Lisanne Sartor, starring Rumer Willis. The film was selected for presentation at the American Pavilion (emerging filmmakers) as part of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Prior to this she executive produced ”David and Goliath” directed by George Zaver, starring Billy Burke (“Twilight”) and she produced “Tell Tale” starring Carla Gugino, Jesse Spencer and Adam Arkin, for British director Greg Williams.

Tani Cohen produced with HBO, the feature documentary “Mr, Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater” with CC Goldwater, Sheila Nevins and Nancy Abraham. The critically acclaimed film received a 2007 Emmy nomination.

Prior to this Cohen produced the MGM released feature film “The Dust Factory” starring Hayden Panettiere, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Ryan Kelley.

Cohen received an Emmy nomination for executive producing, along with producers Jake Eberts and Lenny Young, the Showtime Original feature, “Snow In August” starring Stephen Rea. The film was adapted (Snow in August by Pete Hamel) for the screen and directed by Richard Friedenberg.

Many festivals have recognized Cohen’s work as an independent film producer and three of her projects have screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival: “Inside Monkey Zetterland” starring Patricia Arquette, Sandra Bernhard, Sofia Coppola, Rupert Everett, Martha Plimpton, Ricki Lake, Debi Mazar and Katherine Helmond; “Egg Salad” starring Helen Shaver; and “Guinevere” starring Stephen Rea and Sarah Polley.

Additionally, Cohen produced “The Souler Opposite,” starring Christpoher Meloni and Janel Moloney, which premiered at the AFI Film Festival. Cohen co-produced “How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog,” starring Kenneth Branagh and Robin Wright Penn which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Cohen served as consulting producer on the independent film, “Living ‘til the End,” which made its premiere at the Hampton Film Festival in October 2004. Cohen also served as the producer of “Septuplets” and “An American Town” for 20th Century Fox Television, and co-produced the feature films “Replicant” with Jean Claude Vam Damme; “Forever Lulu” starring Melanie Griffith and Patrick Swayze; “October 22” and “They Came At Night.”

Cohen started her film career at Brian de Palma’s Fetch Productions. The feature films “Scarface” and “Body Double” were produced during her tenure there.

Cohen earned a Bachelor of Fine and Communication Arts with honors from Loyola Marymount University, is a native of Coronado, California and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Executive Producer

Anthony Sartor

Anthony Sartor

Director of Photography

Sam Kim

Samuel Kim

Samuel Kim started his film career in the electric department in San Francisco. He received his MFA from the prestigious American Film Institute. Kim has been shooting in LA for the last two years. His work has taken him around the world shooting narratives and documentaries. Along with the different projects he is working on, he is a staff cinematographer for AwesomenessTV, a division of DreamWorks Animation, working on the cutting edge of the New Media scene, where his work can be seen on Nickelodeon. In September 2013, Kim starts shooting the “Terry the Tomboy” feature. In addition to shooting, Kim has shared his passion for filmmaking by teaching at the Shanghai Film Art Academy.

Production Designer

M Ficociello_bio photo

Melissa Ficociello

Melissa Ficociello is a Los Angeles based designer for film and theatrical environments, as well as for furniture, interiors and installations. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from University of Cincinnati, she co-founded the Joint Workshop, a design/build studio which incorporated unconventional materials with a minimalist design aesthetic. She obtained her MFA from Cal Arts and is currently a faculty member at East Los Angeles College, mentoring students in set design, scenic art and props for theater.


Carl Pfirman bio photo

Carl Pfirman

Carl Pfirman lives in Los Angeles and is proud to be the editor of Six Letter Word. Carl’s editorial credits include: the Emmy award-nominated HBO feature documentary A Small Act (premiered at Sundance 2010); the feature documentary film “The Georgia Holt Story” which premiered on Lifetime TV in May, 2013; the feature film The Making of an Avant-Garde, which premiered at MOMA in June, 2013; and the documentary Limited Partnership about a bi-national gay couple’s 40-year battle with the INS/ICE to stay together in the United States. Carl’s UCLA graduate thesis film won a Student Academy Award. As a writer, his screenplay “Sugar Land” was a Quarterfinalist for the Nicholls Screenwriting Fellowship and selected for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. His commercial work has been honored with a CLIO award and a GOLD PENCIL from the New York One Show.

Associate Producer

Maria Sartor

Maria Sartor

Associate Producer

Fred Daibes

Costume Designer

Amanda Ramond



Ron McBain

Ron McBain is a Composer, Pianist, Organist and Music Educator living in Los Angeles. He began working as a rehearsal pianist and accompanist at a young age and later graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Piano Performance. As a composer Ron has written for solo piano, orchestra, choir, and chamber ensemble. He enjoys collaborating with artists in all media and recently composed and collaborated on a piece “Franny and Zooey” premiered at the closing celebration of Friends of Contemporary Art’s (FOCA) Suggested Reading exhibit. He composes and produces music for independent film, multi-media, television and commercials. The piano being his first love, Ron continues to perform as a recitalist, soloist, and collaborative pianist including with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Robert Page Festival Orchestra, the Contemporary Winds of Lost Angeles and many others. He is currently the organist in residence for the United Methodist Church of Westlake Village, has won prizes and scholarships for his playing, and is an active member of the Guild of American Organists. Ron is also a passionate music educator. He is a finalist for the 2013 GRAMMY foundation Music Educator of the Year for his work at the Open Charter Magnet School in Los Angeles and is committed to providing high quality music and arts education at all levels. You can hear his music at

Ron is particularly proud to be part of Six Letter Word. He believes passionately in it’s message and is excited to be part of its team.


Shana Landsburg

Unit Production Manager

Derrick D. Pete

1st Assistant Director

Il Cho

2nd Assistant Director

Tom Gelo

2nd 2nd Assistant Director

Danny McAllister

Script Supervisor

Catherine Cobb


1st Assistant Camera

Uxue Jimenez Ciriza

2nd Assistant Camera

Ben Iker

A Camera Operator

Sevdije Kastrati

Digital Imaging Technician

Tim Kang

B Camera Operator

Itay Gross

Camera Production Assistants

Nathan Kelley

Nick Henley

Grip & Electric


Daniel Lynn

Best Boy Electric

Marc-Antoine Seron

Michael Creasy


Eric Tolzmann

Key Grip

Andrew Mungai


Mario Rodriguez

Kelsey Palleva

Dolly Grips

Robert Mendicci

Les Halstead

Art Department

Storyboard Artist

Il Cho

Set Dresser

Karlo Ishibashi

Shruthi Hosabettu

Linda Rodriguez


Steve McDonough

Art Production Assistant

Karlo Ishibashi

Jeff Berlinger

Benjamin Townsend

Hair/Make-Up Department

Key Artist

Ali Magee


Jennifer Quinteros

Andrea Mendoza

Mayera Abeita

Production Sound

Sound Mixer

Beau Baker

Boom Operator

Sara Evans

John Evans

Production Services

Casting Assistant

Alex Nevil

Studio Teacher

Marty Carlin


Chef David Danberg

A Chef 4 U Catering

Craft Services

Tosha Johnson

Still Photography

Tom Gelo

Legal Services

Jay Floyd

Production Assistants

George Garcia

Sharla Berry

AFI Interns

Nathan Kelley

Nick Henley

Tom Gelo

Post Production

Supervising Sound Editor

Piero Mura

Re-recording Mixer

Ezra Dweck

ADR Supervisor

Chris Welch

ADR Editor

Julie Feiner

Dialogue Editor

Mike Chock

Assistant Sound Editor

Mark Coffey

Sound Engineers

John Bires

Rich Toenes

Senior Technical Manager

Tony Tong


Jerimiah Morey

Assistant Editor

Angela Latimer


Jonathon Fessenden

End Titles

Scot Hampton