DeSales

"Girl Action Hero" - InDublin Magazine
..


"Rarely does a debut film exhibit such mature filmmaking.  
DeSales is a great storyteller whose fantastic style speaks to the MTV
 generation. She is a cutting-edge director who is redefining the envelope."

Jennifer Stark, Program Director
Palm Springs International Short Film Festival :: California
North America's Largest Short Film Festival

Prep Hall of Fame   what folks are saying   Seoul Interview   kalin's prayer reviews
 

Prep Star-Championship Coach-Civil Rights Attorney-Award-Winning Director-Media Entrepreneur

Not bad...for a girl.

______

"She came out of nowhere with one of the most raw and powerful films I've ever seen on screen - student or professional.  She has a style unlike any filmmaker before her - a completely original way of making movies."
Steve Garfinkel, Kodak Motion Picture Imaging :: New York 

"A striking debut by the up-and-coming New York director, DeSales, who establishes herself as a director of great sensitivity and courage - stylishly shot, superb performances!"
Elliot Grove,  Director, Raindance
  Founder, British Independent Film Awards :: London

"An "An unforgettable film in a fascinating style from a talented new director."
Paul Murnane, Director : Mardi Gras Film Festival :: Sydney

"DeSales sees the final frontier as the human spirit - and that is the ultimate
 vision in her films."
Celia Gilcrest, CineNews :: New York

______



On the kalin's prayer set with Samuel Ball, Kris Carr and Robert Acero. Sam went onto act in Hollywood and Kris onto Broadway to work with Arthur Miller and Peter Falk.

 : The Right Brain :

DeSales is a former championship athlete/coach turned D.C. civil rights attorney/music manager turned progressive media entrepreneur and multi-award winning filmmaker out of New York University Graduate Film School, one of the premier film schools in the world, whose alumnae/i include Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Oliver Stone (JFK), Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver), Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise), Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse) and Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan)

DeSales’ debut film,
kalin’s prayer (30min, 16mm/Hi-8, color/B&W), which she wrote, directed, produced, sound-designed, art directed, music supervised, edited and shot 2nd camera, is now one of the most successful film’s in NYU’s history - it's been invited to 128 film festivals in 31 countries and been awarded 50 honors around the world for its inspirational story, universal themes, naturalistic acting and innovative cinematic/sonic form.


At NYU, DeSales won the highly-coveted Warner Brother’s Award, a #2-ranking out of 36 directors and two consecutive Full-Scholarship Teaching Fellowships for her films. She also was honored with the NIA Award for "exceptional achievement for utilizing education and talent to enhance the African American, Latino or Asian Community."

Prior to NYU, DeSales clerked for two federal judges and then opened up her own solo civil rights firm on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., where she had a successful litigation career representing victims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment against corporations (and their mammoth corporate law firms). 

DeSales left the law in 1995 to get to the root of social injustice - society's hearts and minds -  by making meaningful, technologically-innovative film, tv, music and new media in which girls and women get to take the hero's journey and boys don't have to be macho to be cool.  In 1998, DeSales founded the planetarily responsive media company,
insite, dedicated to making the world a better place  through pop culture. insite is currently developing its first feature film event, Rock the Planet.



After videoing two of the most talented and
socially-aware artists working in NYC today, dancer Alex
 Torres and choreographer
Nathan Trice, at Alvin Ailey
 Theater. Nathan is the choreographer for Rock the Planet,
 and both he and Alex will dance in the movie.

DeSales also is founder of the first online worldwide grassroots production company, TheMoviement.org (think MoveOn.org gone pop), which will offer the "ordinary" (outside of elitist Hollywood/New York Indiewood) person an opportunity to invest in and share the profits of insite's movies.  TheMoviement.org also will bring together creative talent from around the world to participate in insite's films.  Rock the Planet will be insite/themoviement.org's kick-off feature film event.

If DeSales’ passion as a kid hadn’t been sports, she surely would’ve been a musician. She took guitar lessons and played in folk masses, but gave up music to focus on sports. While practicing law in D.C., she was again able to pursue her love of music by managing the rock group the Gadget White Band, which won the Battle of the Bands hosted by 94.7FM Classic Rock/washingtonpost.com and an opening spot for Bad Company at the MCI Arena in 1999. GWB also have opened for Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Steppenwolf and Patti Griffin.
 

 

In front of the Met Opera House in NYC with
Band Manager Ave and Lead Singer Eric of House of Games,
one of Eastern Europe's hottest new bands - they even
  have an ice cream named after them!  DeSales recently
was in the studio with the band and their producer in NY,
Kevin Shirley, of Led Zepplin/Aerosmith fame.

DeSales executive produced GWB's first album - hiring producer Paul Mahern of the Lodge in Indiana (John Mellancamp, Iggy Pop, Lisa Germano, Juliana Hatfield/Blake Babies), co-writing one song with Gadget and singing background "woo, woo, woos" on another (NOT DeSales’ idea). With a voice compared to Joplin and Etheridge, Gadget (not DeSales) was nominated in 1996 for a WAMMIE (D.C.’s version of a Grammy) for Best Alternative Female Vocalist.

DeSales also participates in the music vibe through insite's video production company, VideoMyGig, where she creates improv, in-camera video art of bands and dance around the world (see below).




With the mucho-talented, socially-progressive
New York playwright Sabura Rashid (Queens
 of Heart,
Greener Grasses) after attending
 choreographer Christal Brown's new work
 Distinctly Akin at Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

DeSales currently pays the bills as Artistic Director of insite's new media division, electricalsoil web shop, which, with the help of her partner, Danielle Jablonski, she's turned into one of the most popular underground design firms in the East Village.  Completely self-taught, DeSales and Danielle develop organically stylish sites for indie artists and businesses, and have created sites for the award-winning Miramax film, The Station Agent, the Oscar-winning production company, SenArt Films (Oscar-winner Fog of War), MAK Solar Technologies (a woman-owned alternative energy company) and for up-and-coming bands, actors and dancers.  With no marketing other than posting flyers in the Village and listing on the web, electricalsoil has attracted great word of mouth and created sites for clients from all over the States, including California, Florida and Chicago.  More sample sites can be seen on the electricalsoil website.
 

 



Lead actor Kris Carr as Kalin

"A very powerful and disturbing film with great production values, wonderful acting and surrealistically expressionistic visuals - an emotional viewing experience."
Mathew Curtis
Program Director
Florida Film Festival

 













 

:: kalin's prayer ::

"Gripping – such films are rare in the context of such large, hedging-our-bets festivals as Sundance or even our own Seattle International Film Festival."
Jamie Hook, The Stranger :: Seattle

kalin’s prayer’s 50 awards span a broad range from the mainstream to the cutting-edge to the socially conscious, as it has received critical acclaim for its meaningful story, naturalistic acting and innovative cinematic/sonic form.

Most importantly, even though it featured a lesbian protagonist, had a non-linear story line and dealt with some "tough" issues, such as incest, crack addiction and the oppressiveness of the modeling industry, kalin's prayer has been enthusiastically received by a wide spectrum of audiences around the world for its universal emotional themes and intense style (it's won 5 Audience Awards).  




On location in the Tulsa, Oklahoma bar, TNT's, where
 DeSales used to hang while clerking for Federal Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
(after hours of course...). Marc Warner, 1st AC
extraordinaire checks the gate!

Giving new meaning to "It's got legs!", kalin's prayer began its festival tour in Fall 1998, winning the Graduate Filmmaker Award at the prestigious Hamptons Film Festival (it was still a "fine cut" then), and won its 20th First-Place award in April 2002 at the Arlene Grocery Picture Show.  Its festivals also include SXSW, Sao Paulo, Leeds, Dublin, Palm Springs, New Zealand, Nashville, Chilean Int'l, Cork, Uruguay Int'l, Raindance and the LA and San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festivals.          

Shot in 1996-97, and to the horror of her film profs, DeSales was integrating 7 different film stocks and numerous filters before Traffic made it Hollywood
fashionable.  She owes her ability to experiment to Mr. Tiffen at Tiffen Filters and Steve Garfinkel at Kodak Motion Picture Imaging, both of whom graciously supplied free equipment and film she wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. 
 



:: Hot Shot Director to Watch ::

At first, I didn't know what I thought of the film. The reaction wasn't immediate. Maybe that's a good sign. Maybe that is what film is supposed to do in a time when many blockbuster movies are so predictable, so easily digested, so comfortable, that even laughs seem to fall just right and all too easily."
David D. Robbins, Editor
 ArtisticEyeReview.com (Cinevegas F
ilm Festival)
____

Based on kalin's prayer, DeSales was named a "Hot Shot Director to Watch" at the Raindance Film Festival in London by Elliot Grove, director of the festival and founder of the British Independent Film Awards, and won the Athena Award for "Best Director" at the Indiekino International Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea. 

 

DeSales on kalin's prayer set in Manhattan with producer Melissa Hammel (in her ear) and cinematographer Wendy Bednarz, back.
______

DeSales was chosen for Directors Showcases for "exciting new directors" in Sydney, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., and was featured on WVVH-TV in New York, WBAL-TV in Baltimore and on radio stations in Berlin, Dublin, Sydney and Utah.  DeSales additionally was one of the first directors chosen for the "Filmmaker Spotlight" on the internet's largest movie channel Hollywood.com.

kalin's prayer
's success also attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg's Pop.com, Film Four (UK), Millivres Multimedia (UK) and The Donners' Company (Usual Suspects, Superman, X-Men).

The subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles from around the world (sans publicist),  DeSales and kalin's prayer was also featured on New York Cable's TED-TV and picked as one the top films at the Arlene Picture Show by The New York Post and The Onion

 

 



.

DeSales on the kalin's prayer set
in Times Square, NYC



"
It puts you in a trance that
 doesn’t let you go."

Guilio Scalinger, Director
Arizona International Film Festival


"Utterly transcends its gay context and speaks to the eternal human condition in a way most works of art only hope to."
Stephen H. Segal
 InPittsburgh Weekly


"A strong and powerful piece that should be seen by the widest possible audience."
George T. Marshall, Director
Rhode Island Int'l Film Festival




On kalin's prayer set in Collinsville,
 Oklahoma with cinematographer Wendy Bednarz and 1st AC Marc Warner.





DeSales on location in Beijing with Chinese rock star & insite artist Leilin.










DeSales
DeSales shows her 1st
Electric where she'd like  bounce in kalin's prayer, on set in Baltimore, Maryland


















 

 

 




East Village, NYC


Copenhagen, Denmark


Beijing, China


St. Petersburg, Russia





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Flag-draped coffins
protest the Iraq War

 

\


 


Kris Carr, awesome lead
of kalin's prayer, lets the
director know who's in
charge here. The director,
of course! Right...


 

 

:: Behind the Camera ::

Bessie Award-winning/Guggenheim "Fellow"
 French Tap Artist Roxane Butterfly



''A rare female presence in the male-dominated world of tap,
Ms. Butterfly has it all: looks, charisma and talent."

Gia Kourlas, The New York Times
 

"When I first saw her footage of my performance, I understood that DeSales had the kind of talent I had long been looking for, and which few of the well-established artists I have collaborated with possessed--she got inside the drama of the dance with as much depth as the music itself...with the spontaneity of a jazz-improviser in full control of her craft.  She literally paints with her camera." - Roxane Butterfly
                                     ----

Cinematographer
At NYU (and contrary to her cinematography professor's wishes ;), DeSales experimented with as many film stocks, filters, film processes and cameras as she could in order to create the widest palette of "feelings" to best support the emotion of the scene before post-production.

She served as Director of Photography for the 16mm short films Wanderlust (directed by Melissa Hammel and aired on the Sundance Channel), The Suitcase and All Good Things. She also co-DPed her 16mm documentary Paula..., for which she received the incredible honor (it was only the second film she'd shot) of being asked to serve as judge for Best Cinematography & Lighting at the Documentary Emmy Awards in 1997, 1998 and 2002, after the Chair of the judging committee saw its cutting-edge look and feel. DeSales also was recruited to serve as gaffer on numerous other NYU films for her lighting touch.

 
 
   Scene from 16mm Wanderlust, shot on Long Island, NY


SFX In-Camera Video Improviser
 

Check out DeSales' video montage capturing the enormous energy of the East Village music scene, edited by DeSales for the Rock the Planet DVD Promo > here (1.5MB - all effects are in-camera)

For Music

In order to stay on the cutting-edge of music, DeSales has videoed live music performances - singer-songwriters, rock bands and orchestras - in the States and around the world for over 13 years.  She started out in NYC as the official videographer for Fragglerock, which has showcased women rock bands at the Acme Underground and Meow Mix since 1992.  DeSales is favored by performers because of the funky special effects she improvises in-camera during the performance, which one artist described as "not just documenting, but capturing the soul of, my performance." DeSales prefers her trusty Hi-8 camera to DV because of the superior color of analog.

For Dance
In 2003, DeSales videoed a dance for a friend and ended up collaborating regularly with two of the most cutting-edge and socially progressive choreographers of our time: Nathan Trice, founder of Nathan Trice-Rituals (also the choreographer for Rock the Planet) and Bessie Award-winning French-Moroccan Tap Artist Roxane Butterfly, founder of Worldbeats.

For Butterfly
Called
"a true tap virtuoso" by the New York Times and one of the most innovative tap-dancers of her generation, Butterfly is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow (Sister!), the only woman tap-dancer ever to receive a Bessie Award (for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 1999), was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 Best and was chosen a member of UNESCO’s International Dance Council.  Butterfly allso has collaborated with some of the world's legendary dancers and musicians, including Gregory Hines (Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk) urban tap sensation Savion Glover, Argentinian tango great Pablo Veron, and jazz legends Les Paul, Stanley Jordan, Ron Carter and Ravi Coltrane, to name a few. Butterfly also was featured in the BBC special, Fascinating Rhythm.

After seeing DeSales' first video of her performance in 2003,  Butterfly asked DeSales to co-direct, video and edit a  biographical short film of Butterfly's work, Artist in the Making..., which she now uses to book international gigs.  It recently was selected to screen at the Monaco Dance Forum in France and
 Tap Ahead in Dusseldorf. Germany.  In 2005, Artist became part of Butterfly's show Hoofalogies, which features one of the world's most celebrated tango dancers, Argentinian Pablo Veron, who starred in Sally Potter's award-winning film, The Tango Lesson (for which Butterfly coached him).

DeSales also videoed Butterfly's two sold-out performances of her 2004 show,
Improvizions, which combines globally-aware spoken word, live jazz, and various forms of dance including break, African and, of course, tap. 

insite Films will be producing the Roxane Butterfly DVD in Spring 2005.

For Nathan


"Nathan delivers drama, charm and wit
with a reality that leaves no waste. "
-Jennifer Dunning, New York Times

Nathan Trice's soul-shattering dance Their Speech is Silver, Their Silence is Gold (below) is the dance that turned DeSales onto dance (besides the dance she loves to do at clubs!). This Alvin-Ailey star wowed DeSales from the first time she met him (through his dance), and she asked him straight-away to be her choreographer for Rock the Planet. More info on Nathan is on the Rock the Planet site under Imaginers.


Alex Torres stars in Nathan Trice's amazingly intense and empowering dance about the psychological, physical and emotional rape of women and their search for authentic identity in a patriarchal society.

For Film
DeSales also shot the SFX shots in
kalin's prayer on her trusty Hi-8 and later transferred them to 16mm film. These shots help give kalin's prayer the special "emotional feel" for which it was so popular.

DeSales also has served as key grip, sound mixer, boom, dolly grip and first AC on numerous short films and as a PA on the Hype Williams Grammy-nominated Busta Rhymes music video, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See (the one with the live elephant...:( ).

For Activism!
DeSales also enjoys videoing protests and other rabble-rousing events.


2004 United for Peace & Justice March at
 the Republican National Convention in NYC

 

:: Behind the Soul ::


Kris showing the director who's boss on
kalin's prayer set in Baltimore, Maryland

Although she loves out-there technology and eye and ear candy, DeSales fancies herself an "actor's director" because she thinks actors are incredibly courageous and that working with them is the best part of the job. After all, it's all about people.

She has studied acting herself with two of the top acting coaches in the US - as Ana Strasberg’s teaching assistant at NYU/Lee Strasberg Institute and as one of the few directors allowed to work with American Place Theater Founder Wynn Handman at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Handman has coached Michael Douglas, Johanne Woodward, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, John Leguizamo and Mira Sorvino, among others. 

kalin's prayer was highly praised for its naturalistic acting.

 

:: Behind the Desk ::

As for the film business side of the show, DeSales worked as a Development Intern at the Emmy-Award winning HBO-NYC and as a Marketing Intern at Artistic License, an arthouse film distributor in New York City. 

On the music end,
DeSales worked as a Sales & Marketing Assistant at Knitting Factory Records - one of the leading avant-jazz labels in the world with 400 titles - and has worked sales at the Knitting Factory NYC Merch Store. The Knitting Factory is known worldwide as New York’s most avant music venue and now has a hot new club in, dare we say...Hollywood.  
 



 
DeSales videos Ren Devine
for some Rock the Planet behind-the-scenes action in Appalachia, VA

::: Rock the Planet ::

DeSales is presently developing her first feature film, RoCk tHe PLaNet - a Lord of the Rings meets Rent meets Good Will Hunting meets The Corporation - about a brilliant young neuroscientist from the First World Planet Urizen who comes to restore spirituality to Earth by studying a self-destructive rock singer and the Carnegie Hall opera coach who helps her face her family demons and battle a record label.

The rock star lives with a group of charismatic young musicians from around the planet, including China, France, Estonia, Denmark and the USA. DeSales has traveled to all these countries and come back with not only great talent, but great friends!

To see more of the global casting craziness, go to the
Rock the Planet website and then click on Global Casting.

DeSales is also writing her second feature, CyberStar, the sequel to Rock the Planet, about Jessie Star, a girl action hero who has to save the Earth again in the year 3535.

: The Left Brain : DC Law

Prior to kicking her right brain into high gear, DeSales made a living crunching her left. After graduating Order of the Coif from the University of Maryland School of Law - and with its senior award for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership - DeSales clerked for two highly respected federal judges - The Honorable Frederic N. Smalkin, a moderate conservative district judge for whom she served as the "loyal opposition" and The Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour, a liberal appellate judge, who authored Brown v. Board of Education II (the appeal of the landmark school desegregation case) and who was later on Clinton’s short list for the Supreme Court.

DeSales then won a highly coveted Georgetown Law Center Women’s Law & Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a staff attorney for People for the American Way (a First Amendment watchdog founded by Norman Lear), lobbied in Congress for the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and authored The Civil Rights Act of 1991: A Section-by-Section Analysis for the Clearinghouse Review.

Although courted by white shoe law firms (and much appreciative of the $100 lunches, front row theater tickets and chauffeured rides to softball games), DeSales opted to hang out her own shingle on Connecticut Avenue in order to litigate cutting-edge issues in gender and race discrimination. She successfully fought the likes of corporations such as G.E. and Marriott - with their 200-plus lawyer defense firms in tow - on behalf of blue-collar and professional workers, students and teachers.

DeSales ended her litigation career with a victory over a powerful law firm defended by the late Charles F.C. Ruff, President Clinton’s White House Counsel who defended him in the Senate impeachment trial. Mr. Ruff called DeSales "a rising young star" and subsequently offered her a job, saying that after litigating against her, he wanted her on his side. DeSales, however, was headed to NYU. Mr. Ruff, of course, was soon to be headed for Monica Lewinsky.

: The Left and Right : Sports  

As a kid, DeSales went to the all-girls’ Maryvale Prep School in Baltimore, where she led the Lions to multiple championships as captain and leading scorer in field hockey, basketball & lacrosse, and was named the first-ever female WBAL-TV Athlete of the Week. Yet, a severe knee injury as a junior dashed her hopes of a spot on the Olympic basketball team.

DeSales returned to her alma mater as a coach in 1982 and turned around its losing program – ending her last year at the ‘Vale with a 36-2 record, a basketball championship and an undefeated lacrosse team. DeSales then picked up a bike in 1987 and was soon picked up herself by Peugeot’s U.S. Cycling Team, with whom she trained for the 1988 Olympics until a career-ending (6th) knee operation.