Angelight Films is a 501(c)(3) non profit production company that gives children with brain and spinal cord tumors the opportunity to express themselves by creating and even starring in their own short film.
The work of Angelight Films is on the cutting edge of what many feel is a strong societal imperative for engaging youth as leaders and decision makers, most importantly, in matters that concern and affect their lives. It recognizes the potential of youth, seeks their input, gives them a voice and turns that voice into advocacy for other youth. It is called “Youth Voice.”
When Angelight Films gives children with brain and spinal cord tumors the opportunity to express themselves, they are functioning in tandem with the youth voice principles. Children who create these short films begin to take action, no longer being seen as a victim, they are free to express who they truly are. They also have the ability to inspire other children to do the same, and then they move from empowerment to advocacy. Angelight Films has a tremendous potential to impact many children, giving them a voice and changing lives along the way.
Before my younger sister Ilana passed away from a brain tumor at the age of five, we experienced a heaven on earth together. She glowed with an inner radiance despite all of the challenges that she went through. I wanted the world to see how special she was, but I was only seven years old and did not have an outlet to do so. Angelight Film is that outlet, in honor of my sister, in honor of the light in each of us.
- Stephanie Angel
Since we began in 2009, we have made eight short films that not only impacted eight children, their family and friends but also larger audiences. Many of our short films have been included in film festivals such as the Vail Film Festival, The Chicago Children’s International Film Festival, Kids First, The Singapore International Children’s Film Festival, the Durango Independent Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. Our films have also been shown at a camp for children with cancer called “Happiness is Camping,” at fundraisers and at other events where many were moved and inspired by these brave young children.
This year, we have an ambitious fund-raising goal to make a minimum of three more short films and create a feature length documentary that will act as a powerful instrument of expansion and awareness as we continue to explore new ways to use film as a tool for healing. The community impact of such a film will be diverse. We plan to share the story of Angelight Films and the remarkable children we make films for at numerous venues, including hospital screenings across the country. We hope this documentary will comfort and inspire other children and families undergoing similar challenges.
Stephanie Angel is an ambitious writer, director and script supervisor. Her experience spans independent and mainstream feature films, documentaries and commercials. In addition to being a filmmaker, Stephanie is also a certified hospice volunteer.
Under Stephanie’s creative direction, Angelight Films, a 501(c)(3) production company, is producing short films created by children with brain tumors. It is Stephanie’s goal through the production of their own film, to allow the unique brightness these children bring into the world have a more lasting impression on the rest of society.
Previously, Stephanie developed, wrote and directed the film, Tree of Life, which premiered in 2005 at the Westchester Film Festival and can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTuE_IHu6T0. She has also written a children’s book, a screenplay and produced and directed a documentary. In addition to her work as writer, producer and director, over the past decade, Stephanie has been the script supervisor on over 20 feature films, 5 television series and more than 150 mainstream commercials. Check out some or her feature credits on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1634107/
In 2003, Stephanie received a B.A. from Muhlenberg College. Always the independent thinker, Stephanie self-designed her majors, “Film Expression” and “Spiritual Thought”. Stephanie hopes that Angelight Films will capture these children’s bright light and be a transformative inspiration to all.
An accomplished producer, director and writer of documentaries, primetime specials and other television programming, Wendy Lobel has won EMMY, CableACE, Gracie and Peabody Awards for her work with Nickelodeon’s Nick News with Linda Ellerbee and Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait.Wendy is currently a producer and co-writer of specials for Nickelodeon’s Nick News with Linda Ellerbee. She has been a television producer for more than two decades with dozens of cable, network and public television credits to her name. Her credits include: several documentaries for public television nationwide, Uncommon Americans for A&E, The Mating Game for MSNBC, a dozen Intimate Portraits for Lifetime, Inside TV Land: Primetime Politics for TV Land, the real-life series Adoption for Hallmark Entertainment, and Driven: Jennifer Lopez for VH1. Wendy wrote and produced her first television documentary in 1986, The People vs. Mel Kramer.
One of Wendy’s proudest accomplishments is a fundraising video she developed and produced for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. This video, hosted by Sissy Spacek, was a labor of love, as it was produced in memory of her niece, Ilana.
When Wendy’s niece, Stephanie, asked her to be Vice President of Angelight Films, Wendy was honored and has served proudly in that role ever since.
Ryan S. Curran became the Treasurer of Angelight Films, Inc. in July of 2008. He is involved with all financial aspects of the organization, including budgeting, tax compliance, and managing the Organization’s assets. Ryan is a certified public accountant in New Jersey and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Rutgers University.He is committed to using his financial and business expertise to grow the Organization’s programs and establish Angelight Films as an extensive, well respected, and successful non-profit organization.
Ryan fully believes in Angelight Films’ missions and understands that in order for that mission to be ultimately fulfilled and the tremendous amount of love to be shared by those who Angelight Films seeks to serve, that cogent financial management is necessary.
Dana Lewisohn joined Angelight Films in 2008 as the board Secretary. She received her Master’s of Social Work degree in 2009, from Rutgers University, with a Children and Families concentration. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a certification in Elementary Education, from Muhlenberg College in 2003.Dana has always been passionate about helping children. After receiving her BA she began teaching fifth grade, and worked with both general and special education students. In 2007, Dana decided to go back to school for her Master’s in Social Work to be better equipped to help children succeed not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. Through the Master’s program, she found a love for counseling and working closely with children and their families. Dana is currently in private practice in New Jersey.
Dana is committed to helping Angelight Films, not just as a member of the board, but by using her ability to connect with children to help them share their stories and love for the world.
Ted has spent the last 25 years in the financial services industry and is a partner and principal of The Colony Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Boston, MA with offices in West Palm Beach, FL, Naples, FL and Washington, DC.Ted has spent his life surrounded by children that he loves, having 5 sisters, a daughter and 17 nieces and nephews. The overall health of those children through the years has been a gift that could never be fully repaid. He wants children and their families who have not been as fortunate as he has to have a means of sharing their stories with the world. Angelight Films provides that means.
Rachel is currently a relationship manager at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she provides high net worth clients with investment and estate planning advice. Prior to joining JP Morgan, Rachel worked for Time Warner and HBO. She received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Rachel’s connection to Angelight Films runs deep. As a young girl, she vividly remembers Ilana Angel and the joy she brought to her family and those around her.
Her love of media and desire to give back to her community prompted Rachel to become involved in Angelight Films.
Rachel plans to help Angelight Films continue to connect deeply with the world around it, by planning events, spearheading PR campaigns, and leading fundraising activities.