Moonlight Sonata – A Feature Film

Moonlight Sonata Travels to Cannes Film Festival and More…

Moonlight Sonata screened at the famed CANNES FILM FESTIVAL last week to a positive and appreciative crowd. Near the same time, on the other side of the world, the film played at the Big Island Film Festival in Waikoloa, Hawaii. These come after great showings at the Honolulu International Film Festival where the film won the coveted Big Kahuna award for Excellence in Filmmaking, and a fantastic world premiere at the California Independent Film Festival. Moonlight Sonata is excited for its next big showing – a spot at the Staten Island Film Festival the first week of June.


Moonlight Sonata writer/director Celik Kayalar and others were interviewed by SidewalksTV.com after the California Independent Film Festival.

Check out the interviews with Celik Kayalar and Moonlight Sonata Line Producer, Milena Grozeva-Levy.

Have a look at the Moonlight Sonata website to see the trailer, photos and more.


‘Moonlight Sonate’, FilmschoolSF’s 3rd Feature Film announces wrap of principal photography

“MOONLIGHT SONATA”, our third independent feature film at FilmschoolSF by the Fog City Pictures, has wrapped its principal photography on October 31st, after 5 weeks of shooting in the Bay Area ( in HD, Digital Format ). After completing a few pickup scenes, the film will be edited for submission to prestigious Film Festivals and will be prepared for wide theatrical release.

Celik Kayalar, PhD, the director of our “Film Acting Program” at FilmschoolSF wrote, directed and executive-produced the psychological thriller. The producers were Jeremiah Birnbaum, the Founder of Fog City Pictures, and Milena Grozeva-Levy, one of our Digital Filmmaking Faculty.
“Moonlight Sonata” is the story of a privileged San Francisco family, the difficult moral choices its members make and the consequences they have to face, told in the genre of a modern psychological thriller with surprising twists and turns along the way, all culminating in a cliff-hanger climax.

The production boasted a large and highly talented and accomplished cast and crew from San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Sam Chase was the master cinematographer on the set, visiting from New York. Cast members included distinguished Los Angeles actorsM.J. Karmi and Irena A. Hoffman as the female-leads, and Sita Young, P. David Miller, Nate Reese and Ann-Marie Jolly featured in major supporting-roles.

The esteemed San Francisco actor & director Warren David Keith was cast as the male-lead who also teaches one of our “Advanced Film Acting” Classes at FilmschoolSF.  Two of our other Film Acting Faculty, Celia Shuman and Brian D. Scott also had supporting roles in the movie.

Twenty-two of our own Acting Students at FilmschoolSF were among the cast members of “Moonlight Sonata” ( all speaking-parts ). Several of the 22 were major supporting-roles that took many days to shoot. Here are all their names, in no particular order:

Taren Howes, Edith Reiner, Maggie Grant, Kay Ewing, Aimee McCrary, Jinnifer Jacobs, Goldie Chan, Joan Laqui, Hueiyen Tsai, Ashley Allen, Katrina Gimenez, June Barnard, Sarah Leight, Daniel Will-Harris, Micci Toliver, Tony Williams, Marshell Harwell, Roy Hylton, Vincent Leddy, Brendan Sweeney, Nate Duncan and Johann Schiffer.

A few of our Acting Students had non-speaking parts: Chris Leidecker, Mauro Pivi, Michelle Grey, Dawn Green ( Eli Kramer: his scenes are still to be shot ). In the pickup scenes we plan to shoot soon, another four small roles will be cast among our own Acting Students, as well.


Sam Chase, Director of Photography on FilmschoolSF’s 3rd Feature Film “Moonlight Sonate” delivers one last weepy thanks and farewell

Hey Everybody,
I just wanted to deliver one last weepy  thanks and farewell. I had a great time and having spent the last two days getting caught up on dailies I was floored by the quality of our footage. I think it was a worthwhile and challenging experience for us all.

For the pros Moonlight Sonata was a chance to remember that filmmaking doesn’t always need to be a money-driven cutthroat world and for the students it was an unmatchable opportunity to get a genuine feel for what it’s like to work in the business – not parking crew cars (that was my first job in the biz) or fetching coffee,  but as a propping, camera assisting or editing.

Several of you even walked away with marketable skills and/or even jobs. Pretty cool. It was a great chance for us all  to learn as well as improvise. Watching the footage from scenes we shot in the woods I was struck by the beauty of a gentle  mist floating through the dappled light and thought “how lucky I was to get  a misty day”… then I remembered Heather chicken-scratching the dusty trail to get that effect. What we lacked in resources we made up in heart and you all had that in spades.

I couldn’t have been more impressed with each and every one of you – you’re professionalism and your dedication blew me away. I wish you all the greatest success in your work and your lives and encourage you to keep at whatever it is that fills your dreams. Stay in touch and keep smiling.

All The Best
Sam Chase

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