Gene is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer and producer whose work has been showcased in exhibitions and galleries throughout the world. His documentary films "Passing Ellenville" and “All About Amy” have screened internationally and won multiple awards, including Best Short Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Williamsburg Film Festival. Gene also produced  the award-winning “The Knife Cuts Both Ways” a one woman show starring Latina transgender activist, actor and author Cecilia Gentili recounting her journey seeking political asylum as a transgender woman. Most recently Gene produced the play, “Eternal Flamer:The Ballad of Jesse Blade” by playwright Tommy Jamerson at the queer performance theater Wild Project in New York City’s East Village. Gene’s photography has been featured in publications including The Advocate, Washington Life and Time Out New York and his work is held in private and corporate collections throughout the US, including the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York.”  His production company, Hundred Fish Media, focuses on LGBTQIA+ media.


Cecilia Gentili was a legendary activist on behalf of the transgender community, sex workers and those living with HIV.  She was also a deeply talented writer and actress whose dynamic performances lit up the stage with her off-broadway one woman shows and the screen on shows like FX’s “Pose”. Based in New York City, she was a frequent consultant to city, state and corporate organizations and provided counsel on many transgender cultural and health issues. She was also the Managing Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Gay Mens Health Clinic and remains the highest-ranking transgender staffer ever at this leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy.

Cecilia was deeply dedicated to empowering queer people to share their narratives and was a steady champion of “Transcending Ellenville” throughout it’s decade-long production. More than 1,000 people attended her funeral service at the famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The large crowds were a reflection of the love she had for her community and testament to the impact of her tireless advocacy. “Transcending Ellenville” is being guided by her vibrant legacy and will be dedicated to her when it is complete.




Emily Abt was selected as one of Variety Magazine's 'Top 10 Directors to Watch' and is an ambidextrous filmmaker who has directed and produced six feature films - two narratives and four documentaries. Abt's first feature documentary "Take It From Me" (PBS's POV series) was created when she was a 23 year-old caseworker in New York City. She then went on to receive her MFA in film directing from Columbia University and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to make her thesis film. Abt's other feature documentaries include "All Of Us" (Showtime's 2008 World AIDs Day film) and "Daddy Don't Go" which won eight "Best Documentary" awards and premiered on the Starz network in 2017. In 2018 Abt was tapped by Showtime to direct the feature documentary feature "Beyond the Opposite Sex" about two transgender people living in rural America. It premiered on the network in Spring 2018. In 2019, Emily shot and directed the short film "Born A Fighter" which was commissioned by 23andMe and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Abt's first narrative feature "Toe to Toe”, which she wrote, directed and co-produced, was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at Sundance and released theatrically by Strand.  Abt's current fiction feature project "Thirsty" won the Athena Award for scripts featuring outstanding female protagonists and recently completed post-production. The film stars Jamie Neumann, Sung Kang, Tyler Lepley, Kyra Sedgwick, Thora Birch and Brandee Evans.



With a rich tapestry of documentary expertise spanning over two decades, Marcello is distinguished editor and post-supervisor renowned for his mastery in crafting compelling stories. Marcello's documentary prowess shines in works such as "Daddy Don't Go" a portrait of resilience in fatherhood against societal odds, "Cultures of Resistance," a globetrotting exploration of activism through art and innovation, and "Planet B-Boy," a captivating dance documentary tracing the global evolution of breakdancing, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. His portfolio boasts feature films like "Toe to Toe," a poignant coming-of-age drama premiering at Sundance 2009, and "Thirsty," an upcoming narrative feature spotlighting a woman's mayoral bid in Oakland. Marcello has also left an indelible mark on television and streaming services, collaborating with esteemed networks like Netflix, Amazon, Discovery+, Travel Channel, Spike, MTV and TLC.  Notably, his contributions extend to some of Netflix's most viewed non-fiction series, including "Indian Matchmaking," “Jewish Matchmaking,” Jailbirds," "School of Chocolate," and the upcoming “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment.”




Jess is an independent photographer and filmmaker based in Upstate NY. She is an alum of SUNY New Paltz, having worked in a variety of production roles and freelance work since graduating in 2018. Peeters was a TA for the Woodstock Film Festival’s inaugural Youth Film Lab in the summer of 2018. In 2019, Jess was a production assistant and junior chaperone for a group called "Woodstock Travels," whose main missions are focused in rural communities in India and Nepal. The group assists in creating media content for non-profit organizations as a way to highlight their community driven causes and volunteer work.
She returned to the Woodstock Film Festival in 2021 acting as their print traffic and media coordinator. In late winter of 2022 Jess was brought on as an assistant to the director for episode 109 of “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin." She has been a part of the "Transcending" documentary project since 2018, providing assistant camera work on production shoots and acting as the assistant editor since 2019. As of Spring 2022, she works full-time as a content creator for the Assembly Majority party of New York State.


Léoh Hailu-Ghermay (They/Them - Consulting Producer) is an actor and filmmaker currently working in the NYC arts and theatre scenes to bring awareness and focus around inclusion and equity initiatives in the industry.  Currently based in New York (Lenapehoking), Léoh has worked around the world doing international aid work, including serving as a translator and cultural liaison for ISBHA: International Society for Better Health Access at HIV/AIDS clinic in Ethiopia and working on health and education initiatives in Sudan in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and many others.  Some of their onscreen, theater, and performance art credits include Denise in Dress Up (10 MILS Prod.), Phyllida in Galatea (Flea Theater), Eurydike in Antigonick (Playwrights Horizons), Blank Computer in Update irl (Fringe Festival: Irondale), Soloist in The Rave Revue (Prospect Theater), NewMama in Letters in the Dirt (The Brick), and co-writer and cast member of Graphite (Theater for the New City). “Transcending Ellenville” is their first feature film endeavor but certainly won’t be their last.



Ana is an independent communication designer based in Porto, Portugal. She has an intense keenness for bold shapes and colors and utilizes a diverse array of media to approach her design practice. She is particularly interested in exploring different projects and disciplines.

Over the course of her career, Ana has demonstrated her versatility by successfully navigating various fields. From art direction and editorial projects to illustrations, branding identities, music projects, textile pieces, packaging, and bespoke graphics for TV, she has proven her ability to thrive in diverse creative environments.

Her clients include Adobe, Ninja Tune, The Atlantic, The Hospital Club, The Webby Awards, and Vice Media Group. She also co-founded Madre, a lab to experiment with materials, shapes, and techniques.



Jolany is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz, where she earned a bachelor's degree in digital media production. Lany was introduced to a camera during her junior year of high school and created a film that won her school's film festival, igniting her passion for filmmaking and photography. Later, in college, she began offering photography services.
Currently, Lany works as a video editor and manages a social media page that showcases
educational content on all thing's filmmaking. Lany loves working on Transcending Ellenville because is allows her to leverage her skills in video editing and story telling to bring awareness to real problems in society on powerful social platforms.ike