The Filmmakers

Director John Davies


John Davies

John is currently developing and will Executive Produce the NBC mini-series CARSON THE MAGNIFICENT, a three-night drama about the life of Johnny Carson. He is also Executive Producing the new comedy competition series COMIC GENIUSwhich he developed with Adam Sandler’s HAPPY MADISON PRODUCTIONS for the USA NETWORK.  Prior to his life in California,  John worked in the documentary department at Chicago PBS station WTTW where he wrote and produced award winning  films like  TOP GUNS OF ’43 and THE FIRST JETLINER.  He eventually became a Producer on the hit PBS seriesSNEAK PREVIEWS with film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and created WILD CHICAGO, the longest running late night series in the history of Chicago television.

Leaving WTTW he  formed Eggboy Productions with Actor James Belushi to write and produce comedy specials like V.T. THE VIDEO TAPE with Dan Aykroyd for PBS, TAB LLOYD INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER with Tim Kazurinsky and Al Franken for the NBC O&O’s and numerous comedy shorts for every premium cable network and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.  One of those shorts caught the attention of HBO’s Chris Albrecht who invited John to Los Angeles and partnered him with Bob Zmuda to work for COMIC RELIEF, the biggest series of live, televised comedy events ever produced.

For seven years, John and Bob Zmuda Co-Wrote, Produced and/or Executive Produced hours of network and cable specials hosted by everyone from Billy Crystal to Whoopi Goldberg to Dennis Miller and Jon Stewart.  John also Executive Produced and Co-Wrote ABC’s AMERICAN COMEDY FESTIVAL, was Emmy nominated for Producing and Co-Writing the NBC special A COMEDY SALUTE TO ANDY KAUFMAN, and Executive Produced A&E BIOGRAPHY specials on Richard Pryor and Mary Tyler Moore and LIFETIME INTIMATE PORTRAIT specials on Yoko Ono and Kathy Lee Gifford.  Additionally John Executive Produced the ESPN documentary POLITICS & THE OLYMPICS and Executive Produced the NBC summer comedy series THE RERUN SHOW, an irreverent re-working of classic American sitcoms.  Partnering with Brad Grey TV, John Executive Produced the BRAVO interview series SECOND CITY PRESENTS and the AMC movie review series MOVIE CLUB WITH JOHN RIDLEY among many other programs.

With partners Russell Simmons and Sean “Diddy” Combs, John Co-Created and Executive Produced the hit MTV reality series RUN’S HOUSE, winner of an NAACP award and hailed by The New York Times as “the Cosby Show for the Hip Hop generation”.  It ran for six seasons and its spin-off, DADDY’S GIRLS ran for two more.  His critically acclaimed, feature length documentary IT’S BLACK ENTERTAINMENT premiered on SHOWTIME and PHUNNY BUSINESS, another feature length documentary Written, Produced and Directed by John is currently airing on SHOWTIME.  John is Managed by the legendary Sandy Wernick, the Senior Executive at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.



John Ridley

John Ridley is an Executive Producer and Screenwriter for the multi-award winning film, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, for which he won an 2014 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, was nominated for a 2014 Golden Globe award, along with being nominated for/won 15 other prestigious Critics’ Awards. Ridley is also the Creator/Writer/Director of the critically-acclaimed television series AMERICAN CRIME,an Emmy Award-winning commentator, a writer for Esquire magazine, as well as a contributor to NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. He is the author of ten published novels / graphic novels and collectively his works have been chosen as “Editor’s Picks” or “Best of the Year” by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and The Baltimore Sun. Ridley’s first novel, Stray Dogs, was made into the Oliver Stone film U-TURN starring Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez. Other films written and/ or produced by Ridley include THREE KINGS, UNDERCOVER BROTHER, BOBBY, STREET KINGS, the George Lucas-produced RED TAILS which tells the story of the World War II era Tuskegee Airmen, and also ALL IS BY MY SIDE, a drama based on Jimi Hendrix’s pre-fame years which Ridley not only wrote, but also directed.



Brian Kallies

Brian is a seasoned editor, cinematographer, and producer of documentaries, television specials, and independent films. His television experience began at Chicago PBS where he produced the feature-length specials SEVEN WONDERS OF CHICAGO and CHICAGO BY BOAT.

Brian then went on to produce and edit several series for Indiana Public Television. Serving as virtually the entire production crew, he co-produced, shot and edited the documentary, PHUNNY BUSINESS: A BLACK COMEDY, which aired on SHOWTIME and has received critical acclaim across the country. In 2012, his environmental documentary EVERGLADES OF THE NORTH was broadcast nationally and received considerable praise. His production company, Brian Kallies Productions LLC, continues to work with creative and commercial clients in North America and Europe, while creating independent content.



Joseph C. Roetheli

Dr. Joseph Roetheli has centered his life around God, family, and helping his neighbors. Born and raised in Hermann, Missouri, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in agricultural economics. After becoming a successful entrepreneur, Dr. Roetheli set out to help as many people as possible through his charitable contributions and his family’s foundation, The Roetheli Lil’ Red Foundation.

In his professional life, spanning nearly 40 years, Dr. Roetheli has held key leadership positions at The Tennessee Valley Authority, and the US Department of Agriculture and appoinments at The University of Idaho and The University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Roetheli, along with his wife Judy, began as entrepreneurs in 1996. Judy challenged Dr. Roetheli to find a way to clean up the foul breath of a family dog, Ivan, and after considerable prodding, he mixed up a concoction.  Ivan enjoyed eating it and about 10 days later, Ivan’s breath was vastly improved.  Thus, the dog treat Greenies® was born. S&M NuTec was founded and by 2005, Greenies® was the number one selling dog treat in the United States.

In addition to S&M NuTec, Dr. Roetheli has drafted legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.  He is also the co-author of the topic “Biomass” in the Encyclopedia of Agriculture, has two chapters in the 1992 Yearbook of Agriculture, and served a two-year term on the Economic Advisory Council of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.  Presidential Who’s Who honored Dr. Roetheli as the Entrepreneur of the Decade in its 2011 edition.

The Roethelis’ devote a great amount of time, effort, and financial resources to helping others through The Roetheli Lil’ Red Foundation. The Foundation focus areas are:

Additionally, the Roetheli’s businesses have received over four-dozen awards and honors including:

Judy Roetheli

Judy Hill Roetheli was born in Gainesville, Florida and moved to Newberry, Florida when she was 8 years old. Judy has always had a passion for community service. She won the “Daughters of the American Revolution” Award in high school (a community service honor) and thus began her path toward The Roetheli Lil’ Red Foundation and giving back to those in need.

Along with her husband, Judy has made a profound imprint in the business world. She’s been able to combine her passions (pets) and (health/wellness) into successful enterprises: S&M NuTec and “The Spa Tuscano”, a premiere wellness and relaxation spa. Judy conceptualized the now well-known shape of Greenies® dog treats (a narrow green bar with a toothbrush head on one end and a bone knuckle on the other) and along with Joe started the business from the ground up. Their business ventures also include a café, a tool company, and a BBQ manufacturing company.

In addition to her successes in business, Judy earned a BA in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University and taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She and Joe have two sons, Steffan and Michael (the “S&M” in S&M NuTec), and six grandchildren.


Agnes Gaertner

Agnes Roetheli Gaertner, pursuing her Swiss heritage, studied German and French at the University of Missouri, where she earned a BA in German and a BS in Secondary Education.  She later earned her Master’s Degree in German Language and Literature at California State University, Fullerton. She taught German and French for 34 years in Southern California and served as the Foreign Language Department Chair. In 1978, she was named a Fullbright Foreign Exchange Teacher and spent a year teaching English at a Gymnasium (college-prep high school) in Wuppertal, Germany. She has traveled extensively and has organized family trips to Switzerland, where she enjoys using her language skills.

To confirm their on-going interest in education, Agnes and her husband have established the Gaertner-Roetheli Scholarship at the high school in their hometown (Hermann, MO), where each year several students with interests in education, agriculture or foreign languages are named scholarship winners.

Recently, Agnes and her colleague, Josiane Karlsson, translated two French books, written by Nicole and Serge Roetheli.  The first, Keep on Running, tells the story of Serge and Nicole’s three-year journey from the tip of South America to Alaska.  The second, Nicole’s Diary: Running the World…Losing Our Marbles, is Nicole’s account of their five-year World Tour, which serves as the basis for the documentary, The 25,000 Mile Love Story.


Melissa Place

As Executive Director of Key Companies & Associates and The Roetheli Lil’ Red Foundation, Melissa is a an integral member of the senior management team, providing strategic direction and project execution for all aspects of the businesses, including office and project management, administration, marketing, and communications. With a multitude of responsibilities across 13 prominent companies, Melissa enjoys taking part in a highly rewarding business environment.

Being able to maintain a strong foundation of values and a positive attitude while treating others with respect and striving to be helpful are the attributes Melissa attempts to achieve daily.

With 20 years of superlative administration and leadership experience, Melissa’s career experiences include working as part of an award-winning mutual fund company and world-class, award-winning pet treat company.

A lifetime resident of the Kansas City area, Melissa is married with three children.   She is an active supporter of her children, their schools and activities, and her local church. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and taking excursions to the lake.


Christy Dreiling

Christy Dreiling began her career in entertainment at a very young age. At 17 she was crowned Miss Kansas Teen USA and after that she began working as an actress and model traveling the country.

After settling down in Kansas and beginning her family she became a self taught fashion photographer, shooting more than 1500 models in a span of about five years. She never envisioned where her life would take her after that. After being introduced to a business opportunity in the Network Marketing industry she was a bit skeptical but embraced the idea and soon had risen to the top position. She currently leads a multi million dollar international team that spans the globe in more than 4 countries.

Christy has also written two books and is currently working on her third book with her mother which will help retell their account of living homeless and will teach how others can overcome their adversity not matter what the circumstances are.

Christy is also a working actress and model and just received her B.A. in Divinity and is currently pursuing her doctorate.

Christy started producing three years ago and is excited to bring stories that will encourage us all to reflect on our own lives and inspire in us an everlasting change that will not only create a significant impact in our future but the future of our world too.


Robert N. Pafundi

Robert has more than 25 years of experience as lawyer and counselor, and his entertainment practice focuses on counseling and advising producers, directors, talent managers, talent agents, and parents about how to address and resolve the wide array of issues that relate to hiring and working with TV and Movie personalities, including child stars and young adults.  Much of Robert’s professional life has been devoted to promoting and protecting young talent in Hollywood.

Robert is one of the few attorneys in Hollywood who is also an experienced talent manager and was a SAG-franchised talent agent for 6 yearsHe is now the owner of MGA Talent, formerly The Mary Grady Agency, which among many others, discovered and launched the careers of the Mary Kate and Ashley—The Olsen Twins.  Robert has represented more than 1,000 children and young adult actors and actresses, and currently represents iconic personalities such as Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”).

As an attorney, Robert has addressed many of the most important and recurring issues relating to children and young adults in the entertainment industry.  He speaks and writes extensively about the entertainment business and most recently was a special guest panel speaker for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation, and at two separate events for the Entertainment Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.  Robert is also on the Advisory Board of Children in Film, one of the largest national on-line organizations dedicated to children in entertainment.

On a personal note, Robert was awarded his Shodan (Black Belt) in Bujinkan Taijutsu and Ninjutsu, a traditional Japanese Martial Art, is a Certified PADI Scuba Diver, and an FAA Instrument-Rated Private Pilot.


Priscilla Pesci
Elumines Founder, Chief Innovation Officer and Media Architect

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Elumines, a socially-conscious, integrated media company, Priscilla has established an industry reputation for conceiving and orchestrating successful, out-of-the-box systems that leverage new technologies and market channels to generate new revenue streams and drive strong ROI across leading global organizations.

With extensive cross-cultural and global experience in over 120 countries at major motion picture studios and A-list broadcast networks in social, digital media, television, film, and music, Priscilla’s senior-level, executive posts include MGM Studios, Lionsgate, Viacom / CBS, and FOX.

Having launched and marketed some of the most successful global franchises and contemporary programming in broadcast history, Priscilla’s prolific media expertise spans the gamut of highly acclaimed, Emmy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG, and Oscar award-winning programming, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Survivor, Mad Men, Weed, Silver Surfer, X-Men and numerous United Artists motion pictures.

Additionally, as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of MGM Worldwide Television Group, she contributed, developed, and launched billion-dollar franchises such as Legally Blonde, James Bond, Pink Panther, and Stargate.

As CEO of her own company and Senior Franchise and Digital Media Specialist at MGM, Priscilla pioneered and packaged strategic, online ad-revenue partnerships among major recording labels, film studios and blue-chip brands with multiple revenue streams. A social media innovator, she specialized in turnkey digital marketing, production, mobile, mobile app creation, and media initiatives, including viral, influencer and social marketing, content creation, website development, and strategic planning.

She attended Boston College and the University of San Francisco, where she designed her own major in foreign languages and comparative literature, with a minor in Philosophy.

Priscilla is a Board Member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Committee Member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Television with a Conscience, Board Member of The Blank Theatre, and Advisor for Public Works, Inc., a non-profit committed to the betterment of education, through research, tutoring and the education of high-risk young adults.



David Dunham

David Dunham is a veteran publisher, with over three decades of experience in book publishing. Throughout his career, he has published over 600 books, with over 80 bestsellers, including 25 on the New York Times bestseller’s list. He has published in numerous categories and genres, including biographies, cooking, lifestyle, sports, humor, music, politics and business. Throughout his 38-year career, he has worked with numerous best-selling authors and celebrities, including The Lil’ Red Foundation, Serge Roetheli, Darrell Waltrip, Bill Cosby, Manny Pacquiao, Janine Turner, Cylk Cozart, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Harvey, Isaiah Washington, Daymond John, Jeff Foxworthy, Wolfgang Puck, Ed McMahon, Susie Coelho, Donald Trump, Dave Ramsey, and the late Dr. Stephen Covey. Additionally, his authors have included former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, political talk-show personality Michael Savage, Newt Gingrich, Senator Tom Coburn, NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, and Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News.

His firm, The Dunham Group, specializes in publishing and entertainment in consulting, representation and management to expand the commercial value of its clients—artists, authors, actors and entrepreneurs. The firm represents the intellectual properties of its clients and talent through multiple media platforms including television, film, book publishing, licensing, product development, corporate endorsements, live events, product development and marketing.


Marie Delage

Marie Delage is a Paris native who moved to the South of France in her youth where she studied performing arts such as classic theater, improvisation and dance. Later as a professional dancer, she performed in many renown theaters across France, Italy and Monte Carlo. In Paris, Marie was engaged as a soloist at Le Crazy Horse de Paris, the world-famous cabaret show, which is now considered a national treasure of France.

In late 2007, Marie arrived in the United States and advanced her career as a soloist at the MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris cabaret show in Las Vegas. In 2009, Marie moved to Los Angeles to advance her professional acting and dance career, where she continuously works on Film/TV, voiceovers, commercials and print. Her first co-starring role was on the FOX hit show Glee!. She is currently attending the Margie Haber Studio, and studying voice with Claire Corff.

Marie is an Upright Citizen Brigade (UCB) graduate of the improvisation program, and eligible for The Groundlings conservatory.