Introducing the Women of ONYX
Jordan Pfeifer is the owner, founder and executive producer of ONYX. She recently graduated from the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University, with an emphasis in directing. However, she got her start doing production design on many film sets. She is a lover of women and believes that the power amongst a group of females is unmatched. She is a huge horror fan, spending her college career interning at companies such as Blumhouse, Ghost House Pictures, and Raimi Productions. Her dream has always been to assemble a group of strong, creative women together to make empowering, inspiring and visceral art.
Hayley Nash is a UCLA graduate and entertainment development professional who values the power of storytelling within film and television. Through her work at Warner Bros. Television, Atlas Entertainment, and Ghost House Pictures, she has assisted in the development of a diverse array of high quality series and feature films. She has a passion for female-driven content, and is excited to aid in the development of new projects for this innovative production company. Ultimately, she understands that creative content takes time to develop and aspires to help ideas with great potential thrive.
Emma Forthofer is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles, originating from Mount Desert Island, Maine. Now studying Film and Television Production at Loyola Marymount University, Emma is trained in both narrative fiction and documentary filmmaking with hands-on experience shooting both formats. With her passion for cameras, aesthetics, and empowering women in film, Emma carries an energy behind the camera that brings stories and visions to life.
Lauren Worona is a filmmaker from Sonoma, California who is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Film and Television Production with a minor in Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is most passionate about her work behind the camera, gaining experience on film sets around Los Angeles as well as through internship experiences, such as with Transcendence Theatre Company based in her hometown. Outside of work, she also enjoys activities that encourage a life of creativity, balance, and mindfulness, and similarly, she draws inspiration from many of the strong women in her life. Overjoyed to be working with ONYX, her favorite movie genres are psychological thriller, romance, and the new breed of horror which has replaced jump-scares with existential dread.
Vivian Gray is an film director, cinematographer, and current junior in Film Production at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Her focus is in character driven narratives, music videos, and experimental documentaries. Originally from Memphis, TN, Vivian is so excited to join the ONYX team and help make these dreams come to life!
Originally from Austin, Texas, Zandra is currently based in Los Angeles where they study film production at CSUN, with an emphasis in cinematography. Their work has been featured in numerous film festivals, and while they work primarily as a gaffer and DP, they have also directed and produced several short films, music videos and documentaries. Zandra is passionate about using visual storytelling to tell emotionally complex narratives that center underrepresented voices, which is why they’re thrilled to be a part of this talented team of filmmakers!
Jordyn is currently a freshman Film & Television Production major at Loyola Marymount University, originally from Chicago. She is extremely interested in cinematography, lighting, and camera operating. Aside from live action, she hopes to eventually DP claymations, animations, and films involving puppetry. She enjoys visualizing and crafting fantasy based stories with timely and important themes. Since she focuses on accurately representing women and the LGBTQ+ community in her work, she is extremely excited to be joining a team of incredibly strong and talented women with similar values! Jordyn looks forward to her time on set and in collaboration with the ONYX team!
Emily Phillips is a Film Production Major at Loyola Marymount University originally from the Bay Area. Entering her senior year, Emily has found a passion for working on set in the lighting and grip department. As a screenwriting minor with a focus on directing, Emily also loves bringing her own stories to life. She is stoked to be leading ONYX's lighting and grip team and to collaborate with the creative and passionate women of ONYX.
Originally from Washington, Callie came to LA to study film and television production and environmental studies at Loyola Marymount University. Callie is passionate about telling female led stories of any kind and has a growing interest in documentaries. Outside of film Callie can be found hiking, getting boba, and playing with any dog she sees. She is very excited to be a part of a group of badass filmmakers who have such a strong passion for making an impact through storytelling.
Native to LA, Sarah Leeper is first and foremost a lover of fantasy and horror. Amidst her annual reading of The Lord of the Rings and her mission to watch every single Hammer horror film, Sarah is a dedicated editor. Willing to work on anything and everything, Sarah is honing her craft one short film, music video, documentary, and YouTube video at a time.
Chelsea Ayllon is a filmmaker based in New York City. She is currently a senior at Arizona State University majoring in Film and Media studies. Before studying film, Chelsea was an aspiring actress. She decided that she wanted to leap deeper into the world of film which made her switch her major to Film and Media. Since living in the city, Chelsea has worked on production sets for a variety of short films and commercials. Currently, Chelsea is working on launching her first podcast web series that will focus on comedy entertainment. Chelsea is a passionate storyteller who loves to connect with audience members. So far, She has created documentary short films that have to do with mental health awareness. Chelsea is super excited to have found ONYX. She can’t wait to work alongside a community of powerful female filmmakers!
Kaila Cherry is a twenty year old aspiring filmmaker and writer. A lover and admirer of art in all its various forms, she aims to create works that hinges on realism and gives significance to the nuances of the everyday life. Her film work had been featured in the AfroKin Film Fest (2020), Megazine Issue 4 (2019), and earned her a Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artist Scholarship (2017). She likes the fact that her last name is a fruit because she knows she will never get confused for someone else.
Zoe is a Freshman Recording Arts Major at Loyola Marymount with a Minor in Asian and Pacific Asian Studies. After having grown up in several different countries, she is now based in LA. With a background of video editing, she decided to shift her focus to mastering all aspects of audio, from sound mixing and sound effects to production recording. She aspires to be a successful sound mixer in the film industry. She has started her career with mixing for live events with Mane Entertainment. She loves learning about culture and discovering new perspectives and is passionate about empowering women and women of color. Her favorite movie genre is thriller. She is extremely excited to work with so many inspiring people at ONYX.
Hannah is a sophomore recording arts major with a minor in economics at Loyola Marymount University. She’s passionate about self expression and artistic representation of women and the LGBTQ+ community through various audio/visual mediums. She is particularly interested in the horror genre, and is thrilled to join a female-driven crew of filmmakers. Hannah is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist and releases music under her alias, Indigo Hills.
Sunday Smith is a film director, sound designer, and production designer based in Los Angeles. She is in her senior year of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts majoring in film & television production, & she has been obsessed and completely infatuated with the horror genre since she was a kid. Her utter fascination with the macabre has put her on a journey to redefine horror and she is excited to do so with ONYX.
Morgan is studying Film and Television Production and Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University. She has a passion for all things horror and science fiction. Morgan got her start as a 1st AD in her freshman year of college where she fell in love with the high-intensity, collaborative nature of the job. In addition to serving as an AD, Morgan pursues a career in writing and directing. Her stories focus on telling strong, female-centric narratives that aim to highlight the unifying complexities of the human condition. She has traveled to Cuba and Vietnam to make documentaries and has won several awards and accolades for her short films. As a diehard feminist, Morgan is excited to be working with an incredibly talented group of like-minded women.
Danuta (they/them) is a current graduate student at Loyola Marymount University in LA studying Writing and Producing for TV. Born and raised on the East Coast in an immigrant household, storytelling was essential in bridging gaps between Polish and American cultures. Stories were also a way for Danuta to explore and understand who they were as a Polish American, gender, sexuality, expression, and aesthetic. Most of all, Danuta is a fierce advocate for the pleasure that comes with sharing stories and building connections. They enjoy cerebral horrors with a twist, human-first plots, and the emotional manipulation wonderfully crafted narratives bring. Danuta hopes to get their own stories on TV and enjoys exploring first-generation experiences, Polish culture, Queer culture, and cowboys, yeehaw!
Assistant Director/Script Supervisor
Taylor is a sophomore film production major with a minor in studio arts at Loyola Marymount University. She’s passionate about complex LGTBQ+ representation and highlighting underrepresented stories from emerging and diverse filmmakers, which is why she loved interning at NewFilmmakers LA. She’s thrilled to join this empowering and talented female-driven team! Outside of film, she spends much of her time at the beach, which is a nice change from her hometown Chandler, Arizona. She’s also an avid fan of coffee shops and Cate Blanchett.
Diversity Content Advisor/Writer
Jay Wilder is a film and acting student at Columbia College Hollywood. She loves spooky stuff, going for long drives, and stand-up comedy! Originally from Brooklyn, Jay lives in Los Angeles with hopes to act for films and television, but she has also fostered an interest in screenwriting. Storytelling has been a part of Jay’s life since she was very young, so she finds joy in telling her own. Her goal is to create and be a part of works that celebrate diversity and women of color, especially.
Rachael Fisher is a Casting Director, Assistant Director, and Writer. She is pursuing a degree in Screenwriting with a minor in Public Relations at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles). She writes scripts with various magical realism elements and aspires to create works that depict women in their true light. In her first year of college, she hit the ground running casting and assistant directing for multiple student films including at the graduate level. As a casting director, Rachael uses her strong background in acting, her intuitive nature, and experience to identify the actors that will best fit the roles to bring each films’ vision to life. With her work, she aspires to build the bridges between dedicated actors and directors who share the same mission. Rachael is honored to be part of ONYX which inspires, encourages, and celebrates the authenticity of women on screen and in the entertainment industry.
Jenna is a Film & TV Production Major at Loyola Marymount University. Originally from Orange County, California, she now lives and studies in LA. At LMU, she works in the art department for student sets as a production designer and a set dresser. Her goal is to work as a professional production designer. In her career, she hopes to have a taste of every position in the art department: set dresser, art PA, props, art director, and more. She has never experienced working on an all-female/non-binary set and she is beyond excited to work with so many bright and creative women through ONYX.
Emma is a Production Designer and Director from Indianapolis, Indiana. A junior at Loyola Marymount University LA, Emma pursues a major in Film Production with minors in Screenwriting and Women’s & Gender Studies. In addition to being a cinephile, Emma is an improv enthusiast, barista, and self-proclaimed hipster who is passionate about social justice and promoting LGBTQ+ representation. Additionally, she has held internships with OUTFEST (the preeminent LGBTQ+ film festival in the world), ROAR Entertainment, PalmStar Media, and National Lampoon.
Jessie Brown is a film production major at Loyola Marymount University originally from Houston, Texas. With a background in studio arts, Jessie is constantly observing and imagining new spaces and environments. Interested in architecture and aesthetics, she has a deep passion for production design and collaborating with other powerful women to produce stellar content.
Lizzie Keller is a senior Cinema & Media Studies major at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her diverse production experience encompasses short films, mini-series, and theatrical productions. In her spare time, she loves science fiction movies and doing stand up comedy. She is beyond thrilled to be joining the ONYX team as a producer, as well as to make her film acting debut in NOXIOUS!
Haley is a rising senior film and television production major with minors in screenwriting and theatre arts! She’s joining the Onyx Team as a writer.
Ginger is so excited to join the ONYX team! Ginger was born and raised in New York City, and is now a sophomore at USC majoring in theatre with an acting emphasis, and minoring in screenwriting. She is passionate about all forms of storytelling, and is especially interested in highlighting the complex and joyful lives of the LGBTQ+ community. Besides theatre and film, Ginger enjoys skateboarding, concept photography, and collaging!
Born and raised in Russia, Ksusha Genenfeld is a Los Angeles based female cinematographer with a deep passion to create beautiful images that are authentic to each project. To Ksusha, nothing is more important than being true to the story that is being told and picking the right language to do so. Ksusha always strives to push herself creatively on every project to make something that is visually stunning and provoking.
Her work includes Narrative films, Documentaries, Music Videos and Commercials on a variety of different formats from film to digital. When not on set Ksusha likes to take still photographs on her 35mm and medium film cameras to stimulate creativity and passion for creating visually striking images.
Giselle Omar is a screenwriter graduating from Loyola Marymount University in December with a B.A. in Film & Television Production and a minor in Screenwriting. Giselle’s two favorite genres are comedy and horror, and she hopes to write for scripted television. She is excited to produce content with the rest of the ONYX team!
Lucy grew up just outside the Peak District in England and moved to the US to study Film and Media Studies at Yale University. She is currently a Junior on the Screenwriting and Directing track of the major and previously ran the Yale TV Studio. Lucy also acts and studied Classical Acting at LAMDA in London. She has directed several short films, music videos, public health videos, and a 45-minute silent movie with a full orchestra featuring Angela Bassett and Hillary Clinton. Lucy is a current intern at QC Entertainment and is super excited to work alongside female filmmakers at ONYX and bring her dark humour to the team!
Gabriella Kashi is a Los Angeles based writer and director who has just graduated from Temple University’s film program. Her creative work explores the unheard narratives with an emphasis on cross-cultural differences and language variation. She also explores how these identities oftentimes fit into a woman’s sexuality and sexual upbringing. She currently freelances on various sets in the art department, including HBO’s Euphoria, and has just begun a festival circuit for her most recent works, In Keaton’s Lemon Garden.
Jackie is a junior screenwriting major at Loyola Marymount University in LA. Growing up in the Bay Area, she was a total theater kid and loved bringing stories to life on stage. Now, she has found that same enthusiasm for telling stories on screen and hopes to one day be part of a TV writers’ room. Jackie enjoys writing everything from dramedies to thrillers and is excited to gain more experience writing horror with ONYX. She is honored to be part of such a talented team and to get to write narratives exploring what it means to be female or non-binary.
Danyela is a Texas native studying English at Loyola Marymount University. Growing up watching things like The Twilight Zone and Rosemary's Baby, she is a fanatic for horrors that infuse the terrors of everyday society with the otherworldly. She has recently had her short story “Saturday” published in the LA Miscellany with LMU and her future goal is to write for TV and film. Danyela is more than excited to have the opportunity to tell engrossing and empowering stories with a diverse group of talented women.
Carly (they/them) is a photographer, production designer, and jack-of-many-other-trades. Their passions are horror movies, plants, and antique stores. Even though they are currently based in NY, LA has stolen their heart and they can’t wait to move there once they're done with school at Ithaca College. They are so excited to be working with such an amazing group of talented women and queer folk.
Intimacy Coordinator/Makeup Artist
Madeline McHugh is a theater student, with a film minor, at LMU, set to graduate in 2021. She loves the creative process it takes to bring a film to life and is very excited to create meaningful, fun, and interesting films with ONYX. For fun, she likes to read, watch movies/TV, go to Disneyland, go to the beach, photography, and video games. Her favorite movie genres are psychological thriller, murder mystery, and fantasy. In addition to her roles in ONYX, she also plans on pursuing directing and acting.
Luciana is a Peruvian senior student at USC. She believes in making changes and motivate women empowerment through film. She has an A.A in Acting. She has worked in several films as a producer She’s also done special studies in FX Makeup, and has worked as a FX MUA in many other films.
Nora studied TV Writing & Producing at Columbia College Chicago before moving to Los Angeles last year, and is currently an Office PA on Apple TV’s Mythic Quest. Although she is an aspiring TV writer/showrunner, one of her other passions is composing music. Her love of scores is rooted in the fact that music not only affects a scene, but also those watching it. Nora is so excited to compose pieces that will accompany the unique characters/journeys created by ONYX Films!
Lilli is a multidisciplinary artist and writer from the midwest. She briefly attended the University of Michigan to study Art and Design before transferring to her hometown college in Omaha, Nebraska to graduate with a degree in Creative Nonfiction and Philosophy. Primarily, her work is concentrated in the music industry wherein she serves as an artist manager and freelance designer/photographer, but her varied creative interests allow her to work within many different fields. Above all, Lilli values this creative flexibility because it allows her to constantly travel. Currently, Lilli is also an Editor-in-Chief of Chicago creative collective Underground Apex, as well as working on a series of multimedia travel essays for her graduate school applications for a PhD in English. She wouldn’t be where she is today without Anthony Bourdain, André Aciman, The Lord of the Rings, and the Talking Heads.
Raised in England, Mallory Higgins moved to America when she was twelve years old. Her favorite things to do when she was little were to paint and play dress up. Now, many years later, she’s pursuing them on a professional level. She is a senior studying art and acting at Loyola Marymount University, and is thrilled to be part of the funky and creative ONYX team!
HALEIGH WALLACE MCKECHNIE
Born and raised in the woods of Maine, Haleigh Wallace is a recent California transplant with an acting degree from Columbia College Chicago. When she isn’t forcing her roommates to watch horror movies with her or chugging seltzer water, Haleigh Wallace sketches, paints, and does digital art. She is extremely excited as a queer actress to dive further into narratives that aren’t always given the spotlight they deserve and work with some kick-ass filmmakers.
DEVIN T JOHNSON
Company Diversity Advisor
A current senior at CCH and from NYC, Devin Johnson moved to LA to pursue a degree on Film and Cinema. When she's not at school, she's typically auditioning for various roles as she is repped with Luxe Talent Agency and Pelican Point Media Talent. She is also a production coordinator for Almost There, a fashion and lifestyle podcast under the SCAT tv Radio umbrella. She is also a part of the worship team and a service team leader with the House LA church. And she is the creator of her newest and latest project, We Are Your Pals!
Chloe Gardiner is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University where she earned her MFA in Film and Television Production with an Emphasis in Directing. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Connecticut, Chloe decided to pursue her lifelong dream of working in movies, with the hopes of making films in her favorite genres; horror, fantasy, and science fiction. During her time at LMU, Chloe worked on several of her classmate's short films. She has also written, directed, and produced 6 of her own films. Her work on films as a writer, director, producer, and actress have premiered at film festivals such as the DTLA film festival, Canon Burbank Film Festival, New England Online Festival, and so many more. Finally graduated, Chloe hopes to follow her dream of becoming a film producer, distributor, and screenwriter. Her goal is to create and distribute films with people of color and women in interesting, unique, and strong roles.
Gianna Gencarella is an editor and colorist entering her final semester at LMU, majoring in Film & Television Production with an emphasis in Post Production. She grew up in the Bay Area, but now lives and works out of LA. Her passion falls with editing, but she can also be seen geeking out on anything ocean, hockey, or Lord of the Rings related. She currently works as an Assistant Editor for Warner Bros. and continues her editing and coloring work through freelancing. Gianna is honored to be a part of this talented group of female filmmakers and can’t wait to work on future projects with the team!
JANNEKE WADE-DE JONG
BTS Videographer/Set Documentarian
Janneke is a senior Film & Television Production Major heading into the track of documentary filmmaking. She was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Brooklyn and Harlem. She became the most passionate about the storytelling aspect of filmmaking and enjoys the collaborative nature of working on set. Janneke is also interested in writing comedies especially ones that are combined with other genres (horror, action, etc.) and got inspired by the originality of TV Shows like Community. In High School, Janneke made a documentary about the people and street performers who pass by Union Square in NYC. This film won the Silver Medal Award at the New York Alliance Film Festival. She also recently made a documentary about her grandmother’s experiences during WW2 that won the Best Historical Short Film Award at the Screen Power Film Festival. Janneke is excited to help make intersectional feminist films alongside a talented crew of women.
Originally from Northern California, Julia is in her final semester at LMU majoring in screenwriting. Her experience falls in narrative feature film production as a director, producer, writer, and cinematographer. Julia has always been enamored by people, their reactions, emotions, attachments and identities. Only after discovering cinematic language has she been able to authentically articulate her love of people and their stories. Julia is excited to further her exploration of cinema with ONYX and help amplify voices that are otherwise historically overlooked.
Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Brittany Franke is an actor, director, and musician who believes storytelling is the key to human connection and identity development. Originally from Arizona, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a degree in Theatre with an Acting Emphasis and a minor in Education and Society, inspired by her passion for arts education. Although Jordan and Anastasia found her through casting her in their upcoming film Noxious, once Brittany got a taste of ONYX, she couldn't go back and decided to join the team!
Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Originally from Atlanta, Stella is now a senior at USC double majoring in Theatre (BA, Acting Emphasis) and Law, History, and Culture (BA). She hopes to spend her future blending her passion for theatre and film with her passion for advocacy. She's ecstatic to collaborate on intersectional feminist films with the ONYX team.
Casting & Graphics
Yahm Steinberg is a multidisciplinary artist currently studying acting at the University of Southern California. Along with acting, Yahm has a passion for music, directing, and visual art. They are highly motivated to represent queer, Jewish, and female empowered perspectives through storytelling that breaks traditional boundaries. She is so excited to be joining the Onyx team and work alongside like-minded artists to bring creative ideas to life.
Sharon is an aspiring writer with an obsession for 90s R&B albums and an interest in culturally-conscious horror & drama. She believes meaningful representation begins with the independent film space, and that the equitable allocation of resources/finances is the key to a more inclusive industry. She looks forward to taking on a more active set role with the G&E department, and is incredibly excited to be joining the team at Onyx.
Keely Martin is a Visual Media Arts major at Emerson College, and is based both in Boston and Los Angeles. Her main focus lies in writing and directing, although she has experience in various aspects of filmmaking such as cinematography, gaffing, and editing. She loves dark comedies, campy horror films, and anything created by Studio Ghibli. She has made several award winning short films that include female-driven cast and crews, and is so excited to continue doing so with the members of ONYX!
Alexandra Miller is a sophomore Film & TV Production major at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. With a background in acting and writing, she strives to bring authentic female narratives to the screen while empowering those in front of and behind the camera. She is extremely excited to be working alongside the talented ONYX members and can't wait to create some fresh new art.
Natasha Nutkiewicz is an Argentinian actress, producer and singer studying Theatre with an Acting Emphasis with a Cinematic Arts minor at the University of Southern California. After her experience immigrating at a young age, she is determined to be a global artist who promotes empathy, diversity, equity and justice through various art forms. She is so grateful to be part of the Onyx community and eager to create films that unite and heal our fractured world.
ONYX'S Official Dog
Yoshi is Billy Gould's dog and the official mascot of ONYX Films, LLC!