Our Film

Executive produced by LGBTQ supporter Susan Sarandon and shot by first-time filmmaker Hillevi Loven, DEEP RUN is a powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily. This intimate documentary reveals rebirth and courage within America’s deeply conservative Bible Belt.

Crew Bios

Hillevi Loven

Hillevi Loven is a filmmaker, producer and still photographer based in Brooklyn. She is making her feature-film-directing debut with Deep Run. As a Sundance Documentary Fellow, she took part in the Sundance labs while completing Deep Run. In collaboration with MIT anthropologist Natasha Schull, she co-directed the documentary, Buffet: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, which won Best Short from the Society of Visual Anthropology. As an artist, she has received funding and support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Sundance Institute, New York Foundation for the Arts and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her commercial work includes projects for Condé Nast, American Express and Time Inc. She has produced collaborative work with the Brooklyn art collectives Uniondocs, OVO, and the Brooklyn Filmmakers’ Collective. Hillevi is an alumna of Barnard College, and the Hunter College IMA MFA program.

Deep Run is the culmination of years of Hillevi’s own social justice work, which began with teaching media arts to LGBT youth at the Hetrick Martin Institute in NYC.



Susan Sarandon began her career in the 1970 film Joe, and has received five  nominations for Best Actress, for Atlantic City (1980), Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), The Client (1994) andDead Man Walking (1995), for which she won. On television, she has received five Emmy nominations, including for Bernard and Doris (2007) and You Don't Know Jack (2010). Her other films include The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Pretty Baby (1978), The Hunger (1983), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Bull Durham (1988), White Palace (1990), Little Women(1994), Stepmom (1998), Igby Goes Down (2002), Enchanted (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009) and Arbitrage (2012). In 2014 she founded Reframed Pictures to develop and produce documentaries with impact.

Chris Talbott

Chris Talbott is a producer, director, screenwriter, and playwright.  A Sundance Documentary Fellow, he is the founder of Silent Five Productions and Cause Effect Agency, a mission-driven organization that cross-pollinates charitable projects with activists in the entertainment industry.  Talbott produced Deep Run (Women Make Movies) with longtime collaborator Susan Sarandon, and assisted actor/director Tim Robbins in producing Cradle Will Rock and Dead Man Walking.  His earlier films include The Forth (Long Island Film Festival Best First Feature) and The World's Best Prom (Wisconsin Film Festival Best Documentary), which inspired a popular episode of NPR's This American Life.   As a founding member of OVO arts collective, Talbott has produced multiple theater, performance art, and video works. He developed and produced Roger Aller's (Lion King) children's musical, Beatrice's Goat.   Tablott's plays have been produced with SoHo Rep, HERE, and Theater for the New City.


Samara Levenstein is a film and theater producer based in New York City. In addition to producing DEEP RUN, and serving as co-producer on the Al Jazeera broadcast, I LEARN AMERICA, (dir. Jean-Michel Dissard and Gitte Peng, 2012), her post production credits include critically acclaimed documentaries by filmmakers Eugene Jarecki, Michel Gondry and Alex Gibney. She is currently collaborating for the third time with director Steven Soderbergh and HBO on the mini-series, MOSAIC (currently in post-production).

Levenstein is the creator and producer of community-supported Shakespeare at Sylvester Manor.  Productions are held every summer at Sylvester Manor, a working farm and historic landmark on Shelter Island, in Suffolk County, New York.  Additionally she is a member of the performance collective, The Lake Lucille Project, founded and directed by Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman, and based in Rockland County, New York. This annual, site-specific, immersive production focuses on the works of Anton Chekhov. A documentary, THE SEAGULL, based on and around a unique performance, is currently in post-production.




Kristen Nutile is an award winning independent documentary filmmaker and editor based in New York City. Kristen edited the award-winning documentary, UNFINISHED SPACES, which screened as part of the prestigious Sundance Film Forward.  Her other editing credits include STARBOARD LIGHT, INVITATION TO DANCE, EVERY DAY IS A HOLIDAY, and FROM PRISON TO HOME.  She holds co-editing credits on WRIT WRITER, THE HOUSE OF SUH and BODIES AT WAR.  Her work has been broadcast on Showtime, HBO Latin America, Ovation, Al-Jazeera, PBS, and has been published in The New York Times. Her work has also screened around the world at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, MOMA and the National Gallery of Art.  She is a recipient of the Albert Maysles Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. Kristen collaborated with Albert Maysles and Tanja Meding on SALLY GROSS - THE PLEASURE OF STILLNESS.  She holds Master’s degrees in both Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University and Biology from San Francisco State University.

Arianna Lapenne
(Director of Photography)

Arianna Lapenne is a Director and Cinematographer of Television, documentary, and commercial work. Arianna has shot and directed for The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Viceland and National Geographic and her cinematography can be seen in Viceland’s new series Executive Produced and hosted by Gloria Steinem, “WOMAN”, investigating women’s rights around the world, and the Emmy award-winning SHOWTIME series, "The Years of Living Dangerously.” Arianna also served as Director of Photography on Refinery29’s episodic series about global female activism, “A Woman’s Place,” and the recent Glamour Magazine branded digital series for Maybelline, “The Girl Project,” about girl’s education throughout the world. Arianna is currently helming a series of spots for West Elm, and a branded series for MARS and has additionally created content for international brands such as Google, Maybelline, Motorola, GE, Hewlett Packard, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macys. She is also the Director of Photography for the Peabody-Award winning documentary “Don’t Tell Anyone” broadcast on POV.


Gill Holland is a Spirit Award nominee for Producer of the Year, has worked on over 100 films, including Sundance faves Flow: For Love of WaterSpring ForwardLoggerheads, Sundance triple winner Hurricane Streets, the FOX sit-com Greg the Bunny, the Spirit Award winner and first carbon-neutral independent film Sweetland, Al Gore’s 2008 Reel Current Award winning doc Mountain Top Removal, SXSW Audience Prize winner Maidentrip and SXSW Jury Prize Winner The Seer, NY Times Critics Pick An Honest Liar, Spirit Award nominee It Felt Like Love, and the Emmy-nominated doc Dear Jesse. His record label sonaBLAST! is on its 70th release. He, his wife Augusta and their three children opened The Green Building, the greenest commercial building in KY. Louisville Magazine named him its “Person of the Year” in 2009.

Phil Roebuck

Songwriter and performer Phillip Roebuck has been touring incessantly for many years.  He’s released 27 commercial recordings, including 6 full-length solo albums, and can be heard on TV/Film scores & soundtracks Justified, High Road, Deep Run, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Breaking Amish, Fisher Poets, Con Artist, Vile, Simply Irresistible and many more.  Some career highlights include Drop Dead Diva, Guest-starring with Rick Springfield; TED Talks, Guest Speaker; The Moth, The Unchained Tour; John Peel Sessions, BBC Radio 1; The Seagull, Three Sisters, Platonov, Ivanov, Lake Lucille; The Greeks, Boesman & Lena, Juilliard.

Ryan Price (MPSE)
(Sound design)

Ryan M. Price is a New York City based Supervising Sound Editor & Re-recording mixer. His narrative film credits include ANOTHER EARTH, LISTEN UP PHILIP, QUEEN OF EARTH and  TALLULAH. His documentary credits include PARK AVENUE: MONEY, POWER AND THE AMERICAN DREAM, MEDORA, and PETER AND THE FARM.


Mattew Rogers, Esq.

Donaldson and Califf