Refuge The Movie
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cast & crew




Refuge The Movie
Cast Refuge The Movie Crew

MARK MEDOFF, Writer/Director

MARK MEDOFF , Writer/Director

A theater director for thirty years, Mark Medoff began his film directing career with CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS a feature film based on a Truman Capote short story which won many awards across the country, released by Artisan and Lions Gate. Other notable films penned by Mark include: Academy Award nominated CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (co-screenwriter based on his Tony award-winning play), CLARA'S HEART, OFF BEAT, and CITY OF JOY. He also wrote and produced HOMAGE, an independent feature and participant in the dramatic feature competition at the Sundance Film Festival. SANTA FE, an independent co-written with Andrew Shea, also premiered at Sundance. Mark is a Tony, Society of West End Theatres, and OBIE Award winning playwright, an Academy Award® and Cable ACE Award nominated screenwriter. His repertoire consists of 26 plays, 11 movies, a novel, an opera, and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Creative Media Institute for Film & Digital Arts at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and Distinguished Lecturer in Playwriting at the University of Houston.

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Ginger T. Perkins began her professional career as Business Manager and Marketing Director for the Texas Tech University Theatre, followed by a stint as the Assistant Executive Director of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities. An award-winning theatrical producer, producing in Texas, Utah, Scotland, and Los Angeles, Ginger has experience with touring shows across the country and abroad. Since 1983, Ginger has produced plays, dance programs, music and art exhibits for the Edinburgh International Festival, Fringe; running both the professional company and a mentoring program for children and young adults. Currently working as a film producer in Los Angeles, her most recent film producing credits include THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES and CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS, directed by Mark Medoff and based on the Truman Capote short story. A former in-house producer for Crusader Entertainment, Ginger has worked with writers, directors and company executives in developing films of various genres including: family, historical, films, sports fantasy films. Other film producing credits include ALL TIED UP and BABY LUV. Ginger is also currently collaborating with Mark Medoff and William Immerman on a film project entitled SIMONNE, based on the true story of a French Jewish girl in Paris who survived the German occupation by hiding in the National Library for three years.

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WILLIAM J. IMMERMAN, Executive Producer

WILLIAM J. IMMERMAN , Executive Producer

William J. Immerman is President of Salem Productions, Inc., an independent motion picture production and consulting company that provides production and business affairs consultation to production and distribution companies as well as developing and producing its own motion pictures. Immerman was formerly Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Yari Film Group and its affiliated companies.  Prior to joining Yari Film Group, Immerman was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Crusader Entertainment, LLC.  He began his career in the film industry with American International Pictures ("AIP") as Associate Counsel and later Vice President in Charge of Business Affairs.  He left AIP to become Senior Executive Vice President of Twentieth Century Fox and following his time at Fox Immerman formed Cinema Group, Inc. and was Chairman of the Board and President of the company.  Immerman has also produced or acted as executive producer of more than 25 motion pictures including "Ray" which received an Academy Award for "Best Actor" and "Editing".  Immerman received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.  Immerman is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association and The Order of Distinguished Attorneys of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He has received a Lexis Nexus Martindale Hubbard Peer Review Rating of the Highest Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and serves as a director of The Screen Actors Guild Foundation.  In 2010 he received the Louis B. Mayer Motion Picture Business Executive of the Year Award from the UCLA Anderson Business School.


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KATHY GURFEIN, Executive Producer

KATHY GURFEIN , Executive Producer

Kathy Gurfein left Wall Street where she was a successful financial consultant and investor to raise a family and devote more time to community activism. Kathy created The Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College; the only academic college writing fellowship in the country for non-matriculating students. She developed and implemented the marketing campaign and trailer for a feature documentary film, WHICH WAY HOME, that follows unaccompanied child migrants on their perilous journey through Mexico to the United States.  WHICH WAY HOME is nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary.  With a combined interest in social causes and education in the arts, Kathy currently sits on the Board of Advisors of Big Brothers/Big Sister’s of Westchester, The Advisory Board of New Federal Theatre and The Artistic Director’s Council and The Play Development Council of New York City’s Manhattan Theatre Club. In addition she is an active member of The Actor’s Fund and a Producer Level supporter of The Jacob Burns Film Center. This past year Kathy produced a play reading series for multi-award winning Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre. The series first season triumphantly culminated with the presentation of the highly anticipated new musical, MARIE LEVEAU, written by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, with music by Tony Award winning HAIR composer Galt McDermot. Working with long time friend and mentor Mark Medoff on the film, REFUGE is a dream come true for Kathy.

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JIM GURFEIN, Executive Producer

JIM GURFEIN , Executive Producer

Jim Gurfein is a serial entrepreneur. After earning a BS from Cornell University and a MBA from Columbia University, Jim segued from the advertising industry to international commerce, creating manufacturing companies and distributing luxury items worldwide. He finally followed his lifelong passion for high tech and computers and is CEO and founder of mediaSPA LLC, a leading technology & business consultancy based in Rye, NY.  He is also the founder and CEO of, Inc., a global internet dining resource. Jim donates as much time as possible to community service, receiving many awards including a special award for Outstanding Service from Crimestoppers of Westchester where he founded and served as President of The Board of Directors. As a dedicated supporter of many charitable organizations, particularly those that emphasize education in the arts, Jim currently is the Treasurer and member of The Board of Directors of The Children’s Museum of Westchester and is a member of The Advisory Board of New Federal Theatre. Jim is a former Director of the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts and is delighted that Mark Medoff’s REFUGE is his first foray into a feature film production.

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PHIL TREON, Co-Story Creator

PHIL TREON ,  Co-Story Creator

Phil Treon has worked as a commercial fisherman, construction equipment operator and freelance writer.  He has written short stories, screenplays and (with long-time amigo Mark Medoff) a play, CRUNCHTIME, first produced in Omaha. The original story for REFUGE is also the result of their collaboration.  Currently Phil is revising a novel, PEARL RAIN, set in Mexico's Sea of Cortez during World War II. He enjoys sea kayaking and far off-road camping with his wife Janet.  To pay the bills he teaches writing at New Mexico State University.

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REUBEN STEINBERG, Director of Photography

REUBEN STEINBERG , Director of Photography

Reuben Steinberg attended film school at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA, where he earned his degree in film. It was there and in successive years as a commercial D.P. where he developed his craft in the art of lighting and camera and its role in telling a story. Reuben has lensed a variety of projects including commercials for products ranging from Budweiser, Lady Footlocker, Dickies Jeans and Seven Jeans to Red Envelope and Bluecross/Blueshield as well as 2 AICP Award winning commercials for Kirin Beer and Motel 6. He's also traveled abroad to shoot documentary and fashion projects in locations such as Italy, Japan, Aruba and Canada. In recent years, work has shifted more towards feature films and music videos, including two films, DEADLAND and KNUCKLE DRAGGERS, both premiering this year at film festivals such as The Atlanta Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, ReelArt in Canada and Delrey Beach in Florida. His cinematography in DEADLAND has earned critical acclaim by publications such as Film Threat, Creative Loafing and B-Side. Recently, Reuben has shot music videos featuring pop artists such as SNOOP DOGG and BOBBY VALENTINO.

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DAVE WHEELER , Sound Mixer

Involved in pro audio for twenty-five years, David started his first sound company in 1986.  After graduating from Full Sail, Orlando, FL, he spent the next ten years working as a recording engineer, as well as chief audio engineer at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA, where he designed and executed live sound, international simulcasts, and media distribution supporting multiple entertainment networks.  As a Digidesign certified ProTools operator in both music and post-production, he currently owns and operates Studio 603  in Las  Cruces, NM,  specializing in video post-production, ADR and music creation. David is an Instructor in Digital Audio Applications at CMT, and is active in promoting and supporting all aspects of the film industry in southern New Mexico.

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SIDNEY LEVIN, Editorial Consultant

SIDNEY LEVIN , Editorial Consultant

Sidney is the editor of two previous Medoff movies and honored as one of the best in the business; the editor of SOUNDER, MEAN STREETS, NASHVILLE, NORMA RAE, and dozens more. He will be a consultant during the post-production of REFUGE, offering his services, according to an e-mail, for 24 cents an hour (and he'll be held to that.)

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Born and raised in Montreal, Ross began arranging, writing and producing at an early age. His success also started early as he composed, co-arranged and co-produced his brother Gino Vannelli. The smash single, “I Just Wanna Stop,” which he wrote and co-produced for Gino has been rerecorded and released all over the world  (over 4 million radio plays).  His alliance with brothers Gino and Joe netted him many successes including Gino’s Platinum record  Brother to Brother,” which earned Ross a Juno Award for production, “Black Cars,” “Nightwalker,” “Big Dreamers Never Sleep,” “Inconsolable Man,” which earned International Gold and Platinum awards, and  Living Inside Myself ,” for which he was nominated for a Grammy with his brothers.   sp;                                                                                                           

Ross has an extensive list of credits including cuts with Jeffrey Osborne, The Gap Band,  Angela Bofill,  Howard Hewett,  Kim Carnes, Jennifer Holliday, The Emotions,  Richard Marx,  Ramsey Lewis,  Ann Wilson,  Robin Zanders, The Hollies, Earth Wind and Fire,  Denise Williams,  Lee Ritenour,  Buddy Miles, Glenn Jones, Bob James, Lara Fabian, Alexandre Pires, Celine Dion, and more.

He scored, produced and wrote 8 songs featuring various artists for his first film project, BORN TO RACE. He co-wrote with Richard Marx Surrender to Me,” which became the end title song for the film Tequila Sunrise, starring Michell e Pfieffer, Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell.  “Surrender to Me” earned Ross two BMI Awards for most performed radio song from a motion picture.

Among other films, in 2001 Ross scored CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS, directed by Mark Medoff and produced by Ginger Perkins and Bill Immerman.  The movie includes 15 songs written or co-written by Ross, including the final credit song “I have to Dream, “ performed by Celine Dion.



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STEPHEN HANSEN, Production Designer

STEPHEN HANSEN , Production Designer

Stephen is a world-renown sculptor and recent recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, New Mexico's highest artistic, lifetime honor. Stephen's clever and ironic work in paper machè, resin, and bronze has shown worldwide and pieces of his work are in collections personal, corporate and public. Among the public collections that have a Hansen are the Smithsonian, National Museum of American History, Musee de Civilisation, Quebec, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Colombo, Sri, United States Information Agency, Washington, DC, United States Embassy, Rome, Italy. For amusement and to the benefit of Mark Medoff and other directors, Stephen enjoys the immersion and detail work of movie production design.

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MARY MCGINN, Costume Designer

MARY MCGINN , Costume Designer

Mary McGinn’s sense of style and design has been largely influenced by her background both in science and art, as well as business and world travel. A Las Cruces native and NMSU graduate, Mary opened a coffee shop in 2000, which has become a local art house and hot-seat for creative minds in southern New Mexico. This led her to become involved in several different local productions including Mark Medoff’s 100 MPG and BOOM where she did everything from casting and catering to wardrobe, as well as THE LUCKY ONES and THE BURNING PLAIN. Working both in front of the camera and behind has led Mary to further focus on her long-time love of wardrobe and style, and its design importance in films and music videos specifically. Most recently, Mary has styled films and music videos in Austin and Los Angeles. Lending a provocative yet hip edge to the visuals of music and narrative, Mary loves the creative role wardrobe plays in films, and how it helps define the story of a character. This will be her 3rd time collaborating with Mark.

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From sci-fi creatures and fantasy visions, scary vampires and gory accident victims, and a flair for standard beauty, Pepper has the art of doing make-up covered. Skilled in the art of prosthetics too, Pepper has created the outer appearances of broken bones, burns, scrapes and gashes to the imaginative alternative anatomies of creatures and aliens. Pepper has been involved in many blockbuster movies: 3:10 TO YUMA, THE BURNING PLAIN, TRANSFORMERS 2, THE BOOK OF ELI, and even the new blockbuster TERMINATOR'S SALVATION. Pepper has also lent her brush on a few television series: "Breaking Bad" the Pilot "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and the Canadian hit "Urban Rush."

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LAURA MEDINA, First Assistant Director

LAURA MEDINA , First Assistant Director

Laura Medina began her film career in her hometown of New York - where she received an MFA in Film Directing from New York University. Since that time, she has worked as Co-Producer, Line Producer and/or Unit Production Manager on over 20 independent and studio feature films productions shot on locations all over the U.S. and in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and North Africa Laura wrote and directed an award winning short film, “Heart Attack” and a series of public service commercials. This is her third collaboration with Mark Medoff and her second with Ginger Perkins. She is thrilled to be back in Las Cruces, NM working with her favorite writer/director and his producing partner. Laura lives in Venice, CA.

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MARISSA MACIAS, Second Assistant Director

MARISSA MACIAS , Second Assistant Director

Marissa was five years old when she saw the movie LA BAMBA, directed by Luis Valdez. After wearing out several VHS copies of the movie, she knew that films, and Lou Diamond Phillips, would always hold a special place in her heart. Translating that love into a career, Marissa is now a senior at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute for Film & Digital Arts, focusing on Assistant Directing and Producing. She has produced and 1st AD-ed multiple short films as well as DESSERT SOUP, a short skit comedy show. Marissa is currently producing a documentary film and completing her senior thesis. She plans to apply to the Directors Guild of Americas AD training program this fall.

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Originally from the Heart of Dixie, Mitch Fowler has a B.A. in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama, where he played football for the Crimson Tide.  Mitch’s credits include the Academy-Award nominated documentary Murderball.  He has an MFA in film production from Florida State University, and moved to New Mexico in the fall of 2007. Mitch teaches cinematography and short film production at the Creative Media Institute at NMSU.


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Dan studied screenwriting at UCLA, and won the annual Professional Program In Screenwriting competition. "Figure Eights" was a finalist in the 2003 Set In Arizona screenplay competition, and the current draft was a quarter-finalist in the 2007 Writer's Network competition. Other screenplays and television series episodes have been finalists in such contests as Scriptapalooza, the New Mexico New Visions Contract Awards, Writer's Desk and the Script Savvy Competitions. Dan co-wrote and served as line producer on a short film called "100MPG" for New Mexico State University's Creative Media Institute during the first half of 2006. Shot in conjunction with students in New Mexico's Film Technician Training Program, the 34-minute film was co-written and directed by Mark Medoff. It has been shown in the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Beverly Hills Hi Def Festival, the White Sands Film Festival and the George Lindsay Film Festival. A member of IATSE Local 480, Dan has below-the-line experience as a key grip, a rigging grip, a grip, a boom operator and a transportation coordinator on features, shorts, commercials and music videos. His current project is "The Evololution Of The Telescope," a documentary on which he is serving as executive producer. He oversaw lighting and grip during shooting, as well as being responsible for involving necessary crew and securing an agreement with recording artist/narrator Rex Allen Jr. to provide voice-over services during post-production, which should be completed by August, 2009.

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