The Team

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Marjorie A. Engesser

Producer

Marjorie A. Engesser graduated from Mankato State University with a B.A. in Theatre and Speech. She was a founding member of the Rochester Repertory Theatre Company and Co-artistic director of Stage Two Theatre Company in Chicago.  

After joining Montivagus Productions, Marjorie turned to film and T.V., producing the award winning, critically acclaimed films THE SECOND ROOM, ALONG FOR THE RIDE and I’M NO DUMMY as well as BACKSTAGE WITH…  Most recently she produced the filming of the Tony Award® winning Broadway show JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO AND ONLY! which will be released in 2014.

Currently Marjorie is developing and producing a T.V. series and several other projects for Montivagus.

Thomas Ethan Harris

Consulting Producer

Thomas is credited with having introduced to the film world such acclaimed contemporary filmmakers as Academy Award Nominee Bennett Miller (CAPOTE); New York Film Critics Circle Prize Winner; David Gordan Green (ALL THE REAL GIRLS, SNOW ANGELS); Derek Cianfrance (BLUE VALENTINE, BEYOND THE PINES); Aaron Schneider (GET LOW); Charles Wurmfeld (KISSING JESSICA STEIN); Academy Award Nominee Jason Reitman (JUNO, UP IN THE AIR) and Thomas Bezucha (THE FAMILY STONE).

Thomas Ethan Harris co-founded the highly regarded Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) where he served as Director of Programming from 1995-2003.  Upon leaving LAFF, Mr. Harris was selected as one of Variety’s “TOP 10 Industry Professionals to Watch” in the American Independent Film arena.

Mr. Harris served as the Director Of Programming to both the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films (2003-4) and the Palm Springs Festival of Native Film and Culture (2005-10).  He also helped to found and served as Director of Programmer/Programming Consultant to the International Emerging Talent Film Festival in Monte Carlo, Monaco (2007), Cinema Diverse in Palm Springs, CA (2008) and the “Best Of AFI Fest Program”.

Since 2003, Mr. Harris has owned and operated his own successful Los Angeles-based consulting business that works closely with a variety of film artists and producers from all over the United States and the International film community in all aspects of film financing, film production, screenwriting, film direction and visualization.

Bryan W. Simon

Director and Writer

Bryan W. Simon is an award-winning and critically acclaimed director, writer and instructor.

Most recently, Bryan directed the big screen adaptation of Jay Johnson’s Tony® Award winning Broadway play, JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO AND ONLY!  The film was  released in August 2014 on VOD in 53 million homes and on DVD December 2014.

Previously, Bryan directed his third film, the comedy documentary I’M NO DUMMY, the first feature length documentary on ventriloquism. I’M NO DUMMY is a whimsical and insightful documentary that examines and dissects the world of ventriloquism through clips, photos and interviews with many of the greatest vents from today and yesterday, illustrating that this perceived novelty act is truly an extraordinary art form. Chuck Rich of Westwood One Radio said, “I fell in love with this documentary within the opening minute.” Patrick Hickey Jr. of ReviewFix.com proclaimed, “I’m No Dummy is a quality piece of cinema,” and “charming, thoughtful and fun, from start to finish.” And Jeff Gedgaud of Associated Content stated, “a fantastic and highly recommended purchase for anyone who likes a great laugh.” I’M NO DUMMY was the hit of the Seattle International Film Festival where it debuted before getting picked up by Salient Media and NBC/Universal and released in 2010.  The extremely popular DVD was subsequently rereleased in 2015 as a two disc set with almost two and a half hours of extras.

Bryan’s first feature film was ALONG FOR THE RIDE, which won Best of Fest – First Feature at the Saguaro Film Festival International. It was an official selection in competition at the Austin Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, New Haven Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival. Bill Gallo of the Los Angeles New Times proclaimed, “This first feature by a young Chicago director named Bryan W. Simon is an astonishing thing to behold.” And said the film was a “brave, funny, and engaging movie.” Russell Smith of The Austin Chronicle called ALONG FOR THE RIDE, “Fresh and compelling, nothing short of amazing” and stated, “Thanks to Simon’s assured and straightforward direction, this film rises well above the lackluster status quo of current indie cinema.” The Pioneer Press announced, “Bryan Simon knows how to make movies, and how to make them work,” and Daria Snadowsky of INsite Magazine declared, “Along for the Ride is a triumph for independent cinema…an extraordinary antidote to the mediocre mainstream.” The film is distributed by Fabrication Films.

In addition. Bryan directed the critically acclaimed short film, THE SECOND ROOM. Rick Moser of the Copley News Service stated, “An exciting directorial debut. Simon has successfully translated his keen artistic vision to the screen.” and “For a film debut, THE SECOND ROOM shows a strong directorial hand.” Added Film Critic Bill Thompson of The Post and Courier, “A most intriguing and provocative film,” and Film Threat Magazine in it’s BEST OF issue gave THE SECOND ROOM an 8 (out of 10 points); and said “THE SECOND ROOM is a hot film from a director to be on the look out for.”  THE SECOND ROOM received the Gold Award at the Charleston International Film Festival and was one of only five shorts accepted for the AFI-Los Angeles International Film Festival. In addition, THE SECOND ROOM was selected for the  Discovery Series at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Big Film Shorts distributes the film.

Bryan is the Co-Producer of the acclaimed seminar series presented by Instructor/Lecturer Thomas Ethan Harris at The American Cinematheque.  Bryan has also been a guest Instructor at National University teaching DECONSTRUCTING RAGING BULL, a guest Instructor at North Central College teaching DIRECTING THE ACTOR, and a guest Instructor at the College of Lake County, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and DuPage College teaching acting and directing.

Bryan became interested in film at a very young age, first buying a Super 8 camera and making short films with two of his friends Rick Kendrick and Kimmer Olesak. Later using an old Bolex 16mm crank camera they made a short surreal film entitled, LOOSE FITTING DRESSES ARE EASIER TO GET INTO. The film, influenced by the likes of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, had nothing to do with dresses, loose fitting or otherwise.

From 1984 to 1993, Bryan was the Founder and Artistic Director for the Chicago area STAGE TWO THEATRE COMPANY. Diana Carney of the News-Sun stated, “Stage Two and its artistic director Bryan W. Simon, holds a quiet national status” and “Stage Two under the direction of Bryan Simon is being recognized on both coasts.” Michael Bonesteel of the Pioneer Press added, “Stage Two and its artistic director, Bryan Simon, have a keen theatrical vision.” In addition the Daily Herald said, “Through its Artistic Director Bryan Simon, Stage Two promotes thoughtful theater,” and H. Lee Murphy of the Chicago Tribune proclaimed, “Stage Two’s biggest problem over the last few years has been finding enough seats to satisfy ticket demand. He has proven himself very adept. Another leap forward for his Stage Two Theater Company.”

Under Bryan’s direction, Stage Two stimulated thought and aroused the imagination with its choice of productions. The ensemble believed that theater is a vehicle to inform and disseminate ideas, a catalyst for change. Their productions reflected a strong social conscience.

Appearing in and directing numerous plays with his theater company, from 1990 through 1992, Bryan also toured the country portraying an unjustly imprisoned photographer in the one-man play, LA LOMA. It won three Drama-Logue Awards including Outstanding Achievement in Performance and many Critics Choices. Robert Sessions of Drama-Logue stated, “The production showcases a tour de force performance by Bryan W. Simon” and “His powerful performance makes the audience squirm.” Beth Hill of The Los Angeles Reader proclaimed, “an emotionally charged performance” and “Both playwright and actor bare their souls.”

From 1994 to 2000, Bryan was the Artistic Director for the national Coast To Coast Theatre Company. In addition, Bryan founded and was the Artistic Director of the Ray Bradbury Play & Film Festival in Waukegan, Illinois.

Bryan made his professional acting debut at age 11 years old in a production of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER. He directed his first professional stage play at age 17, directing the regional tour of a children’s show entitled JACK AND THE WISHING BEANS for the Roundtree Players. He has directed numerous professional stage productions including Midwest, West Coast and world premieres and developed over 40 world premieres with his theater companies. 

Christopher Lockhart

Producer

Christopher Lockhart is Hollywood’s foremost story professional, having worked within some of the entertainment industry’s most esteemed talent agencies searching through piles of scripts, books, articles, old movies and pitches in search of projects for “A” list actors such as Mel Gibson (“The Patriot”), Denzel Washington (“Training Day” and “Flight”), Liam Neeson (“Taken”), Robert Downey, Jr. (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and Richard Gere (“Arbitrage”).   

Chris started at ICM, where he worked with legendary talent agent Ed Limato, ran the Story Department, and facilitated the Agent Trainee Program.  Later he moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME, the world’s largest diversified talent agency, where he currently serves as Story Editor, working for the office of co-CEO Patrick Whitesell. He has read over 35,000 scripts throughout his career.

An award winning and Emmy nominated producer, Chris’ credits include the cult horror hit “The Collector” (2009) and its sequel “The Collection” (2012), which opened in the top ten box-office. He also wrote and produced the documentary “Most Valuable Players” (2010) for Oprah Winfrey, which Matt Roush of TV Guide called, “Charming and disarming…A genuine treat.”    Chris has set up several other projects, including “A Rhinestone Alibi” at Paramount.  He is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Timothy T. Miller

Executive Producer

Timothy T. Miller is Co-founder and President of Montivagus Productions.

Timothy executive produced the award winning, critically acclaimed films THE SECOND ROOM, ALONG FOR THE RIDE, I’M NO DUMMY, and most recently the Tony Award® winning Broadway show JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO AND ONLY! for Montivagus Productions.

Also an attorney and accountant, he was a member of Lawyers for the Creative Arts in Chicago for over five years as well as the Founding Board member and President of the Chicago area theatre company Stage Two and the national Coast To Coast Theater Company. In addition, he has been an Executive Board member of the Contemporary American Theatre Company in Columbus, Ohio.

Timothy received his B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois in 1980, and thereafter worked for the accounting firm of Touche, Ross & Company (now Deloitte and Touche) providing accounting services to both publicly and privately held clients. He received his law degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1987, and subsequently worked for the Chicago law firm of Rosenthal and Schanfield, concentrating on tax planning for closely held businesses and their owners.

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