Weird Sisters Films
Originated in 1997 as a theatre company devoted to producing new works by women, our theatrical endeavors utilized a cinematic style that warranted a natural progression into film. As filmmakers, it is our aim to promote women artists, present thought-provoking ideas and break down barriers while interpreting the magic and mystery of the human condition.
ABIGAIL ZEALEY BESS
President / Founding Member
Zealey Bess, is an award-winning filmmaker and theatre director with a résumé that features work with the legendary Sidney Lumet, John Leguizamo, Kevin Smith, Matt LeBlanc, Frank Whaley, Bruce Beresford and many others. Her work has crossed boundaries and platforms for many years as an independent director and producer in film and theatre.
She has been directing theatre and film, specializing in new work since she arrived on these shores and established her company, Weird Sisters, as a theatrical entity in 1997. Under the auspices of her company she has developed numerous projects in collaboration with many writers both established and newly emerging on the New York scene. She subsequently directed and produced her debut film, the award-winning baseball trilogy: Play Ball! (Fanfare for A Common Man, Random Acts of Intimacy, Caught in Time) that screened throughout the globe including the Berlin Film Festival, Cannes Director Fortnight, and at over 40 USA festivals including New York, Newport, Seattle and Savannah. In addition to garnering Best Film at seven USA festivals, she was awarded 1st Prize for Best Short Film by woman director at the LA Women In Film Competition.
As a long-standing member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre based in New York, one of the leading developmental theatres of new plays in the USA, she has directed and produced numerous new works. NY Theatres where she has worked include The Foundry Theatre, Ohio Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Here, Cort Theatre Broadway, and internationally the Edinburgh Festival, the Young Vic, the Strand Theatre, London. She directed the award-winning NY Fringe Winner The Radicalization of Rolfe by Andy Burgh at the Players Theatre and the Soho Playhouse 2016, and most recently Paper Doll by Susan Eve Haar which was very well received at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
She continues to head Weird Sisters developing feature film projects and theatrical ventures in NY, Regionally and in Europe devoted to the promotion of prolific women artists and writers giving voice to new thought-provoking work. Film Projects recently on the film festival circuit include the award-winning Mary and Louise, (Awards: Best Short film screenplay LA FF, Accolade Award Competition Special Merit, Best Composer Score, Brit Penrod Best Trailer, WIF Finalist), that pays tribute to Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks. Icarus Stops For Breakfast (Jerome Grant Finalist), a magical love story is due for release in the Spring 2019. Full Length Features currently in development include Walking Shadows, the story of two unlikely Vets finding friendship and rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of Vietnam by Chris Ceraso and The Beacon, a psychological thriller by Bryant Martin.
She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cinefemme, SDC, Actors Studio PDU, NYWIFT, LPTW and Board Member of Dell Arte Opera. She is on the Faculty for the Graduate Film Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Art and is represented by Linda Weaver at Access Talent.
SARA BRETT PATTERSON
Vice President / Founding Member
Sara Brett Patterson has been an integral part of Weird Sisters since 2002, bringing her business and management expertise to the company. Prior to coming on board, Sara was a founding member of Daisy Jayne Productions, which produced Cock & Bull Story at the Greenwich Street Theatre. Weird Sisters film producing credits include ‘Play Ball!’ ‘Reverse Psycho,’ and ‘The Launch.’ Ms. Patterson has also developed several projects under the Weird Sisters banner. Among them: “Atom + Eve: A Rock Opera” and “7 Variations on the Same Lover” (also transferring from stage to screen). Sara received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her MBA from Baruch College. Her corporate work experience includes Director of Recruitment for SIRIUS Satellite Radio in New York and Director of Talent Acquisition at Coach. Currently she serves as the Vice President of Operations at Gilt City, a member of the Gilt Groupe. In addition to her work in film and entertainment, she is the co-owner of LOBO Restaurant, which has two locations in Brooklyn, New York.
Producer / Director of Publicity
JP Sarni serves as Vice President for development at the Los Angeles-based film and television company, aid+abet. He has worked in the entertainment industry for the past ten years as a producer of film, television, theatre and satellite radio. In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles and began working in development at HBO Films before moving on to aid+abet where he oversees development and is a producer on several projects, including the miniseries, SUCCESSION (in development at USA Network.) He is a partner in the production entity Métropole Ink which runs the entertainment blog, JoyHog.com. He holds a BFA in Media and Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Director of Special Events
An actor and voice-over artist, Carol Jacobanis has lived, worked and studied in New York, London, and Los Angeles. Her NYC theater credits include “Flashback” and “Criminal Conversation,” both directed by Abigail Zealey Bess at Ensemble Studio Theatre; “Tamburlaine” with Target Margin Theater; the FringeNYC award winner “Surface: the Absurdist Biography of Uncle Phil;” “As You Like It,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “King Lear” with Shakespeare NYC; and the lead in the rarely performed Horton Foote play “Getting Frankie Married: and Afterwards” with Horton by the Stream. Her film and television credits include “Law & Order SVU,” the title role in the short drama “Judith,” and 2008 candidate for president Hannah Jefferson in the mocumentary/art film “Europe for President” for ARTE France TV. She also has roles in the Weird Sisters films “Random Acts of Intimacy” and “The Launch.” As lead singer with the late 1990s pop/rock band Primrose Hill, Carol was a regular performer at the notorious Loser’s Lounge and worked with members of Blondie, Television, the Patti Smith Group and The Bongos, to name a few. She can be heard in the animated feature “The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear,” television cartoons from “Pokemon” to “Winx! Club” to “Magical Do Re Mi,” and in a wide range of ads and video games.