KATE (Celeste Arias) is almost thirty, almost engaged, almost settled in her career as a writer—but is deeply dissatisfied. When Kate’s best friend EM (Jennifer Allcott) returns from Paris with a surprising new lover in tow (Josh Helman), Kate and her boyfriend PETE (Grayson DeJesus) spend a weekend in upstate New York with the new couple. As Kate struggles with her suspicions about Em’s new lover, dormant feelings about her own life arise, forcing her to decide whether to stay on her current life path or to burn it down and forge a new one.
Intelligent, strong-willed and sarcastic; a struggling writer.
Celeste is a Portland, Oregon native and recent Yale MFA Acting graduate. Television credits include CBS’s The Good Wife, and Bull, and film credits Rebel in the Rye with Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Paulson, The Big Sick with Holly Hunter and Zoe Kazan, and short films Light in the Pantry and At Home With Mystic.
Hardworking, good-natured and extremely loyal to Kate.
Grayson was born and raised in Northern California, and has an MFA from The Old Globe at the University of San Diego. Credits include ABC’s Forever and Conviction, Amazon’s Sneaky Pete, and the short film The Last Spin.
Grungy lesbian Brooklyn artist with a penchant for adventure.
Born and raised in California, Jennifer has a BA in Theater from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her film and television credits include WGN’s Manhattan, Falling with Paul Sorvino, Yael Stone and Josh Helman, Time with Robert LaSardo, Caitlin FitzGerald’s The Girl With the Jacket, and the crust-punk rockumentary Rihanna Secret Show.
Charming, elusive, Australian; a successful photographer who specializes in female nudes.
Originally from Queensland, Australia, Josh studied acting at Brisbane's Q.U.T. Acting credits include: X-Men: Apocalypse, Jack Reacher, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mad Max: Fury Road, Animal Kingdom, Starz’s Flesh and Bone, FOX’s Wayward Pines, HBO’s The Pacific. Most recently, he starred in the biopic My Name is Lenny as the infamous British boxer Lenny McLean.
Most of us have had the realization that our lives are not exactly what we thought they’d be. Maybe we thought we’d be living somewhere else, dating someone else, doing something else. So we either redefine these aspects of our lives, or we throw them out –– we either sink or we swim. It was going through this period ourselves that made us want to make a film like Kate Can't Swim.
Our story follows Kate, who’s going through a life-evaluation of her own. Her relationship with her best friend isn’t what it used to be, and everything around her seems to be changing. Being on the brink of real adulthood is an experience that’s universal. All of us have felt scared for an unknown future. We’ve all drifted apart from someone we loved and cared about. And as much as it sucks, it’s the grand paradox of change: while we might desperately want change to occur, we also want everything to stay the same. It was this feeling that we wanted to bring to Kate, because we felt it ourselves: that when things aren’t going your way it seems all too easy to just burn everything to the ground.
Due to the nature of the story, we worked hard to make the film feel naturalistic, even voyeuristic at times. Both the performances and the story’s construction were designed to bring the audience as close to the characters as possible. We wanted to create something that as a viewer gradually got under your skin. These characters could be your neighbors, your friends, your spouse. We wanted to make them people you recognize and want to laugh with and be around. Because at the end of the day, everyone’s struggling to connect with something or someone. Everyone’s dealing with the inevitable nature of change. And most of us just want to keep our heads above water.
- Josh Helman + Jennifer Allcott
Josh is the co-owner of Grand Street Films along with Jennifer Allcott. He studied screenwriting at AFTRS and directing at NIDA, and has worked in the industry for close to ten years as an actor for such directors as Tim Van Patten, Jennifer Lynch, Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer, George Miller and David Michôd, as well as innumerable writers that he holds in high esteem. This is his first feature as director.
Jennifer is the co-owner of Grand Street Films along with Josh Helman. She has written and produced a handful of comedic sketches and online shorts (How's Your Father? Comedy, and Buzfeed Video), and also co-wrote, produced and directed Significant Brother, a Grand Street Films short.
A graduate of Temple University, Evan has Performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, Film and Television. Acting credits include Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with Tina Fey, The Lennon Report with Steph Dawson, Richard Kind and David Zayas, Bone Tomahawk with Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins and Lilli Simmons. Producing credits include Mildred and the Dying Parlor, Starring Steve Buscemi, Jane Krakowski and Zosia Mamet, the upcoming short film ROOSTER, as well as a number of films in various stages of development.
Tommy is a Greek-American photographer and cinematographer, who earned his BFA in photography from Pratt Institute. In 2012 he partnered Julian Ungano to form the award-winning photography and filmmaking team Ungano + Agriodimas. Previous credits include And After All, and At Home With Mystic.
Tyler Parkford is a composer and musician known for his vocals, songwriting and instrumentals in the psych-pop band Mini Mansions, as well as his lounge alter-ego, Mister Goodnite. He recently toured as a member (keyboard & vocals) in the superband The Last Shadow Puppets, comprised of bandmates from Mini Mansions, Arctic Monkeys and The Rascals.
Born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, Joanna moved to New York City in 2008 to attend NYU's Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Since graduating in 2011, she has edited over 25 short films and 3 feature films including Five Doctors (Austin Film Festival 2016) and Kate Can't Swim. She is currently the Lead Editor at Senior Post, a boutique post house located in Dumbo where she works with clients including Vice, Vevo, Facebook, Reebok and Upworthy. Her greatest professional goal is to one day work with Roderick Jaynes.
Samuel R. Syrop
Samuel is involved with various filmmaking, digital media, and other creative projects. Prior to producing Kate Can’t Swim, Samuel co-produced The Eyes of My Mother, a 2016 Sundance Film Festival NEXT selection and a recent release by Magnolia Pictures (Magnet Releasing). While working for film producer Ed Pressman as his Creative Associate at Pressman Film in Los Angeles, he dedicated himself towards the development of several feature films. Samuel got his start by working in production and post-production at Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company, as well as for Martin Scorsese's Sikelia Productions. Samuel is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.