Participants Selected for 2018 Development Program in Costa Rica

THE CREATORS SELECTED FOR THE 2018 PROGRAM ARE Jessica M. Thompson & Ben Cory Jones!

Jessica and Ben receive a free retreat in Costa Rica, where they will develop TV series concepts with the Big Vision Team. Find out more about the program HERE.


Jessica M. Thompson is an Emmy-nominated Australian writer, director, producer and editor who currently resides in Los Angeles. Thompson made her feature writing and directorial debut with "The Light of the Moon", which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in March 2017, where it won the coveted Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film. "The Light of the Moon", starring Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Short Term 12), Michael Stahl-David (Narcos, Cloverfield) and Conrad Ricamora (How to Get Away With Murder), had a limited theatrical release in November-December 2017 and enjoyed sold-out screens in both New York and Los Angeles and currently heralds a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Andrew Barker from Variety called the film "harrowingly effective" and "sensitive without ever being sanctimonious, brutally frank without ever lapsing into exploitation"; Leslie Felperin from The Hollywood Reporter stated that "Thompson clearly has a knack with actors, coaxing sharp, believable performances from all involved", and Joey Magidson from Hollywood News said it is “the timeliest movie of the year.”

Thompson then went on to apprentice direct on the second season of Hulu’s hit series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”. She observed and collaborated with the directors, producers, and showrunner, Bruce Miller, throughout the prep, production, and post-production of two episodes of the show, filmed on location in Toronto, Canada.

Thompson studied writing and acting at three major drama academies while growing up in Australia before studying film at the University of Technology, Sydney. In 2010, Thompson founded Stedfast Productions, a collective of visual storytellers. She edited Cheryl Furjanic's award-winning documentary, "Back on Board: Greg Louganis", which premiered on HBO in August 2015. Thompson has also worked as an editor and production manager with Academy Award-nominated filmmakers, Liz Garbus, Edet Belzberg, and Sandy McLeod, and has written and directed several award-winning, festival-favorite short films, including “Hike”, “Percepio”, and “Across the Pond”.


After graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College, with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Finance, Ben Cory Jones worked on Wall Street as a Speech Writer and Communications Executive for a major investment bank. During the 2007-08 Mortgage Crisis, his job evolved and he became responsible for “writing superfluous fluff” to downplay his company’s involvement in the collapse of the world’s financial markets. That company shall remain nameless, but there was an HBO movie about it. After that therapy-inducing experience, Ben walked away from corporate America and discovered his passion for screenwriting and producing. Since then, with over a decade of experience in the business, Ben has become one of the most talented young writer/producers in Hollywood. 

In 2013, he was selected to participate in the prestigious ABC Television Writing Program and was a Staff Writer on the ABC Family drama series, CHASING LIFE. Ben was also a writer on the Amazon drama series HAND OF GOD, executive produced by Marc Forster (MONSTER'S BALL). Both a comedy and drama writer, Ben produced a pilot presentation for an original comedy series, BROS, about three African American brothers, two straight and one gay, each trying to find love in modern-day LA, but screwing everything up along the way, which is now in development at a major network. 

Currently, Ben is a writer and producer on the acclaimed HBO comedy series,INSECURE, since its first season, starring Issa Rae. Ben was also a writer on the groundbreaking drama series, UNDERGROUND, on WGN America. 

Ben also produced a feature film, STEP SISTERS, along with his producing partner, Lena Waithe, starring Megalyn Echikunwoke and Naturi Naughton, which is now streaming worldwide on Netflix. Ben also created and wrote a drama series, CANDY, about a young, African American female mayor, set in his hometown of Memphis, which is currently in development. 





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  • Killer meeting follow up skills to convert the initial pitch into an ongoing relationship
  • How to navigate and collect network mandates
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THE LIGHT OF THE MOON listed as one of "2017’s Best Films By and About Women"

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON was listed as one of Women and Hollywood's 2017’s Best Films By and About Women. Other films listed include Patty Jenkins' WONDER WOMAN, Dee Rees' MUDBOUND,and Greta Gerwig's LADY BIRD.  READ THE FULL LIST HERE!

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON Written, Directed, and Produced by Jessica Thompson, Produced by Michael Cuomo and Carlo Velayo, Starring Stephanie Beatriz and Michael Stahl-David.

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON Written, Directed, and Produced by Jessica Thompson, Produced by Michael Cuomo and Carlo Velayo, Starring Stephanie Beatriz and Michael Stahl-David.

Announcing the participants selected for our Costa Rica Development Program!

Congratulations to Lauren Augarten and Ellie Foumbi! We will be developing several projects with these talented women in Paradise.  SUBMISSIONS FOR OUR NEXT ROUND ARE OPEN HERE.


Ellie Foumbi


Lauren Augarten

Ellie Foumbi is an actor/writer/director born in Cameroon. Her award-winning short film, Zenith, was a semifinalist of the 44th Student Academy Awards. It won several prizes, including the IFP Audience Award, Best Student Director and Best Short Script at the Rhode Island International Screenplay Competition. Her films have screened at several international film festivals, including BOGO Shorts, Champs-Élysées Film Festival and others. One of her feature film projects was selected for the IFP No Borders International Co-Production Market. Her producing credits include the Student BAFTA Award Winner and Gold Student Academy Award-Winning short film, Nocturne in Black. Also a recent IFP Marcie Bloom Fellow, Ellie holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in directing.

Lauren Augarten is a writer, director and producer. Her recent writing credits include RSVP, a short film that screened at the Atlantic Film Festival in Canada, and won Best Comedy Short at the Queens World Film. Lauren recently produced The Disgustings, a short film that was an official selection of Outfest, Newfest and Frameline. Lauren created the web series Same Same based on her experiences as a newly out lesbian in Brooklyn, NY, the pilot of which won the LGBT Category award at the LA New Media Film Festival, and was official selection at Newfest. It has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post and GLAAD. She wrote her first play Define You at fifteen. It was published by Australia’s largest performing arts publisher, Currency Press. 

Three Big Vision Films In Theaters This November


Written and directed by Jessica Thompson, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON was a Big Vision Kickstart Diversity Recipient and Executive Produced by the Big Vision Team.

Bonnie (Stephanie Beatriz), a young and successful Latina architect, is sexually assaulted while walking home from an evening out in Brooklyn. While she at first tries to keep the attack a secret from her long-term boyfriend, the truth quickly emerges. Determined to deny the impact of what’s happened to her, Bonnie fights to regain normalcy and control, but putting the assault behind her is harder than she thought.

“Honest and complex.” – Hollywood Reporter

Be sure to check out THIS GREAT PIECE about the film's refreshing portrayal of sexual assault.



GOLD STAR, Written and Directed by Victoria Negri and supported by Big Vision's KICKSTART DIVERSITY PROGRAM Opens on Friday, November 10th! 

Gold Star BVEW.jpg

Join the Big Vision team for a special screening on November 12th at 7:15PM, featuring a discussion about Women in Film.

Lastly, BIG SONIA, supported by our KICKSTART DIVERSITY PROGRAM, will start it's NY run on November 17th.  Please join us for a special Big Vision screening on November 21st.

Big Sonia NY BVEW.jpg

Hope to see you during this exciting month!

- Dani & Alex

The Films Selected for our #KickstartDiversity Incubator

The Kickstart Diversity Program supports projects created by inclusive teams.

Each project receives creative guidance, mentorship, and business strategy from the Big Vision team; an exclusive pitch day focused on finance for financiers, partners, sponsors, and granting organizations; extensive deals and discounts from over fifty vendor partners to help our filmmakers stretch their budgets. Past participating companies include The Weinstein Company, IFC, The Discovery Channel, Vimeo, FilmRise, Zeitgeist Films, Magnolia Pictures, and more.

Launched in 2015, the program has brought successes like Jessica Thompson's THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, which won the Audience Award at SXSW 2017 and will be released later this year, and Tahir Jetter's HOW TO TELL YOU'RE A DOUCHEBAG, which premiered at Sundance 2016 and sold to BET, and we're confident that we've selected another crop of films that have the potential for both festival and commercial success. And we want you to be among the first people to find out about them!


AMERICAN TRIAL // documentary-fiction hybrid
Directed by Roee Messinger, Produced by Alena Svyatova
By depicting real witnesses and actual evidence in a courtroom setting, AMERICAN TRIAL will tell the story of the trial that may have occurred if NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was indicted for the killing of Eric Garner by chokehold in Staten Island, New York, and along the way examine accountability, race and police relations in New York City and beyond.

CITY OF ENCHANTMENT // documentary feature
Directed and Produced by Gwen Schroeder
Chemical plants dominate the landscape of Lake Jackson, Texas, where filmmaker Gwen Schroeder returns to assist her father during his rapid decline from Parkinson’s disease and subsequently learns that many others in her hometown are meeting a similar fate. While dealing with her own grief, she exposes the story of a powerful industry, the devastating effects that greed and irresponsibility have on the health of a community, and more personally -- a family.

COAST // narrative feature
Written by Cindy Kitagawa, Directed by Jessica Hester & Derek Schweickart, Produced by Caitlin Engel, Pin-Chun Liu, Wendy Guerrero, Executive Produced by Bruce Dern, Sonya Lunsford
For 15-year-old Abby Avila, home is the last place she wants to be. As her small town trappings and Mother's unlived dreams close in on her, Abby seeks refuge in music. When she befriends a traveling punk rock band, she discovers freedom in making her voice heard, and sees her home through new eyes.

HAND OF GOD // narrative feature
Written and directed by Lissette Feliciano, Produced by Priscilla Anany, Garrett Fennelly, Evangelo Kioussis, Justin Lothrop, Executive Produced by Peter Salvage
Elon Edson is the greatest footballer in the world. On the eve of receiving a lifetime achievement award, he recounts how believing in miracles carried him from his mother’s death at the hands of a terror group to the dangerous refugee trail into Europe in hopes of having his mother resurrected.

MIRROR OF THE LARKS // narrative feature
Written by Priya Sanghvi, Directed by Priya Sanghvi and Dan Scott Goldstein (M.A.Y.O.)
Set in the final days of summer before high school begins, MIRROR OF THE LARKS is about two Indian American sisters, social outcasts with supernatural abilities, who plan a revenge prank on a childhood tormenter that goes horribly wrong.

Other projects presenting at the final pitch day on August 15th will include current Big Vision Creative co-productions that also fit our diversity-focused mandate.

NEW NEW NEW! Set yourself up for success this Summer with Big Vision consulting

The timing is not always right for our programs, but we're committed to advising creators and supporting you while you get your project made and seen.  


  • We excel at building authentic stories that supplement our projects.  We’ll help you grow your audience authentically.  Together, we’ll create an audience building strategy, which can include including crowdfunding strategy and possible partnerships
  • In addition to getting your project made, you need to get it seen.  We’ll work with you to create a festival, marketing, and distribution strategy using personal insight from our industry contacts.
  • We can also offer:
    • Business plan or pitch deck consultation (film or TV)
    • Marketing and distribution budgets
    • Overall budget consultation
    • Cast outreach strategy
    • Overall story notes


BIG NEWS: SXSW Winner 'The Light of the Moon' Picked Up by Imagination Worldwide


Read the exclusive in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Written and directed by Jessica Thompson and produced by Carlo Velayo and Michael Cuomo, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON intimately and realistically explores the six weeks after a successful, NYC woman is sexually assaulted and how she tries to restore intimacy and control in her life. The film stars Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Conrad Ricamora (How To Get Away With Murder) and Catherine Curtin (Orange Is The New Black).

In addition to serving as Executive Producers, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON was supported by Big Vision Empty Wallet's Kickstart Diversity Program, which supports films with inclusive teams.  Find out more about the Kickstart Diversity Program HERE.

Where to See Kickstart Diversity Projects This Summer

The Light of the Moon

June 3rd - 4th Greenwich International Film Festival (East Coast Premiere)

Join the cast and crew for the screening and TOWN HALL DISCUSSION ON RAPE CULTURE FOLLOWING EAST COAST PREMIERE on 6/3


Big Sonia

June 1st & 4th Greenwich International Film Festival

Gold Star

See the opening night film June 7th at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival


And on June 11th at the Lighthouse International Film Festival