Help Fund Our New Short Film CANCR

CANCR Fundraising Information:

Thank for exploring information about our new short film being shot this summer, CANCR. Funny, heartwarming and important, CANCR is a ground-breaking work about a disease which may destroy your body, but can’t destroy your soul. The total budget for the film is $8,000.

Please make your donation here.

Your donation pays for creative crew, actors, equipment, insurance, and many more things.

-Digital download of the film and listed in credits as Co-Producer (plus what’s below). $1000 or more
-Invitation to private screening of film at Pride Arts Center and listed in credits as Associate Producer (plus what’s below). $500 or more
-Two complimentary ticket to a Pride Arts Center film fest (plus what’s below). $50 or more

-Link to stream film upon its completion and ‘Thank You’ in film credits. $1 or more

A note from the director Brittany Alsot:

Brittany Alsot

CANCR’s main character, Tomas, lives in a world made small by the disruption of cancer treatment. Tomas meets Dustin thanks to a dating app called “Cancr” for people who have had the disease. They go on a couple of dates and their connection is made even more meaningful by their shared experience. Dustin’s disease may be more advanced, but he takes on life with an openness that directly contrasts with Tomas’ fears.

CANCR is a quiet story. Easy to overlook or read with sentimentality. It reminds me of the creative young people I met while working at Seattle Children’s Hospital. These kids were facing serious illnesses that required invasive procedures and long hospital stays. But they were still kids and wanted to be treated as such. At the same time, living in the hospital—not to mention life after treatment—could never be “normal.” Connecting with their peers would be incredibly challenging after that experience.

I’m excited to put this tender story on screen, using the camera to mirror Tomas’ progress from claustrophobic to expansive as he learns about self-acceptance. We are assembling an awesome team of creatives from the LGBTQ community and, as the director, I will make sure this project will be a positive growth opportunity for everyone involved. Your support means that we will be able to pay everyone for their important contributions.

Meet Screenwriter Zak Payne

Zak Payne

Zak Payne is the writer, producer, director, editor and lead actor in the Chicago-based webseries, Kissing Walls. He is originally from Phoenix, Arizona– where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. He moved to the beautiful city of Chicago where he has spent the last few years developing his craft and living amongst a diverse community of fellow hard-working artists. Kissing Walls is a romantic comedy that explores the nuanced love lives of two queer men of color living in Chicago. Season 1 of the series was accepted into IFP’s 2016 Screen Forward Lab, held annually in New York City. The series was also an official selection at the 2017 SeriesFest for their Digital Short Series Competition held in Denver. It was also an official selection at the 2018 Chicago International Television Festival. Zak is currently in post-production for Season 2 of Kissing Walls, with hopes of premiering the newest episodes soon. He is also in the early development stages of several other series and film projects.”

Meet Producer Nelson Rodriguez

Nelson Rodriguez

“As Artistic Director with Pride Films & Plays, Nelson Rodriguez’s credits include Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown, for which he received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination in Solo Performance. He created PFP’s Queer Bits Film Festival and served as its Programming Director from 2013-2016. His on camera work includes the feature films En Algun Lugar (TLA Releasing) and Soul Sessions (Gravitas Ventures) and the webseries Easy Abby and Kissing Walls which were both screened at the 2018 Chicago International Television Festival. He served as casting director for PFP’s award-winning first short film, Counting, which has been screened across the globe. He holds an MFA in Acting from The University of Southern Mississippi. In 2016, he received Windy City Times’ 30 Under 30 Award which recognizes members of the LGBTQ youth community. Mr. Rodriguez is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Michael Turrentine is a Chicago actor originally from Oklahoma but loving the Windy City. He has mainly appeared on Chicago stages such as The Lyric Opera of Chicago, American Theater Company, Remy Bumppo Theater Company, The Gift Theater, and many others. He has also appeared in a few Oklahoma local films. He is extremely excited to join the cast of Cancr and tell this beautiful story! He also wants to give a shout out to to his family, especially his mother, for their undying support. Much love!


Bryan Bosque has worked as an actor in Chicago for thirteen years, appearing in shorts by directors Stephen Cone, Christopher Schrader, and Eli Steenlage, among others; and for theaters such as Shattered Globe, Lifeline Theatre, Red Tape, and Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Bryan is a proud company member with Barrel of Monkeys and is represented by Lily’s Talent.

Brittany is a queer, feminist, anti-racist filmmaker focused on creating inclusive, empathetic working environments for the cast and crew. She believes in the healing power of storytelling and art that represents the outsider experience. She started her career in Seattle and now lives and works in her native Chicago. She is a company member at Pride Films and Plays, and has previously directed two short films that have screened at over a dozen queer and feminist film festivals. Follow her work at or

Savannah Cannistraro is a Detroit-raised, Chicago-based artist. She recently graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Cinematic Arts. Her genre-fluid work has screened in festivals worldwide, winning awards in cinematography, editing, as well as for her recognizable visual style. Savannah got her start with Pride Films & Plays as an actor, in productions such as playwright Gina Femia’s “For The Love Of (Or the Roller Derby Play)”, as well as “26”, an experimental sketch comedy show. Above all else, Savannah strives to devote her time ad energy to projects celebrating diversity, and she is so excited to be joining the CANCR team.










Michael Turrentine
Bryan Bosque



Leave a Reply