Award-winning filmmaker, Robert Alaniz and his company Sole Productions have been making full-length feature films in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding suburbs, since 2003. He and his films have been featured on WCIU the “U”, FOX NEWS, ABC Morning News with Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez, WGN Radio with Andrea Darlas, WLS Radio with Jonathan Brandmeier.
His past films include; "Angels In Our Midst" (2006), "Heavens to Betsy" (2017) and "Heavens to Betsy 2" (2019); all three films are streaming on Amazon Prime. As a writer, Robert found his nitch with his first comedy "D.I.N.K.s (Double Income No Kids)" (2011), followed by "You Don't Say!" (2013) and "Mind Over Mindy" (2016), all of which earned him a total of nine film festival awards including “Best Comedy”, “The Auteur award”, “Audience Favorite”, “Best of Fest” and "Best Windy City Film Award".
Robert’s "Heavens to Betsy" films star Jim O'Heir (TV's "Parks and Recreation") and newcomer, Karen Lesiewicz in the title role. Both faith-based films are comedies that explore the subject of unanswered prayers and faith.
His next film of faith, "Honest to God", tells the very funny story of a family man who finds out he was misdiagnosed with a terminal illness and must now make good on the promises he made if God were to heal him.
"Honest to God goes a step further and sheds light on the tendency of humans to make "deals" with God in their moments of desperation. When the doom and gloom is lifted away - what do we do with those promises we made? What lessons do we learn when we try to take back the proverbial wheel?" ~ Jessica Manton Lobue
Robert's goal as a filmmaker is to bridge the gap between faith-based films that "preach to the choir" and still appeal to a mainstream audience, hopefully, bringing people of all walks of life and faith closer to God.
Peter Spero is a music composer/producer/keyboardist and performing artist from Chicago IL. Signed to three major labels, MCA, RCA, and Chrysalis Records, Spero has composed and recorded for noted producers Mike Chapman (Blondie), Don Dixon (REM, Smithereens), Frank Filipetti (James Taylor), Frankie Sullivan (Survivor) and others.
In 2015, Spero was selected for the Grammy Ballot in the categories “Best Music Video” and “Best Instrumental Soundtrack” for scoring the film “Special Olympics Summer Games and Torch Run”.
Peter composed the score for the two Sole Productions' films "Heavens to Betsy" (nominated for "Best Music Score" at the 2018 Christian World View Film Festival) and "Heavens to Betsy 2". He also acted As Music Supervisor, in charge of songs used in HTB2.
Peter will again be assuming the same music positions in "Honest to God".
Enrique Luis Veguilla is from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He is a graduate of Actor's Model's and Talent for Christ, and has a passion for Christian/Faith-based Films.
His awards & achievements include AMTC SHINE's "The Overcomer Award" (Winter 2017/Chicago), and also selection to perform his self-written commercial in the AMTC Winter SHINE's 2017 Acting Finale. Enrique is also a graduate of The Illinois Center for Broadcasting (now renamed Illinois Media School) where he specialized in Voice-Over and Audio Producing & Editing.
Enrique has also worked in several films, including "Heavens to Betsy 2" as an actor, production assistant, and executive producer. He's also had numerous other acting roles in several films, television shows, and productions such as "An Acceptable Loss" starring Jamie Lee Curtis, "A Blood Throne," "The Order of Rights," "Good Enough" by The Bethany Brandt Band, and also background acting in "To Be a Soldier," "The Summer of '67," "Widows," "Chicago Med," "Chicago P.D.," and "Chicago Fire."
Briana Reed Niven is an independent Costume Designer. She received her bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. She has recently been working in the Chicagoland area on various stage productions such as "Clue" on stage at Maine East High School, "Metamorphoses" at The Beacon Academy, and "Romeo and Juliet" at the Appalachian Shakespeare Center. Briana has also worked as a production assistant on TV's "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Fire". She is very excited to start a new journey in the world of film!
John Wesley Norton is a screenwriter, director and cinematographer. On the writing side he focuses on novel adaptations and original screenplays. As a director his work includes the films, Spades, Doctor Spine and Drifted. As a cinematographer he has lensed many films including Fangs Vs. Spurs, Every 21 Seconds and the upcoming films The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater and Without Grace. He is also the creator and executive producer of the streaming series Dark County.
Jennifer started her makeup career ten years ago. She was self-taught and enjoyed bringing people's visions to life, not only on film, but in print. Jennifer has worked on various photo shoots and at fashion shows. She had the pleasure of working with Miss USA as well as the very well-known Paris Designer, Wafaa Lahla. Jennifer's work has been published in Italian Vogue, Prestige, Faust Paris, and Elegant magazines. Jennifer has also worked on the TV pilot "Sub-life" and the short film, "Dreamer" available on Amazon Prime.
When Jennifer is not doing makeup, she works as a pre-school teacher and supports her oldest daughter who is a pilot learning to fly planes and her youngest daughter who is an aspiring baker.
Rebecca O'Connell is very excited to be a part of the cast and crew of Honest To God. This is Rebecca's seventh feature film and opportunity to work with Sole Productions. She was seen previously in The Vision, D.I.N.K.s (Double Income, No Kids), You Don't Say!, Mind Over Mindy, Heavens To Betsy, and Heavens to Betsy 2. Rebecca currently resides in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois with her husband, two children, and basset hound. By day, In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys singing, Latin dancing, and traveling.
Kim Galvan is excited to join the crew of "Honest to God". Over the years Kim has been involved in numerous theatre productions and musicals helping with everything from 'theatre mom', choir and costume assistant to acting and co-directing. She enjoyed working as an extra in "Heavens to Betsy 2" when her home was chosen as a scene location. She now joins her son and daughter-in-law as part of this production.
For the past 10 years, Kim has been and continues to be a successful real estate agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate and is thrilled for this opportunity to once again put her production hat on as script supervisor for "Honest to God".
With a background in theatre, veteran actor, Gary Gow has now appeared in many feature films and on various television programs. Most recently, he played the role of Tandum Dackery in Sole Productions' "Heavens to Betsy 2". Behind the scenes, he has served as Production Coordinator and Assistant Director on other Sole Productions' projects. Gary feels fortunate to have worked with so many talented and wonderful people over the years, including Emmy award winner, Jim O'Heir ("Parks and Recreation", "Heavens to Betsy 2").
Gary has a Master’s degree in Animal Science (Equine specialization) and, after managing horse farms for a time, has now been teaching middle school science for more than 20 years at a school where he also serves as team leader, coach and technical director of the school's theatrical productions. Gary lives in a suburb of Chicago with his lovely wife, Sue, whom he met at church 20 years ago. They still happily attend that same church.
Polly worked as a nurse in pediatrics, psychiatric, and geriatrics and enjoyed caring for and connecting with her patients and their families. On a whim, she auditioned for a role on Chicago Med. Polly was thrilled when she was cast as a nurse for the popular crossover series. Since then, she has appeared on Chicago PD, Proven Innocent, Shameless and the popular show Empire on FOX, where she plays a core role as a board room member.
In addition, Polly has appeared in several independent films, including a speaking role as an on-camera reporter in the new Amazon Series Utopia starring John Cusack and Rainn Wilson. She is excited to be playing the role of Becca Adams. She has watched and enjoyed many of Robert Alaniz's films and is honored to be cast as Becca in Honest to God.
Polly enjoys playing tennis, bike riding, and taking spin classes. She also enjoys spending time with her daughter and helping her mother. Last but not least, she is grateful that she ignored her brother-in-law John who told her not to drive to Chicago for the first audition. Polly lives with her husband Dave on their farm in LaSalle, Illinois.
A character actor who has been plugged into many different types of roles over the years, Steve has worked in films and commercials (these days mostly having to do with either Hospitals, Senior Medications or Gambling) even popping up in a segment on CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING with Charles Osgood. He has been involved in the last five SOLE Productions films including both "Heavens to Betsy" and "HTB2" as well as "Mind Over Mindy" with Jim O'Heir and Larry Thomas. With 35 years of theater credits, which include productions of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" "Requiem for a Heavy Weight" "Charley's Aunt" and "Mister Roberts", Steve is now working on his own one man show.
Embracing a lifelong love for the muses, he enjoys playing several musical instruments including mandolin, drums and hammer dulcimer, and learning new instruments every couple of years with a musical talent he inherited from his dad, who was a band director and music teacher for many years in his native state of West Virginia. He also spends some of his time exploring his artistic talents, which he gets from his mom, mostly working in pastels and acrylics, and graduating from art school, even after failing art in the first grade because, as the teacher said, "He won't color inside the lines". Other artistic endeavors over the years include cake decorating, model railroading and making and editing his own videos from old Super & home movies.
For more information please check out his page at IMDb.com
Larry Thomas is an actor most recognized for his Emmy nominated performance as "The Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. Larry has been an actor for over twenty-five years and is a veteran of dozens of films, TV shows and hundreds of theatre performances. In 2017, Larry was seen in Sole Productions' film Mind Over Mindy, co-starring with Steve Parks (Heavens to Betsy 1 & 2) and Jim O'Heir (Parks and Recreation, Bless This Mess). He is also in the film, Postal and was seen on Arrested Development, Hot Properties, Threshold, Scrubs and a Lexus commercial as a crazed pre-Bugsy visionary selling the idea of Vegas. In theatre, Larry completed a thirty-five city, one hundred and forty show production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple-Female Version starring Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie).
Larry returns in Sole Productions latest film, Honest to God as the infamous "Dr. Hajia", who may or may not be what he appears to be. This will be the third film that writer, director Robert Alaniz and Larry Thomas have worked together on, the last time resulting in two awards at the 2017 Blow Up Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival; Mind Over Mindy as "Best Windy City Feature Film" and Larry as "Best Supporting Actor". They are both looking forward to another successful collaboration.
Brooke Galvan started her adventure with performing when she was 9-years-old. After her first musical production of "Bye, Bye Birdie," she never turned back. Theatre, acting, and singing quickly became one of the most important aspects of her life.
Fast forward quite a few years, and she has graduated from St. Ambrose University with two degrees (Theatre & Public Relations), two cats (Harmony and Melody), and the greatest gift of all: her loving husband, Christopher.
Brooke has performed around the Quad Cities at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, taught theatre at Davenport Junior Theatre, and acted in productions such as "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Chicago," and "Eurydice" at St. Ambrose. Recently, Brooke graduated from Comedy Sportz Training Center in Chicago.
After a brief hiatus from performing, Brooke is back to her roots. “Honest to God” will be Brooke's first feature-length production. She finds herself so blessed to be working with such a wonderful director and production team. This will be Brooke & Chris' first feature-length film together, and she cannot be more excited for the opportunity.
Tyler's film acting career started around 13 years ago when he landed his first speaking role in Robert Alaniz's film, "The Vision". Since that time he has went on to graduate from Arizona State University with a Theatre degree with a concentration in Acting. He has been blessed to be able to work all over the country from Boston to Los Angeles in both film and television. His proudest accomplishment is a YouTube series called "Knightmare" which is a Batman fan series that he not only acts in but also helps write and produce with his best friend, Jordon Foss. Tyler was thrilled to be given the opportunity to not only work locally in Chicago, but to work with Robert, who helped start his incredible journey initially. He cannot wait to play Dylan in "Honest to God" and is very thankful for the opportunity.
Currently, Tyler resides in the South West suburbs of Chicago. When he is not acting he can be found streaming on Twitch where we makes content playing various games. He also enjoys helping develop scripts for future projects.
Sandy Gulliver is pleased to be cast in the Robert Alaniz film, Honest to God, another item to check off her bucket list. Sandy is a latecomer to acting, starting her career in her late 60's. Even with the late start, she is quite well established in the independent film industry and has several films screening on Amazon. You can also see her yearly as "Grandmother Silberhaus" in Dancenter North's production of The Magic of the Nutcracker which performs at The Genesee Theater every December. She also performed in Deerfield Family Theater's Mary Poppins as "Miss Smythe" and as an ensemble member. Most recently she played "Kathy Ann" in The 2nd Act Players of Evanston's production of Old Ringers.
When not performing, she and her husband foster puppies for Reach Rescue in Mundelein, IL. Her puppies of choice are Pit Bulls.
Mimi began her acting career in the early 1990’s training in improv at the Players Workshop of The Second City …Second City’s original training ground, and performed in children’s shows on their infamous main stage. She then went on to co-found the “clean comedy” improv and sketch troupe Mission IMPROVable performing throughout the Midwest for eight years.
Aware of the strong influence media had on the culture she began to actively pursue a film career, a dream she’d had since she was a young girl. Over the years God has graciously opened the doors to that calling. She has worked on small indies to big budget films and has worked with Hollywood directors and actors including Ron Howard, Marc Forster, Vince Vaughn, and Emma Thompson.
Sagadin is passionate about using her craft to positively impact audiences and loves sharing her film experience to encourage the next generation of filmmakers to be ambassadors for Christ within the industry.
Mimi had the honor of portraying Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom in the award-winning film “Return to the Hiding Place” opposite John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”).
Other notable film credits include “Halfway” with Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”) and Jeffrey DeMunn (“The Green Mile”, “The Walking Dead”), and the Vietnam War drama “Summer of ’67” which garnered Mimi a Best Actress award.
Releasing later this year is the sequel to the faith-based film “Princess Cut” with Ashley Bratcher (“Unplanned”, “90 Minutes in Heaven”) where Mimi reprises her role as North Carolina farm matriarch Katherine Anderson.
Chris is a Chicago native currently residing in the suburbs with his wife, Brooke, and their two cats, Harmony and Melody. A graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, Chris worked as a professional performer for over six years in the Chicago and Quad Cities areas before shifting his focus toward pursuing a career in law enforcement.
He has most recently been seen in the theater production of "Dying City" at the Beverly Arts Center, and Sole Productions' film, "Heavens to Betsy 2". Some of his favorite roles include: Sir Robin in "Spamalot"; Algernon Moncrieff in "The Importance of Being Earnest"; and Leo Bloom in "The Producers". He sends his thanks to the Good Lord, Brooke, Dad, Mom, Shellee, Cory, and Robert.
"I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little stitious." - Michael Scott
Phillip McFarland is an actor from Northern Indiana. From the age of 7, he had a fascination with movies and filmmaking. He was in awe of the magic and artistry that went into creating a film and felt very envious of the people who got to play make-believe on screen for a living. He joined his Elementary School's media club and drama club and then went on to join a traveling children's theater group for two years. Into his teen years, he decided to join his local civic theater and was with them for 6 years, gaining experience in acting and dancing.
After doing several student films, getting headshots, and building up a resume, he decided it was time to take a chance and break into film and television. Since then he has worked on several indie films (that have won awards at film festivals), music videos (for well-known indie bands), commercials, and extra work on Chicago PD and Empire.
When not working on films or television, Phillip enjoys dancing, music, reading, cooking, learning foreign languages, and spending time with his dogs. He is a major foodie and coffee connoisseur with an obsession for Harry Potter. He is very excited to be working on the film "Honest to God" with such a talented cast and crew.
Deann Baker began acting while attending Columbia College Chicago. After getting the lead in a few student projects, independent films, TV, and web-shows followed. The journey has so far included features such as "Fangs Vs. Spurs", "Scar Lake", and "Summerland". Most recently, her face popped up in Milwaukee during the Superbowl as the co-star in a Steinhafels commercial. Outside of acting, Deann enjoys contributing to projects as a composer. Using her skills on the cello, trombone, and piano she's created music for the series, "The Deadersons", feature film "Poetic", and a video game currently in development. With many more to come!
When Deann is not pursuing several different vocations at once, she's usually settled in for the night, napping until the next adventure. She's thrilled that the next stop on this journey is a role in the Sole Productions feature film, "Honest to God."
Michaele Nicole was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. After she graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans with her BA in Speech Communication & Theatre Arts, she returned to Chicago to pursue her professional modeling and acting career. For nearly a decade, Nicole was the face of Vitale Olive Oil haircare line and she has done numerous print modeling gigs. One of her most popular modeling jobs was when she was featured in Ebony Magazine as a Clairol model for their product advertorial.
One of her most recent films is the multi-award winning short film, "Miss Represent", where she plays the leading role of Kim. She received Honorable Mention award for this role in the category of "Best Actress" given by the LA Film Awards in early 2019. “Miss Represent” is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. She also plays Patty in the award-winning feature film, "Heavens to Betsy 2", which is also streaming on Amazon Prime as well. Nicole can also be seen as Jasmine in the indie hit "Green Grass" streaming on Cre8sion. You can look forward to seeing Nicole in the upcoming comedy short, "#ShandaDidWHAT!?" as Jessica and in the upcoming feature film Charlie O'Hara as Jalissa. Nicole is thrilled about joining the cast of another Sole Productions faith-based film! She is represented by Promote Talent Agency.
When she's not acting and performing, Nicole is flipping homes with her husband, Ramo, throughout the south side of Chicago. She's also a top producing real estate broker in Chicagoland.
Jessica LoBue is from Wauconda, IL and caught the acting bug as early as her first middle school play. Fascinated by the dramatic arts and stagecraft, she started dabbling in acting and modeling classes, immersing herself in drama club and theater throughout her teen years.
Going back to college reawakened her love for acting, returning to theater as Trish in Craig Lucas' "Reckless" in 2009. After taking a break to raise a family, while doing background work for "Chicago Med" and "Shameless", she was cast in Sole Productions' "Heavens to Betsy 2".
Jessica lives in her hometown with her husband Jason and their children Zach, 14, and Zoe, 6. When she isn't acting, Jessica is a professional fiber artist and teaches craft classes in her home studio. She is ecstatic to be working with Robert Alaniz again in "Honest to God".
London Clark is excited to be in another Sole Production! She portrayed young Sally in both "Heavens to Betsy" and "Heavens to Betsy 2". While she loves being in the movies she also loves performing on stage at various local theatres such as Country Theatre Workshop, Beef House Dinner Theatre and Kankakee Valley Theatre. Some of her roles include Jane Banks (Mary Poppins), Chip (Beauty and the Beast), Flounder, (Little Mermaid) and young Sofie (Mamma Mia). When she is not performing, London loves to read, play her drums and listen to Southern Gospel Music.
Diana was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her acting career began with being an extra in just about every TV show filming in the Chicago land area. She was a stand-in for a main actress on Fox's hit show "Empire" for two seasons. For her first speaking role on network television, she played a reporter. She also played an on camera reporter on the show "Utopia" starring Chicago native John Cusack which will soon be streaming on Amazon Prime. Her first independent movie role was a waitress in "Savage Youth".
Diana then had the great opportunity to work with Sole Productions and play the part of Veronica, a quirky struggling actress in BOTH multi-award winning movies "Heavens to Betsy" and "Heavens to Betsy 2" now streaming on Amazon Prime and Pureflix. She is looking forward to playing the part of Virginia Tucker in "Honest to God" and is honored and thrilled to work with writer/director, Robert Alaniz again.
When Diana is not acting you can find her in the classroom. She has her Master's in Education and an endorsement in Special Education and currently works at a special education school in the suburbs of Chicago. She enjoys helping children learn to live their best life.
Sandra Nelson currently resides in Markham, IL. Her first speaking role was in a short film "Legend of Mr. Hollywood" where she played an Umpire. Sandra has appeared in the films "Heavens to Betsy 2" and "The Perfect Blind Date". Most recently, she booked a principal role in the film "White People Money". Sandra studied acting at Chicago Actor Studio, and Modeling classes with Model Esteem. Last year, she got talent representation with Dream Team Talent. As a single mother of two sons, Sandra became a firefighter. Ironically, later in life, she was booked as a background actor/ specialty role on Chicago Fire, either as a firefighter or paramedic. When Sandra is not acting, she works as a part time fire inspector and enjoys cooking, dancing and spending time with my family. She is very excited to be working on a Christian film with Director/Producer Mr. Robert Alaniz again in "Honest to God".
Diane's interest in acting began in grade school, but her passion began when she received a lead role in high school for the play "No, No, a Million Times No". Following that she received a supporting in "Yankee Doodle". She went to college and received a B. S. in Special Education and taught for 23 years where her classroom became her stage. She auditioned for Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC) and was trained in Rosemont, Illinois. She graduated in 2014 and has been acting professionally for 6 years.
Diane has traveled to 5 states for films, such as Kentucky, for a role in "Messenger of Light, the Calling of Lizzy McBride". She also received a role in "The Author, The Star, and The Keeper". She's appeared in "From the Furnace", "Restore", "The UnMiracle", and "The Field". Diane has also been in Meijer Grocery, Ho-Chunk and Menomonee Casino, as well as Marshfield Clinic commercials. She's excited to be part of "Honest to God" with it's great message.
Diane resides is Wisconsin. In addition to her acting, she is an antique dealer as well a ballroom dancer who has performed and been awarded in 3 states.
Burke is a Michigan native who began his acting career just over five years ago. Having no prior experience, he got started with several student films and local commercials. He has picked up momentum the last couple years, appearing in 15+ short and feature films, as well as dozens of commercials and industrial videos for companies such as Empire Carpet, T-Mobile and Ford Motor Company. Last year, he landed one of the lead roles on Investigation Discovery's TV series 'Lone Star Justice' and hopes to continue building from there. The creative juices have also led him to begin writing his own screenplay, which he hopes to complete by end of year. Burke has been happily married to his bride for nearly 22 years, has two amazing sons, and serves on the board and worship team of their local church.
Scott earned a BA in Dramatic Arts from Amherst College. After working extensively in show business, he met a girl, left show-biz, earned an MBA, married the girl, became a banker, reared a family, retired from banking, and returned to the stage.
Primarily performing as a stage actor, Scott was Santa in the 2019 New Orleans production of "The Polar Express"(TM) – "Train Ride". Favorite Chicagoland stage roles include "Rogue Aviator" and "Speed of Light" (Otherworld); "Holiday", "Our Town", "The Fantasticks", and "The Seagull" (Edge of the Wood); "Satie et Cocteau" and "Creation's Birthday" (Genesis); "Diary of Anne Frank" (Improv Playhouse); "Yankee Tavern", "Random Theft and Other Acts", "Don't Drink the Water", and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (Steel Beam), and "On Golden Pond" (Indian Valley).
Scott appears in numerous indie films including "Second Service", "Deceit", "Sleepwalkers", "Imaginary", "Jingles", and the web series "The Art of the Deal". https://www.rscottpurdy.com