<< Return Home Contact AFG About AFG View Films (Home)

The Annex Film Group (AFG) is a one-of-a-kind production Company born from the collective vision of dedicated artists. This vision started as a germ of an idea between a tight-knit group of actors, craftsmen, writers, producers and directors working at the Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, the one and only theatre founded by the legendary acting teacher, Sanford Meisner.

While producing critically acclaimed plays in the late 1990s and into 2000, the artists experienced how difficult it was to attract a mostly television and film-focused Los Angeles audience into small playhouses. So they turned their attention to the film and TV format and put themselves to work. In 2002, the Annex Film Group was formed. “Annex” refers to the group’s theatrical roots, while “Group” signifies the most unique aspect of the Company.

Members of the AFG function entirely in community to develop, finance and produce films 100% independently. Dues are collected from the members each month, which in turn are saved to pay for future productions.

It is the AFG’s goal to give its members an opportunity to experiment in filmmaking. In doing so, members select and develop projects, and then act, write, direct, produce and crew the productions on a rotating basis.

The Annex Film Group has produced 15 short films thus far in 6 years.


Karni Baghdikian

On the heels of his directorial debut short TRADE, Karni recently directed his second narrative short film, Written By, penned by Trevor Boelter and Matt Duggan.

Karni’s first taste of Hollywood magic came at 15 as a background actor in Scent of a Woman, where he was inspired by Al Pacino's Academy Award winning performance and the subtlety of Martin Brest's directorial brilliance. After student teaching in his high school TV Productions class before taking a decade-long hiatus from production to study beer and rugby at Babson College, Karni resurfaced with a B.S. in MIS/Finance, an appetite for visual arts, and a profound desire to make movies for the rest of his life.

Karni currently studies screenwriting at UCLA and works as a Digital Producer. His personal portfolio and blog can be found at www.karni.tv.


Stephanie Bell

Stephanie is an award-winning producer of film and theater in Los Angeles. Most recently, her AFG short film Robbie’s Withdrawal, won Best Short Film in the 2008 Seattle Film Festival’s inaugural Online Film Competition. Tag, which was her first adventure with AFG as producer, won Best Short Film at the 2006 WIFF and has been shown at film festivals throughout the country. She has produced for the American Film Institute’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women, where her film The Winged Man was chosen to represent AFI at the Cannes Short Film Corner. The short also has been shown at film festivals on both coasts. Stephanie has produced for Soft Serve Pictures, the award-winning theatre companies Ensemble Studio Theatre-The LA Project (Managing Director, 2005-2006), Sacred Fools (Co-Artistic Director, 2001 Season), Theatre of NOTE, and Chautauqua Theatre Alliance (Board of Directors), The Outlawstyle Thrance Company (managing producer, 1999-2005), and The Edge of the World Theatre Festival. Her most recent film with AFG, Written By is currently in post-production. Her next feature film project, “The Devil of Appalachia”, written by fellow AFG member, Matt Duggan, is currently in development. Stephanie is also a producer for the webisodic series Man Vs. created by Mr. Duggan. A native New Yorker & graduate of Mike Nichols' New Actors Workshop in NYC, Stephanie has performed Off-Broadway, regionally, in film & TV. She holds a BA in English Literature from Haverford College. For more info on The Winged Man, go to www.thewingedman.com and the Man Vs. series go to www.manvsfilms.com.



Trevor Boelter

Trevor Boelter is an actor and screenwriter, who has been active member of the AFG since 2002. Trevor wrote AFG's first short, Working 5 to 9, and directed A Day in the Life in 2004. An avid theater performer, Trevor is a staff-writer and actor in the sketch comedy show, Fries on the Side as well as a member of the Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts, in which he has starred in numerous productions. Most recently, Trevor starred in the AFG production of Tag. When not on the stage or in front of the camera, Trevor continues to write, having recently completed Lease on Life, an original screenplay written with John Burish. Recently Trevor and John received honors for their feature length screenplay American Sumo, which was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2006 Slamdance Screenplay Competition.


John Burish

John Burish is an actor, writer and director with experience in both stage and film and is one of the founding members of the Annex Film Group. John developed a passion for filmmaking with his grandparents super 8 camer a as a pre-teen in Indiana. After moving to LA, he studied acting at the Meisner-Carville School of Acting with Martin Barter. John quickly fell in love with the theater and went on to play such roles as: Scoop in “The Heidi Chronicles”, Bradley in “Carbondale Dreams”, the lead in Dennis McIntyre’s “Modigliani” and Sid in “Waiting for Lefty” among many others.

John has also written and directed many short films including the Annex’s “Coffee Daze”, “A Real Doozy”, recently selected to the 2009 Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series, and “Robbie’s Withdrawal”, which received the My Festival Best Short Award at the 2008 Seattle International Film Festival. John has appeared in many films including starring as the homeless Joe in “Project Joe” and as the ruthless “it” assassin, Jake Bishop in “Tag”. He can also be seen in the western “Wolves” and as the maniacal boss in “Trade”.

John and fellow member Trevor Boelter received honors for their feature length screenplay “American Sumo”, which was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2006 Slamdance Screenplay Competition.


Matt Duggan

Matt Duggan is a screenwriter/director living in Los Angeles. His screenplays have placed in various competitions (PAGE International Screenplay Awards, Slamdance, 2006 Screenplay Expo) and his stage play "false positive" received critical acclaim during its run in Los Angeles. Recently, Matt wrote and directed TAG for the Annex Film Group. TAG won best picture at the 2006 Westwood International Film Festival and was an official selection at the 2006 Toofy Film Festival.

Matt is also the creator/director/writer for the ongoing, online comedy series called MAN VS., starring Trevor Boelter and Frank Krueger. The MAN VS. episodes have been viewed more than 3 million times.

Matt's website is www.mattduggan.com.


Shelly Gant

Shelly Gant grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma and moved to Los Angeles in 1991 after making it to Producers on a nationwide cattle-call audition for the Robert Mulligan film “Man in the Moon”. Although she ultimately didn’t get the part, her curiosity had been peeked. Within a year of landing in L.A., Shelly began working at Crystal Sky International, an independent film company. She continued there over the next 4 years as Director of Distribution Services while studying acting with Beverly Dean and John Kirby. Shelly joined Shoreline Entertainment in 1997 as VP of Distribution Services. She attended film markets and festivals in her 7 years in distribution including AFM, Cannes, Mifed, Sundance and Natpe. Meanwhile, Shelly continued her love for acting studying with David LeGrant and Martin Barter at The Sanford Meisner Center. She served as the Managing Director at The Sanford Meisner Center for a brief stint, and produced several staged productions there. Shelly received praise for her stage roles in “Women Speak,” a series of monologues written by Christine Scowley and the role of “Beatrice” in Dennis McIntyre’s “Modigliani”. She also starred in the award winning short film “Since My Last Dance”. Shelly is a founding member of Annex Film Group, a short film company designed to give its members the opportunity to experiment in filmmaking. Shelly made her writing and directing debut with AFG’s “Manejar”, selected for competition at the 2005 Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival. Shelly’s most recent AFG endeavor is in front of the camera in “Robbie’s Withdrawal”.


Dawn Joyal

A Rhode Island native and big Red Sox fan, Dawn is proud to be working alongside the talented people in AFG. Primarily in the group as an actor, she stars in SEE JANE DANCE and appears in a dozen other short films. Dawn has most recently branched out from a strong theater background into film and television, where she appeared in the feature PARKSIDE as the love interest of Luiz Guzman, and in an episode of Days of our Lives. When not strategizing her acting career, she can be seen walking her dogs, in yoga class or in her kitchen cooking up a storm .


Stephanie Little

Currently living in New York and LA, Stephanie continues to work on and off screen. She is writing a feature and acting in films and commercials. Stephanie has studied in Los Angeles with Lesly Kahn, Anthony Meindle, Howard Fine, The Groundlings Theater and in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Other than acting and writing her other true love is traveling. She has also begun a small company helping working actors learn their lines. You can check it out at: thelinepimp.com.


Mona Nash

Mona Nash is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University's College of Communication. Mona has produced numerous short films for the Annex Film Group and other companies; independent television shows and theatrical productions, including several at the Sanford Meisner Center. She was a long-time producer's assistant and development manager at Carsey-Werner productions' 3rd Rock From the Sun, That '70s Show in addition to many other television series and pilots. Mona was the Line Producer of the 35 mm independent feature film, Trippin' Forward with a $500,000 budget that will be released in 2006. She works as a location scout / manager for commericals and most recently for the CBS drama series, "CSI: NY."

Mona is also a professional photographer; her work can be viewed at www.monanash.com.


Carla Pauley

Carla is an actor and producer who has been a member of the Annex Film Group from it's inception in 2002. She studied with Martin Barter at the Sanford Meisner Center for 3 years and comedy improv at The Groundlings. She is currently studying at the Larry Moss Studios with
Michelle Danner. Carla has performed in a number of the Annex Film
Group films and looks forward to many more. When not acting, she gets her AFG fix by using her craft services talents and baby wrangling
abilities. Although acting is her passion, Carla may consider
producing again for the right price. Right price= $50 Gazzillion.


Chris Pauley

As an Actor, Writer and Director, Chris relishes the opportunity to create great work with the hungry and talented group of perfectionists that comprise the Annex Film Group. Chris has achieved critical acclaim in Theatrical Performances that have taken him all over the country. Currently he can be seen on stage with the Sketch Comedy Group "Fries on the Side".