Comedy. Drama. Music

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.






We follow Abby Avila, a quiet 15 year-old girl, coping with the breakdown of her family and the feelings of being trapped in her small coastal farming community


Just as Abby begins to act out and take bigger risks, she meets Dave, the lead singer of a punk band, whose van breaks down in town. Dave teaches her how to live out loud, opening up a new world of possibility.


When Abby comes to a crossroad of leaving what she’s always known behind for the promise of something more exciting, she is confronted with betrayal and is forced to face her own truths, learning lessons about friendship, love, change, and what it really means to be brave.


Why Coast?

When Cindy Kitagawa (writer) and her childhood friend Wendy Guerrero (producer), had a discussion with producing partner Bruce Dern about the women they had become, they knew there was a story there. A story that was much more relatable than the common narrative portrayed in TV and film. Their narrative was one that explores what it is like to grow up in a small diverse farming community like Santa Maria, CA, a place diverse not only in race but in economics, where no one tells you how to dream, and, who you wi11 become is almost impossible to see. Set against this backdrop, COAST is the moment right before womanhood, when your friends are your life and your music is your soul. COAST is an empowering female story about finding your value and self worth. 


 FATIMA PTACEK as "ABBY"  Rebel spirit/ occasional dreamer.          


Rebel spirit/ occasional dreamer.          

Refusing the road that's been paved for me.

 KANE RITCHOTTE as "DAVE"  Singer/ prophet/ rebel artist              


Singer/ prophet/ rebel artist              

Changing the world one stage at a time.

 "MR. BUSBY"  Cal. History teacher and ex-hippie.        


Cal. History teacher and ex-hippie.        

Life is good. Every.Single.Day.

 "CHRIS"  Young neighbor/ Abby's pseudo big brother/ constant smart ass.


Young neighbor/ Abby's pseudo big brother/ constant smart ass.

I do not hang out with teenagers.
 KAYLEE KAMIYA as "LAURA"  Honor roll/ nail biter/ always tells the truth even if it hurts. 


Honor roll/ nail biter/ always tells the truth even if it hurts. 

Potentially grounded for life.

 MIA FRAMPTON as "KRISTI"  City girl/ punk forever. Why talk. when you can mock.


City girl/ punk forever. Why talk. when you can mock.

Deal with me.                 

 EDUARDO ROMAN as "MR. ACOSTA"  Kat's father/ family man/ first generation immigrant.


Kat's father/ family man/ first generation immigrant.

Hard work gets you far.  

 "CASSIE"  Exiled Friend/ Teenage Mom


Exiled Friend/ Teenage Mom

Being a mom is cool.  I'd rather be out raging. 
 MIA XILTALI as "KAT"  Best friend/ hard worker/ proud of her family.


Best friend/ hard worker/ proud of her family.

I'm comfortable just being me.

 "DEBRA"  Abby's mom/ nurse/ Too young to be a mom.    


Abby's mom/ nurse/ Too young to be a mom.    

Doing the best l can right now.

 "OLIVIA"  Straight-shooter/ Powerful Presence/ Filled with life experience


Straight-shooter/ Powerful Presence/ Filled with life experience

You don’t wear a ring. BUT the burden of a man.

 "CHERYL"  Future Farmer of America/ Sure of herself


Future Farmer of America/ Sure of herself

I know who I am, what I want, and where I am going. 


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Jessica Hester & Derek Schweickart

Directors Jessica Hester and Derek Schweickart have completed 6 short films amongst which they have won awards for "Best Ensemble," (The Dress, La Comedy Film Festival), "Best Cinematography," (Illusion,Beverly Hills Film Festival), "Audience Award" (Dreaming Don't Make It So, Hollyshorts Monthly Festival), and Jessica won the DVFS Visionary Award at Vision Fest in New York for Illusion. Their last two films were period pieces (1940's and 1980's), and their filmography is rich in variety. Illusion was a VFX-heavy fantastical film, The 4th, a gritty urban cautionary tale, The Dress, a moving ensemble piece about dysfunction at a wedding,Picked Up, a real-time romance with a case of denied identity, Dreaming Don't Make It So, a musical drama with original songs, and Long Walk to Forever, a beautiful adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's beloved short story. These two have the filmmaking range and passion to bring Coast to life in an exciting way.



Cindy makes her screenwriting debut with Coast; paying respects to the small coastal agricultural community she grew up in. For more than a decade she has worked as an account executive and copywriter in the advertising industry, and is a former freelance writer for Los Angeles Valley Scene Magazine. Cindy began writing Coast after a conversation with life-long friend and producer Wendy Guerrero. The story is a personal reflection of their days growing up in a small town and how it influenced the women they have become. She is currently at work, writing her next feature, an immigration/female boxer story with Director, Jessica Hester.




Sonya Lunsford’s impressive track record includes film accounting, financing, and working closely with high profile indie filmmakers such as Steven Soderbergh. Sonya’s track record for optimizing costing efficiencies on aggressively budgeted independent films will be an invaluable asset to the project.  Her experience speaks for itself on the numerous films she has produced and co-produced including the 2012 Oscar nominated film, THE HELP.



Wendy Guerrero recently co-produced her first feature film, NORTHERN BORDERS, through her company, PubliclyPrivate, which she formed with partner, Bruce Dern. Previously, Wendy has spent several satisfying years producing and directing theater in New York and Los Angeles. Some of her highlights include directing Bloody Poetry at the Sanford Meisner Theater in New York City. Producing The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigols at the Weist Baron Theater in NYC, in addition to producing several original plays from new playwrights at Weist Baron Theater. She also directed the World Premiere of Chicken in Los Angeles at the Lillian Theater and directed several 24 Hour theater festivals at the Elephant Theater in Los Angeles. Wendy is an alumni of Film Independent's Producer 's Lab and Circle in the Square in New York City. She currently divides her time between working in locations for film, television and commercials in Los Angeles and developing and producing feature films and content for other media. Wendy is now the CEO, president of the Bentonville Film Festival with a mission of being a positive and proactive influence in filmmaking to ensure films represent the national audience and the growing diversity of the population of the United States.


Pin-Chun was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. In 2008, after earning a degree in Sociology from the National Taiwan University, she began working in production and producing short films. Her first feature, an American-based independent, THE TAIWAN OYSTER, premiered in the 2012 SXSW Film Festival and was an opening night film in the 2012 Urban Nomad. She received her master’s in Producing at the American Film Institute and her thesis, WAY IN RYE, was a finalist for the Student Academy Award. Other films include THE NIGHT IS OURS and CONTRAPELO, which premiered at Tribeca and shortlisted for 2016 Oscar Best Live Action Short Film. Together they have played at more than 50 film festivals and have won several ‘best short film’ awards. Most recently under her belt, short film WONDERLAND won 2nd place at the HBO APA visionaries contest and was distributed on HBO and TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORIES, a series for Stage 13 was premiered at Tribeca Film Festival early this year. She is currently developing and fundraising for her feature film projects.


Carolina Costa was recently honored with the Mexican Academy of Film Award for Best Cinematography (Ariel Awards) for her film Las Elegidas, produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. The Coast team was very impressed with her work in the short film ’Contrapelo’, that was on the Oscar short list in 2016. Carolina’s connection to the girl’s story in Coast, and her desire to capture the essence of each girl is very exciting. Her curiosity to explore this through images and her recent success-photographing teenagers for Las Elegidas makes her uniquely suited to make Coast, amongst all else, a beautiful film to watch. Her most recent films including FLOWER, which premiered at 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and OTHER, which premiered at 2017 Cannes Film Festival.



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I have been a strong supporter of this project along with my producing partner Wendy Guerrero in our company Publicly Private from it’s inception. Our company seeks to support diverse voices in storytelling particularly focusing on films about people. With the help of this grant, it will allow this uniquely special coming of age story that reflects the growing diversity of the population of the United States to become a reality.

Cindy Kitagawa is a special talent with a unique voice that I’ve been encouraging as a writer for many years. She tells stories about what she knows and COAST certainly reflects that. From a Japanese American father and a Mexican mother Cindy’s way into her stories are as diverse as her background and I look forward to seeing and being a part of her future imaginations.


Sincerely yours,

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Executive Producer

Bruce Dern



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