Meet Christina

Christina grew up on Long Island with a single mother and one brother. She developed an interest in film very early on as a child. She can't quite pinpoint a moment in her childhood when she decided she wanted to be a filmmaker; it is simply a desire that has always been there. She began writing stories at age five and attributes her interest in visual storytelling in large part to watching movies of very wide variety with her mother at a young age. Watching "The Twilight Zone" marathon every fourth of July was a family tradition and she credits that as a huge reason for her interest in screenwriting. She wrote her first screenplay, or what she thought was a screenplay, at age nine. She knew her love for movies was something bigger than just an interest when a video camera was first placed in her hands at the age of 13. It was from that point forward that her passion in life was clearly defined. In high school, she attempted to make two "feature films" with a cast of her friends and a crew of one, but those never quite panned out. After high school, she took a year off and honed in on her writing. She won a couple of online video contests and put the money towards funding her first big project. She enrolled in Hunter College in 2008 and made her first independent short, "Do Over," a psychological thriller, the summer after her freshman year. She graduated with honors with a BA in Film Production & Studies in 2012.

Filmmaking & Community Leadership

She is now a New York City based Writer/Director and the Founder and Team Leader of CongestedCat Productions, LLC. She shot first feature film, SUMMIT, a Horror-Drama, in 2013 and it premiered at the 2015 Manhattan Film Festival and was awarded Best Horror Film. She also won Best Director for the film at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival (Vortex Genre Fest), and it also screened at the 2015 Scare-A-Con Film Festival, 2015 Unreal Film Festival and 2016 Macabre Faire Film Festival. It is available on Amazon Prime, Vimeo on Demand, VHX, and Seed&Spark. Shortly after wrapping production on SUMMIT, she directed and produced the comedic web series 'Kelsey,' which premiered on blip.tv in September 2013 to rave reviews and consistent press coverage, including as a Critic’s Pick and named one of the 19 Best Comedy Web Series of 2013 by Indiewire.com. It has over a quarter million hits online and has screened across the country as part of an LGBT Web Series Panel tour, most notably at Outfest.

She also turned her desire to foster collaboration and engagement in the local film community into IndieWorks, a monthly film screening series showcasing and supporting the work of other independent filmmakers in New York. Each month consistently has over 60 people in attendance. It is currently beginning its 5th year and has gained name recognition of its own.

Christina's work often has a focus on character exploration. She has an affinity for ensemble pieces and quick-witted dialogue. Her other credits as Writer, Director include half a dozen independently produced narrative shorts that have made official selection at film festivals across the country. Most recently, her latest completed short films screened at the 2017 Queens World Film Festival and 2016 Coney Island Film Festival.

She is currently on the festival circuit with two new shorts and Post-Production for her second feature, a comedy titled About A Donkey, written by and to be co-produced with her 'Kelsey' collaborator Kelsey Rauber. Silent Night, her feature screenplay that she hopes to be her third feature also made the Quarter Finals of the 2016 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. 

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Instruction & Consulting

Christina has been referred to as a thought leader on Indie Film Social Media Marketing and Crowdfunding - Follow her on Twitter @Craia9. She has run three campaigns (2011-2014), with a 100% success rate, and she is inspired to help others understand the audience building benefits of crowdfunding and social media. In 2016, she joined the SeedandSpark.com team as a Crowdfunding Specialist. She has taught their Crowdfunding to Build Independence workshop at NYU, School of Visual Arts, the RiverRun Film Festival, the Hell's Half Mile Film Festival, the Tacoma Film Festival, the Big Sky Documentary Fest and many screening series, film organizations & private meet-ups throughout New York.

She is available for speaking engagements, panel participation and consulting sessions. Contact her at christina@congestedcat.com.

Published Articles by Christina

"Working Towards Sustainability: Why I Keep Crowdfunding & Making ShortsSeed&Spark 2017

"Shooting a No-Budget Feature in Winter Weather" Seed&Spark (republished by Pyragraph) 2015

"From Crowdfunding to Community Building" Seed&Spark 2014