Above the Branches

Boston, Massachusetts | Film Short


Matt Kravitsky

1 Campaigns | Massachusetts, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,590 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

136 supporters | followers

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HELP US HIT OUR GOAL OF $13,000 FOR FESTIVALS! If you wish to donate contact one of our producers or email [email protected]. Genealogy tests are the hottest things on the market. People learn about their ancestry or expose family lies, but our protagonist learns a secret like no other.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Above the Branches is a diverse sci-fi/drama centered around LGBTQ protagonists. Our goal is to feature diverse characters in genres they are otherwise rarely represented in because it more accurately reflects the world we live in.

The Story

I have never been so excited to tell a story like Above the Branches. My team and I are pouring our hearts and souls into this project because it will promote diversity and at the same time invite audiences on an emotional, entertaining, thought-provoking, and chilling journey with an ending that will leave everyone talking.


I’ve pitched the concept to numerous people and have an incomparable strong confidence in the story. There haven't really been any films involving genealogy tests, which are extremely popular today. We believe this film will get noticed by festivals and genealogy companies, which will help it reach a wide audience.


This is a story about being different or not belonging and what that truly means.



Above the Branches follows Anthony, a man who feels like an outsider, because he thinks he is unreasonably excluded from social situations. Anthony hopes his life will turn around when he proposes to his partner, Greg. When Greg says yes, Anthony feels like he belongs and is on top of the world… until he uses his engagement present, a genealogy test. When Anthony takes the test he is contacted by the head genealogist of the company to discuss his results as soon as possible. The genealogist explains the results from his test and it shatters Anthony's world... he has no ancestors.



We have always disliked how LGBTQ characters are represented in films and television as stereotypical archetypes. Representation is getting better; however, there is still lack of diversity in certain genres. Sci-fi is a mainstream genre that historically hasn't featured diverse protagonists and we want to change that. Above the Branches features LGBTQ protagonists and diverse characters. Diversity is important because it more accurately reflects the world we live in and so it should be implemented in more of our favorite types of films.



It's a funny coincidence but three of the producers used to play together as toddlers decades ago, and it just so happened that we all work in the film industry today so we are excited to collaborate. Most of the crew work together in the Massachusetts film and television industry or studied film together at the same film school. Some of us worked on Matt's last film, The Chrysalis (2018), which is in the festival circuit now and has played at eight festivals so far, one of which it won it's category. We love making films together and telling stories that are thought-provoking, visual, and bold. 



Thank you so much for visiting our page and we can't make this project without you. We can make this dream become a reality, and you can take credit in making it possible.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Equipment Rentals

Costs $1,500

We need the right lighting and camera equipment to help visually tell this story.

Sound/Post Sound

Costs $1,000

Sound makes all the difference to create an immersive cinematic experience that advances the story.

Food/ Travel/ Lodging

Costs $1,000

A happy cast and crew = an incredible film that makes people happy.


Costs $500

The score is essential in controlling the mood of the film.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Costs $950

Other expenses like meals, casting rooms, hard drives, props, costumes, and set design.


Costs $850

We need stellar locations to bring the world of Above the Branches to life.


Costs $1,000

We need insurance to cover our cast, crew, locations, and equipment.


Costs $1,700

Actors make all the difference and we need performers to bring these challenging characters to life.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Matt Kravitsky - Writer, Director, Producer

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Matt Kravitsky has wanted to be a writer and director for films since age eight when he ran around with a camcorder filming his cousins. He has directed over 13 shorts and his last film, The Chrysalis (2018), is currently in the festival circuit and has been selected to play at eight festivals so far including the Berkshire International Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, NewFilmmakers NY, Boston International Film Festival and more. The film also won at the Garden State Film Festival. Matt is confident that Above the Branches will be a film that resonates with audiences and will help progress diversity in popular genres.


Favorite Movies: Pulp Fiction, Do the Right Thing, Room, Arrival, Twelve Monkeys

Favorite Hobbies: Listing movies for his unhealthily large DVD collection, arguing that DVD’s aren’t obsolete, and eating Ben and Jerry’s, Chipotle Burritos, Strombolis, and Reubens.


Liz Loo - Producer, Script Supervisor

Liz Loo was born in California and was raised in Rhode Island. During high school, she realized her interest in the arts and became a member of her high school's theater company and choral group for 2 years. While studying film and public relations at the University of Rhode Island, she interned on local film sets as a production assistant. After networking with a mutual connection, she moved up to Boston to work full time on features and scripted television. She is actively interested in increasing the visibility of Asian American representation in the entertainment industry.


Favorite Movies: Howl's Moving Castle, La La Land, Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Favorite Hobbies: eating dessert, watching rom-coms, going to concerts, advocating for human rights/representation


Tori Martin - Producer, 1st Assistant Director

Tori Martin was raised on Long Island. From a young age, she was fascinated with the world of film. As a kid, she would frequently rent movies from Blockbuster and watch them over and over again. Tori made it her mission to watch the movie commentaries and all of the bonus features. She was desperate to be apart of a project that captivates an audience. Fast forward to high school. Tori began to create her own films, making her passion come alive. Last year she produced a psychological thriller, Amygdala, and it is now in the festival circuit. However, Tori has never been more connected to a film than she is to Above the Branches. This project will connect to anyone while at the same time bringing the viewer into the world of another, and Tori can't wait to bring it to life. 

Favorite Movies: The Greatest Showman, The Mummy, Room, Harry Potter (all 8 of them)

Favorite Hobbies: Wine tasting, Playing with her dog, Chandler, Napping with her roommate's cats, Karma and Koko, Going to target. 


Gibson Pitts - Producer, 2nd Assistant Director

Gibson Pitts was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She became fascinated with filmmaking when she learned Lindsay Lohan played both twins in the movie "The Parent Trap".  This blew her little 8 year old mind and from then on loved learning how films were made. After graduating college, she worked as a Freelance Videographer for several years filming and editing weddings, events and videos for small businesses. In 2016, she started working on the Bravo reality show "Southern Charm" and for the next year would work on several different reality shows before moving to Boston, MA in early 2018 to work on scripted television.


Favorite Movies: The Shining, Goodfellas, War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park

Favorite Hobbies: Yoga, Smelling flowers, Baking the best gluten-free cookies you'll ever taste, and taking down the patriarchy.


Hussein Hammouda - Producer

Born in Providence, Rhode Island and having grown up in Fairfax, Virginia, Hussein Hammouda has always had a deep appreciation and fascination with filmmaking. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he made his first short film, “Monday Morning Moos”, about a cow named Veggie Burger who struggles to make her way to work. Shorty after, H moved from Massachusetts to New York to pursue his passion of being a filmmaker, much to his parents’ chagrin. In his three years of living on the Upper West Side, he made over a dozen short films, ranging from stop-motion animation to horror to sci-fi, and everything in-between. His films have played at a number of festivals worldwide, and he hopes to see that number continue to grow, with the help of projects — such as Above the Branches — that speak to people who feel like they may not be hearing their stories represented in film.


Favorite Movies: In Bruges, Little Miss Sunshine, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Batman Begins, La La Land, Blade Runner, Dead Poets Society, Hell or High Water, The Social Network, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Favorite Hobbies: Watching and listing favorite movies, so...

Favorite Movies Continued: Hot Fuzz, Arrival, The Big Lebowski, They Came Together, Guardians of the Galaxy, Call Me By Your Name, Frank, Jurassic Park, Inglourious Basterds; I Love You, Man


Jake Swartz - Producer

Jake Swartz was born and raised in Massachusetts. He became interested in filmaking in college when he was introduced to the world of foreign cinema, being influenced by the sotrytelling techniques of Jean Luc Godard, Andrei Tarkovsky and Wong-Kar Wai. Excited about the prospects of making his own films, Jake and his friends created the feature film Fast and Loose, while pursuing their Undergraduate degrees. Considering himself an outcast, Jake instantly connected with the story of Above the Branches and hopes that the film will allow others to take an introspective look at themselves and realize that nobody is truly alone.


Favorite movies: In the Mood for Love, Scott Pilgrim VS the World, Mustang, The Princess Bride, Trainspotting

Favorite Hobbies: Convincing people to watch movies with subtitles, Reading Calvin and Hobbes Comics, playing/watching Dota 2 and Tabletop RPG games.


Jake Rubin - Producer, 2nd Assistant Camera

Born and raised in the greater Boston area, Jake Rubin has wanted to be a filmmaker since his first television production class in high school. He would take his GoPro everywhere, filming everything, from vacations to family functions. He has recently established his own production company called Rubin Production, filming a variety of events, real estate and corporate videos for the web. Jake is excited to be involved in Above The Branches and is most looking forward to producing and assisting with camera.


Favorite Movies: Children of Men, Brimstone, Imitation Game & Passengers

Favorite hobbies: Playing basketball, frisbee, soccer and golf and eating Chinese food


Lucas Berchuck - Associate Producer, Casting Director

Born and raised in Sharon, MA, Lucas began shooting and editing slasher films at the age of seven (dark?). At Emerson, he spent most of his time honing his skills in production and post production, but after casting his roommate's student films, he fell in love with the process. After graduation and working over a year at an entertainment agency, he relocated to New York City in November to work as a Casting Assistant on the upcoming Hulu series, High Fidelity, starring Zoe Kravitz. When Matt Kravitsky came calling, Lucas jumped at the chance to be involved with Above The Branches in any way, and is proud to be working on a sci-fi project that unabashedly prioritizes diversity and inclusion. 


Favorite Movies: American Beauty, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, American Hustle, Carol

Favorite Hobbies: Watching films, reading about films, forcing art films on friends, concerts, gettin turnt 


Johan Corilla - Director of Photography

Since the age of five, Johan's life centered around art. Sketching scribbles at church developed to winning scholastic art contest all the way through high school. In high school, Johan was enrolled in the Educational Center for the Arts where he experimented in oil painting and messing with film photography. All that was left was motion pictures. Along side his development in the visual arts, Johan's family remembers his upbringing along with the many stories Johan created. From comic books to retelling of biblical stories with a twist, Johan always loved telling stories. "Cinematic films should be more than just visual entertainment. The visuals should enhance the story and immerse the audience into the lives of the characters onscreen. My favorite movies are the ones that make me forget I am watching a movie."

Favorite Movies: The Wind Rises, Drive, To Live

Favorite Hobbies: Reading biographies, being a life long learner, playing with cameras.


Ian Eckstein - Sound Designer

Ian Eckstein, a New Jersey native, has been a freelance sound mixer and editor for independent short films in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Ian graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2017 with a BA in Film, Television and Interactive Media. On graduation day Ian began his first sound-mixing job on the short film Boy in the High Window. It won best short film at the 2018 Coney Island Film festival. Ian has since gone on to sound mix and edit several other independent shorts. Bucko! and Alma are other notable films he has worked on. Ian is excited to apply his sound mixing skills to Above the Branches. His goal is to ensure that the films message is heard.


Favorite Movies: The Goonies, Gummo, Tickled, Jaws, and George Harrison: Living in the Material World are some of Ian’s favorite movies.

Favorite Hobbies: When he isn’t working or watching a movie he loves to tend to his saltwater reef tank.  


Patrick Lacey - Editor, 1st Assistant Camera

From Weymouth, Massachusetts, Patrick Lacey has been interested in the filmmaking process since middle school. He took this fascination with him to Emerson College then to Quinnipiac University where he focused in lighting and camera work. Since graduating, he has shifted into post-production with internships at CoSA VFX in North Hollywood and Finish Post in Boston. He is currently an Assistant Editor at Finish Post where he interacts with today’s leading industry software. As a longtime lover of all things Sci-Fi, Patrick is extremely excited to work on ‘Above the Branches’ – a film he thinks intertwines a household genre with themes of inclusion that are much needed in the industry going forward.

Favorite Movie: The Hurt Locker, The Dark Knight, Magnolia, The Road Warrior

Hobbies: Reading books, magazines, and other paper mediums his generation is otherwise killing.


Meghan Guilfoyle - Assistant Editor

Born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire.  By the age of three, Meghan was mesmerized with her family’s camcorder. In all her home videos you can see little Meghan’s arms stretching out towards the camera and her saying, “I see it. I see it.” Combining her passion for travel and film She is specifically interested in the composition and exposition of human connection. As an aspiring editor and filmaker, she wants to fully experience, contribute, document, gather, and build awareness of stories that honor the delicacies in cultural celebrations, yet reveal the similarities we as humans all possess.

Favorite movies: Amelie, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Human, Garden State, I Origins, and The BirdCage

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling and going on adventures, yoga, meditating, speaking spanish and learning new languages, crosswords, cooking, spending time with friends, writing and reading, laying on the floor and listening to music with a glass of wine in hand. 

Current Team