The West Virginian Starfish

Chicago, Illinois | Film Short

Drama, Nature

Hyten Davidson

3 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,540 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

47 supporters | followers

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The West Virginian Starfish is an award-winning story about closure, the absence of closure, and the decision to move past our breaking points to the other side. After a successful script competition and pitch event run, we're ready to film this piece in 2021- a year in need of moving onward.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

This film is being made to address the paralysis of grief and pushing through barriers, promote the love of hiking and nature, and get casts and crew back to work.

The Story


The Story:

"The West Virginian Starfish" is a short drama that follows a woman named Carly in the aftermath of her father's disappearance from their home by the Appalachian Trail in Harper's Ferry, WV. With the encouragement of her boyfriend, she decides one night to retire her father's old project-- picking up defeated thru-hikers off the trail. But before she can cut the cord, Carly resolves to pick up one last hiker-- a haggard man named Acanthaster. In a twist of fate, the man shares a story that may hold the key to her past while changing the course of her life forever. 

After a successful run through the film festival/script competition circuit, we're confident this piece has the bones for an amazing short film. Here are a selection of the script's accolades thus far:

  Winner- The Shortcut 100 International Film Festival's "Scaffolding Magazine Best Short Script" 2018

  Top Ten - Best Short Script Competition 2019

  Semi-Finalist- 7th Arts Film Festival of Miami 2020

  Official Selection- Loudoun Arts Film Festival 2020

  Official Selection- Mountain Tales Film Festival 2020

  Top Three - Eleven 04 First Backer Initiative Pitch Event 2020


The Project:

Hot off their previous collaboration on the short film "Love at First Like" which received distribution on Bebop Channel TV, Hyten Davidson and Tommy Martin of Multiple Hats Productions are back, working together for "The West Virginian Starfish". Teaming up with PGA producer Sheri Beth Dusek of Dune Grass Pictures alongside the endorsement of Chicago production house Eleven 04, TWVS has a dedicated group of filmmakers ready to push this into production in Spring 2021. 



The Plan:

      The next few months will be focused on fundraising, sharing updates with our contributors, landing our shooting location, and making preparations for a COVID-safe set. To minimize risk, all cast and crew members will be lodged at our set location and will film consecutively on a 3-4 day shoot. Shooting begins April/May 2021, post-production takes over from there, and we hope to have a locked edit done by late summer to begin submitting to film festivals by Fall 2021. 

      Throughout the entire production process, our focus will also remain on doing good for the environment by personally donating to OneTreePlanted, an organization that helps combat deforestation in the Appalacia region. We hope through this project we can plant as many trees as we can in the beloved setting of "The West Virginian Starfish". 



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $225

This covers initial upfront costs -- campaign fees and deposits for location.

Location and Lodging

Costs $1,500

We'll shoot over 4 days in a large remote cabin, which will double as lodging for our cast & crew.

Cast and Crew Pay

Costs $2,000

This covers all pay for our talented cast and crew.


Costs $500

While most equipment will be covered thanks to Chicago's Eleven 04, this will pay for the rest.

Food and Craft Services

Costs $400

This will allow us to pay for all meals for our cast crew throughout the shoot.


Costs $75

This will allow us to cart our cast and crew out into the remote woods for filming.


Costs $150

On set insurance

Costume and Props

Costs $150

This covers those crucial, authentic costume and prop pieces.

About This Team

Hyten Davidson (Executive Producer, Co-Director, Writer) is a multi-award winning screenwriter and SAG actress. She's won the Best Script Competitions at Shortcut 100 International Film Festival, the South Shore Film Festival, the TSWY International Festival, and the Indie Horror Film Festival -- among other accolades. As a fiction writer Hyten has had various short stories published, including a prose version of "The West Virginian Starfish" in Vol. 1 Issue 3 of New Reader Magazine. For more, visit

Tommy Martin (Executive Producer/Co-Director) is a multi-hyphenate filmmaker and actor. His works have appeared in festivals, on screen, on stage, and possibly on the digital device of your choice. He is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and serves on the Chicago local board. Behind the camera, Tommy works as a producer, director, and editor - often times with his production company, Multiple Hats Productions. The West Virginian Starfish will be his third film directing credit, and second collaboration with fellow multi-hyphenate Hyten Davidson. For more on Tommy, visit:

Sheri Beth (Supervising Producer) is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She produced her first feature in 2014 and has produced 4 more features, a web series and a short film. She has several projects in development and is excited to be a part of the West Virginian Starfish team. For more on Sheri, visit:

Current Team