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Shakti Productions is an independent film production company - committed to producing high-quality, low-budget original movies.

  Shakti Productions presents The Tollbooth by Debra Kirschner  
In production summer of 2002!
The Tollbooth follows the story of three Jewish sisters who come of age and question the values of their traditional parents.  The story is told from the perspective of the youngest daughter, Sarabeth, who is an ambitious painter, photographer and activist.
  Starring Marla Sokoloff as Sarabeth

Rising Star Marla Sokoloff
* Delights fans weekly on the Golden Globe & Emmy-winning series The Practice
* Starred in three major studio movies Whatever it Takes, Sugar and Spice and Dude, Where’s My Car
* Landed a recurring guest starring role on Friends as Joey’s sister Dina Tribiani
*  Lead singer, song-writer and guitarist of the band Smittin (as seen on Craig Kilbourne)

“It takes sass to steal scenes from the partners on The Practice” ~ Entertainment Weekly

click for more information on Ms. Solokoff

The Tollbooth: Cast | Synopsis | Production Team | Sarabeth's Art | Quicktime

The Tollbooth - Cast

Stay tuned for more exciting cast updates!

  The Tollbooth - Synopsis

The Tollbooth a screenplay by Debra Kirschner:

At any tollbooth, there is a charge to move forward. Debra Kirschner's The Tollbooth explores the price of progress by following an American Jewish family as three daughters come of age and question the values of their parents.

The story is told from the perspective of the youngest daughter, Sarabeth, who is an ambitious painter right out of college. As Sarabeth juggles her art career, waitressing job, long-distance boyfriend, and a tested set of values, she learns from her sisters’ struggles and parents’ wisdom.  The film explores themes of religion vs. modernism, career vs. family and love vs. individuality as  each character is forced to make important life choices and sacrifices.

An exciting element of The Tollbooth is Sarabeth’s art, which highlights her emotional journey, politics and changing ideals throughout the film.

Shakti Productions has commissioned accomplished painter Sandra Seminski to create this body of work.  Ms. Seminski and Ms. Kirschner are currently collaborating to create a series of paintings based on Sarabeth’s character.

We are in pre-production to shoot a five-minute trailer -- coming soon to this site!

Shakti Productions has some financing in place for The Tollbooth.  We are currently seeking private equity investors for the remainder.

The Tollbooth - Production Team

Debra Kirschner, Producer, Writer and Director

Ms. Kirschner wrote The Tollbooth and will serve as Director and Key Editor. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Playwriting and Women’s Studies and is a graduate of New York University’s Film Intensive Program.  Ms. Kirschner wrote, produced, directed and edited the short film, Changing Clothes, which was screened at national and international festivals throughout 1999, receiving an Honorable Mention award at the Philafilm International Film Festival in Philadelphia.  Ms. Kirschner recently finished another short project called Walking Home, which she intends to submit to festivals throughout 2002.  Her screenplay, The Mammaries, was a semi-finalist in the Lone Star Screenwriting Competition as well as the Independent Feature Project’s From Script to Screen competition and The New Century Writer competition. At Rutgers University, Ms. Kirschner’s series of one-act plays, The House That Jack Built and Other Feminist Fairy Tales, was produced at the Cabaret Theater in 1994. In 1995, she was part of a Rutgers research team, which conducted a survey through the Women’s Studies Department on sexual harassment in schools and co-wrote a report on the results entitled Nobody Should Joke Around Like That, which can now be found as a teaching mechanism in various New Jersey public schools.  She has published feature articles in Network Magazine including the October 1995 cover story, “Homosexuality and Judaism.”  Currently Ms. Kirschner works as a freelance editor on independent film and video projects and teaches a filmmaking course through

Adrienne Stern, Casting Director
Ms. Stern has cast more than thirty films, including Sundance 2001 Grand Jury Award winner, The Believer, directed by Henry Bean and distributed by Seven Arts and Showtime; Jill Sprecher’s 13 Conversations About One Thing starring Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, Alan Arkin and Amy Irving; The Five Senses (Cannes 1999) staring Mary Louise Parker, directed by Jeremy Podeswa, distributed by Fine Line Releasing; Sundance features Whatever distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and Girlstown distributed by October Films; and Sundance Channel’s The Farmhouse starring  Blythe Danner, which premiered in South by Southwest in 1998.  She has also worked extensively in television (including Fox’s That 70’s Show, Lifetime’s Pyrite) and theater (including Ensemble Studio Theater, Ubu Repertory Theater and The Vineyard Theater).  Ms. Stern has been casting for the Sundance Institute New York Screenplay Reading Series from 1996-2001 and she is a member of New York Women in Film and Television.

Annie Flocco, Line Producer
Ms. Flocco Co-Produced and Line Produced Independent Spirit Award nominee Acts of Worship, which appeared at Sundance 2001, Rotterdam Film Festival and Santa Barbara Film Festival; where it won awards for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Actress.  That same year, Ms. Flocco Line Produced Super Troopers - (Sundance 2001, South by Southwest 2001, acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures) - a low budget indie that has been in the box office top twenty for two weeks to date.  She Co-Produced and Line Produced Follow Me Outside (CMJ Film & Music Festival - Best Feature Film), Jump (starring James LeGros, Mike McGlone, Ione Skye and Amanda Peet) and And She Was (starring Burt Yong, Patti D’Arbanville and Mario Cantone). She currently works as the Director of Development for Camera Planet Pictures under the leadership of Steve Carliss, former President of The Shooting Gallery.

Lynn Ann Klotz, Production Counsel
Ms. Klotz specializes in entertainment law with extensive experience representing filmmakers, producers and distributors in all legal aspects of independent narrative and documentary feature film production and distribution.  Current production counsel work includes Rent-A-Husband, an Italian/US co-production starring Maria Grazia Cuccinotti and Blue Triangle starring Summer Phoenix and Armand Assante.  Recent narrative projects include, Lisa Picard is Famous (Cannes 2000), Godass  (Showtime 2001; Best Film Award),  Macbeth in Manhattan, (SOHO Entertainment 2000), High Art (October Films 1999; Cannes and Sundance 1998) and River Red (Castle Hill 1999; Sundance 1998).  Her work includes numerous documentaries, including Player Hating, which she is also producing with filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West and Private Dicks (for HBO, 2000), War Zone (Lifesize Entertainment and Releasing 2000, Berlin 1998) and The Smith Family for PBS’ documentary series P.O.V. (to air 2002 season).

Sandra Seminski, Artist
Ms. Seminski graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts in May 2000.  She received an Honorable Mention from the Photographer’s Forum Annual College Photography Contest in 2001.  Her paintings have been shown throughout New Jersey.  She had an entire show dedicated to her work in New Brunswick in April 2000.  She currently studies graphic design at the Katharine Gibbs School for Visual Communications.  An exciting element of The Tollbooth is Sarabeth’s art, which highlights her emotional journey, politics and changing ideals throughout the film.  Shakti Productions has commissioned Ms. Seminski to create this body of work.

The Tollbooth - Sarabeth's Art

  The Tollbooth - Quicktime clips


Future Projects by Shakti Productions
Shakti Productions owns the rights to Debra Kirschner’s script The Mammaries, which is a satire that deals with gender-stereotyping with humor and insight.

Ms. Kirschner is currently writing a script about surviving sexual violence.  In the future, we plan to support fellow up and coming writers and directors who are committed to telling diverse and entertaining women’s stories.   

If you would like to know more about our future projects please contact us at [email protected].



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