Angel of Anywhere

An empathetic stripper plays therapist to the many damaged clientele and co-workers who frequent the popular Anywhere Bar.

  • Briana Evigan
    Key Cast
    Step Up 2: The Streets, Love is All You Need, Sorority Row,
  • Ser'Darius Blain
    Key Cast
    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, When the Game Stands Tall, Camp X-Ray
  • David A. Gregory
    Key Cast
    "One Life to Live," CBS-TV's "The Good Fight," NBC-TV's "Constantine"
  • Nihan Gur
    Key Cast
    "Westworld," "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders"
  • Axel Roldos
    Key Cast
    (Introducing)
  • James Kicklighter
    Director
    Desires of the Heart, Digital Edition
  • Kate Murdoch & Casey Nelson
    Writer
    The Last Treasure Hunt
  • Beau Turpin
    Producer
    Beneath the Leaves
  • Jessica F. Sherman
    Casting Directors
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sleight
  • Margie Vargas
    Casting Directors
    Different Flowers
  • Jonathan Pope
    Director of Photography
    Hold On
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 14, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    32,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - James Kicklighter

Spending the first eighteen years of his life in Bellville, Georgia, population 123, James Kicklighter has become a multi-award winning writer/director whose work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia.

His first feature film, Desires of the Heart, was released theatrically across India in November 2015. Desires follows the journey of Dr. Kris Sharma (Val Lauren) as he leaves a budding romance with an artist (Alicia Minshew) in Savannah, GA for a marriage arranged by his parents in Rajasthan, India, where he discovers centuries old secrets that may determine the fate of his destiny. The film was an official selection of numerous festivals across the United States and around the world, including the Cannes Marché du Film and was the winner of Best Foreign Film at the Los Angeles Femme Film Festival. Film Threat declared that Desires “matches its narrative’s expansive ambitions with gorgeous visions that turn both Georgia and India into almost permanent states of postcard- friendly imagery.” The Independent Critic said it is “both intelligent and fantastic...[challenging] both heart and mind with a story that is culturally grounded, somewhat mystical in nature, and yet psychologically insightful.”

His critically acclaimed documentary Digital Edition, about The Atlanta Journal- Constitution's transition from print to digital as they operate in a new media environment, is now streaming on Amazon Prime and was an official selection of the 2017 Atlanta Film Festival, amongst other festivals. Marcus Jones of Crushed Celluloid raved, "Kicklighter’s direction has a kinetic pace to match its subject matter, but always keeps everything on a very human level...[Digital Edition] covers an important topic that I don’t feel has been given much thought in media."

He was the Film Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential Campaign in Virginia, directing content featuring Sen. Tim Kaine, Sean Astin, Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Kate Walsh, ("Grey’s Anatomy") Bellamy Young ("Scandal”), Constance Wu (“Fresh off the Boat”), Miley Cyrus, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, amongst other public, private and political figures.

James is developing several films with a southern voice for producers Richard Saperstein (The Mist, Se7en), M. Elizabeth Hughes (Short Term 12, Girlfriend's Day) and Beau Turpin (Beneath the Leaves, Counterpunch), including The Perpetual State of Georgia from Casey Nelson and Kate Murdoch (The Last Treasure Hunt) and Erk, a biopic about legendary college football coach Erk Russell.

He serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater, where he was recently chosen out of over 30,000 living graduates to be listed on the inaugural “40 Under 40 Alumni” for “impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.”

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Director Statement

Angel of Anywhere happened because Axel Roldos, a stripper in Atlanta, met me at the opening night afterparty of the Atlanta Film Festival. He told me that he was an actor, and I dismissed him, not taking him seriously. But over the course of the week, he kept persisting, finding me in every corner that he could (along with every other director in attendance, the purpose of his spending $750 on a VIP pass). Finally, I relented, and we sat down for coffee.

He told me his life story, growing up poor in New Jersey, then moving to Los Angeles to make it in entertainment. Unfortunately, he met some managers that only wanted to have sex with him, not represent him. So, he moved to New York where he started managing a hotel, and soon after, the same thing happened with management in New York.

Disgusted, Axel went to Atlanta, where he started working in a hotel there. Dissatisfied with his salary, a friend told him that he should start stripping. Reluctantly, he did, and then started saving his money to channel it towards his career. He got an acting coach, a local agent, and started booking commercials. Meanwhile, he bought himself an Audi, and relocated his mother and sister to the city, where he bought them houses. He doesn't drink or do drugs, and so, it was a sensible place for him to spend his money.

While he knew all of these people in entertainment, getting high profile clients at the club, none of them took his other endeavors seriously because he was a stripper. So, he sought out a director that might, to take matters into his own hands and create a film.

Moved by his story and dedication to get it done, I assembled my team and we conducted extensive interviews, deciding to tell a story loosely inspired by his experiences in the club. During those interviews, we discovered that many of his clients treat the VIP room as a therapy lounge, something that we found surprising, unexpected and largely unexplored in film.

Together, this is the narrative we crafted — all because we met at a film festival, and unlike the dozens of other directors in the room, I finally decided to listen.

I hope you'll visit his blog at AxelRoldos.com to learn more about his story.