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Jesse Heiman’s First Starring Role As An Awkward Orthodox Jewish Teen Who Finds Himself Fighting for His Life While Honoring His Faith

09/08/2014 (press release: TheAMECompany) // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Mary Ann McQueen Butcher, The AME Company, LLC

After a week of shooting, the dark comedy starring one of Hollywood’s most familiar faces is “in the can” and being edited.

“Schmoolie the Deathwatcher” is a darkly hilarious short film about Schmoolie Lazar, an Orthodox Jewish Teen, who spends his first night acting as Shomerim guarding a body awaiting burial, and ends up fighting for his own life when two henchmen break in, in order to hide the body of a murder victim. It’s the living that give the starring character a night he’ll never forget when he spoils what they thought would be the perfect crime.

Schmoolie is played by one of the most familiar faces in TV and film, Jesse Heiman. He has appeared in countless films, TV shows, commercials and music videos.  His first major role came in American Pie 2.  He has also guest starred on Navy NCIS and Entourage among countless others. Jesse Heiman is repped by Brianna Ancel of Clear Talent Group.

The production team consists of some of the freshest talent in the industry today.

THERESA GALLAGHER  | Writer & Executive Producer

Theresa is a writer, producer and actress based in Los Angeles, California. She is a proud alumni of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts West as well as The Coronet Theatre’s Playwright’s Kitchen Ensemble. She has worked as an actress in both New York and Los Angeles and along the way fell in love with writing.

Theresa wrote, starred in and produced the original comedies, The Bitches Brew at The Lillian Theatre (with Miranda Bailey, Jennifer Plante, and Naomi Odes Aytur), Phrases Of Validation In Hollywood at The Red Room NYC, and the critically acclaimed modern farce, Feeding The Monkey In Hollywood at Gardner Stages (LA’s Top Ten Best Play in LA) . Her scripts have been hailed as , “..rapid fire Lucy Ricardo routines interpreted by Cheech and Chong”-Backstage West, “..acerbically golden “-Entertainment Weekly and “…guaranteed to leave you howling” -Los Angeles Times Magazine.

She is currently developing two episodic filmed comedies, HONEY AND CLOVER and DIRTY LAUNDRY with comedian Jackie Monahan (Showtime, Chelsea Handler, Sundance 2014?s Official Selection The Foxy Merkins.)

MICHAEL RAY ESCAMILLA  Director & Executive Producer

Both a stage and film Actor/Director, Michael Ray Escamilla is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Helen Hayes Award for his performance in Craig Wright’s Recent Tragic Events at Woolly Mammoth Theater, as well as an OBIE Award for his work in Tale of Two Cities by Heather Woodbury in New York City. He has been seen in numerous Films and Television shows including opposite Robert Duvall as Hector in the feature film, A Night In Old Mexico, alongside Laura Linney as Angel in Showtime’s The Big C, opposite Melissa McCarthy as Hugo in the hit sitcom Mike & Molly, as Jose in the feature film Frontera, with ensemble cast Ed Harris, Eva Longoria & Michael Peña and as Angel opposite Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara in an upcoming Untitled feature for MGM, New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers. 

Michael also co-wrote/co-directed/and starred in Cruzando, for which he won The Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor at the San Antonio Film Festival. The film was selected for several international and national film festivals including the Mexico International Film Festival where it received the Silver Palm Award (given to films that demonstrate standout filmmaking), and Best Narrative Award from the Athens International Film Festival. Cruzando has been picked up by Vanguard Entertainment and is currently released. He is represented by BRS/Gage Talent Agency


Diana C. Zollicoffer began her career on stage in Washington, DC and New York. In Fall 2011-Spring 2012, she produced Innocent Flesh in Los Angeles and off-Broadway. Innocent Flesh was nominated for two (2) NAACP 2013 Theatre Awards. Her first screenplay My Type of Woman is being developed by Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit, All State Insurance spokesperson.).  Diana produced several shorts and web series including Q: The Secret Agent Next Door and Doogie Bag”.  She’s an Associate Producer on the award-winning web series Bloomers. She produced, wrote and directed Agape: 25th Anniversary documentary short and stage directed a special benefit for the Premiere Oncology Foundation produced by Dottie Archibald (Punchline) and hosted by Bradley Whitford (Saving Mr. Banks, Trophy Wife and The West Wing.)

Diana has a background in marketing and advertising and also once worked at the United Nations in New York. She was an active member the Board of Directors of for two years and has done pro-bono projects for various charities in New York and Los Angeles. Diana is a special consultant on the Advisory Board for the KungFu World Publication and has been honored by a special group of Chinese Emissaries in Texas for promoting diversity in the Arts.

Currently, Diana is also producing three feature films — Starting Backwards (working title) a multi-ethnic romantic comedy she also wrote, Andy a sports drama and Only The Lonely Sleeps a romantic drama. She is also Co-Producing What My Heart Meant. In addition she just completed Fade To Black a short film, which she wrote, directed and produced.

BO BILSTRUP  |  Director of Photography & Executive Producer

Bo is a two-time Sundance cinematographer started out working as a gaffer in Copenhagen, learning the art of painting with light.  With great skill mastering light and shadow, he moved up and started working as a Director of Photography on a wide variety of films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries.  He moved to Los Angeles in 2005 and has since been commuting between LA, Copenhagen, and London to work on numerous projects.

Bo’s work has been nominated for a Kodak Award, BAFTA and EMMY. He has received grants and accolades for his achievements within his field. His film, Nuummioq, was highly praised in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter during screenings at Sundance 2010.  The Film was also shortlisted for an Oscar 2011. He is currently in high demand as a cinematographer on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Bo has developed his own distinctive style of cinematography with a keen artistic and versatile understanding of the interplay between light and motion. He strives to create an environment of meticulously placed light to illuminate, but never distract from the inner human experience told by the writer, envisioned by the director, expressed by the actor and captured by the camera.

The production team also includes Executive Producer, Raymond Watt and Co-Producers Najeeb Khuda and Andrew Joustra of Endless Media.

Schmoolie the Deathwatcher will be submitted to Sundance as well as a half dozen other film festivals later this year and in 2015.




For more information about the film, its cast or crew, please contact Mary Ann McQueen Butcher: The AME Company:  310 919-4271 or [email protected] Twitter: @theAMEcompany


Social Media: Schmoolie the Deathwatcher:

Facebook:  SchmoolieTheDeathwatcher

Twitter:  @Schmoolie



Social Media Tags:Indie, film, sundance, tribeca, festival, schmoolie, jesse heiman, the ame company, jew, judaism, comedy, short film,

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