Bite Size Halloween: Juan Avella and Amy Whittenberger Talk FREEBIRTH

MUSE TV recently talked with Juan Avella and Amy Whittenberger about their Bite Size Halloween short film, FREEBIRTH.

FREEBIRTH is the story of a lesbian couple’s all-natural birth in the woods turns into a nightmare.

Juan Avella is a bilingual Venezuelan writer-director based in LA who focuses on mystery, gritty thrillers, and social stories set in multicultural worlds. Juan recently directed episode 815 of THE BLACKLIST, starring James Spader and Megan Boone, for NBC and Sony Television. He holds a Screenwriting MFA from the AFI Conservatory, where he won the William J. Fadiman Award for excellence in screenwriting for his crime feature BOLICHICOS. Such script was the recipient of the 2019 TFI Sloan Film Fund grant from the Tribeca Film Institute and was included in The Black List’s 2019 inaugural LatinX List. Juan’s two short films, HIJO POR HIJO (2017) and HER BODY (2018) played in over 80 festivals, garnered 10 awards combined, and were picked up and exclusively distributed by HBO; the latter is currently streaming on HBO Max until May 2022. Currently, Juan is developing his first Podcast and he is set to direct BOLICHICOS with Axel Kuschevatzky (WILD TALES; SECRET IN THEIR EYES) and Diego Nájera producing, as well as the feature film adaptation of his short HIJO POR HIJO for Epic Pictures.

Originally from the south, Amy Whittenberger is a writer who gravitates to stories at the intersection of the philosophical, science-fictional, and psychological.  Before receiving her MFA from The American Film Institute in 2013, Amy was a playwright and director in Chicago, where she had over fifteen plays produced in Illinois, Florida, Texas, and California.   In Los Angeles, she has worked as a narrative writer for “Episodes,” a choose your own adventure storytelling app, and as a Writers Assistant for Paramount Pictures on their Paranormal Activity 5:  The Ghost Dimension.  Amy has had multiple screenplays optioned and commissioned; most recently THE HALFWAY INITIATIVE, with Leal Naim producing (THE ENDLESS, SYNCHRONIC).

Check out FREEBIRTH on Hulu today at https://hulu.tv/3B4zqvS

Michael Sandoval

Michael Sandoval is the Founder and Executive Producer of MUSE TV, as well as the Producer of NEWS x MUSE, Destination: The Theme Park Travel Show, and he is the Co-Executive Producer of "Hey Han" with Executive Producer and host, Hannah Fletcher. MUSE TV originated as a website covering music and entertainment news in 2012. The company has expanded to YouTube, as well as having its own podcast. One decade later, the MUSE TV Network now exists on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Sandoval grew up in East Los Angeles, having graduated from Don Bosco Technical Institute. He began his journalism career in junior college where he wrote for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Whittier Star News, covering high school sports. Michael then continued his education at Cal State University, Fullerton in which he worked at KTLA as a production assistant for Kurt the Cyberguy. His journalism career eventually led to the transition into the realm of professional sports- specializing in marketing, sales, event planning and public relations with the National Hockey League, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Dodgers. Michael later crafted a hybrid of his journalism career, combined with his newfound marketing skills to create not only the MUSE TV as a news outlet, but also the MUSE TV Internship Program. This program exists with the mission to help develop the next generation of journalists.

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