about the cast


Edwin Li (Johnny) studied Asian American studies at San Francisco State University and uses his comedy to explore Asian American culture by exploring current themes in ethnic identity.


Noreen Lee (Jeanie) is a print, commercial and film model and actress based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She has played supporting roles in the films “Ru” directed by Jeff Fong and the short “The Will” with acclaimed director Rob Nilsson and recently completed work in Nilsson’s forthcoming feature “Love Twice.” Noreen will soon be seen in a supporting role in Danny Boyle’s upcoming movie Steve Jobs for Universal.


Lynn Gentry (Johnny’s friend) is a famous street poet. Lynn began his style of performance based poetry in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and has since then written for “Google Family Day,” PayPal’s “#poemgrams,” San Francisco based 7x7 Magazine, and many more private events. Lynn is now based in Brooklyn, New York where he continues his beloved street poetry for anyone interested passing by.


Carla Clay (Counselor Lady) is a native San Franciscan and has spent the last several years making people laugh all over the country.   Since childhood, her quick wit has gotten her out of and into trouble. Ever since she can remember, she has been involved in the entertainment business. Carla’s act is clean, has mass audience appeal and is just plain funny.


Larry Krone (himself) plays one of his own ballads -- “It’s Hard to Live (Buffy Song),” inspired by the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" -- in the film.  Larry is a multi talented New York artist, performer, and couture fashion and costume designer under the label House of Larréon.  He often performs with his husband Jim Andralis.



about the filmmakers

Matt Szymanowski (writer, director, producer, editor) made “The Purple Onion” entirely in San Francisco following a successful twenty thousand dollar Indiegogo campaign, using many of the production resources available via his branding business Wolves Films  Among creating client work for tech companies and book trailers for authors and publishers, Matt produced and acted in the Cannes Short Film Corner film Silentium Dei. In the meantime, once he completed shooting “The Purple Onion” he began testing the film in front of invited audiences.  His chronicle of the process, usually shrouded in secrecy, ran as a well received article in Filmmaker Magazine http://filmmakermagazine.com/85560-five-lessons-from-a-work-in-progress-screening/#.VZLm4UZD6DM. “The Purple Onion” cinematographer Bartosz Nalazek, also a Polish-American, met director Szymanowski while at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. With his ongoing connection with the Polish Film Industry Szymanowski teamed up with more Film School grads on post production with Warsaw based Fixafilm, who came on to co-produce.


Irma Kollar (Producer) a native of Moscow Russia, has broad US and international experience in video production including television, commercial and film. Throughout her career she worked for various ad agencies and network stations producing content for advertisement and entertainment in Russian, U.S., German, and English markets. In 2009 Irma moved from Moscow to California. Today she lives in San Rafael, producing advertising campaigns and raising 2 beautiful cats Dante and Dahlia.


Jeremiah Birnbaum (Executive producer) is founder of San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking (FilmSchoolSF).  A native New Yorker, Jeremiah has worked as a director, producer, screenwriter, editor and educator in filmmaking for over twenty-five years. In addition to his work with FilmSchoolSF, Jeremiah is the President of Fog City Pictures, one of the most prolific feature film production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the last seven years, Fog City Pictures has developed and produce a variety of feature films and documentaries which have screened at dozens of festivals around the world and gone on to be released in theaters, on DVD, VOD, and iTunes. Fog City Pictures has a reputation for working with San Francisco’s most talented filmmakers, cast and crew, as well as for bringing in talent from Los Angeles and New York City.


Bartosz Nalazek (cinematographer) studied photography at the Warsaw School of Photography before meeting Szymanowski at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. He was a scholar of the prestigious Budapest Cinematography Masterclass led by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. In 2014, he was honored with the International Cinematographer's Guild’s Emerging Cinematographer Award for his work on a star-studded awards season short film series, Making a Scene, commissioned by the New York Times Magazine. Under academy award winning Cinematographer mentor Kaminski, Nalazek has worked on set with with Steven Spielberg on “War Horse,” “Lincoln,” '"Bridge of Spies" and on “The Judge,” directed by David Dobkin. Nalazek has shot numerous short fiction films, documentary films, music videos and commercials, and he works as a lighting designer and video artist for Polish avant-garde theater directors.


Dan Cantrell (composer) has contributed scores to films, television shows, games and more.  An accordionist/pianist/saw player, Cantrell is an Emmy-winner known for his soundtrack work on Cartoon Network's Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack series and his innovative and energetic approach to documentary film and television scoring. Recent collaborators include Tom Waits, Joanna Newsom, Beats Antique, the San Francisco Symphony, members of the Klezmatics, Brave Old World, and Fishbone.


Emily Barbera (AD) - After graduating with a BA in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2012, Emily has been working non-stop in Bay Area. From commercials, to Producing and Production Managing two independent feature films (“Prep School” 2012, “Family Party” 2013) she has been on a wide variety of film shoots. She has worked on multiple national commercials for companies including Verizon, Toyota Corolla, American Express, and John Deere. Although these commercial shoots have given her wonderful experiences, and priceless knowledge on how films and commercials get made, her true passion lies in independent film.