16 Feb

Academy Award® nominated director Joan Stein Schimke has joined the team of producer/star Alysia Reiner (www.alysiareiner.com) and screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy (www.caitlinmccarthy.com) on WONDER DRUG, a feature film now in development.

Winner and nominee in over 20 international film festival screenplay competitions and labs, including the prestigious Hamptons Screenwriters Lab as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation script, WONDER DRUG is inspired by the true story of DES (diethylstilbestrol), a toxic, carcinogenic drug seen as a medical miracle to help women with pregnancy issues and a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies upon its creation.

Joan was nominated for an Academy Award® for her short film ONE DAY CROSSING. The film, shot in Hungary, won several other awards including the Student Academy Award® Gold Medal, the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Best Woman Student Filmmaker, and Best Director, National Board of Review.

Her short film SOLIDARITY screened at over a dozen festivals, including the New York Film Festival and the Expresion en Corto Film Festival, where it was awarded Best Short.

Other directing credits include “Law and Order” and the short films CITY MINUTES, FAULT LINE and REAP THE WHIRLWIND. Joan has worked as the Production Coordinator on Eric Mendelsohn’s 3 BACKYARDS (Winner: Best Director, Sundance Film Festival; starring Edie Falco); as Locations Coordinator on Woody Allen’s DECONSTRUCTING HARRY; and as an assistant to Director Bette Gordon on the feature LUMINOUS MOTION. She was invited to be mentored by Director Taylor Hackford on the set of RAY starring Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx.

Joan is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University and is currently developing several film projects.

For more information on WONDER DRUG, please visit www.wonderdrugthemovie.com and www.facebook.com/wonderdrugthemovie.

Full bios on Alysia and Caitlin can be found below.



Alysia is an award winning actress, producer, mother, humanitarian, and outspoken environmentalist.

As an actress, Alysia won a Screen Actors Guild Award (Outstanding Performance for an Ensemble Cast) playing Christine, Jack’s fiancee and then bride, in the Oscar-winning film “Sideways.”. Alysia’s other film credits include “Backwards”, “Not For Nothing”, Arranged”, “Kissing Jessica Stein,” “One Last Thing,” “The A List,” “For Love of the Game” with Kevin Costner, “Row Your Boat” with Jon Bon Jovi, “The Narrow Gate,” “Hourly Rates,” “3 Body Problem,” and “The Stand In.” Most recently, “The Vicious Kind”, produced by Neil LaBute, premiered at Sundance 2009, was nominated for two independent Spirit Awards.

Among her many stage roles, she starred in the New York Premiere of “Pentecost” by Tony-winning playwright David Edgar, and starred in the provocative two character play “An Oak Tree” with Tim Crouch, which won a Special Obie Award. Her portrayal of June Miller in “Anais Nin: One Of Her Lives” was critically acclaimed, as was her turn in “Wasps In Bed” at The Beckett Theater, of which the New York Times wrote “Alysia Reiner is priceless.” Last summer she originated the role of Tina Modotti in “Modotti”. Other New York theater includes “Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy With A Somewhat Happy Ending” at The Public Theater, “Jayson With a Y,” “Manhattan Cassanova” with Mercedes Ruehl, and “Love in the Age of Narcissism” and “Dating Games,” both with her husband, actor David Alan Basche.Alysia has appeared on stages around the country; from the Sundance Filmmakers Lab in Utah to The Matrix Theatre in LA to The Forum Theater in New Jersey; and around the world from The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland to The Royal Court Theatre in London. This Fall she starred in the US premiere of A CHARITY CASE Off-Broadway.

Alysia’s many TV roles include “Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order” (all 3 shows), “30 Rock,” “White Collar,” “Love Monkey,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Practice,” “The Jury,” “Family Law,” “Jack & Jill,” and series lead in the pilot “An Englishman in New York.”

Speed Grieving, the short film that Alysia created, produced and stars in, had it’s World Premiere at The Hamptons International Film Festival, and has since been invited to over a dozen more film festivals and has won multiple awards. She has been asked to be a regular contributor – about grief & and film – for the Huffington Post and Maria Shriver’s Website.

As a new mother, she was featured on Celebrity Baby Scoop, Stroller Traffic, People.com, Healthy Child Healthy World, Family Focus Blog, Today I ate a Rainbow, Your Green Baby, and others. She is a celebrity green momma spokesperson for Best For Babes, an organization that works to change how we view and support breast feeding, and gives moms the solutions they need to make it work.

Alysia is a champion of all things eco-friendly, and she and her husband recently used their own home as a way to share information about building green. Their brownstone renovation in Harlem was featured on television’s “World’s Greenest Homes” and “Renovation Nation”; in various magazines like Dwell, Gotham, and The Nest; and they allowed the environmentally friendly construction process to be chronicled on Web sites such as Dwell.com and Kohler.com.

She was recently recognized as an INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST in Ode Magazine:
and profiled by New York Women in Film and Television as a woman to watch:

Alysia is on the board of The Broad Collective, and is involved with many charities including The Cancer Support Community, Habitat for Humanity, Our Time Theatre Company, 52nd Street Project, Actors for Autism, Joyful Heart Foundation, Comp2Kids, GEMS, and Circle of Health International.

For more information:

twitter: @alysiareiner






Caitlin McCarthy received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: WONDER DRUG with producer/star Alysia Reiner and director Joan Stein Schimke; and RESISTANCE with Populus Pictures and director Si Wall. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school in Massachusetts. Prior to education, Caitlin worked in public relations, where she fostered relationships with the press and crafted messages for companies that were delivered worldwide.

Awards and Nominations

Caitlin was nominated for a 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal for her work on the DES (diethylstilbestrol) issue.

IMAGINE Magazine named Caitlin a “Woman to Watch” in 2011.

The Pulse Magazine named Caitlin one of the “People to Watch in 2011.”

Caitlin was a 2008 Fellowship Grant Recipient from the Worcester Arts Council (WAC), formerly known as the Worcester Cultural Commission. WAC falls under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

She was also a finalist for the 2011 Artist Fellowships Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), receiving a financial award.

Caitlin’s writing has collectively won awards and nominations in over 60 international film festival screenplay competitions and labs, most notably:

** WONDER DRUG: Selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation script for the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab and chosen for a live staged reading of select scenes at the 15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. Reading starred Steve Guttenberg (THREE MEN AND A BABY) and Alysia Reiner (SIDEWAYS). Also winner of the “Most Likely To Be Produced” screenplay award at the 2010 Action on Film International Film Festival. Currently in development with actor/producer Alysia Reiner and director Joan Stein Schimke.

** RESISTANCE: Winner of the Atlanta Film Festival’s Inaugural Screenplay Competition. The prize for winning was participation in a weekend retreat with a group of renowned writing, directing, and producing mentors. Caitlin’s mentors were Joy Lusco Kecken (NBC’s “Homicide” and HBO’s “The Wire”) and Michael Lucker (VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN). Currently in development with Populus Pictures and director Si Wall.

** FREE SKATE: Winner of the MTV/WIF TV & Media Outreach Program. The top ten applicants presented their ideas directly to senior members of MTV’s development team on a designated pitch day in June of 2010. Caitlin pitched FREE SKATE as a scripted series. Currently in the process of being optioned by an LA-based production company.

** CAPE COD LITE: Winner of the “Best Drama” screenplay award at the Action on Film International Film Festival. A five-minute scene was shown as a “mini-movie” during the festival. Currently at script stage.

** PASS/FAIL: First Place – Best Short Script in the 2011 RIIFF (Rhode Island International Film Festival) Screenplay Competition. Pilot teleplay also selected for interpretation on camera by the Action on Film International Film Festival. A five-minute scene was shown as a “mini-movie” during the festival. Currently at script stage.

For more information, visit www.caitlinmccarthy.com.

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