Talisman made its final appearance at the highly regarded New Jersey Web Fest on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The New Jersey Web Fest is a Web Series World Cup Event and one of the best reviewed festivals in the world.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a festival that had so much quality content. Every show was amazing and it was an honor just to be selected.” Talisman creator Wayne Cella said.
In addition to screening at the beautiful Vanguard Theater in Montclair, Talisman was also nominated for three awards at the festival. James Yoder, who played Ryan Silva, was nominated for Best Performance in a Science Fiction Series. Series creator Wayne Cella was nominated for Best Director in Science Fiction or Fantasy Series and finally, Talisman was nominated for Outstanding Science Fiction Series.
On Sunday evening, the New Jersey Web Fest held its annual Awards Gala at The Manor, a stunning venue in beautiful West Orange. Guests were treated to drinks, fine dining and a top notch event put on by the staff of The Manor and the amazing team behind the New Jersey Web Fest.
After dinner, the awards ceremony began, hosted by NJ Web Fest founder, Neem Basha. Talisman took home the award for Outstanding Science Fiction Series and Wayne Cella took home honors for Best Director in a Science Fiction or Fantasy Series.
“I am so lucky to have worked with the people I did. Everyone in this room knows that it takes a village to make anything…” Cella said during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Science Fiction Series. “It takes so much audacity sometimes to even get to a point where we’re able to make something. Congratulations to everyone here because you all had the balls to make something. Whether we win or we did not is of no consequence. Everyone is here because they created. So congratulations to everybody. Thank you so much!”
Talisman concluded its festival run with 7 selections, 19 nominations and 4 awards. The Covered Sun team couldn’t be prouder that the last run of Talisman Season 1 was in their home state of New Jersey at a truly creator focused and exceptional event.
Covered Sun Films has completed casting for its upcoming teen drama pilot Insignificant, which is set to begin production in early August. Insignificant is set in the 90s and revolves around Wes Connelly, a 16 year old, and his friends as they each face their own struggles in dealing with love and friendship.
“At its heart, Insignificant is a story about relationships. More specifically, how those relationships affect and shape you when you’re young.” Wayne Cella, writer and director on the project recently shared.
Actor Drew Margolis will play Wes Connelly. Drew is a New Jersey native with a background in musical theater and a role in the short film There’s Something Wrong with Paul. Drew is excited about the role and can’t wait to tell this story.
“It’s important to have actors who connect with the character and the story. Drew and I talked about the role before he even read for it, and something told me that he’d be perfect for it. And he is.” Cella said of the Margolis casting.
Playing Wes’s best friend, Miles, will be social media personality Keith Pichardo. Keith comes to Covered Sun all the way from his home state of Arizona. Keith recently wrapped another project and is ready to get to work. “Beautiful things happen when preparation meets opportunity. My role in Insignificant is a perfect example of that.” Keith said recently.
“Keith is an intriguing choice for us. We really felt like the message of Insignificant and the message that Keith puts out to his followers on social media aligned very well. When we learned that Keith wanted to act, it seemed like a perfect match. Keith is a bright and dedicated young man. He is as nice and genuine in real life as he portrays himself on social media. We’re very lucky to have him onboard.” said Wayne Cella of the casting.
Emily Jayne is a New Jersey based actress who will play Izzy Isler, another of Wes’s best friends. Emily has appeared in some commercials and has a long list of theatrical productions on her resume.
We asked Emily why she was drawn to Insignificant. “I am beyond excited to be a part of Insignificant, I think the story is really relatable to a lot of teens. Personally, the character of Izzy really speaks to me and I feel a deep connection with her, so getting to portray someone as free spirited and deeply caring as her is super exciting.”
“Emily really seemed to cut through to the heart of Izzy in her audition. It was one of those moments where we knew we’d found the right person for the role.” Cella said of Emily.
Insignificant will also bring back some familiar faces to Covered Sun’s latest production.
“We need to have members of the LGBTQ+ community represented better in TV and movies. The beauty of this story is the authenticity. Having a real story told in a way that makes each character relatable no matter your gender, race, sexuality, or age is a beautiful thing and I’m happy to be apart of it!” Actor and Musician Collin Roach said of the upcoming project. Roach will play the character of Anthony Marshall in Insignificant, but is no stranger to working with Cella and his team. Roach starred as Jimmy Gardner in Covered Sun’s Award Winning web series, Talisman. Roach has also appeared in the book trailer for Kate In Waiting by writer Becky Albertalli and in a safe driving ad campaign for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
The cast will be anchored by Tricia Sullivan, who plays main character Wes’s mother. Tricia is another familiar face, having turned in an award nominated performance in Talisman as Virginia Silva. Opposite Tricia will be New York actor Paul Forrest Quinn who plays Wes’s father.
Other cast members include Matt Ingemi, Alex Joseph Theis, Evan McCrane, Trish Leney, Jennifer Micofsky, Kylee Ann Agnello, Erica Soder and Jessica Gollin.
“This is by far the largest cast I’ve ever worked with.” Cella stated recently. “Every person on this cast is very talented and very excited to tell this story. Getting to know some and reconnecting with others has been all my pleasure. We think we have a story that people will connect to and relate to and we can’t wait to get to work.”
Insignificant begins production on a pilot episode on August 8, 2021. The Pilot episode was written by the team of Wayne Cella and John Manning & Collin Roach.
After a year of working on various music videos and community outreach projects, Covered Sun Films has set production dates for its new project, Insignificant.
Insignificant is a teen drama pilot that focuses on the character of Wes Connelly, a 16 year old whose world is about to be completely turned upside down. The series was created by Wayne Cella and the pilot episode was written by Wayne, John Manning and Collin Roach.
“This project will be completely different than Talisman. Insignificant is more of a study in what it’s like to try to find acceptance in your life as a teenager.” Writer and director Wayne Cella said recently. “I think Insignificant will have a little bit of something for everyone. I think just about anyone will be able to relate to at least one of these characters, if not all.”
Insignificant follows Wes, who has endured a trauma, as he navigates the twists and turns of life as a teen. Wes is surrounded by his dysfunctional parents and his best friends, Izzy and Miles.
“Miles is kind of the friend that everyone would want. He’s kind, supportive and funny. Izzy is more of a straight shooter who appears to have it all together, even though she’s got some skeletons in her closet. Much like any teenager, these characters all have something that they’re hiding or trying to work through.” Cella said. “I think as people, we all struggle with feeling like we’re insignificant from time to time.”
Covered Sun Films is in the early stages of casting the project with an eye toward production starting in August of 2021.
Talisman was released on May 21, 2020 during a global pandemic. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a traditional year or festival season for films and series. Nonetheless, Talisman was announced as an Official Selection of the Asia Web Awards on November 21st.
The nomination ceremony was held on December 7th, and Covered Sun Films and Talisman were honored to pick up a total of 9 Nominations:
Best Special/Visual Effects
Best Editing (Wayne F. Cella)
Best Screenplay in a Sci-Fi, Thriller or Animation (Wayne F. Cella and John Manning)
Best Creator in an Action or Sci-Fi (Wayne F. Cella)
Best Director in a Thriller or Sci-Fi (Wayne F. Cella)
Best Ensemble Cast in a Thriller, Sci-Fi or Horror
Best Actress in an Action, Sci-Fi or Horror (Tricia Sullivan)
Best Science Fiction
Best Series (All Genres)
“Being nominated for anything is always an honor. I’m incredibly proud of the team and couldn’t be happier that their work is being recognized.” Series writer and Director Wayne Cella said of the nominations.
The Awards ceremony took place in Seoul, South Korea on December 12th and Talisman took home the award for Best Science Fiction. Covered Sun and the cast and crew of Talisman were honored to pick up the award.
“It couldn’t be more appropriate that Talisman won a team award.” Cella said after the win. “It literally took a team to make Talisman a reality. There’s no way it would have been possible without the efforts of every person on this incredibly talented cast and crew.”
“Seeing the work that went into this project and the love that everyone put into it, it’s amazing and an honor to see Talisman win an award such as this.” said Talisman star Collin Roach.
In addition to the Asia Web Awards, Talisman was also nominated at the Bilbao SeriesLand event in Bilbao, Spain, and The Web Series Festival Global in Hollywood. Talisman has also been an Official Selection at the Manahttan Rep’s STORIES Film Festival where star, James Yoder picked up Best Actor honors. Talisman has screened at Lift Off Global Network’s Online Extravaganza and is an Official Selection of 2021 New Jersey Web Fest.
Talisman was named a Semifinalist in the Web Series Festival Global in Hollywood. This is the first selection for Talisman as a series. The Pilot episode of Talisman was selected in a few festivals in 2019, with James Yoder taking home Best Actor Honors at Manhattan Rep’s STORIES Film Festival in Manhattan for his role as Ryan Silva.
The Web Series Festival Global is still planning the final details for their event as we grapple with a health crisis. We will keep you updated with more details as they become available. Hope to see you in Hollywood!
Ryan attempts to help Jimmy and Connor, but ends up unleashing the talisman’s power with his uncontrolled anger. Things go from bad to worse when a new threat shows up. Ryan faces an uncomfortable truth and a difficult decision. The night sky reveals further complication in the season finale of Talisman.
Ryan gets a history lesson from Pop’s friend, while Connor conspires with Agent Gallo to save Ryan and Jimmy. Pop’s friend angers Ryan when he reveals something Ryan was unaware of. Jimmy and Connor arrange a meeting.
Ryan uses advice from a stranger to unlock a mystery. Connor joins Ryan on a trip to find more answers. Jimmy worries when he doesn’t hear from his friends. A new friend lends Connor a sympathetic ear.
Connor freaks out and later finds an offer of help from an unfamiliar face. Ryan and Virginia have a strange interaction when Virginia checks on Ryan while he sleeps. Jimmy laments the tension between his friends with his mother.
Jimmy and Connor react very differently to Ryan’s revelation. Connor and Ryan have words while Jimmy attempts to play mediator. Ryan bumps into a mysterious stranger who leaves him with more questions and one important answer. Connor enlists Jimmy’s help.
Ryan, Jimmy and Connor gather to discuss previous events, while someone close to Ryan tries to keep up appearances. Connor pleads with Ryan to give up the talisman and Ryan drops a bombshell on his friends.
Ryan struggles with the loss of his grandfather, while his mother, Virginia, offers him comfort and remembrance by giving Ryan his grandfather’s necklace. While Ryan and his friends Jimmy and Connor gather to watch a meteor shower in Pop’s honor, they venture into the woods to investigate a once in a lifetime occurrence. New enemies, familiar and strange, begin to reveal themselves.
It’s been a long time coming, but we are proud to announce that Talisman – The Series will premiere on Thursday, May 21, 2020 on the Covered Sun Films YouTube channel. Episodes will debut every Thursday at 8 PM EDT. We hope you enjoy the series and the tale of Ryan and his friends. For now, here is the Season 1 Trailer. Enjoy! See you on 5/21.