Covered Sun Films was founded in April, 2016 by Wayne Cella and his longtime collaborator John Manning. The micro-short film The Thing in the Basement followed in June 2016.
In January 2018, John and Wayne collaborated on a short Sci Fi/Action script called Talisman. With script in hand, Covered Sun Films turned their sights toward casting the project and shot the short in August 2018. After completion of filming, it was decided to spin Talisman off into a web series.
The Pilot episode of Talisman made its World Premiere in Manhattan at the STORIES Film Festival where James Yoder, who plays Ryan, took home Best Actor Honors and Talisman was named a Finalist.
In August 2019, the rest of the first season was shot in South Jersey. Philadelphia-based Maestro Filmworks came on board to co-produce episodes 3 through 9. The series was released to the public on May 21, 2020 with a total run time of 60 minutes.
To date, Talisman has received a total of 10 Festival selections, 30 nominations and 11 Wins – Best Actor – James Yoder (Stories), Best Science Fiction (Asia Web Awards) Outstanding Science Fiction (NJ Webfest) and Best Director Science Fiction – Wayne Cella (NJ Webfest), Best Debut Filmmaker, Best Web Series, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Writing, Best Producers and Best Actor – James Yoder (Milestone International Film Festival) and Best Web Series (Wisdom Tree International Film Festival).
Covered Sun Films also produced 3 music videos and a series of community outreach videos in 2020/2021. The teen drama pilot Insignificant, was shot in August 2021. Insignificant was written by Wayne Cella, John Manning & Collin Roach and stars Drew Margolis, Collin Roach, Emily Jayne, Keith Pichardo, Kylee Ann Agnello, Tricia Sullivan and Paul Forrest Quinn. Insignificant was named an Official Selection of the 2022 edition of the NJ WebFest.
In August of 2021, writer/actor/musician and frequent collaborator, Collin Roach joined Covered Sun Films full time to help develop and produce projects for the studio. Roach appeared as Jimmy Gardner in Talisman, Anthony Marshall in Insignificant and has appeared in numerous stage productions, advertising campaigns, the trailer for Becky Albertalli’s book Kate in Waiting. Law and Order: SVU and the upcoming feature film Brave the Dark. Roach is also a musician and owns a record label called Y.E.S. Squad Media. Roach will focus on marketing and developing future projects.
In 2022, Covered Sun will co-produce the Collin Roach penned short film Blink Twice.
Writer/Director Asha Brown (We Bring the Rain, Witchin’, The Friend Zone) joined Covered Sun Films in May of 2022. Brown will help create, develop and market new projects as well as direct future content. Brown worked with Covered Sun on Insignificant as an Associate Director and will helm the final episodes of Season 1 of the series.
Insignificant made its world premiere on September 24th at the 2022 NJ Webfest in Montclair, where it was nominated for two awards: Drew Margolis for Best Actor in a Drama or Thriller for his portrayal of Wes Connelly and Wayne Cella, who won for Best Director in a Drama. The series was named a Finalist at the New York International Film Awards in November 2022 and took home an Honorable Mention for Best Web Series and a Grand Jury Award for Best Ensemble. The series was also named an Official Selection of the LGBTQ Unbordered International Film Festival, where it was honored with an award for Exceptional Merit.
The series went on to win 5 awards at the Best Actor and Director Awards in New York. Drew Margolis won two awards for Best Actor (Drama, LGBTQ), Emily Jayne won for Best Actress in a Drama and the directing duo of Asha Brown and Wayne Cella won Best Director LGBTQ and Best Director of a Drama honors. insignificant was an official selection of the Wisdom Tree International Film Festival and the Indie Cine Tube Awards, where it won Best Actor (Drew Margolis), Best Actress (Emily Jayne), Best Supporting Actor (Collin Roach), Best Directors (Wayne Cella and Asha Brown) and Best Web/New Media Series.
insignificant launched January 4th on Amazon’s Prime Video. The series is also available for purchase and rental on Vimeo.
Cella is set to direct the short film Passerby in February 2023.