When Colleen Hammond, who at the time worked in development at Tribeca Film Institute, approached Katie Cordeal, an experienced production accountant, to make their first feature together, they couldn’t have known that it would go on to compete in narrative competition at SXSW 2019.
The bricks for this partnership were laid many years beforehand in the mid-west town of St. Louis, where both attended all-girls Catholic high schools and struck up a friendship. Fast forward to now, and that same upbringing serves them well with their feature, YES, GOD YES which centers on fifteen-year-old Alice who has always been a good Catholic girl until she suddenly finds herself obsessed with masturbating.
In this interview we explore how their personal experience with the story became a through-line during the development process and how strategically making a short film version of the feature started a snowball of connections and opportunities which led them to receive pivotal funding for the film.
Katie Cordeal has worked in film production for more than nine years alongside many talented film creatives from ultra-low budget indies to major studio productions. By day, she’s mastered film budgets and accounting, working on films such as Desiree Akhavan’s THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, Sierra-Affinity’s POMS, and Netflix’s SET I T UP. By night, and every other spare moment, she helped develop and produce Karen Maine’s short film YES, GOD, YES, which won several film festival awards and gained a significant online presence and following. The film later secured financing from Maiden Voyage and RT Features to create the feature by the same name. The feature film went on to premiere at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, winning a Special Jury Prize. It will be distributed in the spring of 2020 by Vertical Entertainment.
Colleen Hammond is a consultant and independent film producer based in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
In partnership with Katie Cordeal, she recently produced Karen Maine’s award-winning feature comedy YES, GOD, starring Natalia Dyer (STRANGER THINGS) and Timothy Simons (VEEP) and executive produced by Chris Columbus’ Maiden Voyage and RT Features. The film world premiered in competition at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and won a special jury prize for best ensemble. It will be released in theaters in 2020.
Colleen also produced the short film of the same name which was a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere, received over 2.9 million views and won “Best Short” at the Oscar-qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival in 2018.
Over the past decade, Colleen has worked with the nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute in varying capacities, including serving as their Director of Individual Giving. She’s raised over $6M for TFI’s filmmaker and arts education programs. She continues to work with TFI, consulting for their development team.
After over seven years in New York City and a year in Los Angeles, Colleen re-located with her husband and two dogs to an off-grid house in Abiquiu, New Mexico in 2017 (yes, she has wifi). She serves on the board of the El Rito Art Association and is the cruciverbalist for the monthly publication, The Smudge. She has a book of crossword puzzles coming out on Tan & Loose Press in early 2020.