A boy’s story of sexual trespass. A man’s journey to forgiveness.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY – Raphael Sbarge
Raphael Sbarge (Emmy nominated director) has been a working actor for more than five decades. Growing up in New York City’s lower East Side, he began working at age 4 on Sesame Street. He has appeared in dozens of movies, including Risky Business, My Science Project, Independence Day, Pearl Harbor and Vision Quest.
Raphael’s resume includes more than 300 guest appearances and series regular roles on network television shows including the long-running ABC hit Once Upon a Time, the TNT series Murder in the First, and The Guardian for CBS. He has recurred on series including Star Trek Voyager, Dexter and Prison Break. Raphael has also performed on stage in theatres around the country and appeared in five Broadway productions. He has done extensive voice work in video games, including a lead role in Mass Effect, The New York Times Game of the Year, and its two sequels.
LA Foodways, a one-hour feature and a six-part digital series that Raphael directed and produced, debuted in 2019 on KCET/PBS and was distributed on multiple streaming channels. The series, which was co-produced with KCET, highlights Los Angeles’ farming history, contrasted against the fact that there are 1.5 million people dealing with food scarcity or living in food deserts in Los Angeles County, the largest in the country. LA Foodways has just received an Emmy nomination.
His first narrative short, The Bird Who Could Fly, an immigrant Korean story, set in K-town, Los Angeles with an all-Asian cast, has won numerous awards and garnered many laurels at film festivals around the country and internationally, including:
• Greenpoint Film Festival: Winner, Best Narrative Short
• Asians on Film: Winner, Best Short, Best Drama, Best Ensemble and Best Director
• First Glance Film Festival: Winner, Best Short, Best Director, Best Ensemble, Best of Festival
• DisOrient Film Festival: Winner, Best Narrative Short
• Asian American International Film Festival: Nominee, Best Narrative Short
• Action on Film Festival: Nominee, Best Actor and Best Cinematography
The Bird Who Could Fly has also been an official selection at The Chelsea Film Festival, The Big Apple Film Festival, Kerry Film Festival (Ireland), New Hope Film Festival, Middlebury Film festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Awards, and the Kansas City Film Festival.
Raphael also produced and directed a short film, Is There Hope for Planet Earth, in conjunction with the world-renowned California Institute of Technology on the subject of climate change. It was acquired and aired on KCET/PBS featured as part of the station’s Emmy- and Peabody-awarded news program SoCalConnected.
Raphael next produced and directed A Concrete River, a film about the history of the Los Angeles River that was also acquired by KCET. The film was highlighted as part of the station’s spring fundraising drive, and currently airs regularly on KCET’s broadcast schedule. It premiered at the Laemmle Theater in NoHo with Laemmle CEO Greg Laemmle co-hosting the event.
Raphael currently has completed work on a film of the Obie winning show, The Tricky Part, based on the acclaimed one-man play of the same name; he is in production on a documentary feature called, Only in Theatres, documentary about the family behind Laemmle Theatres and will be distributed by Menemsha Films; and he is in development on the second season of LA Foodways; and Watts Action, a feature about the second generation of Watts leaders.
The first digital series Raphael directed and executive produced was called On Begley Street, a nine-episode documentary series starring Ed Begley Jr., with guest appearances from Jeff Goldblum and Sharon Lawrence. Sold to a digital platform, it earned several awards, including Best New Media at the Burbank Film Festival, Best of Show at the Aurora Awards and Outstanding Reality Series at LA Web Fest. The series was also nominated for a Best Reality/Documentary Series honor at the Environmental Media Association’s EMA Awards. He also produced and directed Jenna’s Studio, featuring Jenna De Angeles, a YouTube standout in the Maker Movement. The series was sold to a digital platform and continues to play on YouTube, garnering over 4 million views.
Raphael has been teaching and coaching actors for more than a decade, and ran a highly successful Lab in Los Angeles for actors, directors, writers and producers, with guests speakers including Tommy Schlamme, Jamie Cromwell, Grace Kelly (Jazz musician), Richard Schiff, amongst many others.