Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
— Matthew 5:10

Film Synopsis

Somewhere in July follows a 10-year-old girl, caught in the chasm of a family divided over her father’s recent transition into a woman.



Written by Laina Barakat and Aaron Wiederspahn
Directed by Laina Barakat
Produced by Laina Barakat, Christine Altan, and Dave Leross
Director of Photography: Dave Leross


Team Bios


Laina Barakat - Writer/Director/Producer

Laina Barakat is an Independent Film Writer, Director and Producer. Her film career began with an internship for Either/Or Films during Post Production and Distributions of The Sensation of Sight (David Strathairn, Ian Sommerhalder, Jane Adams, Ann Cusak). She went in to Produce Only Daughter which premiered at Cinequest Film Festival and picked up various awards across the country including Audience Choice Award at New York No Limits, and NH Film of the Year at New Hampshire Film Festival. While working with Kingston Road Pictures in late 2015, Laina Associate and Line-Produced a documentary film in Grand Rapids Michigan called More Art Upstairs, which premiered at Hot Docs in 2017. Laina co-founded and was Executive Director for the Monadnock International Film Festival during its first three years. 

In 2016, Barakat formed Wayward Ark Productions to take creative control of her work and empower young filmmakers in the Monadnock Region. Her company is dedicated to telling honest stories through unorthodox methods of filmmaking. With a focus on untold stories, women in the industry, and New Hampshire, Wayward Ark Productions offers opportunities to empower both female and NH filmmakers and students both behind the camera and on screen, sharing narratives that are often overlooked or under-appreciated by an entertainment driven industry. WAP has producer short films Glowworm, Things We Say, The B Movie, and now Somewhere in July. Barakat has picked up awards including an Award of Excellence as a Female Director from Best Shorts Awards,  The Judge’s Award for Best Film at Iron Mule Short Comedy Screening Series, and Best Shorter Comedy Short from London Worldwide Comedy Short Film Fest. Barakat’s feature film, Light Attaching to a Girl, filmed half in Iceland, half in NH, is currently in Post Production with an expected release date of 2019. Wayward Ark Productions is currently in development of a feature film to be shot in Panama in 2019/2020.

Barakat currently lives in Marlborough, New Hampshire and while balancing her film pursuits, she is the General Manager of 52 year old organization, Monadnock Music. 


Aaron J. Wiederspahn - Writer

Aaron J. Wiederspahn wrote, directed and produced the award winning feature film THE SENSATION OF SIGHT starring Academy-Award nominated actor David Strathairn, as well as the intimate low budget feature, ONLY DAUGHTER, for which he was awarded New Hampshire filmmaker of the year and best screenplay at the Orlando Film Festival. He has continued in various producer capacities on such acclaimed films as BAND OF ROBBERS, a modern reimagining of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and the hard-hitting timely drama AND THEN I GO, which the Hollywood Reporter said “provides an essential and insightful perspective that will resonate with audiences attuned to the challenges of adolescence.” He is currently a producing partner with Goodman Pictures, a Louisville, KY based company, and is in development on feature films and series based on the works of such acclaimed authors as Flannery O' Connor, Walker Percy, Charles Williams, Willa Cather among others, and is slated to go into production end of 2018 on THE DYING OF THE LIGHT, based on the novel Nashville 1864 by Madison Jones.


Christine Altan - Producer

Christine Altan began her career path as an actress in the Boston area, quickly establishing herself and gaining respect in the film community for her integrity and commitment to the craft. Christine has since been featured in numerous independent feature and short films, and both local and national commercials. Prior to her career in the film industry, Christine held the title of Mrs. New Hampshire America 2008. 

Christine is also a writer and co-wrote and starred in the short film My Pretty Maura, an intense and dark dramatic film that explores the social themes of mental illness and self-image. Following this, she wrote, produced, and starred in the short film Threads That Bind Us, a mysterious drama that explores the subjects of loss, trauma (PTSD), and a rare and controversial phenomenon called Genetic Sexual Attraction.

In 2016, Christine was the recipient of the Shawna Shea Memorial Foundation’s Women in Film Fellowship Award. With this award came a stipend and a year-long mentorship with industry professionals for her directorial debut of Namaste: The Film, which she is also writer and producer. Unlike her previous works, this film was an unexpectedly uplifting love story. Christine took her personal experience of loss and love and created a storyline that is inspiring and relatable.The film explores the themes of movement and interconnectedness told through the eyes of multiple couples through various stages and ages of their relationships. Namaste: The Film recently received Best Short and Best Director awards through the Women’s Only Entertainment Film Festival. 

Christine’s other roles behind the camera have been as a 1st Assistant Director on a short action film, Producer on two short comedies, the most recent being a Boston 48-Hour Film Project short titled Bearly There, starring Christine. This short went on to the “Best Of” final competition. Following this, Christine produced the short Somewhere in July, alongside female director and producer Laina Barakat. 

Christine continues her actor training with NH Actors Group, a donation-only based ensemble founded and facilitated by Christine that meets monthly in Exeter, NH. She continues to explore compelling stories and is currently developing her next script. Christine resides on the Seacoast of NH with her biggest fan and supporter and their combined family of 4 teens and 2 elderly dogs. 

Dave LeRoss - Cinematographer/Producer

David has been a filmmaker for 10 years, working on hundreds of television programs and over 30 documentaries. Starting out in the role of camera assistant, David studied cinematography under the tutelage of Director of Photography George Hosek. David has also worked as a PA, production coordinator, director, producer and scriptwriter, as well as writing his first children's book, due out next year. Rather than attending film school, David received a B.A. in Philosophy, which comes in handy on set in unexpected ways.

Jeff Kolter - Editor

Jeff Kolter is a film editor and multimedia artist based out of New Hampshire. As a filmmaker, Jeff enjoys working on music videos, experimental pieces and short films. Somewhere in July is Jeff's 2nd collaboration as editor with director Laina Barakat. When he's not making films, Jeff is playing bass in his band, creating performance pieces, writing offbeat prose or drawing. He is very appreciative of the life he's living and the people in it.

Emma Wiederspahn - “July”

Emma Wiederspahn is an aspiring 11-year-old actress from Woodstock, VT who is active in her local school and community theatre. She loves playing saxophone, cross country running, photography and Instagram. This is her debut movie.


Lisa Bostnar - “Grandmother”

Lisa is a New York based actor and was honored to work on Somewhere In July.  New York credits include a dozen critically and artistically acclaimed shows at The Mint, Love Divided By, and A Persistent Memory on Theatre Row, C.O.A.L at 59E59, Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing and many more.  TV credits include Guest Star spots on Blacklist, Blindspot, Law & Order, Pan Am and Conviction.   Lisa is looking forward to shooting a new film with Oscar winner, Ernest Thompson, writer of On Golden Pond.


Sarah Sandback - “Sharon”

Sarah Sandback is an actress, writer, and mother of three daughters. She lives in New England with her family, six cats, and a dog the size of a small polar bear. 


Michael G. Dell’Orto - “Grandfather”

Michael G. Dell’Orto is a professional actor, director and writer who lives in Wilton Center NH with his family. He appeared in the first-ever interactive home video games, Parker Brothers’ Clue VCR and its sequel Clue II:  Murder in Disguise; and was also seen as the WBU Commissioner in the David O. Russell film The Fighter, with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. His theatre credits include roles at Peterborough Players, The Public Theatre (Maine), American Stage Festival, Olney Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage, Charles Playhouse, Súgán Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, and Worcester Foothills. He has directed plays as diverse as Lend Me A Tenor, The Dining Room, Dracula, Sylvia, The Mousetrap, Dames at Sea and King Lear.  Michael serves as the Area Liaison for Actors’ Equity in New England and has been a proud member of Equity since 1977.