Great Lakes : About Cast And Crew


About Writer/Director James Byrne

Originally from Minneapolis, James Byrne attended graduate school at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned an MFA in video art. In 1984 he moved to New York to pursued a video art career. Byrne’s videotapes and video installations were exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally. He also directed or designed a variety of collaborative video projects with renowned choreographers and performance artists including Laurie Anderson (Stories From the Nerve Bible), Trisha Brown (Set and Re-Set), Eiko and Koma (Elegy and Lament), and Anthony Davis’s (Tania).

Byrne returned to Minneapolis in 1994 to concentrate on screenwriting and directing narrative feature films. His feature length screenplay ®Great Lakes” won the 1996 Minnesota Independent Film Fund Award, which led to its production in 2002. Byrne’s next screenplay ®Under the Sink” was awarded the 1998 Morrow Screenwriting Fellowship and the 1998 McKnight Fellowship for Screenwriters. ®Under the Sink” is currently in development and will be Byrne’s next feature film.

James Byrne heads the screenwriting program at Metropolitan State University and lives in St. Paul.


Byrne’s Directing and Screenwriting Credits
2001 Great Lakes - feature film
2000 Winter Shorts - short
Will Someone Hold My Coat? - short
Falling Through Air - short
The Runners - short
1998 Under the Sink - feature length screenplay
1995 Morgan’s Orbit - short
1993 Out Takes - short
The Vacuum Cleaner Affair - short
1992 Second Thoughts - short


About Producer Sara Klee

Sara Klee graduated from Metropolitan State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in media studies. She also studied theater at the University of Minnesota. A film producing internship in college led her to work with director James Byrne. Klee received her first producing credits in 2000 for ‘Winter Shorts’, ‘Will Someone Hold My Coat?’, ‘Falling Through Air’ and ‘The Runners’. She has also worked as a script supervisor and an assistant director.

About Heidi Jo Langseth (lead actress - Dara)

Heidi Jo Langseth is the former Miss Teen North Dakota and Miss Teen USA Runner up. Heidi Jo moved to Los Angeles soon after high school where she apprenticed at the Roundling Theater. She appeared in ‘Blues Brothers 2000’ (Universal), ‘The Bridge’ (Touchstone), as well as several student films and indie shorts. She has also appeared in many commercials, most notably a Lee Jeans ad in Europe where she played a young Gypsy Rose Lee. ‘Great Lakes’ is her first starring role in a feature film.

About Jeff Gilson (lead actor - Noble)

Jeff Gilson graduated from Metropolitan State University with a B. A. in Social
Science and minor in theater, and lives in Minneapolis. While doing print
work, commercials and short films in the Twin Cities, Jeff also pursues
interests in photography and writing. He has appeared in short films including
‘Olfactory Glands’ and the ifilm sci-fi hit ‘Heaven 17’. Recent roles in feature films include Ted Newbury’s ‘Hollow’, and John Ervin’s ‘Vixen Highway. ‘Great Lakes’ is Gilson\'s first leading role in a feature film.