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FOUNDER

Cecily Gambrell

Third generation Californian, Cecily Gambrell has show and business in her genes. Growing up with the illustrious family lore of great aunts and Hollywood icons, June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee, Cecily knew no other desire (minus the burlesque) than that of entertainment.

 

Cecily grew up between the Monterey Peninsula and Los Angeles -- where she was exposed to the likes of Hampton Fancher and David Carradine. At age six she began acting at her grandmother’s Children’s Experimental Theater in Carmel, CA. Cecily's childhood dreams were somewhat waylaid through her middle and high school years as competitive athletics took center stage. However, following a year at Arizona State University as a broadcasting major, Cecily boldly moved to Los Angeles to turn her passion into a career as a writer, producer, and an actress. Her "big break" came not in the form of performance, but it in a far more beneficial shape – as a production assistant on Paramount Picture’s ESCAPE FROM L.A.. While not glamorous it is through this ‘better’ break that she was able to learn the craft of filmmaking…or producing. 

 

Following years of work on several studio pictures Cecily merged her collective talents to become a budding independent filmmaker. In 1999 she wrote, produced and co-starred in her first short film, the multi-award winning DREAMING IN BLACK AND WHITE, a taught, Twilight Zone like thriller centering on racism. The film was well received and honored by a special screening with U.S.C. chapter of the illustrious 100 Black Men organization. In order to pay the bills she also maintained a day job as an executive assistant to the likes of Gregory Peck and Kate Beckinsale, among others.

 

From physical production on studio motion pictures, assistant work for golden era and modern performers, to an in the trenches education on the rigors of owning a production company and becoming a first hand producer, inclusive of the realities of marketing and distribution of short, and feature length film products, including the award winning CHAMPION. featuring Danny Trejo, Vali Kilmer, Dennis Hopper and Robert Rodrigues among others.and the cult hit comedy HIGH HOPES, Cecily has cultivated career experience and a skill set rich in art, and commerce.

 

Cecily brings to 17MDE a mosaic of creative and entrepreneurial knowledge. She strives to make 17MDE a company that pursues the production of peerless and purposeful entertainment products, created with and by like minded, innovative and maverick minds.

Colorado native Tracy Bennett, stepped head first into professional football out of Colorado Mesa University, playing for  esteemed NFL teams which including Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and also in the World League for the Orlando Predators.  After a successful six year career, Bennett moved to Los Angeles where he entered the entertainment industry becoming a feature film Still Photographer. Tracy shot over fifty (50) motion pictures just a sample of which include REMEMBER THE TITANS (Denezel Washington), LEGALLY BLONDE (Reese Witherspoon), DODGEBALL (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn), GET SMART (Steve Carrell), MEET THE FOCKERS (Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand), THE LONGEST YARD (Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds), and the GROWN UPS franchise, 

 

Bennett's excellence at his craft, coupled with his overall knowledge of the filmmaking process, made him a valued and trusted contributor to A-List talent, on top tier films -- he was regularly requested to work with Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Ice Cube, Billy Bob Thornton, and by producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Bennett ended his photogrpahic career with Adam Sandler after hacing done thirteen (13) projects together.

 

In 2013, Bennett moved to Maui, Hawaii, where he's currently going on year seven as the MAUI COUNTY FILM COMMISSIONER.  In his years running the commission Bennett has successfully  increased Maui's Film and Television economic impact from $1, 500,000 per year to well over $20,000,000.

Bennett's overall decades of experience in the entertainment industry has earned him the dual knowledge of the creative and business facets that go hand in hand when creating exemplary, and successful entertainment products.

PARTNER

Tracy Bennett

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