A short film about one man's battle with ALS, and the choices we all hope we never have to make.

Drama, Runtime: 20 mins


"Beautifully written and directed by Angie Su, Cello is an inspiring, touching visual piece that will remain your heart long after the end credits. Kudos to this talented production team led by Helen Nightengale, and to the wonderful cast led by Lynn Harrell and the prodigy actress Samantha Desman." 
– Nami Melumad
Best Inspirational Film of the Year, 
Top Shorts Film Festival


story first

Bringing together industry veterans and new and exciting talent, CELLO delivers a heartfelt story about the bond between generations.

Music Centered

Featuring a world-class orchestra and composer, music is central to the narrative of CELLO.

a purpose

CELLO seeks to engage audiences by sharing a fresh perspective on an important topic.


Olivia knows there is something wrong with her grandpa... 


He has been slowing down and unable to play his cello. In fact, master cellist, Ansel Evans, has been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). As his body shuts down, he makes the difficult decision to minimize the suffering for his closest loved ones by planning one last concert. But this decision won’t be an easy one to explain to Olivia…




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lynn harrell
as Ansel Evans

Lynn Harrell is a world renowned solo cellist, chamber musician, conductor and teacher whose presence is felt throughout the music world for over 45 years. A two time Grammy Award winner, he is also the recipient of numerous other awards including the Piatigorsky Award, and the Ford Foundation Concert Artists' Award. Attracted by the character, concept and story of 'Cello', Lynn has graciously lent his talents as an actor and musician. 

Samantha Desman
as olivia

Samantha Desman began her acting career at the age of three. She has been a part of several music videos and commercials for companies like Disney, and eBay. She has also appeared in several television shows such as Mad Men, Perception and Fresh Off the Boat. This past summer, she worked with Francis Ford Coppola in his “Distant Vision” project.

Jennifer Novak Chun
AS Erin

Jennifer Novak is a professional actor and cellist. She's excited about portraying Erin, Olivia’s mom, in this short film because she feels the story is relevant to everyone who has loved ones who are facing end- of-life decisions, and more profoundly, anyone who is currently facing those decisions.



CELLO brings together exciting new talent with industry veterans.

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Angie su
writer & Director

Angie’s passion for filming took root early on. Born and raised in China, she has been influenced and attracted by the traditional and contemporary elements in Chinese culture. Two years ago, she moved to Los Angeles in order to seek out visual boldness and humanity in films on a broader international stage. She has directed a number of narrative shorts and commercials for some of China’s biggest brands and looks forward to telling universal human stories. 

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Helen Nightengale
Executive Producer

Helen Nightengale started her career as a violinist performing in many ensembles from Los Angeles to London. She has recorded on more than 500 film, TV and video game titles, including ”Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Schindler’s List,” ”Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Titanic” and many more Oscar® winning scores and recordings. As executive producer, Nightengale enlisted Oscar® and Grammy® nominated composer Randy Kerber, with Emmy® award winning composer/arranger William Ross and some of Los Angeles best musicians, to score the film “Cello.” “The sublime soundtrack has truly elevated the film,” states Nightengale, who plans to produce additional music-driven films.

austin serr
director of photography

Austin Serr is an award winning cinematographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He's extremely passionate about immersing an audience and building an atmosphere that feels believable and naturalistic, yet full of visual expression. 


Alexander Craven

Alexander Craven is a filmmaker and producer based in Los Angeles. His credits include commercials, narrative shorts and helping start a nationwide independent IP-TV network. Heavily influenced by pre-sixties and international cinema, he's interested in cross-genre suspense stories which explore modern identity and relationships. With a previous career in medical research, he's proud to be a part of a project that is sure to widen views on an important topic. 


Randy Kerber is a composer, orchestrator, and keyboard player who has had a prolific career in music. Kerber has been nominated for two Oscars®, one for Best Original Score for the motion picture, “The Color Purple” and for his arrangement of “Over the Rainbow” for Barbra Streisand. An active player and studio keyboardist, he has worked on over 800 motion pictures including “Titanic,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Harry Potter I, II, & III.” The piano in “Forrest Gump” which features a feather floating in the wind, was played by Kerber. The celeste theme in “Harry Potter” composed by John Williams, is also played by Kerber.



The story is told from granddaughter Olivia’s point of view, leading audiences to uncover wonder, joy and meaning of a difficult situation.


CELLO seeks to dramatize the fear, sorrow and insecurity that many ALS patients experience, due to losing control of their body. The greatest fear of many ALS and terminally ill patients is leaving loved ones to suffer. CELLO’s central theme is based upon the idea that each individual has a will and a right to determine how to say goodbye. It’s a personal choice.



Fundraising now active through the Utah Film Center*


*All donations are tax deductible