'Permits and Approvals,' a Student Short Screens at Nevermore Film Festival

BY Cody Daniel Beltis , March 12, 2021

Still from Permits and Approvals, image courtesy of Nevermore Film Festival

Permits and Approvals, written and directed by student Jackie Todd, produced by student Caitlin Ferrell and co-produced by student Tyler St. Pierre, screened at the Nevermore Film Festival from February 26 to March 4, 2021. 


Now in its 22nd year, Nevermore Film Festival is a juried festival that programs brand-new features and short films with an emphasis on horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, animation, and mystery/thrillers from around the world. 


Named a "Top 100 Film Festival" by FilmFreeway and "One of the Best Horror Film Festivals in the World" by Dread Central, Nevermore has screened more than 1,000 films since its creation in 1999. It has gained an international reputation as one of the premiere genre festivals in the US. 


Permits and Approvals is a mockumentary chronicling the day-to-day office life of the Department of Time Travel Regulation employees. Newbie Elyse gets a crash course in handling applicants from her seasoned and salty mentor, Marge. 


Todd was born, raised, and educated in Chicago. She has been producing short documentaries, industrials, live streams, and short narratives over the last decade. She attended the University of Chicago, where she performed as a contortionist in the university circus and competed in Model UN conferences, and graduated in 2010 with a BA in Cinema and Media Studies. Her work has been featured by The Washington Post, Wired, and National Geographic


Alongside her full-time producing work, Todd has produced short films for Columbia Alumni. The film Lost Boy, produced for alumna Aisha Porter-Christie ’13, screened at over 15 festivals worldwide, winning awards including Best International Short at the Baltimore International Black Film Festival and the Viewers’ Choice Award at GATFFEST Film Festival. Todd has produced four student short films, has two in pre-production, one in development, and is working on a financing plan for her first feature.


Ferrell is a writer, director, and producer. Originally from Colorado, she grew up in the performing arts community, with a strong education in dance and an affection for theater. 


In 2015, Ferrell received her BA in theater from the UCLA Theater, Film, & Television department, where she studied musical theater, directing, and film. Currently, she is an MFA Screenwriting candidate in the Columbia University School of the Arts MFA Film program. Ferrell has written and directed five short films, including Feed Me. She is greatly influenced by female playwrights and filmmakers who push the physical and psychological limits of their characters. 


St. Pierre graduated with a BA in Film, and a Minor in Business Administration, from Portland State University. He is currently studying for an MFA in Creative Producing at Columbia University. He wants to produce content that he believes in, so that others can tell their stories as well. St. Pierre has worked with festivals such as Festival de Cannes and Sundance Film Festival.