February 16, 2014, 5:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The SCA Alumni Screening Series and Aremo Films invites you and a guest to a special screening of

Stranded in Existence

Written/Directed/Executive Produced by
SCA Alumnus Adekola Popoola

Produced by SCA Alumna Nabila Lester
Followed by a Q&A with Adekola Popoola, Nabila Lester, and guests from the film, moderated by Celena Bostic Perry.
5:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 16th, 2014
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

About Stranded in Existence

Stranded in Existence explores the college experience as rarely depicted on film. Nicholas Hutchinson is an alienated college student and in his senior year. He’s alienated to the point that he doesn’t have a single friend. To make matters worse, he suffers from the mental illness of depression. Nicholas’ combined depression and alienation make him think that life might not be worth living. Despite, the negativity from within and without, Nicholas clings to life and hopes to overcome his despair. In order to do so, he must win the heart of the woman that he loves, Sade, or else... Dominique Williams and Jasmine Hughes star as Nicholas and Sade, respectively. Steve Nichols plays a bully named Devante. Duncan Bravo plays the psychologist, Dr. Singh.

Provided courtesy of Aremo Films. Not rated. Running time: 48 minutes.


About the Guests

ADEKOLA POPOOLA (Writer/Director/Executive Producer)

Adekola Popoola is of African American and Nigerian heritage and is the Writer, Director, and Executive Producer of Stranded in Existence. He graduated with a B.A from the USC School of Cinematic Arts (Production) in December 2008. In the years since: he’s helped others in their filmmaking dreams by operating as a Production Sound Recorder/Mixer on several USC Graduate Thesis Films; he’s worked in banking; he’s traveled to his father’s homeland; and, he’s been working on the overall craft of storytelling and pondering over stories that haven’t been made into films yet. This brought him to developing Stranded in Existence. In high school, he personally saw how mental health, bullying, and alienation affected people that he knew, and he decided that he would make a film about it one day. In November 2010, he finally felt an overwhelming need to write a screenplay about those issues.

JEREMY GOLDBACH is an Assistant Professor at the USC School of Social Work. He has an extensive amount of experience in the field of social work. He first completed his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, and then returned to the university for a Doctoral Degree in Social Work. At the University of Texas at Austin, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) funded Dr. Goldbach’s work. Currently, Dr. Goldbach’s teaching interests include: direct social work practice; human behavior; and research with vulnerable populations, such as the LGBT community and other minority groups. In addition to teaching, he has funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to pilot intervention for Latino youth and families called Familia Adelante.

The Members of Lyndon, Lyndsey & LaRoi Mental Health Consulting are Aaron Bernard, Dr. Allycin Powell Hicks, and Dr. Keisha Downey. Lyndon, Lyndsey, & LaRoi Mental Health Consulting is a company committed to educating and cultivating human character development. Their mission is to help clients define roles and focus on unfolding inner strengths in order to heighten betterment. They work with artists, athletes, and entertainers; helping them advance in their careers while developing personal awareness. Their motto: Higher Self Definition.

AARON BERNARD has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is truly passionate about helping others reach their personal, relational, mental, emotional, and physical goals through mental health therapy and coaching. He also consults with writers, actors and singers/songwriters and provides insight and support.

DR. ALLYCIN POWELL HICKS has a PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health from Loma Linda University. She has trained at multiple medical centers in Los Angeles, presented research on body image around the world, and consults with screenwriters, directors, actors, and musicians. Her work extends beyond mental health and integrates aspects of aesthetics and physical appearance to improve the lives of her clients.

DR. KEISHA DOWNEY has a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology. She has conducted extensive research on the variables related to heterosexual men engaging in same sex relationships, is a contributor to a New York health and training facility, and consults for musicians, athletes, actors, and directors. Dr. Downey's work extends to working as a residential treatment counselor on the VH1's hit celebrity series, Couples Therapy.

SHIRLEY BRANDON is part of the Board of the Ventura County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

NABILA LESTER is a Producer/Director/Singer/Songwriter/ from Harlem, New York. She recently was awarded Best TV Pilot by the Caucus of Producers, Directors and Writers for her role as Director on TV Pilot In Brotherhood. She earned her undergraduate degree in Media and Education from The University of California, Berkeley and her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts. Nabila has created 20 films, 3 theater projects and has performed all over the world including in India, Cuba, Sub-Saharan Africa, Paris, Brazil, Mexico, Barbados and Jamaica. She has won various awards for her films at film festivals such as The New York Indian Film Festival, Slamdance and Sundance. Her life purpose is to contribute to a major aesthetic and political paradigm shift within Hollywood, bringing volume to traditionally muted voices. She is the producer of Stranded in Existence.

About the Moderator


After a 31 year career with General Motors, where she was a sales and human resources professional, Celena Bostic Perry is now a certified coach, consultant, writer, speaker and voice-over talent.  

A versatile and passionate professional, she's also the founder and principal of Illuminating Insights Coaching, Consulting, and Communications.  Her mission is to inspire and motivate, encourage, and educate the individuals, teams, organizations and audiences she serves. She's known for her edu-taining delivery of workshops, seminars, keynotes, and performances.  

The Executive Director of the Sojourner Truth Institute made Celena an official Ambassador of Truth after seeing the solo lecture-performance that she wrote and performs entitled, Sojourner Truth: Her Wit, Her Wisdom, Her Story. This honor is usually bestowed upon those trained at the institute.     

Originally from the mid-west, she enjoys world travel and currently resides near Los Angeles, CA.

About the SCA Alumni Screening Series

The School of Cinematic Arts invites you to an exciting free screening series featuring a dynamic selection of new feature films by SCA alumni and faculty throughout the Fall 2013 semester. All screenings and events will be free of charge and open to the public, although we do ask for an electronic reservation for each screening, which can be made through the website for each individual screening. Many screenings will be overbooked to ensure that capacity is met in the theater. Some screenings will be run from digital sources.

To view the calendar for the SCA Alumni Screening Series, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 4:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago