K. Lorrel Manning and Michael Cuomo

Creators of 'Happy New Year'

K. Lorrel Manning is a writer, director and musician who currently resides in New York City. His first feature film Happy New Year had its World Premiere at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival in the Best Narrative Competition. Happy New Year tells the story of “Sgt. Cole Lewis” who, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital. Through humor and pathos, Lewis becomes a ray of hope in the ward, as the men find a way to combat their post-war grief. However, just as their luck starts to change, Lewis soon faces his fiercest battle yet. Happy New Year is based on Manning's play and award-winning short film of the same name. His additional works include A&J Rule the Universe (Off-Broadway, 2006) and Wool (New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fellowship. His other plays have been developed at theatres throughout New York City, including the Roundabout, Rattlestick and the Barrow Group. He holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University. He is the lead singer of the politically-charged rock band La Res.

Michael Cuomo recently starred in and produced the critically-acclaimed, feature film Happy New Year, which was written and directed by K. Lorrel Manning, executive produced by Iain Smith (Wanted, Children of Men, The Fountain) and received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival (Narrative Competition). Cuomo reprised his dual roles as lead actor and producer from the award-winning short film and original off-broadway production. Happy New Year expects a theatrical release in November 2011.

Additional film credits include: Bandslam (Summit Entertainment/Walden, dir. Todd Graff) and the independent hit Four Eyed Monsters (IFC Films). He has performed at Off-Broadway theatres throughout NYC, including Rattlestick, Naked Angels and the Barrow Group. Cuomo trained with Joseph Chaikin, Brad Calcaterra and Seth Barrish in New York. He currently resides in New York City.