From pre-WWII Greece to her meteoric rise through the Times Square pornography circuit in the 1970s, Queen of the Deuce tells the story of Chelly Wilson, trailblazing entrepreneur, unconventional matriarch and Holocaust escapist who built an empire based on desire.
Valerie Kontakos - Director, Producer
A native New Yorker, Valerie Kontakos has been living between Athens and New York since 2003. After graduating from NYU, she worked as a sound editor on the Maysles brothers’ Emmy-award winner Vladimir Horowitz: The Last Romantic and Sundance contender Ozawa. In 1989 she directed her first feature documentary A Quality of Light. In 1994 she became the deputy director of the Hellenic Foundation in NYC, where she started the NYC Greek Film Festival and curated a monthly program for the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. She was an adjunct professor of film at Queens College from 1993 to 2002. Her second feature, Who’s on First? (2006), aired in the US, Greece, Finland and South Korea. In 2014 she produced Volta, the first Greek fiction short to screen in competition at Sundance. Her third feature, Mana (2015), went viral in Greece, helping to rebuild the orphanage featured. She founded production company Exile Films and non-profit Exile Room in 2007, focusing on social outreach through documentary. Queen of the Deuce is her fourth feature.
Despina Pavlaki - Producer
Born in Athens, Greece, she worked as a film critic and festival programmer for 10 years before getting involved in production. She was the programming director of the Athens International Film Festival and the general coordinator of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, while co-organizing other festivals in Greece and abroad. She has worked for production company Exile Films and its non-profit arm, Exile Room, since 2009, where she has been leading production and social outreach programs. Her producing credits include Volta (2014), the first Greek short to screen in competition at Sundance, which toured more than 75 festivals and garnered awards worldwide. In 2017 she designed “Tell Me Your Story”, the first educational program in Greece to train male inmates to shoot their own short documentaries in captivity. She is currently producing Queen of the Deuce, the second ever Greek project invited to pitch at the Hot Docs Forum. The film, which she co-scripted, is coproduced by Canada’s Storyline Entertainment.
Ed Barreveld - Producer
Emmy Award-winning producer Ed Barreveld is a veteran of the Canadian film and television industry who started his career at the National Film Board. In 2000 he co-founded Storyline Entertainment and has been the company’s sole principal since 2004, creating an international profile with auteur-driven point of view documentaries, distinctive history programming and cross platform projects. Barreveld has created a critically acclaimed body of work working with some of Canada’s finest filmmakers and has forged partnerships with co-producers and investors in Germany, Belgium, Australia, Greece, France, Chile and the United States. Storyline’s many awards include Emmy, Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards. In 2013 and 2014, Realscreen named Storyline Entertainment a Top 100 global producer of non-fiction. Recently, Barreveld completed production on The Face of Anonymous, while Queen of the Deuce is expected to launch in late 2022.