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Deceive tells the story of Amira, a Brazilian ballerina who comes to New York to pursue her dreams but becomes entangled in a web of deceit woven by a manipulative and powerful man, who cunningly exploits her to fulfill his desires. Amira is strong, and tells the story from her point of view.

For Amira, dance is a way to escape reality. Deceive shows a survivor’s story from her perspective. It is about emotional destruction but also about rebirth and Amira reclaiming her voice and telling her story.

Written and directed by award-winning director Severine Reisp, starring Dandara Veiga, principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico, and Marty Lawson (Smash, The Blacklist, King Kong on Broadway)
Shot by Emmy-winning DP Wolfgang Held (O.G. – HBO, the Neighbour’s Window – Academy Award-winning short film 2020, Brüno – Universal Pictures, Teeth, Racing Dreams, The Fourth Estate, The Warhol Diaries- Netflix)
Runtime: 17 min

Selections of Deceive, 2022 – present

– Paris Arts and Movie Awards (Best Cinematography Award, Nominated for Best Actress, Best Dance Film)
– City Visions (Sarah Booth Fund Excellence in Editing Award)
– Toronto Black Film Festival
– Grand Junction Film Festival
– LA Independent Women Film Awards
– California Shorts Film Festival
– Marina del Ray Film Festival
– New York Shorts Film Festival
– Yonkers Shorts Film Festival (Honorable Mention: Audience Choice Award)
– Divulge Dancers Film Festival (Best Short Film)

Deceive in the Press


Severine Reisp (Writer & Director)

Severine Reisp is a New York-based filmmaker driven by her multicultural experiences and personal journey to create thought-provoking films. Her works not only entertain but also challenge viewers to think about contemporary social issues and encourage empathy towards diversity. Severine’s love for storytelling started at a young age when she trained as a ballet dancer with renowned institutions like the Joffrey Ballet and State Street Ballet in California. Later, she pursued her passion for filmmaking at Sarah Lawrence College, where she discovered her creative calling. Severine continued to develop her craft, earning her MFA in Film from the City College of New York and directing multiple award-winning short films and music videos. Recent short films have won awards such as Best Romance Film at Los Angeles Film Awards, Best Women Filmmaker at Atman Filmfestival, and the Cinematic Award at Cyprus Film Festival. Through her artistic vision, Severine inspires audiences to embrace their unique differences.

Wolfgang Held (Director of Photography)

Emmy-winning Director of Photography Wolfgang Held has photographed many indie movies and documentary features. Filming all over the globe, Held has been exploring both documentary and fiction filmmaking, in search of authenticity and truth.

His most recent feature credit is O.G. (HBO), starring Jeffrey Wright, which was shot in an active maximum-security prison. The film mixes inmates and actors as its cast. (The New Yorker review). Held photographed Brüno for Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles and The Fourth Estate, a Showtime doc series about the New York Times. He is currently working for Liz Garbus and Alex Gibney on the upcoming Netflix series on the Innocence Project, that incorporates cinema-verite filmmaking and dramatic recreations to tell the stories of those who have been innocently convicted.

Held is the co-founder of the Kamerakollektiv, a group of New York cameramen and women who share their love for cinematic, socially-conscious filmmaking.

Dandara Veiga (Amira)

Dandara Veiga is originally from Brazil where she began her dance training at Projeto Social Primeiros Passos, before training as a scholarship student at Escola de danca Ballerina. She also studied at Studio Margarita Fernandez in Argentina, Opus Ballet in Italy, and Annarella Academia de Ballet e Danca in Portugal. Dandara continued her training as a scholarship student at The Ailey School in 2016/2017. She has participated in dance festivals around the world and received scholarships from San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West. She has performed for the Vibe Competition, Assamblé International, Harlem Arts Festival, and the Ailey Spirit Gala. She has had the opportunity to work with artists Charla Gen, Robert Battle, Caridad Martinez, Claudia Zaccari, Jean Emille, Ray Mercer, Raul Candal, and Melanie Futorian. Dandara is currently in her 3rd season with Ballet Hispánico.

Marty Lawson (Alfred)

Marty Lawson has been living in NYC and performing on Broadway, film, and television for the last 20 years. Winner of a Princess Grace Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Chita Rivera Award for his work in dance and theater, Marty has also worked on over 70 productions for film and tv, most recently making appearances on The Blacklist and FBI: Most Wanted. Marty has been a cast member of of seven Broadway shows starting with his debut performing the lead role of “Eddie” in Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out. Most recently he could be found puppeteering the one ton puppet of King Kong to a special Tony Award for achievement in theater.

Ali Cengiz (Assistant Camera)

Ali Cengiz is a Brooklyn native and proud member of the Crimean Tatar diaspora in New York. His work is rooted in documentary cinematography but extends into various fields of filmmaking. Whether camera operating or pulling focus he seeks out opportunities to build understanding of various cultures and communities through storytelling

Jeremy Harris (Gaffer)

Jeremy Harris graduated from the New York Film Academy with a concentration in cinematography. Shortly after graduation, he worked as an assistant to BAFTA-winning DP Tony Richmond on Diary of a Wimpy Kid for 20th Century FOX.
Since then, he has worked as an AC on multiple feature films and commercials.
He worked together with Severine Reisp on the two short films “Orbis” and “Ruminate.” Both of them have been selected to international film festivals and won awards such as Best Musical and Best Choreography at Oniros Film Awards in Italy and Best Inspirational Film at Top Shorts Film Festival.

Director Statement

My intent for this film is to show how someone’s trust is exploited by a powerful, manipulative person. My goal is to show a survivor’s story from her own perspective without using much dialogue but rather relying on emotions and experiences. Frequently predators choose vulnerable victims that they can groom. The movie is inspired by a true story, which unfortunately is all too common.

Approximately 10% of rapes are committed by strangers, whereas 90% percent of rapes are committed by someone the survivor has previously trusted or even loved. Unfortunately, victim-blaming is still very common in this society.

More than words, dance can powerfully capture strong emotions and perhaps even confront difficult topics such as social or political norms.

Prior to university, I was a ballet dancer with the professional track program of State Street Ballet and Joffrey Ballet in New York. Hence, I see directing as choreography on the screen. My film is narrative, yet it includes many choreographies that are essential to the storyline. I have aspirations to develop a full length feature film from Deceive.