Livin' Large Productions

Our Story: Livin’ Large Productions, LLC

Lara Slife (director) and George Antonopoulos (producer), the founding partners of Livin’ Large Productions, LLC, a boutique theatrical and film production company based in New York and Los Angeles, have produced several theatrical productions in New York City where it all began. Projects include work by such greats as David MametLee BlessingNeil Simon, and John Patrick. They have several projects in development, and attribute their success to their unrelenting pursuit of the story. Lara graduated with honors from Texas Christian University. George Antonopoulos, the film’s producer, graduated from The University of Colorado, and entered CU the same semester as Sal Aunese in 1986. 

George says: “I saw this story unfold before my eyes. It is with great pride and humility that we are able to bring this epic sports documentary film to the world.” 

Sal Aunese was Colorado’s star Samoan quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989, and his team promptly dedicated their season to him. Through reflections from his friends, family, and teammates, as well as rare archival footage, Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story chronicles Sal’s rise to the top as one of his team’s most valuable players and his valiant battle with the disease that took his life in 1989. 

“The most talented San Diego County high school football player I’ve ever seen play? Marcus Allen. The second best? Sal Aunese.” — San Diego Union Tribune Sportswriter

“We can all learn from Sal Aunese’s leadership and strength he exemplified both on and off the field”, says Lara Slife, the film’s director. “His story and inspiration still resonates today and will continue for years to come.” 

Sometimes when you start a project, you cannot imagine the journey that awaits you…. 

Our journey with Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story began in 2009. Our challenges were enormous. Some of these challenges included getting dozens of parties on board, filming from coast to coast, researching 21 years worth of information, accumulating and transferring hundreds of hours of historic footage to the newest of technologies and then finally laying out the story into a two-hour feature film. It is with patience, determination and vision that we achieved the goal of completing Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story in eight years. 

We strove to make a film that would not only inspire, but make a positive difference in the world. 


Lara Slife: Director/Writer

Lara Slife is currently making her directorial debut with Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story. She is the co-owner and managing member of Livin’ Large Productions, LLC.

Through Livin’ Large Productions, LLC, a boutique theatrical and film production company based in NYC and Los Angeles, she has produced several theatrical productions on the New York City stage, where it all began. Projects include works by such greats as David Mamet, Lee Blessing, Neil Simon, and John Patrick. She has several projects currently in development including an inspiring film about a Titanic survivor. She attributes her success to her unrelenting pursuit of the story!

Lara, of European descent, grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated on the Dean’s List with honors from TCU. Her sheer talent and aptitude for telling stories propelled her to the New York City Stage, where she began studying with various professionals from Juilliard and The Neighborhood Playhouse. Her passion led her to Los Angeles for film and continued study with the renowned coach Ivana Chubbuck. Lara had a recurring role on As The World Turns and has appeared in a number of film and television roles.

Lara is a sports enthusiast, and an avid tennis player. She is a member of the following renowned groups: SAG-AFTRA; AEA; NYWIFT; FIND and IDA.

George Antonopoulos: Producer

A son of Greek Immigrants, and a Colorado native, George entered The University of Colorado in the Fall of 1986, the same semester as Sal Aunese. He became a member of Phi Kappa Tau, and earned his B.A. in Economics from CU in 1991. He then earned his M.B.A. in Finance from The Leeds School Of Business in 1994, where he was also V.P. of his M.B.A. Class here at CU.

Upon graduating, off to NYC!! George integrated a career in finance and entertainment. He also formed Livin’ Large Productions, LLC with Lara. George always gravitated towards the stage and performed in many NYC stage productions from playwrights such as David Mamet, Neil Simon, John Guare and many more. George has appeared on General Hospital, as well as various roles in many films.

He began crafting Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story with Lara to deliver this compelling, incredible story to the world. Next up is the dramatic film, SAL, which is based on Sal Aunese’s life. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, CU Alumni Association, The Buff Club, The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, International Documentary Association, Film Independent and many other groups. George is a donor to The University of Colorado and cherishes his Alma Mater. He was born on 08-08, which is the same number as Sal and T.C.’s high school and college numbers. What are the odds?