"Badass" Short Film

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Thais Menendez

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,245 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

54 supporters | followers

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Growing up in Miami was a wild ride. Simply put, "Badass" is a love letter to our hometown. Think Thelma & Louise meets Miami Vice. Your support will bring to life the first collaboration between two Latina filmmakers and lifelong best friends, while employing a majority female/POC creative team.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

As filmmakers in LA, rarely do we get the chance to work with a majority female team, let alone on a Latine story with female leads. "Badass" marks an opportunity for us to take control of the entire creative process. Ours is a story of friendship, courage, and Spanglish.

The Story

Whenever we tell folks that Badass was based on true events, we usually get the following, puzzled response: "Which part?!"

Well, we can't exactly disclose that for legal reasons...

Just kidding.


Flashback to a balmy evening in Miami circa 2008--think bandage dresses, misty nightclubs, and vodka cranberries. When cops bust a sketchy warehouse party, our unsupervised heroine Emilia makes a quick decision that sets off an explosive chain of events. Badass imagines an alternate ending to the evening, one in which there are big choices to be made and even bigger payouts.

Over ten years after that chaotic night, I wrote Badass as a love letter to Miami and a chance to reshape the narrative. It's also an ode to the night Rachel and I met, and we will each be playing characters inspired by our late-2000's selves. Rachel will also be directing, and we are both producing (which is no easy feat!).

Thelma & Louise--icons only

While our film is intended as a comedy, there is a string of truth throughout: it is a celebration of friendship, of believing in yourself, of having what it takes to do something truly badass. And whether it's courageously pursuing a lifelong goal, having a difficult conversation with a loved one, or crying in a Soul Cycle class, it's a lot better when you don't have to do it alone. 

For years, Rachel and I have talked about producing something together. We have worked in many different facets of this industry and have finally embarked on the next step of our careers with the opening of our production company, Quien Te Manda Productions. The Spanish phrase "quien te manda," like many traditional Cuban phrases that comprise our vernacular, is usually uttered smugly by your mom when you've behaved badly and have to reap the consequences.

"Quien te manda" suggests a risk taken. It is an ode to our bold Cuban upbringing, a nod to the witticisms that have wound their way into our every day lives--and by extension, into our film. After all, a film about Miami wouldn't be complete without a little Spanglish. 



Badass marks our company's first project, and we want to do it right. With the help of the LA-based Free Lunch Film Club (@freelunchfilmclub), we decided to shoot a rehearsal of our project, a sort of proof-of-concept/workshop that proved to be incredibly helpful. Rachel and I got a better sense for the needs of our film, and I was even able to fine tune the script based on feedback from our peers. 

The footage you see in our promo video is from our workshop and is not our final product. We will be shooting our film over two days in August in Los Angeles, with a cast and crew of 10-15 people. 

At this stage of our journey, we're missing a few crucial pieces that will make our film a reality. That's where you come in! Think of it as virtually buying us a drink or two...in LA or New York. Plus tip!

Your support will help allow us to pay our badass crew, secure an awesome location, and produce our film under a SAG contract, just to name a few. Anything you can contribute will help us in this giant undertaking, and set the tone for future projects to come. We plan to submit Badass to a carefully-selected list of festivals that align with our ideals as filmmakers; we'd also love for you to join us at our private screening and of course, the wrap party (see incentives)!



The only way we will reach our crowdfunding goal is if we reach beyond our networks.  By sharing information about our project, you will be supporting Latina filmmakers and advancing the cause of underrepresented genders in film.

Please share our campaign via your social media, email, word-of-mouth, snail mail, carrier pigeon--however you like! Here are some examples.  Feel free to copy and paste, or add your own twist:

  • So excited to support Latina filmmakers @thaismarie & @rachelcmorales_ in their upcoming short film, BADASS! Check out their campaign @seedandspark:https://bit.ly/badassthefilm
  • Help my friends @quientemandaprod produce their first short, a Thelma & Louise meets Miami Vice Latina buddy comedy! Support them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/badassthefilm


We are incredibly grateful to have so many in our community who believe in us, and we can't wait to share the finished product with you. 

xx TM & RM 


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Submit to Festivals

Costs $500

We plan to submit Badass to several film festivals and will need help covering those costs.


Costs $1,800

One of our major costs in post-production will be editing/coloring our project.

Paying our crew

Costs $500

We would like to ensure that the pros on our team are properly compensated.

Food & Craft Services

Costs $700

Keeping everyone fed, caffeinated, and happy over our two day shoot is definitely a priority!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Thais Menendez - EMILIA

Thais Menendez is a Cuban-American trilingual SAG-AFTRA/AEA actress, having appeared onstage & onscreen in English, Spanish, and French. A Miami native and a graduate of Boston College with a BA in Theatre & English, Thais taught English in Spain post-grad before moving back to the US to perform in theatre on the east coast.

Since moving to Los Angeles, Thais made her television debut on “The Bold & the Beautiful” (CBS) and has also appeared in many commercials and independent films. Recently, Thais was fortunate to work on Tentación, a production about Cuban music and dance with the LA Philharmonic. Her favorite onstage lead roles include the world premiere of Things That Are Round (Rep Stage), A Misanthrope (Avant Bard), and columbinus (1st Stage, Helen Hayes Best Ensemble nomination). She is the founder & co-creative director of Quien Te Manda Productions.


Rachel Morales - CHRISTINA

Rachel Morales is a Cuban-American director and filmmaker originally from Miami. After studying acting at the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, Rachel worked for MTV Latin America before moving to Los Angeles. Rachel has directed a variety of projects, from two nationwide campaigns for Forever 21 to narrative films and music videos for up-and-coming artists. Her extensive production experience also includes MTV’s Teen Wolf, The Boys (Amazon), the Naomi Osaka Australian Open campaign, and various projects with Jessy Terrero & Cinema Giants, including music videos for artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Wisin y Yandel, and Kelis. With Rachel’s colorful upbringing & experience, she hopes to convey strength, femininity and joy in the projects she works on. 

Thony Mena - CARLOS

Thony Mena (AEA/SAG-eligible) was born in Dominican Republic, raised in the DC/Maryland area, and based in LA. He's a natural goof with a gentle seriousness and just loves to bring people joy through stories. From an early age he was surrounded by music, a very loud and wonderful family, and an abundance of love that he hopes to reciprocate to the world. Thony received his BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Director/Producer - Rachel Morales

Screenwriter/Producer - Thais Menendez

Director of Photography - Stephanie Dobash

1st AD - Alexia Holdiman

1st AC - Dillon Vaughn

Key Grip - Emma Forhoferr 

Sound - Edwin Li

Production Designer - Genevieve Constance-Jones

Wardrobe Stylist - Maggie Main

Hair & Makeup - Jenny Lynn Bouton & Joanna Klein

Current Team