Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Horror, Comedy

Jade Zuniga

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,740 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

93 supporters | followers

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Have you ever felt so misunderstood that you just want to turn up your music and scream into your Hello Kitty pillow? BAUTISMO centers around Lupe, our pre-teen Chicana who fears she will lose her punk cred by being forced by her traditional mother to be baptized late in life at the age of 12.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

BAUTISMO is a female-driven story written and directed by Ambar Navarro. The short film will feature Latinx talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Our lead will show what it's like growing up wanting to hold onto your individuality while being connected to your roots.

The Story

When an angsty punk pre-teen Lupe, is forced into a belated baptism, she encounters an unexpected challenge that upends her world. Despite family pressure to conform, Lupe staunchly remains true to her punk roots, leading to a surreal and nightmarish experience on the day of her forced purification, where she confronts eerie church hallucinations and the Devil himself.

Alice Sweet Alice (1976)

BAUTISMO takes place in the early 2000s, during the height of MTV and Pop-Punk. Lupe idolizes all things rock and Emily Strange, and her bedroom is covered in her favorite band's posters. She spends her time listening to music and working on her arts and crafts in her room.

Lupe is constantly being bullied by her older sister, Alyssa. To make matters worse, she is forced to attend nightly church classes to qualify for her 1st Communion and Baptism ceremony, which she missed earlier in life. This creates tension in the family and challenges their old-school traditions.

During her frustrations, Lupe accidentally calls on the Devil, (don't you hate it when that happens!) and enters a hallucinatory surreal, and freaky world...

Alucarda (1977)

"This is a short autobiographical film about feeling disconnected from one's race and culture while searching for one's true identity. Growing up in the 2000s, I identified most with white male-centered alternative rock groups that sang about depression and their darkest hours. This feeling of escapism left me disconnected from my Mexican roots but content with a newfound love for these musicians. It took years for me to accept both identities and embrace the entirety of my background while staying true to my interests and rebellious spirit. (I also was baptized at 12 but refused to wear the traditional dress and day of, wore this punk Dog-Pile-Clash-Sex Pistols shirt instead.) True Story!

I have dedicated my life to music, specifically music videos. However, during the pandemic in 2020, when all productions were halted, I directed my first live-action short film, How To Lasso. The film centers around a 15-year-old Latina who wishes to become someone else, a cowgirl in this case. It premiered at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) in 2023, where I was then invited to apply for the Latino Film Fellowship, which I won! Along with a talented group of 9 other filmmakers. I'm truly honored to be in that group! We are now in pre-production for a short film partially funded by the fellowship and set to shoot at the end of February. This will be a 3-day film shoot for a 10-minute short film.

Though we have received funding, we are still short on funds to pay our Latino crew fair rates for their labor, post-production costs such as editing, coloring, and sound, and a custom-made Baptism dress by a Mexico-based artist Georgina Trevino. The devil character (who will be a cool cameo) will also require travel. We hope to raise additional funding to make this film a beautiful and stylized piece of art that showcases lead Hispanic talent on screen. This opportunity will also pave the way for breaking into the narrative world and telling more stories with lead Hispanic talent on screen."

-Ambar Navarro, Writer & Director

The shirt I got baptized in as a pre-teen!

Samples of my work in horror themes

Still from How To Lasso (2023)

We are launching this campaign to raise enough funds to cover our 3-day shoot + post-production.

Our film is set to premiere at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) in June 2024! See you then!

We THANK YOU so much for your support which will go towards our Latinx cast and crew and help us cross the finish line!!!


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

Lunch for a day!

Costs $250

You will feed our crew by buying lunch for 1 of 3 days of our shoot!

Hard Drive #1

Costs $150

We will need 2 drives to hold our footage!

Art Props

Costs $150

We'll need to dress the church and Lupe's Bedroom!

Dress Fabrication Materials

Costs $150

We will be having a custom-made dress for Lupe's special occasion by an incredible artist based in Mexico! This will cover some supplies

Special Effects Makeup

Costs $150

No spoilers!! Let's just say there's a character in need of this :)

Coffee for Cast & Crew (Day 1)

Costs $50

Very important!!

Coffee for Cast & Crew (Day 2)

Costs $50

So important!!

Coffee for Cast & Crew (Day 3)

Costs $50

Cannot overstate the importance of this!

Work Lights

Costs $150

Be the light that guides us (literally)

Film Permit

Costs $1,000

In order to have a proper and safe shoot, we will be filing a permit with the city. This includes in a few fees for the 3 day shoot.

Studio Teacher

Costs $1,000

Since our lead actress is a minor, we are required by the state to hire a qualified studio teacher to make sure "Lupe" is accommodated!


Costs $850

This will be for our editor's labor for cutting our 10 minute short!

Color Correction

Costs $500

Our Colorist will make sure our it is color graded to be super stylized

Music Score

Costs $500

This will ensure the film sounds just right!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

AMBAR NAVARRO / Writer & Director

Ambar Navarro is from Texas, lives in Los Angeles, and works out of Boyle Heights as a film director in commercials, music videos, and short films. She has had her artwork displayed in 70+ galleries *worldwide* and holds a B.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in Experimental Animation. Her latest short film HOW TO LASSO premiered at the 2023 Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) and her music videos can be found (on YouTube) but also on sites like Rolling Stone, The Fader, and NPR. Ambar grew up going to punk shows and has always been a big supporter of the local music scene and obsessed with anything surreal, dark, and weird.

Current Team