Breakfast at the Bodega

New York City, New York | Film Short

Comedy, Family

Marina Barham

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,500 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

200 supporters | followers

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Basil, a talented young Brooklynite/Palestinian-American attempts to live out his dreams of becoming a pastry chef despite his first-generation father's wishes. Struggling to fill his first big order for a gig, tensions arise when his father forbids him from using their family bodega to cook.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We want to shine a spotlight on Brooklyn from a whimsical, charming, and underrepresented Middle Eastern point of view. We're also celebrating a team of largely female filmmakers *and* a cast and crew from a wide array of backgrounds, international and domestic.

The Story


Breakfast at the Bodega is the story of Basil, the oldest son of a Brooklyn-based Palestinian family slowly coming to grips with the recent death of his mother. A talented chef deeply inspired by French cuisine, Basil has the uncanny ability to create pastries that remind people of when they were happiest-- though he’s not totally aware of it. 

Friction builds between him and Morad, his hard-working, first-generation father, who’s struggling to understand why Basil would want to leave for culinary school when a life has been built for him at the family-owned bodega. When Basil impresses a local entrepreneur so much that she orders hundreds of pastries for a next-day event, trouble hits the fan for Basil’s whole family.

An eclectic supporting cast and a wide variety of influences and stylized approaches to the film land the whole vibe somewhere between Amelie and Ratatouille… just, without the rats.



We recognize our team is making a film in very uncertain times. Amazingly, mysteriously, crowdfunding itself rose from the ashes of the last financial crisis our country encountered-- heck, it’s when Kickstarter was born. We believe that this is the best time to prepare to make a film.

In a time of isolation and uncertainty, stories will continue to bring connection and collaboration. Furthermore, now is the time to support local creatives and freelance artists.



There are a lot of reasons to make a film; our team believes one of the best ones is family. Meet my dad! He has always been my biggest supporter:

 My dad was born in Palestine and lived there his whole life until he met my mother! They fell in love, got married in Palestine, and eventually moved to North Carolina where they raised me and my siblings. 

I have spent my whole life learning how to best understand my dad despite growing up in a completely different culture. That dynamic both challenges me and teaches me so much about the world. I want to dive into that experience and show how two people from the same family can experience the world in completely different ways.



Here's the vibe we're going for with our little movie:

We're heavily inspired by French New Wave-- directors like Truffaut, Godard-- and their descendants-- fellas like Jeunet, Wes Anderson, Gerwig.  Breakfast is gonna be a delicious mix of old and new, with just the right amount of flourish. In a perfect world, it'll look and feel as picture-perfect as the pastries Basil bakes.Speaking of which: 

Here's the mood boards for the cast, starting with our handsome, cripplingly anxious lead:

We can't wait to discover the perfect actor to carry this film.  Speaking of support, we should take a look at the character that's been supporting Basil since birth:

Basil's father, a colossal presence in his life (literally and figuratively).  We're hoping to cast a mountain of a lovable man to represent the quintessential owner of everyone's favorite corner grocery. 

The film wouldn't be very French without some romance, would it? 

Barista at the bougie coffee shop across the street, Rose embodies everything about the new guard of fashionable, fun (and frequently flaky) Brooklynites. 

Smoky and mysterious, Rose arrives just in the nick of time to lend Basil a helping hand.  We're excited to find the perfect fit for the role and see what sort of mischief she can bring to the silver screen!

Thank you so much for taking the time to support our little movie! I cannot wait to make this story come to life and we couldn't do it without you!


Marina and The Team


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

Camera Team

Costs $3,000

Traditionally, cameras are operated by people. These people should be paid for their services.

Booking the Bodega

Costs $2,000

If it's not gonna take place at a Bodega, we've gotta change the title. Help us book the locations!


Costs $3,000

We gotta pay the actors!


Costs $1,000

Everybody's gotta eat, and we can't eat the pastry props. Om nom nom

A Sound Idea

Costs $1,000

This is not a silent film.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Allow me to introduce you to my scrappy band of ragtag filmmaking heroes!

Who am I?

My name is Marina and I am a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. I have lived in NYC for four years and every day I fall more and more in love with the people and streets and buildings. The story we're telling takes place in a small bodega and is an intimate story between a father and his son, yet the story is so much bigger than that. There is magic in every crevasse of our world and I want to put it on display.

Over the last four years, I have directed fashion films, a few pieces for a much beloved drag queen, and interned for Nine Stories Productions and Refinery29! All of these things, and so much more, have taught me how to work with others, lend a helping hand, and knuckle down to pull a project up by the bootstraps!

Who are these other guys?

Speaking of working with others, I'm ready to take the next step. I'm partnering with my pals Cameron and Jacob at Failure Island.  We have spent the last four years helping each other create things and together we have created some award-winnding short films, a truly insane children's television show and a whole bunch of other crazy things. We each bring something unique to the table and we cannot wait to collaborate on yet another film!

We recently welcomed Katie Medders onto the team-- a secret weapon against the darkness of disorganization.  She's coordinating this campaign and the production! A powerful ally, to be sure. 



Current Team