New York City, New York | Film Short

Action, Fantasy

Sally Tran

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,710 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

104 supporters | followers

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DON’T is a 14-minute narrative short film that celebrates femme and genderqueer identities. The film’s empowering narrative centers on a female character and depicts the triumphs of solidarity and ambition with kick-ass moves and visual effects and four Asian Languages.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are a female-led creative team that strives to bring together our diverse Asian and cultural backgrounds to tell authentic and bold stories of our community. Our goal is to challenge stereotypical depictions of femme identities and to create films that envision a reality of agency and solidarity

The Story

All the footage in the video - stills, video, BTS, unique assets and video footage from the prep and production of the film. 

Photo on set by Tiong, graphics by Ruth Kim and Vivian Zhang.

An action fantasy short film following a ragtag group of fems in the streets of Chinatown who band together to fight off a rival gang and protect their community.

DON’T is a 14-minute narrative short film that celebrates women, genderqueer identities, and Asian Culture. Led by a female writer/director, our project’s empowering narrative centers on a female main character and depicts the triumphs of female solidarity and ambition. 

The film examines social issues surrounding low-income communities and their relation to corrupt institutions of power. Our story delves into how authoritative institutions fail us, how difficult circumstances shape a person, and the value of standing up for one’s community. Our project also contributes to the current greater conversation surrounding anti-Asian hate crimes and safety for the Asian community. Now more than ever, our team is inspired to tell this story so that it can serve as a force of inspiration for our community and peers. 


Many of us didn't see the faces, visuals, plot, or even vibe of the kind of story we wanted to tell in the media around us growing up - and now, still. A lot of us on the team were sold on the project as soon as Sally so much as gave us half the log line. And so we're relying on ourselves - with your help - to realize this kind of project instead of waiting for mainstream media to tell us we're important enough to have our stories told.

DON’T has been in pre-production development for the past year. From scriptwriting, production design, costume design, and directing; our director, Sally, has had a hand in every element of this film to create its bespoke and unique vision. This lengthy pre-production process was necessary in order to ensure that the greatest care and attention to detail was given to the film's complex range of needs. 

Language + Translation
Representation is key. Because the script is in five languages, and each character speaks their heritage language, actors are often speaking one language without necessarily understanding the responding dialogue. This meant that translation and in-depth rehearsals were needed with our actors to make sure dialogue and timing were nailed for our tricky one-take scenes. 

Actors training for their combat scene 

DON’T has fast-paced action that requires choreography and training for our fight scenes. Our Combat Shoot Day is scheduled as one of the last three days on our production calendar. It is our biggest day as most of our resources were allocated to it in preparation. With our incredible team of choreographers, stunt coordinators, and combat experts on board; we are excited to finally capture our hard work combat prep.  

See our first look previs of our combat here <3

Created by Alex Au. Performers: Tariq Al Monseur, Jackie Kim, Tim Wang, Alex Au




Past the pre-production phase, we have completed our first 3 days of shooting and require 3 more shoot days to get us through to the finish line (this is where you kind folks come in!).  This includes our Combat day!

Once we complete our last days of shooting, we will then take the film to post-production, which we estimate will take up to 2 months. This post-production phase consists of sound design, color + grading, VFX, clean up and editing which will be completed at a Post house. 

Photo on set by Tiong

Our film has had the amazing support and encouragement of both local and international companies that have helped bring our vision to life. We are deeply grateful for these partnerships that motivate us to tell this story.  While our film needs monetary support, we are open to other forms of donation and partnerships. Please reach out if you have any ideas of how you/your company could help us, every contribution to this project matters! 

Sponsors include: Panavision, Kodak, Studio, Asian owned clothing, jewelry brands, and catering companies.

The money we raise through this crowdfunding campaign will go directly to production expenses to fund the last 3 days of shooting for the film. We are extremely lucky to have elements like camera, film, and our main stage donated by our generous sponsors! The funds raised will contribute to the following big-ticket expenses on our shoot days:

Beyond our initial 14K goal for this crowdfund, we have big plans and dreams for what we can achieve past our target amount! We need to get more funds into our post which is another $6k - so every dollar raised (even past our set goal) will help contribute to getting this project into the world. Additional funds raised will go to our post-production budget and help with getting DON’T through Color, VFX, Edit and cleanup in a timely manner. We want to see DON’T release in 2023!

We're excited to share our talented cast for DON'T.

Meet our mix of diverse crew with experience in film, fashion and short form narrative.

Learn more about the incredible filmmakers in the Teams tab!

The story of DON’T was inspired by my experiences and observations as an Asian female living in both Vietnam and New York. Every year when visiting my grandma in Vietnam, I would buy her a gold ring so she could sell it in exchange for medicine or a doctor's visit whenever she needed it. These harsh realities and hardships of my grandmother's hometown in District 4 Saigon are not uncommon. The last time I saw her before Covid, someone had stolen a ring right off of her finger during an afternoon nap. Deeply affected by this, I would ask myself, “Who would steal an old woman's ring?”  These emotions were further echoed when the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes spiked in the United States in 2021. Channeling feelings of anger and helplessness, I envisioned a fantastical world where femme heroines emerged from the shadows to fight these injustices. 

As someone who has and continues to experience the pain our AAPI community is persevering through, I am compelled to tell this story. This is a deeply personal and important project for myself and my team, and we are all fully invested in this film and what it represents to our greater community and beyond.

You can help this project by pledging your contribution. Every dollar contributed to this project matters deeply to us! We need to collect 80% of our crowdfunding goal in order to keep the funds raised. We have some fun incentives that you can select, or you can enter any amount that fits within your budget. 

Please follow our campaign! It's 100% FREE!  Seed&Spark rewards us with the audience we build through their platform. If you follow us, it improves our campaign exposure with the algorithm and helps us receive perks from Seed&Spark such as festival fee waivers, etc.  

If you do not have the monetary funds to support, sharing our campaign through social media is also an incredibly helpful way to help support our project. Word of mouth and hype can go a long way.  Also follow our film's Instagram page!  @Dont_Film

Ooof…if you have made it this far…THANK YOU.
Your time and interest in our project is invaluable and we are forever grateful for it!

Thank you again - Sally + the DON’T team.



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


Costs $1,500

The style in this film is very involved needing awesome crew and great styling. Six person team!


Costs $1,200

Our large shoot day of 45 cast and crew will have hungry bellies working hard.


Costs $4,500

Our biggest cost for our next shoot days! Donate or come and work on set with us!


Costs $2,400

One of the biggest costs in the film, our Grip and Electric.


Costs $1,200

Trucking and Transportation is a hard cost that is required for operations.

Production Costs

Costs $1,200

Production costs add up, tables, chairs, make up lighting, gels, gaffer tape, all these cots add up


Costs $2,000

We have some vibrant and interesting VFX comps needed

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Representation within cinema is deeply important to us. We wanted to portray a story that was rich in cultural complexities and gender identities; our film reflects the people we are and the diverse world we live in. This film would be nothing without our incredible, badass, all-Asian, female-led cast of characters!

DON’T is set in a fantastical-realist interpretation of NYC’s Chinatown, a home for multiple Asian cultures to mingle, clash, and flow together. The sound of this film is a mixed clatter of languages; Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean and more. Every character in the film speaks their own heritage language and our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we bring authenticity to the translation and cultural nuances of each language. We are inspired by the idea of not only seeing, but hearing diverse Asian cultures represented on screen. 


DINH, Yên Sen, Yuka Taga 多賀夕夏, Nico Tran Trần Thị Ngọc Lan, Akiko Fujiwara 藤原 明子, Benedict Nguyễn, Tingying Ma 马汀滢, John Yu Chun Chen, Daniel Klimek 김본철, Khang Pham, Khan May, Ngawang, Co-G, Kaori Eda 江田 佳生里.


The heart and soul of this film is in the team of amazing individuals working tirelessly behind the scenes, our beloved crew! In order to create authentic stories, we believe that representation behind the camera is needed as much as it is in front of the camera. DON’T is proudly created by an Asian-led POC majority crew. We are an insanely passionate bunch, everyone bringing their own range of talents and unique perspectives to the table. Our heads of production are led by Asian femme creatives, each contributing their distinctive voice to bringing this Asian action film to life. 

To read more about our crew members, check out the bios below. 

Sally Tran - Writer Director

Director on set June 2022.

Sally is a writer and director from New Zealand by way of Vietnam, living in NYC. with over a decade of experience in film, music video, fashion and commercial work.
She focuses on creating unique stories through her multicultural lens and cares about social issues. She started her film career in NZ and has directed a handful of short films and a feature. Viet Kieu, is seed funded by New Zealand Film Commission, which inspired the story of DON’T. She has been placed and awarded residencies from Massey University, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Script to Screen Fellowship, and the Berlinale Talents.  Since moving to the States, she has directed two social issue short films, both receiving Vimeo Staff Pick Awards, an ADC bronze cube, and a Anthem gold award.



Meilin Gray & Andrew Nisinson of PYRAMYD STUDIOS

Meilin Gray, She/Her is an actor and co-founder of Pyramyd Studios, where she is an Executive Producer.
Andrew Nisinson, he/him is a writer/director/producer and the co-founder of Pyramyd Studios, where he serves as Managing Executive Producer.

Aries Rising Projects - PRODUCER
Producer. May Lin Le Goff She/Her

May Lin Le Goff is an Creative Executive Producer based in New York, with a decade of experience in luxury, fashion and commercial projects. Her approach to creative production places community, diversity, inclusivity & creativity at the heart of all her projects.

Born in France and raised in Singapore, she moved to New York to pursue a BFA at the School of Visual Arts. These cultural influences have had a huge effect on her creative perspective. May is deeply interested in collaborating with artists, especially women and POC, to help bring their stories to life.

JOSHUA ECHAVARRIA - Cinematographer

Joshua Echevarria (he/him) is a Director of Photography based New Jersey. He has well over a decade of experience as a DP for film, commercial, music video (his work describe).  

Joshua’s passionate about narrative and the creativity that comes with telling human stories leaning into projects society and culture driven. Which is evident in many of the film’s he’s worked on including most recently "Hija Del Mar", 2022, starring and produced by Princess Nokia, and short film "Ex disposer".

Cinematographer Joshua Echaverria on set in June. Photo by Tiong

Associate Producers

Heads of Department

Jennifer Vance she/her - Post Producer - Her interests have expanded into technology, fashion, art and culture has propelled her into a wide range of animated commercials and interdisciplinary interactive installations.

Huyen Tran she/her - Art Director - Huyen Tran is a Vietnamese artist based in NYC who combines found objects built into sculptures, and handmade miniature figures.

Aisha Gunnell she/her/they - Stylist - Vegetarian noodle enthusiast, and sustainable fashion and design addict.

Ayumi Ashley - Colorist - Ayumi's work has been screened at Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca, and her projects frequently appear as Vimeo Staff Picks and AdWeek Features. 

Ruth Kim - Designer Art Director - Her work mainly explores intersections of duality, real vs surreal, via narrative or execution.

Vivian Zhang
- Graphic Designer - Vivian is a designer, doodler, daydreamer, and dog mom.

Current Team