For Paloma

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Short

Biography, Drama

Mike Lindenmayer

1 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $11,000 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

78 supporters | followers

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Inspired by a true story, For Paloma is about a guilt-ridden mother who travels back in time to the traumatic birth of her daughter in pursuit of a do-over. This film aims to show audiences a humanized and realistic portrayal of a side of motherhood not often seen.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We're a diverse group of filmmakers with various perspectives and backgrounds, though we all seek the same goal: representation. By having more accurate portrayals of individuals with disabilities and their families in movies and pop culture, the stigmas surrounding disability can start to dissolve.

The Story

"I wish I lived in a world where time could be manipulated."

For Paloma tells the story of Ally, a mother of three who struggles with the birth of her middle daughter, Paloma, with the surprise diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Although the eternal love was always there, Ally just had to look past her initial shock, pain and grief to find it. She wishes deeply to go back to that first day to provide Paloma with the warm welcome that she genuinely deserved.

For Paloma reaches out to those parents who may have felt those same feelings of pain and disbelief at first; those families who may feel guilty or shameful about having those feelings in the first place; and those who may also wish for a do-over for their incredible children. To them we say, you are not alone.

Representation of Down Syndrome and individuals with other disabilities is absolutely essential, as it provides an opportunity to break down the ableist misconceptions that run rampant in our society. While the portrayal of people with Down Syndrome is always expanding and changing, there are still a number of stereotypes and misconceptions being perpetuated about the syndrome. For Paloma tackles those misconceptions head-on while portraying depth and truth in a story that is often dreamlike.

It's a thought-provoking, raw and ambitious film, and we need your help to make it and share this incredible message with everyone on the planet. Any pledge given is tremendously valued and will help us make this film as extraordinary as it possibly can be.

From us, from you, this is For Paloma.

PALOMA, Ally and Victor's middle daughter, has Down Syndrome. She brings so much love and laughter to the Aguilera home and quickly bonds with her father and older sister, Eva. Her mother takes a bit of time, but soon they are inseparable. 

ALLY, mother to Paloma, Eva, and Vivienne, struggles with Paloma’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome after she is born - but she soon falls in love with Paloma. If only Ally could somehow go back to the beginning to give her the welcome that she deserved.

VICTOR, husband to Ally and father to Paloma, Eva, and Vivienne, responds positively to Paloma’s diagnosis. The anchor of the family, he is steadfast and determined to support his wife. 

We plan to start production in Atlanta, Georgia, during the first weekend of November 2021. Since we are working with child actors of various ages, the schedule has to be carefully considered to accommodate their working hours on set. We will enact a detailed, four-day shooting plan to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, with extensive pre-production and preparations in place.

For Paloma refuses to gloss over, deny or obscure the realities and feelings of many parents of children with disabilities, and will create a narrative that challenges the stereotypes that many have. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for us to provide beneficial representation for our character with Down Syndrome, to promote a more positive and visible image of living with a disability. To accomplish this, we will cast numerous child actors with Down Syndrome as Paloma to portray her during her different life stages. 

Ensuring cast and crew safety at all times is paramount, particularly since we will have child actors and some actors with compromised immune systems on set. To guarantee the well-being of all parties involved in the production, we will be taking the following precautions:

- A COVID-19 OSHA-certified Safety Officer will be present for the duration of the shoot to complete individual health screenings for the cast and crew prior to each shoot day's safety meeting.

Social distancing and face masks will be enforced for the entirety of the shoot and time on set. Crew members will be required to wear facemasks at all times. The cast is also required to wear facemasks at all times, except when the camera is rolling.

- The cast and crew will be served boxed lunches and individually bagged craft services to avoid buffet-style catering.

- Hand sanitizer and PPE, including KN95 masks, will be available throughout the set for the duration of the shoot.

- Actor holding will be staged away from heavily trafficked crew/shooting zones.

- Individual quarantine and self-isolation pledges will be required to limit exposure in between wrap and call times.

- Negative COVID-19 tests will be required for all eligible cast and crew the week before production, regardless of vaccination status.

- Those cast and crew members traveling from out-of-state will be housed in separate individual rooms for the length of the production, to minimize time spent around other cast and crew outside of shooting.

The money raised for our film will go toward things like paying and accomodating our accomplished and talented cast and crew, booking various locations (including a hospital, auditorium, house and dance studio), and reserving state-of-the-art equipment to ensure For Paloma looks as beautiful as Paloma herself.

Once the film is complete, we aim to distribute For Paloma to some of the biggest film festivals on the planet. If we are lucky enough to raise additional money over our goal, some of it will directly assist in the application fees for film festivals like Sundance, the Student Academy Awards, the Student BAFTAs, Cannes, New York, Toronto, Atlanta, Savannah, and MANY more. We want to use your support to expose this film to the world stage and spread the film's incredible message to the largest audience possible.

1. Follow Along:

You can stay up-to-date with our campaign by hitting the "follow" button at the top of this page - and it's 100% free! Additional For Paloma news, updates and special treats can be found on our official social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

2. Make a Pledge:

You can make a direct contribution to our film by making a pledge! In order to receive the funds we raise, we have to hit 80% of our goal - so every pledge truly matters and no pledge is too small. Every dollar raised goes toward helping this film reach its fullest potential, and spreading our message to the world.

3. Spread the Word:

If you believe in our mission to promote representation for all individuals with disabilities, help us spread the word about For Paloma! Whether by social media, word of mouth, email or text, each additional person reached can make a difference in our success. Usher them toward this campaign on Seed & Spark so they can learn more about our cause. Here's some prompts below, feel free to copy and paste!

Help writer/producer @april_m_aguilera by supporting @FORPALOMA, a story inspired by her own life about a side of motherhood not often seen. Join them on @seedandspark:

Just learned more about FOR PALOMA, a short film advocating for representation for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families, and WOW! This is a project we NEED right now! Follow their heartwarming goals on @seedandspark:

I'm so excited to see FOR PALOMA, a short film about a side of parenthood that few talk about, but I'm sure many have experienced. Help the team behind it spread their incredible message to the largest audience possible by supporting them on @seedandspark:

From the bottom of our hearts, the team behind For Paloma extends our sincerest thanks for all your love and support, and for helping us to reach our goal. Together, we can promote positive representation in the media for all individuals, while creating a touching film dedicated to mothers, fathers and families across the globe. We couldn't do this without you!


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

Meals & Crafty

Costs $1,000

To keep our cast & crew energized, meals and craft services will be provided during each shoot day.

Cast & Crew

Costs $2,000

Since we're utilizing established actors and crew, we need to pay each of them a daily rate.

Travel Accommodations

Costs $2,000

Many of our cast & crew are traveling from out of state, so housing & travel must be accounted for.


Costs $2,000

To provide a tangible, real world for the film, we have to book several outside locations and sets.


Costs $500

PPE will be provided for our cast & crew to ensure the safest set possible for all parties.

Production Design

Costs $1,000

Props, wardrobe, makeup, set dec - all the stuff that creates a lived-in world for our characters.

Film Equipment

Costs $500

Rentals for our crew to maximize the aesthetic look and feel in the world of For Paloma.


Costs $1,000

To cover any additional unanticipated services and expendables during the film shoot.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Sofia Sanchez (Paloma, Age 12) is a 12-year-old viral sensation, model, actress, and Down Syndrome advocate. She made her acting debut on Switched at Birth and has done commercial and print work for companies including TARGET, WALMART, OLD NAVY and GAP. She is also the inspiration for the SCHOLASTIC children’s book “You Are Enough.” Sanchez spends her free time performing in local theater and dance productions, traveling on adventures with her family, bossing her 3 big brothers around, and loves play dates with her best friends filled with lots of dress up and make-believe.

Aurelia Riley (Ally / Creative Producer) is an actress and producer currently living in Rockledge, Florida. Riley is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked on films such as Iron Man 3, Rock of Ages, and played the lead role in the feature film The Unbroken, alongside Daniel Baldwin and Warwick Davis. Riley has also hosted The Catch: Costa Rica for THE OUTDOOR CHANNEL and is a competitive equestrian and ostrich racer.

Phillip Bruenn (Victor) is best known for AMAZON's Emmy Award winning Outstanding Limited Series, Studio City (2019). The series earned him a nomination within the Best Ensemble Cast Category at the ISA AWARDS, and DIGITAL JOURNAL dubbed him the “best-kept secret” of the show. Bruenn recently starred in The Outsider (2019) with Trace Adkins and Danny Trejo. He’s also acted alongside comedic giants, Robin Williams in The Crazy Ones (2013) and Danny DeVito in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2019). 

Suraj Savkoor (Director) was born and brought up in Bengaluru, India where he first developed a passion for the performing arts and decided to embark on a journey to film school. He received a second undergraduate degree from Vancouver Film School, and is currently in the process of completing an MFA in Film & Television at SCAD, Atlanta. Suraj has written, produced, and directed several short films and has filled numerous roles on the production side of the industry, granting him a ton of technical knowledge and experience. Cohesively, he has written several hundred short screenplays, a number of original TV pilots and a handful of feature film screenplays. Suraj has even had the opportunity to write a feature screenplay for a studio that has been acquired by NETFLIX and will be hitting screens in 2022. Suraj's love for writing is unparalleled, and his biggest goal is to make it as an accomplished screenwriter in Hollywood.

April Aguilera (Writer / Creative Producer) is a writer, producer, and performer currently residing in Savannah, Georgia. Aguilera is completing an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has written and performed in several projects, including: the one woman acoustic musical, A Sea Full of Stars, in New York City in 2019; the web series Cinco De Mayo is Not a Thing currently in post production; and is on the writing team creating a brand new sitcom for the Savannah College of Art and Design.  

Mike Lindenmayer (Producer) is a writer, director and producer currently pursuing his M.F.A. in Film & Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. Mike has been involved in numerous festival award-winning short films (most notably Between Us [2014], STARchitects [2017] and Far Out [2020]), filling various roles throughout pre-production and production – though directing and producing are his true passions. With a blended background in film, architecture (Penn State B.Arch '17) and marketing, Mike’s filmmaking roots are embedded in a love for design and emotion. He is always looking for a new story and a creative way to showcase it. Check out more of his work at

Charde' Edney (Co-Producer) is a director, writer, and producer located in Atlanta, Georgia. She works alongside her production company, CINEMAC LLC, on several different projects. Most notably, Charde' and Cinemac produced a commercial which aired on XFINITY TV and directed a video shoot for a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED featured designer swimwear line. As of late, she is currently working on a proof of concept for a mystery television show and pursuing a BFA in Film & Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Bob O'Reilly (Director of Photography) is a SCAD alumni and an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. For the last 14 years he has worked at HSC.TV, a New York based production company where he has worked on everything from live sports to documentaries, from music videos to TV shows, for clients such as ABC, FOX, ESPN, NIKE, MORGAN STANLEY, COCA-COLA, SAK'S FIFTH AVENUE and many more. Working his way up from PA to Cinematographer, Bob has built up experience in almost in every role on set. He enjoys collaborating with others creatively to tell powerful stories that both entertain and inspire.

Christell Holmes (Production Designer) is an Art Director and Production Designer residing in Savannah, GA, where she is completing a degree in Film & Television from SCAD. Christell has designed several shorts, most recently including Orand (2020), Exposure (2020) and Board Games (2021). Christell is also working on a Lifetime film, Psycho Swim Instructor, in LA.

Laura Canavan Hayes (Consulting Producer) is an Irish storyteller through theatre, film and television. Laura cut her TV writing teeth in the world of soap, as a storyline writer ON the Irish soap, Fair City (RTÉ) in 2018-2019. She has just finished a two-year re-write commission on a romantic comedy feature film, Lizzie Walker Slept Here, set in Ireland, alongside the original writer of the script, Michael Zam (Feud).  Currently, she is adapting Mamie Cadden: Backstreet Abortionist by Ray Kavanagh for the screen, as a feature, adapted from a book she purchased the rights to herself. 

Joseph Kibler (Consulting Producer) is an actor, writer, producer and activist who has appeared on shows like CSI: Cyber and Blood Relatives, and also produced an award-winning documentary entitled Walk On (2013). Joseph is not only co-produced the film, but also stars as part of the subject matter. The film raises awareness about HIV/AIDS following Joseph and others in their journey as young survivors born with HIV. Walk On has one Best Documentary at both TIMECODE: NOLA FILM FESTIVAL & BURBANK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Joseph was also the recipient of the 2014 Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Scholarship.

Leah Romond (Consulting Producer) is an attorney, producer and advocate for full disability inclusion in film and television production. Leah's recent project, Best Summer Ever, is a feature-length original musical created entirely by an integrated cast and crew of talent with and without disabilities. Leah is on a mission to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

Elisabeth Good (Casting Director) is the talent manager for GAMUT MANAGEMENT with Cerebral Palsy. 
She has a background in theatre, film and casting. Gamut represents people with disabilities to create a marketplace where businesses and industries can connect with PWDs. They provide their members an opportunity to have a say in how brands market to them, create products for them and represent them in pop culture. See more of their goals and mission at

Current Team