Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Thriller

Rivkah Reyes

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $37,052 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

238 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


Gianna is a short for the people, by a person who has mastered their relaysh with their inner saboteur. It's a queer mental health story that isn't trauma porn. Oh, and it's funny and sexy too.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

I create to relate. I want my community to feel seen and heard and walk away from my work with a new perspective on their own messy experiences. As a queer woman of color in recovery from many things, I know I'm one of the lucky ones, and I want to give back so I can see more people like me recover.

The Story

Hi, I'm Rivkah Reyes. My pronouns are they/she and I'm a queer Filipina Jewitch. I wrote a film about addiction and mental health with an all femme/queer/POC cast that isn't trauma porn! Yes, I love a good cry here and there, but seriously, why does every piece of content about healing from trauma have to be so...retraumatizing?

(was this scene super cathartic to anyone else? just me? dope.)

I've been on a mental health/recovery journey since 2017 after a series of drug benders, bad trips, and bridges burned. Right before I got sober, I watched a TV show called Love that left me feeling a little too seen (if you know what I mean.)

Seeing Gillian Jacobs' character, Mickey, navigate early sobriety made me realize I needed help myself. And the show made me laugh. If I hadn't been able to see the humor in my destructive ways, I don't think I would've wanted to get the help I desperately needed. Once, I even got the opportunity to meet the showrunner of Love, Lesley Arfin, and tell her how her show saved my life. She said, "It saved mine too." This exchange made me want to create work that saved people's lives or, at the very least, nudged them into saving their own.

she is gone, but she used to be mine

In the sobriety spaces I now frequent, there's an adage that haunts me in my sleep: "While you're working on your recovery in here, your disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot."

live footage of my addiction rn

In my head, my disease manifests as a bitchy version of myself who dresses like the cool girls in 7th grade. She's everything my twisted brain thought I wanted to be. Some call this the inner saboteur. I call her Raquel, a fake name I would use on dating apps and at bars. And she is loud and fucking rude.

"You're more fun when you're stoned. Loosen up!"
"You aren't booking because you're past your prime. You peaked at ten."
"Why don't you start counting your calories and weighing yourself four times a day? That was working for you and totally not disordered at all!"

Even now, as I type this, Raquel is telling me I suck at writing, and no one wants to fund my stupid short film. Even with nearly 5 years of recovery, Raquel is my first thought daily. I have to actively replace Raquel's voice with another, more powerful one that reminds me that everything will be okay. (I don't really have a name for that voice yet, but sometimes I call it Future Me?)

how i practice self love

In the spring of 2022, I went through a bit of seasonal depresh (wild that even in gorgeous LA I still get a case of the SADS, but c'est la vie!), and, using my DBT tools...I thought this could be the perfect time to create something therapeutic, not only for readers but also for myself. Something people could relate to. After all, don't we all have an inner saboteur? Don't we all have a Raquel?

And in a few weeks, this little film called Gianna came to life. And after several drafts and sobbing calls with my therapist, Gianna is being made for real.

Gianna is Jennifer's Body meets United States of Tara with a skosh of Fight Club. It's funny, it's cringe, it's horny, it's dangerous. Aesthetically, Gianna lives at the intersection of Grunge Avenue and Gorgina Boulevard.

Gianna mood boards, curated and collaged by Rivkah Reyes and Cassie Ahiers


We are a team of predominantly neurodiverse, queer, and BIPOC baddies. We all have a strong following of predominantly neurodiverse, queer, BIPOC baddies, and we're making this film for neurodiverse, queer, BIPOC baddies who are straight-up tired of sob stories.

If even just one person sees Gianna and decides they want to get help for their mental health or work through their own recovery journey, we will have done our job. Your support for this film will litchraleigh offset oppression, babe.

Here's an overview of where your pledges will go.

Pledgers will receive some incredible tokens of gratitude, including but not limited to tarot readings, personalized songs, 1:1 coaching, and all the social shout-outs from yours truly. After we reach our goal, we'll be shooting in LA in December (yes, THIS December), and all proceeds from the campaign will go to compensating our team, keeping our team safe from COVID, making the film AGAP (as gorge as poss), and submitting to festivals. If we exceed our goal (STRETCH GOALS, HUNNY!), we'll be able to submit Gianna to more festivals, host more IRL screenings, get more eyeballs on this film, and distribute some funds to our favorite mental health and addiction recovery orgs.

Follow, pledge, and share!

I've even crafted some tweets for you to share along with the link to this cute-ass campaign.

"I just pledged to help the legendary @rivkahreyes make their film #GIANNA, on @seedandspark! Join me, chiquitita!"

"Do you love queer films with sexy fight sequences? SAME! Let's help @rivkahreyes fund their film #GIANNA on @seedandspark. Make it rain, babe."

"Are you sick of trauma porn about mental health and addiction? So is my gal @rivkahreyes. She's making a movie called #GIANNA and is funding it with @seedandspark. Pledge here! #NoMoreSobStories"

Thank you SO much for RSVPing to the Gianna party. It means the world to me.

xoxo, Rivkah Reyes


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


Costs $5,000

An apartment, a cute dive bar, and a grocery store to film in.

The Cast

Costs $5,000

Our cast is dope and they deserve to be paid handsomely.

Lights, Camera, Production

Costs $15,000

To make the magic happen!

Glam squad

Costs $2,000

Cuz we gotta look cute.

Post pro and editing

Costs $8,000

To make Gianna pretty and festival ready.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

We are a team of mostly queer women and non-binary filmmakers with over 20 years of experience in the film industry.

RIVKAH REYES (they/she) - Writer, Producer, "Gina/Gianna"

KAIT SCHUSTER (she/her) - Director

KRISTEN LAFFEY (she/they) - Producer, First AD

MARY MUÑEZ (she/her) - Producer, Pogi Studios

VAUGHN GREVE (she/they) - Director of Photography

LYDIA GRIJALVA (they/them) - Campaign Advisor & Creative Consultant

Also, our core cast is locked in, and we can't wait to announce who's who once we reach $5000 in pledges, but for now...

Want to be on Team Gianna? Have a special skill that you think might be useful to our project? Email [email protected], and we can find a way for you to help us out, whether on set or off.

Current Team