Lost Cause

Smyrna, Georgia | Film Feature

Film-Noir, Thriller

Brent Lambert-Zaffino

2 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,040 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

54 supporters | followers

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Lost Cause is a single-location southern gothic thriller that's like Cormac McCarthy meets Yorgos Lanthimos. Shot over nine sweltering summer days days at a farm in Canton, GA, our film is in post-production and needs your help to get to the finish line!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

While Addiction in rural America is both central to the plot and a point of activism for the filmmakers, diversity in the South is a core theme of Lost Cause, and our crew of Georgia natives (both above and below the line, over 50% of our crew were women and over 50% PoC) reflects our community.

The Story

Our Strange Little Southern Gothic Story

For all the talk of Georgia being the "Hollywood of the South," too often Georgia-filmed movies feel more like Hollywood than the South. Lost Cause is our response. 

Lost Cause is about Tecumseh, the dying leader of an off-the-grid home for recovering addicts, who violently manipulates his followers to prepare them for his demise.

"As a filmmaker and festival programmer, I wish more films shot in Georgia felt like they’re actually from Georgia. With Lost Cause, I wanted to make a film that harkened back to Wise Blood days of Georgia’s cinema infancy while incorporating a modern sense of dread and alienation. In other words, I wanted to make an indie thriller where you could really feel the cicadas." - Writer & Director Brent Lambert-Zaffino

This movie started as a script finished at the beginning of the pandemic.

It continued as a five minute sizzle reel shot during the fall of 2020. 

That sizzle, and an accompanying pitch package, helped us raise enough money to shoot the film in 2021. 

"Too many of us know someone personally who silently suffers in the shadow. As a justice-impacted individual I have spent quite a bit of time around Georgians who are ensnared in the grip of addiction. This is a hyper-local issue for so many families across the South. These folks are our brothers and sisters, sometimes in blood, and always in bond. This film attempts to shed a spotlight on their stories and progress the conversation.” - Executive Producer Adrian Drepaul

Now, in post-production, our story of a dysfunctional, violent, makeshift, Southern family is ready to be shared with the world. In order to do that...  

We need you to join the family.



How We Got Here, as an Overwritten Southern Gothic Story

Adrian and Brent hadn't spent much time together since attending Flannery O'Connor's alma mater some decade ago - a place and time sunbaked into the past and, in this pandemic-emptied Starbucks reunion, dislodged in shoveled up nostalgia. 

Brent, now a filmmaker, had spent his quarantine losing himself in a screenplay about folks struggling to stay sane and sober in a society that would rather imprison them than help them.

"There aren't enough Georgia movies that feel like Georgia movies." Brent, who founded a film festival in Canton, Georgia and was regularly scouting for local films, complained. 

He even shot a sizzle reel for it and showed his old friend. 

Adrian, now a lawyer, spent most of the pandemic in the Georgia chain gang for misdemeanor reckless driving & Injury by Vehicle and had only recently been released. He listened as Brent babbled about his little movie and the existential incerceration of this pandemic - unwise to the literal incarceration his old friend had just recently found release from. 

Brent was also unwise to the notion that the fictional characters he'd been describing mirrored in many ways the very real people Adrian had spent time with in his rural Georgia prison.

"There aren't enough stories that get in the headspace of folks I met inside." Adrian, who had experienced a sort creative rebirth during his 30 months spent in a cell, thought. With a little bit of money to invest in such endeavors, he asked: 

"How much does a movie cost?" 

Brent told him, and over the course of the next six months, these old friends formed a new partnership, got together a small budget, assembled a local and diverse extended family of actors, musicians, craftspeople, and students all hungry to tell stories and make art, and shot that little movie over the course of nine hot summer days on a farm in Canton, Georgia. 

Lost Cause took shape and, as the final cut ripens, readies for audiences in and beyond the Southern clay it sprouted from. 



Two Things We Need

1. We need $5,000 for marketing and legal fees associated with distribution and festival runs. We were able to use our initial financing to get the movie through post-production, but the road through film festivals and distribution meetings is paved with uncertainty, and the $5,000 we raise will ensure that we're able to face those uncertainties head-on.

2. We need 500 of you to follow the project to get access to thousands of dollars of resources from Seed & Spark. These resources are essential for a movie like ours, and following the film is completely free!

But to share this labor of love with the world, we need you to join the family.


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

Festival Fees

Costs $1,000

Submission fees for festivals can add up real quick!

Theatre Rental

Costs $1,000

For our Friends & Family screening on April 13th!

Marketing & Distribution Consultant

Costs $1,500

Navigating marketing and distribution is tricky, and hiring an experienced guide will help!


Costs $1,000

For getting a good DCP and audio mixes that support different viewing platforms.

Legal Fees

Costs $500

For legal advice throughout the festival & distribution run.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Allen Rowell has been active in local theater for over three decades as an actor, director, production coordinator, and set builder. Some favorite theater experiences include playing Antonio Salieri in "Amadeus.” (2012) and directing the Town and Gown Players 2013 production of “August: Osage County.”  A former project manager for software development, Allen was Inspired by the digital revolution in filmmaking and has become an enthusiastic participant in the Georgia filmmaking community where, as a member of IATSE local 479, he earns a living as a set lighting technician so he can act in movies every chance he gets.

Sara Rachele is an indie folk songwriter from Decatur, Ga., a hot-bed for local folk music. She cut her teeth in the Atlanta scene cleaning out the cupboards at Eddie’s Attic in the early 2000s. 

Quinn Bozza is an American television and film actor represented by Privilege Talent Agency and Tassell Talent Group. Born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida to Jody and Joseph Bozza of Irish, Italian, and Syrian decent. Shortly after receiving his BA in criminal justice at Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida he began pursuing his acting career. From 2014 to 2016 he studied under director/writer Ken Eulo becoming a part of his New York Acting Ensemble.

Karen Ruetz has been a stage actor in the Atlanta area for over 20 years, known for her performances as King Lear (King Lear), Dr. Martha Livingstone (Agnes of God) and Truvy (Steel Magnolias). Her film credits include Susan (Unemployable) and Mom (Lost Cause). Karen is also a playwright writing plays for small to medium theaters that feature strong female characters.

Jared Myers acquired his second lead role in an indie film and couldn’t be more excited about this production. He credits the entire cast and crew for their work and influence. As a recent University of South Carolina Grad, he looks to continue to learn and grow.

Gabbie Briella is a British-American actress from a small town in Georgia. 
Gabbie says, "Acting is something that allows me to feel truly free. Coming from a household where abuse was a problem- I would say that, in many ways, it saved my life; giving me a way to escape in very hard times. If I can make someone feel something, smile, or improve their day in some way like my favorite actors have done for me -that's the goal of every performance.


Brent Lambert-Zaffino (Writer/Director) is a Writer/Director from Atlanta, Georgia and Co-Founder of the Etowah Film Festival. "Lost Cause" is his first budgeted feature film in this role. He works as a freelance videographer and editor and regularly produces comedy shorts. 

Adrian Drepaul (Executive Producer) is a graduate of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He is the Founder and Principal Owner of the Atlanta & New York City based investment firm Bentley Hall Capital. Adrian has written poetry throughout his life and is the author of "Another Night." Available on Amazon

Kendrick Varela (Director of Photography/Editor) is a bilingual (English and Spanish) content creator [Cinematographer. Camera Operator. Filmmaker. Director. Photographer. Editor] based in Southwest Atlanta, passionate about capturing stories with authenticity. Outside of film, he works as a freelance videographer and photographer, capturing meaningful events and celebrations with the lens. If you catch him without a camera, you might find him getting in a lift at the gym, re-watching some of his favorite films, or exploring a new trail (but let’s be honest, he most likely has a new lens with him to try out).  

Jennifer Dunn (Producer) is an Atlanta-based screenwriter and filmmaker. 

Tommy Stein (Producer) is a local producer born and raised in the greater Atlanta area. When he's not working with independent productions, Tommy works for Clayton State University handling all filming on campus.

JB Torres Medina (Gaffer) loves filmmaking. JB is an Army veteran, award winning and multi-talented filmmaker. A “The Post and Courier, Freetimes” “2021 Best Local Filmmaker Award Nominee”. JB has produced, directed, and lensed 8 short films. He has worked as a Cinematographer, Gaffer and Key Grip in the TV and Film industry with various reputable productions companies to include Defiant Films, Swirl Films, TYCOR Films, and Framework Productions TV, among others. Since starting his filmmaking career JB has dedicated his time to help young filmmakers produce their passion projects by providing mentorship and filmmaking equipment that otherwise many wouldn’t be able to afford. He is currently in development of his upcoming feature film “Deathbound”.  During his spare time JB loves to watch movies and spend time with his wife Karen.

J Hartwell (Composer) is an umbrella: a film composer, a singer songwriter, and member of A Tower to the Stars

Current Team