Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Maya Vyas

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $2,402 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Finding your true identity as a teenager... can be difficult. Throw in witchcraft, being queer, and some musical theatre, and it becomes almost impossible. But once you realize magic comes from within, there's nothing that can stop you.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Being a minority on this set is the majority. On screen, the story is completely driven by Freedom, a queer teenager, and his suave love interest, Samuel. Off-screen, our director, EP, writer, and over 95% of our crew represent the LGBTQ community, women, and people of varying races and descents.

The Story

Moondust follows the magical and musical story of one fateful audition. A classic teen drama focused on the relationships between said teenagers, ripe with hormones and life-shattering do-or-die situations. With the topics of identity and self-worth amplified by the presence of the supernatural, Moondust even mixes in comedic elements and a musical number to bring this queer love story to a standing "O".


Who can say what we are?

A question posed in a song from Spring Awakening; a phrase that rings true to life. At the end of the day, who gets to decide our narrative? What the world learns about us, and how we are perceived by others? In Moondust, the characters make valiant strides to define themselves, all in an effort to control the narrative of their identity. We see identity as a constantly shifting narrative, one that we must build for ourselves, rather than allow to be dictated by others.


Entertainment has made significant progress towards representing untold stories, even those of queer POC with films such as Pariah (2011) and Moonlight (2016), but with the door creaking open, we need to burst through and continue pushing diversity. Moondust brings forth queer characters who are still figuring out what their racial and sexual identities mean to them.


In the current socio-political climate, it can be especially difficult to know how to express pride in yourself, your background, and your community without fear of backlash. Freedom and Samuel are characters whose intricacies complicate their individualities, and who must put their true selves forwards as they navigate within the context of a supernatural musical. This is a story of two relatable and true queer characters. The inner magic of both Samuel and Freedom propels them towards a necessary understanding of the moondust that comes from within.

Moondust is a story for the queer outliers.

Moondust exists for those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, but perhaps still feel isolated or floating through space. We recognize that even spheres such as the theater community, that appear to love and encourage the dualitiest of man, can be especially challenging for gender non-conforming people.

Our story is a story of love. And of hope. It is a story that says: "Hey. YOU create your own magic."


"Growing up, I [the creator] had very, very little exposure to queer stories on television, and definitely not those of queer people of color. I want this narrative to be something adolescents can watch and say 'oh hey, that's like me' or very close to at the very least. I'm lucky to have been inspired by the stories of Kurt Hummel and Adam Torres, but at the end of the day, there needs to be more. With dynamic, diverse characters, the sky is the limit for who audiences have to look up to.

I created Moondust: the short film [from] a bible for a television series that expands upon Freedom and Samuel's story. This is only a glimpse into a much larger world that broadens the scope of these topics, as well as bringing in other issues of adversity these queer, musical witches might face. I believe Moondust, and the world it's set in, fills a gap left behind by the intersection of fans of musicals (be it theater, film, television, or otherwise) and the supernatural/fantasy realms. This is that niche sub-group that has many facets that audiences may find relatable."

Moondust was born from a personal love for a story, and the encouragement and hard work of the committed Moondust team. Without my team, there'd be nothing more than words. They are the ones making this possible. They are the ones who are truly magic~



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Costs $225

Help us out with our sound equipment rentals for production.


Costs $175

We want our film to have the best possible quality and can only get that done with these rentals.

G & E Rentals

Costs $300

Help us out with our camera equipment and grip rentals.


Costs $1,100

The Skiptown Playhouse is our film's main location and vital to setting our musical love story.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

The Crew

Justice Schiappa - Writer/Director/Freedom


Justice Schiappa is a queer, black, recovering theater kid descending upon the entertainment world from Del Mar. Growing up seeing no one like him on television, Justice exhibits a dynamic passion for storytelling across visual platforms, aiming to tell the yet-unheard voices of queer people of color to give the next generation something to look up to. He is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Since driving up the coast, Justice has produced the television mini-series, Ensemble, on Trojan Vision as well as a 21-episode trans-media web-series for 96Next, Recon. Being involved in theatrical arts since a young age, Justice's first love has always been the stage and any opportunity he has to meld his love of theater and television together is one he treasures. 


Maya Vyas - Executive Producer



Maya Vyas is the Executive Producer of Moondust. She is a middle child and a Writing for Screen and Television major in The School of Cinematic Arts. She would, however, major in escaping rooms if that were a real thing. She was born in a small town in Ohio called Tipp City and bears an immense amount of pride for her middle American roots. As a child, Maya realized she wasn’t good at many things including, but not limited to, soccer, basketball, skiing, playing instruments, dancing, and professional croquet. These failures translated into writing. She enjoys in the pursuit of showcasing minority and non-mainstream voices and is ecstatic to be doing that in this short film. She has been told her hugs can change lives & cure cancer and, if you donate, you will receive an unlimited number of hugs from her.


Alissa Nguyen - Director



Alissa is a Film and Television Production major at USC and is from Rowland Heights, California. She has directed and produced unscripted and scripted content various television shows as well as crewed on various short films. From her experiences as an Asian American woman, Alissa has made it a mission of hers to showcase underrepresented stories of marginalized communities.


Cairo Smith - Associate Producer



Cairo Aidan Smith is a producer, filmmaker, and Screenwriting major at Cal State University, Northridge. His portfolio spans plays, award-winning shorts, and broadcast television series across California and the Pacific Northwest. When he isn't studying, Cairo directs narrative content for Niantic Labs (Pokémon GO, Ingress) and writes original fiction for publications including VICE and OMNI.


Jenell Louissaint - Associate Producer



Jenell Louissaint is a student filmmaker at the University of Southern California with a double major in Cinema and Media Studies and Communications. A Southern California girl born and raised she grew up in the Latino community of Los Angeles and had to navigate her identity as a mixed girl of Mexican, Filipino, and Haitian. She aspires to help bring the faces she grew up around to the forefront of the film and television industry both on and off screen. Since coming to USC she has built up her resume working on fellow student films, grad projects, and is now excited to act as associate producer on a story that brings minority narratives to the light.


Ana Tefler - Associate Producer



Ana Telfer is a screenwriter from San Francisco working towards her BFA in Writing for Screen and Television at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She is a Senior Producer for The Breakdown- a live news show parody in the comedic style of Weekend Update and The Daily Show- which is celebrating its Ninth Season at the Trojan Vision Broadcasting Station. She is an expert in social media, and her experience writing/directing/producing a one-act play based on Jane the Virgin has prepared her for the theatrical masterpiece that is MOONDUST.





The Cast 

Cam Patrick - Samuel



Cam Patrick began his career as an Emcee and Stage Personality while in college; presenting awards, writing skits, sketches and performing as he conducted events and entertained guests.  After a short while, he was pulled into film as a marketing producer for a few short films in the Midwest, where he began to fall in love with the movie business.  His collaborators began casting him in the short films they had been producing.  The first being the lead role in a short film series called, The Club.  Now, Cam has positioned his life to continue on his trajectory toward a lifelong career in the film industry as an actor, developing his skills and making use of every opportunity. 


Katie Lee - Caroline



Katie Lee is a current first-year student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts majoring in Film and Television Production. With a background rooted in musical theater, Katie’s passion for behind-the-camera production spawns from her love and understanding of performance. With hopes to pursue acting and filmmaking adjacent to one another, Katie is taking it upon herself to get involved in as many student productions as possible to grow from the “getting her feet wet” stage to feeling thoroughly equipped for future endeavors. 


Liv Sigel - Loren



Liv Sigel is a teen actress based in Los Angeles. She is originally from Texas, however always felt a calling to move to LA and pursue acting. Liv attends the University of Southern California as an acting major and has been professionally trained in stage and film acting since she was young. Not only has she acted in an AMC television show, but also was also the lead in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Liv is beyond thrilled to work alongside such great people and is so excited to be a part of “Moondust.”


Amelia Vargas - Amberleigh



Amelia Vargas is an actress from Thousand Oaks, California and is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Theatre at USC. As a young child, she’d often wondered what it’d be like to act and first gave it a try back in the fourth grade when she got cast in a school play. From there, she went on to perform in theatre productions throughout middle and high school, some of her favorite roles being “Hermia” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and “Ariel” in The Little Mermaid. She recently performed in a production of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, the first play of her collegiate career. Theatre is where Amelia made her start, but she’s always dreamt of being a part of the film-making process. She’s recently begun to dabble in film acting and hopes to continue this new exploration. After graduating, she wants to pursue her dream of acting in both theatre and film and hopes to try her hand at directing and writing as well.


Delilah Kujala - Edith



Delilah Kujala is an actor and singer based in Los Angeles. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a BFA in Acting and is an alumni of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Last year, she made her Off-Broadway debut in “Game Of Thrones: The Rock Musical” at the Jerry Orbach Theater.  Coming up, she will be on People Magazine Investigates on the ID network.  She is the lead singer of the alternative band Altruist.  Their single “Alive” can be seen on Youtube and Vevo and heard on Itunes. The content battles homophobia and bullying and all proceeds go to Free2Luv, a non-profit organization that helps empower youth to celebrate their individuality, equality and stand up to bullying. Even though she is playing the rude stage mom, she is very proud of the message behind “Moondust” – embracing the gifts each person was born with and sharing them unabashedly.


Vi Vered - Charrie



Vi Vered is an actress, writer, and production intern from the west coast. Her love for acting started as an only child practicing voice-over techniques and studying lines from movies with friends. She is a survivor of unfortunate circumstances and finds happiness through various forms of artistic expression. She most currently co-wrote her first short film and is studying TV and media in the greater Los Angeles area. Volunteering and self-love are just a couple of factors that motivate "Vivvy" to share. She hopes to organize public support through healing and art in the near future. 

Current Team