Mother's Day

Buffalo, New York | Film Feature


Meg Gonsalves

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $20,660 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

126 supporters | followers

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This is a true-story. Not every family is a "Hallmark Classic." Not every rural town is a redneck cliché. Not every relationship struggling with mental health is a lost cause. Told with inventive techniques, "Mother's Day" provokes us to reflect on our own relationships. But we need your help.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Pan-Am Films are grassroots, independent filmmakers proudly based in Buffalo, NY. We believe high-quality stories can and SHOULD come from outside of NYC and LA. This method allows a true, "continuous-shot" film of two actors in rural America to portray the reality of mental health, not the stigma.

The Story



Look, in 2o14 when I rode my motorcycle out of my mother’s driveway with tears in my eyes, blood pasting my sock to my ankle, my throat raw - I had no direction, no idea what to do, but I did have the crystal clear thought - damn, that was like a movie.

I probably said that because I had felt myself become a villain. Because layer after layer of secrets, lies, love, and a lot of pain had come out, twisted and doubled-down. Because it was loud. And silent. Because two people changed forever.

But I didn’t write it down. I couldn’t.

Family life is supposed to be private, hidden - especially when it’s ugly. Right? I couldn’t make it real.

On-the-record. What would the neighbors say? My family? People with "real" issues. I didn’t know anything about mental illness or how to help. Besides, movies are spectacles, not conversations.

I hid it because I was afraid.

Honestly, things with my mother only got worse.

It was hurting more and more. For both of us. I hid it deeper.

And then, I remembered this one night when a girlfriend’s mother was sitting at her dark, kitchen table and asked, “Travis, does my son hate me?” This was my girlfriend’s brother, whom I didn’t know really well, but, BUT - it was like I was struck by lightning - I knew exactly what she meant.

“I don’t know what I did. He’s just irritable, he gets so frustrated with everything I say.”

I know. I was that way. Why?

As we compared notes, like two ambassadors representing Mothers and Sons, I realized what she realized: These private battles and their casualties were not isolated.

How many homes were caught between both genuine, enormous love and the great weights and thorns that tore at them?

Why didn't I write it down?

I could. And it should be made real. On-the-record. So families and neighbors will talk! So people with these issues, "real" or otherwise, can learn about mental health and how to help!

So last year at this time, in one week, I wrote a literal transcription of that first, watershed evening without judgment, without heroes or villains, without embellishment.

I had come to realize that the fear and shame I felt were small prices, necessary prices to pay, for what could be a project that depicted the reality of a specific Mother and Son accurately. That depicted mental health imbalances, generational imbalances, conflicts of upbringing, conflicts of future decisions, accurately. Warts and neighbors and lies and breakdowns and disability insurance and all.

And readers of that script were moved to - had permission to - do the best thing of all: share their own story.

Fear breeds fear. Truth breeds truth. And that is the most important.

"But movies are spectacles."

Yes, they are.

The award-winning team of friends that became Pan-American Film Division had no money, a sudden pandemic, 33 followers on Mother’s Day’s Facebook, and a fire in us to still make the best film we possibly could - and push toward innovative cinematic techniques!

But how?

We did what everyone does when the going gets tough. We learned more. Pushed ourselves harder. Sacrificed sleep, vacations, leisure. And money.

Myself, the two lead actors, the producers, the director of photography, the assistant director, the AC, and all of Pan-Am’s core team did this at no charge - or - at their own expense.

And with incredible support and favors from folks in the Buffalo film community, its theater community, the town of Gerry; Western New York produced a grassroots movie.

This team and this region are incredible and did something incredible for a project they believe in.

We now look to you to help the story of Mother’s Day not end there, as a valiant defeat.

No matter how much we forfeited earnings - the film has hard costs we cannot volunteer our way out of for essential equipment, software, storage, locations, festival costs, legal fees, and distribution.

$14,000 is the minimum viable threshold we need to reach to bring this project to life.

I’ll emphasize minimum. We also have stretch goals that are necessary to submit to more impactful film festivals, to have live (safe) screenings in CINEMAS with Q&A’s, robust behind-the-scenes content, or host screenings in other towns and cities. To get this message out there!

But then, for whom? No one has heard of us!

Our network will always be limited to our immediate connections, unless you would be willing to help to spread the word.

Please consider joining our team with a small pledge, and telling other solid people like you about this grassroots film.

We don’t take your generosity for granted and hope to always add value to your life - together - I know this community can bring this film to life!



It’s not all for nothin’ - ask yourself what you want in return for doing a great thing!

Check out the cool incentives To The Right!





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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Travel Costs

Costs $2,000

It's 2 hours each way to set for our (largely volunteer) team. We'd like to cover their cost of gas.

Festival Submission Fees

Costs $1,200

Festivals increase our chances of reaching a wider audience & opens opportunities to sell the film.


Costs $200

Thrift store finds, actors' closets, and one leather jacket in Mike's size!

Campaign Fees

Costs $500

From platform fees to shipping incentives, it costs money to make money.

Props & Set Dressing

Costs $300

The right "odds & ends" give the film a lived-in and authentic look.

Fuel for the Team

Costs $1,000

Especially while shooting 2-hour long takes, being fed helped the team function at its best!


Costs $1,800

We wanted to make sure everyone and everything was covered!

Legal Fees

Costs $3,000

A lawyer makes sure our t's are crossed and our i's are dotted from production to distribution.

About This Team

Pan-American Film Division


Pan-American Film Division is an award-winning collective of friends who love telling stories, either homemade or with a great collaborator, and are thrilled by the adventure it is. So we’ve been at it for pretty much our whole lives. We live it. 



Our team has created over 15 short films, 10 feature documentaries, and numerous regional and national commercials for brands like the NFL, NHL, New Era Cap, and the Albright-Knox. We've earned back-to-back trips to the Cannes Film Festival and more than a dozen NYS Emmys in the last three years.



We are proudly based in Buffalo, NY, home to the world's first movie-theatre, as well as our namesake, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.

At the core, we want to add value to people’s lives. We hope Mother's Day will do that for you.



Keep in touch with what the "Pan-Am Fam" is up to by joining our newsletter or following us on Facebook.

Current Team