New York City, New York | Film Short


Joshi Aashish

1 Campaigns |

09 days :22 hrs :20 mins

Until Deadline

53 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge



Goal: $7,500 for production

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMILIATED IN FRONT OF SOMEONE YOU LOVE? A man-child desperate to save his relationship taunts a stranger on the NYC subway to prove himself in front of his girlfriend, but what he finds funny is no joke to the stranger.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

(Loosely) Based on true events, we wanted to explore how a mundane situation can turn into something more absurd. We’ve told this story many times, often hearing, “It could’ve been worse!” in response. So we began asking– what would happen if it was worse?

The Story

FOOLISHNESS, ARROGANCE & HUMILIATION. Anxious to save his dwindling relationship, immature man-child Jay taunts a stranger on the NYC subway to prove his manhood to his girlfriend, but his misguided behavior blurs the distinction between heroism, desperation and outright masochism.

After what seems like an evening gone wrong, an odd couple, Jay and Eileen, walk through the streets of NYC. Eileen makes her silence and distance known, and Jay's only idea of making things better is comedy; however, she's heard it all.

In a final attempt to make her happy, Jay shows her a gift bag. They're quickly interrupted by Will, a large and imposing stranger. Will just wants a swipe to ride the train, but in an effort to impress Eileen, Jay turns an otherwise everyday NYC encounter into an unruly situation.

Jay makes a joke out of Will, pushing the stranger to the very edge.

Unfortunately for Jay, Will gets a hold of the gift bag,

but is Jay willing to do anything to get it back?

Every now and then, there's a story you share with people that elicits a reaction, and this is that story for us. The pandemic and other financial stress made it difficult to get this project off the ground but we think now more than ever, we are ready to tell our story at the young age of 24!

We've worked on sets for the longest time, watching friends and colleagues perfect their craft.

It would be a waste to let it all be for nothing.

Could anybody else tell this story?

Our answer is No.

There is no team better suited to tell this story; it is based on true events that occurred to our director / writer, Aashish Joshi. Inspired by his own life, he turns his personal embarrassments into drama in service of a better story.

While his overwhelming sense of shame brings a certain weight to this script, our other director / writer Nick Knezevich (and his lack of shame) injects a strong sense of humor to an otherwise dramatic narrative.

Each member of our team is all too familiar with humiliation, whether it's being late to set or forgetting to hit record on a camera! As creatives, we understand that feeling of embarrassment through the content we create, as it takes a certain level of humility to be able to share your work with others. Of course, the worst is when you are degraded in front of someone you love, but it's how you deal with it that defines you.

What better way than to put your shame aside and tell the world your story? It's with this collective understanding that we are able to unite under this banner.

We are currently in pre-production, with production on an immediate fast track. The current shooting dates for the project are June 18th and June 19th. A rough cut of the film should be completed by late July, with post-production wrapping near early Fall. All the while, we will be sure to update you amid the extensive production process!

Following the completion of “Freak,” our team is confident in a strong festival push across the country. After the festival circuit, expect a public release of the film online! If we surpass our target funding, we’ll be even able to plan for an in-person screening event in Los Angeles!

This project cannot get made without your help, so please share and donate if possible!

Thanks for reading!

For all updates and behind-the-scenes content, follow us on Instagram @nycfreak (Freak (@nycfreak)). The results following the donation period will be posted online, which may or may not include, the waxing, the tattoo and all of those cringey TikTok trends / dance videos. If you would like to donate without making us do freak-ish things, please let us know personally or by DMing us at our official Instagram account.

Thank you in advance for supporting this project!


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $2,000

What's a movie without a cast? We have stellar talent on the docket but they don't come cheap. Help us cast our three leads!


Costs $1,000

Our crew for this film will be small but they still need to get paid!

Travel and Lodging

Costs $500

Along with flight costs, cast members need to be lodged for our two shooting dates. Help us transport equipment, cast and crew across NYC!


Costs $300

We need permits to shoot at an NYC Subway Station. Help us make this happen!

Gear Rentals

Costs $700

Our cinematographer has some great ideas for the look of this film, and we need the gear to achieve it. Help us achieve our look!


Costs $2,700

We have an amazing sound team ready to take a crack at making an NYC subway soundscape, and a talented colorist on deck!


Costs $300

We'd love to push this out to festivals as soon as it's ready, but not every fee can be waved. Help this film get seen!

About This Team

The Directors

Emerson College graduates Aashish Joshi and Nick Knezevich are an unlikely writing / directing duo, hailing from NY and LA respectively. The East meets West duo have worked to produce viral content online, garnering millions of views across various social platforms. Inspired by the likes of Larry David, Charlie Kaufman and Eric Andre, they seek to create something that makes you think… but all they really want to do is make you laugh.

The Director of Photography

Matt Liang is a Canadian cinematographer, having experience on various high-budget short films and commercial work. He’s shot with major talent like Kai Cenat, Margaret Qualley and Underscores, and recently received the coveted ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award for his work. He is a recent graduate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. After giving the script a read, his vision for the look of the film immediately matched ours!

The Producers

Menny Son is a Chinese-American Producer, Production Designer and Casting Director based between Los Angeles and New York City. Raised between the U.S. and China, her diverse upbringing has fueled her creative sensibilities in highlighting the voices of underrepresented creatives.

Reece Daniels is a producer and director based in LA. As a recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Reece is savvy at producing and promoting independent projects, with recent works screening at Academy Award-qualifying film festivals across the country, and receiving recognition from the DGA Awards, Berlin Commercial Awards and more.

Jivensley Alexis is a Haitian-American director, screenwriter and playwright based in LA. He is drawn to stories and visuals that are character-driven, exciting, and provocative. He has directed and produced numerous short films and music videos alongside Emmy®-winning producers and Grammy®-nominated artists.

Current Team