Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Jessica Mendez Siqueiros

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $16,325 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

233 supporters | followers

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Pozole is a short film about a mixed-race Latina woman who feels isolated from her proud, traditional Mexican family. When she sets out to reconnect with her roots on her Nana's 100th birthday, things go terribly wrong. A dark comedy about what it means to be the 'other' in the family.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

The Pozole team is deeply committed to representing a diverse spectrum of Latinos, which make up 17.8% of the U.S. population and 30% of the film-going audience. As such, we intend to employ non-traditional casting to welcome new faces in the industry that have not felt welcome in Hollywood (yet)!

The Story


Check out the video below for more on just what we can accomplish if we hit our new STRETCH GOAL of 20K!



From Writer/Director Jessica Siqueiros:

(My Great-Grandma, Grandma, Mom & Tio)


Pozole is a wild and colorful dark comedy. The Royal Tenenbaums if Wes Anderson was a Chicana woman.


Maia is the Margot Tenenbaum of the family. Her Mother, Lea, is Anjelica Houston, stern yet caring. After a long estrangement where Maia was raised by her white father, Maia returns ready to reconnect with her roots, only to accidentally cause her 100 year old grandmother's death. As the only non-Spanish speaker in her family, she must now navigate feeling utterly out of place as she tries to mourn a grandmother she barely knew and fulfill a desire to reconnect with her mother. Her primary obstacle is a sneaking suspicion that everyone in the family blames her for her Nana's death. If only she spoke Spanish, she could know what they were truly saying.


In the end, she must decide whether to embrace tradition or isolate herself from her family forever.


The origin

This story is a dramatized version of my own. My family is a proud Mexican family from South Tuscon. Often, I have felt isolated and lost for not being “Mexican enough”, not just by my family but by the community overall. There are deep, unspoken divides within the Latino community in this way. In our current political climate, I think it’s vital that we start talking about the grey areas in society. It is a time to celebrate pride, heritage, and honor, especially within each cultural minority community where sometimes racism, isolation, and ‘other’-ness can lead people to abandon their roots. Much like Maia, my grandmother died shortly after her 100th birthday. I have regretted not feeling closer to her, a feeling that reaches far beyond racial/cultural audience divides. This film is my return to my own roots.  


Why it's important

While Latinos of all races and backgrounds make up 17.8% of the population in America, we make up only 5.8% of the character we see on screen. That's over 3x underrepresentation. It's time to change the game and prove that we are not a 'niche' audience. Our stories can transcend race and culture, they can cause deep empathy for people from all backgrounds. It's time for us to ask for more in our storytelling. This film will take us one step closer.


'How can I help?'

I already appreciate you for reading this far, so CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU! The bright and colorful world of Pozole is going to take quite a bit of support, and attention to detail to do it justice. And that support and time means money, but that's not the only way you can help us!

You can help us in three ways:

DONATE: Of course, this is the most direct way that you can become part of our team. We have some incredible incentives for you. And you'll be supporting innovative Latina voices in film.

FOLLOW: At Seed&Spark, more followers directly translates to filmmaker support from the platform. If we get 500 followers, we unlock an incredible filmmaker package. We are also participating in S&S's 100 Days of Optimism Campaign. Which means, at 1000 followers we are elegible for Grants and numerous rewards to help make Pozole even stronger.

SHARE: We all know how vital social media buzz is in getting a new project off the ground. By sharing, you help us reach networks that we wouldn't otherwise. We think this story is incredibly important, and we want not just our friends, but all of their's and beyond to know/support what we are up to.


Thank you

We are a small crew of innovative women, but even so we would not be able to do this without you and your support. Thank you for helping to show the world how vital independent filmmaking is NOW. We cannot wait to share this film with you!



Jessica, Melissa, and the Pozole Team


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

Production Staff

Costs $1,400

Production requires a great deal of work to plan, and run smoothly. We need to pay for that support.

Art Direction/Set Dressing

Costs $2,000

Pozole, Pinatas, and Parties! All the colorful details are vital in a Wes Anderson-style world!


Costs $500

We need to be able to cover the flights of our incredible DP to join our crew!


Costs $1,750

We support Latino voices, which means being able to pay them for their work.

Location & Permits

Costs $1,150

Finding just the right home for our family is top of our list!


Costs $300

We gotta feed our folks!

Camera Department

Costs $3,450

To achieve the aesthetic of this film, we will need an incredible camera package and DP.

Grip & Electric

Costs $900

'Lights' must come before 'action'!

On-set Teacher

Costs $500

LA Law requires us to have a teacher on-set at all times to work with our child actors.


Costs $800

What can go wrong, will go wrong. And we want to be prepared for that.


Costs $900

To build a cohesive world, we are going to have to make sure everyone is dressed to fit in!


Costs $550

Filmmaking involves a lot of expensive equipment, and we need to protect it financially.

Sound Mixer

Costs $300

Clean sound can make or break a film!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

We have an INCREDIBLE team put together. Female-lead, Latina-driven, and utterly powerful.


Jessica Mendez Siqueiros (Writer/Director) Jessica's Website

Jessica is an alumni of the LAByrinth Theatre Co. Ensemble Workshop, T. Schreiber Studio, and The Freeman Studio in NYC. Her work has been featured in the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe. Her films have shown at festivals around the country, most recently selected to be one of 19 films cultivated from over 1,400 to be showcased at the Tribeca Film Center by the prestigious Downtown Urban Arts Festival in May of 2018.




Lara Aqel (Cinematographer) Lara's Website

Lara Aqel has lived and shot on three continents. Worldwide, she has worked on commercials, short films, features, and doc-style projects. Lara draws inspiration from photojournalism because it’s about “that one shot that has to say it all.” She loves when location is a character and loves watching characters be true. Lara strives to create evocative and emotive imagery organically - cinematography that is borne out of character, story, subtext and genre. These days, Lara wants to be stretched and is thankful for the ambitious director’s creative challenge.


Gary Perez (Cast)

Gary is an Award-nominated, television, film and stage actor and is an original founder of the acclaimed LAByrinth Theater Company (originally Latino Actors Base) that he founded along with John Ortiz, Paul Calderon, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Along with a long list of theater credits he has worked with many top writers including Pulitzer Prize winners - John Patrick Shanley, Nilo Cruz, Lynn Nottage and Stephen Adly Guirgis. As well, he has worked with multiple award-winning directors Anna D. Shapiro, Tony Taccone, Brian Kulick and Jo Bonny at such theaters as Steppenwolf, Yale Rep, 2nd Stage, The McCarter, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and The Joseph Papp, Public Theater. Gary was nominated for a JEFF Award for his portrayal of Cousin Julio, in Steppenwolf's historic first, all Latino cast of The Mother Fucker with the Hat - directed by Anna D. Shapiro, playing alongside the long-time friend, John Ortiz and Jimmy Smits.

This past summer of '17, Gary was a recurring as a Guest Star on The Last Ship. He's worked with Common on the Sundance-LAB film All About Nina, written and directed by Eva Vives.  He did a supporting role in the film Love, starring Susan Sarandon & Boris McGiver, written and directed by the uber-talented James Gallagher. Recently, Gary joined the cast of Big Dogs with yet another Guest Star recurring role. You have also seen Gary as "Tony's Dad" - Arturo Padilla in the widely popular Netflix hit show 13 Reasons Why, where he worked with the Oscar-winning director, Tom McCarthy. He has Guest Starred on Homeland as Deputy Chief Jansen, Blue Bloods as Detective Dennis and was on the CW's hit Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Last year he joined Whoopi Goldberg in the ABC pilot Delores and Jermaine as a Series Regular where he got to use his comedic chops. Other television Guest Star roles include - Chicago PD, Madame Secretary, NCIS-Los Angeles, Person of Interest, The Closer, Awake, Prime Suspect, Lie to Me, The Unit, Numb3rs, Without a Trace, Law & Order, Third Watch, along with Guest Star Recurring roles on two HBO hits: OZ and The Sopranos and the NBC pilot Tin Man, directed by DJ Caruso.

Current Team