Sheila Scorned

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Satire, Shorts Program

Mara Tasker

1 Campaigns |

Green Light

This campaign raised $34,561 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

288 supporters | followers

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When Sheila inadvertently messes up a major drug deal, local kingpin Barry and his goons kidnap her from the club where she dances. Unfortunately for Barry, Sheila happens to be a trash-talkin’ ass kicker - and a bit of a psychopath. And there’s nothing she hates more than men on a power trip.

About The Project

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

The Story

A few months ago I was reading the morning news and had a strange reaction. I realized it was because the majority of the headlines that morning was coverage of violent abuse towards women. Gang rapes in India, Tahrir Square, acid burnings the world over – women everywhere had come under attack and our bodies had turned into battlefields. It made me angry, and all I could see was red.  I was shaking. It made me feel violent. 


While I’d love to say it made me want to seek proper justice, I wanted something more vicious than that, more satisfying. I wanted revenge, and I needed a fantasy to settle the score.  And so I wrote a grindhouse. Grindhouse movies came about in the 1970’s when urban decay and the rising prominence of television forced movie theatres to show something TV could not. What started out as a heady mix of porn, sleaze, low-budget horror and bad martial arts eventually morphed into its own genre. Films like Coffy, Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!, I Spit on Your Grave, and Sex and Fury ended up acquiring cult followings, and none held back on their shameless depiction of sex, violence, and sadism (most of which was directed at women).  I decided that very morning to flip the gender roles of this genre and give absolute freedom to women to turn the tables of their stories, hoping that in film, there might be a chance to help give back a muscular voice to my sisters who have been stripped of theirs. 


Now let’s talk about sex. So many of the crimes I read about that morning had to do with sexual violence.  So many women have to contain themselves for safety or because of political dogma. Apart from revenge, I wanted sexual power.  I am hungry to see a woman on screen whose body is free to move, to be seen as it wants to be seen.  A body unafraid to exist in the open and at the same time isn’t exploited for commercial purposes. 


So please meet Sheila.  She doesn’t care if anyone likes her. So with the same freedom that male characters are given on screen to escape the impossible and fight off throngs of villains, I’m granting my leading lady absolute freedom to achieve the same. Sheila’s pissed.  She’s out for revenge and until she gets even, she’s not in the mood for chit chat.  She’s not concerned with being sexy. She won’t be your role model, and she doesn’t need to be.


I’m making this film for the girl in the blue bra in Tahrir Square. I’m making this for the 20-year old woman in West Bengal who was gang-raped as punishment for falling in love with a man from a different community. I’m making this for the female characters I grew up watching on screen, who since 1950 have been outnumbered by male characters 2:1, and for my fellow women behind the camera, who must work harder and achieve more in order to be taken seriously in an industry where men outnumber them 4:1. I’m making this for my wonderfully supportive crew, who have given their time, passion, and names to a venture as crazy as an independent short film. Most of all, I’m making this for you, the audience, who I hope will walk away from a screening of SHEILA SCORNED thoroughly entertained and pumped up about the amount of ass that Sheila just kicked. So I hope you join me. I promise it will be worth it.


Mara Gasbarro Tasker



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

HD - Arri Alexa

Costs $4,300

This is for the full camera package, including lenses, accessories, hard drives, etc...

Special Effects

Costs $2,800

It ain't a grindhouse without blood, guts, and squibs! This goes towards SFX costs- crew/equipment.

Actors / Actresses

Costs $2,250

Help us get a kick ass leading lady and some mean lookin' dudes! Will be under SAG Short Film.

Stunt Choreography / Equipment

Costs $3,250

Sheila's gonna have some sweet fight scenes! This goes towards a choreographer and equipment.

Location fees

Costs $4,500

Sheila's adventures take us from a strip club, to a dingy warehouse, to a climactic scene on a yacht

Makeup and Wardrobe

Costs $1,250

We need makeup and costumes for the actors! This will cover rentals and expendables.

Production Design / Props

Costs $1,300

We need guns! And knives! And chairs that break over people's heads!

G&E equipment

Costs $2,500

This will cover grip & electric costs, including lights, c-stands, etc...

Sound equipment

Costs $1,300

This covers all costs associated with recording audio for the film- a boom mic, mixers, etc...

Catering / Crafty

Costs $2,800

Hungry crews mean cranky sets. Help our guys stay happy by keeping them well-fed!

Transportation costs

Costs $550

This will cover the trucks, vans, and fuel we need to ferry equipment and talent around LA.

Post-Production Costs

Costs $3,700

This will go towards all costs associated with post-production: editing, sound, music composition.

Production Expenses

Costs $1,000

Covers various the production expenses you never think about: trash removal, office supplies, etc...


Costs $2,000

We need insurance to cover locations, equipment, stunts, and people.


Costs $1,500

#1 on film sets: Murphy's Law. This is our "just in case" fund to cover unforeseen circumstances.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Mara Tasker- Writer / Director

Mara Tasker is an independent writer/director who studied film around the world before moving to Los Angeles to work in Independent Film Finance at WME Talent Agency. Mara received her BFA in Film Production at CU Boulder in addition to studying producing at Oxford Media School in Oxford, England as well as a specialty in Italian Neo Realist filmmaking at John Cabot University in Rome. Before graduating from Boulder, Mara created and produced the avant-garde dance short PLASTIC BALLAD with dancer Esmeralda Kundanis- Grow with whom she formed an artist collective. After working at WME Talent agency for two years, Mara wrote and directed the short film LATENT which earned her an invitation to speak at the Valsele Film Festival in Italy. In 2012, she worked in development with Tobey Maguire before moving on to write for screenwriter Drew Pearce. Aside from her work in the industry, Mara continues to write and produce independently and is currently working on a slate of features as well as launching an independent film festival in Tennessee under her banner, Navona Films.

Laine Rettmer- Actress, Sheila

Laine Rettmer is an actress and director, known for Five Minarets in New York (2010), Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), and Love Magical (2012). Since graduating from the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, she has also appeared on television in Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Blue Bloods (CBS), and Suits (USA). Laine most recently directed the critically-acclaimed production of La Boheme for LoftOpera, an exciting new company redefining opera for a new generation in the industrial space of Brooklyn.




Jane Cottrell- 1st AD
Jane Cottrell is an independent filmmaker and producer whose passion for studying and creating films has led her all over the world. She spent her freshman year of college living in Paris, France studying European film, art, and photography, and her short "Pizza and Pigeons in the Plaza" was selected as the opening piece at the 2007 California Student Film and Video Festival. She continued making 16mm short films while a student at the New York Film Academy in New York City, and earned her B.A. in Film and Media studies from the University of California Berkeley in 2011.While an undergraduate at UC Berkeley Jane started working in production for numerous award winning directors and cinematographers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, and Wally Pfister, ASC. After graduating Jane started working in film and non scripted television development for producers Christine Peters and Ken Mayer at CFP Entertainment, and then in distribution at Sierra/Affinity during the 2013 European Film Market. Since then Jane has split her time between assistant directing and producing a number of independent short films, music videos, web series, commercials and photography campaigns. 

Emmy Haskett – Production Designer
Emmy Haskett is a Los Angeles based production designer and writer. After completing her BA in anthropology and social theory from the University of Melbourne, she moved to LA to pursue a career in film. She currently resides in Echo Park and spends time writing pilots at Stories on Sunset when she isn't working on set.

Lowell Meyer- Director of Photography
Cinematography is one part visual creativity, one part technical wizardry. As such, Lowell A. Meyer acts as both a painter and scientist when crafting his visuals. Utilizing precise camera movements, expressive color palettes, and rich photographic tonality, he matches his unique eye and artistic sensibilities with technical precision, dexterity, and pragmatism - always in service of the story. Lowell studied cinematography and photography at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and now lives and works as a freelance cinematographer in Los Angeles, California. He has shot a diverse range of projects, including the award-winning short film "Elko" (dir. Alexander Yan), the MTV-released music video "Stars Align" by Jon Sandler (dir. Nicolas Heller), and his first feature film Project Bigfoot (dir. Ricardo Herrara) set to premiere this year. Lowell is always in search of projects that will further his exploration as a visual storyteller and provide him with more opportunities to work alongside other talented filmmakers.
Lowell’s reel:


Producing team:


Riel Roch Decter- Producer
Canadian born filmmaker Riel Roch Decter is currently the Director of Production for the LA based independent feature film company Olympus Pictures. While working at Olympus, Riel has helped the company produce numerous award winning feature films including Stuart Blumberg's debut feature THANKS FOR SHARING starring Mark Ruffalo ,Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tim Robbins, Andrew Adamson's film MR. PIP starring Hugh Laurie, Julian Farino's THE ORANGES starring Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, and Catherine Keener, John Cameron Mitchell's RABBIT HOLE starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, for which Kidman was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, and Mike Mills' BEGINNERS starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, for which Plummer won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2012, Riel produced two feature length films for Olympus: BOTTLED UP written and directed by New York filmmaker Enid Zentelis, starring Oscar winning actress Melissa Leo, Marin Ireland, and Josh Hamilton which premiered at the 2103 Tribeca Film Festival, and THE WAIT written and directed by New York filmmaker M Blash, starring Jena Malone and Chloe Sevigny, which had its world premiere at the 2103 SXSW Film Festival. Riel has also produced numerous award winning short films including THROAT SONG, written and directed by Canadian filmmmaker Miranda de Pencier. The short won the 2013 Canadian Screen Award for best live action short film, Canada's highest film and TV honor, and has also been short listed, one of ten, for a 2013 Academy Award nomination in the short film category. 


Jess Engel- Producer
Jess Engel began her entertainment career in June 2011, working for Lynette Howell at Silverwood Films. When Lynette teamed with Jamie Patricof to launch Electric City Entertainment in January 2012, Jess stayed on and is now their Creative Executive where her focus is on finding exciting new material and cultivating relationships with writers and directors to help expand Electric City's slate. While at Electric City, Jess has worked on such films as Tim Burton's BIG EYES, starring Amy Adams & Christoph Waltz, and Derek Cianfrance's THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, starring Ryan Gosling & Bradley Cooper. Electric City is currently in production on Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden's MISSISSIPPI GRIND, starring Ryan Reynolds & Ben Mendelsohn. 


Pip Ngo- Producer
San Francisco native Pip Ngo is the Manager of Scripted Development for Sierra/Engine Television, where he’s responsible for shepherding projects from their conception through the finance and development process. Sierra/Engine, which utilizes an independent television model to finance straight-to-series network orders, brought to audiences worldwide NBC’s SIBERIA in its first year. It’s currently in production for ABC’S THE BLACK BOX, created by Amy Holden Jones (INDECENT PROPOSAL) and Ilene Chaiken (THE L WORD), and starring Kelly Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave. Sierra/Engine is also distributing for NBC worldwide the currently-in-production CROSSBONES, created by Neil Cross (LUTHER), and starring John Malkovich. Pip formerly worked for CAA’s Film Finance Group as well as sales, distribution, and production outfit Sierra/Affinity, where he was involved in number of titles from Sierra/Affinity’s prolific slate, including Derek Cianfrance’s THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, Gavin Hood’s ENDER’S GAME, Taylor Hackford’s PARKER, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE. Prior to joining the independent TV and film worlds, Pip worked on Broadway for Carole Shorenstein Hays, the legendary and prolific producer of multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning productions. With Carole he helped bring to the stage the Tony Award-winning revival of August Wilson’s FENCES, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, as well as Martin McDonagh’s A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE, starring Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. 

Sev Ohanian- Producer
Sev Ohanian is a 26-year-old filmmaker native to Los Angeles. At the age of 20, he produced and self-distributed MY BIG FAT ARMENIAN FAMILY, a no-budget indie feature-film that became extremely popular with Armenian audiences around the world. Shortly after, he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA program - using the profits from his film to pay for tuition. While at film school, he focused on producing several ambitious short films in collaboration with fellow students. Since graduating, he was the Co-Producer on FRUITVALE STATION, a feature film written & directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Michael B. Jordan & Octavia Spencer. FRUITVALE STATION premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company and was released in theaters everywhere in July 2013. Also in 2013, Sev was a Producer on THE LABYRINTH, MEMORIA, and YOSEMITE, three feature films for James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions. He was awarded the 2013 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award by the Arpa International Film Festival. He recently finished producing PRODUCE, a feature film shot entirely in Louisville, Kentucky.


Current Team