So, That Happened

Austin, Texas | Film Short

Drama, Romantic Comedy

Neha Aziz

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

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This campaign raised $20,321 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

139 supporters | followers

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When Sheila and Imran meet up after over a decade, there is anxiety, and various forms of tension, but, there is also electric chemistry. While discussing their past and present lives, they find themselves in the unique position of figuring out what their potential future may hold.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Very rarely do we see narratives from the BIPOC community that don’t center around our trauma, which is important, but we shouldn’t be pigeonholed to just telling these stories. I wanted to write a film that normalizes life experiences across cultures, religion, backgrounds, and more.

The Story



Austin, TX - The setting for SO, THAT HAPPENED


I have a deep appreciation for real and raw stories about everyday life; from the mundane to the complex. Some may say that “nothing happens” in these types of narratives but, there is such extraordinary beauty in telling these stories. The way we decide to live our lives and the ups and downs that come with that make up who we are as people. I wanted to make a film that spoke to a very organic situation at a particular point in someone’s life. SO, THAT HAPPENED follows Sheila and Imran who haven’t seen each other since college, but when Imran moves back to Austin, an opportunity arises for the pair to get acquainted once more.


I love storytelling, and consider myself to be a storyteller in every aspect of my life. My work takes a lot of inspiration from my personal experiences and different mediums that I adore.I’ve worked at festivals, curated film programs, and created a podcast about a lesser known moment in history; but this project will be my first time taking a seat in the director’s chair, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for this next step in my creative journey.


These everyday stories are mostly seen through the lens of white people, very rarely have I seen slice of life stories from the BIPOC community. The majority of what is made depicts our trauma and oppression, which of course is important to highlight, but we deserve joy, too. I want to get rid of the common misconception that we don’t face the struggles of dating, low self-esteem, work-life balance, etc. These experiences are universal and transcend culture, backgrounds, religion, and more. 


I created this short in a way that will have every viewer feeling a range of emotions and deeply resonating with this layered story on a number of levels. The audience will be on this journey with Sheila and Imran for fourteen minutes, and when our time with them is up, I don’t think they will want to say goodbye. Viewers will see themselves in Sheila and Imran, whether that’s in their vulnerability, their conversations, or their current places in life.



Films that represent the tone and style for SO, THAT HAPPENED


I was very fortunate to be one of five recipients for the WAVE Grant given by Wavelength Productions, the team behind such films as ONE CHILD NATION, FAREWELL AMOUR, and ATHLETE A. This grant gives first time directors who identify as female/non-binary people of color $5,000, in addition to a one year mentorship. I am coming into this campaign with a boost, which is essential to achieving our crowdfunding goal of $15,000. Our team is currently in pre-production and working tirelessly to hire crew, nail down locations, perfecting the script, and getting all of our production ducks in a row.


In order to make this vision a reality we need your help! Your support will contribute to building out and paying for a majority local crew, casting, period specific production design, and post production to name a few. After the completion of the film, our team will be submitting to festivals with the hopes to world premiere at a top film festival in 2024.




When you pledge any amount to our film (no contribution is too small),  you are helping uplift a story from the Asian American diaspora. You are supporting individuals from a wealth of different communities including women and LGBTQIA+. Lastly, you are supporting creativity, hard work, ambition and determination. We sincerely hope y’all will join us along for the ride.


The SO, THAT HAPPENED team cannot wait to be on set, but we just need a little love before we get there! 


Thank you,


Neha




Wishlist

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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Casting

Costs $3,000

Paying our talent and making sure the right actors are cast for the roles.

Locations

Costs $3,000

Austin is a major character in this film, and we want to showcase this city right!

Post-Production

Costs $4,000

We made the film, now we need to make sure it looks great!

Crew

Costs $4,000

We want to hire local crew and ensure they get paid for their work.

Production Design

Costs $1,000

Will pay for purchases needed for period flashback scenes and other decorations.

About This Team

NEHA AZIZ (she/her) (Writer, Director) is a Pakistani-born writer, film programmer, and podcaster living in Austin, TX. She produced COME & TAKE IT, a documentary short about the #CocksNotGlocks and Gun Free UT movements with acclaimed filmmakers PJ Raval and Ellen Spiro, which has gone on to win numerous accolades. From 2017 - 2020, Neha worked at SXSW as a member of the Communications team. She currently works as a Film Programmer and Community Programs Director for the Austin Asian American Film Festival, Features Programmer for the Cleveland International Film Festival, and a Programming and Media consultant for rePRO. In 2021, she was named an iHeartRadio NextUP fellow for their inaugural podcast program; her show, PARTITION (limited series) debuted in August 2022 and has been featured on Apple Podcasts, NPR, The Austin Chronicle, The RepresentASIAN Project, Asian Founded, and more. Neha is one of the recipients of the 2023 WAVE Grant which offers $5,000 and one year of mentorship to first time female/non-binary directors of Color. SO, THAT HAPPENED will mark her directorial debut.


MASE KERWICK (he/him) (Producer) is a playwright and host of the popular variety show (and now podcast) QUEERTOWNE. When not creating award winning work with classic Texas brands like Dell and Whataburger, Mase most enjoys championing the voices of everyday Texans with fascinating and insightful perspectives on the Lone Star State. A staple of the Austin comedy scene, he's been included in lineups across the country - and is thrilled to see some of his own tendencies as a hopeless romantic brought to the screen in SO, THAT HAPPENED.


ALIFYA ALI (she/they) (Producer) is a producer and second generation Pakistan-American from Texas. Their producing work includes the 2023 narrative short film When You Left Me on That Boulevard, which premiered at Sundance and won the Grand Jury Prize for shorts as well as the Texas shorts Special Jury Prize for Vision at the 2023 SXSW Film & T-V festival. They also work as a brand commercial producer and has lead creative on various commercials for Sonic, Racetrac, Frito Lay brands, and Indeed where she is currently a video producer on their in-house creative team. They are currently in development on the narrative features ’06/’07 and On Earth As We Are in Heaven with director Kayla Abuda Galang and finishing the upcoming short THE PIT.


ANNA ROMANO (she/her) (Editor) is an Austin-based editor. She finds video/film editing a particularly useful tool on her journey to tell the most stories ever told in one lifetime, and to fulfill her never-ending desire to make people laugh, cry, think, spooked or just crack a smile. She has worked as an editor on short films such as Plainclothes, It’s Compligayted, and Wear I’m From. Anna has also done commercial editorial for clients such as Morning Brew, MT Copeland, and Dell. You might find Anna walking her lanky dog, Mister, or perhaps talking to a friend over local tacos—sharing stories and catching up.


CARLOS ESTRADA (he/him) (Director of Photography) is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, whose personal work centers on highlighting the Latinx-American experience. He is a 2022 ASC Heritage Award nominee for his work as a cinematographer on EL FANTASMA. His work as a cinematographer has been featured at EnergaCAMERIMAGE, PBS, NPR, Palm Springs Shortsfest, New Orleans Film Festival, CAAMFest, and DWF:LA. His work in both fiction and documentary make him a versatile visual storyteller with a focus always on the emotions within the story. Carlos is a graduate of the MFA program in Film & Media Production at The University of Texas at Austin.


MARK HADLEY (he/him) (Composer) is an American composer, producer, artist and multi-instrumentalist from Rochester, NY. After releasing his debut EP1 in 2018 under his moniker Hark Madley, Hadley released a series of ambient works in 2019, followed by his debut album "The Future Is The Question!" in March 2020. The final track, "Tomato Soup," was featured in the iPhone 12 Pro product film. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2011, Hadley began his career working as an assistant to a composer, contributing additional music to shows like Modern Family and Rectify, and earning an ASCAP award for his work on ABC Family's Twisted in 2015. After scoring several short films between 2016-2019, Hadley co-composed the original score for Into The Dark: My Valentine, produced by Blumhouse and Hulu in 2020. In 2021, Hadley composed the original scores for two feature films, Double Walker and Linoleum. In addition to film scores, Hadley also composes music for commercials and trailers for major brands including Apple, NBA, Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, A24, Lexus, and more, and founded a boutique commercial music library called Repository in 2020. With an affinity for minimalism and mindfulness, Hadley frequently performs ambient music with modular synths, and has also composed in-app focus music for Headspace.


RACHEL IMMARAJ (she/her) (Production Designer) is a South Asian filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. She has worn many hats over the years working as a Production Designer, Art Director, Set Decorator, and Set Dresser for commercials, films, television, and music videos. Clients she has worked with include Dell, Instagram, Pepsi, Hugo Boss, Lenovo, Target, Whole Foods, and more. Her favorite aspect of designing sets is understanding characters and how they interact with their spaces. She also loves creating color palettes! And highly recommends following @colorpalettecinema. Outside of designing sets, Rachel enjoys street photography, documentary filmmaking, and mental health advocacy. She is currently directing a feature length documentary about obsessive-compulsive disorder and is a couple months away from a final product!


MATT STRYKER (he/him) (First AD) grew up in West Orange, NJ before attending the University of Texas, Austin where he got a Bachelor's degree in Radio, Television, and Film. He’s enjoyed success for his short film work, including premieres at SXSW for Beach Day (Director, Editor) and Joan on the Phone (Editor, 1st AD). His most recent projects were the short film When You Left Me on That Boulevard (Co-Editor, 1st AD) which premiered at Sundance where it was awarded their Grand Jury Prize and Inbetween Girl (Producer) which premiered at SXSW '21 where it won the Visions Audience Award. He also is a co-Producer of the community art project Austin Sunset Public Programming, a local film, music and video art channel.


DREWSKY HULETT (he/they) (Audio Engineer) is a multi-disciplinary sound artist and technician residing in Austin, TX. From production recording and post-production sound design to music composition and performance, Drewsky brings a holistic perspective to every project they are involved in. Drewsky is known for having a calming and caring presence on set and in the studio, providing the highest quality work with plenty of room to have fun doing so.

As an artist, Drewsky is interested in the perception of spaces, real and virtual, that can be crafted or found; sonic worlds which lead to emotionally rich experiences. To this end, they have released instrumental records, contributed to musical projects, created sound sculpture, and provided sound design and composition to film works. They also regularly perform improvisational sets and tour with a variety of music projects. As a technician, Drewsky is determined to understand the scope and core needs of a director, artist, or client. They take time to develop unique, efficient, and effective approaches to capturing audio for film, TV, podcasts, and musical projects.


AMANDA MOON (she/her) (Key Grip)  is best categorized as a cross-department film creative. She began her career in Los Angeles, CA and helped produce & film a number of indie short films, web series, & music videos. Amanda traveled back to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas and joined the film community in Austin. She hopped between working in a number of departments including—AD, Art, Construction, SFX, & Grip and Electric. She eventually made her mainstay in the Grip Department & now currently works as a 2nd Rigging Grip in New York. Her work profile consists of nearly 60 commercials, 5 short films, 10 television shows, 11 indie feature films, & 5 major feature films spanning across seven different states. Her recent work comprises of upcoming & recently released major feature films such as: Nonnas, The Instigators, I Am Vanessa Guillen, Spy Kids: Armageddon, & Look Both Ways. Additionally, she has helped film upcoming & recently released television shows such as: Fallout, The Last Thing He Told Me, Love and Death, & The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. Amanda is a proud member of two international film unions: IATSE Local 484 & SAG-AFTRA. 


JAKOB DOERNHOFER (he/him) (Best Boy Grip) is a NYC based Grip who has been working professionally as a crane, dolly and rigging specialist for over 6 years. Some of his recent notable work includes MAX's "Love And Death", Paramount +'s "Tulsa King" and the soon to be released "Spy Kids: Armageddon" from Netflix. If you'd like to keep up with Jakob you can find him on Instagram @Doernhofer.


CRISTINA MONTEMAYOR (she/her) (HMU) is a Mexican-American hair and makeup artist based in Austin, Texas specializing in beauty, bridal, and commercial makeup. Clients include Kendra Scott, CLEARSTEM skincare, BeeRX, and Literati, among others. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Corporate Communications, she started working as a copywriter while nurturing her passion for hair and makeup artistry. When she's not working on a set, she's working as a freelance writer and beauty journalist. 




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