STILL A THREAD speaks to a kind of leadership we desperately need. In it, Ruth Baez shows true leadership by putting her own life on the line rather than sending citizens to war. Watch the video to find out how Pomonok Entertainment hopes to use this project to serve our unhoused neighbors.
Mission StatementOur writer/director is Latina, Jewish, bisexual, and in an open marriage -- and so is the main character of this film! Our team is majority-WOC and includes both LGBTQ+ and disabled members. We're hiring unhoused women. Inclusion is in Pomonok's DNA, and we thrive when diverse POVs are explored.
About The Project
In a near-apocalyptic world, President Ruth Baez faces death to retrieve the life-saving water technology her citizens desperately need from a cynical, mercenary tyrant - the Russian president who insists she call him Sergei.
When her last-ditch attempt at diplomacy doesn't work, Ruth comes up with a totally unorthodox solution - a solution only possible in a world teetering on the brink of chaos. A fight to the death - not between armies, but between presidents.
STILL A THREAD allows the viewer to spend time with Ruth in what may or may not be her final moments as she comes to terms with a seemingly impossible choice and has to explain herself to the people she loves most.
This script is the product of a conversation I had with a friend years ago. We were talking about the state of the world and big topics like war, and I started talking about how terrible it is (and has always been) that governments decide to go to war, but they send their (often poor) citizens to fight the fight. They would never do the fighting themselves.
But what if they did?
In that conversation, we joked about a World Leader Olympics, where rather than go to war, Presidents and other world leaders would compete for resources via sporty competition. But then I thought - war is life or death. What if they competed to the death?
And what if the world leader to come up with this solution were a woman?
And what would that say about her?
And what would something like this mean for how we choose leaders?
Producing STILL A THREAD is about more than just telling a timely, thought-provoking story about climate change and the last gasps of capitalism. It's about giving viewing audiences (that's you!) an alternate version of what "Hollywood" could be:
STILL A THREAD is written, directed, and executive produced by a queer, Jewish Latina at a time when, according to Variety, only 4% of films were directed by Latinx filmmakers, the majority of whom were not U.S. filmmakers. Only one director was a Latina. Just 3% of producers were Latinx, and most of these producers were men. I mean, COME ON!
A majority of STILL A THREAD'S cast is not only female, but women of color. Of six characters, four are women of color, and two are token white guys (one of whom is Jewish!). PROGRESS!
That progress extends behind the camera as well. A majority of our crew so far are women of color. As we continue to hire, hiring women of color will be a priority.
And speaking of hiring:
Included in our partnership with the Downtown Women's Center is the ability to hire qualified film professionals through them. Because this is L.A. Can there be any doubt that among the thousands of unhoused people on our streets there would be folks from the entertainment industry among them? Your support of this campaign will help us give these often overlooked women in film concrete opportunities.
This is what a woman-led, justice-focused Hollywood can look like. Help us make it real!
I originally wanted to launch this campaign at the end of 2019, but crew schedule changes, then the holidays, then lockdown and a global pandemic forced me to postpone longer than I would've liked. This short film is a long time coming.
Right now, I have a finished script. I've hired a 1st AD, a co-producer, a craft services person, a PA, and three actresses. Three of those people have been hired directly from the Downtown Women's Center's Workforce Development Program.
And for the first time ever, I've begun approaching the script, not as a writer, but as a director.
Your support of this campaign will not only allow for me to actually employ the people in the positions above, but to not cut corners in some crucial safety areas:
- in addition to the standard crew positions, we are in particular need of a stunt coordinator for a central fight scene that is integral to the story. Stunt Coordinators (and performers) are SAG-AFTRA members, and are a large expense for our budget, but required to keep our actors safe.
- speaking of safety, we are filming this while there is still a pandemic going on, and so COVID safety is a large part of our budget. While we will ask each cast/crew member to take a free lab-based PCR test at a pharmacy two days before our shoot, we will be rapid-testing our actors each day, testing crew on the second day of the shoot, and providing KN95 masks and hand sanitizer for all cast and crew.
- also in the interest of safety - while there are no scenes involving sex in this film, we are nonetheless hiring an intimacy coordinator to work with us on a scene involving our main character kissing two people in the same scene. I want to ensure that all of our actors feel safe with each other, and with me.
Contributing to our effort ensures that we can live up to Pomonok's ethical standards by using the funds raised to prioritize the people working to bring this project together - to pay them well, keep them safe, and ensure that they're well-fed and have everything they need to do their jobs properly so that no one needs to be run into the ground on an overly-long shoot.
Your support also ensures that STILL A THREAD will be able to go on to serve our unhoused neighbors. Pomonok Entertainment hopes to leverage this project financially to continue supporting the Downtown Women's Center in the future.
Once the film is completed, we will not only be entering it into festivals and hosting fundraiser screenings, but we will also be seeking digital distribution! A percentage of any profit made or prize money won in doing these things will go to the Downtown Women's Center in perpetuity. Because here at Pomonok, we believe that success should be measured not in profit, but in how many people that profit serves.
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT US
Of course, your financial contribution to our campaign would be hugely helpful in making this film - and the mission of this production company - a reality. We need to raise at least 80% of our goal in order to be "Greenlit" and be on the way to making our film. No contribution is too small, and you can either choose an incentive you'd enjoy, contribute toward one of our Wish List categories, or contribute without selecting an incentive.
But you can ALSO do any of the following:
- FOLLOW our campaign here at Seed & Spark so you can stay up-to-date on the latest news about STILL A THREAD. It's 100% free. What do we get out of you clicking that little oval button at the top of our page? Seed & Spark rewards us for building our audience. The more followers we get, the more we unlock products, services, and festival fee waivers courtesy of Seed & Spark!
- DONATE GOODS OR LOCATIONS! Our biggest needs right now are production insurance, and an upscale/luxury home location that has both a dining room and a large home office. Keep checking back on our page's "Wish List" section for additional items.
- SHARE OUR CAMPAIGN WITH THE WORLD! The only way we will reach our crowdfunding goal is if we reach beyond our networks. If you’d like to be a part of Pomonok Entertainment's mission of telling entertaining, thought-provoking stories while being of service to our unhoused neighbors, please share our campaign via your social media, email, word-of-mouth, or even carrier pigeon (if that's your thing)! We can't do this without you!
Here are some examples of social media posts. Feel free to copy and paste:
Help #Latina writer/director @teresajusino by supporting her sci-fi/dystopian #ShortFilm STILL A THREAD, about a female president willing to put her own life on the line to protect her citizens. Join the campaign on @seedandspark: https://seedandspark.com/fund/still-a-thread
I'm so thrilled to support @teampomonok & writer/producer @teresajusino in her directorial debut short film, STILL A THREAD - a story about leadership in the face of climate catastrophe. Join the effort @seedandspark: https://seedandspark.com/fund/still-a-thread
Help @teampomonok create a blueprint for a new way of doing business in the #film & TV industry through production of writer/producer @teresajusino's directorial debut short, STILL A THREAD. Head over to @seedandspark to find out more! https://seedandspark.com/fund/still-a-thread
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
TERESA JUSINO (writer/director/executive producer)
Teresa Jusino is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. For nearly a decade, Jusino was a pop culture journalist, her work appearing in outlets like Tor.com, Jezebel, Latina Magazine, Teen Vogue, and The Mary Sue, where she was an editor for three years.
Since then, Jusino has done development work at Topple Productions, and written two one-act plays which have been produced by the L.A-based theater company, Force of Nature Productions. In 2018, Jusino launched Pomonok Entertainment, a production company that produces stories in multiple mediums in service of their unhoused neighbors. Pomonok has produced theater, podcasts, and filmed content.
Jusino was a Finalist for the AMC One-Hour Pilot Competition at Austin Film Festival in 2022, a 2021 Disruptors Fellow, and is repped at Heroes and Villains Entertainment. She lives in Los Angeles with her production sound mixer wife, who would like to inform the world her job title is "Production Sound Mixer," not "sound guy." Please adjust your job postings accordingly.
JEANELLE DUPREE (co-producer)
Jeanelle received her Bachelor's in Cinematic Arts & Technology from California State University, Monterey Bay, in 2017. She has worked on The Bachelor Franchise, Food Network shows, and Hello Sunshine Productions. Jeanelle loves what Pomonok Entertainment stands for and couldn’t be more elated to join this project as a Co-Producer.
JILL NARCISO (1st AD)
Jill Narciso is a queer writer/director from Houston, Texas, who likes to create thriller/horror films with a twist.
She typically draws from her own life experiences for inspiration, whether it’s being afraid of a creepy bathroom, being afraid of antique dolls, or ignoring obvious signs of being haunted by a ghost in her apartment. She is often the weird one in her writing group who likes to question which weapon causes the most blood in a victim, and whose scripts are often read while the sun is out.
Jill is a featured filmmaker in the digital-media company Boyish Media, was a mentee in the Women of Color Filmmakers Lab, a mentee for Women of Color Unite’s #Startwith8Hollywood program, and a fellow in FilmNorth's Pilot Lab: Inclusive & Socially Conscious Filmmaking.
As a director, Jill loves including as many women of color in front of and behind the camera to not only change Hollywood, but to inspire those who are afraid to live out their dreams.
ERIKA SABEL FLORES ("Ruth" in Still a Thread)
Erika Sabel Flores is a Los Angeles based filmmaker. Born and raised in Mexico City, she attended university in the UK and acting conservatory in NY. She holds a BA in Business and MA degrees in Communications and Psychology. She has over 15 years of experience working in front of and behind the camera and has credits in over a hundred film, television, commercial and digital media projects.
Erika is passionate about inclusion, diversity and equity in the entertainment industry. She believes the current industry pipelines can be transformed by teaching and mentoring kids and young teens from under-represented backgrounds. In her work as Executive Director of the Youth Cinema Project, she is a fierce advocate for her students and their voices.
The Last Deal, a short film she produced as a mentoring project for teens from The Boys and Girls Club of Oxnard, won the 2017 MetLife National Merit Award for Program Excellence.
BRIZA COVARRUBIAS ("Maya" in Still a Thread)
Trilingual LA native, Briza Covarrubias has always pursued performance and philanthropy. Her first love was dancing at a young age and her pursuit of comedy, theater and film soon followed. Earning her BA in Communication Studies from CSULB, she traveled the world with various social justice theater groups performing Theater of the Oppressed workshops. You can now catch her producing her own work, continuing her social justice activism and newly on several streaming sites like Revry Tv with TV Show Tiny Laughs, Guest starring on All Rise, Grey's Anatomy and more!