The Rose Garden

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, Family

Nidheya Suresh

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,501 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

152 supporters | followers

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Two estranged sisters are thrust together after the sudden & tragic death of their parents. The film explores themes of grief, mental health & sisterhood, and is a definite attempt at changing the way South Asians are depicted in media.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

THE ROSE GARDEN aims to expand the way South Asians are depicted in media beyond the usual stereotypes. We also aim to bring conversations about mental health to the forefront, as this is often brushed under the table in our community. It is important to see its impact from multiple perspectives.

The Story


The Rose Garden is the tale of two estranged sisters who are forced to come together after the sudden and tragic death of their parents.

LISA MARIE THOMAS (30) has always been the strong one, the tough one, the reliable one. But when her parents are suddenly killed in an accident, she is forced to deal with not only her own grief, but also all the legal work that comes with someone's passing. And to make matters worse, her younger sister DAMINI ISHA THOMAS (24) is nowhere to be found, and seems to have left her all alone to deal with everything. Damini, on the other hand, is battling her own demons & is unable to confront and deal with the sudden loss of her parents. This is the story of Lisa and Damini and how they face each other & the monumental loss in their lives.

Written, directed & produced by Nidheya Suresh, The Rose Garden is a story about profound grief, sisterhood, family and, how sometimes, the only way through is together. It also tackles issues of mental health & how that can affect an entire family.

The film will have a natural, stripped down look to correctly depict the characters and their mental states, similar to Nidheya's award-winning short, Maa:





No matter how much it has advanced, mental health issues are a taboo topic in the South Asian community. Very few people want to talk about it or discuss how it can unfortunately tear a family apart. Having dealt with anxiety for a few years, Nidheya wanted to write about how such issues can affect each and every single person in the family.

In addition to tackling that, Nidheya has also been searching for a way to describe the profound grief she felt at losing her maternal grandfather 10 years ago, ever since he passed. The Rose Garden is a story that expresses those emotions in a raw, emotional manner.

In a time when we are all struggling to stay connected and understand the collective trauma we are going through, The Rose Garden is the perfect story about how to bring those difficult conversations to the table. It is the only way we can heal and move forward.

In addition to that, Nidheya wants to improve and enhance authentic South Asian representation on film. Whenever you think of an Indian (or Indian-American) character in American film or TV, you think of someone with a thick (often fake) accent, someone who probably hates their culture and mentions it in every sentence possible. They’re probably very good at math, are scientists and definitely hate their parents. Tiring, right?

After desiring well-rounded, layered, and nuanced media centered around South Asian women, and not always getting it, Nidheya knew she had to to take matters into her own hands. If there was nothing out there that reflected her own identity & experiences, she would just go out there and make it herself. 



Producers & lead actors Ria Patel & Kankana Chakraborty felt the same, and the three of them decided to come together and work on The Rose Garden together.



Together, Nidheya, Kankana and Ria have won over 50 awards in national and international film festivals. Nidheya had collaborated with Kankana in her award-winning film MAA, and with Ria in her award-winning film BANDAID.






Currently, we have a locked script. We also have our key cast and crew members locked down, along with our primary filming locations. We intend to film the movie in July 2022 and complete post-production by fall 2022.

Since all of our films have faced success at film festivals, we are sure that THE ROSE GARDEN will be no different. Upon completing post-production, we will be sending the film to over 100 film festivals in the US, India and everywhere in between.




We understand that $12,000 is a lot to ask for, but we are doing it because of just how much we believe in this story and the need for it to be told. So, here’s what the funds you provide will go to:

1.      CAST & CREW: Our cast & crew will be working hard to make this film, and they deserve to be paid fair wages for it. Each and every person, from the talent to the cinematographer, sound mixer and production assistants deserve to be paid for the hard work and love they pour into the film.

2.      POST-PRODUCTION: Once we wrap shooting, the work is only half done. We still must get the film edited perfectly, and then get a beautiful score and color correction to enhance the project.

3.      MEALS & CRAFT SERVICES: Film productions days are long & hard. So, our cast & crew will need delicious, nutritious food to keep them going throughout the day so they are satisfied and healthy.

4.      COVID-19 SAFETY KIT: We take the health & safety of our cast & crew very seriously and will be providing everyone with N95 masks, gloves and testing kits.

5.      FILM FESTIVAL SUBMISSIONS: Over the years, our films have been official selections & award winners at multiple national and international film festivals. We expect no less from The Rose Garden and will be submitting it to 100+ festivals in India, the United States and everywhere in between.

6.      EQUIPMENT & PRODUCTION DESIGN: It is important for us to invest in good camera & lighting kits to bring the film to life in the most beautiful way. We also need the right production design for our sets to look realistic.

7.      PERMITS & INSURANCE: We need to secure Production Insurance & city filming permit fees to move forward with the production.

8.      CONTINGENCY: Things happen, and we want to be prepared for it. Film production is an expensive and often unpredictable business, and we want to be ready for anything.



Thank you so much for joining us on this journey so far. You are amazing! The Rose Garden is a project that is very important to us - and we believe, an important one to share with the world. We would really love your help and support on making this film happen.

We hope you take a chance on us and make a PLEDGE. We need to raise 80% of our budget of 12,000 to be able to receive the funds. So please do support the film and urge your friends, family and network to do the same. 

You can also help us by FOLLOWING this page. Once we hit the 80% greenlit stage and get 250 followers, we unlock a multitude of Seed&Spark resources and bonuses. So please, do follow the page and tell everyone you know to do so as well.

Finally, you can follow our social media pages- @rosegardenshort (Twitter) & @rosegardenshortfilm (Instagram).


You can copy paste the following tweets/posts to your social media pages:

Support South Asian #femalefilmmakers by backing @rosegardenshort on Seed&Spark. Trust me, you won't regret it!


Interested in supporting #independentfilmmaking? Please back @rosegardenshort on Seed&Spark by clicking the link below:

#femalefilmmakers #southasiancinema 

RT & share


Thank you so much for your help & we can't wait to share updates with you very soon.


Nidheya, Kankana and Ria







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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Production Design

Costs $300

All sorts of props and production design for the film.


Costs $2,600

Crew fees.


Costs $2,800

All steps of post-production.


Costs $900

Our leads and supporting cast.

Lights and Camera

Costs $800

Camera & lighting gear.

Meals & Craft Services

Costs $450

Meals and Craft Services for the cast & crew.


Costs $450

Other items we'll need for filming, including COVID safety items.

Insurance & Fees

Costs $2,000

Filming Permits & Insurance.


Costs $1,700

In case of emergency.

About This Team

We are proud to announce that our team is entirely composed of members from the BIPOC community. A lot of us have worked together before, and we cannot wait to collaborate and make THE ROSE GARDEN together.


Nidheya Suresh:    Nidheya Suresh is a Los Angeles based award-winning writer, director & producer of Indian origin. Over the past few years, she has created multiple award-winning films: Idée Fixe, Tabitha, Maa, Bandaid & For Better or For Worse. In 2020, her film Maa won the Best of Out & Loud at the Out & Loud Pune International Queer Film Festival. Her films usually deals with issues of identity, family and home. Apart from The Rose Garden, she’s working on multiple TV pilot dramedies centered around Indian-American women.


Kankana Chakraborty: Kankana is an actress and filmmaker, whose docu-fiction on violence against women, Women Prayed & Preyed For featured Bollywood industry personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shyam Bengal, Usha Uthup, etc. She has written, directed and acted in the award-winning Bengali short films, Written By? and Anurup/Mirror Image. Currently, her first Indo-US feature film, A Nomad River, was launched on Amazon Prime, and she just finished production on her first Hindi feature film, directed by revered actor Rajat Kapoor. 


Ria Patel:   Ria is an Australian-Indian actress, dancer, and writer. She graduated from New York Film Academy with a Bachelors in Acting and also studied at Victorian College of the Arts in Australia. Some of her work includes playing the lead in the first ever Gujarati web-series Varta re Varta, multiple award winning films: Bandaid, Two Paper Nightingale and Nice. Most recently she won the Best Actress Award for her films Trey Pops and Bandaid. Ria truly believes storytelling has the power to connect, comfort and also challenge the audience to evoke change in the world and within themselves. Stories have always been there for her and now she wants to be there for her audience as a storyteller.


Ahlan Williams:   Ahlan holds a BA in Radio, TV & Film from CSU Fullerton. She has created and produced multiple award-winning short films and is currently a member of the Mattel BAM Writers program. She created content for a Barbie themed animation series scheduled to air on Netflix Spring’22. Her projects are based on relationships, suspense, and family, and have garnered Industry awards and recognition. Ahlan identifies as African American and inserts a balance of inclusiveness and culture in her creative projects. Some of her projects include, the short Films: For Better or For Worse, Idee Fixee, Maa, and Tabitha; Animation: Barbie: It Takes Two.


Shashikant Panat: Shashi Panat is a Los Angeles based award-winning writer, producer and actor of Indian origin. He previously worked at Disney where he was managing Worldwide Facility Services. In the last few years, he produced a Marathi feature film Nirmal En Route in Bollywood and a short English film The Gift in Hollywood, both scoring 8 international awards. Currently he is a Screenwriting consultant for Bollywood. He acted in the short film "The New Britt" and recently appeared in a short role for America's Most Wanted on Fox network. He has several commercials to his credit. Shashi has written several feature and short film scripts in addition to his two poetry books.

Current Team