THƠ - LGBTQIA+ short film
Thơ is extraordinary, because no other asexual girls of Color exist in film/tv. Written by an asexual girl of Color, our film addresses misconceptions about asexuality with vivid authenticity. Help us pay our amazing cast and crew, and support BIPOC & LBGTQIA+ artists!
Mission StatementWe’re a diverse team made up primarily of BIPOC and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our films feature our communities in vibrant, unapologetic narratives underestimated by Hollywood. As storytellers of many identities, we demonstrate the power of our collective voices.
About The Project
An asexual girl of Color, played by an asexual girl of Color, is rare but not less powerful. Our film challenges the misconception of asexuality being something to be fixed, and reclaims it as a valid Queer identity.
LGBTQIA+ representation is slowly getting better, but Queer and Trans People of Color are still not given power over their own stories. Asexual characters in film/tv still tend to be created by people who are overwhelmingly white and not asexual, leading to harmful stereotypes about who we are and can be. Asexual people of Color exist--help us be heard and seen in stories, by us!
As Thơ (Heather Muriel Nguyen) ventures into romance, her friends and partners misconstrue her unapologetic Queerness. Questioning whether she's not actually who she thinks she is, she's pressured to be valued by them or fight for herself.
Like its heroine, this film is unflinching in its honesty. Despite painful memories, she learns that self-love is inconsistent but precious. It's an authentic take on sexual trauma, but also empowering Queer representation. We'd love to share it with you!
THƠ features identities that intersect: of Color, LGBTQIA+, and mental health diagnoses, to reflect the communities of our team. We're committed to authentic media representation, and supporting our crowdfund allows us to continue to tell these beautifully nuanced stories.
Many of us lost jobs that fund our creative work, in an industry that still undervalues BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and womxn. Partner with us in proving that our labor and stories have value!
Thơ doesn't bear the burden of representing her whole community, and it’s our hope that greater understanding of asexuality invites more informed stories about this Queer identity and the wide range of relationships--both healthy and unhealthy--that asexual people have.
We finished production pre-COVID and post-production over many Zoom calls and all-nighters during 2020, but our film isn't complete until our team--who are 93% BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+--have been compensated for their amazing work!
Your contributions will pay our phenomenal volunteer cast and crew and give us the opportunity to submit to film festivals and reach distributors. All campaign perks are designed by our amazing artists and crew!
- if we raise 80% of our goal, we can pay our cast and crew, production costs, & festival fees!
- if we raise 100% of our goal, we can also cover post-production costs!
- if we raise 150% of our goal, we can pay our cast and crew for our next vibrant film, about a girl of Color fighting physical manifestations of her depression, OCD, and social anxiety...with her fists
You're directly uplifting phenomenal artists who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and womxn committed to celebrating non-dominant narratives! You can also help us share our campaign--follow @lavenderstitch_tho (ig) for updates. ♥
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Heather Muriel Nguyen (director, writer, editor, producer; she/they) is a panromantic asexual Vietnamese-American multi-hyphenate, who creates visually-striking films about messy, lovable queer & trans folks of color, healing from trauma together. Her vibrant curiosity and commitment to uplifting BIPOC voices and narratives both define her work. Heather's a semifinalist of the 2020 Gemstone Studios (Sony) Rising Storytellers Search and known for the Queer rom-com LoverGirl (2019) and VR film Breaking Ground (2020) currently in their festival runs. In collaboration, she brings emotional depth and hunger to honestly reflect her communities. @heathermurielnguyen heathermurielnguyen.com
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Jake Villadolid (director, producer; he/him) is an award-winning Filipino-American director based in Los Angeles. Jake has directed various short films appearing in festivals across the United States (Where We Grew, Maybe); award winning music videos, and various commercials & promotional material. Most recently, Jake’s work on The Dark with artist “The Songery” was awarded Best Performance Music Video at the 18th Independent Music Awards. Jake believes his purpose as a storyteller is to help us understand each other, and strives to make films that are compelling, fun, and exciting. @j_villadolid jakevfilms.com
Katherine Dudley (director of photography) is a Russian-American Cinematographer and Producer. She studied filmmaking at the University of Alabama, and completed a degree in Creative Producing from DePaul University. She's shot multiple shorts that have appeared in festivals all over the country and internationally, including LoverGirl and Frosting. A lifelong bookworm and traveler, Katherine saw early on the power of well-crafted stories to make an impact on the world, bring people together, and reveal light or humor even in the darkest of situations. Her projects are infused with her sense of humor, passion for collaboration, and unique visual style. @kdudley_dp kd-creativity.com
Marcus Farrell (camera operator; he/him) is a Chicago-born U.S. Air Force vet turned Director, Screenwriter & video producer. He is known for Headspace (2018) and Dinner for Lemons (2020). Marcus is a professional photographer and video producer, having his photography published in Phoenix, AZ, as well as his videos published in Los Angeles via Project Angel Food. He is currently a full-time student at Los Angeles Film School pursuing his Bachelor's of Science in Cinematography. @lq_photography
Marielle Cuccinelli (assistant director; she/her) is an East-Coast-born, West-Coast-based filmmaker with a driven focus on the action genre. She is primarily an assistant director; some of her recent projects include Cigarette Daydreams (2020), Merrick Carlyle Has a Problem (2019), and Playing Ourselves (2018). Marielle is also a writer-director, with short action films under her belt such as Codename Leto (2018). Her goal as a filmmaker and storyteller is to bring to life on screen the dynamic female action heroes she searched for throughout her childhood. Marielle dabbles in fight choreography and photography, exploring both as art forms of their own and as storytelling tools. @m.cuccinelli
Jonathan Andre Culliton (line producer; he/him) is a Boston-born, Los Angeles-based trans filmmaker. He is a graduate of the Directorial Program at New York Film Academy and a member of the TransMasculine Cohort under Joey Soloway’s (Transparent) The Disruptors. Jonathan is the creator of the series Bombshell, a Heath&Henshaw and Mattioli Productions collab, currently distributed by Amazon, GayBingeTV, TLA Video, ReelWomen Network, and Fearless. Jonathan produced director Michael Yip’s award-winning musical short The Gay Mafia and line produced the final segment in Sarah Taborga’s ball culture doc Dear Queer Dancer. @heathandhenshaw heathandhenshaw.com
Pablo Reyes Langaine (composer; he/him) is a composer and guitarist based in Los Angeles with an incredibly diverse range of skills that have enabled him to work in film, television, games, and the concert stage. His most relevant music department credits include Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (André Øvredal, Guillermo del Toro) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games).
Pablo continuously works in several studios in Los Angeles alongside award-winning composer Anna Drubich and multi-Grammy award-winner trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.
He currently works on multiple projects for the screen including one independent feature film, one documentary, and two short films. Most recently, Langaine scored the original series Tuning In, available on Amazon Prime, and co-founded the Music Supervision firm, Muse Tones. @pablo.langaine
Michelle Fang (Cerise; she/her) is an LA-based, Beijing-grown actress. After graduating UC Berkeley, she defied expectations and moved to LA to pursue acting full time. She stars alongside industry legend James Hong as titular character Patsy Lee in the upcoming Asian American fantasy adventure feature Patsy Lee & the Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms. In 2021, she will appear in Game of Thrones’ writer D.B.Weiss’s highly anticipated Netflix debut film Metal Lords as Lisa Randall. Michelle is honored to be given the opportunity to collaborate with fearless and vociferous creator Heather Muriel Nguyen on this raw and powerful project. She is repped by Mark Morikawa at MGMT Entertainment and Tyler Kahl at Allegory Creative Talent. @themichifang