Los Angeles, California | Film Feature

Drama, Romance

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $21,103 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

142 supporters | followers

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When Taylor, a 37-year-old black woman looking for love, falls for Mehran, a free-spirited Iranian Muslim man, she soon realizes that moving toward her happiness means stepping away from her family and community. Taylor is confronted with the problem: "What are you willing to risk for love?"

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our film is made up of a diverse cast of characters reflective of our behind-the-scenes team. As filmmakers we're excited to be celebrating love that embraces racial, cultural and religious inclusiveness.

The Story

FOLLOW US for a chance to win *2 FREE PLANE TICKETS! 


*Tickets good for travel within the Continental U.S. travel; up to $300 per ticket. 


Winner will be chosen once we meet our GreenLight goal ($16k). Contest ends April 20.




Taylor and Mehran meet in a photography class, and the two decide to partner on a class assignment. They work well together. When it comes to intellect and wit, they are each other’s equals. They have common interests, and a friendship blooms. Despite the attraction, Taylor struggles to come to terms with their differences. 


Throwing her cautions to the wind, she takes a chance on Mehran and they fall in love. Six months later, Mehran proposes. Head over heels, Taylor says yes. She has longed for a good love -- and surprises herself finding it with Mehran. But her joy fades as she confronts the backlash from her family. Taylor must decide whether to lose the love of her life in order to keep the family she loves.



"Esgh" in Farsi means love.




What would you risk for love?


As we struggle to define ourselves: Are we the words and music; the foods and beliefs of where we come from? Or are we something more?


Even as Taylor is looking for love, she's on a quest to define her life on her terms. At its heart, THOSE PEOPLE: A Love Story challenges the notion that familiarity breeds contentment. Oftentimes it's when we step out of our own worlds that we find the happiness we seek.


The landscape for our film is black, brown and white. When we started writing this film, we knew we weren't the "post-racial" nation headlines had suggested. We couldn't have predicted this new socio-political climate -- but here we are, and making a film like ours is more timely than ever. 




A delight to the senses, THOSE PEOPLE: A Love Story is a sensual vision harmonizing the deep brown and olive skin tones of our star-crossed lovers, set against L.A.'s bright sun-kissed backdrops that compliment the richness of their sweetly pungent cultures; from the shimmering stained glass windows at Taylor’s church, to the decadent Persian wedding table brimming with bright florals, elegant silken cloths and candlelight.



And then there’s the food! Our food stylist, San Francisco chef Hoss Zare, is a master of dreamy culinary delights. With golden crusted cornbread and fried fish; veggie-stuffed Persian hotdogs, Southern chow chow and grilled eggplant, the on-screen sizzling, drizzling, squeezing; patting and pouring, churning and grinding heats up in a frenzied abandon. 



The stirring sounds of jazz composer and pianist, Greg Gordon Smith, Iraqi-American multi-instrumentalist and composer, Amir ElSaffar, and gospel music director, composer and pianist, Gregory Jones, add to this luscious dance with voluptuous ballads, timeless spirituals and the enticing fusion of African American and Iranian jazz, evoking both the tradition and modernity of Taylor and Mehran’s worlds.


Along with actor Navid Negahban (Homeland, American Sniper), who is attached to produce and star, and producer Maddie Shapiro (Catfight, Summer of Blood, Applesauce), THOSE PEOPLE: A Love Story is spearheaded by co-writers, producers Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn (co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed) and Barrington Smith-Seetachitt (Children of Others).



The script made it to the second rounds at the Sundance Labs and Austin Film Festival screenwriting competitions. It was among the selected scripts at the DreamAgo 2016 Plume & Pellicule international screenwriting atelier in Switzerland. 



We’re now on course to deliver a film vital to our time. Join us on this journey to bridge hearts and minds.  



We believe that the varied images and stories of black and brown people in media are critical toward building a more open society.  We know black women, Iranians and Muslims are looking for more diverse and inclusive representations of themselves.


To do this, we'll need to get this film out of development and into pre-production. To springboard our vision onto the screen, we’ll need to put together a presentation packet with which to approach investors and/or producers and other above-the-line talent. This would include creation of a production schedule and budget, legal services for creating a business plan, graphic design, website design and hosting, as well as preliminary costs for our LLC.


These costs include*...

$7500 for a Casting Director  

$5000 for a Line Producer       

$5000 for an Entertainment Attorney

$1000 for Storyboard Artist and Graphic Design

$500 for Travel and Office Expenses   

$500 for a Location Scout

$500 for Social Media and Marketing


*Details outlined in our WishList


Co-writers-Producers Janice and Barrington with friends stirring wishes into samanoo for Nowruz (Persian New Year). Considering our list, their wishes are likely pretty obvious.



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

Casting Director

Costs $7,500

Quality acting is SO important! It brings the story to life, draws in the audience, helps with funding, brings attention to the film.

Line Producer

Costs $5,000

Line Producers set production in motion! Budgeting, scheduling and organizing everything need. It's time-consuming work!


Costs $5,000

We'll need help drafting contracts, setting up financing, and making sure we know what laws we need to follow!

Storyboard Artist

Costs $500

To convince people our story will be great, we need visuals in our pitch. Storyboard artists make all the difference!

Travel Expenses

Costs $250

We need to take meetings with actors, directors, agents, casting directors- all over the country, and we need some way to get there!

Office Expenses

Costs $250

Printing scripts, storyboards, pitch materials and financial proposals for potential investors. Boring, I know, but necessary.

Graphic Designer

Costs $500

Selling a film starts with the image. A good design layout is the first thing people see and represents the image and vision of our film.

Location Scouting

Costs $500

We have locations all over Los Angeles. We need to hire a location scout, have a way to get around, and be prepared to make a deal

Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

Costs $500

We need to build an audience and prove that our film will be profitable (so people give us money to make it!)

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team



Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn (Co-Writer, Producer) has a master’s degree in Fiction from the University of Southern California, and a BA degree in Communication from Loyola Marymount University. Her first script, Those People: A Love Story (previously titled Lovers in Their Right Mind), was selected by the DreamAgo 2016 Plume & Pellicule international screenwriting atelier. Prior to filmmaking, Janice has had an extensive career as a journalist. She is a senior editor for Los Angeles Review of Books and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed (Atria, 2012). She is a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities fellow.


Barrington Smith Seetachitt (Co-Writer, Producer) received an MFA in Screenwriting from University of Southern California and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. Her feature screenplay, Children of Others, won a Best Screenplay Award in 2011 from Amazon Studios, where the script was subsequently optioned. In 2016, another feature, Lovers In Their Right Mind (now Those People: A Love Story), earned Barrington a fellowship to the DreamAgo Pen & Pellicule writing lab in Sierre, Switzerland. Her fiction and essays have been published in literary journals like Sycamore Review, Colorado Review, The Drum and Devilfish.


Navid Negahban (Producer, Actor) is most widely reckonized as Abu Nazir, the enigmatic al-Qaeda leader he played for two seasons on Showtime’s Emmy-winning series Homeland. He has appeared on 24, CSI: NY, Law & Order: SVU, Lost, The Shield and others. On the big screen, Navid was a standout in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated blockbuster American Sniper, and recently starred in the films Baba Joon and Damascus Cover. He recently wrapped shooting in New Mexico on the Jerry Bruckheimer film, Horse Soldiers.  

Maddie Shapiro (Producer) is a film producer and writer in New York City. She wrapped her second film with director Onur Tukel in August before heading to the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival to premiere their first film, Catfight, starring Sandra Oh and Anne Heche. From 2014 to 2015 Maddie worked at Cine Mosaic, marketing and developing film projects including The Sisterhood of Night, and Disney’s Queen of Katwe starring Lupita Nyong'o. Maddie is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA Program for Creative Producing where she produced more than two dozen short films.  

Greg Gordon Smith (Composer) is a professional pianist, composer and producer. He recently relocated to Chicago after 14 years in Los Angeles, where he worked in TV and commercial music with Dan Licht (Dexter) and Patrick Williams (Breaking Away, Mary Tyler Moore, Columbo), produced records (Justin Guarini, The Aptics, Students of Concern), and headed the jazz program at the Brentwood School. He has a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University, where he studied with Larry Novak, Alan Swain, Larry Gray and Cliff Colnot.


Gregory Jones (Gospel Music Director) is an internationally acclaimed gospel music producer, songwriter and keyboardist. His debut gospel CD, Gregory Jones & Ministry: Trials to Ministry, features the hits “In the Morning” and “God Remembers When Men Forget.” Gregory is currently minister of music at First AME Church, Los Angeles and director of FAME's Cathedral Choir, the city’s first African American church choir.


Bettina Sherick (Marketing Consultant) advises companies looking for innovative ideas and solutions in entertainment, content, and digital marketing. Bettina was an early digital marketing pioneer in the film industry. During her 14-year tenure at 20th Century Fox International, she oversaw more than 100+ international digital marketing campaigns, including AvatarThe Fault in Our Stars, Life of Pi, and many films in the X-Men franchise. Bettina was named an Internationalist of the Year by the Internationalist Magazine and is the recipient of the iMedia Visionary Entertainment Marketer Award. Her professional affiliations include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTA. 


Ciji McBride (Social Media Adviser) is a provider of video editing and social media support services. She has an MA in Education from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education & Psychology, and a BA in Speech Communication from Clark Atlanta University. She was a elementary classroom teacher for several years, and has worked on several political campaigns as an organizer and volunteer lead. Ciji resides in Los Angeles where she is an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay.


Hoss Zare (Food Stylist) is a San Francisco chef specializing in modern Persian cuisine. Born in Tabriz, Iran, Hoss immigrated to the Bay Area in 1986, and almost immediately began cooking in order to pay bills while working his way through pre-medical coursework. Eventually he gave up med school and trained full-time in the kitchen at the famed Fly Trap. Twenty-two years later, after building a name for himself in other restaurants, Hoss took ownership of Fly Trap. Hoss sold the restaurant last year to pursue new entrepreneurial ventures, consulting and travel.



Current Team