Trust Issues Movie

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, LGBTQ

Reva Santo

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $13,091 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

185 supporters | followers

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I hope that bringing this story to life will allow folks of all backgrounds to look closely at the things that have hurt them most—that it will encourage them to see the beauty in the darkness and to be brave in the face of those shadows.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

Trust Issues tells the story of a young black queer woman facing the aftermath of sexual assault. As such, we feel that it is important to centralize black women, queer women, and POC in our crew.

The Story

Trust Issues tells the story of a young musician, struggling to regain her footing as she faces past traumas of sexual assault. As a sexy dream girl archetype, she finds herself having difficulty healing because being that version of herself no longer feels safe.


After these experiences, she has difficulty trusting her body, her relationships, and interactions. She doesn't know how to reconcile her inner pain with the role she is meant to fulfill within the industry, particularly during a moment feels triggering. She resents that the past haunts her, and would prefer to aggressively ignore it than to face it head-on. She realizes, however, that trauma doesn’t disappear, just gets buried deeper, to re-emerge later with more force.



I started working on this story during a time when I was facing the afterlife of an intimate trauma that had happened two years prior. I was reflecting on how easy it is for people to forget that trauma always lives in us, though its color and shape may change. I was feeling particularly isolated in these emotions, and reached out to friends who I thought would identify and found that they had experienced similarly.


When trauma first occurs it is easy to show up and support, to discuss, break it down, lend an ear and a shoulder, but what about its afterlife? What about the times that trauma appears years later, unannounced and demands the entirety of your attention? What about the guilt of not being over it, and the shame of not being able to “handle it” or be strong? What about the seductive appeal to just disappear, to be consumed by the black hole that is psychological pain?



I wanted to delve deeper into this world and focus on this shadow layer of trauma. I wanted to explore how Aliya might continue to struggle. How incidents in her past might affect her present relationships, her career, and her ongoing mental health. 

By the end of the story, Aliya is reminded of her own power, she is reminded of the support that she does have, despite feelings of isolation, and she learns that all is process—that things take time, and that she doesn't have to compromise or pretend like nothing ever happened. 

I hope that bringing this story to life will allow folks of all backgrounds to look closely at the traumas that have hurt them most and encourage them to see the liberation in accepting that darkness despite how terrifying it is to do so.


When we meet Aliya she is vibrant, carefree, charismatic. An excellent performer of full sex appeal, however, she is guarded, and not particularly vulnerable. Behind her eyes, there is something tender.  She is protective of her true self. This part of her identity gets amplified after a few experiences with sexual assault. She struggles to get back to the person she used to be, worried that her career will fail if she can’t get back to her former self.





Flash forward and we find Aliya at a low point, triggered by intimacy with love interest Dre, and falling deeply into flashbacks of her sexual trauma. Dre is kind and genuinely cares about Aliya. She checks on her even when Aliya tries to ghost her, but Aliya doesn’t know how she can trust anyone and isn’t ready for a relationship. She figures out how to express this to Dre by the end of the film.





Throughout the story, Aliya goes back and forth between the past and the present as she grapples with the trust issues that the assaults left in their wake. She has difficulty remaining present and finds herself struggling against a dreamy, timeless, foggy state.   


Leland enters during Aliya’s most tender moment. Her longtime old friend, he encourages her to be vulnerable with him and open up about her experiences. He reminds her that healing is an

ongoing process and that her art is meant to help her do so.





Aliya’s manager Joe is hip and cool, but untrustworthy.  He wants Aliya to fulfill the sexy dream girl archetype. When Aliya is assaulted, Joe is unresponsive. Aliya becomes skeptical of his character but is afraid that her career will fail without him. By the end of the film, she gets the courage to fire him and move forward with her career on her own terms.





Trust Issues is undoubtedly a difficult story to engage with, but in the process of writing it and facing my own deepest shadows, I really came to believe that the only way to find any sense of peace or healing is to confront and accept those darkest feelings. Your financial support will help us see this story to completion for the sake of all those who may have had similar experiences. I am enthusiastic for you to join us as we embark on the journey of bringing Trust Issues to life and through it, promoting radical honesty, healing, and self-compassion.


Once Trust Issues is complete, we plan to submit to film festivals per standard, but also intend to link our work directly with sexual assault awareness non-profits for public screenings. Ultimately, our goal is to reach those who have been impacted by trauma and create healing spaces through intentional film engagement, safe space discussion, and healing creative activities.


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

Cash Pledge

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Costs $3,400

Cameras, monitors, lights, etc.

Insurance & Permits

Costs $1,500

Insurance costs and shooting permits

Post Production

Costs $1,000

Editing, Mixing, Finishing, Etc


Costs $1,500

Aaliyah's apartment, Dre's Apartment, Open Mic, Concert Venue, Recording Studio


Costs $600

Truck rentals for the shoot

Art Department

Costs $1,000

PD, Wardrobe, Make up


Costs $2,000

Keeping our crew energized is a #1 priority! Who wants to work while hungry? No pizza either.

Talent Costs

Costs $3,000

Actors bring the script to life. Help us get them paid.

About This Team




Reva Santo is a filmmaker, storyteller and multi-media artist. She graduated in Film Studies from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts for her script Ash(é), and the Henry Evans Travel Fellowship to conduct arts-based research in the Caribbean, during which she made the short film “Consejos de la Isla” or “Advice for the Island”, which was shown in a solo show at Studio 1.0.6. Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 2017, she was selected to direct a visual poem “Wishes for Mom” for the Visible Poetry Project. The piece went on to be featured on “”, shown at City Reliquary in New York, and in 2018 it was an official selection for Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s Juried Exhibition.

Reva’s work pinpoints the emotional pulse of issues faced by marginalized communities and creates space for radical healing and for reimagining. Her creative practice is predicated on an understanding that she is a continuation of her ancestors greatest struggles, desires, and dreams.






Sydni Chustz (she/her) is an LA native and presently works as a producer for a commercial advertising agency. She is also the founder of Bid Black, a database and platform that highlights the work of Black filmmakers, with a focus on increasing their visibility and opportunities to bid on commercial projects in the advertising world. As a producer for one of the top automotive brands in the world, Sydni enjoys taking the skills she uses on the job and applying it to help create the stories that are most important to her within her community.  






Ava Rikki is a NY & LA based cinematographer. She graduated with honors from Pratt Institute. The only time you’ll find Ava not shooting, is if she’s sleeping. Ava has been working in film since she was 11 years old. She started her career by working as an intern at The Weinstein Company at age 17. Since then she’s worked at  Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update and Film Unit, Panavision, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Tribeca Film Festival, IBM, Pomp&Clout, Beyond Studios, and Surround Production. She’s shot for companies such as Ellen Degeneris EDTV, SONY music, Sports Illustrated, Paper Magazine, Hypebeast, Nylon Mag, Art Basel Miami, Lomography, TITLE Boxing, Primma Dona Lingerie, Roli Music, Botanist Vodka, Microsoft, Cheribundi and Lamono Magazine. 





Suveer Bhatia is a writer/producer who currently splits time between his hometown of Princeton, NJ and his new home of Los Angeles. He is the Head of Production and Business Development for The Scribble Room, a media company whose mission is to tell the stories of the unseen. In the fall of 2018, Suveer produced The Scribble Room’s debut film, Waters of March, a project that was completely crowd-funded. Suveer is driven by his desire to tell stories that are authentic, challenge conventions, and are culturally driven.  Suveer recently began his second year as an Investment Analyst at a hedge fund and is a CFA Level III candidate.


Current Team