Dallas, Texas | Film Short


Ferdos Heidari

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,507 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

64 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


“Within” is dark and bitter with a layer of icing and sprinkles of color. It is the story of a girl, Cherry, wrestling with depression. She’s trying to find herself amidst emotional paralysis and extreme mood swings. This story brings awareness and validates different types of mental problems.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Currently, we are in a political climate that questions the existence of people of color let alone their mental health issues. The recent events have pushed us to not only care about portraying more people of color in art but to have an unbiased story out of the stereotype box.

The Story

Depression. Glitter. Lollipops. Mirrors

Why me?

Within comes from a personal place. I wrote this piece during one of the darkest times of my life. I was depressed but I didn’t feel sad, I was feeling numb. And I remember looking for shows about mental problems specifically with women of color leads. And I really couldn’t find a lot. I made this short film so the next time a girl like me doesn’t feel like she’s alone in this. 

Why this?

We are seeing a woman of color struggle with her mental health in this film. Women of color are not only unappreciated, but it is hard for other people to empathize with our struggle. In a lot of underrepresented communities, there is this idea of women being super strong to such a degree that it’s almost dehumanizing. These stereotypes can be so hard on a person’s mental health, especially when they feel like they can’t reach those expectations. A great thing about Within is that the film really highlights the struggle of a woman of color dealing with her mental illness, which is something that is really rare to see since the woman of color rarely has the privilege to work through their mental illness or trauma.



Why now?

We are in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re trapped at home and distanced from our loved ones. And this has caused a rise in mental problems. This story brings awareness and validates different types of depression. Especially because we have a very limited definition of mental problems. We wanted the audience to feel understood and know it’s okay to not be okay during these chaotic times. 



Why you?

We believe we are surrounded by a community that cares about art, women filmmakers, and diverse stories. That’s why we specifically chose YOU to reach out to when this campaign was launched. We are taking you on this journey with us from pre-production to when our short film reaches a film festival on the other side of the world! The passion, generosity, and kind hearts of our beautiful community enable us, young artists, to survive. But why make a film now? You might ask. Because now more than ever we witness the importance of art. How would quarantine be without a movie, a book, or a song? We decided to make Within now because art heals and transforms. 



The COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown us a few curveballs and we had to cancel our production in August. We are very excited to be back on track with production. Rather than being disappointed, we have used our extra months of pre-production to polish all aspects of Within. Last month, we came together for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. Socially-distanced and following all CDC Guidelines, our team shot promotional photos and videos for the film. Throughout the remainder of 2020, we are finalizing pre-production details.

  • March 2020-March 2021 Pre-Production
  • March 24-28, 2021 Production
  • March 2021-Summer 2021 Post-Production
  • Festival Circuit & Pending Release following Summer 2021.




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


Costs $500

Do you want to give us food for one of the production dates? You can feed our cast and crew!

Light & Sound Equipment

Costs $1,700

Do you want to loans us your equipment? Let us know!


Costs $1,500

Do you want to pay our fantastic cast for their great work?


Costs $1,500

Our passionate crew has been working on Within for the past year. Help us appreciate them!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team



Ferdos Heidari

Ferdos Heidari (Writer, Director) is a Middle-Eastern theatre artist and filmmaker based in Dallas, TX. She received a BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University and now pursuing a Masters in Film Studies. She has written, directed, and acted in several solo performances with the latest one about the psychological journey of immigrant Iranian women in the USA.







Mikaela Brooks

Mikaela Brooks (Co-Director, Producer) is an African American writer, director, and actress based in Dallas, TX. She received a BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University. As a woman of color, her artistic focus is highlighting the issues that all women of color face in daily life. Her focus is evident in all the work she does, including her direction of Smart People by Lydia Diamond and her play FREAKSHOW, which makes her well suited to work on this film.






Lexie Shamir

 Lexie Shamir (Producer) is a sophomore at Southern Methodist    University pursuing a BFA Film Production major and  Advertising minor. A two-time Stars of Tomorrow Film Festival Award of Excellence winner, and a two-time first prize winner of the BBB Student Video Contest, Lexie has written, directed, starred in, and produced several short films and commercials. She freelances as a screenwriter videographer, editor, and sound editor.





Matt Höenig

Matthew Höenig (DP) is an independent filmmaker and musician from Mansfield, TX. Currently, he's studying BFA Film Production at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He's a director and cinematographer that specializes in fast cuts and grandiose shots. He takes inspiration from the style of directors like Tim Burton and Edgar Wright. He works in both music videos and narrative works.







María Serena

 María Serena (AD) is a theater artist making her debut as a film assistant director. At the moment, just like you, she is trying to survive this stupid pandemic. She loves The Beatles, pizza, and her homeland: México.







Alexa May

Alexa May (Social Media/Marketing) is a multi-media content creator specializing in film, photo, and graphic design from Dallas, Texas. She double majors in BFA Film Production and Creative Advertising at Southern Methodist University. Her projects have been showcased and won awards on international platforms such as DIFF, Best of Fests Dallas, AAHSFF, and the Frame of Mind TV Program.

Current Team