Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

NalsandTess Team

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $9,647 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

75 supporters | followers

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The film begins a few years after Naina and Faiz's relationship fell apart after he was diagnosed with late-onset schizophrenia. Naina is in LA, taking the leap to find true connection in her life again but Faiz begins to resurface in her mind. She soon realizes she is just as lost as he is.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

With women both in front and behind the camera, we believe in societal shifts through poignant humor. This love story between an Indian American woman and a Pakistani American man challenges stereotypes of minority communities and explores mental health, love, and loss from a fresh perspective.

The Story

HI. We are Nals and Tess. I'm Nalini Sharma, an actor, writer, and comedian. I was born in India, raised in the US and now work in Los Angeles. I am the writer of Wolf and my newly formed production company Wild Sky Factory is producing this film. My creative partner, Tessa Vonderhaar, is directing and co-producing this film. . We have established a name for ourselves in the industry through our comedy duo. We are lucky to have found each other. We are both women of non-traditional molds who believe that paradigm shifts amongst societies are possible through humor and great storytelling. We produce projects that are always personal, entertaining, funny and often social.  In addition to performing in national comedy festivals, our one act, “A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way To India” was a hit in Los Angeles. Our penned digital series, Birdie & Blanche, was a Sundance New Voices Youtube finalist. We also produced our first short film called Garbage, about two girls from completely different walks of life having equally shitty days forced to interact at an intersection. It is currently in post-production.  




Wolf is our second short film venture together.



Why did a disease rip Naina and Faiz apart? If Faiz hadn’t begun to quietly disappear, could they have made it work? Could Naina have been there for him, in a real way, a real support? It’s challenging to diagnose mental health and it’s rarely approached with gravitas equal to other illnesses. After all, it’s not cancer. It’s not Alzheimer. The advancements of medicine have barely tipped the ice of the iceberg of neurological diseases. Mental health has become this elusive, avoidant stigma in our society.  It has been more represented in the media, but rarely enough to be a part of a bigger societal conversation. Films like A Beautiful Mind are wonderful but told from a gifted man’s point of view. There is a dire need for stories here from the point of view of women of color.  In minority communities, like the South Asian community, outreach is rare and seen as some sort of privilege. The health of the mind is taken for granted. Stigmas like this generate shame and loss for not only the person afflicted but his/her family and the community around them. This film is a love story. But the reality and the pain that untreated, unacknowledged mental illness brings to our day to day lives is not romanticized in this movie. 



A very special thanks for Josh Lipton, Chetan Rao, Brandon Battaglia and Dave Ciacco for their talents in making our video. 









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Costs $6,000

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Camera Equipment

Costs $3,000

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About This Team

Director - Tessa Vonderhaar

Tessa is a Los Angeles based director, actor, comedian. You may have seen her on Showtime's Shameless,  ABC's The Middle, heard her voicing a character in Netflix’s Motown Magic (coming soon), seen her in films such as Followed (Timur Bekmambetov). This is Tessa’s directorial debut in film.


Director of Photography - Jay Keitel

Jay Keitel's most recent work as a cinematographer was on Soderberg's The Girlfriend Experience on STARZ. He was born in Northern California and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where he learned to appreciate the seasons, the rain, and hard work. He attended the Northwest Film Center in Portland and holds a BFS in Film/Video from CalArts. His recent films include Leave Me Like You Found Me, directed by Adele Romanski, No Matter What, by Cherie Saulter, The Sideways Light by Jennifer Harlow, Sun Don't Shine by Amy Seimetz which won a special jury award at SXSW in 2012, and The Frontier by Oren Shai. As a cinematographer for national commercial spots, he has shot for General Electric, Pinterest, and Facebook. He has traveled extensively throughout the US and abroad and currently live in Los Angeles, California.

Creative Producer - Bryn Silverman

Bryn is a Brooklyn-based producer whose work focuses on portraiture in both documentary and narrative film. She believes in empowering women through film. Bryn has worked in over fifty countries and five continents, producing and directing for publications such as Reuters, Spin Magazine, Glamour Magazine Germany, NPR, Vocativ, and MSNBC. She post-produced a short documentary for Mumford and Sons and a DACA PSA “Are you afraid of Monsters?,” which was an honoree for a 2018 Webby. Her music video for Kadhja Bonet was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love.” This year, she worked on the feature documentary Roll Red Roll, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and screened at Hot Docs. She produced a video for Van Jones’ #StillNotFree campaign as part of the Jay-Z 4:44 tour. Bryn is a shorts programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival. This year, one of her selections was screened in a Whoopi Goldberg shorts package. She runs with the idea that this means she and Whoopi have the same taste in film.


Consultant - Dalila Droege

Dalila Droege was born and raised in a tiny midwestern town, where long winters encouraged her to develop a lifelong interest in storytelling and music. After a career as classical pianist, she received an MFA in film and directing at Columbia College Chicago. She has written and directed several award winning short documentary and narrative films. A 2011 Project: Involve fellow with Film Independent in Los Angeles, Dalila was chosen to write and direct one of seven short films that premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2011. In 2011 she co-produced the award winning independent feature Sun Don't Shine, directed by Amy Seimetz. She assisted her mentor Nicole Holofcener on the feature Enough Said in 2013. Since then she has directed and produced for narrative, commercial, and documentary projects, most recently producing Kim Sherman's short film Dog Walker. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Production Designer - Nell Sherman

"Nell is a Los Angeles based, New York bred, Production Designer, Actor and film photographer. Nell has production designed music videos, short films and worked in the art department for the likes of John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Tove Lo, Moses Sumney and more. On March 3, 2018 Nell debuted over 75 film portraits at Fabric Studios in Venice, California. The one-night event was so successful that it was extended to a month long residency! Nell tries to spend as little time as possible inside and as much as she can in the ocean. Nell is stoked to be working with such an incredible team!"


Design/Art Director and Talent - Anna LaMadrid


Anna LaMadrid is a Los Angeles based actor. She received her MFA in Drama from the University of Washington. She starred in Helpless, a comedy short which was an Official Selection for the Women in Comedy Festival presented by HBO. You may have seen her pimping Diet Dr Pepper on your TV during a sporting event—though she doesn’t watch sports herself. She’s been doing graphic design for over 10 years including work for Cartoon Network and The Boys and Girls Club. 


Makeup/Hair:  Stephanie Smith (Website)

Stephanie grew up in rural Pennsylvania.  At a young age she was keenly interested in expressing herself artistically through drawing and photography. Stephanie graduated from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2004 with a concentration in Printmaking, Painting and Art History. Drawn to the mythos and warmth of the west coast she relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 2004. With a variety of jobs in music, television, film and photography she always knew she would be part of the entertainment industry in some fashion. Her strength in visual art, composition and refined taste in beauty, manifested itself in a love for make-up artistry and grooming.   When she is not on set she is working on her own fine art photography and painting projects. She currently resides in Echo Park, Los Angeles.


Music - Adam Arcuragi is an American-born songwriter and producer from Georgia, who lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for many years. He is the founding member of the band SPURS, and is credited with being the founder of the musical genre Death Gospel. You can view his long list of musical creations here: ( Website )

Current Team