The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, suicide rates will double from 1 in 40 to 1 in 20 people taking their lives. Suicide affects us all and I wanted to show a complicated, yet honest story about survival, loss, and the strength of women in the midst of brokenness and fragility. We need each other so much more than we let on, and “Spiraling” is our road back to that while breaking type casts and having a long overdue conversation about suicide—and hope.



Writer/Director: Dawn Garcia
Starring: Kearran Giovanni, Lauren Bjel, Juan Riedinger

We are a cast and crew of passionate storytellers. We are all in Los Angeles and will film in this incredible city that has supported those who dare to dream. We’ve come together as a team of creatives with diverse skill-sets to share a story we believe needs to be told.


What We Need & What You Get

We have set a goal of $25,000-$35,000 to complete our short film.

We have raised 10% of our goal so far. We need your help.

The production fees include the cost to film in Los Angeles, production cast, crew, pre-production, post-production including editors and sound design, and submit to local and global festivals. Making this film will be a ton of hard work so that we can make something beautiful, powerful, and necessary—and we need your help to make it happen! Every contribution helps, no matter how small!

To show you how much we appreciate your support we are providing a few great perks you will receive for your donation. Perks range from private screener links, producer credits, behind-the-scenes signed photos, and signed props.

We’re hoping to reach our goal so we are able to make, produce, and complete this film! Any additional funds raised will go toward volunteer workers, suicide prevention and festival submission fees.



The Story of How It Began.

In a world seemingly lost in a tailspin, we’ve all had moments where stress, loss, uncertainty, and hurt have risen to the surface. “Spiraling” tells the story of two women, at different stages of their lives, grappling with life and trauma. No matter what the cause, its fair to say we’ve collectively—at one point or another—questioned why we’re still here and if we’d be better off leaving this world. And if we did so, leaving it on our terms.

As we take into account the many things changing in our modern world, including the movement towards true equality and healthy mental well-being for all, we have to also have our eyes open to the things that are affecting us all and thoughts of suicide is more common than you think. It happens with veterans, professionals, moms, dads, the elderly, kids, women, men, gay, straight, trans, entrepreneurs, creatives, politicians, scientists, artists, chefs, and engineers. It doesn’t discriminate … that feeling.

And that feeling(or feelings) tend to stem from frustration, discouragement, trauma, loss, economic hardship, feeling misunderstood or displaced, and sometimes there isn’t a clear cut answer to the why of it all. But we tend to keep those feelings deep inside the dark places we don’t like to talk about. This film is about not bottling them up. It’s about exposing them, and we do that through the story of two women, Marian (Giovanni) and Ana (Bjel): A mother who has lost too much, and a twenty-something who is in the early stages of her journey of adulting.


This fund is to make the short film. What’s following is a series that will tell multiple stories because we need to learn about one another, what we’re struggling with, and how to be compassionate.


{Kearran Giovanni}



{Lauren Bjel}



{Juan Riedinger}



A Proper Introduction

  • Who am I?

I’m Dawn Garcia. The writer and will-be fist time director of “Spiraling”.

  • Why is this campaign important? 

Because we need to be honest about the dark feelings we’ve all had. Suicide isn’t always about mental illness. Sometimes, it’s a response to severe trauma, and I don’t think it’s up to us to decide whether those thoughts are troublesome or noble.

What is up to us is how thoughtful we are to one another in times of hardship and trauma; how kind and understanding we should be.

In the sea of chaos and smart devices, far too often we’ve lost the ability to show the value of human connection. And we need it more than ever.

  • Why we are launching this campaign?

To support an incredibly talented and experienced cast and crew.

This campaign is more than just about funding a film. It’s about supporting a new dialogue that encourages us to see each other as human beings in pain in need of one another.

  • Why does your contribution matter?

Because film is a powerful modality to connect us all. You are not contributing to a person, you are contributing to an idea and a collaboration of people coming together with a shared experience.

  • Where does your investment go?

To fund the crew, cast, equipment, permitting, insurance, pre and post production, marketing the film, festival entry fees, locations.

  • What is our goal with this film?

Plain and simple: to tell a compelling story that doesn’t shy away from a difficult subject, and to get everyone on this project an Oscar nomination (and a win if we’re being honest!). Once we complete production on this film, we will begin putting together an anthology series (being written now), and we hope to work with incredible actors, editors, directors, and more talent to bring these stories to the forefront of a long overdue conversation.



Full transparency:

  • $25,000-$35,000 is what we’re asking. This amount is a result of getting the numbers of cost to make a film in Los Angeles. In LA, there are fees for location/equipment/permits, props, wardrobe. This shoot requires insurance for the cast (ensuring this is a SAG qualifying film) and crew and insuring the equipment we use. Fees include post production costs of editor, color corrections, sound design, all associated costs for time and labor. This also covers the fees to submit the completed film to multiple Oscar qualifying film festivals (all of which have an associated fee), and it covers the extensive marketing required to get the film out there and in public view. The budget does NOT include payment to myself. I am not taking money for the script or directing this project.
  • PERKS vary depending on what you’re able to contribute but will include: social media thank you (this applies to everyone who contributes), signed posters, meet and greet, Executive Producer credit (for donations of $10,000 or greater), Producer credit (for $5,000 or greater), an invite to our screening, and more.
  • IF we don’t reach our goal, we’re going to do everything we can to make the film with whatever we can raise, and we will have to figure out the rest.

The Impact

“Spiraling” is an opportunity to do something bigger than a single person and is beneficial to all:

  • Directly affecting diversity and gender disparity in film, and changing social dialogue.
  • Raising awareness about suicide prevention.
  • I have successfully launched 6 different magazines (72 print editions, 1300 digital articles), written two feature films, a book, been chosen by Francis Ford Coppola and Zoetrope All:Story with two pieces of short fiction. and have co-created two TV Series’.
  • I have worked in film and entertainment all of my adult life. I started out as a makeup and special effects artist and have done everything from crafts service to special effects (“Lost World”), have worked in network advertising learning the business (5 years at BET Network), and have partnered with companies such as NBC Universal, Disney, Pixar, and Fox Home Entertainment as an influencer on multiple campaigns (“I Feel Pretty”, “Coco”, “Pitch Perfect 3”, “This Is US”, and more). I love visual storytelling and believe we have a responsibility to use our creative talents to broaden minds and bring people together through shared experiences and the whimsy of imagination.

Risks & Challenges

Your contributions to this project is about your belief in a bigger story. As for risks, there is not a financial ROI for short films. Short films rarely produce monetary gain BUT this project is positioned to be an Oscar (Academy Award) contender, as well as being distributed on a global platform, and that is the reward for taking a chance on this project.

  • Contributing to “Spiraling” is contributing to a grander idea that creativity can result of profitability and  worthy accolades and that is the ultimate goal. To showcase story, talent, and the value of hard work and promising performances.
  • Like any production, films have challenges. The challenge of this is to make a beautiful and poignant film with a budget that is minuscule in comparison to features (that extra hour of film in a feature can warrant millions).
  • The team that has come together to work on “Spiraling” is beyond talented and their cumulative credits include Terminator: Dark FateCaptain MarvelDawn of the Planet of the ApesChicago MedAbout A Boy (TV), and more.

Other Ways You Can Help

In the event you’re unable to contribute, there are so many other ways to help.

  • Spread the word! Share the campaign with friends and colleagues.
  • Click on any of the social links here and share with social media.

In the last decade, there have been so many stories of those we admire that have taken their lives. Sometimes we’ll never know why. It’s the moments leading up to that decision to end it that needs our attention. We are our best when we learn to understand one another on a far more honest level. And this project is about instilling empathy, hope, and understanding. Those responses are universal and affect everyone.

With the many movements that have come to our attention, women and the gender disparity has become a rather necessary conversation. We forget that’s half of the world’s population and yet our stories are rarely told. From our perspective. So I wrote a story starring two immensely talented women of color and I wanted to tell a story about our strength and our brokenness in times of severe trauma and stress. And I wanted you to see the beauty in the brokenness.

Thank you for being a part of this project. We can’t do it without you!