Programs Fri 3.11.2022

Fiscal Spotlight: Parallel, Horizontal and Bifurcating Mothers

Welcome to Fiscal Spotlight, a special monthly round up of projects—at all stages of production—working their way through Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship pipeline.


Make no mistake: we love talking about our Fiscal Sponsorship-supported projects no matter the time or place. We’d be lying, however, if we said that finding a link unifying the three selections spotlighted in this column each month was always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s a bit sweaty (Erm, maybe they all include characters that eat lunch? Is that a thing?). This month, however, the theme is crystal clear: moms. And it’s fortuitous timing—the mom-iest movie of them all, The Lost Daughter, just won big at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

In this month’s Fiscal Spotlight we’re taking a look at three narrative shorts featuring stories of complex relationships between mothers, their children, communities and themselves. The films are united by themes of frustration, displacement, motion and the desire to shield—rightly or wrongly—one’s children from harsh realities of the world at large.

As always, all three projects are supported by Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program, which enables creators to solicit tax-deductible donations and seek organizational grants in partnership with Film Independent:

February’s projects include In Tow, Mother and Sunday Errand. Learn more about the films—including how to support them—below:



Project type: Narrative Short

Project status: Development

Director/Producer/Writer: Sharon Arteaga

Producers: Chelsea Hernandez, Sommer Garcia, Sarqr

About the project: On the morning of her senior homecoming game, a self-involved high school cheerleader, Sheila, and her overworked single mom, Bonnie, wake up to find that their mobile home is being repossessed—with them inside of it! Although living under the same roof, the women’s relationship has become estranged over the last five years—partly due to Sheila’s adolescent and first-generation Mexican-American goals to become more than where she came from, and partly due to her mother’s fatigue from trying to keep their heads above water. The women argue inside the shaking, singlewide trailer, as they are towed through the roads of rural Texas, fighting to get what they want. Bonnie tries to save the home she’s worked so hard for, while Sheila desperately attempts to escape the moving home so that she can cheer at her last homecoming game.

Meet the filmmaker: To learn more about In Tow and how to support the project, click here. Filmmaker Sharon Arteaga is a first-generation Mexican-American filmmaker, from Corpus Christi, Texas, who convinced her mom to buy her a video camera instead of a Quinceañera. Recognized in NALIP’s 2019 List of “Latinx Directors to Know,” Arteaga’s work playfully incorporates themes of generational, linguistic, and cultural differences between people. She has won numerous short film competitions including the 2021 HBO Latinx Short Film Competition. Arteaga was a 2019 Tribeca Chanel Through Her Lens finalist for her short screenplay In Tow.



Project type: Narrative Short

Project status: Development

Director/Writer: Maia Scalia

Producer: Ani Schoeter

About the project: Upon receiving a disturbing email from her son, a mother drives frantically to his school hoping to avert the unimaginable. After receiving a disturbing email from her son that leads her to believe something horrible is about to happen, Julie weaves wildly through morning traffic in a race against time to reach him. Between narrowly avoiding collisions and getting stuck in heavy traffic, she makes a series of phone-calls in a bid to piece together what is happening. After being put on hold by the police department, invalidated by her ex-husband and gas-lit by her son’s therapist, Julie hears a news report citing a gunman in a blue BMW has opened fire on the campus of a university. Recognizing her son’s car, Julie’s horror solidifies as she makes a last attempt to reach him before it’s too late.

Meet the filmmaker: To learn more about Mother and how to support the project, click here. MAIA SCALIA Maia Scalia is an actress and writer based in New York City. She received her BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and went on to continue her training at William Esper Studio after graduating. Upon graduating, she made her debut as the lead in an Off- Broadway play and since then she has starred in multiple short films and has a supporting roles in the up and coming Sony Marvel movie Morbius (2022), in Phyllis Nagy’s directorial debut Call Jane (2022) starring Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver as well as Three Women (2022) on Showtime.



Project type: Narrative Short

Project status: Production

Writer/Director/Producer: Christy Chan

About the project: A Chinese-American mother and daughter pull into a gas station in rural Virginia but are refused service for being Asian. Mary stubbornly refuses to drive away until she gets served, so eight-year-old Shelly uses her imagination to help her mother preserve dignity in the face of racism. A dark comedy set in the 80’s. Based on a true story.

Meet the filmmaker: To learn more about Late Bloomers and how to support the project, click here. Christy Chan (she/her) is a writer-director-producer and racial justice activist. Her past projects include “Who’s Coming To Save You?” a 2015 video series about the resurgence of the KKK during the Obama presidency, and the public art project “Inside Out” which was censored in 2019 for featuring undocumented Californians speaking out against racism. She is the founder of “Dear America,” a guerrilla activism project that projects 20-story-tall artworks by AAPI artists on high-rise buildings. Previously a writer, director and creative director working in TV commercials, she has helped create work for Nike, Apple and Levi’s.


To learn more about Fiscal Sponsorship, including its benefits and eligibility requirements by visiting our website. See which projects are currently being supported via our Sponsored Projects page.

Keep up with Film Independent…

(Header: In Tow)