Not Afraid

Since 2016 more than 6,000 women have gone missing off of Native American reservations throughout the United States.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Post Production
Writer/Director: Mikaela Bruce
Producer: v.c. rhone
Producer: Jen Buckley
Producer: Luna Zhang
Cinematographer: Junior Pereira
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After a blow up during basketball practice, Olivia struggles to face a deeper devastating reality in rural Montana.


After a long period of absence, OLIVIA is eager to get back on her high school JV basketball team, or at least that’s what she thought. Reality hits when she starts practicing with her team again and painful memories from her past resurface. She finds herself suspended once more and falls into a pattern of avoiding her team to shelter herself from a devastating reality. Olivia’s endlessly supportive AUNT BETTY will see her through this, and every hurdle she faces following the tragic disappearance of her sister one year earlier.

Meet the Filmmakers

Mikaela Bruce – Writer/Director
Mikaela Bruce is a LA based writer-director. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaii in Cinema Studies and completed her degree internship on the set of “LOST.” Shortly after she moved to Spain and completed a Masters in screenwriting from the University of Charles III in Madrid.

Her narrative short Pasarea (The Bird) – a poetic lament on the subject of sex trafficking – screened at over 20 festivals globally and is currently in use in Romania and Spain as an awareness resource for schools. Her follow up film, Hermana (Sister) a period thriller, premiered at Spain’s Premiere shorts Festival, Medina del Campo (Goya qualifying), and featured work by key collaborators: Annie-award winning editor Pablo García Revert (Klaus) and composer Jesi Nelson (Star Wars Biomes, Jinn). Beyond Words, a 3 minute visual exploration of the place of emotions in art, premiered on Film Shortage and features voice over talent by Andia Winslow (A League of their Own). Mikaela teaches on the intersection of film and spirituality at Olivet University and was selected for the inaugural cohort of artists to participate in the Resilient Artist Program at the Brehm Center (Fuller Seminary).

v.c. rhone – Producer
v.c. rhone is an Award-GIVING Creative Executive and Founder of Dominion InnerTainment – delivering entertainment for the soul. v.c. produces, writes, and directs stories that embrace social scenes in a way that’s provocative and undeniably empowering.

v.c. is an NBC TV Writers Program Semifinalist and a ScreenCraft Finalist. Her feature screenplay, Becky Brenneman’s Bangin’ Bat Mitzvah, is in the top 7% of all screenplays on Coverfly.

Her award-winning documentary Pie a la Mode has screened at 17 festivals worldwide and her docuseries, Pause for Hope, features a heartfelt interview with a cast member from the Golden Globe nominated film, She Said.

She completed her undergraduate studies in Film and Television at NYU where she studied under Academy Award Winner, Carol Dysinger (Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone If You’re a Girl). She is mentored by Karissa Valencia (Netflix’s Spirit Rangers).

She has worked with Primetime Emmy Nominee, Jim O’Doherty (3rd Rock from the Sun, Kickin’ It, The Tracy Morgan Show) and Academy member, Leah Daniels Butler (The Wonder Years, Coming 2 America).

v.c. is a published author, as well as founder, director, and programmer for several film festivals which have been featured in the Los Angeles Times.

Jen Buckley – Executive Producer
Jen Buckley is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribes out of Rocky Boy, Montana. Jen is a self taught, independent photographer who is currently doing a Murdered Missing Indigenous Women and People Photo Series that raises awareness on this devastating issue. Jen works under her business, Tveraa Photography, which is a charter non-profit. Her mission will not stop until systemic change happens. She believes that the only way for that to take place, is pushing from a grassroots level. Jen has extreme pride for her culture, being a vessel to educate on this issue, her three amazing daughters and her loving boyfriend. Her work has been featured on billboards throughout Montana, The Today Show and much more. Jen also served as a chaplain with International Alliance of Chaplain’s and has been a tribal liaison with Montana tribal communities. For more information on her work, visit

Luna Zhang – Executive Producer
Luna is an adventurous serial entrepreneur and business executive. She has extensive experiences and well-respected reputations in the business world. Now she has brought her competencies into filmmaking. She has a comprehensive network in the entertainment industry, focusing on deal-making, investor relationships, partnerships, and distributions. Luna is a film and television producer who has a variety of projects on her slate. She has been heavily focusing on women empowerment. Her projects include a few women empowerment feature films, a TV mini series, documentaries, animations, and so on. She also invests in short films made by female and non-binary filmmakers.

Luna has an MBA from University of Southern California, and certificates in Entrepreneurship and Leadership from her extended study in Harvard University.

Junior Pereira – Cinematographer
Junior Pereira is a Brazilian-Spanish cinematographer that is based in Los Angeles. Junior has a background in photography and design that ultimately led him toward film. His multinational background allows him to approach each story with a sense of curiosity and empathy.

He began his career as DP on the historical docudrama Lost Legacy Reclaimed, a 7-part independent Docudrama shot on location throughout Spain. Following this Junior collaborated on the period drama short, Hermana (Sister), where he was able to more fully develop his visual style. Hermana went on to premiere at Spain’s top short film festival-Medina del Campo. In 2022 Junior was awarded an ASC Vision Mentorship with cinematographer Stephen Katz.

Junior is also a member of the Local 600 and works in the camera department on commercials, features and TV shows such as The Santa Clauses (Disney +), and most recently 1923 (Paramount +).

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