COMMERCE, Calif. — Inside a textile dyeing house is where Stacy Pascal Gaspard is shooting her latest project. It's called "Soñadoras," a film about chasing your dreams. 

For Pascal Gaspard, who is directing the film, it's a personal story. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ten filmmaker teams were selected from over 850-applications for the Indeed: Rising voices program

  • Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and people of color filmmakers across the U.S.

  • The finalists received a production budget for $100,000 per film

  • Each of the 10 films will premiere during a special event at the Tribeca Film Festival

"This is like an ode to the dreamers. It's like honoring my grandmother's story. It's inspired by her story, coming to America, and it's about a young immigrant Caribbean mother that wants better for her life, for her daughter." 

The main character in the film dreams of being a dancer in New York. 

Pascal Gaspard, whose parents were born in Haiti and grandparents in Cuba, was initially a pre-med student, but that changed when she decided to pursue her love of performing. 

She said she felt frustrated because there were not many "stories or opportunities for someone like me who's Caribbean. I speak four languages. You know, my first language was French. I've been dancing salsa since 4. I speak Spanish. I speak Creole. It was this certain box I needed to fit that I never quite fit because I was never Latina enough, never Caribben enough." 

That's when she found her power behind the camera and decided to pursue directing. She's currently a directing fellow at the American Film Institute and one of 10 filmmakers selected from over 850 applications for the Indeed: Rising Voices program. 

The program partnered with Emmy Award-winning writer, creator and actor Lena Waithe and her company Hillman Grad Productions to award each filmamaker a $10,000 writing fee, a $100,000 production budget and access to a $25,000 COVID budget to ensure the safety of their cast and crew. 

The films will premiere during a special event at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. 

The goal is to uncover, invest and share stories by Black, Indigenous and people of color. 

"I realized the importance of having people who look like me in the director's chair. People that look like me writing our stories, and it really just empowered me, and I realized I can do everything," Pascal Gaspard said.