By Ellen Ancui
$20,321 raised (78% of $26,000)
195 supporters
4 days, 15 hours left
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Goal: $26,000
$18,000 minimum required to disburse funds has been raised!
This film SAVERIO, based on true events, aims to shine a light on a silent issue of abandonment of the elderly. It is my hope to create dialogue and action around the challenges of caregiving and perceptions towards the aging and elderly.


When a woman desperate to get to an important networking opportunity finds a deaf senior dumped in her car, she must grapple with an unsupportive system and her own priorities.



The film follows Mei, a young, ambitious, Chinese-American woman on her way to an important networking party. Mei's mother is upset because Mei is leaving her alone on the anniversary of her husband's passing. But Mei doesn't have time for her mother's haranguing. She's already late for a party her boyfriend, Spencer, is throwing to help her connect with influential sponsors. Mei’s plans quickly change when she finds an old man abandoned in the passenger seat of her car. This is SAVERIO. He's deaf and Mei can’t get him leave. Nobody will help her and in fact, even the 911 operator is of no help. Mei is told that because Saverio is in her custody she must take him to the hospital before social services can intervene. After a series of delays, Mei gets a call from Spencer urging her to get to the party now, so she brings Saverio with her rather than going right to the hospital. Spencer questions her priorities, admonishes her for embarrassing him, and eventually calls an ambulance. While Mei waits with Saverio for the ambulance, she FaceTimes with her Mom and is much kinder to her now and realizes she just wants to go home. 




“From the Heart Productions, Inc. is honored to provide fiscal sponsorship for the film SAVERIO. We carefully select the films we sponsor, and believe that this project will make a positive contribution to society and to the field of filmmaking.” Because of this fiscal sponsorship, all donations are tax deductible.


Short films are a viable medium for artists to share important stories and reach audiences. But the materials involved (talent, locations, editing, music, etc.) are financially burdensome. If you are able to donate any amount of all, you can help this film become a reality. 


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Additional Information


This film has been a long process in the making. It began years ago when I encountered an old man abandoned outside a supermarket. 


We are shining a light on the abandonment of the elderly which happens in public places such as a hospital or nursing home. It may be carried out by family members who are unable or unwilling to continue providing care due to financial problems, burnout, lack of resources (such as home health or assisted living options), or stress. However, instances of institutional granny dumping, by hospitals and care facilities, has also been known to occur. The "dumping" may involve the literal abandonment of an elderly person, who is taken to a location such as hospital waiting area or emergency room and then left, or in the refusal to return to collect an elderly person after the person is discharged from a hospital visit or hotel stay. While leaving an elderly person in a hospital or nursing facility is a common form of the practice, there have been incidences of elderly people being "dumped" in other locations, such as the side of a public street.


Other ways you can support


Please share this story far and wide! Whether you’re sending an email, posting on social media, telling a friend, or shouting from your roof top, we deeply appreciate anything you can do to help us bring this project to life. 


If you’re able to contribute to the project in other ways, such as working on the set, in-kind donations of food or equipment, or any other form of assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch at 


Charming Stranger Films from San Francisco is producing (see “The Team” page for more info) and we will be shooting in the Bay Area mid-July.


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Follow Us!


Follow the project on Instagram to stay connected at: 



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Ellen Ancui

Ellen Ancui is an award winning writer for theater, film, TV and podcasts. Her work has been seen on streaming and network TV and in theaters around the globe. Ellen first gained notoriety with the success of her one-woman shows, ZEL REBELS – THE STORY OF A WOMAN IN A (1) MAN SHOW! and JUMPING OFF THE FRIDGE which performed at The Public Fringe (NY), The Edinburgh Theater Festival, the London Fringe and the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles, as well as other venues. Her play, GLORY PIE, had a sold-out run at the Coronet and received raves from Variety and the LA Times. Ellen started as a staff writer on the sitcom, MALCOLM & EDDIE, wrote for the Netflix show, BROWN & FRIENDS, published her one-act play, SIZZLER with Next Stage Press and has just wrapped the podcast BONNIE SCREWS UP, by Aural Stories. She has several feature scripts under option and is making her directorial debut with the short film, SAVERIO.

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Connie Jo Sechrist

Connie Jo Sechrist is a accomplished American Actress and Emmy® Nominated Producer from San Jose, CA, whose work has been recognized at prestigious festivals such as SXSW, Tribeca, and other Academy Qualifying Festivals around the world. 

As a passionate advocate for mental health, Connie Jo has produced and starred in over 20 films that explore mental health and personal stories, with the goal of de-stigmatizing mental health issues and breaking down barriers. Her commitment to raising awareness about the prevalence of mental health problems and encouraging greater understanding and acceptance is evident in the impactful nature of her work.

In addition to her acting and producing career, she is also a respected leader and mentor in various independent film groups around the world, where she strives to inspire and support the growth of other aspiring filmmakers.

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Cameo Wood

Cameo Wood is an EMMY® winning filmmaker based in San Francisco, California. Her most recent film Real Artists is available on iTunes/Kanopy/Amazon right now. She is currently working on her first feature. In 2018 she was a co-winner at the AT&T Film Awards for 'Best Emerging Artist' awarded by Ava DuVernay. Real Artists has won 35 awards including a regional EMMY®, has been nominated for dozens more, and continues to enjoy screenings at over 200 film festivals, museums, and television stations throughout the world. Her work has been on PBS, Aspire, and was featured in the Wing Luke Museum’s exhibit “Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of Asian Pacific American Science Fiction.” 

She produced and co-directed episodes of The Alternative Guide to Secret Beijing which was featured on Atlas Obscura. Her first film, Dukha in Summer, premiered at the St. Louis Film International Film Festival and was nominated for best short at five others. Cameo is a member of Cinefemme, Women in Film, Alliance of Women Directors, Film Independent, WomenNMedia, and the co-founder of the SF chapter of Dinner with Dames. She co-founded the Coven Film Festival, a showcase of films made by women. She is a regular speaker at the Camp Reel Stories' Girls Day Workshop. Cameo has participated in the inaugural Sundance Co//ab Screenwriting, Episodic, and Fiction Directing programs. 


Cameo has studied Medical Neuroscience at Duke University, Futurism at Stanford University, Witchcraft & Magic at Bennington College, Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, Egyptology at University of Pennsylvania. She is currently studying Dramatic Arts at Harvard University. From 1995-2008 She was an engineer at GTE Labs, Sprint, Lucent, and Cisco. In 2008 She founded Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper; the first urban beekeeping store in America, and currently serves on the board of the beekeeping non-profit SF Bee-Cause. 

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Charming Stranger Films

One Week Left!!!
Thu. June 13, 3:35 PM PDT

First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support of this project - the overwhelming response has been so heartwarming as well as humbling. 


We did a  scout last weekend and found all of the needed locations and felt so supported by the East Bay community. In fact, take a look at the poignant email we received from the owner of the diner we are filming at:

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We are soooo close to raising the funds needed for this project! If someone you know feels compassionate about caregiving for the elderly, would you please share this platform with them?


You may have noticed that we've had an enormous challenge with the direct link on Facebook and Instagram. For some strange reason we were tagged as spam and have lost many potential donors as a result (crying emoji!)  So if choose to spread the word on social media, please give this information:


Go to and navigate to the SAVERIO campaign. 

Also, donations can be sent via check to the Fiscal Sponsorship partner, made out and sent to: 

From The Heart Productions

1013 Harbor Blvd. #53

Oxnard, CA 93035

(indicate SAVERIO in the memo)


Thank you again! Your support means the world and we can't wait to share this film with you!!!



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Matching Donor Challenge!
Thu. June 6, 4:55 PM PDT

An anonymous donor pledged to match another $1,000 if I can raise $1K by midnight tonight. We're almost there! We just need another $570 more to go - that's approx. 22 people at $25 or 11 people at $50 - we can do this! If you know someone who is compassionate around the challenges of caregiving for the elderly or wants to shine a light on perceptions toward the elderly, please share this link with them. And thank you for your support already - it means the world to me! (pulsating heart emoji!)

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Rally to 100 supporters!
Thu. May 30, 4:02 PM PDT

We’re having a rally to 100 supporters today! 

We’re so close, ONLY 10 MORE TO GO!

Please invite your friends to head over to

and make a contribution in any amount. Mabel and I thank you! uploaded image uploaded imageuploaded image

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Tue. May 28, 2:55 PM PDT

Hey everyone! 


We're roughly a week into this campaign and we're already 33% of the way toward our goal! That's amazing progress and I can't thank you all enough for your contributions. Every contribution truly makes a difference and gets us closer to making this important drama a reality! Please share with anyone you know who may want to shine a light on the challenges of caregiving for our elders.


23 days left to make this happen! prayer hands emoji



Thank you and love you all!







Only 1 left!
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Early Viewing! ($50+)
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