Marcus Frias

Lovely Thoughts: A Dark Thriller Directed By Miami Millennial Seeks To Crowdfund Film Budget

We know that many young talents rise from the neighborhoods within Miami, but often times we discover them after they make it to the big screen.

Let’s not overlook an inspiring young man who calls Miami home.

Marcello Peschiera is up to big things and I had the honor of getting an exclusive interview regarding his new film “Lovely Thoughts” that needs people like YOU to bring it to life.

Q: Tell me about who you are, what makes you unique, quirky?

A: My name is Marcello Peschiera and I’m a young and persistent filmmaker. I’m currently a senior at Miami Palmetto Senior High and spend the vast majority of my time writing, editing, directing or shooting.

Even though I’m only 17, I’ve been on U.S. tours as a drummer, I’ve written dozens of short films, I’ve done music videos for bands and I’ve held internships and jobs to get ahead. Just recently I was on set as the assistant director of Suniland Inn right here in Miami! I’ve always been a little more mature than my classmates or people my age because I take my film, music, and photo work very seriously (but lovingly all the same).

Q: When did you develop your love for film?

A: All of my life I’ve loved movies. Anything from Jaws to Toy Story just made me happy and made me curious as to the process behind it. However, my passion didn’t completely kick off until I met one man at Vineland K-8 Center my 6th grade year. Jose Garcia, the counselor at the time, was an avid photographer. Instantly I found somebody who I could show my early work to!

He showed us (being the photo club) how to photoshop and edit and we had monthly competitions (friendly until it was between Kevin G. and myself) He encouraged me to take T.V. Production because of my “eye” for cinema and photography. While taking T.V. Production, I was writing scripts and shooting intros and short films and I just fell in love. After my teacher, Ms. Moore noticed my passion for it, she recommended me to her good friend at Midtown Video for an internship.

I was only 15 years old and I had my first internship at a production company and rental facility. Jesse Miller, the man who has helped me so much even to this day, recognized my passion for him and taught me a lot of what I know about the film world. Both technical and story-wise.

Q: Tell me about your idea for this film– how’d you come up with it?

A: So in late 2014, I was taking a psychology class and we had been studying about the different types of schizophrenia. I fell in love with it. It was fascinating to me…being able to see things that aren’t there and hear things was just terrifying to me. So I thought and thought and thought about how I would write about somebody suffering from schizophrenia. I read and read books by Oliver Sacks and other psychologists and instantly had the idea for it.

Q: If you had to pitch your film to one director, living or dead, who would it be and what would you say?

A: Oh man, you’re going to make me choose? If I had to pick a single director to pitch my film to it would probably be Tim Burton. His style is so unique and dark that it would fit this film absolutely perfectly.

What would I say? I’d be so nervous but I would tell him “Lovely Thoughts is about a schizophrenic young man who believes that two men are out to get him and clone him. While on the run from those two men, he is taken in to a psychiatric hospital in which he is abused. The audience is able to tell where he is, but Drew (the main character) has no idea what’s reality and what isn’t.”

And somewhere in there I would also mention that Burton is one of my favorite directors…

Q: How can people help make this film come to life?

A: There are so many ways to bring this film to life. The best way of helping would be through pledges on Kickstarter. For the last few months, the DP and myself have done extreme research in what is going into the budget and how we can make the film work with as little money as possible.

All the money is going into film equipment rentals, props, film and location permits and other necessities like food and water on set. A pledge of any amount really does go a long way when many people do it! What’s lovely about Kickstarter, is that we get to reward all of our backers for helping bring this film to life. Every pledge amount has a reward like a small prop from the set mailed to you, a copy of the script signed by cast and crew, and even other things like a Blu-Ray/DVD copy of the film along with the film poster.

However, there are other ways of helping! The film takes place in the 1950’s in a psychiatric hospital. We’ve been working on getting props from that era as well as finding the clothing made then too. We’ve come across people who offer to let us use their cars in our film and people who would like to give us a Coca-Cola bottle. It’s pretty neat when the community comes together! Everything helps!

Q: What 5 words best describe the vision of your film?

A: Thrilling, different, absurd, claustrophobic and unfortunate.

Q: Aside from this film, what do you have in store for the future?

A: Other than Lovely Thoughts, I’ve been working on other small projects (including music projects) in which will help me catch the attention of those already in the industry. After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High, I wish to continue my education at USC, NYU or any of the other amazing film schools. I do have other projects in line for the next couple months that’ll keep me busy but it’s not “work” if you love it.

Q: Why should people help you create this film?

A: This film is something I’ve been working for quite sometime. The idea for it came to me sometime late 2014 and I let it sit on the back burner so I could continue my other projects. I’m not the type of person that promises greatness when I can’t follow through but this project was something I knew was going to be amazing.

The locations picked out and the actors/actresses are just brilliant. The equipment we’re using is cinema-grade and the crew is just as qualified as those working on the theater blockbusters! However, we can’t do this alone. Every single person that helps contribute to this film really is helping more than with just the film. They’re giving actors more practice and giving people like my director of photography and I more opportunities to strive in the film network.

Q: Last question; Do I get to watch it before it’s released?

A: Of course! Everybody who donates to the film will receive a private link in which they can watch the full HD film!

A dark, riveting, and intellectually stimulating film all in one brought to you by Marcello Peschiera. Don’t forget his name.

You can help bring this film to life by donating money to the kickstarter page:

Star Miami DREAMer Student Able To Attend U Of Florida Because Of Community Donations

This story was originally published in May of 2015.

Getting high grades and being involved is a necessity for this generation as gaining acceptance to college is getting harder and harder.

For some students, though, their hard work and commitment to their education could fall flat due to their citizenship status.

“At school, I didn’t talk about my citizenship status,” Giancarlo Tejeda, a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center said. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to define me and it wasn’t something that could be fixed by complaining about it so I just kept quiet.”

Giancarlo and his family left their native town of Bucaramanga, Colombia in December of 2000, when he was just three years old.

His parents left behind noble careers to pursue a new life in Miami, Florida.

“My parents had to give up their careers in Colombia to become simple laborers. My father was a college professor and my mother was a primary school teacher,” Tejeda said.

In America, his father found jobs in construction and his mother often found herself cleaning houses.

They applied for asylum in the United States, but to no avail, and thus became undocumented immigrants.

According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, unauthorized immigrants comprised 4.8% of Florida’s population in 2012 and in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born share of Florida’s population rose to 19.4%.

It is no question that the state of Florida is home to many immigrants—many of which are hard workers like Tejeda and his family.

Giancarlo Tejeda. Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ Facebook

Giancarlo’s Advanced Placement Literature teacher, Neyda Borges, makes it known that these students are not just a number through her work and advocacy for immigrant students.

“We need to see and hear the human stories. We need to meet these children and these parents,” Borges said. “People need to see that these undocumented immigrants are not monsters or criminals, but that they are our friends and neighbors.“

Determined to be more than just a number and his legal standing- a DREAMer with deferred action status- Tejeda focuses on his studies and extracurricular activities. Giancarlo challenged himself with a full schedule of college level courses and excelled.

As an aspiring biomedical engineer- a career that merges his natural altruism and love for the sciences- Tejeda recently committed to the University of Florida.

Through local and even national support he has raised enough money to attend UF for the first year.

His teacher, Borges helped him create a page where the community could chip in at

He’s excited, but he says that he still feels frustrated about his legal status.

“Despite not being considered legal in the eyes of the United States Government, we are still part of the communities that we live in. I feel as I always have felt about my legal status – frustrated,” Tejeda said.

Borges’ admits that she’s learned of many activists groups and organizations that are out there to support DREAMers like Tejeda.

“There is a lot being done; but, is it enough? I don’t know how to answer that,” Borges said. “That’s a political question.  Luckily, I am not a politician. So, as a teacher, the answer is that it is never enough.”

Students like Giancarlo are eligible for in-state tuition to UF or any other state university thanks to a correction by the Florida Legislature in 2014, but many like the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools who is no stranger to advocating for high achieving immigrant students, remain adamant in their quest to make sure that change happens sooner than later.

“A bright student like Giancarlo deserves the chance to fulfill his college dreams,” Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Like many of us, his family came here for better opportunities. We must enact reform immediately.”

Giancarlo and his family are thankful for the support from political leaders and local and national media, but remain aware that the future is untold.

They hope that an easier route to citizenship will one day be a reality and that their obstacles may serve as inspiration to others.

The Miami-Dade County Public School system has almost 350,000 active students and inevitably there are more students like Tejeda who haven’t spoken out yet.

Tejeda said that his message to them is important.

“Don’t be afraid. There is a whole community out there supporting you,” the 18- year old Tejeda said. “You will find that many people will support you if you speak out and make your situation known. If enough of us speak out, our voices will be heard everywhere and it will incite change.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ Facebook

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