Main fundraiser photo

In the Garden of Tulips Short Film

Donation protected
Our Story.
In the Garden of Tulips is an homage to our Persian families, our culture, and the scenic beauty of Iran. But, above all, it is a story of triumph for all diasporic people whose narrative has been imbued with what it means to leave your home.
At the height of the Iran-Iraq War, an Iranian-Jewish teenage girl spends a final car ride with her father before being smuggled out of the country.
Based on a true story. The story of Caroline, Ava's mother.
Our Budget.
Any donation amount is highly appreciated! :) 
The Filmmakers.
Julia Elihu | Director
Julia Elihu is an American writer/director/producer of Persian-Jewish heritage originally from San Diego, California. In 2018, her independent short film, Yasamin, was a grand jury prize nominee at the AFI Film Festival. More recently, a short documentary she produced, Team Meryland, was acquired by The New Yorker and PBS’s POV Shorts Program.
In 2020-2021, she wrote and directed Winter of ‘79, based on her family’s stories of escaping Iran during the 1979 Revolution. Thus far, the film had its World Premiere at the Oscar Qualifying, Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, and its West Coast Premiere at the Oscar Qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival.
Ava Lalezarzadeh | Main Actress & Screenwriter
Ava Lalezarzadeh is an American actress and writer of Persian-Jewish heritage. She received her training from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and the British American Drama Academy.
Ava recently booked a series regular role on an HBOMax Pilot. She starred in the premiere of the Off-Broadway play English, a play co-produced by Atlantic Theater Co. and Roundabout Theater Co. The play was nominated for 3 Lucille Lortel awards and won Best Off-Broadway Play of the year. It also garnered a NY Times Critic Pick. Previous credits include her lead role as Anne Frank in the US premiere of Anne: A New Play at the Museum of Tolerance. Ava has featured in many of Julia’s films, including Yasamin and Winter of ‘79, films that explore Iranian Jewry.
Daniel Jewel | Executive Producer
Daniel Jewel is a London-based Producer. He was shortlisted for an OSCAR with the Award-winning short film 'SIDNEY TURTLEBAUM' starring Sir Derek Jacobi. The film was also nominated for a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) and was inducted into the British Film Institute's Archive of British Jewish Films for future generations. Daniel's films have won over 30 International Awards, including at many of the major OSCAR Qualifying Film Festivals. He's worked with many of the major UK Film institutions, including Pinewood Studios, The BFI, Creative England, Channel 4 and the BFI London Film Festival. 

Aaron Lemle | Producer
Aaron is a recent MFA graduate with a degree in Directing in the school of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. Prior to UCLA, he was the lead producer on the Emmy-award winning PBS series, Articulate with Jim Cotter. He also worked at the National Science Foundation and the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience lab at Stanford University. He has an intimate understanding of the filmmaking process by working on many projects in a variety of roles, from student productions to HBO’s Euphoria. Underneath all of his stories are themes of hope and resilience.
Freddie Whitman | DP
Freddie is a cinematographer inspired by grounded, organic, and truthful storytelling. Freddie strives to find and shape light in a way that naturally evokes the emotion and intention of the narrative. He is represented by the Murtha Skouras Agency and has shot work featured by Kodak, Director’s Library,, and various international film festivals, including the Cannes Short Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

We recently won the Script Compass Screenplay Award at Oscar-Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival. This award will help us develop our short film into a feature-length screenplay and package with Script Compass, an excellent script development company.

We are also winners of the 2022 NFFTY Pitch Competition!!! We won $3,000 and used those funds to create the one-minute teaser you watched above. This helped us jump-start the filming process and was the initial seed money we needed to get the project moving. A big thank you to NFFTY for this contribution. 
Thank you.
"No raffles, sweepstakes, giveaways, or returns on investment are offered in exchange for any donations made to my GoFundMe."


  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Thomas Skoczlas
    • $15 
    • 1 yr
  • roya yaghmai
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Noushin Akhavan
    • $200 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sebastian Varriano
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Ava Lalezarzadeh
Los Angeles, CA

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee