Crowdfunding for NYWIFT member Tonya McCornell’s narrative short film Tainted

NYWIFT member Tonya McCornell has launched a crowdfunding campaign for Tainted, a narrative short film inspired by her personal battle with depression.  Written, Directed, and Executive Produced by McCornell, the film seeks to erase the stigma attached to the topic of mental health. The film also has NYWIFT member Joanna White-Oldham attached to the film as the assistant director.

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Tamara Morris is tormented by a traumatic event from her past and it’s starting to make balancing her emotions a daily struggle. Although she is a strong, nurturing woman who adores her family, like many mothers, she is overworked and ignoring her own mental health in order to care for everyone else. Young Tessa is only 8 years old, but she is what many would consider an old soul. She is wise beyond her years and very protective of her mother. There are times when the roles of mother and daughter seem reversed, with Tessa playing the role of caregiver even going so far as to try and make sure her mother has taken her medication.

The purpose of Tainted is to start a dialogue that focuses on women and their mental health, especially African-American women. Within the African-American community, there is often a stigma associated with seeking help for depression or mental illness. This film seeks to be a catalyst to erase the stigma of depression and to help women realize that it is okay to speak out and share their own experiences. 

Tainted is led by an incredible team of diverse female filmmakers on a mission to always represent diversity within the cast and crew – meaning all ages, ethnicities, and of course moms. 

Tonya McCornell  focuses her creative energy on writing, directing, and producing content that showcases strong female characters while shedding light on social issues. Her recently released short film Trayvia, is being called “a visceral response to police brutality”, centering around the story of a woman seeking to avenge her brother’s murder when the system fails to grant her family justice. Her upcoming short film Tainted sheds light on mothers battling depression and PTSD. McCornell also wrote and directed a PSA about HIV awareness for millennials and is developing a dramedy series about surviving divorce titled Getting Help. She is the founder of the Moms Network for New York Women in Film & Television, and she is also on the leadership team of The Black TV & Film Collective. She is the single mother of a daughter who is 8, but acts like she’s going on 30.


Joanna White-Oldham is an accomplished, highly seasoned, and creative production professional offering over 15+ years of progressive experience and managerial expertise gained from various multimedia production settings. She currently works as a producer for JWO Media and is attached to Tainted as the assistant director.




The crowdfunding campaign ends November 30.

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