Does the name Nat Trives ring a bell? How about Mr. Santa Monica?

Trives, earned his nickname due to his love and commitment to the city and that devotion has brought him to the big screen.

The short film, Mr. Santa Monica A Story of a Man Who Cares, was produced and directed by Mark Lawson Shepard.

Shepard specializes in filming and photographing people and has captured images of many influential business leaders, personalities and celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Sandra Bullock. He has produced and directed multiple short films that have each received awards at many Film Festivals.

The film Mr. Santa Monica won the My Hero award at the International Film Festival in 2015 and also won the 2016 Mayor’s award at the Mission Viejo Film Festival.

“I wanted to tell a story about Nat right when I met him,” said Shepard “He is such an incredible person who truly cares about everyone. He has done so many great things and hearing his story really inspired me to make a short film about him.”

The short film has been screened at multiple film festivals and the audience continues to ask for more. Shepard said many of the viewers would like to see more of Trives, hear his story and hear about his success in the city of Santa Monica.

The short film tells a story of Trives who traveled from Alabama to Indiana to Ohio and finally to the beach city Santa Monica. It shows the obstacles he has overcome from growing up in the South to the love he has grown for the city. He has dedicated over 60 years of his life to serving the city of Santa Monica, served countless roles such as being the first African-American Mayor, Professor, Police Officer, Charity Organizer and plenty more.

He was elected to two terms on the Santa Monica City Council and also served as a member and Chair of the Personnel Commission on both the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District and the Santa Monica Community College District.

“Growing up I knew I was a leader, at a young age my mother said ‘Nat you are grown’ in other words I was ready to ask questions, commit to actions and make a difference” said Trives.

Not only did Trives dedicate much of his time to work, he was committed to volunteering and raising money for many charities. He served on the national board of both the National Urban League and the National Conference of Community and Justice to name a couple.

So what’s next?

Shepard is looking for funding to take his award-winning short to an even bigger screen. He is inviting the internet to join him in telling a long version of Trives’ story.

The film plans to show interviews of people, celebrities, and politicians who Trives inspired or had some influential aspect in his life. The film also plans to show the transformation of Santa Monica and possibly create a hit song about the sunny California beach city.

“The short film has already done amazing with the small budget we had and the small crew. So it would be amazing to see what we could do with a larger budget giving us more creativeness to show his story to the public,” said Shepard.

The film will be used to help all the non-profit organizations Trives supports. They recently launched the crowd funding project on The program offers gifts and perks in exchange for the financial support of the community.

A small donation of five dollars gets you a shout out on social media, fifty dollars gets you a shout out, and password to the behind the scenes photos and videos of the official Mr. Santa Monica the Movies. With a larger donation comes bigger perks, such as your name on the screen, joining the crew on location and much more.

For more information visit–2#/.

By Marina Andalon