Nightmare on AIDS Street (part of Shortest of the Shorts)

Running Time 5:03
No Behind The Scenes


Available in Shortest of the Shorts: Four films in one DVD

Don’t Dance with DeathHe Said, She SaidNightmare on AIDS StreetToday I Found Out

Available in the HIV/AIDS Compilation: Four films in one DVD 

Nightmare on AIDS Street; Reflections; Just Like You Imagined?; The Monster


17-year-old Isabel knows she can’t take back what happened during one hazy night with a guy. She decides to take responsibility and bravely face her greatest fear by getting tested. This film was written by Nicole Zepeda and directed by Kinan Valdez.


Nightmare on AIDS Street was written by 15 year-old Nicole Zepeda (San Juan, TX) and was shot in her hometown on the Texas/Mexico border. The film was directed and shot by Kinan Valdez and Anahuac Valdez (El Teatro Campesino) and produced by Avram Ludwig (Swingers; Fast Food, Fast Women). The film stars Jennifer Almanza, a Texas kickboxing champ.


  • 2000 South Texas Contest Winner, San Juan, TX
  • Nightmare on AIDS Street has appeared in numerous film festivals and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Media from the Council on Foundations. It was also a finalist at the 32nd Annual USA Film Festival in Dallas. Nightmare premiered along with The Monster at Rikers Island. Nightmare is used in various school districts around the country, including the New York City and Miami-Dade School Districts.

The story behind the story

15 year-old Nicole Zepeda had her first experience in film as a crew member on the 1999 Scenarios film Don’t Dance With Death along with nearly 150 of her classmates. The following year, in 2000, Nicole submitted a script to the Scenarios contest on coming of age in the era of AIDS. She wrote from experience, about what she saw going on with her peers and what her friends told her. She used imagery and special effects to tell her story. She was surprised as anyone when she learned that she had won the contest. Her winning marked the second year in a row that Scenarios would be working at Pharr/San Juan/Alamo North High School (PSJA North).

Nicole’s involvement with Scenarios brought her other exciting experiences…

In August 2001, Nicole got a call from Hollywood. They wanted her to audition for an HBO film entitled Real Women Have Curves. Nicole had a first audition in San Antonio and then, by the time she drove the three hours home, the director had called and wanted her to fly to Los Angeles the following day. Arriving in Los Angeles, Nicole was picked up in a limousine and taken to meet the director. She auditioned for six hours, opposite actors who had already been cast. The director told her she was trying to choose between Nicole and one other actress. Though Nicole didn’t get the part, it was an experience of a lifetime and confirmed her love for film.