If you are a regular reader of Audiences Everywhere and you happen to celebrate Christmas, there’s a good chance that you expect to find lots of movies and movie-based gifts stuffed in your stocking and under your tree. And you’ll just as likely be overcome with joy to receive these presents, right?
Well, let’s not let the giving spirit die before the new year. If you also happened to receive a few cash gifts, or if you happen to have a few dollars left over after the holidays, you might consider extending generosity of your own within the film world. Last month, we unveiled a monthly series in which we suggest some deserving artists who are seeking to crowdfund film projects. This week, we’re offering up three more in the hopes that a few of our listeners can celebrate the spirit of the holiday by giving these creators the boost they need, so that maybe in the future their cutting-edge films might find their way into our holiday gifts:
Project One: The Price of Bones
Format: Short Film
Who Are They: Writer Samantha Kolesnik was nominated for the “Best Short Screenplay” award at the Shriekfest Horror & Sci Fi Film Festival in Los Angeles. She paired with Brandon Taylor of Hollow Tree Films in October. Taylor will be directing and producing the film. Taylor’s past directorial work includes the web series Six Windows, and he produced the grindhouse feature The VelcoiPastor. Also producing the film are Melissa and Michael Sherry, of New York and Florida, respectively. Finally, Jesse Gouldsbury will serve as Director of Photography. Gouldsbury’s past credits include the film Animosity.
Why Support This: I’ve always preferred horror films to root themselves in truer fear. The Price of Bones is described by its creators as a “psychological horror film that addresses the dark world of eating disorders and serves as allegory for what many women every year sacrifice in order to achieve the ‘ideal’ number on the scale.” This description and the accompanying artwork indicate a deeply unsettling but important look at a real issue within our culture. In addition, the film will feature an all-female cast. Given the success of recent indie American horror, we should all feel very tempted to see new young and visionary artists be given their shot.
Project Two: Chernobyl Journey
Format: Mixed Media Feature Documentary
Goal: £20,000 GBP
Who Are They: Sally Pearce is a BAFTA-winning animator and filmmaker who specializes in 2D renderings on glass and particularly enjoys animating animals. Examples of her work can be seen here. Pearce has already successfully crowdfunded her trips to Chernobyl and has shot all of the live action footage necessary.
Why Support This: With this third crowdfunding campaign, Pearce hopes to procure the time and resources ready to get the film out of her head and into the world. The footage Pearce has on display is predictably impacting, as images of Chernobyl tend to be, and her animation style makes for a very intriguing context. Pearce explains that that her goal is to create a visually engaging film that also addresses serious contemporary environmental issues.
Project Three: Wild Hunt
Format: Feature Film
Who Are They: Rowan Knight is a first time feature film director who has paired with Assistant Director Andrew Edison, whose film Bindlestiffs won the Audience Award at Slamdance Film Festival and was the first film signed for distribution to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast Distribution Label. Knight has also enlisted Hannah Varnell as cinematographer, who has worked on several film and TV Productions, including Urban Cowboy. The film features a decorated cast of actors with a varied level of experience.
Why Support This: The basic synopsis of this film feels like enough to persuade me: a found footage movie in which five friends go on a camping trip and end up hunted by the Norse god Odin? Count me in. I am always excited to see the boundaries of found footage pushed in new directions. Beyond that, the promotional video exhibits a promising measure of skill, comedy, and craftsmanship and the story exhibits a central romantic relationship between new women, and that sort of break from hetero-normative trends is much needed in the horror genre.
Project Four: Babies
Format: Short Film
Who Are They: Babies is the MFA thesis film of Yuval Shapira, a graduate student at Emerson College. Shapira is a fellow in the Media Art program from Israel who has been unable to return to home on break, which, along with his reading of Mario Levrero’s novel The City, inspired the screenplay.
Why Support This: Babies is the story of a mother who leaves her crying baby to find formula but gets pulled farther and farther away from the child. Outside of the distinct biographical element of the story, Shapira also explains that he intends for his movie to encapsulate the story of the Jewish people’s narrative and “explore universal cultural themes dealing with identity, heritage and conceptions of ‘home.'” Even with his film being an academic project of short length, Shapira offers some innovative and creative perks for helping his cause, including his own editorial experience and services.