On any given day, thousands of filmmakers are trying to scrape together the funds to make their dreams come to life, and that dream is to be able to create a film and distribute it to us, the eager viewers. We’d like to take the opportunity each month to highlight some of our favorite projects that are seeking support in order to help them gain the exposure and awareness they deserve to achieve their dream and create a project for us to enjoy. Here are this month’s handpicked selections.
Project One: “Deiter and Bert: Heal Thy Dumbness”
Who Are They: Director and writer Matt Avant directed the found-footage sci-fi film Lunopolis which is available to watch on Netflix and Hulu. Avant won Best Director at Sydney’s Fantastic Planet Film Festival. Along with his brother Nathan, Matt Avant runs production company Media Savant and is invested in creating timely narratives driven by ambitious world-building. Along with actor and producer, Adam Dietrich, Matt Avant is planning for Deiter and Bert: Heal Thy Dumbness to be the pilot for the mockumentary series Supastoodpid.
Why Support This: “Imagine a film that was produced by Daniel Tosh, written by Lewis Black, directed by Christopher Guest, and starring Tim and Eric” and you have a good idea of what you’re in store for with Deiter and Bert. I had the chance to interview Matt and Nathan Avant a couple weeks ago where we discussed their careers and this project in full detail. Described as “a 21st century zombie apocalypse” where stupidity is disease, Deiter and Bert: Heal Thy Dumbness follows two Master Menticians as they travel the country in hopes to heal a society plagued by stupidity driven by technology, social media, and sociopolitical issues. Tackling both the everyday instances of stupidity and our broad cultural failings, this project will provide a way to look at ourselves with humor, concern, and hopefully a willingness to change.
Project Two: Phosphorescence
Who Are They: Advance reviews have been trickling in for the British-American film A Quiet Passion, a fictional biopic about the life of Emily Dickinson. The production company, Hurricane Films, director and writer Terence Davies have decided to collaborate again surrounding the titular historical figure of Emily Dickinson, this time shifting gears to create a documentary of the poet’s life using additional information they were inspired to keep uncovering while they were filming A Quiet Passion.
Why Support This: Cynthia Nixon stars as Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion, and she connected to the project and the poet so much that she agreed to return to provide that narrative voice for Phosphorescence. Not surprisingly, the more people learn about Emily Dickinson, the more people tend to yearn to know about her. Her work, like many other great literary figures, wasn’t recognized until posthumously. This group of people have a passion for telling the untold story of her life, and for making her a household name for people who might not already be familiar with her work. In the trailer, Nixon describes how Dickinson’s work resonates with her, causing her to feel a connection with the late poet. This connection is something these filmmakers are striving to create with those who may not already feel it, and strengthen for those who are already fans.
Project Three: Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party
Format: Web series
Who Are They: Shipwrecked Comedy, run by Sean and Sinead Persaud, has produced the web series A Tell Tale Vlog and Kissing in the Rain, has invited everyone to join them for a murderously delightful dinner party, and the esteemed guests include some of the most famous literary figures in history.
Why Support This: If you watch the promo video and a couple episodes of the existing web series (you won’t be able to stop at just one) you’ll see quickly that the people behind this series create effortless comedy and deserve to share it. Shipwrecked is taking a creative approach to their marketing by promising to announce a new member of the dinner part and the actor playing the character for every $5,000 that is raised for the film. So far we have Ernest Hemingway, Charlotte Bronte, H.G. Wells, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Agatha Christie, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and several more. Anyone who has the ingenuity to gather this behemoth group of legendary figures in the same room and then rope them together to solve a murder is worth rallying around in order to have the opportunity to go on the ride.