Everyone has moments of desperation, moments when you are sure nothing in life will ever be quite right again. The women at the center of this months crowdfunding picks bring these moments of desperation to life, but also demonstrate how they can be overcome, especially if you have someone you can depend on.
Our first pick examines a mother, daughter, and grandmother in the aftermath of a divorce. “Beast,” from co-writer/director Leonora Lonsdale, uses elements of fantasy to give audiences a sense of the way a child’s world can be rocked by trauma. Lonsdale also uses the premise of divorce to explore how a young girl develops a sense of self and views the world around her.
“Roya” also tells the story of a mother and daughter with a special focus on the way external factors influence a relationship. Set in Los Angeles, the story examines an Iranian mother and daughter, and how much the outside world informs a woman’s perception of herself.
Writer, director, and star Rachel Sweeney tells a more darkly comic story in “Dead Girl,” which follows an actress on the brink of insanity after portraying the ubiquitous dead woman on television one too many times. By spotlighting the way women are often used as props in our stories, the film seeks to give audiences a rare look at the psychology of the “dead girl.”
In “Passage” another trio of women are forced to come together following an unexpected tragedy. When Jessie loses her job and has no choice but to move herself and her daughter to her mother’s small trailer, all three begin to reckon with their priorities and how to live a more fulfilling life.
Here is our latest round of women-created and women-centric crowdfunding picks.
“Beast” (Short) — Co-Written and Directed by Leonora Lonsdale
“Beast” is an unconventional story about divorce. Co-writer and director Leonora Lonsdale uses a child’s perspective and fantastic imagery to examine the way bitter break-ups can be monumental for children. When young Alice (Poppy Polivinick) hears her mother describe her father as a “beast,” Alice begins to question her own identity. Using children’s logic, “Beast” shows us how the actions and words of adults can inadvertently shape a kid’s entire identity.
You can support “Beast” via its Kickstarter campaign.
“Roya” — Directed by Shaina Pakravan; Written by Shaina Pakravan and Nadia Pakravan
Also an exploration of the ways children relate to their parents, “Roya” follows a traditional Iranian mother living in Los Angeles. Roya (Shila Ommi) clashes with her daughter Nikki (Rebecca Penner), who rebels every chance she gets. Director Shaina Pakravan is interested in telling a story specific to Iranian culture in Los Angeles that also manages to feel universal. As the film progresses, Roya learns that she needs to accept her daughter as she is, and focus less on how others perceive her family.
Support “Roya” by contributing to its Kickstarter campaign.
“Dead Girl” (Short) — Written and Directed by Rachel Sweeney
A darkly comic short film, “Dead Girl” infuses its central figure with the kind of desperation that only a floundering career can create. The film follows Rachel, a classically trained actress who can’t get cast as anything but the dead girls that populate so much of television. Rachel Sweeney, the writer-director and star, uses this problematic trope to break down how it feels for an actor to play dead over and over again. “Dead Girl” examines the way women are often used as props instead of characters, and uncovers what this says about how we value them.
Support “Dead Girl” by funding the project on Kickstarter.
“Passage” (Short) — Co-Written and Directed by Linda Palmer
In “Passage,” a mother and daughter must rebuild their lives after Jessie (Julia Parker), the mother, loses her job. When she and her young daughter (Kruiz Mauga) move in with her bohemian mom, all three characters begin to reconsider their priorities. Co-writer and director Linda Palmer is interested in telling stories that marry elements of comedy and drama, and that combination is especially potent in this film. When the characters reckon with an unexpected loss, their outlook on life is turned upside down. “Passage” is an intimate story about women who struggle, but know they can always rely on one another.
You can contribute to “Passage” via Indiegogo.
To be considered for Women and Hollywood’s biweekly crowdfunding feature, please write to email@example.com. All formats (features, shorts, web series, etc.) welcome. Projects must be by and/or about women.
Women on the Verge: Crowdfunding Picks was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.