5 items from 2017
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” 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. »
- Joseph Allen
Trent Haaga has spent more than 15 years establishing himself in the realm of indie filmmaking. An esteemed graduate of Troma University, where he got his start as the writer on Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger 4, Haaga also penned Deadgirl and Cheap Thrills (and numerous other projects), and has made appearances in over 50 films to date. While Chop, a 2011 micro-budget horror comedy that has been grossly overlooked, may have been Haaga’s first-ever time in the director’s seat, it’s with his follow-up effort, 68 Kill, that he cements himself as a filmmaking force of nature who continues to build a strong foundation as a purveyor of cult cinema.
With a screenplay based on Bryan Smith’s book of the same name, 68 Kill introduces us to Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler), a trailer-dwelling nice guy who pumps sewage for a living and is completely infatuated with his out-of-control girlfriend, Liza (AnnaLynne McCord »
- Heather Wixson
Oh, 68 Kill features a psychotic AnnaLynne McCord seducing and shit-kicking her way through country-fried thrills? Why yes, this is exactly my kind of midnight carnage. Wait, it gets better? You bet! This dark comedy marks Trent Haaga’s directorial follow-up to Chop (also co-wrote Cheap Thrills/Deadgirl), and 68 Kill only furthers his catalog of gleeful nastiness. Femininity and masculinity clash in a bumbling Bonnie and Clyde reimagining, with a dash of Tarantino unpredictability. It’s a raucous closing-time nightcap that runs on perfume and blood-soaked booty shorts, because what man wouldn’t kill for Ms. McCord? Brilliant casting, Mr. Haaga. Novelist Bryan Smith should be proud of this adaptation.
Matthew Gray Gubler stars as Chip, the love-struck boyfriend of white-trash vixen Liza (AnnaLynne McCord). She’s the talk of the trailer park. Everyone wants her, but Chip is the lucky guy she goes home with – when not sexing landlords in lieu of late rent. »
- Matt Donato
Stars: Graham Skipper, Lauren Ashley Carter, John Speredakos, Larry Fessenden, Noah Segan, Matt Mercer, Michael A. LoCicero, Jeremy Gardner, Patrick M. Walsh, Brian Morvant, Josh Ethier, Susan T. Travers | Written and Directed by Joe Begos
Back in 2014 first-time director Joe Begos exploded on the horror scene with Almost Human, an alien abduction movie drenched in 80s flair. Now he’s back with his second feature, Supernatural Forces aka The Mind’s Eye, another film that’s not afraid to wear its love of 80s horror on its sleeve. In this case referencing the work of David Cronenberg and Brian De Palma, and films like the Scanners franchise, Carrie and the classic telekinetic fear flick The Fury.
Confession time: I’m not the biggest fan of David Cronenberg’s Scanners. If not for exploding head scene and the final battle between Revok and Vale, the film would be a very dull futuristic thriller. »
- Phil Wheat
Comic readers who are fans of Blood & Gourd can now download the first two issues of the series on ComiXology. Also in today's Highlights: a Q&A with Havenhurst director Andrew C. Erin, a clip and a trailer for Blind Sun, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume 38 DVD release details, Arbor Demon acquisition info, and the trailer for Plaga Zombie: American Invasion.
Blood & Gourd Comixology Digital Download Details: The first two issues of Blood & Gourd are now available as digital downloads on ComiXology! If you prefer to collect your comics in physical form, you can limited print copies at bloodandgourd.com.
Q&A with Havenhurst Director Andrew C. Erin: From the Press Release: "Brainstorm Media and Twisted Pictures have announced the February 10th limited theatrical and nationwide Cable VOD and Digital HD release of Andrew C. Erin's Havenhurst. Co-written by Erin (Sam's Lake, Simple Things) and Daniel Farrands (Amityville: The Awakening, »
- Tamika Jones
5 items from 2017
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