With all the news of Spike Lee’s Kickstarter campaign, which is very important for all filmmakers, let’s not forget the smaller yet potentially groundbreaking projects that need our help as well.
Avant-garde filmmaker Celia C. Peters is raising post-production funds for ROXE15, a next-generation science fiction short film that gives this genre a
new face, a new voice and a new view of technology.
shooting, but for a special-effects laden film they must finish it at a level that “does justice to
this groundbreaking project.”
The plot goes as this:
NYC, 2051. The City is a stark, even more stratified place where
natural resources are sparse and technology is the new currency. Roxe
is a brilliant, hungry virtual reality programmer developing a
game-changing educational software called Mind Expansion for research
she’s doing with her
mentor, Dr. Elliot Robinson. They’re bound by a mutual need for success,
but it is hard to tell who needs it more. Elliot is fighting to stay
relevant in the cutthroat tech world but Roxë is counting on the project
to get her out of a drone-like day job and a home where she’s no longer
welcome. The corporation footing the bill for the project yanks their
deadline back and just
when Roxe is down to the wire, a brutal virus appears out of nowhere and
invades her software. And then
the virus comes after her.
The cinematic inspirations for the project, both thematically and aesthetically, include Blade Runner, Gattaca, 2046, Sleep Dealers, Code 46, and eXistenz.
But socially, it’s more than all that. To quote her campaign page, Celia made the movie because she “wanted — no, needed — to present a
fresh black female character.” With depictions of Black characters being so problematic in mass media, Celia continues that, “I know
I’m not alone in wanting to see a different representation of women, particularly women of color, onscreen and at the center of a
story. Not a maid, a pissed-off baby mama, a subjugated victim, a tricked-out jump-off
with a heart of gold, an uptight prig nor any other simplistic projection of someone
else’s fantasy. I want girls and women (as well as men and boys) to see a
different variation of who we are…an authentic representation in all of her quirky
ROXE15 stars April
McKay, and Danny
Moser. The film is produced by Nicole Sylvester.
With the film already shot, they’re raising funds to pay for: video editing, computer graphics, sound mix, music licensing, and festival submissions and marketing materials that will get this film in front of audiences.
The filmmaker herself is an original as well.
Peters is an avant-garde filmmaker creating universally compelling
stories of authentically diverse characters. She is a member of New
York Women in Film and Television and the Writers Guild of America and
was awarded a 2012 residency at Hawthornden International Retreat for
Writers in Midlothian, Scotland. Her psychologically inspired,
character-driven screenwriting has been both prize-winning [Godspeed,
2011 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival; Roxe15, 2004 SFBFF]
and recognized in competition otherwise. Her experimental short film “FIOFY [Figure It Out For Yourself]“ (2011) was featured as an
installation piece in Conjuration,
an exhibit in tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat in New York City. This
piece will appear in the FAME Film Festival in London in April 2013. Her
filmmaker credits also include the short documentary piece “Flipsides
of the Black Musical Experience (2013),” the experimental performance
piece, “Poem in Motion (2011),” the short documentary “Rethinking Beauty
(2011),“ and “Editing Uptown (2010),“ a featurette on the nationally
distributed DVD of the indie film, “Uptown.“
In 2007, Peters produced a
half-hour segment, “The State of Hip-Hop“ for WHUT/PBS and her short
narrative film “Breakthrough (2006),“ was broadcast nationally on BET‘s
‘The Best Shorts’ series. Peters is also the creator and producer of the
dramatic reading series “The Next 15 Minutes,“ the previous edition of which was co-produced by ActNow Foundation and featured Shaka King‘s NEWLYWEEDS, the first time it was read and performed by an group of actors anywhere. She is the founder of Artistic Freedom Design, and her graphic
art, photography and video work have shown at galleries in New York,
Dallas and Detroit. In 2010, she received an Individual Artist Grant for
a multimedia photography-based project centered in Harlem. She is
currently developing the feature version of “Roxe15,” sci-fi
feature film “Godspeed,” and documentary mini-series, “Flipsides of the
Black Musical Experience.” Peters
is also an honors graduate of University Michigan (B.A., French and
Political Science), and holds a Master‘s degree in Public Policy from the
University of Chicago. Suffice it to say, she’s got a huge track record.