We at Women and Hollywood are always in pursuit of women-centric projects to promote and encourage, which is why, starting this month, we are beginning a new feature. Once a month, we will highlight women-centric crowdfunding projects that seem promising and worthy of support. Given that only 17% of last year’s big-budget films were directed, written, produced or edited by women in 2014, it seems imperative that we turn our attention and effort to ensuring that women-centric films are accessible and plentiful, regardless of budget. That being said, here are our four women-centric crowdfunding picks of the month.
Wedlocked– Directed by Puppett; Written by Guinevere Turner
What it’s about: Soon-to-be married couple Sydney and Cameron are gearing up for their walk down the aisle when they are faced with a problem they cannot seem to solve: Their home state refuses to divorce Sydney and her former wife simply because they are gay. According to the crowdfunding page, the film is a “farcical comedy taking on the ridiculous laws governing gay divorce.”
Who is involved: The script is written by Guinevere Turner, whose credits include an adaptation of “American Psycho,” along with “Go Fish” and several episodes of “The L Word.”
Why we’re interested: While LGBTQ marriage has been depicted on the silver screen, never have we heard of a film accurately (and humorously) depicting the important and complicated issues that surround the unique divorce process gay couples must go through.
The deadline: The film’s Seed&Spark page will be accepting contributions until May 4th.
Who Owns Yoga?– Co-Directed by Marie-Hélène Carleton
What it’s about: According to yoga teacher and journalist Bhanu Bhatnagar, the feature-length documentary explores “the changing nature of yoga in modern society, the innovations and hybridizations, and the challenges of commercialization as yoga businesses try to own a piece of this ever popular ancient practice.”
Who is involved: Joining Bhatnagar is filmmaker Marie-Hélène Carleton (along with Micah Garen). Carleton is the co-founder of Four Corners Media and has worked with Garen on several documentary films in the past.
Why we’re interested: As yoga grows more commercialized in the United States each day, the film’s goal is to understand the practice as it is perceived around the globe, not just as a business.
The deadline: You can contribute to the film’s Kickstarter page until April 30th.
Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl – Directed by Julie Dash
What it’s about: According to press materials, “the film will trace Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor’s journey and madcap adventures from the Lowcountry of South Carolina through five historical/cultural periods of major consequence in American history. Writer, culinary anthropologist, actor, griot, broadcaster, grandmother and citizen of the world — Vertamae’s story is one of a fearless, creative and imaginative woman who has dared to cross multiple boundaries and live her life out loud.”
Who is involved: The film will be directed by Julie Dash, a filmmaker, author, and a member of the L.A. Rebellion. Her 1991 film “Daughter of the Dust” was the first feature-length film by an African-American woman distributed theatrically in the United States.
Why we’re interested: For having accomplished so much, Vertamae deserves to have her story told. Not only is it compelling, but vital to the history of American culture.
The deadline: You can contribute to the film’s Indiegogo page until May 5th.
Take the Stage: A Girls Rock-umentary – Directed by Portia Danis and Darla Courtney
What it’s about: As the film’s Kickstarter page reads, “‘Take the Stage’ follows the journey of determined, female, rockin’ youngsters, ages 8-18, at a music-intensive, one-week-long day camp.” The film will document this group of girls from the beginning of their week-long journey all the way through to the final performance.
Who is involved: Directors Portia Danis & Darla Courtney are recent graduates from the University of Wisconsin Madison who spent their time at college collaborating on art video projects.
Why we’re interested: While the project’s subject may be this camp, it is what the young girls experience there that grabbed our attention. As the directors state on their crowdfunding page, “In the space that GRC provides, girls challenge their technical skills and cultural norms that inhibit women, such as body image, self esteem and a sense of personal power.”
The deadline: Contribute to the film’s Kickstarter page by May 4th.