The dating lives of transgender women. An Arab-American girl searching for
freedom on her motorcycle. Plus-size models rebelling against size-zero tyranny.
If you want to see films about women defying norms, check out these
crowdfunding projects that need a helping hand to enlighten and
inspire us all.
What it’s about: A web series about two transgender women in Los Angeles who are feeling isolated and insecure, but start breaking out of their shells when they meet potential love interests they feel they can open up to.
Who is involved: The series is written by transgender writer/actress Jen Richards and writer/actress Laura Zak (“#Hashtag”). Trans entrepreneur and actress Angelica Ross stars, while trans filmmaker Sydney Freeland (“Drunktown’s Finest”) directs. “The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler serves as executive producer.
Why we’re interested: Transgender and queer individuals have long been marginalized in the media or reduced to curiosities or tragic characters. With series like “Orange Is the New Black,” “Transparent” and “I Am Cait,” more transgender characters appear on the screen, but there are many more stories waiting to be told — especially stories told by transgender and queer women themselves. With so many trans creatives behind and in front of the camera, “Her Story” will depicting the everyday lives and concerns of trans women rather than creating a freak show or a tragic tale.
The deadline: Help the filmmakers complete post-production by supporting the Indiegogo campaign before September 14.
What it’s about: Young Women of Cinema is a training program for female filmmakers aged 18-24. The young talents will get technical training, mentorship, networking opportunities and the support to explore subjects relevant to women today.
Who is involved: The program will be part of DCTV’s youth media program, PRO-TV, a free media arts training program for youth in New York City.
Why we’re interested: The dire statistics on women behind the camera are well documented. Let’s make sure the next generation changes the status quo in the industry by supporting young women in finding their voices and letting them be heard.
The deadline: Help make sure the program can launch in September by backing its Kickstarter campaign before September 11.
What it’s about: “Straight/Curve” is a documentary about the rise of plus-size supermodels, who challenge beauty standards in the fashion industry and in society at large.
Who is involved: Director Jenny McQuaile has a background in journalism and has worked in production on major TV series and feature films such as “Blue Bloods,” “Annie” and Steven Soderberg’s “The Knick.” Producer Jess Lewis has been a model for 15 years, both plus and “straight.” Producer Franses Simonovich has worked on documentaries like “His Way” and “Muscle Shoals.”
Why we’re interested: Not everybody can be a size zero, but many women feel like they should be and consequently hate their bodies. The film documents the plus-size revolution that is gaining momentum, and we’re all for it. “We want to empower women of this generation and the next to love yourselves, love your body and embrace your curves,” says McQuaile. If one woman comes closer to loving herself from watching this doc, you’ve got your money’s worth.
The deadline: Donate to the film’s Kickstarter campaign by September 2.
What it’s about: A coming-of-age story of a Muslim teenage girl in Arkansas who, after her father’s imprisonment, takes off on her motorcycle in search of freedom and identity,
Who is involved: Susan Youssef is a Fox Directing Fellow (read her guest post about the experience), director of two Sundance Film Festival selections, and writer/director of “Habibi,” which premiered at the Venice, Toronto, Busan, and Dubai International Film Festivals. “Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf” is an expansion of the director’s short of the same name, which screened at Sundance in 2006.
Why we’re interested: Films centered on Arab-American or Muslim characters rarely come along. The film tackles harassment, terrorism suspicion and racial segregation while being an empowering coming-of-age story about a young woman searching for her identity and celebrating freedom. We can’t get the image of a girl riding a motorcycle with her headscarf flying in the wind out of our minds.
The deadline: Support the film’s Kickstarter campaign by September 27.