This week’s women-centric crowdfunding picks could hardly be more different in subject and form: a personal documentary about a strained mother-daughter relationship, a comedic short about a baby shower, a documentary exploring racial tensions in Ferguson and an exploration of the stress of sorority recruitment. What they have in common is inventive and driven women at the helm — women who have ideas and don’t hesitate to realize them. They just need a little financial support.
In her personal documentary "Look at Us Now, Mother," Emmy award-winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum explores her tense relationship with her highly critical, borderline-emotionally abusive mother. Kirschenbaum’s 2007 short documentary "My Nose" centered on her mother’s repeated calls for her daughter to get a nose job. In the new film, she deals with the larger issues at play. Despite hurtful comments like "One of the reasons why I might not have been nice to her as a child is that she was a bitchy little girl growing up," the filmmaker’s goal is to understand and forgive — and inspire others in a similar situation to do the same. Kirscehnbaum apparently succeeded — once she freed herself from being affected by her mother’s criticism, the criticism stopped. We’d like to know how she managed.
The film is done and has been touring the festival circuit. If you want to see it in a theater near you, support the film’s Kickstarter campaign for distribution before October 15.
Ferguson Documented: In 36 Hours – Directed by Carla Usher
Many people were shocked and moved by the police killing of Michael Brown. Carla Usher, a New York-based independent filmmaker with a journalism degree from NYU, wasn’t satisfied with what she saw on the news. After news outlets packed up, she decided to pick up her camera and explore the race issues in Ferguson. Her main question was: "What was it about this community that proved different in its response to a police involved killing of an unarmed black man, than say in larger cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago?" We applaud Usher’s determined, curious attitude and are eager to see what she found out from interviewing the residents of Ferguson. If you are too, support the short documentary’s Indiegogo campaign until October 11.
The documentary "Rush2Sisterhood" follows three female first-year students going through the "emotionally grueling" sorority recruitment process at colleges around Alabama. The director, MFA student Beth McKinney, was inspired by her niece’s rush experiences and describes the process as an emotional rollercoaster, where the young women feels a constant pressure to impress at the parties. "It doesn’t have to be this way," says McKinney, who hopes to educate future rushees.
Support the film’s Indiegogo campaign until October 23.
Writer-director-actor Alissa Jessup’s "Chickadee" is a comedic short about a woman throwing a surprise baby shower for her sister. The film has an all-female cast and crew. Jessup’s acting credits include "Casual," "True Blood," "The Mindy Project," "The Mentalist" and "American Sniper," but still, she says, she hasn’t fulfilled her dream of being a series regular. That’s when she started writing her own material.
Jessup was inspired by a quote by Michelle Rodriguez: "I’d love to see four girls who actually get along in a movie that’s not about chasing a guy." So would Jessup. And so would we.
You can support the film’s crowdfunding campaign on its website.