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Rebels With a (Very Good) Cause: Crowdfunding Campaigns

Rebels With a (Very Good) Cause: Crowdfunding Campaigns

It’s crowdfunding time again, and this week there are some ingenious projects created by and about women that deserve support. 

Included in our picks this week is “Free to Laugh,” a short documentary that follows a non-profit org that helps women recently released from prison through comedy and storytelling. On the other side of the world, “Shahrzaad’s Tale” is a profile of Iran’s first woman filmmaker artist, Shahrzaad, whose work was banned shortly after the Iranian revolution. Similarly, “Anicee’s Art” offers a portrait of a female artist living with brittle bone disease at the center of its story, following her journey as she prepares for her first exhibition at a major art gallery. 

Free to Laugh (Documentary) – Directed by Lara Everly 

“Humor is truly a way to cope and to bring our inner shadows into the light,” reads the film’s crowdfunding page. “Free to Laugh” is a documentary that intimately explores the lives of women after enduring years of imprisonment within correctional facilities and sheds light on the lasting affects of incarceration. It succeeds in portraying the dignity and humanity of these women and serves to question the legitimacy of the prison establishment.     
Up-and-coming independent filmmaker Lara Everly previously “collaborated with the Amity Foundation, a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles, which houses women on parole and probation to help prevent recidivism. These women channeled years of pain, guilt and incarceration into writing their own stand-up material, healing through laughter and propelling themselves into the present moment through improvisation.” The footage was originally shot for a web series entitled “Gratitude Revealed,” which is scheduled to be released on Oprah.com in Fall 2015.
You have until September 10 to make a minimum donation of $1 (less than the cost of your morning coffee) on the film’s crowdfunding page.  

Shahrzaad’s Tale (Documentary)

“Shahrzaad’s Tale” explores the life of a shamefully forgotten, legendary artistic female figure. It is a “lyrical documentary about Kobra Amin-Sa’idi (stage name “Shahrzaad”), a veteran actor, dancer, poet and Iran’s first woman filmmaker, whose work is currently banned and who is now a wandering homeless woman in search of survival.” 

The film will likely be crucial to better understanding Iran’s cinematic culture before the current authoritative regime entrenched itself after the 1979 revolution. The project recognizes the artistic talents of a woman whose work was ultimately outlawed and restricted. Shahrzaad starred in “Qeysar” (1969), a prominent film of the Iranian New Wave (or “First Wave”), as a charismatic cabaret dancer. 

“Shahrzaad’s Tale” is the fourth feature film by award-winning director/producer Shahin Parhami, who is known for his creative documentaries.  

You can contribute to the film’s post-production development on its crowdfunding page until September 16.    

Anicee’s Art (Documentary)

The crowdfunding page details the film as a documentary about “12-year-old Anicee Lamoreaux, who has overcome the disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta to become a successful artist. This film follows Anicee as she prepares to make her first gallery showing at a major art gallery in the southwest.”

We’re particularly interested in this film as it promotes the engaging and influential work of a female minority artist whose story needs to be told. The film documents a young woman “who has overcome the limitations of OI disease and has the chance to realize her dream and show people that no matter what the odds are, you can succeed. She will also serve as a role model to others living with OI.” The film’s creator is a filmmaker and Las Vegas DJ known under his pseudonym “The Mash-Up King.” “Anicee’s Art” is his third feature length documentary and aims to “document Anicee’s journey to her first-ever showing and raise awareness about her art and OI.”

You can donate to the film through its crowdfunding page until September 16.

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