Last month, we at Women and Hollywood started a new feature spotlighting women-centric crowdfunding projects that we feel deserve attention and support. This month’s crowdfunding selections vary in subject and tone, but all seek to shed light on an experience, a cause, a dream or, in some cases, all three. Most importantly, however, all four films are made by and about women — their struggles, their triumphs and their truths. Here are our four women-centric crowdfunding picks of the month.
Trapped – Directed by Dawn Porter
What it’s about: This documentary explores the ever-pressing issue that is the lack of reproductive health clinics in the South. As abortion clinics fight for their existence in the harshly conservative political and legal climate of the South, “Trapped” offers audiences an in-depth look into the lives of women directly affected by these anti-choice rules and regulations.
Who is involved: “Tackling important social issues is what fuels me as a filmmaker,” says director Dawn Porter, whose first documentary focuses on public defenders in the South. That film, titled “Gideon’s Army,” earned her an Emmy nomination, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nod.
Why we’re interested: The lack of access to reproductive health clinics in the South is a widely known problem. However, in order for those who have never faced this struggle to fully understand the importance of the problem at hand, it is imperative that they bear witness to the personal stories of the men and women directly affected by legislators who want to make their states “abortion-free.” “Trapped” offers a unique and important balance; the film examines the legal aspects of this issue while drawing attention to individual stories of clinics and their patients.
The deadline: You can contribute to the film’s Kickstarter page until May 29th.
Take Your Partners – Written and Directed by Siri Rødnes
What it’s about: Eight-year-old Ollie has always been a self-described tomboy, but it isn’t until the adults in her life begin to deem her behavior “unnatural” that she questions traditional gender roles.
Who is involved: The short film comes to us from BAFTA Scotland-nominated writer/director Siri Røden, a graduate of the National Film & Television School in London.
Why we’re interested: While the film’s subject matter is loosely autobiographical, Røden is quick to note that her “unique story isn’t actually so unique.” Seeing as there are so few films that accurately and respectfully unpack the issue of gender norms as they pertain to young women and girls, it feels as though we are long past due for a film like “Take Your Partners.”
The deadline: Contribute to the film’s Indiegogo page until May 20th.
Between Shifts – Directed by Lysandra Petersson; Written by Jaime Saginor
What it’s about: Inspired by writer Jaime Saginor’s own waitressing days, “Between Shifts” is an uplifting modern-day fairytale about a diner waitress who finds herself on an unexpected (and magical) adventure between her lunch and dinner shifts.
Who is involved: The film’s cast and crew pride themselves on being a female-driven and -inspired film. Director Lysandra Petersson has been working in the independent feature-film world for almost a decade, while Kellie Dantzler, the film’s producer, previously won the NAACP Theatre Award for Best Playwright – Local and Best Ensemble for her 2010 work “Transitions: A Trilogy of One-Act Plays.”
Why we’re interested: “Between Shifts” was a semifinalist in the highly competitive 2014 BlueCat Screenplay Competition and was deemed “poignant, taut and funny” by the competition’s judges.
The deadline: The film’s Kickstarter page will be live until May 20th.
What it’s about: Based on Odessa Rose’s novel “Water In A Broken Glass,” the film follows DC-based artist Tonya Mimms as she finds herself caught in the center of a love triangle between a man and a woman.
Who is involved: Director Jamelle Williams-Thomas heads the production company Lodge Street Films, which “strongly advocates for the representation of all facets of the Black diaspora in film and media.” She has previously worked with “Water” co-writer Rice on their short film “Transplant,” while Mooney previously worked on the webseries “Finding Me.”
Why we’re interested: Though the LGBTQ experience is depicted more often today than at any other point in cinematic or television history, it’s still rare to see a positive depiction of a black, queer relationship on film.
The deadline: You can contribute to the film’s Indiegogo page until May 25th.