This roundup of women-centric crowdfunding projects has a little something for every kind of movie fan. The horrors of motherhood, grief and repeating the mistakes of the past are explored in “Electric Bleau,” while “The Ladies Almanack,” based on Djuna Barnes’s privately published 1928 novel, explores lesbian identities. “Women of Light” delves into the world of successful female cinematographers from the perspective of a cinematography grad with a desire to honor the other women at the top, and “Virgin Territory” takes us into the world of teen angst and sexual exploration as seen through the eyes of its 17-year-old writer and director. These important projects highlight the endlessly varied ways that women contribute to the film industry. By supporting these projects, you can ensure that these voices will be heard.
Here are our February crowdfunding picks:
Electric Bleau – Directed by Jen West
“Electric Bleau” follows punk-rock musicians and biracial twins Bonnie and Bleau, as they inherit a family heirloom in 1980s New Orleans. When the heirloom comes to Bleau in the form of a harmonica, she also inherits the vengeful spirit of Josephine, who is looking to take away Bleau’s unborn twins. Bleau must decide which matters most: her family or her ambitions as a musician. The horror genre very rarely features a capable female protagonist of color, and “Electric Bleau” offers that little-explored perspective. That being said, this is a universal story in that it explores the struggle of achieving the future you dream of while grappling with the past. With rock stars as protagonists and a different take on the mainstream horror genre, there’s plenty to look forward to in the making of this feature film.
You can support the film’s production through its Seed and Spark page until February 12.
The Ladies Almanack – Directed by Daviel Shy
“The Ladies Almanack” is a feature film based on Djuna Barnes’s 1928 novel, which tells the story of lesbian “Don Juan” Natalie Clifford Barney. The characters of the film are women mentioned in Clifford Barney’s Almanack: writers, artists, poets and socialites. The film takes place in an imaginary city the filmmakers envision as part-Paris and part-Chicago, shot entirely on Super 8 film. “The Ladies Almanack” will address “the cultural importance of semi-private spaces as essential ground for social and professional self-determination,” through the re-imagining of Natalie Clifford Barney’s L’Académie des Femmes, a weekly meeting in her salon for female authors.
You can contribute to the making of this film via the Seed and Spark page until March 6.
Women of Light – Directed by Julia Swain
Julia Swain, a UCLA cinematography grad, expands on her senior thesis project with this documentary film about the top female cinematographers. As she anticipated graduation from UCLA, Swain realized that she knew very women who were making major moves in cinematography. “Women of Light” is her response to the narrative of how few women there are in the media industry, and an attempt to honor women in film. The documentary will feature interviews from leading cinematographers. With a crew of capable female UCLA grads, this film is sure to honor the women in film who paved their way.
To support this film, visit the Kickstarter page from now until February 14.
Virgin Territory – Directed by Emily Robinson
Last but certainly not least is coming-of-age story “Virgin Territory”, which follows a teen as she learns about herself and others and develops in a sex-positive, sexuality-questioning story of self-discovery. Emily Robinson is 17 years old and the star, writer and director of the short film, which she created in response to the lack of sex-positive stories for women in film. In the campaign video Robinson says, “The world around us tells us that girls don’t like sex, sex is for boys, that girls only do what they do to impress boys and worst of all that girls are objects, not subjects.” With your help, this young director can help put a nail in the coffin of this patriarchal discourse with her short film “Virgin Territory.”
You can visit this film’s Kickstarter page to contribute before February 26.