This week’s women-centric crowdfunding picks deliver impressive female characters and subjects who take on the world with fighting spirit. Whether they are stoically facing up to their own mortality, or just struggling to get a start in life; blazing a trail through the high-pressure world of powerlifting, or refusing to play the role of female victim in yet another twisted horror movie, the women in this month’s crowdfunding projects are capable, powerful and complicated. These film projects challenge stereotypes and showcase women who act as heroines both for themselves and for others.
Fantasy-drama "The Camel’s Back" will delve into the interiority of a young Kenyan girl struggling with mental illness who feels trapped by her community. A very different kind of female protagonist comes to the fore in "Snuff," a horror-comedy which plays with classic horror tropes to tackle the issues of the over-sexualization and devaluing of female actresses.
Young Naomi Kutin could have her story told in the documentary film "Supergirl," as director Jessie Auritt plans to show the world the daily life of the record-breaking, 11-year-old power-lifter. Meanwhile, the upcoming film "Plan B" (working title) takes us to the other end of the age spectrum, to examine the inner world of an older woman facing, and conquering, death.
All of these films tell stories from perspectives seldom seen in mainstream filmmaking. With your contribution, these stories can bring much-needed representations of complex women from all ages, races and backgrounds to the screen.
Here are our March crowdfunding picks:
The Camel’s Back – Written and Directed by Michelle Mboya
"The Camel’s Back" tells the story of Susan, a young Kenyan girl who feels ostracized by her community and decides she has only one day left to live. Described by the team as a "fantasy/drama," this short film will explore Susan’s sense of trauma and her desire to escape her current life to visit Diani Beach, on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Half of all proceeds of from the film will go to Kibera Hamlets, a non-profit organization offering a variety of programs for children and adolescents living in Kibera, a slum.
You can contribute to the Seed & Spark page here until March 8.
Snuff – Written and Directed by Joanna Fernandez
This comedic take on the horror film industry tackles the disposability of female actors by featuring "twisted, complex and real women." This short, which uses the "film within a film" technique, is designed to appeal to horror fans and comedy fans alike. The story follows a "snuff crew" (a film crew that literally kills actors on camera) who kill their lead actress too early. They get more than they bargained for with the actress who replaces her.
This unique story can be made with your help, if you visit and donate via the Kickstarter page before March 6.
Plan B – Written and Directed by Liz Manashil
"Plan B" is the working title of this narrative feature, which tells a story from the perspective from a character that is especially rare in films — older women. (The percentage of male characters in 50s, for example, is almost twice that of female characters in their 50s.) Director Liz Manashil is fed up with the "asexual," "spinster" portrayals of older people, and with "Plan B" she plans to tell the multi-layered story of a woman confronting her own mortality.
You can help the production of this project at the Kickstarter page before March 7.
Supergirl – Directed by Jessie Auritt
"Supergirl" is a feature length documentary about 11-year-old Naomi Kutin who can lift as much as three times her body weight. Kutin is an Orthodox Jew who got the nickname "Supergirl" because of her enormous strength as a power-lifter, having broken the world record at just nine-years-old. This documentary will tell Kutin’s story as she tries to balance her power-lifting career with adolescence, body image, health issues, religious obligations and whatever else comes her way.
You can help this team bring Naomi Kutin’s story to life by contributing to the project on the Kickstarter page before April 3.