Our entire lives are defined by relationships. From a young age, we are taught to identify ourselves relative to someone else; daughter, sister, partner, friend. And whether these bonds are defined by friendship or family, enemies or lovers, support or trauma, the short-term or a lifetime, no two are ever quite the same.
Our newest crowdfunding picks all explore the complexity and nuance of a diversity of these kinds of relationships. Paying special attention to character and story, they aim to take a closer look at the connections we have with strangers, our parents, our community, and even the relationships we cultivate with ourselves.
In our first pick, “Pure,” writer-director Cate Carson follows the journey of two opposing strangers who are forced to team up against the backdrop of a dystopian world set in a far-away future. Meanwhile, animated short “Let’s Eat” is a tale of conflict and comfort centering around an immigrant mother and her first-generation daughter.
Created by Amie Darboe, the web series “Blasians” provides a close-up look at a group of Black and Asian best friends, exploring their unique experiences as millennials in today’s society, as well as the connection they share.
And lastly, short film “Violet” explores what can happen when we struggle with our own needs, as a young woman, finding conflict between her upbringing and her desires, begins to see part of herself as grotesque.
Here are our latest women-created and women-centric crowdfunding picks.
“Pure” (Series) – Written and Directed by Cate Carson
“Pure” is set in a distant future where the world has splintered into three groups: the Mods, who have embraced genetic modification as the new way of the world; the Pures, who chose to remain unmodified; and the Dissension, who have come together to rebel against the Mods. Amidst this culture war, two people on opposing sides team up to take on the status quo. Despite their differences, these two strangers come to rely on one another as they navigate their past, and their society’s future. Using the genre of science fiction, the series is an allegory for many of the aspects of marginalization (race, class, gender, LGBTQ) we see today.
The series itself is an endeavor of inclusion. The campaign makes a point of stating, “Though set in the distant future, our story explores concepts of social and racial division relevant to the world today. In order to truthfully depict these topics from many perspectives, our team consists of an equally female, POC, LGBTQIA+ cast and crew, led by a female director.”
Support “Pure” and its commitment to diversity on the Seed&Spark platform.
“Let’s Eat” (Short)
Loosely inspired by his own background, the characters in Dixon Wong’s short “Let’s Eat” are an ode to family. The six-minute film is about the character Ma, a Chinese immigrant and single mother, and her daughter, Luan. When addressing why the creative team chose to make this film, the campaign cites, “Ma and Luan’s tale touches upon mother-daughter relationships, the American immigrant experience, and the unspoken translation of love into food — familiar themes reflected through a fresh perspective often overlooked in mainstream media. We at Anamon Studios aim to share in our similarities as much as we celebrate our differences, and to this end, we hope that ‘Let’s Eat’ will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds and experiences.”
There are plenty of stories in media about mother-daughter relationships, but very few center on Asian immigrants, or people of color. “Let’s Eat” is fighting to make more room on screen for these stories, and provide diverse audiences the representation they so crave.
Donate to the “Let’s Eat” campaign on Kickstarter.
“Blasians” (Web Series) – Created and Written by Amie Darboe; Directed by Pongkarnda “Kik” Udomprasert
At its heart, “Blasians” is a community story. Creator and writer Amie Darboe was inspired to make it after noticing the gap in narratives on TV: the lack of representation of her and her friends’ experiences. The series focuses on the lives of six Black and Asian best friends living in the Bay area. They are as diverse in personality as they are in cultural backgrounds, and are a much more realistic sampling of a group of friends than you usually see depicted in pop culture. Together they navigate adulthood and what it means to grow up, facing challenges along the way.
The campaign highlights the significance of the subject matter noting, “Although progress is being made, Asian and Black communities lack representation in all aspects of media. Additionally, misconceptions about Black and Asian relationships continue to add strife to our communities. ‘Blasians’ aims to show that not only do Asian and Black friendships exist, but that they’re fun, raw, and hella beautiful.”
Help support “Blasians” on Kickstarter.
“Violet” (Short) – Directed by Madeline Graham and Christopher Whiteside
“Violet” is a short which delves into personal depths. It is a story about a young queer woman named Violet who begins seeing her girlfriend in secret, as she is afraid her parents will find out about her sexuality. Despite her best efforts, she is unable to shake her strict upbringing and she starts to see her feelings as something to fear rather than embrace, coming to think about herself as a vampire.
The short uses the genre of horror to explore what it means to embrace yourself, and focuses on the incredibly important issue of LGBTQ rights. The directors aspire to create a film that encourages discussion around same-sex marriage, something that is still illegal in Northern Ireland, where the filmmakers are from. Their campaign page declares, “It is our hope to create a debate around gay marriage and why it should be allowed in Northern Ireland.”
Learn more about “Violet” and help support the campaign on Indiegogo.
To be considered for Women and Hollywood’s biweekly crowdfunding feature, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. All formats (features, shorts, web series, etc.) welcome. Projects must be by and/or about women.