Help change the future of education by bringing this award winning documentary to low-income communities across the US . Read more
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About this project
FIRST GENERATION - Official Trailer
When we set out to make First Generation nearly 5 years ago, we wanted to tell an honest story about the struggles and challenges first generation and low-income students face as they journey to college in hopes that the film would raise awareness and prompt a national discussion about college access, as well as directly help students get into college.
Watch the kickstarter video at the top of the page to hear more about our vision for the film and visit our website (www.firstgenerationfilm.com) to learn more about the film.
Why We Need Your Help:
Our goal for the film has always been to get it out to the students and parents and communities who need to see it most. We’re talking about low-income communities, parents who didn’t go to college and have no idea how to fill out the FAFSA, and schools where the student to counselor ratio is 500 to 1.
But unfortunately our target audience doesn’t always have the resources to sponsor a screening of the film. That’s why we need your help to make this happen.
Our goal for the 2012/13 school year is to screen First Generation in every state across the country, strategically seeking to impact low-income communities and schools.
Some screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers or town hall discussions about how to increase the college-going rate in their communities or schools. With Jaye’s background in higher education (she is a former senior admissions officer at Columbia University and the author of Seventeen's Guide To Getting Into College), students, parents and educators will have the opportunity to get expert advice about applying, getting into, and paying for college.
If we don't reach the full amount of $50,000 within the 30 days, Kickstarter will return all pledged money to the backers and NOTHING will go to the First Generation educational screening campaign.
So please send what you can, help us reach our $50,000 goal!
Where the Money Goes:
The money you donate will go directly towards getting the film out to low-income communities across the US:
• Duplication, printing and shipping of DVDs and discussion guides for 100 Screenings
• Travel and accommodations for the filmmakers to host large scale public City-Premiere Screenings and discussion panels in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, St. Louis & New Orleans
• Accommodations for the filmmakers to stay in each city extra days to attend Pro-Bono Screenings at low-income schools in the area
• Catering and childcare for 10 Dinner & A Movie Screenings where parents will see the film, join in a discussion about higher education, and take away a packet of information about how to help their students make it to college
• Translation of all discussion guides and hand-outs for Spanish-speaking families
• Planning, management and publicity for the entire educational tour
• 8-10% goes to Kickstarter and credit card fees
If we surpass our goal, we can reach even MORE cities, schools and students! We already have over 200 requests to see this film!
What has happened with First Generation so far?
We’ve been fortunate that since its premiere at the Heartland Film Festival last October the film has been more successful than we even imagined winning a Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the Napa Valley Film Festival, Best Documentary and Soundtrack at Idyllwild, and screening over 70 times at festivals, universities, high schools, and middle schools. We’ve had the chance to attend screenings and Q&A’s from Los Angeles to New York, Indianapolis to San Antonio, and the international premiere in Berlin.
Last spring, we also had the opportunity to bring the cast to Washington D.C. to meet with members of the White House, Congress and Department of Education along with a screening on Capitol Hill.
About the Film
First Generation is an award-winning feature length documentary narrated by Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood and tells the story of four high school students —an inner city athlete, a small town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers —who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education.
Shot over the course of three years and featuring some of America’s top educational experts (Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation; J.B. Schramm, College Summit; Dr. Bill Tierney, University of Southern California), this 95 minute documentary explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students, and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation.
“[First Generation] packs power in its subtle way of portraying
the complex problems that these low-income, first generation students
– New York Times
"This film is amazing! I don't know of any other documentaries
that go this in-depth in the lives of these kids that are struggling to
change their paths."
– Kimberly Crawford -- KABB FOX San Antonio
"First Generation exposes the overwhelming
challenges faced by low-income and under-served high school students who may be
qualified for college but don’t have the knowledge or support to manage the
process of getting there. This film movingly portrays the urgency with which
our nation must address equality in college access."
– Karen Symms Gallagher, Ph.D. -- Dean, USC Rossier School of Education
"First Generation is a must-see for educators and
anyone who thinks college access is important. The film brings to life -
in a powerful way - the harsh realities of what happens when entire families
aren't prepared for college."
– Shawn Abbott -- Assistant Vice President of Admissions, New York University
“First Generation captures the audiences minds and
hearts around a national educational imperative---ensuring that talented
students, without the financial resources, counseling resources and social
capital, attend a college that is best suited to their interests and academic
– Eric J. Furda -- Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Big Thank You! - A personal, heart felt Thank You email from the filmmakers.Estimated delivery:
HUGE Thank You! - A private link to a video of the cast and filmmakers thanking everyone who gives at this price point, 5 high-resolution digital stills from the film, and the Big Thank You.Estimated delivery:
See The Film! Get your own private link to an online screener of the film once the DVD is released! This is a new reward for all $25 backers and it includes the "HUGE Thank You" below!!!Estimated delivery:
The Finished Product! - A DVD of the film + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
Our John Hancock! – Your DVD will be autographed by the filmmakers - hey, it could be worth big bucks one day + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
11 backers Limited (14 left of 25)
Special For Public Schools! - give only $75 and get the $500 reward! Host a screening at your school - while helping others see it as well! (This is a special reward and will not include all previous rewards)Estimated delivery:
See The Film! - Personal Invitation for 2 to the screening of your choice and a chance to meet the filmmakers (Check out our website to see where we'll be screening) + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
Go Behind The Scenes! - A private link to special never-before-seen footage of Soma and his brother singing an original song, a handful of high-resolution digital behind-the-scenes photos, + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
The Marquee Package! - An 18”x 24” First Generation official movie poster autographed by the filmmakers + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
See It First! - Private link to a low-resolution online video of the film before it's released on DVD + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
Your Own Screening! – Host or sponsor a screening of the film for the school, town or organization of your choice (we provide the film, public performance license and discussion guide – you provide the venue and AV equipment) + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
Let's Chat! – The filmmakers will attend a discussion session and Q&A via Skype after your screening ($500 award) + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
The Educator Package! – Own or donate an educational DVD of First Generation to the school/institution of your choice. Includes Public Performance Rights (for unlimited classroom and institutional use) and a copy of the official First Generation Curriculum with 1-week, 3-week, and 6-week lesson plans + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Help From A Pro! You get two 1-hour private college counseling sessions with filmmaker (and former Columbia Admissions Officer) Jaye Fenderson and a signed copy of her book “Seventeen’s Guide To Getting Into College.” Keep it yourself or gift it to a student of your choice + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
Hang With The Filmmakers! – Planning on being in LA? Or keeping tabs on where the filmmakers will be attending screenings? Sit down with Adam and Jaye for lunch, coffee or dinner and learn more about the film + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
The Main Event! – The filmmakers will attend a discussion session, Q&A, and/or student workshop in person at your school, town or organization after your screening ($500 award) (airfare and lodging not included) + all previous awards.Estimated delivery:
The Executive Package! Get your brand out there! Your brand or organization will be displayed on all printed materials, DVD menus, websites, etc. related to each screening funded by Kickstarter + all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
- (31 days)