HELP US REACH OUR STRETCH GOAL of 30K!
Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged support and shared our campaign. We also owe a very special thank you to everyone who donated rewards to help get us to the finish line.
We're going to make sure that your money goes to good use, by creating a powerful and female-centered story about the Jane Collective. We still have 4-Days left in our campaign, and would like to announce our first stretch goal.
People often forget the importance of sound when it comes to making a film. Our original budget has room to license music, but it's much more powerful when a film has its own subtle score. Remember the iconic score in Vertigo by Bernard Hermann or the character themes in Moonlight by Nicholas Britell. We've been wanting to work with a female composer whose work we greatly admire. That's why we are announcing a stretch goal of $30K. The extra money will be used to commission a composer to write an original score for the Jane short film and to allocate more budget to pay for a sound mix.
Please share our kickstarter with friends, family and colleagues!!!
ABOUT THE FILM
Inspired by true events, Jane is a short narrative film set in the era before Roe v. Wade. From 1968 to 1973, Jane, a underground group in Chicago, counseled, educated and helped an estimated 11,000 women find safe and inexpensive abortions at a time when suicides, self-induced and botched abortions were the norm. When they discover their main doctor does not have a medical degree, they're emboldened to learn to do the abortions themselves.
When I first read about the Jane collective, I was immediately drawn to their story. I knew I wanted to write and direct a film about these brave, rebellious women and show how everyday people can affect change.
In the film, Teresa, a college student, and Josie, a housewife with kids, are part of an underground group who break the law and risk everything to help women access safe abortions. When their trusted doctor doesn't show up, will they be forced to turn away women in need?
By portraying the extremes women went to and the danger they faced, I delve into the complex issues and emotions surrounding abortion rather than an oversimplified narrative. For Teresa, a naïve college student, seeing first-hand the fear and desperation of the women she counsels, propels her to take a radical step. Meanwhile, Josie has to overcome her fear of hurting the patients she’s trying to help. Through Verna, a patient who struggles with implications of her decision to have an abortion, I want to show the authentic emotional conflict and high stakes women face if we roll back reproductive rights.
I wrote this film after interviewing original Jane members who shared their powerful stories about the wide range of women who came to see them and the gravity of their circumstances. Women had to wear blindfolds, get into cars with strangers and were often sexually and financially extorted by so-called “doctors.” Jane members stepped in to protect women from this abuse. Our conversations gave me incredible insight into the group, the intensity of their work and the time period. They took action and helped save lives. Their story and the women they counseled, deeply resonated with me.
The Jane feature was was a top-ten finalist in the 2018 Page International Screenwriting Awards, invited to participate in the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and selected as an honoree in the Writers Guild of America West's Feature Access Diversity Project. I intended to tell this this story as a feature film, but the events of the last few months prompted me to take matters into my own hands and direct a short film–– because this story needs to be told now.
My first job as a filmmaker is to tell a compelling story, but I also want a younger audience to understand the lack of choices women had before Roe v. Wade, andthe dangers they faced getting an illegal abortion. While in some ways Jane is a cautionary tale, I’m also inspired by Jane members––many of them ordinary students and housewives with children, who challenged a system that put women’s lives at risk. Sadly, this history does not reside in the long forgotten past. The US confirmed two Supreme Court Nominees who will certainly overturn Roe v. Wade. The Jane film is a look into our future if we don’t stand up for women’s rights now. By creating a visceral narrative with authentic female voices, I hope to spark debate and encourage women to fight back.
We need to raise $25,000 to begin production on this timely film that shines a light on the dangers women faced before Roe v. Wade and will continue to face if there is no access to reproductive healthcare.
“It doesn’t make a difference if it’s legal if it’s inaccessible,” said Diane Derzis, owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. “And it’s definitely inaccessible to many people.” (NYT)
Over the past decade there’s been an unprecedented attack on women’s reproductive justice, including access to sex education and contraception. Shutting down clinics, the threat of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and restrictive state laws make it impossible for women to access safe and affordable abortions. Barriers to access tend to disproportionately impact women of color, women in poor communities and rural areas.
Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and Mississippi rely on one clinic to serve the entire state. Women in these states are forced to take time off work, find childcare, travel hundreds of miles to access basic healthcare, and pay for transportation and travel costs on top of their medical fees. Waiting periods have them repeat this process for follow-up appointments. ( More than 400 Restrictions / Restrictions in Mississippi / Abortion & the Supreme Court)
This is why the story of Jane is as relevant today as it was in 1969.
POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
As part of our crowdfunding campaign we want to make it easy for your voice to be heard.
For every donation you make to our campaign, we will send a specially-designed women's rights postcard to an anti-choice senator, representative or anyone else you want to remind that you support reproductive rights.
We'll also be posting updates on our socials with educational information about reproductive justice, organizations to support and legislative action we can take. Our Kickstarter campaign isn't just about money: it's about building a community around this critical issue.
ADDED REWARDS! ADDED REWARDS!
Moon Mountain Cabin in Joshua Tree & Film Lovers Package Combo–– Generously donated by Laurel and Steak for our STRETCH GOAL push!
You want to go on a writers retreat, maybe a romantic getaway or simply need to get out of the city– Moon Mountain Cabin is the perfect getaway in Joshua Tree and you get to support the Jane Short film. (Restrictions apply. Please read the details of this offer carefully.) Link to more pictures of Moon Mountain Cabin.
The Bud Sisters handcrafted, hemp based organic salve to take away your aches and pains.
Julia Tan, One, Two is a limited edition 15 x 22 color screenprint by artist Sharon Jue.
GRRR, Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries! is a colorful limited edition 15 x 22 Color screenprint by artist Sharon Jue.
Take home a piece of history with this acrylic painted portrait of Senator Kama Harris by Rad Megan.
What are you waiting for? 2x Books by Jane member Judith Arcana!
DIRECTION AND LOOK OF THE FILM
For the audience to go on an emotional journey with Teresa and Josie, I envision a fluid, observational camera style to capture the intensity and intimacy of the counseling session and the abortion. The use of silhouettes and shadows, the contrast between light and dark, portray the clandestine nature of the work. Blindfolds are a recurring motif -- a reminder of the lack of power women had and the terrifying aspect of getting an abortion, being in the dark and putting your life in a stranger's hands.
The documentary After Tiller did a brilliant job of focusing on details of hands during the counseling sessions. While done for anonymity, it was a touching and profound way to film the interviews. I don’t intend to hide anyone’s face but will focus on capturing tension through subtle gestures and close-ups. I want the audience to feel the fear and tensions the Janes face as they go about their work, knowing the police could arrive at any moment. My collaborative approach will allow room for experimentation, personal inquiry, and exploration. I will collaborate with the actors to infuse the performances with depth and authenticity. It’s challenging material, and I aim to bring out the nuances of the story.
JOIN US! WE NEED YOUR LOVE & SUPPORT
If you become a backer, we will make you part of our team, give you a behind-the-scenes look into our process and you'll help bring this story to a wider audience so we can create a conversation around reproductive justice.
We’re passionate about bringing this female-directed and female-led story to the screen. It’s often a struggle for women writers and directors to get their projects produced. We’re fortunate to have received initial funding through a 2018 Princess Grace Award Special Project grant, but we need to raise additional money to begin production.
The look of the film needs to capture the time period. Hiring an experienced costumer and art director, securing talent, and finding the right locations will help create this world. With our limited budget this is a tough, but creative challenge and we have the years of experience and the independent spirit to make it work. Our goal of raising $25,000 is the minimum amount we need to begin production and get us over the finish line. This is why we’re turning to you to ensure the film gets made. Every dollar you pledge (after fees and reward costs) will go directly to production and post-production.
We have an amazing team of advisors and collaborators, but we need a community around us to support this film financially. If you believe in reproductive rights, if you believe in female-centered stories and want to see them get made, we would be incredibly grateful for the help and support.
We need like-minded people who believe in reproductive rights as strongly as I do to help spread the word —
- Right NOW–– Please share a link to our Kickstarter Campaign as widely as possible with your network of friends, family and colleagues on — Instagram, Facebook, in newsletters and emails.
- Right NOW–– Please like us and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share with your friends and followers to help spread the word.
This project has been generously supported by the following organizations.
WHO WE ARE
Natalija Vekic, Writer and Director
Natalija Vekic is a screenwriter and director. She won a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival for her short film Lost & Found, and was the recipient of a Princess Grace Award in film. Natalija is a graduate of the UCLA MFA screenwriting program where she was awarded the Executive Board Award Fellowship and was one of eight writers selected to work with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in a feature screenwriting seminar. She researched and wrote Jane, which was subsequently invited to participate in the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab and selected as an honoree in the Writers Guild of America West's Feature Access Diversity Project. A short documentary she co-directed about Pauline Kael, Ed & Pauline, premièred at the Telluride Film Festival and a short portrait of Academy Award nominated filmmaker Sam Green is currently streaming on Adobe Create Magazine.
Natalija is Bosnian and Serbian and immigrated to Chicago when she was six years old. She’s convinced that not being able to speak English didn’t just ostracize her from her classmates, but taught her to be a keen observer and sparked her love of storytelling. Dreaming up stories was a way to regain her voice and make sense of her new home. Natalija writes and adapts screenplays for film and television about true or historic events from the perspective of outsiders, misfits and women who shape history, but are often forgotten. She loves to tackle complex and gritty female characters. She is working on “Bop City,” a dramatic pilot about the smoky, sexy, seedy and vibrant Jazz scene of 1950s San Francisco Fillmore district, which was destroyed by redevelopment.
Nicole Williams, Producer
Nicole is a writer/director/producer from Los Angeles whose focus is bringing female stories to life. After attending the University of Southern California, Nicole worked as a project manager for a decade before committing herself full time to the arts. Nicole is a graduate of the Second City Hollywood's directing program and has directed two premium shows for them. Nicole works as a producing partner at the independent production company Rubicon Crossing and is thrilled to be a part of the Jane team.
Christian Bruno, Cinematographer
Christian Bruno is a cinematographer and director whose work includes documentary and narrative projects. He has shot several award-winning short films, including Jessie Epstein’s 34x25x36, Muayad Alayan’s Lesh Sabreen? and Natalija Vekic's Lost & Found. Brian Davis’ feature-length doc, The Million Dollar Duck--about wildlife painters, the Federal Duck Stamp and the American Dream--won the Audience Award at Slamdance 2016 and debuted on Animal Planet. As a director, Christian co-directed the Sundance Award-winner Pie Fight 69 with Sam Green. The short documentary, Ed & Pauline (co-directed with Natalija Vekic), a portrait of the early years of film critic Pauline Kael and the dawning of cinephilia in the United States, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. He is a partner at Electric Park Films, a boutique production company whose clients include Adobe, Rally Health and the Exploratorium Science Museum in San Francisco.
Meghan McDonald, Associate Producer
Meghan McDonald is a filmmaker, composer and writer whose projects straddle the line between playful and philosophical. In 2018 she associate produced feature documentary “Lady Buds” and in 2017 she wrote/directed the short films "Think" and "Five Stereotypes Walk into a Room” and did sound design for “Don’t Go Too Far,” which was featured at Cannes Film Festival. Her poetry film "Moments That Breathe" was featured at the Juteback Poetry Film Festival and her fiction story “Mirrored Minds” was published in Carrier Pigeon Magazine. In summer 2016 she completed a music project where she street performed in 20 cities across the United States. Meghan had her start in journalism where she worked at The New York Times and Brooklyn Eagle.
Alexis Allen, Casting
Alexis Allen began casting in late 2007 with the Emmy-Award winning company Fincannon & Associates in Wilmington, NC as their extras casting director, while also assisting with location casting for shows filming in Wilmington, NC, Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA and other surrounding areas in the Southeastern US. In 2012, after working in New Orleans for 7 months, Alexis made the move out to Los Angeles and has worked with many incredible casting directors such as Rich Delia, Laray Mayfield, Tamara Notcutt, Sheila Jaffe, Courtney Bright and Nicole Daniels. She has also worked for directors such as David Fincher, Noah Hawley, and Nancy Meyers. Her credits include indies headed by big names such as Nancy Meyers and Chloe Sevigny to features and television by HBO, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, FX, Netflix and Marvel.
Judith Arcana, Research Advisor
Judith Arcana is a writer of stories, poems, essays and books – and a Jane; she worked in Chicago's pre-Roe underground abortion service for two years. Several of Judith's JANE-related stories have been published in journals, online and on paper; two others became a zine (the JANEBILL) and an award-winning chapbook (soon to be a major motion picture). What If Your Mother is her collection of poems about abortion and other motherhood themes. 4th Period English is Judith's chapbook of poems about immigration; the poems in Announcements from the Planetarium examine memory, the nature of wisdom, and the experience of aging into new consciousness. She hosts a monthly poetry show on KBOO Community radio in Oregon and online. For more information, links to reproductive justice sites, Judith's writing: http://www.juditharcana.com
April Barett, Production Advisor
April Barett began her career in branded entertainment for Oprah Winfrey's OWN. In 2011, she transitioned into scripted television production and she’s worked as a production coordinator and production manager on television series that include–– Counterpart, Baskets, Dice, Love, Silicon Valley, True Blood, and The Comeback. She currently works as a Production Executive at Endeavor Content, a joint venture between William Morris Agency, IMG, and Endeavor. As much she enjoys working on large-scale productions, she’s excited to be collaborating with Natalija on her creative vision in the indie film space.
Jennifer Kushner, Development and Project Advisor
As Director of Artist Development at Film Independent, Jennifer Kushner oversees all Artist Development programs, which support over 100 filmmakers annually through professional mentorship, labs and grants. The programs include Global Media Makers, the Film Independent Labs for directors, producers, film and television writers and documentary filmmakers; the Fast Track film finance market at the LA Film Festival and Film Independent Project Involve; Film Independent Project Involve, a program dedicated to mentoring visual storytellers from underrepresented communities and working toward an inclusive industry; and a Grants and Awards program which gives over $850K in cash and services to filmmakers every year. Past films she helped develop with Film Independent include Afternoon Delight, C.O.G., Imperial Dreams, LUV, Mosquita y Mari, Nancy, Natural Selection, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Tallulah, Spa Night, and the documentaries Call Me Kuchu, Kusama-Infinity, Minding the Gap, Rich Hill, Sunshine Superman and United Skates.
Risks and challenges
This is an all or nothing proposition. If we don't raise the $25,000, we don't shoot the film. However, we know there is urgency and support for this story and we will do our best to make sure our most likely supporters engage with this campaign.
In addition to the support we have already received from the Princess Grace Foundation, Film Independent, WGA West, and the Page International Screenwriting Awards, we are collaborating with an experienced team of advisors to get this story right.
We have already developed and reviewed a detailed budget and production schedule and feel confident that we can film this project in January and roll out a polished cut by June 2019.
Finally, every film project will encounter unexpected challenges and delays, but our experienced crew is fully equipped to manage these obstacles--in fact, we can use them to make this film stronger.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)