Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
REAL BOY is a coming-of-age story about a transgender musician and his search for the meaning of family, given and chosen.
REAL BOY is a coming-of-age story about a transgender musician and his search for the meaning of family, given and chosen.
REAL BOY is a coming-of-age story about a transgender musician and his search for the meaning of family, given and chosen.
911 backers pledged $55,053 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Real Boy — a documentary project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Real Boy — a documentary

$55,053

911

THANK YOU!
Thank you for helping us reach our Kickstarter goal!!! We are SO GRATEFUL!! Thanks to our 800+ backers, the REAL BOY campaign will be funded.

NEW STRETCH GOAL
In the final hours of the campaign, please help us reach our stretch goal of $55,000. The additional funds will cover festival-related expenses including submission fees, exhibition copies of the film, and festival-related publicity.

And we've set our sights on reaching 1,000 backers to show our collective support for stories celebrating trans lives. Please join us!!

 After 3 1/2 years of the nail-biting process that is movie-making, we are just weeks away from finishing our edit of REAL BOY. Once complete, we will bring the film to festival and public television audiences, and screen it at conferences, community centers, colleges & universities, and public venues across the country. And, as part of our public television broadcast, we will be able to make the film available for FREE to high school teachers nationwide!

During the making of the film, REAL BOY has been honored with the support of so many amazing, creative, dedicated people and organizations. And now we're here to ask YOU to join us as we cross the finish line. Your donation will enable us to complete this important documentary and get it ready to share with audiences around the country and around the world.

Now that we've hit our $50,000 goal from so many generous donations, we're aiming to raise $55,000 through the support of 1,000 backers. With these additional funds, your donation will help cover festival expenses, as well as the costs of preparing copies for exhibition, and much more.

All donations (beyond the value of any reward received) are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Swell Cinema, a non profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY.

REAL BOY is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager finding his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man.

The film follows Bennett over the first 3 1/2 years of his transition as he grapples with issues of identity, sobriety, and connection to the people he loves. And the person he loves most is his mom, Suzy, who struggles to accept and understand his decision to transition.

As Suzy works to overcome her misgivings, Bennett finds support in the people who understand him best—his musical hero Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician fighting his own demons; and his best friend Dylan, another trans teen on a similar path to young manhood.

At its heart, REAL BOY is a story about growing up. It's a story about the meaning of family, given and chosen. And it's a story about how our search for identity isn't just personal, but involves those closest to us.  

Thanks to the generosity of our funders and other supporters, REAL BOY is nearly complete. We have finished production and we are just weeks away from completing our edit.

We are now entering one of the most expensive stages of the filmmaking process and we need to raise a minimum of $50,000 to finish the final stages of post-production and begin to distribute the film to festivals, community screenings, and prepare for its public television broadcast.

1) BACK THE PROJECT at whatever level you can. 
Every contribution counts!

2) SPREAD THE WORD!
Crowdfunding is about lots of people getting together to donate modest amounts of money. So, please, share our page on Twitter and Facebook. Email your friends and family. Talk us up!

3) FOLLOW US on Twitter. LIKE US on Facebook
 We promise to keep your feed varied and interesting!

All donations (beyond the value of any reward received) are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Swell Cinema, a non profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY. If you'd like to invest more deeply in the project, email Shaleece Haas at shaleece@realboymovie.com. She'd love to talk with you!

The REAL BOY team is made up of professional filmmakers who are also queer people, trans people, and allies committed to sharing the depth and complexity of our community through film.

 Shaleece Haas is the director & producer of REAL BOY. she's a queer filmmaker from Oakland, CA. You can read more about the films she's worked on HERE, including a film called Old People Driving about two men in their 90s reaching the end of their driving years (starring her grandfather). One of her favorite jobs was working for StoryCorps at their very first "story booth" in NYC.

Andrew Gersh, our editor, has cut lots of award-winning films for the big & small screen (including The Revolutionary Optimists, Ask Not, and Daddy Don't Go). Before his current incarnation as an editor, Andy had a previous life gigging in jazz, rock, and Afrobeat bands, and working as a DJ at a top-40 radio station.

Charlotte Lagarde, our executive producer, is an experienced producer, director, and still photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Check out her impressive filmography HERE and keep an eye out for her upcoming projects, Zeuf+20 and The Ballad of Fred Hersch!

Sam Berliner, our associate producer, is the producer and director of many award-winning short films (and festival favorites) including FLOAT, Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure, and Genderbusters. He also runs a very cool trans film festival in Seattle called Translations and gives talks at all kinds of places about gender and film.

Kyle Ranson-Walsh, our associate producer, worked for many years on big-time movies at Pixar. He is now a producer, director, and strategist in NYC, frequently collaborating with writer/director Saschka Unseld. Their script "Summer" was accepted into IFP's 2015 No Borders program. He writes a regular newsletter of stories about producing stories.

We've thought a lot about how to say THANK YOU for supporting the REAL BOY Kickstarter. Our "cast" and crew and several of our close community members have pitched in to offer you a range of rewards. Below is a sampling of what we have to offer. You can check out the full list over here ---> 

Ian Harvie, actor, Transparent & stand-up comic

"REAL BOY is one of the most touching, honest, and riveting stories I've ever seen. It brings to life so many tough issues and situations while respecting and honoring the journey of a young trans man, his friends, and his family. REAL BOY reaffirms for me that although we are all so different, our stories carry a common thread."
Michelle Honda-Phillips, mother of a 9-year-old affirmed daughter and two cisgender sons

"I immediately felt a connection to Bennett and the challenges he faces. REAL BOY hit me straight in the heart. It is something really beautiful and poetic."
Aiden Aizumi, transgender activist and co-author of "Two Spirits, One Heart"

"REAL BOY will be a welcome complement to existing educational training and support programs in use by organizations, schools, and professionals across the country. In doing so, it will become part of a larger movement to create greater acceptance for transgender and other gender expansive youth."
Joel Baum, Senior Director, Professional Development and Family Support, Gender Spectrum

"REAL BOY shares a powerful story. As a parent of a transgender son myself, who struggled mightily with my own resistance, I resonated with Suzy’s initial confusion and loss. But seeing love triumph in the end can help other families on their own journeys. Helping parents make their journey to acceptance sooner will literally save the lives of transgender young people."
Candace Waldron, author of "My Daughter He: Transitioning with Our Transgender Children"

Risks and challenges

The challenge for this film, like many, is making sure it reaches the widest possible audience. We are far enough along in the filmmaking process that REAL BOY is certain to be completed, but then we begin the hard work of reaching the people we believe will feel most connected to the film.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    SO MUCH GRATITUDE: You'll receive our deepest appreciation; we'll include your name on our website's supporters page; and you'll gain access to exclusive updates and special offers for Kickstarter backers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    30 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    HIGH FIVE: You'll get a hug or high five when you see Bennett, Joe, or Shaleece in person. AND Bennett will thank you personally in a video shout-out posted on our YouTube and Facebook pages. Plus, you'll get everything in the SO MUCH GRATITUDE package.

    *Just let us know if you don’t want to be mentioned in the video shout-out for any reason. :)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    46 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HEAR THE MUSIC: You'll get a Kickstarter-exclusive PRE-RELEASE download of the song "Fear Not My Love" from Bennett's forthcoming album, Worth the Weight. Plus, you'll get everything in the SO MUCH GRATITUDE package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    78 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FRONT ROW SEAT: You'll get a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the completed film*, a social media shout out from the filmmakers, your name on our website's supporters page, and access to exclusive updates and special offers.

    *The download will be available after the film's festival premiere and before it is available to the public on VOD or streaming services.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    286 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ROADIE: Digital download of five original songs by Bennett Wallace & Joe Stevens, recorded live on their recent US tour. Plus everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    73 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MOVIE BUFF: We'll send you a SPECIAL EDITION DVD of the completed film when it's available, and a Real Boy guitar pick! Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 102 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MOVIE BUFF (TAKE 2): We'll send you a SPECIAL EDITION DVD of the completed film when it's available, and a Real Boy guitar pick! Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    78 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SUMMER READING: A SIGNED COPY of the fabulous book, "My Daughter, He" by Candace Waldron. Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    GET INKED: We’ll send you a Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit produced right here in Oakland. The kit includes sterile professional vegan tattoo ink, sterile tattoo needles, instructions, and design suggestions. Plus, we’ll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    365 DAYS OF THE ROOTS CHANNEL: Get your roots music fix! You'll have unlimited access to the full-length concerts, artist interviews, featurettes, and video workshops from The Roots Channel for an entire year. PLUS everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    KITCHEN SINK: Can't make up your mind? We'll send you a copy of Bennett’s new album, Worth the Weight, when it is released in 2016, PLUS
    everything in the MOVIE BUFF, ROADIE, FRONT ROW SEAT, HEAR THE MUSIC, and HIGH FIVE packages!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    365 DAYS OF THE ROOTS CHANNEL - TAKE 2: Get your roots music fix! You'll have unlimited access to the full-length concerts, artist interviews, featurettes, and video workshops from The Roots Channel for an entire year. PLUS everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    ROAD TRIP: We’ll send you a signed, limited-edition giclée print (16X9) of the beautiful road trip painting by artist Dionisio Ceballos (see painting image in rewards description to your left). Plus, to make sure you have something to listen to while you roll on down the highway, we’ll send you everything in the ROADIE package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE MUSIC & FILM COLLECTION: Sit back and enjoy this 2-CD / 2-DVD collection of previous work from our talented cast & crew. We'll send you Bennett Wallace's debut album, REAL BOY, VOL. I, Joe Stevens' new solo album, LAST MAN STANDING, Shaleece Haas' short documentary, OLD PEOPLE DRIVING, and Sam Berliner's narrative short, GENDERBUSTERS. Plus, we'll send you everything in the MOVIE BUFF package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LET'S CHAT: Do you have a film of your own in the works and want our feedback? Do you want to hear behind-the-scenes stories from the Real Boy production? You'll get a 1-hour SKYPE CALL with a member of the cast or crew to talk about whatever you'd like! Just let us know who you want to talk with and we'll set it up. Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    I HEART SUMMER CAMP: You'll get admission for one camper (age 5-17) to next summer's Bay Area Rainbow Day Camp*, a 2-week day camp for gender expansive youth located in El Cerrito, CA. Plus, we'll send you a camp t-shirt in the size of your choice and everything in the MOVIE BUFF package.

    *Summer 2016 camp dates will be announced in March, 2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MAKE MUSIC WITH JOE: The talented and lovely Joe Stevens will give you a 90-minute MUSIC LESSON via Skype (or in person, if Joe happens to be passing through your town). Choose from a personalized guitar, banjo, or songwriting lesson. Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT package.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    DATE NIGHT: We'll send you TWO TICKETS to a SF Bay Area festival screening (or, pending availability, to a festival screening in a city near you). You'll get priority seating; a selection of snacks and beverages; and a special meet & greet with the cast & crew. Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT and MOVIE BUFF packages.

    *Travel expenses not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    DINNER & A MOVIE, VIP STYLE: You and a guest are invited to a private screening of the completed film, followed by dinner with REAL BOY director Shaleece Haas, and stars Bennett Wallace & Joe Stevens (plus other cast & crew as schedules permit). Plus, we'll send you everything in the FRONT ROW SEAT and MOVIE BUFF packages.

    *Northern California only. Schedule is dependent on cast & crew availability.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    TAKE THE SHOW ON THE ROAD: You'll be able to SCREEN THE FILM for an audience of any size, followed by an IN-PERSON Q&A with director Shaleece Haas and other members of the cast & crew. To further delight your audience, Bennett and Joe will play a MINI-CONCERT before or after the screening. Plus, we'll send you everything in THE MUSIC & FILM COLLECTION and MOVIE BUFF packages.

    *Travel expenses not included. Schedule is dependent on performers' availability.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (31 days)