About this project
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!
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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