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A short film by Emily Coutts and Kat Webber
188 backers pledged CA$ 35,405 to help bring this project to life.
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CA$ 35,405

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DEAR JESUS 

Set in a small town, Dear Jesus is the coming-of-age story of Ella. After forming a connection to Jesus Christ and being crowned the lead of the school play, young Ella begins to belive she can control the outcomes of her life. After tragedy strikes Ella believes it was her own prayers that were the cause. She will have to reconcile with herself and her faith through debilitating repentance. Dear Jesus is a chilling tale that examines a childs first encounter with shame and guilt.  

 WHY? 

As a woman in early adulthood, living through this global paradigm shift around feminism, I've found an insatiable desire to face my past and the pasts of the women that came before me. I am looking to confront my ancestral belief systems and how those systems were built on an imbalanced power dynamic. A dynamic that has been detrimental to my personal autonomy. As I try to live in the present I find that my thoughts and actions are continually weighted by guilt and shame. These feelings are so embedded in me, it feels as thought they’ve always been there - a looming shadow that follows me in my life.

Dear Jesus looks at how a child can swirl in both fear and desire in a single moment. How ultimately, through a learned systemic fear-based power structure, a child can take the blame for events that are out of their control. Dear Jesus is a frightening look into self government and autonomy. As I try to move towards a more concious adulthood, I believe this is a very relevant and necessary conversation for young women to be having.  

WHERE YOUR MONEY WILL GO!

Your money will be helping every aspect of this film come to life! 

  • secure locations
  • crew
  • camera gear
  • lighting rental 
  • production design 
  • costume design 
  • catering 
  • editing 
  • sound 
  • colour grade 
  • original score 
  • festival submissions 

PRODUCTION

We have already begun pre production and have secured our cast and department heads. We are shooting the film for four days this December, 2019, in Toronto. Editing and all post production will begin in January, 2020, in Toronto. We will then be submitting to film festivals internationally. Dear Jesus is also currently being written into a feature film that they plan to  develop in 2020. 

THE CAST

Quincy Kirkwood as Ella  

Emily Coutts as Anna 

Rosemary Dunsmore as Sister Bernadette   

Lilly Batham as Kathleen

Carlyn Burchell as Sister Elizabeth 

Jonathan Koensgen as Patrick  

THE TEAM 

Emily Coutts (writer/producer/actor) is currently playing Lieutenant Keyla Detmer on CBS's hit show Star Trek: Discovery. She is a graduate of The Acting Conservatory at The Canadian Film Centre and also holds a BFA in Acting from York University. Her other film and television credits include Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, Dark Matter, The Girlfriend Experience, The Greatest Christmas Party Ever, and Murdoch Mysteries. Coutts also produced and starred in the indie feature Barn Wedding and is currently working on her first upcoming short film, Dear Jesus.

Kat Webber (director/editor) is fascinated with all things story telling. With an attention to detail & extensive understanding of multiple genres,  Kat brings a deliberate eye to her work as a editor & director. Kat received a BFA in Acting from York University, which gives her an extensive understanding of scene work, storytelling and a unique familiarity with an actor’s process. As a director/editor she is a  true collaborator at heart, understanding the scope of any project from production through post. After years of editing international broadcast campaigns, feature films & award winning music videos, including Drake’s “Nice for What” & “In My Feelings," she’s studied the process from the inside out.

Gina Lomas (producer) has produced music videos with Sony Music artists Ryland James and Tyler Shaw. Her past work involves implementing projects for emerging indie artists like The Velveteins and Dress Black through the MuchFact grant program. Her film career began while coordinating and producing with definitive pop-culture documentarians Fauxpop TV. She then began managing a sci-fi feature called Defective and a CBC comedy web-series called Save Me. This past year, her team released a short documentary called Dream Boxer, a CBC Gem original, and she line-produced an edgy documentary hybrid short called Modern Whore.

Brendan Brady (executive producer) is a Canadian Screen Award nominated producer, writer, director from Toronto. He is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC) Producers’ Lab. He produced the short film STRAY DOGwhich premiered at the Boston Underground Film Festival and subsequently played multiple festivals including Toronto After Dark ('17). After the lab, Brendan wrote, directed, produced and starred in the short film, BLACK ROCK OR BUST which premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival (’16). He produced COLONIZATION ROAD (*nominated for the Donald Britain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards (18'). Most recently he directed KEEP COMING BACK! (Palm Springs International Short Film Festival '18, The Whistler Film Festival ‘18 and Canadian Film Festival (19’) and was sold to Air Canada’s Enroute entertainment.

Mara Zigler (costume designer) is a costume designer, stylist, photographer and filmmaker based out of Toronto. Recent costume design credits include Semi Chellas's American Woman, Jasmin Mozaffari's Firecrackers, and Patricia Rozema's Mouthpiece. Mara looks to constantly reshape and redefine the female silhouette, and how it is represented on screen and gravitates toward projects centered around powerful female identifying voices.  Dear Jesus is among them!

Nina Djacic (cinematographer) is a cinematographer from Toronto, ON. She has completed her HBA at the University of Toronto, and then went on to pursue story-telling. Nina's narrative work includes, Emerald Code (Shaftesbury), Barbara-Anne and Modern Whore (iThentic). Nina’s comes from working in music videos, branded content and commercial. Her recent work includes Samsung, Google Pixel, Bud Light, Cineplex, Banners, Roy Woods, Anders and Stephen Puth. She is currently represented by Vanguarde Artists Management in Canada.

Risks and challenges

The creative team behind Dear Jesus has been working in the film industry for over 10 years and have done their share of great work on extreme micro budget projects.

This project has been in development since 2015 and holds a very special place in our hearts. We want to create the highest caliber film we can and maintain our artistic integrity. We all know film production is expensive so the challenge is raising enough money to take this special story from the page and allow it to blossom through all stages of production.

Short film funding in Canada is now extremely scarce so we are relying on the generosity of our community to help support this film. We have never done a kickstarter in the past and have been saving it for the perfect project.. which is this one.

Thank you for taking time to read our Kickstarter and donating to our project if you can. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

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    Original Signed Polaroid from Set

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    Signed Star Trek: Discovery Poster

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    Executive Producer Credit

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    Personalized Thank You Video

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Funding period

- (30 days)