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A poignant drama about a 'Hidden Child' of the Holocaust's invented life as a Catholic, and her family's discovery of the truth.

Hello!

Welcome to the LULLABY Kickstarter page! We hope you enjoy your visit! With your help, we plan on breathing life into this important new short film by Kimberly M. Wetherell.

Right at the start, we'd like to say that we know how very much $50,000 is, and we are fully prepared for the 30-day marathon that it's going to take to reach our goal. Perhaps you're thinking, "$50,000?? That's so much! My $18 is just a drop in the bucket." But many drops will fill that bucket, and we are deeply appreciative of each and every one that falls our way! 

Have questions? Of course you do! Read on to learn more about our project.

What is LULLABY about?

LULLABY is a short narrative drama about a Hidden Child of the Holocaust's invented life and her family's discovery of the truth.

As a child, Tess O'Keefe escaped Nazi persecution through unwilling religious conversion and out of fear, kept her painful story of survival a secret from everyone she knew. But when her granddaughter Kathleen discovers that Tess has been leading a double life--both as an outward Catholic and a secret Jew--she yearns to unfold the mystery of her family's identity before the clock runs out.

Intimate and heart wrenching, LULLABY is a portrait of survival; a universal story about family and faith, filled with the piercing silences and exuberant music of life.

Here's what some notable friends of the film are saying about the LULLABY screenplay, featuring the haunting "Yiddish Lullaby" with lyrics by Kimberly M. Wetherell and music by the film's composer, Michael Hearst:

Why are we making this film? 

From our director, Kimberly M. Wetherell: 

"Early-on in my career, I worked on the world premiere of The Conquistador, an opera about Don Luis de Carvajal and the Conversos' colonization of Mexico. Previously unknown to me, I found the culture surrounding secret Jewry to be a fascinating subject. I wondered: 'How could people live this double life and what is the emotional consequence?'

After reading deeper into the subject matter, I stumbled over the Hidden Children of Poland - a Diaspora of children who were given to and adopted by Gentile families; many raised without knowledge of their Jewish heritage. Some came to learn later in life of their roots, but many, to this day, still do not know their own heritage - or might know, but are afraid to divulge it. 

Something about these stories resonated deeply within me, and I was compelled to make a film about it. 

In the beginning stages of the writing process, I received a call from my mother. Anxious to read everything I scribble down, I had sent her the first draft of the script and after reading it, she had a single question for me: 

Would I like my great-grandmother's menorah? 

I was stunned. 'Do you mean I just wrote my own story?'

As it turned out, my paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Poland in 1915 and registered at Ellis Island as Catholics. And yet the only two items they carried were: a brass menorah (only ever referred to in my father's presence as a "Polish candelabra") and a pair of matching candlesticks. 

This was no longer a foreigner’s world to be researched and studied and analyzed; it was my own. 

What started as a mere curiosity, has become my driving passion. I have no other option than to make LULLABY: to tell a story of shame and fear and regret, yes, but also one of redemption, forgiveness and hope. My greatest aspiration in making this film is to offer a voice to those who cannot, or will not, speak; voices who might otherwise sing sweet lullabies filled with promise for generations to come." 

The "Polish Candelabra"
The "Polish Candelabra"

Why are we raising funds on Kickstarter? 

Simply put, finding traditional ROI-seeking investors is extremely difficult. Our writer/director/producer has been developing the feature version of this film for nearly six years, and after running into many various obstacles, she decided to make a short version as a prelude to the feature. 

Our driving mission in making this film is not only to lure producers and investors to the larger feature project, but to use this film as an educational tool to bring immediate attention to the underserved Diaspora of Hidden Children around the world, before they are no longer with us. 

To date, the only films specifically about the Hidden Children have been documentaries. Narrative films have a much wider audience, and the more people that see this film, the more we can give voice to those still suffering in silence. 

Here's the exquisite storyboard sequence from a scene written for the feature film version, drawn by the film's production designer, David M. Henderson:

Why does it cost so much? Aren't short films made for a dime nowadays? 

It's true. Many extraordinary short films are made for what, in comparison to our goal, seems like pocket change. But we're not making a short film using friends and classmates as cast and crew in order to learn and develop our craft. 

We are making a mini-feature film with an experienced team of professional filmmakers. 

We are currently mid-casting for our two leading ladies: Tess and Kathleen - our grandmother/granddaughter duo. And while we can't say who they are just yet, we can say this much: Prepare to be amazed!

We also have a world-class creative and production team ready to make this film - and we're not just talking about our NY/LA contingent, but the hard-working and talented crew members in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area - crews responsible for making recent films such as Harmony Korine's SPRING BREAKERS; Steven Soderberg's MAGIC MIKE; Laurie Collyer's SUNLIGHT, JR.; and the blockbuster 3-D family hit, DOLPHIN TALE. 

Our budget will be spent on camera and equipment rentals, location fees and permits, cast and crew salaries, food, airfare and hotels, insurance, set dressing, wardrobe, hair and make-up, sound, lights -- the list goes on and on and yet even at $50,000, we will still be stretching our purse strings to their absolute limits to make sure that we deliver the highest quality film imaginable - making each and every backer-dollar count. 

Making each and every one of your dollars count. 

Once you make your goal, when and where will you be shooting? 

We have a 5-day shoot planned for mid-January, 2013 and we are delighted to be shooting on location in and around the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota area. 

One of our locations: The Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
One of our locations: The Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL

And then what? 

We'll go immediately into the editing room and start cutting, with the goal to have a finished film no later than June 1, 2013. But our fondest hope is to have the film done far earlier than that and start the festival circuit by Summer 2013. 

What if you DON'T make your goal? 

We're not even going to think like that, and neither should anyone else. We are going to make our goal. Period. And YOU can help us do it. 

Budget Top Sheet
Budget Top Sheet

And if you raise MORE than your goal?

Wouldn't that be lovely? As you can see from the top sheet of our budget (above) you'll notice that $50,000 will only get this film "in the can" and through a rough cut; which we can then submit for finishing funds and grant applications (and possibly even run another Kickstarter campaign) to complete the film. 

So every dollar raised beyond our initial goal will be spent on things like color correction and final editing, sound mixes, scoring and music, DVD printing and festival submission fees - not to mention Kickstarter and Amazon Payments fees (which you'll notice, are roughly $5,000!) 

We can't say this enough: Every Dollar Counts!

Where can I learn more about this project? 

You can visit http://www.lullaby-movie.com to get the full scope of the film, including a complete list of the cast & crew, videos, press blurbs, our production blog, and much more. 

You can also join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LullabyMovie or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/LullabyMovie (@LullabyMovie). And, of course, our backers will be the first to be in-the-know about the film's progress via our Kickstarter updates; joining us on our journey as the film travels from script to screen. 

From the bottom of our collective heart: Thank you for visiting our page and for considering backing our project. 

~ The entire LULLABY family
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Kimberly M. Wetherell, Writer/Director/Producer
Meghan-Michele German, Producer
Brette Goldstein, Casting Director
David M. Henderson, Production & Costume Designer
Michael Hearst, Composer

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Everything that goes into making a film is a risk. Will the script work? Does the shot look okay? What will an actor bring to a role - or not bring? Can the director effectively convey their ideas onscreen? Will this film ever be seen beyond the cast & crew screening?

Not to mention... we're filming in Florida! What about hurricanes?

As with every creative endeavor, there are no guarantees as to a project's success or failure. But there certainly are ways to help facilitate a better chance for success.

* * *

HAVE A GREAT CREATIVE/PRODUCTION TEAM:
We have a team of seasoned professionals to bring the project to life, with a multiple award-winning director at the helm. Many of our key creative members have worked together in a myriad of capacities and projects--making this group of people not just a team of accomplished filmmakers, but a family.

CAST AMAZING (AND RECOGNIZABLE) ACTORS:
While we're not at liberty to release the full cast list at this time, we are working with marquee-level talent--faces that audiences will recognize from Academy Award-winning films, Emmy-winning television shows, Broadway stages and beyond.

STAY ON BUDGET & ON SCHEDULE:
We will be working with a very restricted budget and we're planning a 5-day shooting schedule. With everything that we need to accomplish in those five days, we, quite simply, will not have the time to go over budget, nor the budget to go over time. Our highly experienced production team, especially the Line Producer, Production Manager and Assistant Director, will work together to ensure that we complete the film on schedule and with a few pennies left over to spare.

PLAN POST-PRODUCTION:
Editing and sound can literally make or break a film. Despite being three months away from our projected shoot date, we are already in the planning stages of post-production: talking to seasoned editors, post-production houses and sound facilities so that the moment we wrap the camera, we will be on our way to the editing bay--ready to really make the magic happen.

GET DISTRIBUTION:
Both our director and producer have had films with North American, as well as International distribution; therefore our team already has a good working rapport with several reputable distribution companies.

Our plan is to start the film out on the festival circuit, where our director and producer have garnered much success and acclaim. Once the film gathers speed and gets a little festival buzz going, we'll approach our contacts and see what else we can do with the film beyond the festival circuit. With so many new online, VOD and digital streaming outlets, there are literally hundreds of ways we can bring our film to its audience, rather than the traditional methods of bringing audiences to the film.

Given the well-established market already in place with the genre of Holocaust Survival films, we are very excited to see how wide our reach will extend!

* * *

So as you can see, while we cannot guarantee an Oscar® nomination (although we do think our leading ladies are definitely Oscar®-worthy), we can guarantee that we have very concrete plans already in motion to make this film as successful as possible, with the number one goal that making our backers proud will be our greatest accomplishment.

FAQ

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    EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS! - THANK YOU! We believe deeply in the potential of this film, and so do you! We'll keep you posted on the film as it travels from script to screen, delighted to know that you are making this journey with us.

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    WE LOVE LINCOLNS! - Thank you... times ten! Receive "Special Thanks" credit (including one hotlink if you list it in the "Notes" section of your backer page) on the LULLABY website -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    'LIFE'SAVER - 18 is the number of 'chai' (חי) -- the Hebrew word for "life" -- and your pledge is doing just that: Breathing life into this project. So in return, we'll send you a downloadable movie poster and profess our deepest gratitude on Facebook (Facebook.com/LullabyMovie) and Twitter (@LullabyMovie) (unless you'd like to remain anonymous, in which case, please tell us in the "Notes" section of your backer page) -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    WEEKEND BONUS #1 (Existing backer) - Available *ONLY* on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 27 & 28, our composer, Michael Hearst is offering a copy of AS SMART AS WE ARE, the CD of lit-rock that put One Ring Zero (his band) on Kimberly's radar! The album features Neil Gaiman, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Paul Auster, Jonathan Ames, and many more notable authors whose lyrics have been set to music by ORZ. You can read more about the album here: http://www.oneringzero.com/?page_id=37.com

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    CINEPHILE - You made it happen, you movie-lover! Once the film has made the festival rounds, or finds distribution - you'll receive a digital download of the finished film -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    WEEKEND BONUS #1 (New backer) - Available *ONLY* on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 27 & 28, our composer, Michael Hearst is offering a copy of AS SMART AS WE ARE, the CD of lit-rock that put One Ring Zero (his band) on Kimberly's radar! The album features Neil Gaiman, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Paul Auster, Jonathan Ames, and many more notable authors whose lyrics have been set to music by ORZ. You can read more about the album here: http://www.oneringzero.com/?page_id=37.com

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    OWN THE FILM - What's that you say? You've already made a space for us on your DVD shelf? Well then, let us send you that DVD (including bonus extras, features, interviews, etc) as soon as it completes the festival circuit or finds distribution -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    SCRIPT HOUND - Curious about the true script-to-screen experience? We'll send you a downloadable PDF of the shooting script, autographed by the cast and director -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    MUSIC LOVER - It's called "LULLABY" for a reason. Composer Michael Hearst has put director/lyricist Kimberly M. Wetherell's words to the most beautfully haunting melody imaginable. You'll receive an autographed downloadable PDF of the sheet music and an .mp3 of our "Yiddish Lullaby" straight from the film's score -- PLUS all previous level rewards.

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    ART COLLECTOR (a) - Did the limited-edition storyboard prints sell out? Or would you prefer to have the entire sequence in one, compact collection? We'll send you a hi-res digital download of the fully-sequenced "Nightmare" storyboards -- PLUS all previous level rewards, and included with all subsequent level rewards.

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    ART COLLECTOR - Production Designer David M. Henderson has created a series of exquisite storyboards for a scene from the feature version of the script. You can see all of the mesmerizing images in the "Tess' Nightmare" video, included on our main Kickstarter page. This limited reward includes one 8" x 10" frame-quality print from that series (our choice) -- PLUS all previous level rewards. NOTE: As this is a limited reward, it is not included with any other backer levels.

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    15 MINUTES OF FAME - Extra! Extra! Be an Extra! Two scenes in the film require background actors and this is your chance to be featured onscreen with our amazing leading actors! -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: For this reward, you must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida or provide your own travel and accommodations to set and the director will determine which the scene backer is best suited for.)

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    YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS! - Don't live in Florida, or perhaps, are a bit camera shy and don't want to be an extra? No problem! At this level, we will include your name in the end credits of the film -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted).

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    WRAP IT UP! - Rub elbows with the cast and crew with an exclusive invitation for two to our wrap party -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida or provide your own travel and accommodations to the party.

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    TALK TO ME - Have questions for our director? Here's your chance to have a 20-minute video chat with Kimberly M. Wetherell and have her shower you with thanks, praise and probably cry a little. Okay. A lot. (Please include your Skype/iChat/GChat/FaceTime or other video conferencing method in the "Notes" section of your backer page) -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted).

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    SNEAK PEEK (a) - Don't live in either the St. Petersburg, FL or New York City area? Then be our guest at a festival screening near you! You will receive two tickets to a festival screening of the film and have a post-screening drink with the filmmakers (if in attendance). NOTE: As this is a specialized reward, it is not included with any other backer levels.

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    SNEAK PEEK - Holy cow! Seriously? A thousand dollars? You are a major backer and a brightly shining star in our cinematic hemisphere. You will receive tickets for two to the sneak-peek cast & crew screenings in either New York City OR St. Petersburg, FL (dates TBD) -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida or New York City to redeem this reward or provide your own travel and accommodations to either destination.

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    SNEAK PEEK II - Your generosity is overwhelming! So have two more tickets (total 4) to the sneak-peek cast & crew screenings in either New York City OR St. Petersburg, FL (dates TBD) -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida or New York City to redeem this reward or provide your own travel and accommodations to either destination.

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    SNEAK PEEK II (a) - Don't live in either the St. Petersburg, FL or New York City area? Then be our guest at a festival screening near you! You will receive 2 additional tickets (total 4) to a festival screening of the film and have a post-screening drink with the filmmakers (if in attendance). NOTE: As this is a specialized reward, it is not included with any other backer levels.

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    ABSOLUTE ANGEL - You are! You really are! So we're offering an exclusive invite for two to a special post-screening party at either of the sneak-peek cast & crew screenings in St. Petersburg, FL or New York City -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida or New York City to redeem this reward, or provide your own travel and accommodations to either destination.

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    CONTRIBUTING PRODUCER - You are indeed making this film happen and deserve many accolades. So we'll give them to you! We'll reserve a special section of the film's end credits JUST FOR YOU in addition to a special section on the LULLABY website -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted).

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - Give credit where credit is due! At this level, backers will receive "Associate Producer" credit on the LULLABY website, in the film's end credits and on IMDB. Also included is a 1-day limited-access pass to set during filming for you and a guest. And as an added bonus, we'll also include an authentic prop from the film as a memento of your day on set -- PLUS all previous level rewards. NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida to redeem the on-set portion of this reward or provide your own travel and accommodations to set.

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    SPONSOR A SCREENING! This reward is perfect for groups who would like to collectively back our project. At this level, our director, Kimberly M. Wetherell, will travel to you and conduct a private screening of the finished film, including a Q&A, wherever you may live. (Travel limited to the contiguous 48 United States.) In addition, your group will be listed onscreen in the film's end credits and on the film's website with the Contributing Producers. (Please include your group's name in the "Notes" section of your backer page.) NOTE: As this is a specialized reward, it is not included with any other backer levels.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - You are our hero. Our champion. Our Executive Producer. As is warranted by your esteemed title, you will receive "Executive Producer" credit on the LULLABY website, in the film's end credits and on IMDB. You'll also have one all-access pass to set during filming for you and the previous level's 1-day limited access pass for a guest. Additionally, after the film is completed, our director, Kimberly M. Wetherell, will conduct a private screening of the finished film and hold a Q&A for you and up to 50 friends wherever you may live (travel limited to the contiguous 48 United States, unless you'd also like to pay for airfare and hotel abroad and, in her own words: "I'm totally willing to fold myself into a foot locker... or fly coach.") -- PLUS all previous level rewards (except where noted). NOTE: You must either live in/around St. Petersburg, Florida to redeem the on-set portion of this reward or provide your own travel and accommodations to set.

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Funding period

- (33 days)