A poignant drama about a 'Hidden Child' of the Holocaust's invented life as a Catholic, and her family's discovery of the truth.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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!
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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.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.