We love all of you so much right now! Many many thanks to the community of 498 generous individuals who got us to our goal. We are deeply, deeply moved by the outpouring of support for this documentary.
If you haven't donated, you still can! The campaign continues for another 24 hours and you can join our amazing list of backers. The goal we reached today will allow us to finish the documentary. The donations we receive in the next 24 hours will be greatly appreciated when we confront the exciting reality of festivals, educational distribution, and preparation for broadcast and all the unexpected expenses that arise at every stage in the documentary process.
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez: A new film by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, with musical score by Evan Solot
You may have read Sonia Sanchez’s poetry, or attended a reading of her work where she combined spoken words with improvisational jazz and dancers. Or you may have attended a political rally where she challenged discrimination, illegal wars or lack of educational opportunities for underprivileged youth.
You may have experienced her as a teacher or mentor as she pioneered African American studies in higher education, taught creative writing, or developed women’s studies courses. If you have had one of these experiences, we hope you will agree with us that a film that brings this petite but powerful whirlwind to a larger audience is long overdue.
Happy birthday Sister Sonia. We are launching this crowdfunding campaign for BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez on the 79th birthday of this pioneering artist. At 79, this dynamic writer is still going strong, fighting racism, sexism, oppression, poverty, and violence, while she continues to mesmerize audiences around the world.
The title of our documentary is drawn from Sanchez's second book of poetry, We a BaddDDD People. In the documentary we trace the lifetime arc of this African American poet and activist who as a young, shy girl in Birmingham struggled with the loss of her mother and an embarrassing stammer only to emerge as an artistic and cultural leader and forceful public speaker. Always challenging the status quo, Sanchez tells us just how she became a “woman with razor blades between her teeth.”
Sanchez rose to prominence as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, organizer and early champion of rappers and spoken word artists. She is among the earliest poets to incorporate urban black English into her poetry, and she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula.
Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.
Despite Sanchez’s achievements, this is the first in-depth broadcast biography to include multi-generational artists, such as Questlove, Talib Kweli, Ursula Rucker and Jessica Care Moore, as well as contemporaries and scholars speaking about the impact of her work.
The film looks at Sanchez as a writer and at the groundbreaking artistic and political movements she embraced and influenced. At the heart of the film are her powerful words that often segue into song or chants, and at times are accompanied by music and even dance.” Her work is read by Sanchez herself, and others including Ruby Dee, Nikki Giovanni, Ursula Rucker, Haki Madhubuti, Ayana Mathis, and John Bracey Jr.
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez was featured at IFP's 2012 Spotlight on Documentaries at Independent Film Week, and is supported by funding from the Sundance Documentary Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Lomax Family Foundation, Leeway Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, Valentine Foundation, Women in Film Foundation, PIFVA, and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We have been filming and editing BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez for three years, with generous support from funders who recognize the significance of our subject and our track record as filmmakers. Now we are enlisting you, the individuals who know the importance of capturing living history to share with a broader audience and future generations.
We began filming when Sonia Sanchez was 76. We’re launching this kickstarter to raise completion funds on the day she turns 79. We plan to present this documentary before her 80th birthday, and we need your help to finish. Our fundraising goal—$55,000—will cover the expenses of final editing, licensing rights to music and archival footage, color correction, sound mixing, and graphics.
Generous supporters will receive rewards (or you can opt out of rewards if you prefer).
At $100 level and above you can get an autographed Talib Kweli CD or The Full Moon of Sonia.
Or choose the poster you like best:
Make sure to like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BaddDDDSoniaSanchez
How did you get interested in making a documentary about Sonia Sanchez?
We (Janet and Barbara) live in Philadelphia, where Sonia Sanchez has lived for the last 35 years and is a forceful presence in the cultural and political life of the city. For years, Sanchez was known as the unofficial poet laureate of Philadelphia, and in 2011 the city made it official. But more than that, she is a national—and international—treasure. When a talented composer friend, Evan Solot, presented an original jazz opera based on Ms. Sanchez’s book, Does Your House Have Lions?, we were dazzled. Evan introduced us to Sanchez, and a documentary was born.
At the time, Janet and Barbara were working with Sabrina to complete Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter. When Janet and Barbara suggested a documentary about this iconic poet, Sabrina didn’t hesitate. When we proposed the project to Ms. Sanchez, she agreed to open her life to us, saying she admired our commitment to social justice issues and documenting the lives of courageous women.
To learn more about our work, go to attiegoldwater.com.
How does a kickstarter work?
We’ve set a fundraising goal and if we don’t reach that goal, through donations both large and small, we don’t receive any funding from the kickstarter. You can choose to support the film outright or, depending on the level of your gift, you can receive rewards that are pegged to the amount of your gift. If you have donated to the kickstarter, your account will only be charged if and when we are successful at raising the full amount.
Interested in making a high level tax deductible donation?
You have the option of making a tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies. ONLY donate this way if you need the tax deduction. Otherwise, please contribute through the Kickstarter page so that we may reach our $55,000 goal.
Have a question? We’d love to hear your questions: ask a project director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
How can you, our supporters, be sure we'll complete this film and get it out to large audience?
We have a proven track record of completing our projects, delivering high-quality, critically acclaimed work. And we are good at getting them out to festivals, broadcasters, classrooms and activist audiences across the country. Barbara and Janet have been working together for over 25 years and have completed six major award-winning documentaries. Sabrina has been a producer and editor on a wide range of successful projects including Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. Most recently, she edited Documented, the highly-anticipated documentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, the centerpiece screening at the June 2013 AFI festival.
What are the challenges we'll face after completing a successful kickstarter?
It's not going to be easy to get all the strong material we have filmed into a broadcast hour. We will be working hard to get archival rights to some of the amazing recordings and broadcasts Sanchez has made and we can't do that until we know we're fully funded. Sometimes it is difficult to get permission to use material, but luckily we have rights to the most important material — Sanchez's written and spoken word. Distribution beyond festivals and broadcast is essential but time consuming. We will work with our distributor to place the film in classrooms and libraries. To accomplish the long-term goals of the film, we will apply for distribution grants that will help to build a curriculum around the film and place it in front of young audiences in a meaningful way.
We are really proud of our accomplishments and excited to be finishing up BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez and getting it ready to screen to a wide television, festival and classroom audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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