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A performance packed documentary about Sonia Sanchez, poet, activist and pioneer of the Black Arts Movement. Still going strong at 79.

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.

OUR FILM 

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). 

Autographed editions of BMa from the author's collection.
Autographed editions of BMa from the author's collection.

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

Follow  us on twitter SoniaSanchezDoc   or  instagram at  SoniaSanchezDoc or Tumblr

PROJECT FAQS

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 producers@attiegoldwater.com

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    THANK YOU for believing in our documentary and helping us finish BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez. You will receive exclusive updates throughout completion and distribution and a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    121 backers

    To thank you for your support we'll send you a BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez postcard signed by the filmmakers and your name will appear on the film's website as a supporter. And we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    45 backers

    Supporters will receive an exclusive 8 X 10 autographed photo of Sonia Sanchez plus all of the above.

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    51 backers

    Donors will receive everything at the $50 level plus a link to a digital download of the completed documentary (for personal use only).

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    51 backers

    Supporters at this generous level will receive a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers and a link to a digital download of the completed documentary (for personal use only). Watch the film streaming in your own home or office. Plus everything at the $25 level.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Talib Kweli has generously donated this autographed CD: TALIB KWELI EARDRUM (2007). Receive this, AND watch the film streaming in your own home or office, PLUS everything at the $25 level.

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    1 backer All gone!

    "The Full Moon of Sonia" cd was released in 2004 when Sanchez toured with this unique performance of her poetry. For a donation of $100 you will receive this autographed copy, PLUS watch the film streaming in your own home or office. PLUS everything at the $25 level.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Unique: A Sonia Sanchez tote bag. This lightly used (by the author) bag can be yours for this generous donation. PLUS the choice of a digital download of the film or an autographed DVD. In addition, we’ll send you a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers. Your name will appear in the film’s official website and we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    A NEW REWARD from the author's personal collection: "BMa The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review" (1988), signed by Sanchez. PLUS everything at the $100 level.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR THEM: we are offering five additional "BMa The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review" (1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004--first come first serve, tell us which you prefer), signed by Sanchez. PLUS everything at the $100 level.

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    2 backers All gone!

    From the author's personal collection: A 2003 Eboni Literati poster, autographed by Sonia Sanchez and the photographer, Jim Alexander. PLUS the choice of a digital download of the film or an autographed DVD; a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers. Your name will appear in the film’s official website and we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    20 backers

    You’ll receive a copy of Morning Haiku or Shake Loose My Skin (paperback) autographed by Sonia Sanchez and the choice of a digital download of the film or an autographed DVD. In addition, we’ll send you a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers. Your name will appear in the film’s official website and we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    3 backers All gone!

    A NEW REWARD from the author's personal collection: A 1991 poster, "Temple University presents an Evening with Maya Angelou" (11”X17”) autographed by Sanchez and Angelou. PLUS the choice of a digital download of the film or an autographed DVD; a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers. Your name will appear in the film’s official website and we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    2 backers All gone!

    A NEW REWARD from the author's personal collection: "A Letter to Dr. Martin Luther King" and 11" x 17" 1987 poster, autographed by Sanchez PLUS the choice of a digital download of the film or an autographed DVD; a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers. Your name will appear in the film’s official website and we’ll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    14 backers

    In addition to everything at the $150 level, we will send you a USB drive with exclusive outtakes from the film —full-length readings of poems by Sanchez and others — and your name will appear in the film's credits.

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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Just available: 4 more contributors will attend “Conversation and Song: Walking the Laureate Road” an event with Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison and Rita Dove, and musician Ruth Naomi Floyd, hosted by First Person Arts, at 7:30pm on Wed. November 6, 2013 in Philadelphia. (Travel not included) Plus everything at the $250 level.

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    3 backers All gone!

    Ten contributors will attend “Conversation and Song,” an event with Poet Laureates Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison and Rita Dove, hosted by First Person Arts, the evening of November 9, 2013 in Philadelphia. (Travel not included) Plus everything at the $250 level.

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    7 backers All gone!

    Ten contributors will attend “Conversation and Song,” an event with Poet Laureates Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison and Rita Dove, and musician Ruth Naomi Floyd, hosted by First Person Arts, at 7:30pm on Wed. November 6, 2013 in Philadelphia. (Travel not included) Plus everything at the $250 level. (Please note the other $300 reward has the incorrect date for the event.)

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    A unique offer for poets of all ages: Sonia Sanchez has agreed to critique your poem, with a 14 line maximum. Anyone who has ever taken a class with Prof. Sanchez knows the value of this reward. In addition, you will receive a 12 X 18 full color poster of the film signed by Sanchez and the filmmakers, a USB drive with outtakes, a digital download of the film (for personal use only) or DVD, and a thank you on social media and our website. Plus, your name will appear in the film's credits.

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    Special offer for documentary makers! The three highly experienced makers of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez will view your rough cut or review your grants and fundraising strategy and give you a verbal consultation about your project (in-person or by skype - travel not included). Plus, you will receive everything at the $250 level.

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    6 backers

    Be the first to get a signed copy of S.O.S. – Calling All Black People, the major anthology of readings from the Black Arts Movement that Sonia Sanchez is editing (with J. H. Bracey Jr. and J. Smethurst). Due out in February. Plus a personally inscribed book of Sanchez poems and everything at the $250 level.

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    2 backers

    Human Rights/Women’s Studies special – we’ll send you an anthology of Attie & Goldwater DVDs, including Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, Rosita, Maggie Growls, and Motherless. The filmmakers would also love to meet with you personally, or talk with you by skype, to give you an in-depth, inside look at the making of these films. Plus everything at the $250 level. (Travel not included)

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Human Rights/Women’s Studies special with a presentation by the filmmakers. We’ll send you DVDs of our major documentaries and do a presentation and screening for your school, class or organization. Plus everything at the $250 level. (Travel costs are additional depending on location)

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    1 backer All gone!

    Dinner for two with the amazing poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, at a time that is mutually agreeable, in the author's hometown city, Philadelphia (travel not included). At that dinner's culmination, Sanchez will inscribe a book of her poems and her new anthology on black arts. Plus, you will receive everything at the $1000 level.

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    1 backer

    Donors at this level will receive an official ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit. Your name will appear in the film's credits, the IMDB page, and the website. You'll also be invited to the premiere or screening closest to your home. And you will receive all the rewards offered at the $1000 level and the new anthology S.O.S. – Calling All Black People. (Travel not included)

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    You can be an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez. We will thank you on social media, and many many times in person. We will add your name to IMDB and include you in the credits of the movie. As an Executive Producer you are also welcome to join us at the test screening(s), and at the premiere of course. Plus, all the above rewards (travel costs are not included).

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Funding period

- (31 days)