GROWN the web series is a drama-comedy featuring four friends in the nation's capital who are professionally and emotionally adrift as they struggle into black womanhood.
HOW IS THIS SHOW UNIQUE?
Based in Washington D.C., GROWN centers on the development of young black women and their untold stories. On their journeys into adulthood, these characters face questions of sexuality, identity, relationships, and career aspirations. They uncover truths about themselves and learn that being grown is about continuous growth.
MEET THE CHARACTERS
NAJAE is driven by her passion for governmental and racial justice, but has difficulties finding what career step is next for her. She is a loyal friend and naive lover. She often ignores obvious red flags and character flaws in men, letting them sidetrack her from her purpose.
SIMONE is outspoken on social justice issues - but only with her friends. She’s had a difficult upbringing and values stability, which she gets in the form of consistent paychecks from a job that doesn’t allow her to use her voice. She thinks in the future she’ll be able to write stories from her own perspective. Throughout the course of the series, Simone must learn to speak up in uncomfortable spaces.
SASHA has a carefree personality and is uninterested in what the future holds as long as the now is enjoyable. She was accustomed to men paying for her lifestyle, but now lives on her friends’ couch. She must learn how to rely on herself, instead of on her friends and men to take care of her.
GENEVIEVE is a people pleaser who has always followed the path her parents set out for her. Her art has struggled to take off, making her question if her parents were right all along. She’s also realizing that her supposed asexuality is actually an untapped attraction to women. Genevieve must learn how to choose herself and her desires over other people’s wants and wishes.
THE GROWTH OF GROWN
As a young black woman, creator Janea West wanted to use her experiences to make a show that felt real - that showed growing up in all of its complexities. Driven by her own insecurities with identity and race, and frustrated with the incomplete representation of black women on screen, she decided to write stories she would want to watch. This is when she put together a team who shared her vision and passions. Together, they have developed a series showcasing real stories about women growing into their own.
WHERE WE ARE NOW & WHY WE NEED YOU
Scripts are complete, actors have been cast, our production team is ready and all we need is YOU! We are raising the funds to shoot the first season. Funds will go directly to production costs, marketing & promotions, and paying our actors.
WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY
Besides the opportunity to support women of color on and off the screen, you also get 8+ episodes and tons of behind-the-scenes content, cool merch, on-screen credits, digital downloads, set visits, and more! Check out the rewards to the right and watch out for updates with new content and limited-time perks. Join us in creating GROWN the web series!
WHO WE ARE
JANEA WEST (Creator/Writer/Executive Producer) is a creative writer/producer based out of Washington, D.C. Driven by questions about race and her own identity, West began writing stories on black womanhood in college. It wasn't until she worked in television as a production assistant that she decided to pursue TV writing as a career, a decision that soon after birthed GROWN. Upon acceptance into a selective cohort of eight for Columbia University's TV Writing Program, West decided to turn the pilot idea into a web series with hopes to streamline the creative process. Inspired by Toni Morrison’s words, “if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” Janea is determined to bring strong, relatable characters to the screen.
CHARLOTTE LAN STEINER (Story Editor & Executive Producer) is a writer/producer born and raised in the D.C. area. After graduating from Middlebury College with a degree in Film and Chinese, she spent several years working at an international production company and on indie productions in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively. She's part Chinese, so her time in China also served as an exploration of her questions about race and identity. She has written and produced several of her own shorts and attended a TV writing intensive at Columbia this summer where she and Janea met and decided to collaborate. Charlotte wants to tell stories that are specific, funny and honest, which is what she believes GROWN is.
ELNATAN "E" MELAKU (Cinematographer & Editor) Born and raised in Ethiopia, he's been working as a videographer and editor in the DC area for the past two years. When he and Janea met at a youth poetry slam, they connected immediately over their shared value of amplifying authentic stories for the sake of reflecting the human experience. His passion is creating purposeful and emotionally-charged visual content.
KASHARENA HORTON (Production Manager) is a published scholar in public health who has worked with LGBTQ communities, sex workers, and various communities of color. Her incredible organizational skills and attention to detail are invaluable additions to GROWN. Kasha has always had a passion for film and is excited to be working at the intersection of art and activism.
SKYE ELLIS (Creative Director) is dedicated to applying her experience to work that amplifies voices that are often muted in society. Her experience extends across multiple artistic avenues, including direction of the cultural arts department at the Boys and Girls Club and social marketing at a nonprofit STEM literacy organization in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also been acting for over a decade. Ellis draws from personal experiences living and working in underserved communities. Thus, she aims to build and strengthen community relationships by connecting oppressed populations to cultural arts around the world.
EVERY BIT HELPS!
We are most appreciative of your support.
Risks and challenges
We are a team of very creative and resourceful individuals with over 10 years of collective experience in writing, production, social media, and film. The challenges we anticipate relate to shooting schedules, weather, and holidays. We will be shooting from November until January, a time when schedules become hectic and the weather unexpected. We've allowed for these challenges in our shooting schedule. Cast and crew are fully committed to seeing this project to the end with episodes expected to debut in early 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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