Light My Fire: The Burlesque Diaries
Light My Fire: The Burlesque Diaries
Behind the glitter, feathers and eyelashes, what is femininity and what makes a woman?
Behind the glitter, feathers and eyelashes, what is femininity and what makes a woman? Read more
About this project
"Light My Fire: The Burlesque Diaries" is a feature-length documentary that parallels established performers with beginning students as it captures their experiences with burlesque and how it affects their lives. Using the art of striptease to examine modern female sexuality, Light My Fire looks behind the glitter, feathers and eyelashes to ask what is femininity and what makes a woman?
- From the director of Man and His Erections and starring an internationally-acclaimed Burlesque performer, Red Hot Annie, Light My Fire explores individuals’ sexuality, following the transformations in the lives of Burlesque students, professional performers and legends across their career. Additional perspectives in the film include a diverse group of male and female erotic dancers, performance artists, psychologists and sex therapists, feminists and individuals from multiple cultural backgrounds.
- Light My Fire: The Burlesque Diaries is about who we are at our core, when everything else is laid bare. It’s about shedding our external layers and finding our inner selves, and revealing our nakedness to the world with style.
- Drawing on over a decade of performance background, Red Hot Annie turned her attention to burlesque in early 2008. Over 360 performances later, her special blend of candid comedy, shameless sexuality, and character-driven storytelling has made her one of the most recognizable and visible faces in Chicago. Annie began to teach burlesque in 2009 and currently teaches basic, intermediate, and semi-private classes at Vaudezilla Studios. She has been and remains one of the Executive Producers of the Windy City Burlesque Fest since its inception in 2010.
About the Filmmakers:
- Rujanee Mahakanjana (director), has been working in film since 2006, from short experimental films to feature-length productions. She is known for her slyly humorous work, and for asking multi-dimensional and existential questions. Her past projects include a documentary feature about modern architecture and male sexuality entitled Man and His Erections, which premiered at the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2009, followed by presentations at various design events and festivals. She is a Northern Illinois University Alumni. Light My Fire will be her 3rd feature-length film.
- Christian Stanfield (producer), has been working as a producer and director for the past 9 years. His body of work ranges from award-wining short films to music videos and documentaries. His work has premiered at the Cannes film festival, on television and in theaters in Chicago. He is an alumni of Columbia College.
- Wendell Etherly (producer) is the recipient of the 2008 Illinois Arts Fellowship Award for outstanding script works, 2008 Pulitzer Prize Consideration, a 2009 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Semi Finalist and 2013 3ArtsAward Nominee. He is currently directing and producing two other feature films, Market Value and Alexis.
For the first 100 people who donate anywhere from $10-100 to our project and like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Light-My-Fire-The-Burlesque-Diaries/473420546130691?ref=tn_tnmn) will receive a downloadable version of the film, "Light My Fire: The Burlesque Diaries"!
Pledge $250 or more and you get a one of a kind Showgirl headdress custom made for you by the one and only Red Hot Annie! (While supplies last)
Pledge $1000 or more and you will get one year of "All You Can Tease" classes at Vaudezilla Studios.
Photo/Video Credit: Kelly Stanley, Carrie Graham, Robert Philipp, Alex Gibson, Wendell Etherly, Jessica Myers, OomPhotography, Callie Lipkin, Ben Britt
Risks and challenges
Expect the Unexpected - Documentaries are nonfictional, and they are intended to capture reality. The filmmakers are required to be ready for unforeseen circumstances because there is no script or rehearsal to ensure everything goes as planned. But that is also the beauty of this type of film. We want to be able to "be there" to document as many important events as possible. As we all know, those priceless moments are the ones that are often unpredictable.
To make sure we are there and ready to capture all of those moments, we are relying on our years of professional experience and skill sets, as well as the money we are looking to raise. To ensure that your donation is well spent, we have set the following goals for our production:
With $20,000+ we will be able to have a well made and thought-provoking film, enabling us to follow students throughout their training and experiences and performers as they travel to festivals in the surrounding area.
1) With $30,000+ we will be able to take the film to another level of production. Not only will we be able to cover everything in the $20,000 range, but we will also be able to follow the performers outside of Chicago to regional festivals and include additional interviews with more diverse perspectives.
2) For $40,000+ we will be able to take the film even further. We will be able to follow the performers to national festivals and document their experiences including meeting with legends of burlesque and conducting even more interviews covering as wide a range of perspectives as possible.
What happens when we reach our goals?
1. Hiring Crew: to pay professional filmmakers for their expertise
2. Transportation Expenses: to follow performers and get all of necessary footage we need
3. Post-Production Costs: to hire professional editors and a post production team to work on the final product
4. Submissions to Festivals: to premiere and feature the film for a variety of audiences
5. Distribution: to find and secure distribution platforms, including theatrical releases, DVDs and online distribution
6. And last but not least, the marketing and PR team: these people are very important in every creative work. Most independent films can't afford or don't have a budget for this specialized help, so we want to make sure we have them on our side.
Of course with any film or project, there are always going to be obstacles.
Our promise is that as professional filmmakers, whichever goals we reach we will make sure to produce the very best product for that range. We realize there are a lot of challenges ahead and will take them step by step, one at a time. We look forward to the process of making the film, and delivering it to you!
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