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- Back This Project! Ends this Friday (7/12/2013)!
ADVANTAGEOUS is director Jennifer Phang's new sci-fi feature about a mother and daughter surviving together in 2041, co-written with actor Jacqueline Kim.
Gwen, a spokeswoman for a cutting-edge biotech firm, considers a dangerous, breakthrough technology that is the only hope for a better life for her daughter. The story takes place at a tipping point in artificial intelligence and neuroscience and speculates on the impact of a singularity on the future of the lives of women and girls.
LATEST UPDATE! 7/11/2013: THANK YOU + NEW STRETCH GOALS!
Thank you! Cám ơn! Xie xie! Mm goi! Merci! Muchas Gracias! THANK YOU, to every one of you who shouted out, tweeted, pledged a dollar, pledged 25 dollars, pledged hundreds, pledged thousands. These last few days have been an extraordinary experience for me, and for our cast and crew. We are going to do everything we can to make this a good film to honor what you done for us.
We have 2 new STRETCH goals in the final hours remaining:
Goal #1 We'd like to get to 750+ supporters - please continue to encourage anyone new to donate - even a dollar would be phenomenal! We want to build upon the level of support you've already demonstrated!
Goal #2 We are hoping to get to $40,000 so that we can support the efforts of the talented young artists on the visual effects side and in the art and wardrobe department- many whom you've seen their talent in the short, and I would like them to be able spend more a little more time perfecting their work to bring a higher level of futurism the film's sets, props, and costumes, and design. This means a lot of hard work, and though we remain at a low budget, to have a little bit extra will help us with getting more specific prop rentals, and costumes, and thank you crew meals for days that have to have longer hours, both in production and post-production.
UPDATE, 7/4/2013: NEW REWARD ADDED! Samantha Kim handmade necklaces! Happy 4th of July!
UPDATE, July 3rd, 2013: Actor Samantha Kim shares why ADVANTAGEOUS is awesome and why you should back our project (click image below)!
UPDATE, June 30th, 2013: Jacqueline Kim thanks you and asks for your support! Click image below to see the video!
ABOUT THE FILM
How far would a mother go to give her child an advantage?
Gwen, a gifted corporate spokeswoman, must decide whether to undergo a radical medical procedure in order to keep her lucrative job and give her daughter, Jules, her only chance for a better future. Set in a dystopic 2041, ADVANTAGEOUS is the new sci-fi feature film from award-winning Sundance director Jennifer Phang (HALF-LIFE) and co-written with and starring Independent Spirit award-nominated actor Jacqueline Kim (CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES) and marks the return of Obie award-winning actor James Urbaniak (THE VENTURE BROS.) to an indie dramatic role.
Originally developed for ITVS' mini-narrative series Futurestates, which explores the possible future realities of our world, ADVANTAGEOUS began as a short film and screened at festivals across the country, winning awards and accolades from coast to coast. With support from the San Francisco Film Society FilmHouse residency, director Jennifer Phang teamed up with the short film’s star Jacqueline Kim to develop the script into a feature and expand this future-world for audiences everywhere.
Help us bring this story to life. Check out our reward section, make a pledge, spread the word on Facebook, Twitter (use #advantageous), blogs, and encourage friends to help make this project a reality!
A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
We felt it was the right time to take a hard look at issues surrounding the future of women. Stories of mothers sacrificing and suffering for their children proliferate across generations and cultures. But this time we are looking at this story through a futuristic lens and looking closely at the strengths that parents can pass on to their children.
We’re envisioning a time when competition for employment and education has reached a crisis point. In this future, pressures on women to strive to an appealing visual ideal are hidden, but pervasive. And this tale is ultimately a reaction to the ways we try to improve ourselves to attain success. Through science-fiction, we focus on urgent issues (with present-day relevance) pertaining to the future of women, social mobility, education, and how they all connect. We are also telling a story about how a mother teaches her daughter the importance of nurturing herself and others in need of help.
We’re excited to build upon the short film's critical acclaim and expand the world of ADVANTAGEOUS. The short was initially commissioned by ITVS for PBS, launched on Futurestates.tv and PBS.org in 2012 and has screened for a wide variety of audiences. The film has received great responses throughout its festival run: Tribeca Film Festival, Comic-Con, Fantastic Fest, Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, CAAMfest (formerly the SF Asian American Film Festival), Walnut Creek Short Film Festival and won Best Science Fiction Film at the Rhode Island Horror Festival and the Golden Reel Award for Excellence in Short Film at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Now we want the film to reach its fullest potential and bring it to a wider audience.
We’ve secured a stellar cast and exceptional crew, including all of the original cast from the short film including Jacqueline Kim who has come on to co-write the feature.
Jacqueline Kim, Actor, Co-Writer, Producer, was nominated for a FIND Independent Spirit award for her portrayal of Charlotte/ Darcy in the sleeper hit, CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES. She helped produce and write the film and several features to follow before directing her first short: PRESENT: A MOMENT IN THE FUTURE, which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Ms. Kim is most widely known for her work in RED DOORS (Best Narrative Feature award, 2006 Tribeca Film Festival), BROKEDOWN PALACE, VOLCANO and DISCLOSURE opposite Michael Douglas and for playing Lao Ma in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and Demora Sulu in the film, STAR TREK: GENERATIONS. Jacqueline was most recently seen in the acclaimed stage adaptation of RW Fassbinder’s IN A YEAR WITH THIRTEEN MOONS at Yale Repertory Theatre. Jacqueline is also a talented musician, you can find her songs from her band "This I Heard" on Soundcloud.
ADVANTAGEOUS also showcases the return of Obie Award-winning actor & comedian James Urbaniak, Actor, (THE VENTURE BROS., THE OFFICE, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, HENRY FOOL) to a dramatic role. James has had TV appearances on HOMELAND, WEEDS, and recently played Bill Gates in FUNNY or DIE’s iSTEVE. James voices Dr. Venture on THE VENTURE BROS. and won an Obie Award for his work in Richard Foreman’s THE UNIVERSE. Follow James on twitter @JamesUrbaniak.
We’re also excited to welcome Samantha Kim, Actor, with her acting debut in her first feature film.
We have a community of artists, passionate filmmakers and community supporters that has continued to grow around this project:
Jennifer Phang, Director/Co-writer, is a San Francisco-based filmmaker with more than ten years of experience (HALF-LIFE, CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME, GLASS BUTTERFLY) and is currently participating in the San Francisco Film Society Filmhouse Residency Program. A Berkeley-born daughter of Chinese-Malaysian and Vietnamese heritage, Phang is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at the American Film Institute and holds a BA in Media Studies from Pomona College.
Jennifer was selected in Fall 2012 for a San Francisco Film Society FilmHouse Residency. This residency gave her access to consultants, interns, and mentors who have been critical to pushing the project toward principal photography. The Residency also provided office space and amenities which have been the hub of all pre-production activity.
FilmHouse Interns have been assisting our production with location research and tasks in exchange for an extensive film production mentorship with Jennifer, Jacqueline, and our production team.
This Residency, the exchange of guided work experience and intensive mentorship, has helped us get to the point where we’re gearing up to shooting a full-length feature film this summer in New York and Los Angeles.
Theresa Navarro, Producer, wears many hats as an arts advocate, educator, actress, producer. As an actress and producer, her recent credits include independent narrative feature films FRUIT FLY: THE MUSICAL (OUTFEST '09), YES, WE'RE OPEN (CAAMFEST '11), and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (SXSW '11). In 2011, Theresa was featured as one of 15 Asian Pacific American Women Leaders for her work in promoting the media arts. As a woman working in the intersection of education and social justice, the story at the heart of ADVANTAGEOUS resonates deeply with her. Now based in Manhattan, she continues to consult for, connect with and promote media arts projects that engage millions of people around the world. Follow Theresa @theresaxtine.
Robert Chang, Producer, is an experienced social entrepreneur who supports both innovative technology companies and independent films, previously serving as a co-producer for several first feature films from Asian American women writer/directors, including HALF-LIFE. He has also actively supported and served on over ten nonprofit boards in under-served communities addressing issues in education, healthcare, domestic violence and immigration for the past 20 years. As a new father, he embraces the vision of ADVANTAGEOUS and its call to action around the societal challenges we face.
Moon Molson, Producer, graduated from Columbia Film School with an MFA in Film and has been a Sundance Fellow in Screenwriting and Directing. Moon was Executive Producer on the ADVANTAGEOUS short and an acclaimed director of multiple short films, CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME (Sundance 2011), POP FOUL (Winner, Student Academy Award).
Jimmy Pang, Executive Producer, is an experienced investor, serving as the former Chief Investment Officer at BOCOM International Asset Management, and with prior experience at Alliance Capital Management and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He's excited to support ADVANTAGEOUS as his first independent film.
Catherine Tate, Visual Effects Supervisor, is a visual effects professional and instructor. To date she has worked on more than thirty feature films. She has worked at Industrial Light and Magic, Framestore CFC, The Orphanage, ESC Entertainment, Evil Eye Pictures and at Photon VFX in Australia. She joined the faculty of The Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2005 and has since held the position of a Visual Effects Lead and instructor producing visual effects on numerous independent films, including Beasts of the Southern Wild (nominated for four Academy Awards), 2013 Sundance and Festival de Cannes winner FRUITVALE STATION, and the feature, BLUEBIRD that opened the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. She has previously collaborated with Jennifer Phang on HALF-LIFE, and the short CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME, which were both official selections at Sundance.
Ming Kai Leung, Director of Photography, has served as a DP on over 25 film projects, many of which have competed and won awards at prestigious international film festivals fests such as Rotterdam, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Tribeca, Taipei Golden Horse and Hong Kong International.
Aiyana Trotter, Production Designer, has been the Production Designer for four independent feature films and several shorts. Her work has included HALF-LIFE (Sundance) and MISSISSIPPI DAMNED (Slamdance). Ms. Trotter has held key Art Department positions on several films including Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, the Bollywood blockbuster, LOVE AAJ KAL. She has worked in the Art Department of the network television shows, UGLY BETTY and ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, and art directed commercial spots for MTV3 and award show sponsor stations for Lexus. Ms. Trotter earned her MFA in Set Design from San Francisco State University and has designed theater sets in the SF Bay Area for over twenty productions.
Timo Chen, Composer, holds a Bachelor’s in Music from Oberlin College. He has worked on music for films such as SUNSET STORIES (SXSW 2012), BUTTER (Toronto 2012), and Inseparable (Busan 2011). Be sure to check out his music at http://t-monicmusic.com.
Risks and challenges
ADVANTAGEOUS relies on exceptional performances and careful pre-visualization, budgeting, and scheduling. For each of her projects at this ultra low-budget level, Jennifer prioritizes generous rehearsal time and director’s prep to ensure considered results. Our producing unit, headed by Theresa Navarro, is focused on scheduling, donations, location locks, budgeting and detailed contingency plans.
As a SAG ultra low budget feature, we face similar challenges as our fellow independent filmmaker friends trying to reconcile artistic vision with resources. As a sci-fi film, we seek to find creative ways to expand our visually complex version of the future. Finally, we are assembling cast and crew from around the country to maximize our production and performances.
Through the short film’s awards and accolades, we’ve raised some initial money for pre-production and have been gathering speed into production. The money will be used to ensure we can get this incredible film in the can, and to support the exceptional cast and crew who are sharing their energy and passion already with the film. We are producing this as a micro-budget so this includes the basics, e.g.:
- Production insurance
- Transportation and fuel costs for cast, crew and equipment
- Paying ultra-low-budget SAG rates for our cast
- Feeding our crew and cast
We’ve secured resources and locations with goodwill from supporters - to whom we are eternally grateful. The money will be used to create, produce and deliver a powerful narrative that will hopefully provoke and inspire audiences to rethink our world. Now we need your support to create and complete a high-quality film that engages audiences visually and emotionally - and expands how we all see the future of women. We are emboldened by the response to our short film and together, we can work to create lasting change.
And here is a slew of wonderful people who have supported us throughout the risks and challenges of this journey:
Joseph Paul Alvarado
Christine Jean Chambers
Suk Wai Chong
Jairo De La Vega
Chung N. Phang
Colin Evoy Sebestyen
James Y. Shih
Jayda D. Thompson
San Francisco Film Society
The Center for Asian American Media
The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
The City of New York Parks and Recreation, Riverside Park
+ our Moms and DadsLearn about accountability on Kickstarter