My name is Elisabeth Subrin - I’m the writer and director of a feature narrative film called A Woman, A Part, starring Maggie Siff, Cara Seymour, John Ortiz, and Khandi Alexander, as well as such actor/performer/artist luminaries as Dagmara Dominczyk, Eszter Balint, Cynthia Hopkins, Sophie Von Haselberg, Chukwudi Iwuji, and Geoff Sobelle. As an artist and feminist, I’ve been making films for 20 years, and I've been fortunate to have been supported by The Sundance Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and The Whitney Biennial among others.
A Woman, A Part is my most ambitious film to date. We had an incredible shoot this summer, and beyond all odds, we’ve made it to post-production! There’s still a lot to do, so we’re looking for people like you - friends, fans, and strangers (soon to be *new* friends!) - to join us for the project’s final phase and help us complete the film.
A Woman, A Part examines a transformational moment in the life of Anna Baskin, a smart, successful actress in an emotional, physical, and professional crisis. Played by Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men star MAGGIE SIFF, Anna is known for the crisply professional yet emotionally one dimensional woman she plays on a mind-numbing TV series. She finds herself imprisoned by this role, and unable to locate the passion that caused her to embrace acting in the first place. Dependent on Ritalin and her assistant to get her through her days, Anna is falling apart.
She abruptly walks off her show in LA and runs away to NYC to squat in her old rent stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. Her return to New York blindsides her old theater friends and past loves whose lives she unwittingly changed when she left for Hollywood years earlier. Drifting through a transformed, gentrifying New York, Anna seeks insight from healers, meditation teachers, one-night stands, and her old friends, trying to find her way back to an authentic self.
Through the lens of all of this, I was also able to explore many other ideas in this film, like the line between acting and being, sexism in the film industry, the mediated/medicated self, the depth and complexity of friendship, gentrification as phenomenon and metaphor, the desire to escape one’s life, and the impossibility of overnight change.
WHO CARES ABOUT ACTRESSES?
Of all possible women characters, how did I ever end up writing about an actress? Having spent two decades making films and art about women’s experiences from a feminist perspective, I realized that actresses are the ultimate representation of women - they tell our culture who and what a woman is, what she wants and feels.
The irony is that actresses rarely have any say in the parts they play, so their representations are rarely their own. I was interested in the story of a woman struggling to take control of her representation, and trying to rewrite her own life by facing her past. The film is about the responsibility and consequences of taking that on. I also write a blog on this subject that I’d love for you to check out - whocaresaboutactresses.tumblr.com.
Best known for her seven seasons as “Tara Knowles” on the hit FX series Sons of Anarchy, Maggie Siff is a Los Angeles-based actress hailed for her work in television, on stage and in independent film. She made her debut as department store heiress “Rachel Menken” on the first season of the award-winning AMC series, Mad Men, and will star opposite Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis in the new Showtime series Billions. She has had recurring roles on Nip/Tuck and Life On Mars as well as guest roles on Grey’s Anatomy and Law & Order. On the big screen, Siff has been seen opposite Edward Norton in Tim Blake Nelson’s feature film, Leaves of Grass. She also appeared in Paul McGuigan’s Push with Djimon Hounsou and Dakota Fanning as well as Judd Apatow’s Funny People with Adam Sandler. Most recently, Siff appeared in the Sundance 2013 Dramatic Competition film Concussion, released by Radius/TWC in the Fall 2013.
Cara Seymour has worked with some of the most respected and talented directors in the film world, including Martin Scorsese, Lars Von Trier, and Spike Jones. Recent movies include the Sundance award winner An Education, The Music Never Stopped and Jack and Diane. She currently co-stars in Steven Soderbergh’s Cinemax mini-series The Knick, playing Sister Harriet, an Irish nurse and midwife “who backs down from nothing and no one.” She has won considerable acclaim on the New York Stage, appearing in the New Group's Obie winning productions of Mike Leigh's Ecstasy and Goosepimples, The Public Theater production of Caryl Churchill's The Skriker and Noel Coward's Present Laughter at The Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway. In 2010/11 she premiered the critically acclaimed adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses with Patrick Fitzgerald. In 2012/13 she played Lily in the highly acclaimed hit production of Brian Friel's Freedom of the City at The Irish Rep.
John Ortiz is an award-winning actor who honed his craft on the theatrical stage of New York. He won the Obie Award for Best Actor in the Off-Broadway production of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in the indie film Jack Goes Boating.
John is currently filming the studio feature Kong: Skull Island starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson and John Goodman. He just wrapped Going in Style starring Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine and directed by Zach Braff. He can currently be seen in Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. John was in the Academy Award-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook. Ortiz can be seen in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, which he not only starred in but also produced with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Other credits include Public Enemies, Fast & Furious 6, and Pride and Glory.
On television, Ortiz starred opposite Greg Kinear in Fox’s Rake. He can be seen in the HBO series Togetherness starring Amanda Peet and Melanie Lynskey. He starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in the cable series Luck. He was also a series regular on Clubhouse, The Job and Lush Life.
Along with acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ortiz is the co-founder of LAByrinth Theater Company, where he has produced and performed in many productions, including The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Hoffman; Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, for which he was awarded a Drama Desk nomination; and Guinea Pig Solo and Jack Goes Boating.
WRITER/DIRECTOR ELISABETH SUBRIN
“Elisabeth is a passionate, driven filmmaker hell bent on creating complex dramatic roles for women, and exploring their lives through a richly visual and emotional lens. Featuring the marvelous Maggie Siff, A Woman A Part promises to be her most powerful film to date.” - Jill Soloway, Transparent
Elisabeth Subrin’s critically acclaimed, award-winning films and video art have screened widely internationally, including at The New York Film Festival, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Vienna Viennale, The Whitney Biennial, The Sundance Channel and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She's the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles Film Critic’s Association, The New England Film Festival, and the USA Film Festival, among others. Her film Shulie was selected for the once-a- decade British Film Institute’s Sight&Sound critic’s poll of “Greatest Films Ever.” Her 2010 retrospective at Sue Scott Gallery was included in “Best Of ” lists from the New York Times and TimeOut/NY, and her 2-channel film Lost Tribes and Promised Lands subsequently traveled to museums in Paris, Stockholm, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, MoMA/PS1’s “Greater New York,” and was featured in VOLTA/NY.
Subrin participated in The Sundance Institute Feature Film Directing and Screenwriting Labs with her first feature screenplay, Up. A 2002 Guggenheim Fellow, she's also received grants and fellowships from The Rockefeller, Annenberg, Creative Capital and Andrea Frank Foundations. She’s received commissions for new projects from The Danish Arts Council/DaNY Arts, Participant, Inc., The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Sue Scott Gallery, New York, and The MacDowell Colony. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Film Comment, Frieze, BOMB, LA Weekly and Filmmaker Magazine. Subrin teaches in the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University and lives in Brooklyn.
PRODUCER SCOTT MACAULAY
Scott Macaulay is a New York-based film producer. With Robin O’Hara, he has produced or executive produced many award-winning features, including: Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas; Harmony Korine’s Gummo (as co-producer) and julien donkey-boy; Alice Wu’s Saving Face; Tom Noonan’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning What Happened Was and his follow-up feature, The Wife; Jesse Peretz’s The Chateau; Bryan Barber’s Idlewild; John Leguizamo’s Undefeated; and James Ponsoldt’s Off the Black. Macaulay is also the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Filmmaker, a quarterly magazine and daily-updated website published by IFP. He has lectured on independent film and taught seminars for filmmakers at CPH:DOX Lab in Copenhagen, the Dubai International Film Festival and, last year, at the newly created Venice Biennale College Cinema.
PRODUCER SHRIHARI SATHE
Shrihari Sathe is a New York and Mumbai based independent filmmaker and producer. Sathe produced Jaron Henrie-McCrea's Pervertigo which world premiered at the 2012 Warsaw and Mumbai film festivals and was a part of the 2011 IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs. Sathe's sophomore production Eliza Hittman's It Felt Like Love which premiered at 2013 Sundance Film Festival and 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam to great reviews. Sathe is a 2013 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow and has received fellowships from the HFPA, PGA, IFP, Film Independent, and The Sundance Institute to name a few.
Sathe is a Trans Atlantic Partners fellow (2013) and Cannes Producer's Network fellow (2014, 2015). He is a co-producer on Partho Sen-gupta's Arunoday (Sunrise) which world premiered at the 2014 Busan International Film Festival and Afia Nathaniel's Dukhtar (Daughter) which world premiered at 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and is currently in theatrical release in North America. Sathe's feature directorial debut – Ek Hazarachi Note (1000 Rupee Note) won the Special Jury Award and Centenary Award for Best Film at the 2014 International Film Festival of India and has received over 30 awards. He is currently in post-production on Ed Blythe's Man With Van (2011 Film Independent Producers Lab) and Subrin’s A Woman, A Part.
Special thanks to the DP of the Kickstarter video Maria Rusche, to T. Griffinwho contributed the music, to set photographers Chris Wilcha and Sahid Limon for the images on this page, and to Iyabo Boyd who helped keep us organized.
Kickstarter is a great way to support creative projects like this one - all contributions to our campaign will go directly to the final edit, sound design, score, color correction, and delivery of the film. With your help, we’ll accomplish all of that, and A Woman, A Part can then play film festivals around the world, and hopefully in a theater near you!
To get involved either choose one of the Rewards on the right-hand column of this page, or click the big green "Back This Project" button at the top right. Please note that the campaign only lasts until Friday, January 8th, at 8:30pm Eastern! Since Kickstarter is an "all-or-nothing" platform, we absolutely have to make our goal by that time, or else we lose all the funds pledged. If we hit or exceed our goal, we’ll get all of the funding, and we'll be able to finish this beautiful film!
And after you donate (thanks!), please SHARE the project with your friends, family, Facebook and Twitter followers, blog and Instagram stalkers, feminist film club, roller derby team, office buddies -- please tell anyone and everyone to check out our page and to donate too!
If you aren't able to contribute monetarily but still want to support us, sharing this Kickstarter campaign personally with your friends and via social media goes REALLY a long way to helping us reach our goal, so that is equally appreciated!
Phew, that was a lot of info! Thanks for reading through and watching, and for considering becoming a part of the A Woman, A Part team. It would be so incredible to finish this film with you.
Alright, let’s do this! Thanks so much again.
- Elisabeth, Scott, Shrihari, and the whole team
Please check out the incredible Rewards we're offering in the column at the right.
Here's the image for the *Special Reward* - A rare opportunity to collect one of Elisabeth Subrin's photographic works with a new print specially created for this campaign: Not Just Now And Then, a signed, limited edition archival inkjet print from her critically acclaimed, award-winning film Shulie. Dimensions (HxW): 8"x10". Edition of 12.
Represented by Sue Scott Gallery from 2008-2012, Elisabeth's films, photographs and installations have exhibited widely (see bio) and are held in both private collections and museums such as the Walker Art Center and The Jewish Museum. Of Elisabeth and Shulie, Richard Brody wrote in The New Yorker this year, "Subrin’s concept is ingenious and her experiment results in a major advance in her field. Her ideas are beautiful, and the movie is a thing of wonder." (Link to the article: http://nyr.kr/1CFu17X)
Here's an image for the *Special Reward* - Take home a limited reprinted poster of Elisabeth’s 1997 film SHULIE (13x 26), signed by the director, and custom printed by Crosshair Silkscreen Printing and Design.
Here's the "Who Cares About Actresses" tee shirt featuring a badass glare from the late French actress Maria Schneider (Last Tango in Paris, The Passenger), for whom our WCAA blog is dedicated. Shirts are unisex and come in XS, S, M, L, XL. Schneider was the first out bisexual in Hollywood, and an outspoken critic of the industry and lack of roles for women. For more info on Schneider and her legacy, read here: http://bit.ly/1mOw3mf
Here's a still from the *Special Reward* of a digital download of Elisabeth's short film The Caretakers, starring AWAP cast member Cara Seymour. A commission for The MacDowell Colony's Centennial Celebration, The Caretakers traces the unraveling of a writer as she begins a residency at a legendary artist colony, haunted by the aura of former artists who worked there. Stripped of her urban, career-driven preoccupations, Cleo finds herself unable to connect with the quiet new world around her. A chance encounter with a mysterious former housekeeper challenges Cleo's understanding of the interdependencies between art making, care-taking and love. Inspired by myths and memoirs of former MacDowell artists, it's an ode to the gift of creative space.
Risks and challenges
In terms of risks and challenges, we feel beyond confident that the film will be completed, especially with your help!
There are a few rewards that involve our cast, who are very much in-demand working professionals. And though they are committed to this film and are incredibly supportive of this campaign, its possible that scheduling their Rewards with Backers may be challenging with their unpredictable day-to-day lives. We pledge to do our absolute best though to deliver those cast based Rewards on time. We appreciate your patience and flexibility in this!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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