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A portrait of two transgender youths in rural, upstate New York and their struggles in their gender transition process.
A portrait of two transgender youths in rural, upstate New York and their struggles in their gender transition process.
A portrait of two transgender youths in rural, upstate New York and their struggles in their gender transition process.
190 backers pledged $15,770 to help bring this project to life.

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Passing Ellenville - A film on rural transgender youth

$15,770

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TODAY Oct.16 is our last day of funding on Kickstarter!

Help us get This Film Shown Far and Wide! 

We have had some great momentum in the last few weeks ---attention from several film festivals, film influencers and many individuals worldwide.

AND we got some interest in a major cable network- which is amazing and would get the film out to MANY important audiences.

With that possibility for cable, we would need to cut a longer version of the film-- which or course means more editing time, PR, outreach -- and need for more funding!

So please help us spread the word in our final days - post the Kickstarter link on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email to your friends!

The additional funds will help us do the following: 

1. Continue necessary technical edits to take the film to the next level! Including a longer film edit for cable networks!

 2. Submit to additional film festivals across the country. This step is really important. It not only allows more people to see the film, but it also increases the chances that the film would be seen by someone in the industry and get picked up. We would also be able to reach out to local, national and regional press about the film. And when selected to participate in festivals – we would try to bring the subjects in our film to travel along with us. What better way to bring the story of Passing Ellenville to life! 

 3. Help get the word out on the film out in schools and communities. It was always our goal, all of our goal – James, Ashlee, Sam and I – to share the message of the film in schools and communities across the Hudson Valley, New York state and hopefully, around the country. We believe strongly that this portrait of being young, rural and transgender will help educate folks that don’t identify as transgender but also help people like James and Ashlee to tell their stories as well. 

With additional funds, we would be able to share the message of the film both far and wide. Every contribution helps! 

PASSING ELLENVILLE explores the lives of two impoverished transgender young people living in Ellenville, New York - a small, economically-depressed town 90 miles north of New York City that time has passed by. Located at the edge of the storied Catskills Mountains and not far from the now-abandoned major Jewish resorts which had their heyday in the mid-20th Century, Ellenville and its few dilapidated motels are easily avoided via the state highway outside of town. 

Little more than 4,000 people call Ellenville home, and with a per capita income of about $15,000, more than a quarter of the residents fall below the poverty line. Ellenville has government-subsidized housing aplenty and by neighboring towns’ standards, relatively cheap rents. As a result, the two transgender subjects in the film have been stuck in Ellenville as they make their way in the world and struggle to progress in their gender transition process.

The film follows James, a female-to-male 23 year old, who comes from a history of abuse and a string of family problems, and Ashlee, a 22 year old male-to-female, who struggles to align her orthodox Jewish faith with her transgender identity. Our film will show a side of transgender youth that we have not seen in the national news media. These are the transgender youth at the margins of society living in Any Town, USA, barely surviving on government assistance and food stamps and facing tremendous prejudice and hate. However, the film also shows how each of the subjects, including their older and wiser transgender mentor, find their own pockets of happiness as they go along their life journey. 

The filmmakers have spent a year and half photographing and documenting the lives of these young people, and have gained a unique perspective to tell their story and raise awareness of this important subject. 

Our Kickstarter campaign will take us to the next level of post production. The money raised will be used to finish editing, color grading and to hire a sound editor in order to complete the film. The relatively small amount of required funds that we need to raise with this Kickstarter campaign will allow us to submit this important LGBT awareness film to major film festivals. 

We're relying on YOU to get us to the next stage! We hope that our team will include you!! 

Thank you for your support- we are sure you will enjoy this film! Gene and Samuel PS- If you are new to Kickstarter - when you click on a pledge amount, Kickstarter will ask for your Amazon account for credit card payment. If you don't have an Amazon account, it's very easy to quickly set one up! 

Risks and challenges

We've already overcome the biggest challenge- getting excellent, in depth and entertaining footage of these young people's lives. They have cooperated completely in order to get their story told. And we have had excellent response so far, in clips we have shown in art galleries in NYC, at photo exhibitions and lectures at the annual Empire State Pride Agenda march on Albany in April, and through lectures in NYC and NJ where we have talked about the genesis of the film.

The biggest challenge now is the final film and sound editing to give the film a polished final cut. Then we will submit to major film festivals.

We are confident of success with film festivals, but if we run into any issues, we will continue to cut and edit to ensure we run successfully, always with an eye toward wider distribution.

We really appreciate your help - any donation- helps to make this film a reality!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

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    28 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

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    18 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A signed DVD from the film, an 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

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    23 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A Thank You Credit in the film, a signed DVD from the film, an 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

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    27 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Invite to a private screening of the film in NYC or Woodstock, NY! - plus a Thank You Credit in the film, a signed DVD from the film, an 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

    (transportation not provided)

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    12 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Special lunch or dinner invitation to meet the transgender youth in the film! - plus Invite to a private screening of the film in NYC or Woodstock, NY, a Thank You Credit in the film, a signed DVD from the film, an 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

    (transportation not provided)

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    Limited 5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Contributing Producer credit in the film! Special lunch or dinner invitation to meet the transgender youth in the film! - plus Invite to a private screening of the film in NYC or Woodstock, NY, a signed DVD from the film, an 8" x 10" print from the film, a signed thank you note from the folks in the film and a Passing Ellenville sticker!

    (transportation not provided)

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)