The United States currently ranks 104th in the world for gender parity in politics, sitting comfortably between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
But that may change.
Following the 2016 election and the rise of the modern women's movement, thousands of women across the country are running for office. So what still stands between these women and the offices they seek?
Represent takes a personal look at the challenges facing female candidates, and explores both the internal and systemic barriers to office. We chose three stories that tackle these issues head on.
Myya Jones is a 22-year-old college graduate running for Mayor of Detroit whose campaign uplifts the women working with her. Bryn Bird is a produce farmer and mother of two fighting for progressive values in her rural Ohio town. Julie Cho is a Korean immigrant and conservative candidate running for State Representative in Illinois.
The film is an intimate, surprisingly tender take on the political process. Our stories elevate the strength and conviction of our female candidates and go on to explore the network of support they receive and the impact of these campaigns on their surrounding community. In a year of unprecedented women-led activism, Represent captures the heart of of a grassroots movement and clearly documents the challenges that remain for female leadership in 2018 and beyond.
Research shows that women need to be asked 7 times before they consider running for office. Our team is confident that Represent will be the 7th ask.
Statistics prove that women identifying as LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and/or a differently-abled face even greater barriers when running for office. While Represent speaks broadly about the struggles of women in politics, we believe that deliberate inclusivity will help create a true reflective democracy. Represent’s outreach strategy centers around hosting screenings that connect diverse candidates to party recruiters and organizations that train women to run for office.
We are also working on a comprehensive, national outreach plan that helps individuals, high schools, universities, political parties, and nonprofit organizations use Represent as a powerful narrative tool that advocates for more gender parity in office. Any investment in our film will be multiplied exponentially in the change we effect.
We want this film to light the way for women who feel uncertain about what this leap looks like. This is why we chose to follow first time candidates - the subjects of our film aren’t well-connected, well-financed politicos. They are everyday women hoping to shape their communities through civil service, but face the same barriers to entry that have prevented women from populating government throughout our country's history.
We’ve already shot 70% of our footage, so your generous contribution will help us lock the final 30% as we shoot with Myya, Julie, and Bryn in the run up to the November 2018 elections.
Production expenses include gas, Air BnBs, food, and equipment. Crew costs include an all-female team of producers, cinematographers, sound recordists, editors, and assistant editors.
Stretching Your Dollar: In 2017 director Hillary Bachelder shot for 57 days, driving 20,000 miles across 3 states to gather 175 hrs of footage... all for less than $10,000! We promise that every dollar will be used to its maximum potential.
Represent is a time-sensitive film that is striving to make the greatest impact on the political landscape by releasing in 2019. This will allow us to advocate for policy changes that level the playing field of women, and encourage a more diverse group of candidates to run in 2020 and beyond. Kickstarter funding will give us a final push in production.
October-December 2018: Cover the midterm elections and complete the final months of shooting with Bryn, Myya, and Julie.
Winter 2019: Rough and fine cut editing.
Summer 2019: Picture lock, color grading, sound design & score. Begin festival submissions.
Fall 2019: U.S. premiere/world domination!
Represent is in development with Kartemquin Films, industry leaders with a proven track record of films that make an impact. In 2018, Kartemquin was nominated for 2 Academy Awards and 2 Emmys, which raised their already distinguished profile and ensured that their future films - such as Represent - will receive an even wider audience. We are also working with two amazing executive producers abroad: Rosie Garthwaite (U.K.) and Kirstine Barfod (Denmark), who are pushing the film out to European markets.
Additionally, we are partnered with a host of incredible national organizations dedicated to helping women get elected: Run for Something, Empowered Women, IGNITE, RepresentWomen, Democracy Fund, and New American Leaders, to name a few! These organizations are committed to spreading the word about our project and using Represent as a tool to encourage more women to run for office and eradicate systemic barriers.
Represent has an all-female leadership team that includes (pictured from left): Hillary Bachelder (director/cinematographer/editor), Amber Love (assistant editor), Anne Sobel (producer), and Carina Nieto (associate producer).
Much like government, the film industry is one of the most gender-imbalanced professions in the United States. Study after study reports that the number of female creatives in film and television is stagnant or declining. A 2016 San Diego State University report found that women comprised just 11% of all directors, a 0% increase since 2000.
The team at Represent recognizes that trying to fund a documentary with an entire roster of female creatives is going to be an uphill battle, but we remain undaunted. Represent is counting on the generous support from funders like you who are committed to gender parity in every sector. Your donation supports women in office and women in film.
Check out a few of our rewards, which include the Represent yard sign, designed with love by Jessika Savage.
Anyone who donates $10 or more are bestowed with their own personalized yard sign...
Risks and challenges
As mentioned in the section above, fundraising can be challenging for an all-female filmmaking team. But with the help of partners like Kartemquin Films and Executive Producers Rosie Garthwaite and Kirstine Barfod, we are able to gain access to some of the gatekeepers in the US and abroad who can provide greater support for the film's completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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