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In this beautiful and haunting short film, Justine gets a lesson in cooking and family ties from an unexpected source.
In this beautiful and haunting short film, Justine gets a lesson in cooking and family ties from an unexpected source.
53 backers pledged $3,115 to help bring this project to life.

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A Meal With Dad: A Short Film (Post-Production) project video thumbnail
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$3,115

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Update: Amazing! We've blown through our stretch goal! Stickers, yay!

Thanks to our awesome backers, we've reached our goal. But we're not done yet! If you still want to give to the project, you can help us reach our STRETCH GOAL of $2,800. If we make it, everyone at or above the $25 reward level will get a sticker pack!

Above, watch clips of the cast talking about why this project is important to them. Pledge to our campaign to get access to the rest of the interviews via exclusive backer updates.

A Meal With Dad

In this dramatic short written and directed by Brittany Alsot, parents, food, and memory form the grounds for a young queer woman to redefine her connection to herself and others.

We are raising funds to cover post-production costs, including original musical score, final sound mix, and festival entry fees. The filming and editing of the project have been self-funded, with the majority of the budget going to pay the cast and crew a low-budget but fair wage.

Inspired by my experience growing up without a dad and my desire to make films by and about queer folks, this film is a very personal project. But its universal themes make it touching and relatable. The cast and crew worked so hard to translate my vision into something that leapt off the page and now has a life of its own.

Maximillian Davis as Victor (Dad) and Sheila Houlahan as Justine
Maximillian Davis as Victor (Dad) and Sheila Houlahan as Justine

BACKSTORY 

This script started in 2013 with a series of images of a father, a daughter and the food they share as the girl grows up. At first, he has to feed her, then he teaches her how to feed herself and, as she gains independence, he teaches her how to cook.

In November 2014, I had the opportunity to work on a film set with the most kind and fun—yet professional—crew. I knew if I returned to my script idea and developed it into a short film, I could hire this amazing crew to tell a really powerful story. As we approached production in June of 2015, we placed a high importance on creating an inclusive environment on set so that everyone could show up and embody their full potential. We built an unprecedented little community that worked hard, laughed a lot, cried some, and in the end, shot a beautiful and heartfelt little film together.

The crew filming an exterior night shot
The crew filming an exterior night shot

TIMELINE

Moving from Seattle to Chicago kept me busy for the fall, but the project is now moving forward again in the edit stage of post-production. The edit will wrap in April. In May, the score will be completed and the final sound mix will give the audio a professional sound. The finished film will be roughly 10 minutes long and will be submitted to festivals all over the country—and possibly the world. 

GET INVOLVED

This is about more than just covering our expenses, it's about building an audience that wants to see thoughtful, heartfelt films. You’re invited to join this talented group of people who believe that spaces, stories, and media by and about queer folks and people of color are of ultimate importance. With this guiding conviction, we are working toward healing by making in microcosm the community we would like to see—both in the film industry and the world at large. 

We greatly appreciate your contribution at whatever amount feels meaningful to you.

Follow us on Facebook for more updates and behind-the-scenes info.

CAST AND CREW

Cast: Sheila Houlahan (Justine), Maximillian Davis (Victor - Dad), Emily Jo Testa (Gina - Mom), Tatiana Lutje (young Justine), Eva Kloiber (Ty)

Crew top row: Brittany Alsot (director), Brody Willis (cinematographer), Frankie Vierra (hair & makeup), Crystal Collins (sound engineer), Robert Tunstall (composer).

Crew bottom row: Arlo Ballard (line producer/assistant director/editor), Kamaria Daniel (assistant camera/2nd sound recordist), Antonio Decossio (art department/set decorator), Valerie Needham (production assistant/2nd assistant director), Ellie Poley (executive producer/craft services/accountant).

This film could not have been made without the incomparable assistance of the following:

The Stringfellow family (toddler Justine), Harlan Pace (Hank), the MacGovern family (grocery family), Sophia Leonard (walking person), Joansy Eberhart (grip), Shann Thomas (grip), Brandee Randall (set decorator), Cory Wilson (audio), Colleen Zickler (audio), Sofya Belinskaya (storyboard artist), Sandra Mesrine (Kickstarter video), and Jon Poley (brother-in-law extraordinaire).

REWARD HIGHLIGHTS

6x3" sticker featuring from left to right: Brittany (director), Ruby (canine assistant to the director), Kamaria (sound), Brody (cinematographer), Arlo (assistant camera), and Sheila (star).
6x3" sticker featuring from left to right: Brittany (director), Ruby (canine assistant to the director), Kamaria (sound), Brody (cinematographer), Arlo (assistant camera), and Sheila (star).
Two 3x3" stickers. The slate (right) is die cut.
Two 3x3" stickers. The slate (right) is die cut.

At the $25 reward level (also at the $100 and $150 level), you'll receive a pack of stickers: one showing cast and crew with original artwork by Jessica Udischas, creator of the web comic Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls, the other two featuring designs by Ellie Poley. For more info, click here. Stickers are awesome! So is spreading the love for queer storytelling!

Example page from storyboard
Example page from storyboard

At the $30 reward level (limited to 15 backers), you'll receive a hard copy of both the script and the storyboards. Artist Sofya Belinskaya's sketches were not only instrumental in the communication between the director and cinematographer, but each frame is a beautiful work of art. 

Risks and challenges

Most of the risk has been absorbed already by completing filming. The editing process has begun and is already funded. We are very careful about redundancy, so the footage cannot be entirely lost even if a hard drive fails.

When it comes to the music, I have worked with the composer on a previous film and know he will deliver a quality score on time. Once post-production is complete, it’s possible that festivals may not want to select the film for screening, which would only mean additional cost and time to look for more festivals or wait until the following year to re-submit to our top-choice festivals. Regardless of festival acceptance, eligible Kickstarter backers will still receive their private copy of the film.

The return on investment for a short film will not be money, but rather recognition and credibility for the director, cast, and crew. Hopefully this will lead to producing more thoughtful and impactful projects in the future.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you screen credit in the film and exclusive backer updates (with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews). And, of course, our eternal gratitude.

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    A private link to view the finished film before anyone else.

    You'll also get a screen credit and exclusive backer updates.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sticker pack! Original art from the creator of the Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls webcomic lets everyone know you support queer indie film.

    BONUS: the recipe for the chili eaten on screen.

    Plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A hard copy of the script (bound with brads, of course) and the storyboards by artist Sofya Belinskaya.

    Plus a link to the film, chili recipe, screen credit, and updates.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A download of the film score by Robert Tunstall, including a special track sung by Maximillian Davis.

    Plus a link to the film, chili recipe, screen credit, and updates.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Craft services extraordinaire, Ellie Poley, will make you chili as featured in the film. Chicago area only.

    Plus a link to the film, the score, screen credit, and updates.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Help me use my degree is English and Film Studies! Recommend a movie to me and I'll watch it. Afterwards, we can either video chat about it, or I'll write you a feminist analysis of the movie.

    Plus a link to the film, chili recipe, the score, screen credit, and updates.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Associate Producer screen credit in the film. Also receive a hand-written postcard from the director in Chicago.

    Plus all non-limited rewards above!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You get to send me your script or other writing and I'll give you constructive (but kind) feedback on it. Trust me, I was an English major.

    Plus all non-limited rewards above!

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Funding period

- (30 days)