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A compelling film that takes an intimate look at how four Chinese women struggle and take charge of their lives in an era of transition Read more

Chicago, IL Documentary
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$9,276
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 10, 2012.

A compelling film that takes an intimate look at how four Chinese women struggle and take charge of their lives in an era of transition

Chicago, IL Documentary
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About this project

Thanks to many of our kind pledgers, we have met our goal last Wednesday. There are still 5 more days left to the deadline, we hope more of you will join our journey to get us closer to the actual budget for our phase 2 production. Besides our perks on the right, we're offering an extra incentive if you choose to do so, please see Update #9 for details.

Thanks again for all your generous support.

WHAT IS MY STORY?

Many of you know that China has become the second largest economy in the world as of 2011, but do you know that 40-45% of women make up the labor force that made this “leap forward” possible?

The Chinese character for this project is 腾 (Téng) meaning to soar! “Rise of the Phoenix” is a 60 minute documentary exploring how the unprecedented economic transformation of China’s society is changing the roles, rights and status of modern-day Chinese women against the backdrop of a sexist culture. This film captures the nuances, complexity and rich texture of these changing lives as they confront opportunities and challenges created by traditions of gender bias and the One Child Policy.

Told from my own POV as an outsider returning to the country I was born in, my narration provides a poignant thread to compare and contrast the female experience between the two worlds — one that traditionally treats women as second-class citizens; the other that celebrates female independence and self-expression. You’ve already met three of the women in my demo who came from diverse social and economic backgrounds. Now I need your help to go back to get more compelling stories to further shed light on the reality of “equality for women” promised by Chairman Mao more than sixty years ago.

WHY THIS PROJECT?

Just because China dazzles the world with its annual double digit productivity, its GDP is still very much that of a developing country. The mainstream media seldom profiles the other China — the one that is rural, poor and still developing. My objective is to raise gender awareness by rendering a balanced and honest view by putting a spotlight on the struggles of China’s rural women who do not enjoy the same opportunities of their urban peers. Through the intimate voices of these women— as they navigate and negotiate their journeys to a better life, these compelling yet uplifting stories bear witness that gender equality is often fought for, not given.

WHY KICKSTARTER NOW?

This project is my first feature documentary and a personal quest. I conceived this concept more than ten years ago and started the production in November 2010. I have applied for many media grants last year, but the resources are scarce and the competition fierce. I can’t do it alone — I’m appealing for your support to raise the necessary funds to go back to China for more production and get this project another step closer to completion hopefully by late 2012.

The estimated budget to return to China for this phase of production is $23,000. I set my goal at $8,500 because I so want for this pledge to be a success. This will cover the costs of the cinematographer and fixer — they are local Chinese crew for three weeks. Since this is only a fraction of the budget any pledges above and beyond this goal will help immensely to contribute to other expenses like travel, lodging, equipment and editing. Please click the donate button and help to keep the momentum of this project going.

Any amount no matter how small is a great help! Really!

If you're an international pledger, you can still register on Amazon to pledge. Please follow instructions https://www.jungledisk.com/secure/signup/mturk.aspx.

Please check back here or my Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rise-of-the-Phoenix/259448307453667  for ongoing updates on this project.

For more information please visit http://riseofphoenixdoc.wordpress.com

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

If you prefer to make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation for an amount of $1001 and more, please donate online through my fiscal sponsor Chicago Filmmakers http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/content/rise-phoenix  Be sure to specify the donation for “Rise of the Phoenix Project.”

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding deal. If we don't meet our pledge goal, you are not charged. Please help get the word out by posting this link on your Facebook page, Twitter or personal blog page, as well as sharing it via email and texting to increase awareness and publicity. Your help in spreading the word is crucial to make this fundraising successful.

A thousand thanks for joining me in this journey.

Here are some of the photos from our gallery you can select from http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixdocu/     or   http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.267652849966546.65302.259448307453667&type=3

I am grateful for the mentorship, guidance and collaboration of many Chicago documentary filmmakers — Ines Sommer, Kathy Berger, Matt Lautenbach, Xan Aranda, Beth Sterheimer and others to making the journey of producing “Rise of the Phoenix” possible and worthwhile.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/may-tchao-evanston-filmma_n_1244744.html

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6 backers

    We’re truly grateful and will send you a personal thank you email

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    13 backers

    Personal thank you email and a shout-out on “Special thanks” section on my Facebook page

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    25 backers

    A handmade personalized postcard from images taken in China sent from director and an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    19 backers

    An autographed 8"x10" limited edition photographic print of your choice from the images taken in China from our gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixdocu/

    an on-screen thank you credit at the end of the film, and an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers

    An on-screen thank you credit, an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished)
    and a copy of New York Times best seller “Factory Girls” by Leslie Chang

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    An on-screen thank you credit, an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished)
    and a 9"x14" collector poster of famous Chinese Cigarette Girls (2 available)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    An autographed 8"x10" limited edition photographic print of your choice from the images taken in China from our gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixdocu/

    an on-screen thank you credit, an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished) and a 30"x20" family planning propaganda poster of the revolutionary era, collector's item (only 1 available)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    An autographed 8"x10" limited edition photographic print of your choice from the images taken in China from our gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixdocu/

    an on-screen thank you credit, an autographed copy of the DVD (after it’s finished) and a Chinese dumpling feast for four delivered to the comfort of your home (limited to Chicago area only)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    An autographed 8"x10" limited edition photographic print of your choice from the images taken in China from our gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixdocu/

    a copy of the DVD (after it’s finished)
    You’ll get a special credit as Associate Producer on the film and I will personally cook and cater a Chinese dinner for 6 in the comfort of your own home (limited to Chicago area only)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (45 days)