Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 9, 2013.

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Meet American sex icon Tempest Storm: mistress to Elvis & JFK, friend to Marilyn Monroe & Bettie Page. At 84 she's Jack White's muse.

A documentary that takes us into the tumultuous and dramatic private life of one of America’s greatest sex icons.

“As a child I would go to the movies, and I'd tell myself the stars were backstage, right behind the screen, and someday I'd meet them. Long after I was too old to believe such things, I still pretended. Because I knew one day I would get there.” ~Tempest Storm

THE PURSUIT OF A DREAM

She captured the hearts of millions, was girlfriend to Elvis and mistress to JFK. She was a friend to Marilyn Monroe and made a movie with Bettie Paige. But before Tempest Storm became one of America’s greatest sex icons, she was Annie Blanche Banks, an uneducated girl from Southern Georgia who spent her childhood under the sweltering heat picking cotton.

She survived rape, poverty, and abuse in her youth, only to be betrayed by MGM at the height of her career and lose her contract for falling in love with an African American man. And through it all she remained a dreamer, a woman who believed she was destined for more. She learned to rise above, and found the power within herself to transform her pain into strength to become an unstoppable force.

Today, Tempest Storm is 84 years old. She is one of the last surviving sex icons of her time. In a year that has seen the passing of many of her peers in the burlesque world, this documentary will serve as a record of an undocumented history.

Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen is a funny, intimate and controversial portrait of a provocateur, feminist, and world-renown entertainer who is ready to set the record straight.

We have exclusive access to Tempest as well as her intimate circle of friends, which includes people close to Elvis who have agreed to on-camera interviews. We also have privileged access to all of Tempest’s personal letters and scrapbooks as well as never-before seen photos and footage from her relationships and home life. 

This is Tempest’s private life uncensored, as told by the Queen of Burlesque herself.

GOING BACK TO LAS VEGAS

Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen began production earlier this year, in March 2013. The filmmakers used their savings to fund the first two trips to Las Vegas. They recruited award-winning cinematographer Lindsay George, who jumped on board and volunteered her services for production, along with celebrated photographer Matilda Temperley who is based out of the UK. Everyone on the team felt a need to act fast. While Tempest has a firecracker personality and amazing sense of humor, she has had a series of health emergencies over the last few years and is quite frail. Our team felt it was a risk to delay shooting; the time was now to start documenting her story.

So far we have won Pitchfest LA at WestDoc 2013 and been mentioned in the LA Times and Variety. There is an incredible movement of audience and industry support to see this film get made!

WHY US?

We want to tell stories that matter and that will make a difference. Our films are about empowering women and we have made award-winning documentaries (65_RedRoses, Blood Relative) that advocate for gender equality and access to healthcare. Now we want to bring Tempest’s story to life, and her struggles have always been deeply connected to the rights of women. She was a trailblazer, a businesswoman in an industry run by mobsters and dominated by men. She continues to be a role model to young women today, but this is the first time she is opening up her private life to film cameras. Her story has never been made into a documentary before. We don’t know how much time Tempest has left, and while she doesn’t plan on leaving this world anytime soon, she feels this might be her last chance to tell her own story, in her own words.

THE CREW

Producers: Kaitlyn Regehr & Nimisha Mukerji; Director: Nimisha Mukerji; Cinematographer: Lindsay George; Photographer Matilda Temperley; Music: Ori Dagan

WHAT THIS KICKSTARTER WILL DO

This Kickstarter will enable us to return to Vegas for 4 weeks so that we can finish getting our main interview with Tempest. While there, we will also film interviews with her closest friends and capture the drama that is unfolding with her career. She wants to launch a clothing line as well as stage a comeback show in New York next year. We’ll follow her as she goes through her day-to-day life, and capture the ups and downs of her work while focusing on the larger story: how has her career effected her personal relationships with her family? She lives in Vegas alone and rarely communicates with relatives. The story unfolding in the present is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. 

Filming in Vegas for extensive periods is a challenge, even with a small crew of 5. Our Kickstarter goal of $40,000 will cover airfare, lodging, transportation, equipment rentals, food for the production crew, hard drives, insurance and van rentals for our final two trips to Vegas. We’ve also budgeted in the costs of creating the rewards, shipping them to you and the 10% fee for Kickstarter and Amazon.

The more funds we raise, the better we can make this film! Right now we’re focusing on getting all our interviews and footage with Tempest, but if we can raise more than $40,000 we can travel to Georgia to interview her immediate family members, who can tell us about Tempest in the early part of her life. They have photos that even Tempest doesn’t have in her possession and we know they can give us insight into her childhood growing up in a volatile home. Their interviews will add depth and meaning to Tempest’s own struggle to escape Southern Georgia in her teenage years.

HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE DISBURSED

REWARDS FOR BACKERS

As a backer of Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen, you'll be with us all the way through the process of making this film. You’ll receive exclusive updates, get access to Tempest Storm’s personal scrapbooks and photos, and have the opportunity to meet the Queen of Burlesque in person in Las Vegas! 

We want you to know how much your contribution means to everyone involved with this film, so we’ve included rewards that are as much about providing you with a personal, memorable experience as they are about giving you vintage exclusive items.

As a backer of our project you’re not only becoming a member of our team, but you’re also bringing this remarkable history to life! This is a dream Tempest has carried with her for a long time, and with your help we can make it happen!

Follow Tempest Storm on twitter @RealTempest

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

So perhaps you’re thinking, what happens next after this Kickstarter? How will the filmmakers continue this project?

We are well aware that we need more than $40K to finish this film, and so far we are happy to report that after only a few months of filming we’ve seen an outpour of support for the film. There have been many donations of services, time and locations to this project. At Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend we interviewed one of Tempest’s favorite burlesque stars, Dita Von Teese, who spoke with us about the impact Tempest has had on a new generation of performers. The hit show Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace generously donated time (as well as their lighting technicians) so that we could film Tempest on stage. Some of the biggest names in the world of burlesque are rallying in support of this project!

Right now our focus is on making sure that we don’t miss any key moments in Tempest’s life and that we have our main interview with her complete. We have already been selected to present at Toronto International Film Festival’s Pitch This Forum (we were the only feature documentary selected). We have the industry’s support; they want to see this film get made. So as we are simultaneously raising the profile of the film in the entertainment world, we are also thinking about the next film shoots we will need to make in order to complete production on the film.

All funds beyond our goal will help greatly as we continue to film with Tempest and her friends and family. Later this year Tempest plans on returning to Georgia (she has not been home in over a decade and thinks it will be her last trip there).

We are so excited to keep filming and get this important story on the big screen! Thanks for believing in this project and helping spread the word!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    13 backers

    TEASERAMA: For your gift of $5 Tempest sends you flirty well wishes.

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    39 backers

    SOCIAL BUTTERFLY: Tempest will personally thank you on twitter/Facebook.

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    43 backers

    THE BETTIE PAIGE PACK: This gift is all about Tempest and her friendship with Bettie Paige. Find out what these gals got up to on set! A digital video download of a personal story told by Tempest about working with Betty Paige. Receive a digital download screensaver of Tempest and Bettie signed by Tempest.

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    36 backers

    THE KING: This gift is an intimate look at Tempest’s relationship with Elvis Presley. Learn heartfelt and juicy details about Tempest’s most cherished beau! Receive a digital video download of a personal story told by Tempest about her relationship with Elvis AND a digital download of a picture of Tempest and Elvis, along with editorial text, featured in an Elvis memorial magazine dated August 1977. Tempest has kept this magazine in her room since learning of Presley’s death.

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    MR. PRESIDENT: When the news broke of Tempest Storm’s relationship to JFK the press had a field day. Tempest has kept all the newspaper clippings from that period in her life. We’ve asked Tempest to select a never before shared page out of her scrapbook. Receive: a digital video download of a personal story told by Tempest about her relationship with JFK AND a digital download page of newspaper clippings describing Tempest’s relationship with JFK (personally selected by Tempest) from her scrapbook.

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    35 backers

    ALL MY FAMOUS FRIENDS: Pretty much the best dinner party ever…This thank you gift includes THE BETTIE PAGE PACK, THE KING and MR. PRESIDENT. Download all the above personal stories, tabloids, pictures and scrapbook clippings.

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    PIN UP PHOTO: Receive an exclusive vintage black and white photo of Tempest Storm PLUS receive ALL MY FAMOUS FRIENDS: Pretty much the best dinner party ever…This thank you gift includes THE BETTIE PAGE PACK, THE KING and MR. PRESIDENT. Download all the above personal stories, tabloids, pictures and scrapbook clippings.

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    ALL MY FAMOUS FRIENDS + ME! Not only do you learn all the passionate, heartfelt, and dramatic stories of Tempest’s past, you are also invited into her present. Receive THE BETTIE PAGE PACK, THE KING and THE MR. PRESIDENT. Download all the above personal stories, tabloids, pictures and scrapbook clippings AND you are invited to an exclusive online screening of the documentary AND receive a vintage postcard of Tempest Storm signed by the crew, a script of the film, a digital download of exclusive, behind the scenes footage and director’s comments on the “making of”.

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    YOU DO KNOW JACK: Last year Jack White approached Tempest to record an album with his label Third Man Records. In this special, stylized vinyl, Jack White interviews the queen of burlesque. The intimate conversation is overlaid over Jack White playing acoustic guitar. This unique collector's piece is autographed by Tempest Storm. Receive: an autographed copy of Tempest's album with Jack White (signed by Tempest Storm) from Tempest's personal collection AND an invitation to the private online screening of the film.

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    THE KITCHEN SINK: Everything and the kitchen sink. As a thank you for believing in this project, receive everything mentioned above. Receive THE BETTIE PAGE PACK, THE KING and THE MR. PRESIDENT. Also receive an autographed copy of Tempest's album with Jack White (signed by Tempest Storm) from Tempest's personal collection AND you are invited to an exclusive online screening of the documentary PLUS receive a vintage postcard of Tempest Storm signed by the crew, a script of the film, a digital download of exclusive, behind the scenes footage and director’s comments on the “making of”.

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    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    FRIEND OF TEMPEST: As a thank you for your belief and support of this project you will join Tempest's circle of friends on the film. Be a part of Tempest Storm's history when your name is included permanently in the feature version of the film as a "FRIEND OF TEMPEST." You will also receive everything included in the ALL MY FAMOUS FRIENDS + ME! Package AND you are invited to an exclusive online screening of the documentary.

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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    TEAM TEMPEST: As a thank you for your generosity, your name will be included in the film's credits and on the film's website along with other close friends and crew, as part of "Team Tempest." "Team Tempest" honors a select group of people and close supporters of the film. These names will be included permanently in the feature version of the film (names will appear before "Friends of Tempest"). Also, as a member of “TEAM TEMPEST” you will receive everything included in the ALL MY FAMOUS FRIENDS + ME! – DELUX EDITION Package. In addition you will be invited to an exclusive online screening of the documentary AND receive a script of the film a digital download of exclusive, behind the scenes footage and director’s comments on the “making of”.

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    TALK WITH TEMPEST! Receive a phone OR Skype call from Tempest Storm! This intimate gift has never been offered in the entirety of Tempest's career. This is an exclusive opportunity to receive a personal phone call and engage in a one on one conversation with the queen of burlesque! Also, your name will be included in the film's credits and on the film's website along with other close friends and crew, as part of "Team Tempest." Team Tempest honors a select group of people and close supporters of the film. These names will be included permanently in the feature version of the film (names will appear before "Friends of Tempest"). Also, you will receive everything included in the THE KITCHEN SINK pack.

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    ENDORSED BY TEMPEST STORM: A wonderful gift for burlesque performers or companies. As a thank you for your generosity, your name (or company name), website and photo OR logo will be included in the film’s credits, as well as on the film's website and on social media as "Endorsed by Tempest Storm." Be included permanently in the feature version of the film. Also, you will receive everything included in the THE KITCHEN SINK pack which means you will receive: THE BETTIE PAGE PACK, THE KING and THE MR. PRESIDENT. Download all the above personal stories, tabloids, pictures and scrapbook clippings AND a script of the film, a digital download of exclusive, behind the scenes footage and director’s comments on the “making of” AND an autographed copy of Tempet's album with Jack White (signed by Tempest Storm) from Tempest's personal collection PLUS an invitation to the private online screening of the film.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    DOC CLUB: Receive dvd copies of the award-winning films 65_RedRoses (selected by Oprah for her Documentary Club) and Blood Relative signed by the director, as well as a pair of tickets to one of the premiere screenings of Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen in Toronto, LA, and Las Vegas! Plus your name will be included in the film's credits and on the film's website along with other close friends and crew, as part of "Team Tempest." Team Tempest honors a select group of people and close supporters of the film. These names will be included permanently in the feature version of the film (names will appear before "Friends of Tempest")

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    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    PREMIERE: The VIP Experience! Receive two tickets to the premiere of the film in either Las Vegas or Toronto followed by access to the opening night party as Tempest’s personal guests. PLUS you and a friend will also receive a personally addressed, autographed DVD copy of the film that is exclusive to members of the film crew on this project. AND as an added thank you for your generosity, your name will be ENDORSED BY TEMPEST STORM: A wonderful gift for burlesque performers or companies. As a thank you for your generosity, your name (or company name), website and photo OR logo will be included in the film’s credits, as well as on the film's website and on social media as "Endorsed by Tempest Storm." Be included permanently in the feature version of the film.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    LAS VEGAS PREMIERE & DINNER WITH TEMPEST: The VIP Las Vegas Experience plus a personal dinner for you and a friend with Tempest Storm at one of her favourite restaurants in Las Vegas! Receive two tickets to the premiere of the film in Las Vegas PLUS you and a friend will also receive a personally addressed, autographed DVD copy of the film that is exclusive to members of the film crew on this project. AND as an added thank you for your generosity, your name will be included in the film's credits as "ENDORSED BY TEMPEST STORM." These names will be included permanently in the feature version of the film with your name, photo (or company logo) and website.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    STARS OF THE SILVER SCREEN! Here's your chance to be in a film with Tempest Storm! You and a friend will receive one ticket each to attend Tempest Storm's comeback show, which will be filmed for the documentary. You and your friend will appear in the film as audience members in the front row! Following the show you will get a one-on-one meet and greet session with the queen of burlesque where you will get your photo taken with Tempest and she will personally autograph a copy of her album with Jack White for you. Your names will then appear in the the film's end credits as "Tempest Storms Ultimate Fans". We are only giving away one pair of tickets to this incredible show! *Travel and accommodations not included, event details TBD.

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    CORPORATE SPONSOR: This award goes out to companies who will be credited as a "sponsor"of the film. The company will have their own sponsor credit highlighted in the permanent credits of the feature version of the film. In addition, your company will be distinguished as a "sponsor"on the film's website and on social media. PLUS you will receive 2 tickets to the world premiere screening of the film.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Welcome to the team! We are thrilled to have you on board - and to honour your huge contribution to this film at a time when we need it most, your name will be in the credits as an Associate Producer in the film as well as on imdb. You will also be in the billing block on our posters, web site and print materials. PLUS you and a guest are invited to the world premiere screening of the film and the after party.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    QUEENS OF BURLESQUE: This group gift is an amazing opportunity for burlesque communities across North America. Tempest Storm will fly to YOU and party with you in your hometown! Receive one “Tempest Storm: A Burlesque History Workshop" taught by Kaitlyn Regehr (host of the hit TV series ReVamped). This workshop will go over the history of burlesque and then move on to a class on how to dance like Tempest did in the 1950s. NEXT get a Girls Night Out With Tempest! - Get a private screening of the film with your friends and Tempest Storm!! THEN have a personal talk with Tempest where she will share stories about Elvis, JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page. Learn all her secrets in this exclusive offer! PLUS you will have your community or company name, website and photo AND logo credited in the film, the film’s website and in social media as “ Endorsed by Tempest Storm”. Additionally, your Logo will sit larger from the other endorsed companies in the credits. *Tempest and Kaitlyn’s flights and accommodation are all included in this gift. *Rental costs for class venue and screening venue not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)