Bea is about a young girl with a disease so rare, no one else in the world has it. Bea Rienhoff was born with distinct physical differences and diagnosed at an early age with an “orphan disease”. An orphan disease is defined as rare, often with unknown causes affecting a small percentage of the population. Throughout her childhood, her father Hugh has devoted his time to discovering what her specific genetic variation is, being labeled a biological outlaw for his unprecedented approach to finding answers. As Bea starts to get older, more and more questions arise about what physical and emotional challenges she will face as she nears adulthood.
While Bea Rienhoff is singular in the fact that she is the only one with this particular rare disease, the focus of Bea is to tell an inspiring coming-of-age film about growing up with a rare disease and the importance of family advocacy. With rare disease affecting 25 to 30 million Americans, this is not a singular story. The reach of this film is far greater, as that statistic doesn't even begin to count families of rare disease patients.
Bea is also an inspiring story. With a clearly unknown future it would be easy to focus on adversity as a negative, but through the eyes of Bea and her family this story embraces life and all it has to offer.
Emmy-award winning Cinematographer and Documentary Filmmaker Allen Moore comes to the project with more than 40 years of filmmaking experience. His independent filmmaking work has earned him notable artists fellowships as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. Moore has also served as Director of Photography for several of Ken Burns' films, including The Civil War, Baseball, and The National Parks: America's Best Idea.
Moore's devotion to this project is due to his lasting friendship with Hugh Rienhoff, Bea's father, since childhood.
Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker Kori Feener comes to this project with 15 years of filmmaking experience. Her last feature, Hard Way Home gave her the opportunity to turn the camera on herself as she attempted to hike 2,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Her film screened across the U.S. and earned her a Best Feature award at the Chattanooga Film Festival. She has spent the past two years working as Assistant Editor to the award-winning Ross McElwee and is an active member with Boston's Non-Fiction Cartel.
Feener's passion for this project is due to a strong personal connection to rare disease, having seen its affect on loved ones and friends.
Sophie Moore comes to this project having just completed her degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Moore recently spent time working and living in the United Kingdom and is now based in Baltimore, MD.
Moore's personal connection to this project comes from a family friendship with the Rienhoff's and a close friendship with Bea.
We have already been working on this project for over a year, but with Bea turning 11 we want to move forward getting more footage to begin her documented journey. That's where you come in. We need your support to fund the travel, equipment and early editing costs associated with a project of this magnitude.
While we do plan to seek out some traditional funding methods, the reality is that there are more filmmakers vying for the same traditional methods of funding and there is no sure bet that those funds will find their way to our project. We strongly believe that this is a universal film that will speak to a large audience - and this is why we are coming to you. By backing our campaign, you become an essential part of the telling of Bea's story, and an advocate for research and support within the rare disease community.
If you aren't in a financial position to give support, we hope that you will share Bea's story with as many people as you can. Feel free to get in touch with us for other ways that you can contribute.
What is so great about Kickstarter is that you become a part of the project and the process, and we are thankful that you are joining us for Bea's journey!
Plus, thanks to our Fiscal Sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative - all donations through Kickstarter are tax deductible.
Here are some of the cool rewards you might be able to receive for becoming a backer:
We have spent a great deal of time working on the budget for our film. As we state in our risks and challenges, this is truly to kickstart our production. Embarking on a three year production process can be a costly endeavor as travel costs often fluctuate due to many external factors.
Our careful number crunching gave us the conclusion that to be able to pay for travel, equipment use, media storage for a year of filming and our website hosting and design we would need to raise a minimum of $35,000.
This also includes the fees associated with completing a kickstarter (Kickstarter, Amazon Payments and Rewards).
Any money raised beyond our initial goal will go towards the final two years of production costs (travel, equipment) and post-production work (scoring, sound mixing, color correction, marketing and distribution costs).
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Risks and challenges
We are devoted to telling Bea's story, following her as she grows and develops from a child into a teenager. While this Kickstarter is truly a way to kickstart production, we are really asking for just the minimum to do that. Much more than this will be needed to continue production for another two years, as well as completing post-production work on the film. We both have a personal connection to Bea and her family, as well as the subject matter of rare disease. We have already devoted much of our time and personal funds to acquire the footage we have so far.
Despite these risks, we are firmly committed in our belief that this is an important story. The elements of self-discovery in the face of unknown obstacles and family advocacy/support are universal challenges. We hope to inspire others through Bea as she has inspired us.
We promise to keep our backers up to date and informed on our process as we work to bring Bea's story to the world. We are excited about making this a shared experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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