Thank you so much for your amazing support so far, both here and elsewhere. I’m incredibly proud that we have already made our goal -- with still a week left to go, no less! In the time we have left, we are going to push hard to make our stretch goal, which is $55,000. We can do it!!
Our stretch goal will help us cover a number of things, including:
1) Hiring professional outreach consultants to research where and how the film might screen in non-traditional settings. It takes time and thought and expertise to identify and create partnerships.
2) We also need to hire experts to help create discussion guides, and we need to find and hire moderators with specific areas of expertise who can attend screenings and facilitate discussions afterward.
3) Also, most to the point, we’d really like to be in a position to donate some of these screenings free of charge to non-profits and their members. The logistics of arranging these screenings do have a price tag, but we really hope to be in a position to waive any operating fees for organizations that are unable to cover the costs of showing the film.
It goes back to the ripples in the pond: we’ve started locally, laid a bit of groundwork to move outward from there, and now we want to really broaden the circles in the pond. We want to make it an ocean!
Thank you, fine people.
Our documentary follows filmmaker Alex Sichel, both subject and director, as she creates a fictional movie that explores what is foremost on her mind while confronting a terminal disease: parenting, marriage, faith, life, and death.
A Woman Like Me is about the triumph of the creative process in an unimaginably dire situation.
You can help us by donating to our outreach campaign here on Kickstarter, by sharing this link with anyone you think might be interested, and by helping to send this film out into the world and building a conversation around it -- about creativity, illness and transformation.
So here is what happened, dear readers:
In the summer of 2011, my beloved friend Alex, a filmmaker by trade and passion, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. With one blow, the indomitable Alex was confronting her own mortality.
In the midst of trying to get her mind around what this meant, for herself and for her husband and young daughter, remarkably, Alex also began to wonder if making a movie about her experience could at least help change how she related to it. As a practicing Buddhist, she knew that even if she couldn’t change the terrible facts of her situation, she might be able to change her mind.
Alex told me about her idea, the story of “a woman like me, with a diagnosis a lot like mine, only she’s dealing with it much better than I am." Alex could see this woman quite clearly, and her name was Anna. Could the process of making "The Movie About Anna" help transform Alex's experience into something other than terror, anger, and regret?
At first we discussed a straight-ahead fictional approach. But we also considered documentary, because Alex wanted to make sure she was talking directly to people in similar situations. By then she was immersed in the breast cancer community, online and otherwise, and she had made a lot of friends there. By making this movie, she hoped not only to find a way through her experience; she also wanted to create a forum for a shared experience of metastatic breast cancer. Perhaps documentary provided a more direct line....
In the end, though, we realized that this is a movie about making a movie, under life-threatening circumstances, and we needed both fiction and documentary to tell the story of a filmmaker using her imagination to find a way to live gracefully with a ticking time bomb.
Alex’s fictional self, Anna, showed her a lighter way to navigate something truly dark -- the chaos and fear of terminal illness.
In other words, when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, maybe, just maybe, your imagination can get you out.
We've been to some amazing places so far...
…and more festivals to come -- stay tuned here.
In our movie, Alex is a remarkable tour guide through the emotional waters of terminal illness: compassionate, funny (in spite of the circumstances) and deeply human, she leads us with great generosity on a journey through her creative processes -- and narrowing treatment options -- as she searches for a small measure of peace in a terrible situation.
It is that small measure of peace that we want to send out into the world with this movie.
We want to build on our festival momentum in order to create a vibrant life for the film in theatrical and community settings. A Woman Like Me will premiere in New York on October 9th (tickets are available through this campaign!), and we plan to use our New York run as a kick off for a national outreach and screening tour.
Money raised during this campaign will help support those efforts so that this movie can spark conversations with people across the country about their own experience of illness and the difficult times that come with it. We hope to use this movie to help transform fear and anxiety into something that can be held more lightly – regardless of treatment choices and outcome. No mean feat, of course.
We are currently seeking to raise $40,000 here on Kickstarter. That will cover initial costs of publicity, marketing and, most critically, outreach. With your financial support, we will be able to screen for support groups -- patients and their families; doctors and nurses and other medical professionals; palliative medicine organizations and medical schools; end-of-life organizations; art-and-healing organizations; art therapists; women in film, media, and the arts; spiritual groups, and academic programs in narrative medicine.
Anything you can contribute will help us enormously.
And, in addition, please help us spread the word: forward this to your friends, family, doctors, nurses, colleagues, ministers, rabbis, non-denominational spiritual helpers -- to anyone you think might want to see it. You are our first audience, and we’re really glad to meet you here on Kickstarter, and thank you for helping us share this movie with people you think might be interested.
Check out our rewards. They're not all pictured here, but that's where your creative visualization skills come in -- if we learned anything making this movie, it's to play with our imagination!
Making this movie was a profoundly joyful experience, despite the circumstances. We found some amazing, generous, intrepid and deeply talented collaborators along the way.
See this link for more on these awesome folks: http://www.awomanlikemefilm.com/bios/
We also had incredible support from friends, family, and small foundations that had an interest in our project, and we had grants and other production support from some amazing institutions.
Truly, we felt blessed by our circle during the production of this movie, and it’s very exciting to be widening that circle here and now, on Kickstarter.
Seriously, your support means everything to us. And sure, we want to shower you with rewards we’ve thought about carefully and hope you’ll enjoy, but most of all it’s just really, really, really amazing that you’re willing to get on this crazy, difficult, beautiful ride with us. Thank you. And thank you again.
Also, just a note: October is around the corner, and it’s Breast Cancer awareness month. Spread the word!
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is, as you might imagine: how do we find and connect to our community? We're starting here, and we hope you can help us widen the ripples in the pond. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)