Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 31, 2013.

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Councilwoman Castillo is the first hotel housekeeper to hold public office. Can she help pave the way to a broader democracy?

WE DID IT!

Thanks to everyone who donated, emailed friends, posted online, increased your pledge, and found other creative ways to spread the word. We are humbled and grateful for your support. It makes a difference to know there is a community of backers who is now a part of making this film. We will keep you updated as we continue production. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with your ideas and inspirations. The more we collaborate, the stronger the story will be. Now we can go out and finish shooting!

We still have TWO MORE DAYS! This campaign will fund production for the next year, but in order to leverage funds for the next step, we need to edit some scenes. We have established a stretch GOAL OF AN ADDITIONAL $3,000 for editing.

If you know of anyone who was planning on giving but hasn’t done so yet, please encourage them to pledge. If you haven’t posted it on Facebook yet, please encourage your friends to pledge. Stay tuned. Kickstarter has started counting down the hours. 52 HOURS TO GO AND COUNTING...

If we make it to $23,000 we will add the additional reward of a password protected link to a scene for all of our backers, estimated delivery Jan. 2014.

Some stills from the campaign.

PRESS

Filmmaker Magazine

Providence Phoenix

THE FILM

On November 29, 2011 Carmen Castillo won the Ward 9 City Council seat in Providence, RI.  She has been a housekeeper for over 19 years, is a single mother of three, immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and union steward. Most elected officials are lawyers, or businessmen. Carmen has passion for justice on her side.

We will follow Carmen’s first three years in office.  When we are done, it will be a feature length documentary film. How does her role as a room attendant who is also a lawmaker push our understanding of who should set policy?  Can local communities successfully fight for good jobs and resources?  What is it like behind the scenes at City Hall?

Carmen is one of many fighting for justice in her community. The film will introduce others who are part of efforts to bring justice and good jobs to the neighborhood, and will explore the challenges and issues they all face. Above all else, this is a film about our democracy: who gets to participate and on what terms.

A STORY AND A MOVEMENT

We know this will make a good film, but more importantly, Carmen and her community may be setting a trend in local politics. We think her story will inspire other service workers to run for office. How would our laws change if more "regular" people were elected? Across the nation the fabric of who is running for office is changing. This is a chance to capture one example of that shift in American politics as it happens.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

This is a grassroots story that needs grassroots support.  Funds raised will pay a small production team to follow the story for the next year.  We need to rent equipment and pay the crew.  Even at bargain rates, it adds up quickly.  We need a camera, microphones, and lights; and we need videographers and sound recorders. Funding this campaign will ensure that we can tell this story. Without your help, we cannot afford to continue production.

THE TEAM

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR - Margo Guernsey

Margo is a freelance producer based in Boston. She produces, directs and edits short promotional videos for non-profits and small businesses, as well as historical documentary films. She has worked at WPBT2, Miami's PBS station as a producer of educational videos for pre-K teachers, and her documentary short, The Bonus Army, won multiple awards. This is her first feature length film. She holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Miami. Prior to becoming a filmmaker Margo was a union organizer.  She met Carmen Castillo as the union representative for Carmen's workplace more than 12 years ago. For more about Margo visit www.timetravelproductions.com

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Nikki Bramley

Nikki is a cinematographer and editor based in Boston. She shot for Runaway Chef; Thailand, which premiered on PBS in November 2010, shot a PSA for the American Library Association, which will air on the Lifetime Channel for Women, and was Associate Producer on A Life Among Whales (PBS, Discovery). For a complete CV visit www.nikkibramley.com.

ADDITIONAL CAMERA - Desi Washington

Desi is a freelance cinematographer, and media educator, based in the Providence area. He holds a BA in Media Communication/Film from Boston's Emerson College.

ADDITIONAL CAMERA - Jenny Alexander

Jenny Alexander is an independent filmmaker and producer at Northern Light Productions. She directed and shot the independent documentary, "Detained" and her current project, "The Vigil." Her freelance camera work has contributed to documentaries for the Sundance Channel, PBS,  and non-profit organizations such as the Petra Foundation.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have been shooting since late 2011. This campaign will fund the next year of production. As with any documentary film, that is not the end! We will need additional funds to keep shooting through Carmen's election in 2014, and we will need to raise post-production funds in order to complete the project. Potential set-backs for us are no different than they would be for any documentary film: we may decide that we want to continue shooting after her election which will require more fundraising, or we may run up against scheduling challenges in order to cover everything we want to cover between now and 2014. We have a number of highly skilled videographers as part of the team in order to cover in case that happens, but you never know what the future holds.

This film is a passion project. We have put our hearts and souls into it, and will see it through until the end. By donating, you join those of us who believe this story should be told. And you trust that we have what it takes to get it done.

FAQ

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    You become an outreach partner, get your NAME ON THE WEB SITE listed as a Kickstarter Supporter, and big thank you for helping making this independent film possible. If you don't want to be in the spotlight, just let us know.

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    You become an outreach partner, receive a POSTCARD made from a behind-the-scenes still, signed by the Director with a note of gratitude, plus your NAME ON THE WEB SITE!

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    You will get a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film upon release, the POSTCARD, plus your NAME ON THE WEB SITE. If you don't want to be in the spotlight, just let us know!

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    27 backers

    You will get a PHYSICAL DVD upon release or the DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, your choice. Plus you get the POSTCARD of a behind-the-scenes still signed by the Director and your NAME ON THE WEB SITE as an outreach partner, unless you choose not to be in the spotlight!

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    18 backers

    We are making an eye catching BUMPER STICKER! Shamelessly display your support of the film and women in politics with this fun message, quoting Carmen. Choice of Spanish - "Mujeres al Poder" or English "Women in Power." Plus get the PHYSICAL DVD or DIGITAL DOWNLOAD upon release, POSTCARD of a behind-the-scenes still signed by the Director and your NAME ON THE WEB SITE as an outreach partner, unless you choose not to be in the spotlight!

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    8 backers

    TICKETS TO A REGIONAL PREMIERE (near you, no travel included) plus the BUMPER STICKER, PHYSICAL DVD or DIGITAL DOWNLOAD upon release, POSTCARD of a behind-the-scenes still signed by the Director and your NAME ON THE WEB SITE as an outreach partner, unless you choose not to be in the spotlight!

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    4 backers

    TRANSLATION SERVICES provided by the film's Director/Producer. Up to three hours of SPANISH/ENGLISH interpreting or up to 500 words in a written document. PLUS EVERYTHING ELSE! See list above. Interpreting must be in Rhode Island or the Greater Boston area.

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    1 backer

    CREDIT IN THE FILM as part of the KICKSTARTER PRODUCERS CIRCLE, plus TRANSLATION SERVICES and EVERYTHING ELSE! See list above.

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    OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE, Dinner with the Director and Councilwoman Castillo (travel not included), plus EVERYTHING ELSE! See list above.

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Funding period

- (29 days)