Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 13, 2013.

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How did Brazil come to elect its first female President & what difference does it make anyway? Two women join forces to find out.

We need your help to raise $25K in the next 60 days to complete our film: Madame Presidentá: Why Not U.S.? A one hour documentary written & directed by Heather Arnet, produced by the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania in collaboration with ELAS in Brazil. The working title (and Portuguese title) during production is "Vamos Meninas"

“I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can." - President Dilma Rousseff, victory speech, October 31, 2010

Filmmakers and women’s rights activists Heather Arnet (CEO of the Women and Girls Foundation in Southwest PA) and Veronica Marques (Co-Executive Director, ELAS) traveled throughout Brazil in January 2013 interviewing over 20 community leaders to discover: How Brazil came to elect its first female president; What impact her presidency is having on women’s rights and opportunities; And what Americans can learn from our International sisters and their surge towards political leadership. The resulting one hour documentary will premiere in the U.S. on television on WQED Multimedia (PBS), at the Femina Film Festival in Rio, and receive a preview at a Gala in PA. And with your help, perhaps a screening in your community too! But for the film to move to the next stage - post-production -  we need you!

What difference can your support make?

All the difference in the world. Without you, there will be no film to screen or show to school groups. Without you, young women will never hear the story of female presidential success or be inspired by international sisterhood and cooperation. We have hundreds of hours of beautiful film footage. But we need your support to raise the funds necessary to complete the editing process. Vamos! Join us today by becoming a Kickstarter of our project!

Veronica & Heather on location in Rio
Veronica & Heather on location in Rio

Buzz

Already the project has made headlines! Check out this article in Newsweek's Daily Beast and this one in the Pitsburgh Post Gazette.

Our Story

Growing up, Heather Arnet’s grandmother, Vivian (now age 96), regaled her with stories of her great grandmother, Mary, the suffragette who marched the streets of New York for women to earn the right to vote. Vivian’s dream – passed down from her mother – was to someday help elect the first woman president. In her lifetime, fifty women would run for President of the United States. None of them successfully.

Just two years, after Hillary Clinton put “18 million cracks” in the American Presidential glass ceiling, Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as the 36th President of Brazil. Now, as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup in 2014, the Olympics in 2016, and works to keep its growing economy on track, the eyes of the world are on this emerging world leader during her first term in office.

Status of Production: Where YOU come in!

In January Heather and Veronica traveled throughout Brazil interviewing over twenty women and men about their new Presidenta. They interviewed members of the Cabinet and domestic workers; CEOs and moms; city leaders and leaders of indigenous women. They were accompanied by Award Winning Cinematographer, Nathan Golan and a stellar Brazilian production team.

To date we have raised $100,000 which was utilized to support the production and location costs. We now need to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete the post-production and editing processes, as well as prepare the film for distribution. Here's where you come in! Vamos! Join us today by becoming a Kickstarter of our project!

Distribution Plans

The completed project will be a one-hour documentary (in English & Portuguese) which will premiere on WQED Multimedia, a PBS Station in Pennsylvania, in early 2014 and at the Femina Film Festival in Rio later that spring. The film will then tour the U.S. and Brazil throughout 2014 being distributed widely to schools, universities, arts centers, and women's organizations for community film screenings and educational use and to PBS stations throughout the US for television airing in local markets. The film will also be submitted to international film festivals. But none of this can happen without you. Vamos! Join us today by becoming a Kickstarter of our project!

Note: All funds raised by this Kickstarter effort will be deposited directly to the Women and Girls Foundation, the producer of the film, for the exclusive use of editing and distribution of this film. As the producer is a non-profit. Supporters can contact WGF directly about receiving an acknowledgement letter confirming your contribution for tax purposes. Please email jui@wgfpa.org for more information.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We are in the home stretch. We will not give up. But we need your help to surpass this next challenge. We have contracted a brilliant and award winning editing team at Mind Over Media to complete all of the editing, graphics, and sound mixing so the film will be beautiful and professional.

Right now the greatest risk and challenge is raising the remaining funds needed to cover our editing costs and complete the film. Your contribution today helps surpass this challenge. Together we CAN DO IT!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    9 backers

    Thank you! Every dollar helps us get closer to our goal. We'll send you a shout out tweet, a thank you email, and email updates on the project and premiere dates.

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    23 backers

    Thank you! You will get our humble gratitude, + all of the above + your name listed as a "Kickstarter Supporter" on the Vamos Meninas website. AND once the film is available for public distribution, we will send you a link to download your own copy!

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    18 backers

    How awesome are you?!? You will receive all of the above + a signed still photo from the film (suitable for framing - really!)

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    32 backers

    A star is born! You will receive all of the above + see your name listed as a “Kickstarter Champion” on screen in the FILM CREDITS AND on our website! As if that was not enough, you will also receive an invitation to be on a conference call with the global creative team including the writer, director, select interview subjects, and editing team prior to the premiere.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $250 or more
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    8 backers

    You are wonderful! Thank you! You will receive all of the above + listing as a "Kickstarter Producer" on the website and in the film credits + you will receive access to links to behind the scenes footage, and a limited edition official Madame Presidenta "producer" hat.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    You are making our dreams come true! Thank you! You will receive all of the above + copy of the completed film on DVD and invitation to a private "launch" party with the writer and director and other members of the creative team prior to the premiere.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    6 backers

    You are officially our (s)hero! You and only fabulous you - will receive all of the above + crediting as "Kickstarter God/Goddess," + signed film poster, and option to screen the film in your community to support a women and girls' org in your hometown.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers

    You might just get a phone call from Heather's Mom! But certainly you will get a personal call from the Board Chair of WGF and the Writer/Director herself. And all of the above + links to view rough cuts. Listing on the website and in the credits as "Kickstarter Executive Producer."

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Funding period

- (60 days)