"Promise Me" is an emotionally charged social drama in which a once flourishing woman, now at the end of her life, struggles to ensure that her recently reconciled son does not make the same mistakes that she did.
Here's the trailer for the film:
Why I made this film:
In 1998 I was working as an HIV Risk Reduction counselor in Philadelphia . I was talking to one of my co-workers, when she mentioned that her Mom had died the year before. As we got to know each other better, more details came out about her mother's illness and the circumstances surrounding her death. While it's clear that her Mom died as a result of cancer, it wasn't the cancer that killed her. She took her own life before that could happen. I was stunned. My friend never provided me with any details. This was the first time I had ever come face-to-face with the idea of death with dignity. The whole concept hit me with such a measurable force, that I never forgot about it. This film is a work of fiction, but it tells the true tale of what many individuals go through. Events much like this one take place in our country every day. Sometimes legally, other times, not.
The cast and crew:
Gayland Williams leads our cast as Stella, who is in the last stages of lung cancer and whose dying wish is to convince her recently reconciled son Owen, played by Craig Nigh to be a better father to his daughter, Lizzie who is portrayed by Teagan Jai Boyd. Step Rowe is Debbie, Owen's wife, Lizzie's Mom, and the rock of the family. Judy McMillan portrays Rita, who is a counselor from a Death with Dignity advocacy agency.
Our amazing Director of Photography is Andrew Baird. Andrew and I have been trying to find a way to work together for more than two years and when this project came up, there was no question as to who I wanted to shoot it. My right and left hand were Mark Farris, AD and Donna Swafford, UPM. Stella's amazing make-up was expertly applied by Robin McShaffry.
You can check out the rest of the cast & crew here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4425274
What your donation covers:
We are raising money to finish the film. It has already been shot and while many of the expenses have been paid, there are still more to come. We need to finish paying the post production costs associated with any film, including editing, sound mixing, and color correction.
We also need to pay for all of our promotional materials, including DVD/Blu-Ray discs, Digital Cinema Package creation and the drives to hold the DCP. We need lobby cards and posters printed for promoting the film at festivals all over the world.
Our greatest expense comes in actually getting the film out there for people to see. Film festival fees are a major financial burden for filmmakers. Nearly every US film festival and many foreign festivals require fees ranging from $10 to nearly $100+. If the film is accepted into a major festival such as Cannes, Berlin, or Sundance, shipping of the DCP drive can also cost upwards of $100, depending on the country.
There are various, and what seem like random amounts that are specific to certain festivals. By being the sponsor for that festival, you'll guarantee that we are entered, based on the closest date of submission after final completion of the film. June 15 is when the film is scheduled to be 100% complete and ready for submissions, and that gives us the opportunity to submit to Oscar qualifying festivals. The first 18 festivals we are submitting to are Oscar qualifiers. (Beginning with St. Louis Int'l Film Festival and going through SXSW) The sponsorship of a festival will also get you any of the digital perks that come at lower donations. They all will get your name in the credits, a digital copy of the script and film as well as a personalized thank you from Teagan in addition to shout outs on social media. The submission fees vary greatly based on the fee at the time of submission. The later the deadline, the more expensive it is.
On Academy Qualification:
One cannot presume that any film, no matter how good, will win at an Academy qualifying festival. That's why the screening option is available for short films, but like everything else - it comes with a cost. In order to guarantee that the Academy will vote on the film for the 2017 Academy Awards, it will cost nearly $2000.
Due to the overwhelming positive reception of the script and the superior acting, cinematography and editing, I feel it's actually a necessity to allow the Academy to watch and vote. It may be a long shot, but I'm happy to take that chance. I hope you are as well.
Risks and challenges
Risks? What risks?
As for risk to you, there really isn't much of one. The film is almost complete. We're trying to do some financial housekeeping and pave the road ahead with gold. This is all or nothing, financially speaking, and if we do not reach our $5000 goal, then we get nothing and you lose nothing. We sincerely hope that does not happen.
Regarding that $10,000 perk
Trust me, I know how some people are going to think that's fanciful or ridiculous. I get it. However, since the Academy paperwork has TWO "recipient" lines, I thought I would offer the opportunity to someone that has the means to fund the entire budget of the film. I don't expect that anyone would actually do it, but it's like the Academy qualification in the first place - If you don't put yourself in the position to win, then you definitely will not. No one has ever won an Oscar without doing what it takes to get there. In this case, it's as simple as writing a check.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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