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Based on the award-winning script, Promise Me will wreck your emotions in the best way possible.
128 backers pledged $6,681 to help bring this project to life.

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Promise Me - A short film about Death with Dignity project video thumbnail
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$6,681

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"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:

Poster with laurels & awards
Poster with laurels & awards

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. 

Festival Sponsorships:

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Thanks via Facebook and Twitter

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    Digital copy of the script + shout out on social media

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Personalized "Thank You" photo from Teagan Jai Boyd, who plays "Lizzie" in the film. + Thank you in the credits of the film + shout out on social media

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    ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Ann Arbor Film Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Santa Barbara, California.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    FLICKERFEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Flickerfest International Short Film Festival in Bondi Beach, Australia.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    LEEDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Leeds International Film Festival in Leeds, England.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    SHOW ME SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Show Me Shorts Film Festival in Auckland, NZ.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    Swear Jar/Bank designed for you by Teagan Jai Boyd - LIMITED AVAILABILITY + Thank you in the credits of the film + shout out on social media

    Teagan had a swear jar on set, and while there wasn't much swearing going on, she managed to collect $101 that she promptly donated to Austin Pets Alive. She has generously offered to create three of these to give away!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Because we know this is the most popular donation level, we wanted to make more options available once the swear jars are gone!

    Digital bundle!
    This option will get you a digital copy of the film, access to on-set behind the scenes photos, along with the perks for $25 and lower.

    You'll also get a Thank you in the credits of the film.

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    LEEDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Leeds International Film Festival in Leeds, England.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    AFI FEST SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying AFI Fest in Los Angeles, California.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE CINE DE CARTAGENA DE INDIAS SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias in Bolivar, Colombia.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival in St. Louis, Mo.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    FOYLE FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Foyle Film Festival in Derry, Northern Ireland.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Chicago International Film Festival in Chicago, Illinois.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    A screen-used prop from the film. LIMITED AVAILABILITY + Thank you in the credits of the film + Digital copy of the film + shout out on social media

    Lizzie's nail polish (2), Framed family photos (2) Medicine bottle, autographed by the director (10), Owen's wedding ring (1), Stella's watch(1) Stella's turban (2 - We had an extra)

    Quantities limited, you may request a specific prop, although it may not necessarily be available.

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    AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Austin Film Festival right here at home! If we get into the 2015 festival, it could be our World Premiere.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Autographed script, hand written note from the director, Digital copy of the film, DVD copy of the film (Delivery in 2016) Personal Thank you photo from Teagan, Thank you in the credits of the film + shout out on social media

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    RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP

    This generous donation will allow us to submit to the Oscar Qualifying Raindance Film Festival in London, England. If we get into the 2015 festival, it would be our World Premiere.

    The sponsorship of this festival will also get you all 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.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Associate Producer Credit + Advanced screening link of the film + DVD (Delivery in 2016)+ shout out on social media

    You will be listed in the credits of the film and on IMDb as an Associate Producer. This does not grant any creative control.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Executive Producer Credit + Advanced screening link of the film + DVD (Delivery in 2016)+ shout out on social media

    You will be listed in the credits of the film and on IMDb as an Executive Producer. This does not grant any creative control.

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    Producer - Listed as Producer and shares all non-monetary awards.

    This perk is specifically designed for someone that wants to be listed on IMDb and all other paperwork as a full Producer. Specifically, we are seeking someone to cover the full budget of the film in exchange for the rights to share any awards. This also means that once the film is Academy qualified, if it gets nominated for (or WINS) an Academy Award, this producer would also receive an Oscar as Producer of the film. This does not grant any creative control, nor does it guarantee any awards or accolades of any kind. (Technically, but we're confident it will be successful in film festivals.)

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Funding period

- (28 days)