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$6,692 pledged of $55,555 goal
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By Jessiline Berry
$6,692 pledged of $55,555 goal
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About this project

“There are movies I want to make. This is a movie I have to make.” ~ Jessiline Berry

ABOUT THE MISSION

Consent issues are devastating young women across the country, and a concrete definition of sexual consent needs to become widespread and commonplace. The narrative feature film, A Night to Remember, aims to challenge our culture's understanding of sexual consent and show how, when a women is put in danger of losing sexual agency, and/or fear of physical violence, she is often too traumatized or scared to fight, or even say no. But not saying no, is not giving consent. If it’s not a yes, it’s a no.

RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) has worked with over two million survivors, and is currently using #MyNameOurVoice to promote their petition to request that the President of the United States and Congress make issues of sexual violence a top priority. A Night to Remember plans to support RAINN’s effort, and use #NotAYesItsANo to get the word out about the important issue of sexual consent.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Just three hours ago, they were strangers at a party; now Will is stopping Rayna from getting into an Uber so she can spend the night getting into him. The two “could be” lovers set off on a moonlit adventure through Los Angeles. But by morning’s light, Rayna will know Will all too well. For better. Or for worse.

The film begins in the vein of the movie, Before Sunrise. It’s a conversation without end. It’s the indescribable high of connecting with someone you’ve just met, yet feel like you’ve always known. As Rayna and Will traipse throughout L.A., the viewer too will be eased into a meandering, poetic daze, like in the film, Medicine for Melancholy. But there will also be an undercurrent of subtle, eerie dis-ease that foreshadows the unfortunate ending. A Night to Remember will be a smooth, very curated journey from light to dark, similar to the shocking ending of Catherine Breillat’s, Ma Soeur, or the masterful slow burn that is Karyn Kusama’s, The Invitation.

Rayna, a reserved and intellectual Blo-ho chick (Black Bohemian), shows up at a party after having not seen her friends in months. The party is a Blipster rager (Black Hipsters) where neo-soul cool and pontificating potheads coexist, but where Rayna sticks out like an unpretentous sore thumb. The fatigue of being too long out in the world has Rayna itching to go back home. She slips out of the party, undetected by anyone – except Will.

They begin their epic first date, running around Los Angeles, bar-hopping, eating French food and hot dogs, talking about gender roles, cheating exes, and the intersectional mind bomb that is female Blackness. They get into all kinds of fun and flirty mischief together, but by the next morning, Rayna's dream date turns into a nightmare when Will forces her into sex. She’s stunned and too shocked to put up a fight. The sex is gritty and raunchy and the worst part is, it seems possibly, to Will, it’s just that – sex. But to Rayna, it is obviously rape. And just like that, a night she thought she’d always want to remember, becomes the morning she’s doomed to never forget.

ABOUT THE MOVIE MAKERS

Thanks to Bensound.com for music for the Kickstarter video. Our team is still growing! We’re so happy to have as our core creatives:

Jessiline Berry - Producer/Writer/Director

 

A University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University graduate, Jessiline, is an LA-based filmmaker and screenwriting instructor. A diehard advocate for women in media, Jessiline’s mission is to do whatever she can to celebrate and co-create amazing content that respects the fact that talent is genderless! She studied screenwriting and directing at the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University in NYC. She’s grateful to have been a fellow in both the Guy Hanks & Marvin Miller Writing Program (a.k.a. the Cosby Writing Program), and the Film Independent Screenwriters Lab. She’s worked in varying capacities for projects produced by Synthesis Films (Making a Murderer), Character Studies Productions (Rose), BET Networks, and Lee Daniels Entertainment. The National Black Programming Consortium called her “a writer/director to watch,” and after completing A Night to Remember, Jessiline plans to continue her journey toward directing the indie-spirited boxing film, Esquinado, with her mentor, Karyn Kusama, as a creative producer/advisor. Jessiline also works as a script consultant through her company, FemmeMaker Productions, helping a diverse roster of writers move them from first, to final draft. See her reel.

Layton Blaylock - Director of Photography

 

Layton, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film, began working as a cameraman in 1977. In 1990, he began work as a commercial director/cameraman and has won many national and regional awards for his work. He’s worked with filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Chris Columbus, and Dennis Hopper and for media companies like NBC, Disney/ABC, Warner Brothers, and Universal. In 2005, he won an Emerging Cinematographer Award from the International Cinematographers Guild for his work on the short film, Spring Cleaning, directed by Jessiline Berry. Recently, Layton produced, directed, and shot the powerful feature length documentary, Art from the Streets, which has been invited to several film festivals. Layton also has a commercial production company in Austin, TX, Inferno Films.

Kate Hickey - Editor

 

Kate is currently an editor on the HBO show Girls, and has worked as an Assistant Editor for acclaimed film editors Dylan Tichenor (Brokeback Mountain, The Town) and Myron Kerstein (Raising Victor Vargas, Garden State). She’s also completing her directorial debut with the feature documentary, Roller Dreams.

Graduating from Sydney Film School in 2005, Kate was the recipient of the Sculpting Pictures Award for film editing. In 2007, Kate won the Cineme Prosperitié Award for a short documentary she produced and edited on the humanitarian business, Toms Shoes. In 2013, she edited the feature film, Farah Goes Bang, which won the Nora Ephron award at the Tribeca Film Festival, and best narrative film at Comcast. And in 2014, she was shortlisted for the Sally Menke Editorial Fellowship with Sundance. Kate met Jessiline in NYC when she came on board to edit Jessiline’s award-winning short film, That’s Good, That’s Enough.

Risks and challenges

The $55.5k we're raising on Kickstarter will help fund a very ambitious low-budget production. We have a lot of night shooting and crowd control issues to consider. Luckily the filmmakers have professional affiliations that afford discounts to certain lighting and grip houses. And crowds...well, we'll just have to run-n-gun, like back in film school.

But, seriously, Layton is a seasoned professional. He's MacGyvered his way out of more production problems than he can count. And Kate is a superstar whose sensibility and nuance will ensure a great final film. And Jessiline? She's got a strong vision, a strong voice, and a strong sense of purpose. This film is destined to make it to audiences.

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    Extraordinary Eleven

    We'll personally thank you on social media for saying YES to YES is YES consent!

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    Double Down

    We won't just thank you on social media, we'll do it on video! And get a download of special "behind the scenes" photos from the shoot. It'll be just like you were part of the crew...without the long hours!

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    Updates, download of the film, a cast signed A NIGHT TO REMEMBER postcard, and a stack of "If it's not a YES, it's a NO" cards that you can leave at bars, at college parties, or anywhere else the message of YES is YES consent can make a difference!

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    Road to Recovery

    Have you experienced sexual assault? Be a card-carrying member, and have a private call with writer/director, Jessiline Berry, about her road to recovery after sexual assault. She will help you connect with project supporter, The Center for Healthy Sex, to get a free assessment session to participate in one of their Women's Intimacy Groups in Los Angeles.

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    Help is Here

    Have you experienced sexual assault? Be a card-carrying member, and have a private call with writer/director, Jessiline Berry, about her road to recovery after sexual assault. She will help you connect with project supporter, The Center for Healthy Sex, to get a free therapy session in Los Angeles.

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Funding period

- (60 days)