Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 3, 2012.

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A feature film about a family falling apart as it deals with sexuality, religion and the special pain that family brings.

NEW GOAL:  $10,000!

We are so excited we reached our goal, but movies are expensive! Help us reach our new goal!  This additional funding will be used to rent more equipment, feed and house cast and crew and cover transporation costs!  Pledge, Spread, Love!!!

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THE FILM

Maybe God Is Talking To You follows Carol, a widowed woman in her late fifties, through the hardest day of her life.  It is one month since the death of her husband and ten years since she kicked her gay son out of their religious Christian household.  Her only family is her daughter, Joy, an angry cop, and their relationship is anything but easy.  On top of this, she has been receiving phone calls and letters from a man purporting to be her husband's lover.

On the day our story begins, during a doctor's appointment, Carol learns she is HIV positive.  Stunned and shaken, she sits lifelessly through her support group, Christian Mothers of Homosexual Children. As the meeting ends, a man in a button down and khakis shows up at her house.  It is Timothy, her gay son, returning home.  Carol, maybe God is talking to you...

"Carol" (Barbara Duncan)

WHERE IS THIS HAPPENING?

The El Morro Valley in western New Mexico is home to an incredibly diverse group of people and organizations.  I've been hosted by my two friends, Tony and Eden at Starcloud Farms, where I wrote the script this past fall.  In February, a group of local actors and I put together a reading of the script at the Old School Gallery.  

The Gallup Journey, a local newsmagazine, covered our staged reading process here.

After each performance, we had a community feedback session where people could share their thoughts on the film and their stories.  Here is some video of the community session:

On March 24th, we held an amazing concert to raise money for the film, using local musicians who will be coming together to develop a soundtrack for the film.  It was a beautiful night.  Thank you everyone who came and supported.  Here's a clip:

Many thanks to the  Ancient Way CaféEl Morro Feed & Seed, and Zuni Mountain Sanctuary for their incredible support of this project!

The film will be shot in and around the El Morro area, using a mixture of local cast and crew and friends/professionals from CalArts in Los Angeles.

Watch a short film we made out here in 2010 here (scroll down).

THE INSPIRATION

On the radio, I heard this woman speaking about how she kicked out her son when he had come out to her at 18.  She remembered spouting Scripture at him, things she admitted she didn't wholly understand.  She talked about how she spent the next 10 years in pain, regretting what she had done.  She started a support group of other mothers and after ten years, she finally heard from her son, who was "still homosexual" but also still a Christian and wanted his family back. They somehow managed to work together to make a new kind of family.  Throughout her story, she never lost her compassion or her humanity.

A year later, I heard an episode of This American Life where a woman discovered that her dead father had cheated on her mother with men and had given her mother HIV.  She was filled with anger and confusion.  Gay men wrote her letters to get her to understand where her father was coming from, but for her, this was no excuse for the lies, deceit and destruction her father had caused.  

Maybe God Is Talking To You combines these two stories into one family, one house, over the course of one day.  The film reveals the sadness, pain and absurdity in a culture where our basic equal rights are still being debated. 

WHAT WILL YOUR FUNDS GO TOWARDS?

The script was designed to be made on a small budget, and your funds go directly towards the creation of the film.  It will help cover:

  • Travel
  • Food
  • Equipment rental
  • Location fees
  • Crew
  • Props, costumes, set dressing

This is a small amount of money to do something big!  Every dollar of your pledge will be used efficiently to make this happen!

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!

THE TEAM

Cinematography - Norbert Shiehis a Los Angeles-based filmmaker & cinematographer. His films have screened internationally in festivals and venues such as the New York Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, REDCAT, Antimatter Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. In addition, Shieh has shot more than twenty short films as a director of photography. Shieh is a recent Creative Capital grantee for his upcoming feature-length project, Preserves, to be in production Fall/Winter 2012. He holds a BA in Visual Arts from University of California, San Diego and received an MFA in Film and Video at the California Institute of the Arts.

Assistant Director - Ian Samuels is a filmmaker and puppetry artist based in Los Angeles.  He received his MFA in film directing from CalArts and a BFA in film/video from Bard College.  He has worked for the Jim Henson Company and Sesame Street.

Watch the short films I made with Norbert and Ian here and here.

Assistant Camera -Wey Wang

Associate Producer - Jessie Wagner received her Masters in Business Management from University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  

Associate Producer - Sophia Tripodi has been involved in performing arts since childhood, ranging fro theater, dance, film and music.  She studied theater and creative writing at San Juan College and is currently pursuing a double major from New Mexico State University.  She has lived in the El Morro area for many years.

Wardrobe - Clay Robinson

Set Dressing - Anita Davis Schafer

Digital Manager - Kirk Shoemaker

Steadicam - Rich Romero

Still Photographer  - Melody Matthews is a photographer living in the El Morro area.  She is also quite the ukelele player!

Music-  Cade Johnson, Maxwell Von Raven

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A photo card by Redwulf!

Here's what  a Thank You looks like!

Ghost's juniper and piñon tears

Redwulf's Apple Green Chile Piñon Nut Pie from the Ancient Way Café

An example of Norbert Shieh's polaroid photography. See more here.

An example of Maqui's beautiful pottery.

A video of Cade Johnson.  Imagine him crooning your name!

A painting by Standing Feather!  You, too, can be this gorgeous! (SOLD OUT!!)

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Video credits: Music by Cade Johnson, Reading footage by Kjell Boersma, Song "Maybe God Is Talking To You" written by Bera Dordoni.

FAQ

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    7 backers

    Deep gratitude, a handmade thank you card made by Redwulf (scroll down for pictures) and a thank you on our website!

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    All of the above plus a postcard from the set (we'll all sign it!) and a digital download of the film.

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    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    For a special ten people, on top of all of the above, Ghost will make you a special packet of juniper and piñon resin tears for your aromatic pleasure! Locally wildcrafted.

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    All of the above plus a signed DVD and a THANK YOU In the credits!

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    An enviable five will receive an Apple Green Chile Piñon Nut Pie made by Redwulf at the Ancient Way Café, on top of everything at the $50 level.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    THE 1% PLEDGE - Our cinematographer, Norbert, will take three polaroids on the set and in the landscape during our shoot. He'll frame them and send them to you! Plus you get everything at the $50 level!

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    Everything from the $50 level PLUS a hand-thrown pottery creation by local master Maqui (see left).

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    5 backers All gone!

    All of the above plus Cade Johnson will write you your very own song with your name and your favorite animal or natural object!

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    Everything from the $100 level plus Standing Feather will paint your portrait in his inimitable style.

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    All of the $100 level plus Producer credit for the film! Hello, Producer! Maybe God is talking to you!

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Funding period

- (45 days)