Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 21, 2013.

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In the United States of America, all men are created equal. Women? Eh... not so much.

--UPDATE--

WE HIT OUR GOAL! If we can keep this number going up, we can do an additional 4 day shoot in the South!

THANK YOU to each person who pledged to get us to our goal of $87,000!
OUR NEW STRETCH GOAL IS $138,530.00 (Total Goal)

I just got off the phone with Jeff Mueller, Line Producer, and he roughly estimated this to be what we would need to do an additional shoot in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida to talk to women about healthcare, maternity & reproductive rights issues, hip hop culture (I want to interview Kimberly Roberts from “Trouble The Water” who works with a female hip hop collective in New Orleans), child homelessness and female poverty (we want to speak with Barbara Ehrenreich in Florida). There has also been a lot of action on ERA, on the state level, in Florida – one of the states that still has not ratified ERA-- it would be good to follow that situation.

From what I can tell, the southern part of the country is home to some of the most difficult situations for American women. The nexus of race, class and gender come together in a very illustrative way and I think the film would benefit from that additional footage.  Thank you so much for your pledge!

ABOUT THE FILM:

Back in the seventies there was a joke
“How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
Answer: “That’s not funny!” 

Yeah, yeah, yeah – if you cared about gender equality, you were humorless, man-hating, and most likely hairy. This caricature was used to dismiss the views of those fighting for equal rights for women in the Constitution.  The ERA - Equal Rights Amendment. Remember that?

Well, it never passed. Most Americans think we already have equal rights between men and women, but the fact is we don't.  

Check out our trailer for a shocking look at how many attacks have been launched in the past couple of years to overturn hard-fought women’s rights. 

In the tradition of Michael Moore’s Sicko and Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock, Equal Means Equal will follow Kamala Lopez as she aims to find out what and who is really behind these attacks with a blend of humor and verve. 

Kamala and her film crew are journeying across the country to learn what women think about their lives, how/if they want them to change and what difference a constitutional Equal Rights Amendment would have on them. 

Kamala, an award-winning filmmaker and actress who's appeared on dozens of TV shows and films, is tough yet puts a bit of fun into feminism. Think Sarah Silverman, but half-Latina/half-East Indian and straight out of Brooklyn. For almost 20 years, her production company Heroica Films has been creating independent media including film, tv, and web video with a focus on women.

Equal Means Equal will be a creative blend of original interviews, archival footage, motion graphics, visual arts and storytelling as only Kamala Lopez and Heroica Films can bring it.  The interviews will cover four generations of American women grappling with the status of their rights, the issues they face and how these have impacted our society.

So far we’ve shot in D.C. and California, talking with women from the well known, such as Patricia Arquette and Courtney Cox, to the unknown, including gang girls and hotel maids, to ask how being female impacts daily life, whether economically, politically or socially. 

Kamala learns from the bill’s lead Congressional sponsors why they’re fighting so hard to reintroduce the ERA despite great odds. She seeks insight and historical perspective from heavy-hitters in such seminal women groups as NOW (Terry O'Neil), The Feminist Majority (Eleanor Smeal), National Coalition of Women's Organizations (Roberta Francis) and the National Women’s Political Caucus (Bettina Hager).  Lopez also connects with 2.0 feminists like UltraViolet, Miss Representation and Hollaback who’ve turned social media into an effective weapon against the War on Women. 

Already in the can are interviews with inspiring individuals and groups including Mormons for ERA, attorneys from Equal Rights Advocates, who helped Betty Dukes bring her sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart to the Supreme Court, a Republican Virginia State Senator who helped pass a State ERA because he had four sisters and a Black Baptist minister who views women’s rights on par with human rights. 

And for anyone who thinks feminists aren’t funny, Kamala gets an earful from female comedy writers and performers plucked from the offices of Ellen, Conan, Jimmy Kimmell Live, Chelsea Lately, Late Night With David Letterman, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. From Chelsea Handler to Wanda Sykes, we will hear the best female comics take on the issues women are dealing with hilarious and ruthlessly honest results.

Now we’re raising funds to take this narrative to the next stage. We're heading to New York where we’ll interview experts and examine issues such as:

- Global Women's Rights - We will speak with Soon-Young Yoon from the Committee on The Status of Women at the UN and Ellen Chesler (Roosevelt Institute) on how the United States refusal to ratify a treaty for international women’s rights (CEDAW) reflects on our situation here at home. 

- Men's Rights - Kamala will be hanging with a men’s group who believes the ERA is the only way men will be able to get justice in the family courts. 

- Equal Justice - We will investigate the effect of state ERAs on rates of incarceration and pay equity, speaking with legal expert Linda Wharton.

- and much more...

ABOUT THE CREW:

The creative force behind Equal Means Equal starts with Kamala Lopez, an award-winning actress, screenwriter, director and producer. She has appeared in over thirty feature films, including I Heart Huckabees, Born in East L.A., Deep Cover and The Burning Season opposite the late Raul Julia and directed the award-winning film about first US Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin -- A Single Woman. Her short Spanish-language film Ese Beso won the Audience Award at the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival and just won the 2013 Jury Prize at the Señorita Cinema Festival. 

Lopez formed production company Heroica Films in 1995 with the mission to write, direct and produce media with a focus on utilizing women both in front and behind the camera. Since then Lopez and Heroica Films have produced, directed and written many short films, several features, film festivals, podcasts and virtual Internet media campaigns. 

She received the Woman of Courage award from the National Women's Political Caucus for her work on social justice and women's rights and was named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women's eNews. 

Equal Means Equal Producer Gini Sikes is an investigative journalist, the author of 8 Ball Chicks: A Year in the World of Girl Gangs (Doubleday/Anchor) a chronicle of daily life for gang girls in three American cities. She was an associate producer for the feature documentary Jesus Politics, and on a six-part international TV series for ARTE on Global Capitalism. Awarded a Knight Fellowship for Journalists from Stanford University, Sikes has produced documentaries on reproductive health, teen violence and prostitution and Rock the Vote Election specials for MTV, Vh1, TLC, PBS and Discovery. She frequently covers women’s issues for Essence, The Washington Post Marie Claire, Glamour, The New York Times and others. 

Other Producers include Jeff Mueller (top independent line producer), Joel Marshall (Producer, Post Supervisor and Digital Delivery Specialist - Tech Director) and in New York we have the logistical support of Chip Hourihan (Sundance Award winning producer of Frozen River). 

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN:

Our aim is to raise funds to cover production expenses. We’re determined to complete our indie doc as soon as possible, so we can tour with the film in the fall of 2014 to provoke discussion. 

Your financial support, with a range of wonderful prizes, will display your dedication to independent filmmaking, female filmmakers and to supporting creative means of encouraging dialogue about an important subject that affects us all.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The challenges of making a film of any kind are legion and constant. As the hands-on producers of over a dozen films, new media campaigns, and PSAs, our team has seen and surmounted many of them and they have the problem-solving skills to get the job done. We guarantee you that if this project is funded, the film will shine a light on the state of women's rights in this country as well as internationally.

We also have the support of the dozens of people who have been donating their time, talent and energy to this project from its' inception and are ready to jump in and help out if necessary. Thanks to everyone who is putting some "skin in the game" as Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a strong advocate for this film and sponsor of ERA in Congress, likes to say :)

FAQ

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    ~ 8 Ball Chicks ~ One of the Equal Means Equal filmmakers, journalist Gini Sikes, spent a year living in the violent world of female gang members in Los Angeles, San Antonio and Milwaukee for her book "8 Ball Chicks". "I began this book in fear, but I ended it in hope. I liked these girls. Many of them, despite great adversity, chose not to become the career criminals maligned in the media. They left gangs through the sheer force of their own will. They were a constant source of inspiration." Pledge $100 and receive the book, "8 Ball Chicks: A Year in the Violent World of Girl Gangs", signed by Gini Sikes + all downloads and acknowledgments!

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