Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 1, 2013.

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KINGS, QUEENS, & IN-BETWEENS is a documentary on drag queens, kings, transgender performers, and the issue of gender expression.

KINGS, QUEENS, & IN-BETWEENS

THE TRAILER -- showing the film's style, characters, & themes:

ABOUT THE FILM

KINGS, QUEENS, & IN-BETWEENS is a documentary currently in production on drag queens, kings, and transgender performers in Columbus, Ohio.  The film is directed by Gabrielle Burton & produced by Five Sisters Productions.  We're in the middle of editing and need help to finish the film, so we're launching this kickstarter and hope you'll become part of the project.

Through personal stories of kings, queens, and transgender performers, the film ripples out to cover larger themes: what drag is & means... the definitions of family (biological and chosen)... Columbus as a vibrant creative city in the middle of a political swing state... GLBTQ rights & discriminatory policies like the anti-marriage law... and ultimately, the important difference between sex, sexuality, and gender.  This film captures how such terrific performers tackle the complexities and pathos of gender expression, personal identity, and human rights -- all with humor, great music, big hair, and duct tape.

KQIB will be the first film to include the entire gender performance spectrum - kings, queens, and "in-betweeners."

Read more about the story and the film on our website and on facebook.

WHO WE ARE:

Together with my four sisters (Maria, Jennifer, Ursula, and Charity), I helm the independent film company Five Sisters Productions (www.fivesisters.com).  I am directing KQIB, and we are editing the film with Mike Yearling.  FSP's films and commercial work include THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE (MTV/LOGO, 12 min, 2007), LETTING GO OF GOD (Showtime, 130 min, 2008), MANNA FROM HEAVEN (MGM/Sony/Starz, 119 min, 2002), TEMPS (93m, 1999), JUST FRIENDS (AMC/We Channel, 99 min, 1996), SAGE & TIME (ESAV Toulouse, 1993), Your Stories documentary ad campaign for Ford Motor Company, Victoria’s Secret creative partner (2010-current), “CAST” 8-minute doc on human trafficking (2010), + spin-off campaign of spots on human trafficking with Julia Ormond. Click here and here to see more the sisters.

A CHARITABLE PARTNERSHIP:

We are partnering with the charity Project Zero Ohio as our 501c3 fiscal sponsor. Frustrated with the strain on HIV/AIDs funding and its effect on members of the community, physician Randy Sharma, entrepreneur Steven Weaver, and gay activist/ "Super Drag Queen" Nina West -- one of the performers featured in KINGS, QUEENS, & IN-BETWEENS -- joined forces to help raise funds for local HIV/AIDS charities and resources.  This means that not only are you part of a good project, but your donation is tax deductible.

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:

We need your help to finish the film.  Your support in this collaboration will enable us to finish the editing, composing, sound mixing, color correction, titles, dvd mastering and burning, and then to get the film to festivals and theaters.  We have finishing principal photography and are currently editing.  We have already culled around 120 hours of footage down to 11, and we are shaping this material into the rough cut.

WHERE YOUR FUNDING SUPPORT WILL GO:

Funds raised will help us finish the film.  After the film is completed, we plan to launch a audience outreach/social action campaign with community discussions, school visits, and conversation-starters with policy makers.  As a passion project, my sisters and I have been paid nothing because we believe in this film and feel it needs to be made.  Your funding on this kickstarter campaign will go entirely to getting the film done.

  • With $25,000 raised, we will hire an editor, a composer, and finish the film to picture lock.
  • An additional $10,000 raised here will help make a beautifully mastered dvd of the film with professional sound mix, color correction, and legal counsel.  We are also currently seeking funding angels and production partners to fill the rest of the budget needed to achieve this.
  • With every additional $2500 raised on kickstarter, we will plan a new city for the film's community outreach tour (where I will accompany the film to lead Q&As and discussion events with charity partners across the country).
  • 90% of kickstarter funds go to the film, 10% go to kickstarter and credit card fees.
  • Your deduction is tax deductible minus the cost of the goods provided you in your rewards. Our estimate is that it should be approx. 80-90% of your donation, depending on your reward level.

IF WE DON'T MEET OUR GOAL:

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition, so your support will make or break this effort.  If we don't raise the full amount, we get nada.  So please tweet, post, and email this out to your friends to make this important film happen!

WHY THIS FILM - A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR:

I went to film school on a Rotary scholarship in France, where I fell in love with filmmaking.  I consider films to be modern-day storytelling, and I feel a strong sense of social responsibility in filmmaking -- starting with what story I’m putting out there. The intertwining of artistic expression with a commercial reality (distribution, financing, etc.) presents a vibrant challenge for any filmmaker, and I balance this with a focus on subjects and stories I care about creatively and personally, while keeping in mind accessibility for an audience. Each film I’ve made or project I’ve worked on has been different from the last -- a romantic comedy...a slice-of-life feature about the “other” side of GenX...a comedic fable about gender roles and marriage...Julia Sweeney’s monologue about religion and atheism...short doc spots on people and their cars for Ford...PSAs with Julia Ormond and a short doc piece about human slavery and trafficking...working with Victoria’s Secret as Creative Consultant on leadership development through filmmaking and storytelling -- these and other films my sisters and I have made all share a sense of hope in the human condition and interest in capturing a good story.

I wasn’t planning to make a film about drag.  Two years ago, a friend asked me to his husband’s show – and it turned out he’s a headlining queen in Columbus. The thriving world of drag here was exciting in its dynamic creativity, and it made me question assumptions I had. So I set out to make a film about it. KQIB focuses on the distinction between gender, sex, and sexuality as brought into question by the performances and personal stories of drag queens and kings.

I was immediately captured by the drag king and queen troupes here.  The people in the film are not only deeply thoughtful, talented, and magnetic personalities, but their compassion for those who have hurt them, who do not embrace them or even judge them, is remarkable.  This story must be brought to the screen.

From my research, I was surprised to find there hasn’t yet been a film to include kings, queens, and transgender performers together. How can there be so many films about drag, but not one that talks about kings AND queens?, I thought. Not one that addresses transgender performers alongside queens and kings?  It seemed an obvious subject for a film, because these performers are, in one sense, all doing the same thing – making us look at gender in a whole new light.  Through this, we can break down invisible or even unconscious barriers and presumptions that we might not even be aware we are perpetuating.

I feel so strongly about this film because campaigns against bullying and gay teen suicide must be supported — and part of this support has to focus on gender expression.  When people don’t fit into a box, it’s difficult; and frankly, few of us fit into those boxes.  I relate to this from my own youth.  Now I keenly feel the prevalence, influence, and significance of gender role assignments with my 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter — from toys and clothing selections, to gender assumptions in language (every animal being assumed to be male) and in playgroups (soccer for boys, crafts for girls), to a narrowing of their future’s possibilities based on their biological sex and constrained by their expected gender expression (“girls do this,” or “boys don’t do that”).  It is inescapable and difficult to question or resist, whether the enforcement is coming from themselves, their friends, their teachers, other adults (relatives, parents, shoppers in the grocery store), advertisements, television and films…or even from me.  We are raised wanting to categorize in the blink of an eye, and it is difficult to not continue with familiar binary-based assumptions.

For the release of KQIB, I want to screen the film at schools, universities, for policy makers, families of BGLTQIA individuals, as well as the general community, having community discussions about the differences between our identities of biological sex, sexuality, and gender. 

This isn’t easy stuff, and it’s laden with assumptions, judgment, and sometimes fear, anger, or emotional pain, but it’s critical that we think and talk about this important — and vital — issue.

“Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens” is a much-needed film that will serve to encourage community discussions and support for BGLTQIA individuals and their families.  A month ago, Vice President Joe Biden called transgender discrimination the “civil rights issue of our time,” referring to problems related to gender expression for everyone who is discriminated against because they do not fit into strict male-female, straight-gay, butch-femme categories.  I see this film as part of a movement to encourage positive understanding of the real and complex issues we face in our socialization when thinking about gender and sexuality.

Thanks to Vital Companies for their sound mix on these videos, and thank YOU so much for your support.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Kickstarter wants us to talk with you about challenges to the project, and how we're qualified to overcome them. The biggest challenge is time -- we want to finish this film as soon as possible. We have paid for everything so far out of our own pockets, not taking any salary, asking friends for favors... To get KQIB out faster, we need the funds to hire the editor full-time, get our composer on the case, and get the film DONE so we can start getting it out there -- to community groups, to schools, to policy makers, to audiences.

As this is an all-or-nothing venture on kickstarter, there is a risk in putting this film up that we might not make our funding goal -- but you can help ensure we do. Tweet this out. Post it on Facebook. Email the link. Tell someone in the press about it. Gather a group of funders together and get your name in the credits. A unique part of the art of filmmaking is how reliant it is on collaboration. A team makes a film -- from inception to the final sound mixing, color correction, and dvd mastering. Be part of our team on this groundbreaking film, and let's make this it happen together!

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    KQIB Makin' It Happen Club - KQIB e-newsletter with insider news on what's happening with the film. Plus your name with a glittering "Thank You" on our website.

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    The Buckeye Club - A printable digital signed photo from the movie + a listing of your name on our Facebook page and website! Plus KQIB e-newsletter with insider news on what's happening with the film. And with our partnership with the healthcare charity Project Zero Ohio, your donation is tax deductible.

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    Firework Club - You get all of the above PLUS a DVD of the film! Baby, you're a firework.

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    Drag Baby Club - You'll be credited in the film (ooh!) as a "KQIB Friend." PLUS a DVD of the film, KQIB e-newsletter with insider news on what's happening with the film, and we'll credit you on our facebook page & website. (This will raise your google rating highly.)

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    Woot Woot Club - You will be credited in the film as a "KQIB Friend with Benefits," as well as on our facebook page and on our website, PLUS all the rewards from $45 level, PLUS a signed photo from one of the film's stars. (And as with all levels, our partnership with Project Zero Ohio makes your donation tax deductible!)

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    Standing Ovation Club - You'll get ALL of the rewards from the $100 level (film credit, DVD, more!) -- plus a personalized introduction of you during a screening/community discussion of KQIB if it comes to your town or an announcement of your name at a city's screening of your choice. Warning: this will include applause.

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    Encore-Encore Club - You'll get ALL of the rewards of $150 level -- but let's hear it for a SECOND DVD! Both DVDs will be personalized and signed -- one for you, one for a friend. Or one for your coffee table and one for your bedside table so you can casually discuss your uber-cool film credit during any occasion.

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    Third Encore Club - Do I hear a third personalized signed DVD and we'll buy your ticket to the film at a screening of your choice? YES. (Gift shopping: DONE.) Plus the extra gifts from the $150 level! And remember, our partnership with Project Zero Ohio (http://projectzeroohio.com/) makes your donation tax deductible too.

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    Drag Star Club - You'll get the photos, the newsletter, three DVDs, plus we'll buy you 2 tickets to a screening of your choice -- and specially introduce you at said screening, leading a group hip hip hooray for your generosity. PLUS: after the applause dies down, your credit as part of the "KQIB Supporter" in the film, on facebook, + our website will ring on. After all, what is a drag star without duct tape, and what would we be without your generosity? Let's not go there, and instead just say: huzzah for you. (And because of our partnership with Project Zero Ohio, your donation is tax deductible.)

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    Royalty Club - 2 tickets to KQIB's premiere + VIP premiere party in Columbus (sweet), invitations to festival screenings when possible (swank), AND you'll get all extra benefits from $350 level (swag). PLUS: You'll get a special credit in the film as "KQIB Film Team" (starlight), on our website (splendid), and a special loving tweet about you or to promote your business (super). Plus your donation is tax deductible because of our partnership with the terrific charity Project Zero Ohio (support). Is't possible to get ALL that?! Yes it is (swoon). **(Note: travel to screenings not included.)

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    Drag Angel Producers Club - In addition to 3 signed dvds, signed pictures, e-newsletter, insights-info-&-invites on VIP events, plus two tickets to a film screening, you can truly impress your friends with your credit as "Assistant Producer" in the film, online, & in social media! Additionally, you and a group of 3 friends will get a table at one of the Columbus Wests or Royal Renegades drag shows (travel not included) so you can see the magic up-close. But wait, there's more. To inspire you after the show: you'll also get your own drag kit, including either a glue stick to paste down bushy eyebrows or to add facial hair, a roll of duct tape, a wig, and an outfit, dress, or suit to fashion for your own drag performance -- but this isn't just a thrift shop find: it's an actual costume worn in the MGM movie "Manna From Heaven" by one of the stars Shirley Jones, Cloris Leachman, Frank Gorshin, Wendie Malick, Jill Eikenberry, Seymour Cassel, Harry Groener, or Shelley Duvall! Best of all, perhaps: you will receive a personalized "Certificate of Drag Angelitude."

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    Queen or King of Queens/Kings Club - This is the serious VIP treatment. You will get credited as "Associate Producer" on the film. In addition to the personalized signed photos & 3 DVDs, drag kit, and table at a Columbus Wests or Royal Renegades drag show, we'll ALSO do a special screening of the film for your friends & family or community group of choice WITH a special Q&A with Director or a Producer in person or via skype, during which you can ask any burning questions (about the film, filmmaking, social activism, working with family, or maybe just chat about organic food, opinions on poetry, thoughts on NPR stories...). Enough, you say? No, this is all about glam, so... Not only can you feel good about your tax deductible donation because of our partnership with the great charity Project Zero Ohio, but the icing on top? We will call you up to shout "hip hip hooray for you" randomly over the course of the year. (Ok, this part of your reward does have an opt-out clause.) ...................................................................  (If you are interested in "Executive Producer" credit level and all its rewards, please contact us.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)