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HAVEABABY is a documentary that follows couples struggling with infertility and a controversial IVF contest that offers them hope.
HAVEABABY is a documentary that follows couples struggling with infertility and a controversial IVF contest that offers them hope.
HAVEABABY is a documentary that follows couples struggling with infertility and a controversial IVF contest that offers them hope.
478 backers pledged $54,311 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$54,311

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We are so grateful that we met our $50K Kickstarter goal! For the remainder of our campaign, we have set an ambitious STRETCH goal for an additional $5K, so every dollar we raise now will go towards helping us hire the extremely talented Picturebox Productions to complete the graphics for the film. The graphics below are a sample of what these guys were able to pull off for our movie trailer! 

We set a conservative initial goal, because, let's be honest: that "all or nothing" rule about Kickstarter is scary, and Kickstarter is not just a fundraiser, it’s also a way for us to build a community around the film. That's why we are also STRETCHING for 500 backers. Anything we can raise now will help ensure our success and help spread the word! 

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Infertility Sucks.

More than 10 million Americans are unable to naturally conceive and carry a child to term, yet for fear of judgment or heartache or both, infertility stories are largely kept secret. For most of us, the ability to have a baby seems a given, until it's not.

HAVEABABY follows a controversial video contest sponsored by a Las Vegas fertility clinic. For many, IVF may be a last resort to start a family, but for those without thousands of dollars to gamble on the unpredictable procedure, this social media experiment – hosted on haveababy.com – could be their only hope. With intimate access to diverse couples on an excruciating roller coaster, the film repositions reproductive choice and explores how we cope with judgment, desire and loss.

The day we launched this campaign, our short trailer was released on the New York Times in this article, which raised questions about the contest and helped us start what we hope will be an ongoing and lively conversation. Writer K.J. Dell'Antonia wrote: 

“Please,” the woman says, staring directly into the camera at the end of a video that lays bare her infertility, her attempts, her losses, her hopes, her dreams, her fears. “Vote for me.”

The screen she speaks from shrinks and next to her appear three other small screens. “Vote for me,” they say, and as they speak they, too, shrink and multiply again, until there are 25 tiny screens, all saying essentially the same thing. “Vote for me.” Vote for me, vote for us, to win a free cycle of in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Vote for our last chance to have a family. Make us the “winners” in a contest of who has lost the most, so that we may try again.

That is one of many powerful moments in the trailer for Amanda Micheli’s documentary in progress, “HAVEABABY,” which follows the “I Believe Video Journal” contest, sponsored annually by the Sher Fertility Institute chain of fertility clinics, based in Las Vegas. It’s immediately clear that the screen could keep multiplying into an enormous chorus of desperation and hope...."

 Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo wrote about Amanda "coming out of the infertility closet" in the Huffington Post:

"Infertility is something that can change people's lives forever. And speaking out about it, when you are ready, can be very cathartic, contest or no contest.

Right now, both Amanda and I have the opportunity and a place in our lives to help give a voice to those people who can't yet be open about infertility. I can never shake the person that infertility made me. And I promise you, with every fiber of my being, whenever I do anything on this subject, those people still struggling are in my heart and on my mind. And if we speak out enough -- whenever and however we each feel is appropriate for us -- hopefully someday this contest won't be needed."

 HAVEABABY has been selected as IndieWIRE Project of the Day for Thursday, December 3, 2015!

AMANDA MICHELI – Director / Producer / DP 
Amanda is an Oscar-nominated director and a celebrated cinematographer. In 2014, she produced the award-winning film, SLOMO, which was shortlisted for an Oscar and won best short documentary at SXSW and the IDA Awards. In 2008, LA CORONA premiered at Sundance and won an Oscar nomination before airing on HBO. 

Amanda’s award-winning feature DOUBLE DARE, which followed the struggles of two Hollywood stuntwomen, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival before its PBS broadcast and theatrical release in 2005. Amanda also co-directed ONE NATION UNDER DOG for HBO, which premiered at Tribeca and won an Academy of Television honor for "Television with a Conscience." Her first film, JUST FOR THE RIDE, won a student Oscar and IDA Award before airing on POV. Amanda’s other documentary credits as a DP and producer include Morgan Spurlock’s 30 DAYS and various Sundance and HBO films including: THIN, CAT DANCERS, and MY FLESH AND BLOOD

Amanda is a past visiting lecturer at Stanford’s MFA film program. She studied film at Harvard where she was an All-American in women’s rugby before representing the U.S. on the Women’s National Team. 

SERIN MARSHALL – Producer 
Serin Marshall began her career at the award-winning Moxie Firecracker Films, where she worked on numerous HBO films premiering at Sundance, including the Emmy-nominated BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLDSHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH, and THE FENCE. She also associate produced THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE (HBO), and was an archival producer for WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES (PBS). She has produced news stories for the GlobalPost, true crime stories for the Discovery Network, and recently produced two short documentaries for Loteria Films and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Before film, Serin worked as a researcher at the Yale School of Management, and as a Princeton-in-Asia Fellow in Thailand. 

GREG O’TOOLE – Editor
Greg O'Toole is an Emmy-nominated editor whose feature documentaries have screened at festivals around the world and premiered on PBS, ESPN, National Geographic, and others. Recent documentary features include AN HONEST LIAR which premiered at Tribeca in 2014, the Emmy-winning AFTER TILLER (PBS), BETTER THIS WORLD, which was nominated for three national Emmys including Best Editing (POV), and THE TWO ESCOBARS called “a miracle in editing” by IndieWire (Cannes/ESPN).

Our other talented contributors include (but are not limited to!):

This short trailer is embedded in our Kickstarter project video above, but if you only have a few minutes, here's your one-stop shopping:

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1. Back the Project - The trick with Kickstarter is, if we don't meet or exceed our $50,000 target, we get nothing. Any amount helps us achieve this goal! 

2. Spread the Word - Whether you are able to donate or not, sharing this project on your social media accounts or via email truly helps us build a community. 

3. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter - Amanda will be sharing her personal infertility dairies as well as updates about the film, behind the scenes pictures etc. 

4. Get in Touch  Have questions? Want to learn more? Write an article? Let us know by emailing us at info@runawayfilms.com. 

We Need Your Help Because... 

Filmmaking is expensive, and independent projects are often funded by grassroots campaigns. Many of our crew members share our passion for this project and have been working on a partially ‘deferred’ basis, but we would love to be able to pay them for their hard work and dedication. While we have had critical support from a few key funders (below), we still have a big fundraising goal ahead of us. We are applying to film festivals with a rough cut, but we have several phases of "finishing" ahead of us. We need help taking the film to the finish line, and this $50,000 Kickstarter goal will cover our first critical step to get there. 

In addition to fundraising, this campaign is all about getting the word out and building a community. The goal: to give a voice to those whose lives have been affected by infertility in order to raise awareness.

Every Dollar Will Help With...

  • Our final weeks of editing to take us from rough cut to ‘picture-lock’ 
  • Sound design and editing
  • Final sound mix
  • Musical composition

How you do it: 

① Log into your Kickstarter account, or create a new account.

② Click the green “Back This Project” button at the top of this page.

③ Enter your pledge amount and select a reward tier (this is the reward you want to receive). If you don't want a reward, select "No Reward."

④ Submit your payment information, and that’s it!

You should receive a confirmation email moments after you submit your payment information. Kickstarter accepts debit or credit cards, and your card will only be charged after December 10th, and only if we are successful and reach our goal.

Need help? If you have questions at any time, email us at info@runawayfilms.com.

Risks and challenges

We have poured our blood, sweat and tears into this project for the past two years and are certain to complete the film in early 2016. Our challenges only lie in the final home-stretch and submitting our finished film to festivals. The Kickstarter funds and community will allow us to overcome these challenges.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    GRATITUDE: You'll receive our deepest gratitude for your support! You'll also be included on exclusive Kickstarter backer news and updates.

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    SHOUT-OUT: We'll include your name in a social media shout-out expressing our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

    You'll also be included on exclusive Kickstarter backer news and updates.

    *Let us know if you don’t want to be mentioned in a shout-out for any reason, or if you prefer a stage name.

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    VIP HOME THEATER: You'll be invited to view the film via an exclusive streaming link available after the film's festival premiere - and before it is available to the public!

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    POSTCARD EXPRESS: You'll receive an original postcard for HAVEABABY, designed by the talented Yen Tan (facebook/ottoistheone), sent directly to you with a personal note from the producers.

    You'll also receive a streaming link of the film, a social media shout-out and exclusive Kickstarter backer news and updates.

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    RUNAWAY NOSTALGIA #1 / DOUBLE DARE T-SHIRT: Get a Manly or Girly vintage DOUBLE DARE T-shirt delivered directly to you. PLEASE see Rewards deets and make sure to note your "gender" choice when you check out.

    You'll also receive a postcard, a streaming link to the film and a social media shout-out, as well as exclusive updates and news for Kickstarter backers!

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    POSTER CHILD: You'll receive an original poster for HAVEABABY designed by the talented Yen Tan (facebook/ottoistheone) shipped directly to you.

    You'll also receive a postcard, a streaming link to the film and a social media shout-out, as well as exclusive updates and news for Kickstarter backers!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    STUDY UP: Get an autographed copy of Dr. Sher's book "In Vitro Fertilization - The ART of Making Babies."

    You'll also receive a postcard, a streaming link to the film and a social media shout-out, as well as exclusive updates and news for Kickstarter backers!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SPECIAL EDITION DVD GIFT BAG: Get an autographed DVD of the film shipped directly to you!

    You'll also receive a postcard, a streaming link to the film and a social media shout-out, as well as exclusive updates and news for Kickstarter backers.

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    FARM FRESH FERTILITY: You'll receive one half dozen fresh eggs hand-delivered from Runaway Films' backyard farm in Oakland, CA. But don’t rush these ladies! - they are expected to start laying eggs in early 2016.

    Plus, you'll get everything in the SPECIAL EDITON DVD GIFT BAG package (above)!

    *Bay Area residents only

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    MAKE YOUR GARDEN GROW: You can't control your own fertility, but you CAN keep those plants alive, even in a drought!

    Carol Burdick, landscaper to the stars and Amanda's BFF, will provide you with a custom garden consultation at your Bay Area home.

    Plus, you'll get everything in the SPECIAL EDITON DVD GIFT BAG package (above)!

    *Bay Area residents only

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    RUNAWAY NOSTAGLIA #5:
    AUTOGRAPHED XENA PHOTO & XENA DOLLAR BILL
    For the Xena fans out there, this one is a special find! A 5x7 Xena picture autographed by Lucy Lawless and a dollar bill with Lucy’s face in place of George Washington!

    Plus, you’ll receive everything in the SPECIAL EDITION DVD GIFT BAG package!

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    RUNAWAY NOSTALGIA # 2 / LA CORONA DVD & POSTER: Receive an autographed copy and movie poster of the Oscar-nominated film by Amanda Micheli & Isabel Vega, which follows an unlikely beauty pageant in a Colombian women's prison.

    Plus, you'll get everything in the SPECIAL EDITON DVD GIFT BAG package (above)!

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    RUNAWAY NOSTAGLIA #7: VIP AUTOGRAPHED DOUBLE DARE DVD & POSTER
    An autographed DVD of Amanda’s award-winning film DOUBLE DARE, PLUS a “Xena”-themed DOUBLE DARE poster autographed by Zoë Bell, Jeannie Epper and Amanda Micheli.

    Plus, you'll receive everything in the SPEICAL EDITION DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

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    PRODUCER'S NIGHT: Enjoy a cocktail and conversation with Serin Marshall at a San Francisco Speakeasy. Serin will answer all your filmmaking, fertility, and amateur sociology questions.

    You'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package.

    *San Francisco Bay Area

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    RUNAWAY NOSTALGIA # 3 / WONDER WOMAN COLLECTOR'S ITEM: Hard bound coffee table book by Chronicle Books, autographed by the one and only Lynda Carter, featured in DOUBLE DARE. (See Rewards Deets!)

    Plus, you'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package!

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    RUNAWAY NOSTAGLIA #6: AUTOGRAPHED XENA MINI-POSTER
    Be the proud owner of an 11x4 mounted Xena picture autographed by Lucy Lawless herself!

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    THANK YOU CREDITS IN THE FILM: Your name on the big screen in the worldwide, festival version of the fllm!

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    HOMETOWN FESTIVAL TICKETS: Tickets for two to attend a screening of the film in your town or closest neighboring city! If Amanda or a crew member is in attendance you will get a private Q&A after the screening!

    Plus, you'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!.

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    RUNAWAY NOSTALGIA # 4 / WONDER WOMAN COLLECTOR'S ITEM: One of a kind Wonder Woman doll autographed by the one and only Lynda Carter, featured in DOUBLE DARE. (See Rewards deets!).

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    FILM BUFF: Two VIP tickets to an SF Bay Area film festival screening of HAVEABABY. The producers will meet with you after the screening for a personal Q&A at a local favorite!

    Plus, you'll receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

    *SF Bay Area / travel not included

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    RUNAWAY NOSTAGLIA #8: LIMITED EDITION: AUTOGRAPHED DOUBLE DARE DVD & RARE MOVIE POSTER
    An autographed DVD of Amanda’s award-winning film DOUBLE DARE, PLUS a special edition, discontinued “Wonder Woman”-themed poster autographed by Jeannie Epper, Zoë Bell and Amanda Micheli.

    Plus, you'll receive everything in the SPECIAL EDITION DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

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    NAUTICAL NIGHT: Enjoy a cocktail-hour row for two around the Bay in a historic whaleboat and have a conversation with the director in the bow. Ask Amanda all your filmmaking and HAVEABABY questions while you soak in the Bay Bridge lights and more.

    You'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!!

    *SF Bay Area / travel not included

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    WINE COUNTRY NATURE LOVER:
    Enjoy panoramic views of Sonoma County and the incredibly diverse array of native flora and fauna on this private, naturalist-led hiking tour for up to 8 people at the Pepperwood Preserve.

    (Amanda's sister, Dr. Lisa Micheli, Pepperwood's President & CEO, got the science brains in the family...See Rewards deets!)

    Plus, you'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!!

    *local Bay Area / travel not included

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    BIKE RIDE WITH A REAL HOLLYWOOD HERO
    Enjoy a 1-hour bike ride in Los Angeles’ Venice Beach with the amazing Zoë Bell! Zoë is an established and extremely talented stunt double and actress. Ask her all your questions about movie stunts, acting, and Tarantino’s new film, THE HATEFUL EIGHT….this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    Plus, you'll receive everything in the SPECIAL EDITION DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

    *Travel not included

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    VIP PREMIERE TICKETS PLUS PARTY: Tickets for two to attend our world premiere plus exclusive after-party access!

    You'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!.

    *Travel / lodging not included

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    PRIVATE BAY AREA SCREENING WITH THE PRODUCERS: Amanda and Serin will visit your home theater, school or community organization and conduct a Q&A with your private group.

    Plus, you'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

    *Local Bay Area only

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    BRING THE DIRECTOR TO YOU!
    Amanda will visit your home theater, school or community organization anywhere in the U.S. and conduct a Q&A with your private group.

    You'll also receive everything in the DVD GIFT BAG package and a thanks on the big screen!

    *Travel / lodging included within the US.

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Funding period

- (30 days)