WE'VE MADE OUR GOAL! Thank you to our backers! With a couple of days left in our campaign we now have a STRETCH GOAL of $40,000. We'd love to use the extra money to hire REAL MUSICIANS for our film score, and commission higher quality MOTION GRAPHICS that will add another visual dimension to our film. JOIN OUR TEAM!
Football and feminism collide in this feature documentary that follows a group of former NFL cheerleaders battling their teams and the NFL to end 50 years of wage theft and illegal employment practices. Their fight for wage and gender equality embodies the challenges faced by working women across all industries today.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Before coming to Los Angeles, I had no idea what football was. As an international student born in China and raised in Canada, I was struggling with isolation and the need for belonging. I fell in love with football because it made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. More than a sport, it's a metaphor for the American dream – that you can come from nothing, work hard, and become a champion, embraced by your community.
In 2014 I met Lacy, a woman who filed a historic class-action lawsuit against her former employer, the Oakland Raiders, fighting to be paid a minimum wage. Her story filled me with anger and heartbreak. My family left China to pursue freedom, and I came to the United States to pursue my dream. If the only visible woman working in a multi-billion dollar industry could be exploited, how could I be safe? When Lacy agreed to be a part of this documentary, Elizabeth came on board to produce this film and tackle this story with me. That same year, Lacy inspired four other women to speak out, including Maria P. who sued her team, the Buffalo Bills, and the NFL because she received zero payment for her work. Four years later, Elizabeth and I have crossed this continent more than a dozen times documenting these women’s legal and personal battles. Overdue conversations on gender equality have reached a fever pitch, creating a ripe environment to share a story of this magnitude on the NFL’s gross negligence toward the only visible women in their game.
Our team is currently in the throes of post-production. We started off as a team of two and have grown to become a collective of dedicated and passionate filmmakers on a mission. We’ve only been able to get this far because of the significant support we’ve received from Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Film Independent, Points North Institute, Firelight Media, as well as all the friends, mentors, and fellow industry cohorts along the way. We have recently partnered with Independent Television Service (ITVS, and arm of PBS), public media’s independent documentary branch, to bring this film to over 95 million public television viewers. We’re so close but still your help to cross the finish-line.
We think we have some fantastic rewards. We're sharing a couple samples here to get you excited! Please check our updates section for the full Rewards Spotlight!
When you donate $10, you can unlock this digital art download below, along with receiving our playlist + newsletter and social media shout out:
We also have lots of cool physical gifts that we will mail to you. We will be making A BAD ASS WOMEN CALENDAR ($75 level) featuring images by Nerdy Brown Kid of Dolores Huerta, Marichuy Martinez, Andrea Jenkins, Gloria Anzaldua, Marsha P. Johnson, Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou, Sameera Moussa, Sandra Cisneros, Anita Hill, Grace Lee Boggs, Lilly Ledbetter.
One of our $100 level gifts is a bundle that includes feminist stickers by Autumn Wilson, one of our social media and impact campaign artists, and a hand drawn individualized sketch by the director herself. These rewards are limited to the first 60 backers that choose this reward level so hurry hurry! Take a look at these talented women's work:
We are also offering one digital print from Samanta Helou's photo archives of women street vendors and workers in Los Angeles. These will be printed on high quality paper and mailed to you, at the $100 level. Take a peak below:
Don't forget to check out the boozy cooking class with Co-Producer, Jin Yoo-Kim at the $650 level. Read the rewards details to see everything you get! These are limited to the first 3 backers that choose this level so get ready to cook and eat!
Check out the rewards levels to the right and make your contribution today!
FINISHING FUNDS BREAKDOWN
We will finish editing the film by the end of this year. With the extra funds, we will get a needed boost to amplify our finishing process. Join our team and help us get the documentary into the world early next year!
WHAT WE NEED
We need to raise 20k from kickstarter and will need to continue to raise more funds through grants, equity partners, investors, and the like to get our film to the finish-line by the end of this year. We are hoping we can get to a kickstarter stretch goal of $50,000 so please spread the word!
WHO WE ARE
YU GU - DIRECTOR
YU GU is a filmmaker and visual artist born in Chongqing, China and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her first feature documentary, WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? which she co-directed and produced with Scott Drucker, was broadcast on Emmy Award-winning series America Reframed on PBS and released across all digital platforms by Vega Baby US.
ELIZABETH AI - PRODUCER/WRITER
Elizabeth Ai writes and produces narrative and documentary content for various companies such as VICE, ESPN, and National Geographic Channels. She is currently directing and producing a longitudinal documentary about indigenous Black Hmong tribe women in the foothills of Sapa, Vietnam.
JIN YOO-KIM - CO-PRODUCER/IMPACT PRODUCER
Jin Yoo-Kim is a Korean American filmmaker hailing from Bolivia. She is currently producing a feature documentary that expands the story of Manzanar, the WWII concentration camp to reveal that water is at the heart of why Japanese Americans, Native Americans, and Farmers/Ranchers are fighting against the U.S. Army and the LA Department of Water and Power for control of this land.
VICTORIA CHALK - EDITOR
Victoria Chalk is a British-Chinese film editor with over 10 years of post-production experience, and most recently edited PJ Raval’s feature documentary “Call Her Ganda,” which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Victoria attended the 2013 and 2015 Sundance Edit and Story Lab as a Contributing Editor.
FREIDA LEE MOCK - DIRECTING MENTOR
Freida Lee Mock is an American filmmaker, director, screenwriter and producer. She is a co-founder of the American Film Foundation with Terry Sanders. Her documentary, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision won an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 1995.
MAYA MUMMA - EDITING MENTOR
Maya Mumma, ACE, was an editor on “O.J.: Made in America” (Academy Award Winner, 2016 Best Editing award from the LA Film Critics Association, ACE Eddie Award, Primetime Emmy). Maya began her career with “Restrepo” (Academy Award Nominee, Grand Jury Prize Winner - 2010 Sundance Film Festival), edited the “Which Way Is the Front Line From Here: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington” (Emmy Nominated), “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley,” “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” (Peabody Award), “A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers” (TIFF 2015, PBS 2018), and the Netflix original series “Daughters of Destiny.”
CHRIS NGUYEN - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Chris Nguyen is an emerging documentarian born and raised in Orange County, California. He was previously a coordinator on this year's Sundance U.S. Documentary feature Inventing Tomorrow, as well as at A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network.
SAMANTA HELOU HERNANDEZ- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Samanta Helou Hernandez is a freelance multimedia journalist and visual storyteller. Her work revolves around Latinx culture and how it informs identity, history, and social issues. She has been published in publications such as LA Weekly, Remezcla, and KCET, among others.
ASHLEY BALL - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Ashley is a writer and activist filmmaker. Her original pilots have been produced, packaged, and optioned at various studios. She dreams of supporting underrepresented voices and highlighting human rights through film, television, and social advocacy.
ALLYSON NEWMAN - COMPOSER
Originally from Australia, Allyson gained her Masters degree in composition from the Sydney Conservartorium of Music. She moved to LA to study film scoring at USC. Allyson scored the multi-award-winning documentary feature Limited Partnership that premiered on PBS Independent Lens in 2015. Alongside composer Matt Novack, Allyson wrote music for the comedy series Filthy Preppy Teens (2016), as well as the three-time Emmy Award-winning TV series Children's Hospital. Allyson also scored the Emmy nominated (2016) media series Her Story. In 2017, Allyson scored the documentary Kusama-Infinity which premiered at Sundance 2018 and had its theatrical release with Magnolia Pictures in September 2018.
TOM CAMPBELL - ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Tom has worked on features, commercials, branded content, music videos, and worked with clients such as New York Times, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, HBO, ABC, Funny or Die, Universal Music, E! Entertainment, Deloitte, and Discovery Networks.
SCOTT DRUCKER - ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Scott is a documentary filmmaker based in Toronto. He currently works for FCB, where he has created two award-winning campaigns for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, and one global campaign for BMW (made in collaboration with graffiti artist Omen). He has also created content for Vice, Hulu, ESPN, and VH1, and has shot 4 feature films to date, including Who is Arthur Chu?, which he co-directed and produced along with Yu Gu, and was executive produced by three-time Academy Award winner Mark Jonathan Harris.
NAUSHEEN DADABHOY - ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Nausheen has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films: most recently J'adore Nawal for Lena Dunham's HBO documentary series Lenny which premiered at Sundance, Academy Award Live Action Short nominee La femme et le TGV (The Railroad Lady), and Aaja a music video for Riz Ahmed's hip hop group The Swet Shop Boys.
ZAC MANUEL - ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Zac Manuel is a New Orleans bred-and-based filmmaker whose work in film and music video has been exhibited at festivals and on platforms around the world. His credits include Cover Me (Rotterdam International Film Festival; Prospect 3, New Orleans), Like (Field of Vision, SXSW) and Alone (New York Times OpDocs, Sundance 2017 Jury Award Winner, Best Non-Fiction Short).
RACHEL SINE - PRODUCER’S ASSISTANT
Rachel Sine spent 3 years abroad in various parts of South and Central Asia, where she studied local politics, film, and language. She is currently working on her first film about a young female wrestler in Central Asia. She dabbles in Hindi, Urdu, and Russian.
Risks and challenges
We are running to the finish line in post-production, hoping to lock picture by the end of December. In order to do so, we need to raise more money to get us there in time. We believe our documentary is important, but most of all, timely. Since we have been following the cheerleaders since 2014, many more new lawsuits have come forward especially this year as a direct result from the #metoo movement. We have to ensure that the documentary comes out early next year in order to join the conversation in shifting our nation's paradigm and paving the way to make real change happen.
With the money raised, we plan on using it to help finish the film by hiring motion graphics designer to help clarify the complicated lawsuits with simple infographics, a talented composer for original music, a consulting editor to help us hone our story, and we are raising funds to implement our impact campaign, that will be touring the nation holding workshops and panels alongside a screening of our documentary. Through our impact campaign, we will educate young women on how to negotiate their first salary (because studies show that the first negotiated salary can make or break the rest of a woman's career), we will mobilize communities on supporting laws that close the gender pay gap, and work with our partners to continue building awareness, education, and action in our communities that will ensure a more fair and equal society for generations to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)