Hello Fellow Rainbow Kids,
I’m writer/director Kire Paputts and I’m going take you through this crowdfunding campaign page for The Rainbow Kid, an original and exciting new feature film. Unlike other films that star actors with special needs, The Rainbow Kid is an intense ride for mature audiences and contains violence, nudity, course language and adult subject matter. I hope that once you see what we’re up too, you’ll be on board to get this unique film made.
What’s the film about?
The Rainbow Kid is a gritty coming of age story that follows Eugene, a teenager with Down syndrome, on the journey of his life. Obsessed with everything rainbows, whether it’s their beauty, their symbolism, or the myths that surround them, his interest acts as an escape from his real life, which is a mess: he’s bullied at school, the girl he likes doesn’t notice him, and his mother is terminally ill. Worse, he discovers that he and his mom are on the verge of being evicted. Eugene decides to take matters into his own hands. He’ll find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Eugene will save the day.
An optimistic Eugene sets out on an adventure across rural Ontario and encounters a host of larger than life characters: an alcoholic dowser, a burned-out punk rocker, and a special needs girl with a disturbing home life. As he struggles to adapt and understand the worrisome situations he finds himself in, a strange thing happens: He begins to experience rainbow mythologies first hand, but the line between fact and fiction soon blur together. Eugene's odyssey becomes more and more dangerous, but he forges head, taking the challenges head on.
The Rainbow Kid is a story of growth, coming of age, and most of all, hope.
History of the Film
The Rainbow Kid started its life as an award winning short film called Rainbow Connection in 2012; the feature film has been in development since 2010. Four years ago I started volunteering with Drama Way, an organization that offers creative classes to people with special needs. Through Drama Way I have been fortunate enough to work with individuals from all walks of life, and have been able to mine my experience to bring authenticity and integrity to the script. My goal with this film is to make a film that no one has seen while portraying people with special needs realistically and honestly.
While making Rainbow Connection we were able to connect and work with various special needs communities from around the world. We were also fortunate enough to generate some great press, both locally and internationally. Up to now, we have raised over $30,000 in grant money from the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils. These funds have been helpful in getting the ball rolling but we now need your help to raise the rest.
This Film's Important
When was the last time you saw an actor with special needs carry a feature film?
There are very few films where people with special needs are given lead roles and they are a voice that can easily be overlooked within cinema.
The Rainbow Kid is my effort to help change that. We want to create an awareness surrounding the lack of films and TV that use actors with special needs. It’s rare and it shouldn’t be because there are a lot of talented actors who just happen to have a disability. Eugene’s storyline, our hero, is one that any teenager could experience, and one that any young actor could play. Poverty, illness, and family struggles are issues that can affect anyone at any age. In this case our hero just happens to have Down syndrome.
When mainstream films showcase actors with special needs they tend to present the content through a sympathetic lens or handle it with kid gloves, but I’m not interested in that. I want to break down barriers and go against stereotypes. I want to make audiences see the special needs community in a different light. Some people are going to find the films content disturbing, as it’s geared towards a more mature audience, and some might even be wary that an actor with Down syndrome can carry a film. I want to prove them wrong. By showing people with special needs persevering in situations that would be tough for “normal” people, we’re helping break down those barriers surrounding the expectations or assumptions as to what a person with special needs should say, how they should act, or what they can and can’t accomplish.
There are a lot of people and organizations who are scared to financially back a film of this nature because it doesn’t fit into the status quo of what a film starring an actor with special needs should be. However, my belief is that if we continue to play into that status quo or perpetuate the stigmas and stereotypes that already exist, then we are accomplishing very little. I knew going into this project that it would be an up hill battle in many ways, but that’s half the fun. Why settle for easy?
We also knew going into this that crowdfunding would be a major resource for securing funds. This is the type of project that was made for crowdfunding: something outside the mainstream that has both social and artistic merit. Some of the most interesting projects out there are the ones that didn’t get support from the traditional methods and had to come up with innovative ways to get the job done.
On top of our Kickstarter campaign we will be exploring other financial avenues such as Telefilm (Canadian government film financing corporation), sponsorship, donated services, and distribution. We used crowdfunding to raise funds for Rainbow Connection and we’re ecstatic to have reached our goal. The donations and support we received was further testament to the fact that people believe in the film. We’re returning to the crowdfunding model to raise even more funds for the feature film. A lot more.
Where The Money Goes
Your donation will go towards production and post-production costs.
- Paying Actors/Crew
- Equipment Rentals
- Production Design
- Wardrobe/Make Up
- Location Rentals
- Postproduction Materials
- Music Rights - Editing - Sound Design
- Colour Correction
- Promotional Material
- Tape/DVD duplicating
- Admission Fees for Film Festivals
We need $200,000. Now, that’s a lot of money, there’s no question about it, but making films cost money and we want to make the best film possible. On top of what we’ve listed above, two thirds of the film will be shot in the countryside, so that means more transportation, more rentals, and hotels for cast and crew when we can’t come back into the city.
Once we reach our goal we will have enough financing to make the film. This is still low budget, even for an independent film, but we will be able to make it work.
Being a hungry young filmmaker and having made numerous projects on tight budgets, I’m becoming a pro at stretching out that dollar to see how far it’ll go. We’re fortunate enough to have the majority of our crew from Rainbow Connection back for the feature. We have a great core group of people made up of industry professionals who are passionate about the project and eager to make it happen. We also have a great support system made up of various special needs organizations and communities who are committed to help promote the film.
Check out the great perks on the right side of the page. We're also looking for support through donated services. If you can donate services please contact Colin Brunton or Kire Paputts. We’re looking for all the help we can get and appreciate the support. Here’s a list of services that we could benefit from.
- Film Equipment
- Colour Correction
- Sound Design/Mix
- Visual Effects Artist
- Craft Service and Catering
- Locations for Filming
A Little Bit About Us
Dylan Harman (Actor)
Dylan Harman is a Toronto actor with Down syndrome. Working since the age of 5, his credits include the highly successful Judith Thompson play Rare, films The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, For Dorian, Rainbow Connection, and guest star on the TV show Remedy. Dylan was nominated for Best Actor in 2013 at the Grand Off film festival for his performance in Rainbow Connection. With a passion for acting, writing, and animation, Dylan is creative and hard working. The Rainbow Kid is Dylan’s first lead role in a feature film.
Kire Paputts (Director)
Kire Paputts is an award winning producer/director who has experience in an array of film/video industry roles. A Ryerson University Film Program graduate, he currently works in both the creative and corporate side of the industry. As a writer/director, Kire has made a name for himself with short and feature length films that have played around the world at such prestigious film festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, The Edinburgh International Film Festival, and The Raindance International Film Festival. With a background in both narrative and documentary filmmaking, Kire has worked on numerous independent films of multiple formats and lengths as a producer/director/editor. The Rainbow Kid is his first narrative feature film.
Colin Brunton (Producer)
Emerging from the punk music scene as a documentarian in the late 70′s, Colin went on to build one of the most prolific careers in Canadian indie film and television. He won a Genie for best live action short The Mysterious Moon Men of Canada, and went on to PM and produce for many of Canada’s most well-known auteurs. His feature producing credits include the legendary films Roadkill, Highway 61 and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As the original Executive Director of the Feature Film Project at the CFC, he executive produced some of the most successful projects to come out of that program including Rude and Cube. He went on to conquer the television world with several series under his belt, including: Our Hero, An American in Canada, The Newsroom, Jeff Ltd., Puppets Who Kill, How to Be Indie, Little Mosque, Almost Heroes, and Connor Undercover. In 2012, he produced the multi-cam sit-com Spun Out (starring Dave Foley) and is currently producing the Eugene Levy single-cam sit-com Schitt’s Creek. His filmmaking life has come full circle with the release of his own feature documentary on Toronto’s punk history, The Last Pogo Jumps Again.
- Pre-Production: February 2014 – August 3, 2014
- Production: August 4 – August 29, 2014
- Post-Production: August 30 – December 19, 2014
- Finished Film Delivery Date: December 22, 2014
So, are you on board?
If you haven’t checked out our campaign video, promo material, or perks, please take a few minutes to do so. The Rainbow kid has been my passion project since 2010. Be apart of it. It’s going be awesome. It continues to be a life-altering experience that has not only led me down a unique path, but has opened my eyes to the amazing talent in the special needs community.
Let’s make this project a reality! If you can make a financial donate great! If you can donate services great! If you feel like you can’t contribute any money or services please help us spread the word through social media. Every bit of help is truly appreciated.
We’ll be updating this campaign regularly with exciting news, new videos, and promotional material so stay tuned.
Risks and challenges
The Rainbow Kid has been a labour of love for over 4 years now. Although it has been a long process, it's a project that keeps driving me. I'm a person who finishes everything he starts. Up to this point many of my films have been self financed. I work on a specific project because it speaks to me, because I believe in the topic, themes or cause. This film, more than any of my others, has the real potential to make a difference and that is something I take to heart.
I also have the experience to carry out a project like this. Aside from producing and directing 3 short films and 2 feature length documentaries, I work in television and the corporate side of the industry. What also gives this project an edge is my crew. The crew members working on this film aren't people looking for a pay cheque, they're industry professionals who believe in the project. Many were involved with the short film and are eager to make the feature. I've also been working closely with seasoned Canadian producer Colin Brunton for about 8 years on various projects. With credits like Cube, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Highway 61, Colin brings a lot of knowledge and wisdom to this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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