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Queen of Glory is the female-directed dark comedy of a maladjusted PhD student who becomes sole proprietor of a Christian bookstore.
Queen of Glory is the female-directed dark comedy of a maladjusted PhD student who becomes sole proprietor of a Christian bookstore.
619 backers pledged $43,110 to help bring this project to life.

About

Queen of Glory's Post-Production Campaign! project video thumbnail
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Queen of Glory's Post-Production Campaign!

$43,110

619

Introductions!

Me (then).
Me (then).

Hi! 

I'm Nana (which rhymes with Ghana). In 2011, I (a woman) co-founded a production company with Anya Migdal (also a woman) to make movies (mostly about women). We started this because as a Ghanaian-American and Russian-American respectively, we found a dearth of interesting roles for quirky females of foreign descent. I started to write Queen of Glory in 2012, because I wanted people like us to be visible.

*Note: I wish the Queen of Glory origin story was a little more tortured or less self-serving than that, but it's just not. My parents (pictured below) immigrated to this country to give my brother and I a real shot at the good life-- and like a good African daughter, I went to boarding school in Connecticut and then matriculated to the Ivy League. So you might understand my embarrassment at auditioning for roles like: "Sassy Fat Bank Teller", "Thieving Ratchet Hospice Nurse", "Smutty Crack Hoe #4", or "D Girl"(Anya's version of this was "Generic Eastern Bloc Human Trafficking Victim"). 

It was depressing. So I decided to write a script about a weirdo adulteress binge-eating grieving-but-not-dealing Ghanaian-American genius who is slaying at academia, but failing at life. Obvi. 

My parents (who are awesome).
My parents (who are awesome).

Queen of Glory, a dark comedy, tells the story of Sarah Obeng, a PhD candidate who is quitting her dissertation research to follow her married lover to Ohio when her mother dies suddenly, willing her a Christian bookstore in the Bronx. 

Queen of Glory is written, directed by and starring me! I'm the Black Miranda July! Or the Female Robert Townsend! Or the Black Female Mel Gibson (sans blind rage and antisemitism)!

For the past 30 months, I've hustled alongside producers Anya Migdal, Jamund Washington, and Baff Akoto to bring Queen of Glory to fruition. I have:

- asked innumerable creative favors from friends, 

- made lots of people exceedingly uncomfortable by approaching them for investments,

- done other (legal) things I can't list here, 

AND THEN I MADE A F@#$%^& MOVIE!

Click here to hear me talk about it on BBC WORLD SERVICE!

Over Summer/Fall 2014, we shot the film in the Bronx with an amazing cast and crew. Now it's in the can, but we need to finish post-production and submit it to film festivals to snag that distribution deal so the world can see it. Then I can live out my dream of being the Black Lena Dunham. Or a Darker Mindy Kaling. And Anya can live out hers of being the White Shonda Rhimes.

The Breakdown!

We need $32,260 to complete editing, color correction, musical scoring, sound mixing and all the other categories you usually fast forward through during the Academy Awards (but are VERY, VERY IMPORTANT). Anya's a visual learner, so she decided to make you a pie chart. (And I concurred, as I like pie.)

Pie Chart! (in marble, because immigrants love marble).
Pie Chart! (in marble, because immigrants love marble).

Okay, so who are we?

Jamund Washington & Adam Leon at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival, May 2012.
Jamund Washington & Adam Leon at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival, May 2012.

Jamund Washington (Producer) (above left) most recently produced Gimme the Loot (Official Selection of Cannes Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize winner at South By Southwest Film Festival), which was released to critical acclaim in March 2013.

Nana Mensah (Writer/Director/Star) plays the role of Sade on the hit show, An African City, covered on NPR, CNN, BET, Elle Magazine, and other outlets. Nana has since co-starred in Shirley Frimpong-Manso's Love or Something Like That. She can soon be found in the limited web-series The Walker, starring Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan & Gabourey Sidibe.

Anya Migdal
Anya Migdal

Anya Migdal (Producer/role of Tanya) has often guest starred in the Law & Order franchise, as well as appearing in independent films, including the upcoming feature Hunter & Game. She recently produced the short, "Dead Hairy Hipster." She's currently at work on translating a book of short stories by renowned Russian writer Tatyana Tolstaya, as well as collaborating with Ms. Tolstaya on an adaptation of Alexander Vampilov's play "Last Summer in Chulimsk".

Baff Akoto (left)
Baff Akoto (left)
Baff Akoto (Producer): Born in London, England, Baff’s feature documentary Football Fables (2010) was a critically acclaimed, award-winning debut before he helmed numerous network television dramas in the UK for both BBC1 (including EASTENDERS) and Channel 4 (COMING UP).

PERKS!

We've whipped up a slew of perks to tickle your fancy! There's a recurring theme of cooking in the film, so we named the perks after traditional Ghanaian dishes. Perks include tickets to the Governor's Ball Music Festival
The Most Excellent Lineup!
The Most Excellent Lineup!
Tickets and backstage passes to the unannounced (but forthcoming) 2015 YEASAYER North American tour!
YEASAYER!
YEASAYER!
Sexy waist beads, as recently made famous by this celestial being:
Lupita Nyong'o in Waist Beads!
Lupita Nyong'o in Waist Beads!

We've also got tickets to the NYC premiere of Queen of Glory, t-shirts sporting the Queen of Glory logo (by designer Jon Windham), headwraps and a digital wrapping tutorial from The Wrap Life

The Wrap (that gives me) Life!
The Wrap (that gives me) Life!

A private cocktail half hour & dinner for 6 (SIX!) at downtown staple, The Stanton Social, complete with a meet and greet with owner and celebrity chef Chris Santos!

Celebrity Chef Chris Santos!
Celebrity Chef Chris Santos!

And much more!

So here's the thing (if you aren't familiar with Kickstarter): If we do not raise at least $32,260, we get NOTHING. 

NADA. 

NIENTE. 

3NY3 BIBIARA.

Ничего. 

GAR NICHTS. 

Τίποτα. 

Ei mitään. 

Why would we do this?! What is the matter with us?! Are we self-loathing adrenaline junkies? Were we cutters in middle school? No. Anya is pregnant and we're trying to send her into early labor.

Kidding. 

We have budgeted it down to the very dollar, and have espoused the American maxim of "Go big or go home.

We've asked all our super talented friends for favors and creative trades-- the final $32,260 needed to finish this film is essentially the equivalent of $50,000 for another filmmaker with no friends who's paying market prices. That said, we have to see this thing through properly, and we can not do it for less.

The Impact

Your contribution, no matter how small, will make a world of difference. We are targeting film festivals such as SXSW, Berlinale, Sundance, Cannes Film Festival, and TriBeCa Film Festival. These festivals are prestigious... and pricey. In addition to helping us finish the film, you will be getting Queen of Glory in front of those international judges for consideration.

Your support makes an impact on a larger scale, too. For example, this info-graphic tracking diversity from 1992-2012 at the Emmy Awards helps make our point about why Queen of Glory is important:

Courtesy of Lee & Low Books
Courtesy of Lee & Low Books

or this one, of the 2015 Academy Award nominations broken down by gender and race:

or

But we can change this!

We believe in the dynamism of the female perspective. We believe in the dynamism of the minority perspective. And we practice what we preach! Queen of Glory was shot by a female cinematographer (the inimitable Cybel Martin), with a 100% female and/or minority comprised production team. Your contribution will allow us to continue our mission of diversifying Hollywood. 

But we can't do it unless this small, relatable dark comedy is able to reach a large, receptive audience all over the world, both through film festivals and media traction. Which brings us to:

Other Ways You Can Help

Some folks just can't contribute, BUT that doesn't mean you can't help:

  • We need NOISE! Help us get the word out about this campaign! Like! Share! Re-Tweet! Favorite! Use the Kickstarter share tools below! And #QueenofGlory to get involved!
  • If you or anyone you know writes for blogs or the traditional press, let us hear from you! We've got stories to tell and press kits ready to go. Reach us at QueenofGloryFilm@gmail.com
As a thank you, here's a teaser featuring my butt:
Thank you! 

Thank you!

Thank you!

Risks and challenges

Once we are funded, we will finish the post-production process and begin to submit to festivals in June. We don't have control over this process, however, and so a potential setback would be not getting entry in any of these festivals, thus short-circuiting any opportunities to distribution. Should that be the case, we intend to self-distribute-- holding screenings at art organizations, schools and universities to build a grassroots following of the film, in tandem with a VOD roll out.
___
NB: I'm a Virgo, and despite a career in the arts, I'm very risk averse. I'm also very proud. And a little neurotic-- but this isn't therapy. So how does this help you? It means that it would be my ever-living worst nightmare to run into you on the street and you be all like:
"Hey! you're the chick that never sent me my goat meat!"
and I'm all like
"Uh...."
So I'm going to do what I said I'm going to do. I'm an Ivy League grad of African parents who decided to become a filmmaker, for chrissakes. I've put all my eggs into this one big basket, and I've got a lot riding on this. I won't let you down!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU! (AKA A DOLLA MAKES ME HOLLA) - You will be privy to all the exciting updates about Queen of Glory as she hits the festival circuit this fall! You'll also have our unending gratitude.

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    BANKU BACKER - Jollof! Light Soup! Fried Plantains! Oh my! We’ll send you a Ghanaian recipe from Nana’s mum, Mavis, a world-renowned Ghanaian cuisinier. You’ll also be privy to exclusive email updates about the film’s editing and festival circuit progress!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    ‘RED RED’ ROOTER - You’ll receive a digital download of the finished film-- be one of the first to see it! We’ll also shout you out on Twitter from @QueenGloryMovie & @itsNanaMensah!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    GROUNDNUT GROUPIE - What’s a Queen without her waistbeads?! As seen in Queen of Glory, these gorgeous handmade Ghanaian waistbeads are yours as a Groundnut Groupie (shipping & handling included if mailed within the United States)! PLUS you get a digital download of the film!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    GARI GANGSTA - Get your crown right with a limited edition head wrap courtesy of The Wrap Life (thewrap.life) AND a Queen of Glory T-shirt. Floss like a Queen (US Shipping Included)! You'll also get a digital download of the film!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    LIGHT SOUP-ERSTAR - Got Goat? Pick up your goat’s head--great for stew!-- from One Stop Vivero Halal Butcher on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. Yeah, seriously, you’ll get the head of a goat-- on us! Tell ‘em Sarah sent you! Oh, and you’ll also get a digital download of the film! (For NYC backers only!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    JOLLOF JUMP-OFF - Get a pair of tickets to the New York premiere of Queen of Glory (travel not included)! Nana will also shout you out in a video from her Instagram (@officialnanamensah)! You'll also get a digital download of the film!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    FUFU FANATIC - So no one really knows this, but Nana can sing. She and her boyfriend-- the novelist, Karim Dimechkie-- have a little electronic pop duo that they like to tell no one about. For our Fufu Fanatics, Nana & Karim will craft a ditty for you using your name and word of your choice, delivered straight to your inbox! You'll also get a digital download of the film!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    KONTOMIRE KICKER - You’ll get 2 tickets to the New York premiere AND after party-- the kicker? Well, if you love Nana’s voice as much as we do, you’ll get your very own personalized outgoing voicemail in her dulcet tones. PLUS, you'll get a digital download of the film!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    KENKEY KREW - Ghanaian designer, Priscilla Turkson (who crafted the red and black signature piece for Queen of Glory), will custom make a top and skirt or pants set for you! Meet her at a fabric store in New York's Fashion District to select fabric for your outfit and she will take your measurements. Then sit back and wait for your outfit to arrive (either in the mail or delivered to you)!

    Note: Fabric is not included. Perk available to non-NYC backers if they provide measurements and mail fabric to Priscilla.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    TILAPIA TURN-UP! WE SAY YEA(SAYER)! For one special backer, you will get a pair of tickets and backstage passes to the upcoming tour for the band, YEASAYER. Dates have not yet been announced, but rest assured they'll be coming to a city near you with their forthcoming album. And for posterity, you'll get a digital download of the film!

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    KOKONTE KOMPANION - If you're like us, you love the Food Network's Chopped. Well, how about dinner for you and 5 of your friends at downtown staple The Stanton Social with a 30-minute open bar reception & meet and greet upstairs with celebrity chef Chris Santos (we're squealing as we write this)?!
    Dinner must be booked on a Sunday-Thursday evening at least 1 month in advance and at the discretion of Chef's schedule. (Gratuity and travel are not included, but a digital download of the film is!)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    EGUSI EXPOUNDER - Queen of Glory's Anya Migdal and composer Gene Pritsker are a magical music-making duo-- Gene did the orchestrations for the Cloud Atlas soundtrack! Because they are awesome, they'll write and record an ORIGINAL funk song for you (or a loved one!) using a name of your choice. The song will be performed and livestreamed at Brooklyn club DROM at their FREE THE FUNK Concert by Gene's Sound Liberation, March 5th at 10:00 pm! You'll also get a digital download of the film!
    (This perk must be nabbed no later than February 26th IF you want the public performance element!)

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE 2015 GOVERNORS BALL MUSIC FESTIVAL! June 5-7, 2015! Drake! Florence + the Machine! Lana Del Ray! Need we say more?!

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Funding period

- (29 days)