The screenplay, written by Gina Wendkos (The Princess Diaries), tells an intimate, emotional story with universal themes that resonate to the world at large.
It's a story of two people who have fallen between the gaps of our society, lost their family, and face numerous challenges.
Having lost his wife and twin daughters, Samuel adopts the fifteen year-old Casey, a homeless skinhead, after finding her sleeping in a graveyard. Going against his greatest fears, he tries to raise her as his own daughter, but this task proves to be all the more difficult due to both of their troubled histories.
Both face a challenge - if he can forgive, he can reconcile with his past; if she can forgive, she can move on to a brighter future.
We hope that you will be touched by the story and see its potential and powerful message of hope, forgiveness and learning to love one another.
Abused, hurt, and neglected by her alcoholic mother and step-dad, Casey runs away to New York, where her troubles only get worse. Unfortunately, her dark, pessimistic mentality seems to fit in better in the big city than her hometown of Michigan.
On the outside, she tries her hardest to appear tough, fearless, and strong -- but on the inside, it seems none of these traits are true.
Having lost his entire family in one of the worst tragedies in history, and over the years witnessed his share of wars, Samuel is a numb, bitter old man without much purpose to his mundane, daily routine. He carries out his days visiting his wife's grave, and avoiding everyone he comes across on the way.
In short, there's not much life has left to offer this old man.
WRITER - Gina Wendkos
"It has been a dream of mine to go around different high schools with this film to foster knowledge and provoke intelligent discussion".
Gina doesn't just want to tell a story, she wants to spread a message:
A message of compassion. A message of redemption. A message with themes that resonate to all troubled areas of the world -- past, present, and future. We want the film to touch hearts in a real, personal, and unique way.
This project has come close to being funded several times, previously as a larger budget film. The subject matter is challenging, complex and not the obvious commercial fare that Hollywood readily finances. Several legendary actors were either attached or were circling the project at one time - as well as many rising young stars who fell in love with it when they were still playing teenage roles.
We hope to discover a new, budding actress for the role of Casey.
In a number of my prior films, we were unable to afford the young Hollywood stars, so through a meticulous casting process, we discovered several actresses who were given their first leading roles: Leighton Meester (Hangman's Curse), Yasmine Bleeth (Hey Babe!), Alicia Witt (Fun), Whitney Able (Age of Kali).
Rafal Zielinski has made a number of independent films that have been shown internationally on the festival circuit, including two Sundance Dramatic Competition films, "Fun" (Special Jury Award) and "Ginger Ale Afternoon" - as well as some low budget genre director-for-hire works (which helped finance his own indie films).
Tiger Within has been a dream project several years in the planning.
"Being a M.I.T. grad, and having travelled the world extensively, I hope to give the film an objective, yet emotionally compelling angle, and in a small personal way, give back something to the world."
FUN (Special Jury Award for Acting - Sundance Narrative Competition):
GINGER ALE AFTERNOON based on play by Gina Wendkos, (Narrative Competition - Sundance):
Music for the project presentations has been provided courtesy of Claire Boucher (Grimes), with whom we have been talking about composing an original soundtrack for Tiger Within.
"I came across Grimes's haunting music two and a half years ago when she was an unknown garage band in Montreal. In generously allowing us to use her tracks in the trailer, we hope she might eventually agree to create the soundtrack to the film. Claire we thank you, so much!"
NOW MORE THAN EVER!
Our passion for this film and belief in its powerful message motivated us to crowdfund the project as a not-for-profit venture. Gina Wendkos is donating the script and Rafal is directing it without compensation, simply so we can see the film come to light with the current Kickstarter goal.
We feel the time to make it is now more than ever - as the world seems to be in an ever more precarious state.
With your support we can come together and make it happen NOW!
In preparing our campaign donor rewards, we wanted to create gifts that would be meaningful, inspiring, and universal - gifts that could also have a life outside of this project. Our UK/Manchester-based designer, Nicola Rowlands, has created graphic designs, based on some of the thoughts Samuel shares with Casey, for our project's pins, t-shirts, and hats.
Gift items designed by various members of our team.
After the campaign closes we will send you a questionnaire to get details (sizes, choices, colors, correct spelling of names. etc.)
Tokens of our gratitude for our supporters.
T shirts based on the lessons Samuel teaches Casey, in teenage calligraphy, as if Casey wrote it.
After our campaign is funded, we will send a form so you can choose your preference in color, style, and size for some of these gifts.
We have made an agreement with a high-quality custom printers who specializes in T-shirt design. They will manufacture the T-shirts with top-of-the-line, long-lasting printing methods on American Apparel shirts made in Los Angeles. The shirts will be available in either regular or V-neck in S, M, L and XL. In addition, the black shirt will be available in a long-sleeved or short-sleeved version. The T-shirts were designed by our Manchester, UK-based designer Nicola Rowlands.
Original artwork and special edition prints:
Previous independent films by the filmmaker - a 5 HD download set. Please visit the filmmakers on-line store for more details about the movies: www.FilmArtMovies.com
COOL NEW PERKS! JUST ANNOUNCED!
Risks and challenges
We are a team, and our message is bigger than the sum of any of us, so the project will continue even if the team is in flux. The non-profit status makes provisions for the funds to be donated to other like-minded organizations and goals, in case of unforseen circumstances. The filmmaker's experience in making over 20 full length feature films would contribute to finding ways to finish the film, despite un-forseen circumstances.There are always risks in any endeavor, however the experience of the lead filmmaker, the theme of the project, and the non-profit status of the organization should cause there to be relatively few risks.
We want your name in our movie! Every gift of a dollar or more will receive an Associate Producer credit on Tiger Within at the end of the film. We want all our supporters to feel they are part of the production process, because you are, and we dream of a WALL OF A MILLION NAMES... we want to break records!
You'll also receive daily updates on the progress of our campaign. We have more than a few surprises up our sleeve.
Gift as you wish and help send a positive healing message throughout the world.
Receive an HD digital download of TIGER WITHIN and enjoy the film we made together! In addition to being an Associate Producer, you will be credited as a MESSENGER on the benefactor page at TigerWithin.info.
Receive a DVD of the director's cut of Tiger Within, signed by the director and the lead actress, and show the film you were an Associate Producer on to all your friends. You will also be credited under the AMBASSADORS category at TigerWithin.info/benefactors.
Each time you open your door you will be reminded of the gratitude we have for you helping make this film a reality with a commemorative copper keychain created by our Tibetan craftsman team member. And, of course, you'll receive an HD digital download of Tiger Within.
Live in Los Angeles? Watch clips of Gina Wendkos's previous films, and hear her talk about her career on both independent films and Hollywood movies. You'll also receive an HD digital download of the film, and the official Tiger Within button.
Receive a DVD of the director's cut of the film signed by Rafal Zielinski, the full set of five digital downloads of the director's previous feature films, HD download of Tiger Within, the official button by UK designer Nicola Rowlands, AND one of four apparel pieces. Choices include any of the t-shirts or embroidered hat. You will also receive the highest project sponsorship under the Angels category at TigerWithin.info/benefactors.
Are you an aspiring writer in Los Angeles looking for feedback for a screenplay? I'll read your script, meet with you one on one, and provide my notes over coffee to point you in the right direction. Who knows, if I really like it, maybe I'll want to make it!
Need feedback for a film in post production? I'll watch your movie and provide editing notes on how I think it could be better. If you live in L.A. I can meet with you one one one, otherwise we can video chat.
Watch the rough cut of Tiger Within in Los Angeles, and give us your feedback! We want your notes so we can make the film as great as possible. You'll also receive an HD digital download of the film when it's finished with your help. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodations for this reward.
Receive a limited art-press edition 8x11 archival print of the concept art drawing for Tiger Within titled "Samuel in the Park", signed by the artist Vally Mestroni, and the HD download of the film, and of course "Associate Producer credit.
Receive a limited art-press edition 8x11 archival print of the concept art drawing for Tiger Within titled "Samuel and Casey on the Riverfront", signed by the artist Vally Mestroni, and the HD download of the film, and of course "Associate Producer credit.
Receive limited edition coffee table book about the making of the film, with photos, notes, drawings, art-work, essays by the creative team, and lots of cool content, signed by director, writer, lead actors, in addition to your digital copy of the film, and of course the Associate Producer credit.
Receive a limited-edition lithographic print (36" x 24") of the movie poster. Prints will be individually signed by the filmmaker, writer, lead actors, and poster artist. You will also receive an HD digital copy of the film, a signed DVD, and the official Tiger Within art button.
Donate a very special screening of the Tiger Within to a school or other youth organization located in Los Angeles, CA or New York, NY. The movie viewing will include an intimate Q&A session with the students and those behind the film. You, or another individual of your choice, will be recognized as the SPONSOR of the event with special recognition in the film's credits, in addition to being an Associate Producer. We will ask the kids to create a framed "Thank You" poster, which you will receive after the screening. We sincerely hope this gift further proliferates the film's message to the youth audience which inspired its creation.
Live in New York? Then, you and a friend can have dinner with the lead actor, lead actress, and director of Tiger Within. You'll also receive an HD digital download of the film, and the director's five previous films.
See how a film comes together by being a part of the editing process every step of the way. You will watch four separate cuts of the movie, and provide your notes and feedback until the final product is achieved. For this, you will receive credit as an Editorial Consultant for Tiger Within, a digital download of the film, and the director's five previous feature films.
Join the director and/or the writer for dinner at his home in Los Angeles, where Rafal will screen an advanced showing of the final cut of Tiger Within. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodations for this reward.
Receive onscreen and IMDb credit as a Co-Producer of the film, an HD digital download and signed DVD, the digital downloads of director's five FilmArtMovies films, your choice of a t-shirt, the official art button, and an embroidered hat. In addition, you will be invited to an exclusive screening and after party with the cast and crew at a to-be-disclosed location. The 8 co-producers will share the credit with two other co-producers helping Rafal to physically produce the film, so there will be a maximum of ten co-producers.
Receive onscreen and IMDb credit as Co-Executive Producer, an HD digital download and signed DVD by the writer and director, the director's five previous FilmArtMovies films, your choice of a t-shirt, the official art button, and an embroidered hat. In addition, you will be invited to an exclusive screening celebration and after party at a to-be-disclosed location. The viewing will include dinner and discussion with guests from the film as well as its production team.
In your own words, DEDICATE our film to someone you care for. Each name will appear on an individual dedication credit page at the film's conclusion. As an added gift, you will also receive an HD digital download and signed copy of the film, the director's five previous films, your choice of any one project t-shirt, the art button, and an embroidered hat. In addition, you will be invited to an exclusive screening celebration at a to-be-disclosed location. The viewing will include dinner and discussion with guests from the film, as well as its production team.