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A film following award-winning artist Bryony Kimmings and her niece Taylor as they launch their own alternative tween popstar.

What’s the documentary about?

In an audacious and provocative protest against the world’s flagrant attempts to sexualise and commodify childhood, the award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings and her 9-year-old niece Taylor decided to take on the global tween machine at its own game. They invented Catherine Bennett (or 'CB' to her fans), a dinosaur-loving, bike-riding, tuna-pasta-eating pop star, and vowed to make her world famous to prove that an alternative was possible! Our documentary follows their fun-filled, problematic but ultimately empowering journey.

You can meet CB and listen to her music on her website: www.catherinebennett.so

Catherine Bennett (image by Christa Holka)
Catherine Bennett (image by Christa Holka)

'The future of women!'
[Dawn O'Porter, Presenter]

'A very funny, very charming and essential project which gives a much needed chink of hope amidst all the twerking.'
[Shappi Khorsandi, Comedian]

Bryony and Taylor were inspired to act by increasing evidence of the damaged caused by:

  • The sexualisation of children 
  • The endless objectification and exposure of the female body in the media 
  • The large growths seen in youth narcissistic personality disorders over the past decade 
  • A huge inflation in products marketed at children specifically to encourage 'Pester Power'
  • The increasingly violent acts seen in video games 
  • The worrying news that Tweens access 7 hours or media a day and see over 100,000 violent acts online each year 

As well as following Bryony and Taylor's ambitious artistic experiment the film will also contextualise some of the issues it raises through interviews with key politicians, academics, feminists, journalists and celebrities. Issues such as gender representation in the media and the importance of positive female role models.

Why do we need your money?

We’ve already been following Bryony and Taylor for 6 months and have got some great material. CB has already been played on Radio 1 and performed at Latitude Festival and Yoko Ono’s Meltdown! They've also had some great press coverage, like in the Guardian and The Independent.

But as the project becomes increasingly successful, and CB’s schedule gets busier, the demand on our small crew becomes greater too. We need your support so that we can continue to follow their adventure and make sure it’s all captured on glorious film (well, glorious digital) for future generations to come!

The funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign will go directly towards covering production costs such as equipment hire, travel, filming permits, insurance, and our tiny (but perfectly formed) crew's time. It will also help us to hire venues for contributor interviews, pay for the rights to use footage we don't own where necessary, and continue with our research into the myriad and complex issues this project explores.

What’s the style of the documentary?

The filming of The Future music video
The filming of The Future music video

Although our film explores some serious issues, in keeping with the spirit of Bryony and Taylor’s ambitious artistic experiment this documentary will be upbeat and full of humour.

We’ll adopt a pop aesthetic to match the pop world which Bryony and Taylor are infiltrating, with plenty of music and colour. This is a film primarily for adults (particularly parents and decision-makers), as some of the material and concepts will not be suitable for children.

To give you some points of reference, think Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me, crossed with Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation.

Who else is backing this?

Bryony and Taylor received funding from The Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation to run the ‘CB experiment’, which is brilliant! We’re also applying to a number of other funding bodies who we think might like to back the documentary specifically, and help us to spread the message to a wider audience. So, if you know of any one who might be interested in investing, let us know!

Where will the film end up?

Taylor and CB teaching school children the Animal Kingdom dance
Taylor and CB teaching school children the Animal Kingdom dance

We want this documentary to screen at as many film festivals across the world as possible so we can generate debate far and wide.

Beyond its festival life, we want to facilitate pop-up screenings of the film so that individuals and organisations can set up their own events. We also want to appropriate clips from the film to be used in schools as part of an outreach package which will aim to get young people talking about their role models and aspirations.

Who’s behind the film?

As well as our on-screen heroines, Bryony and Taylor, we have a smashing production team…

Rebecca Brand, Tom Kinninmont, Daniella Cesarei and Susan Brand
Rebecca Brand, Tom Kinninmont, Daniella Cesarei and Susan Brand

Rebecca Brand – Producer/Director

Rebecca has directed a number of short films, including The Campaigner, a documentary which screened at the 2012 Underwire Film Festival and the 2013 London Short Film Festival. The film was also shown at 19 Picturehouse cinemas across the UK as part of their ‘Discover Tuesdays’ strand. She previously worked as Head of Communications for Women in Film and Television (UK) and has been a jury member for a number of short film competitions, including Sundance London and Birds Eye View.

Tom Kinninmont – Executive Producer

Tom has over 30 years’ experience as a writer, director and producer for TV, film and theatre. He has been responsible for over 600 hours of network television, winning more than a dozen broadcasting awards. He produced Hostage starring Sam Neill, Talisa Soto and James Fox, After Alice starring Kiefer Sutherland, and Blind Revenge starring Daryl Hannah and Tom Conti. He directed Simon Callow as Charles Dickens in 2 BBC Christmas series, and Peter O’Toole in the smash hit Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, which he also produced in the West End. In addition, Tom has written and directed a number of feature films.

Daniella Cesarei – Camera

Daniella is an award-winning London-based editorial and commercial photographer and filmmaker. Publications in which her photographic work has appeared include The Financial Times, Andrew Martin Design Review, DIVA, and British Airways magazine. Her photo, Open Space, won 3rd prize in the KL International Photo Award 2012. Daniella shot her first short film, The Campaigner, in 2012, which screened at the 2012 Underwire Film Festival and the 2013 London Short Film Festival. She applies a focused and cinematic approach to both her photographic and film work.

Susan Brand – Editor

Susan Brand has been a film editor for over 20 years working in New York, London and Singapore. She has worked on many award-winning documentaries, including BAFTA nominated Wonders of the Universe with Brian Cox. She sees herself as a hybrid editor, combining American emphasis on strong story structure with a European love of emotional complexity, whimsy and strong visual creativity. Susan also works as an edit consultant for fiction and documentary films.

[And, despite sharing the same surname, Susan and Rebecca are not related!].

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are always risks and challenges to any documentary filmmaking. The biggest challenge we face is not raising additional funding to keep filming as much as we can, and to give the film the proper post-production treatment it deserves. We want to make the documentary to the highest quality so that it keeps the conversation going once the cameras have stopped rolling. Regardless of what happens we WILL end up with an entertaining and thought-provoking documentary, but the support and investment of other individuals and organisations will be essential if we want to fully realise our vision for the film.

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    THANK YOU CREDIT We’re delighted to have your support, and will thank you with a name credit on the finished documentary.

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    SIGNED WITH LOVE We’ll send you a signed photo from Catherine Bennett and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    ‘THAT’S SO CB’ COLLECTION An EXCLUSIVE A4 CB poster and ‘That’s So CB’ badge, Signed CB photo, and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    MOVIE LOVER - DVD For those of you who are just keen to see the film we’ll send you a DVD, and you’ll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    LIMITED EDITION MASK ARTWORK LIMITED EDITION Jon Burgerman-designed masks featured in the ‘Animal Kingdom’ music video, and you’ll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    MUSIC LOVER - DIGITAL DOWNLOAD PACKAGE EXCLUSIVE digital download package featuring CB songs (Apathy, Animal Kingdom and The Future), plus accompanying music videos, and CB stills, and you’ll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    DVD + ‘THAT’S SO CB’ COLLECTION For those of you who want to see the film but also want to get in on some of the goody action, we’ll send you a DVD (estimated delivery for DVD - December 2014), ‘That’s So CB’ badge, Signed CB photo, and you’ll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    WEAR IT WITH PRIDE EXCLUSIVE CB T-shirt, comes in 1 size, ‘Hipster chic’ (XL), and you’ll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    CB-QUESTION TIME! Lovely LOCO have given us TWO tickets to their event as part of Underwire Festival where both Rebecca (director) and Bryony (creator/performer) will be talking as well as others. The event is on Saturday 23rd November from 12-5pm at Hackney Picture House (transport fees to be covered by the pledger). For more info on the event see update #8. You'll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    SUPERSTAR GOODIES - BUMPER SELECTION! For those who want it all! You’ll get the DVD (estimated delivery for DVD – December 2014), CB digital music download package, A4 CB poster, ‘That’s So CB’ badge, signed CB photo, and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    CB-TASTIC! You get to own the CB customised shoes from the music video 'The Future'! Bright blue, UK Ladies size 5. Put yourself in CB's shoes LITERALLY! Do let us know if you'd like them autographed. You'll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    CB-POW! You get to own the very boxing gloves from the original CB promo. She'll even autograph them if you like! You'll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    CB-SPACE! You get to own the original and unique spaceship from the music video 'The Future'! Created just for the music video you get to keep it forever and marvel at its history. You'll also get a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    THE RED CARPET TREATMENT Invitation with +1 to private screening of the film in London (transport fees to be covered by the pledger), DVD (estimated delivery for DVD – December 2014), ‘That’s So CB’ badge, signed CB photo, and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    DINNER + THE RED CARPET TREATMENT Dinner (paid for!) with Bryony Kimmings (the award-winning performance artist behind CB) at a lovely London restaurant (transport fees to be covered by the pledger), an invitation with +1 to a private screening of the film, DVD (estimated delivery for DVD – December 2014), ‘That’s So CB’ badge, signed CB photo, and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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    SUPERSTAR ROLE MODEL You are a superstar role model! For your support we’ll give you an Executive Producer credit on the film, an invitation with +1 to a private screening of the film in London (transport fees to be covered by the pledger), DVD of the finished film (estimated delivery for DVD - December 2014), an EXCLUSIVE A4 CB poster and ‘That’s So CB’ badge, Signed CB photo, and a thank you credit on the documentary.

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Funding period

- (30 days)