Syd works at one of the worst property management firms in the city. As a black queer masculine of center artist, she deals with the daily slights from her ignorant co-workers, oblivious boss, and killer workload. Luz, her gambling addict coworker, pressures her to contribute to the office lotto pool and after months of saying no, Syd relents. That night she finds herself walking through Chinatown and crosses path with a mugging in progress. She whops that ass and finds a new sense of self. In the morning, she learns that she has won the office lotto pool...or so she thinks. Syd decides to trash the office that has caused her so much pain and when she confronted, finds the courage to leave this life behind and pursue her dreams.
The premise of 2 Dollars came to me while working at my last day job. I had just passed on giving my co-worker two dollars for the office lotto pool and thought watch them go on and win without me....and with that, the idea for 2 Dollars was born!
For many years, I balanced my life working to financially support myself while pursuing my dreams with the hopes that one day my art would support me. This film is a love letter to every artist that has struggled to balance their need for survival with their desire to create. It's a reminder to all of us to NEVER GIVE UP!
I didn't give up and this year has been an amazing leap in my career. I recently moved to Los Angeles to focus on writing and directing. As a result of that leap of faith, I was accepted into AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, a prestigious program that is committed to increasing the number of women working as directors in film and television. As one of the eight participants, I will receive several months of tuition-free film education, culminating in the production of 2 Dollars. The films will premiere at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Los Angeles in 2020.
As the industry changes and more opportunities are available to women, I work tirelessly to prioritize hiring and collaborating with women, people of color, and the queer community. I want each and every one of my successes to be an opportunity for another artist to shine and I hope that you will come along for the ride.
My last short film, Out Again, premiered at NewFest in New York City and has gone on to screen at over 40 film festivals both nationally and internationally. It is a dark comedy about a woman who's mother has alzheimer's a forgets that her daughter is gay, forcing her to come out again and again.
I recently completed Passing, a docuseries executive produced by Topic/First Look Media. After years of hearing the story of my Nebraska cousins, who unbeknownst to them, were passing for white, I reached out to the lost cousins in an attempt to bring them back into the family. Traveling through the South and into the Midwest, the film follows me as I encounter strangers that look just like me and wrestle with the ideas of race, culture, and blood. Passing will premiere in the Spring of 2019.
PRE-PRODUCTION | March - June 2019
We're currently in the midst of casting, location scouting, and assembling our crew.
PRODUCTION | July 2019
We'll be shooting the film over five days in Los Angeles, California.
POST-PRODUCTION | July/August 2019
We will be working hard to cut, color, and lay some beautiful tracks.
PREMIERE | Spring of 2020
2 Dollars will premiere at AFI's spring screening.
FESTIVALS | 2020 and beyond
2 Dollars will be touring the world!
ROBIN CLOUD | WRITER / DIRECTOR
Robin Cloud is a Los Angeles based comedian, writer, and director. Her first narrative short, Out Again, was executive produced by Refinery29 as part of their Shatterbox Anthology and premiered in March of 2017 and received over 2 million views. In addition, Out Again received rave reviews and has screened at over forty film festivals and counting. Cloud is a 2017 Kickstarter Creative Fellow, a graduate of Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad mentee program, and was recently accepted into the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women class of 2020. Her first docuseries Passing, was executive produced by Topic/First Look Media and will premiere this spring.
Robin has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Diva Magazine, GO magazine’s “Top 100 Women We Love,” Noire Magazine, and Time Out New York’s “Quote of the Week.” She graduated cum laude from Howard University's School of Communications where she studied film under Haile Gerima. In addition, she has studied cinematography at the School of Visual Arts. Her production company, Cloud Creative Media, was launched in March of 2016 and focuses on creating independent narrative and documentary films and series.
She is represented by Authentic Management.
RUTINA WESLEY | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Rutina Wesley is currently starring in the third season of Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed series "Queen Sugar." She stars as “Nova,” the journalist/activist/herbalist in this drama that takes an inside look at what it is truly like to see family come together. Many reviewers are in agreement with USA Today’s Robert Bianco who says that “Rutina turns in a tour de force performance as the grieving daughter…” Prior to “Queen Sugar,” Rutina was busy starring on yet another critically acclaimed series “Hannibal” from the mind of Bryan Fuller. She got to tackle the role of “Reba,” the blind love interest to the “Red Dragon,” played by Richard Armitage. Following that, Rutina starred as the co-series lead in the ABC pilot "The Broad Squad" from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire which addressed the issues surrounding newly appointed female cops in Boston throughout the late 1970’s.
Some of her theatre includes tackling the coveted role of “Viola” in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at The Old Globe, “The Submission” Off-Broadway with director Walter Bobbie, as well as on Broadway opposite Julianne Moore in David Hare’s “The Vertical Hour” from acclaimed director Sam Mendes. She has starred across all genres in the feature world such as “13 Sins” from Radius/TWC, “The Perfect Guy” from Screen Gems, “Last Weekend” from Sundance Selects and the lead role in the Sundance Film Festival favorite, “How She Move” which was bought and distributed by MTV Films. Rutina is perhaps best known for immortalizing the role of “Tara," the Southern, tough-talking, best friend to Anna Paquin’s "Sookie Stackhouse” on Alan Ball's HBO hit series: "True Blood." She has developed a huge following and continues to wow directors and producers with her intense, heart-touching performances.
MOIRA MOREL | Cinematographer
Moira Morel is an accomplished Latinx cinematographer living in Los Angeles, CA with a background in both documentary and narrative filmmaking.
Morel was raised in a conservative Latino household in the suburbs outside of Detroit, Michigan. After finishing high school, her desire to get a different take on the world at large led her to The Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia, WA. It was at TESC that Morel found her passion for photography, documentary filmmaking and activism.
In 2012 Morel was accepted into the cinematography program at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, California. Since completing her MFA in 2014, Morel has shot commercials, music videos, shorts and web-series’.
Over the last 10 years, many of the films that Morel has lensed have screened and won awards at film festivals nationally and internationally. Most notably, Unlovable premiered at SXSW in 2018 and won the SXSW Gamechanger Award. Vámonos, the short film that Morel both shot and co-wrote, won the 2016 Best Theatrical Short Imagen Award along with the 2016 NBCU Open Possibilites Social Impact Award. The Skinny premiered at Sundance in 2016 and The Punk Singer had its world premier in 2013 at SXSW.
WHY SHOULD I BACK THIS PROJECT?
The number of women directing in film and television is very small and the number of queer black women directing is even smaller! By backing this project you are not only uplifting me in the pursuit of my dreams but also you are helping to show young people in the queer community that you too can be a bad ass director and make films that tell your own story.
We have raised half of our budget through generous private donations but in order to reach our goal, we've turned to Kickstarter to take us over the finish line. The funds that we raise through Kickstarter will help us secure key locations, hire and feed talented crew, and make a finished product that looks dope!
...you made it to the end! This is going to be an amazing ride and I hope that you will be a part of it. Please follow and share us on FB, Instagram and Twitter @2DollarsFilm.
Lot's of love,
Risks and challenges
We know that many of you have donated to passion projects in the past and still, months or even years later, are waiting to see the finished product. We promise that's not the case this time. 2 Dollars will be made available as a private link to those who donate over $25 on the same day as our film festival premiere in the Spring of 2020. We take the completion of this project (and your perks!) seriously, and have every intention of sharing the finished film with you as soon as possibleLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)