Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 5, 2012.

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On her deathbed, Jewell Ellis confessed: Roy is as much a woman as I am. But where Roy came from and how Roy lived are mysteries.

Roy Hudgins with a few Delhi residents.
Roy Hudgins with a few Delhi residents.

THE STORY:

Directors Casey Parks and Aubree Bernier Clarke are making a documentary about Roy Hudgins, an enigmatic figure who lived in Delhi, Louisiana, from the 1920s until the early 2000s. People in town have different stories about Roy: Roy was kidnapped, was left in a shoebox on the church steps, was a "morphodite." Roy was an outcast, a musician, a good Christian and a yard mower.

Roy passed away in 2006, leaving behind no living relatives (that we are aware of), and relatively no paper trail. We've spent three years making in-roads in Roy's community, following leads and tracking down what records do exist. At this point we've discovered a lot about Roy and the town of Delhi, but we have more questions than answers about the facts of Roy's life. Raising the money to spend more time in rural Louisiana will help us close that gap.

WHAT'S NEXT:

We plan to finish the documentary in fall 2013.

We want to tell Roy's story, as completely as we can. In the next year, we plan to visit Delhi three more times to finish filming. We will interview residents, track down files. We will also visit other Southern states, such as Arkansas, where some people believe Roy was born and and possibly kidnapped, to look for records.

Roy was a musician, so music will play a key role in the film. We will record a score in 2013, in part based on Roy's music work. We'll begin editing next summer and plan to release the finished movie early fall 2013.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Your donation will go toward travel costs to help us get to the South. It will also help us pay for public records and other documents, such as newspaper articles. We will also use the money to record a score written and performed by Delhi native Christopher Johnson, now of the Fort Worth-based band Telegraph Canyon.These aspects will help us finish the film next year.

WHO WE ARE:

Casey Parks is a Louisiana native who now works as a staff reporter at The Oregonian. She won Portland's Bridge Festival Film Festival with a short documentary about jerk dancers. In 2006, she won the New York Times essay contest to travel to Africa with Nicholas Kristof.

Aubree Bernier-Clarke is a Kentucky native who has been making films in Portland, OR for nearly a decade. As a producer, editor and cinematographer, she has worked with directors Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze, M Blash, Andy Blubaugh and Sarah Shapiro. She worked as a camera operator on the IFC hit show "Portlandia," and has directed music videos for Mirah, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, The Thermals and the Corin Tucker Band. She recently directed a short film based on Michelle Tea's classic coming-of-age memoir "Valencia."

Filmmaker Aaron Wong -- a Memphis native now working in Portland -- helped shoot footage and record sound. 

Delhi, LA native Christopher Johnson leads the Forth Worth-based band Telegraph Canyon. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegraph both named their last album, The Tide and The Current, album of the year. He has recorded sound for the film, and is composing the original score.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Getting to rural Louisiana is not easy. No airplanes fly to Delhi, Louisiana, so traveling there from Oregon takes a full day or two. Casey and Aubree have to coordinate work schedules. Because both work full time, that is a difficult to schedule.

Getting people in a small town to open up about Roy -- a person everyone knew of, but few really knew -- is also challenging. So far, we have not been able to discover where Roy was born or whether Roy had any family.

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