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A film for the human spirit: Standing for the inclusion of Performers with "disabilities" in LEAD roles in the Film and TV Industry.
A film for the human spirit: Standing for the inclusion of Performers with "disabilities" in LEAD roles in the Film and TV Industry.
109 backers pledged $10,180 to help bring this project to life.

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$10,180

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We reached our minimum goal, but we still need funds to go to festivals worldwide, PR, prints, DVD's, etc...  Thank you for your generous donations so far!  Now we can finish post and complete this film.  LAST DAY to raise as much as we can for nationwide distribution to festivals.

Make sure to see our updates!  Including interviews with multiple Emmy Award-winning actress Barbara Bain, our writer Gena Acosta, and legendary acting coach, Allan Miller, all from The Actors Studio. 

We need to go way BEYOND this goal to make a real impact.  So please forward this on!  Thank you!

"Sleeping With the Bear" by Gena Acosta, is a film about Emily, a former track and field Olympic hopeful, who has lost half her life, and all of her dreams from a crippling accident that destroyed her leg. Now working as a manicurist, she receives news from her insurance company that the "revolutionary" series of surgeries she is supposed to finally undergo to restore her quality of life will NOT be approved. This devastating disappointment sends this usually strong woman spiraling down in ways she never has before, as her last hopes for an easier, pain-free life are dashed.

Her older neighbor William, a recently widowed taxidermist has just been commissioned to execute his biggest and most anticipated taxidermy job in his career: stuff and mount a 9 foot grizzly bear - "The Taxidermist's Everest". However, not having his wife there to share it with him, William finds himself lost on what should be the most glorious of days... So he knocks on Emily's door and she reluctantly answers.

Emily tries to hide her own pain while supporting him, but it all falls apart as we discover that the loss she is grieving is overwhelming, and very much the same as the pain he endured after the death of his wife. Both have suffered tremendous loss. Both have lost HALF of themselves. Both have no one to share it with. But together, they find the strength to keep going.

"Sleeping With The Bear" is a film about friends helping each other rise above life's challenges... and that's exactly what we're doing!

Our Mission:  To LEAD the way for ALL INCLUSIVE DIVERSITY in Films!  

We're making a breakout film featuring a LEAD character with a "disability", cast with a lead actress who has a similar challenge. We've gathered an amazing team of DIVERSE filmmakers, women and men of all ages, colors, differences and abilities.  Gena Acosta, Eva Minemar, Christine Grund, Julian Moss, Eileen Grubba, Cynthia Rose Hall, Noam Dromi, Brad Rowe, Joe Taranto, Sebastian Milito, Carmen Argenziano, Allegra Pickett, Phil Hall, Greg Mortensen, Shel Rasten, Henry Bildstein, Ted Meyers, Nannette D'Aquila, Sheryl Crow's Bootheel Trading Company, Juliet Jernigan, Stephanie Todaro, Armen Arakelyan, John Duffy, Jared White, Andres Boulton, Scott Eilers and more!  The Post Group has also stepped up to help us bring this home! Others have made generous anonymous contributions. 

We have an accomplished cast, both Lifetime Members of The Actors Studio.  Click on their names to see their extensive credits --

Eileen Grubba: Sons of Anarchy, HUNG, The Mentalist, Cold Case, The Closer, Nip/Tuck, etc...  Plus many years on stage and in films.   Eileen's Bio  

Carmen Argenziano: Stargate SG-1, House MD, CSI NY, Criminal Minds, Angels and Demons, Godfather II, Stand and Deliver, and so many more!

We're taking a stand!  Building the ship. Because we HAVE to…

On top of their physical challenges, too many actors have been forced to give up their dreams in order to survive with basic necessities like income and critical health insurance because the doors are CLOSED to them in our Industry.  We lose their stories, their talents and their strengths. They are our REAL LIFE HEROES. We need their inspiration. And they need advocates... strong ones! Understanding and accepting the representation of ALL human differences will make this a kinder world for everyone. The only thing that should ever matter is our ABILITY. Join FORCES with us to inspire our Industry with this film, SHOW THEM it can be done, and you, too, will be changing the world!

We intend to use this film to start the movement to INCLUDE actors with "disabilities" in LEAD roles in our industry. We're going to show what happens when life experience meets a challenging role.  Eileen Grubba, a thriving cancer survivor, who also overcame paralysis as a child, is a 20 year veteran of the film and TV industry.  She is highly respected among her peers, yet she constantly struggles to get in doors for substantial roles, making it nearly impossible for her to maintain the health insurance that keeps her alive.  The closed doors have often been blatantly due to fears about the brace she wears for stability and a slight, often unnoticeable limp.  Accomplished members of The Actors Studio say she will get Oscars when she gets her chance.  We plan to give her that chance and set a precedent: Actors with physical challenges have great value, due to their exceptional life experience, adding emotional depth, strength, humanity and courage to their roles. 

It’s a simple premise – Everyone should be afforded the same opportunities to pursue their dreams and succeed in their chosen field regardless of race, creed, religion, age, gender or orientation.

So why are individuals with physical challenges blatantly discriminated against in the Entertainment Industry?  Popular culture is one of our most vital imports. Movies and television programs often promote and inspire the best in our society. Our industry tell the WORLD how to think.  So, how can we allow our industry to remain so far behind the times?

The facts speak for themselves –

"According to the US Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, the percentage of U.S. citizens reporting an apparent disability is slightly more than 12% (36.2 million people). The inclusion of people with non-apparent, ADA-covered disabilities, such as cancer, would greatly increase this census number. Yet, even that original figure is nowhere nearly reflected by the broadcast networks. As of this count, only six series regular characters on the broadcast networks, or 1%, are scheduled to appear in the upcoming season are people with disabilities. In addition, only ONE of the six actors has a known disability." - SAG.org

With this film, we plan to lead our industry past the final "category" of discrimination and into a more compassionate, open-minded world for everyone.

WHY CONTRIBUTE: 

To help make a film that opens minds, and reminds us of our strengths.  For every person challenged by a disability, for every child who was tormented in school for being different, for every challenged patient we love, for every person who gave up their dreams because others wouldn't give them a chance, for every person who felt like they weren't good enough because the Entertainment Industry perpetuates this illusion of perfection worldwide... There are SO MANY REASONS to become a part of our FILM movement to show the our audiences that it's OK to be REAL!  Let's make the world a more compassionate place for everyone by making films that represent the REAL HUMAN RACE.  Imperfections and all.

YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS will make it possible for us to complete our film, publicize it and distribute it.  We need a LOT of funding to make this a WORLDWIDE event.  We want festival wins and an Oscar!  We plan to reach MILLIONS of viewers.  The more you pitch in, the more people we reach.  $10,000 is the MINIMUM we need.  If we get ten times that, we can REALLY make a powerful impact!  Thank you for being a part of the CHANGE!!!! 

Fear closes doors, COURAGE OPENS THEM!

Show us your COURAGE!  Jump on board!

Let's change the WORLD!!!!

(Eileen at age 5)

To find out how you can further help, e-mail us at sleepingwiththebear@gmail.com

Eva Minemar - Director, Sebastian Milito - Cinematographer, Julian Moss - Producer.

Christine Grund - Executive Producer, Gena Acosta - Writer.

Cynthia Rose Hall - Line Producer, Allegra Pickett - First A.D., Gena Acosta

Thank you for helping us make a film that makes a difference!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU!
    Plus, your name will be listed as a "SUPPORTER" on our website. Even five dollars may get us into one more festival! :) Plus every person you pass this on to helps us raise awareness.

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    Above plus Select PRODUCTION STILLS (name talent are series regulars/recurring characters on multiple primetime shows) emailed with status updates .

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    A sincere and heartfelt thank you! Your name will be listed as a "TEAM PLAYER" on our website. Select production stills emailed (name talent are series regulars/recurring characters on many primetime shows). You will also receive a PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL charm, and a SIGNED PHOTO postcard of our lead actress.

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    A sincere and heartfelt thank you! Your name will be listed as an "ANGEL SUPPORTER" on our website. Emailed Production photos and updates on our journey towards worldwide acceptance of people with challenges. You will also receive a PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL charm and a handwritten thank you note, plus a PHOTO SIGNED by both LEAD actors, and a DVD of our film.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU!!! Your name will be listed as an "ANGEL INVESTOR" on our website. Emailed Production photos and updates on our journey towards worldwide acceptance of people with challenges. You will also receive a PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL, plus a SURPRISE gift, and a handwritten thank you note, signed by both actors AND a signed DVD copy of the movie AND invitations to our screenings.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU!!!! Your name will be listed as an "SUPER ANGEL INVESTOR" on our website. You will also receive a PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL charm and a handwritten thank you note. Signed by the lead actors, as well as a signed DVD. Emailed Production photos and updates as we continue the battle worldwide. PLUS limited edition PHOTO STILLS from the shoot AND a SIGNED STARGATE SG1, 8 x 10 photo of Carmen Argenziano (as Jacob Carter/Selmak). You will also be invited to our screenings with an opportunity to meet the leads after.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    A Two HOUR acting and career coaching session by Lifetime ACTORS STUDIO members Carmen Argenziano and Eileen Grubba, in person, if you are able to come to the LA area. If not, we will do the coaching by Skype. Plus Emailed Production photos and updates on our journey towards worldwide acceptance of People with differences.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU!!!! You are REALLY helping us make a difference with this film. Your name will be listed as an "GUARDIAN ANGEL" on our website. You will also receive PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL charms and a handwritten thank you note, signed by both actors, as well as a signed DVD, emailed Production photos and updates on our journey. PLUS you will have a special THANK YOU in the CREDITS on the film as well as on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database). You will also be invited to our screenings with the team that made it all happen!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU for helping us make a difference!!!! ANYTHING you want from the above rewards, your name will be listed as an "GUARDIAN ANGEL" on our website. You will also receive several PEWTER GUARDIAN ANGEL charms and a handwritten thank you note, signed by both actors, as well as a signed DVD. PLUS you will receive a special THANK YOU in the credits on the film as well as on the IMDB. You will also be invited to screenings with the team that made it all happen! Plus an Invite for 2 to the FINAL WRAP PARTY and SCREENING with filmmakers and cast.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    THANK YOU!!!! You can have ANY of the REWARDS offered above, PLUS "SUPER ANGEL INVESTOR" status on our website AND an INVITE for FOUR to the cast and crew wrap party and our first premiere. Plus, You can come to set of our next production, starting SOON!

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    THANK YOU!!!! You can have ANY of the REWARDS offered above, PLUS "ARCHANGEL INVESTOR" status on our website, a special Thank you in the FILM CREDITS, and an INVITE for 6 to the cast and crew WRAP PARTY and our first PREMIERE, and all festival screenings, PLUS a CERTAIN KNOWING that YOU are making an enormous DIFFERENCE in the world.

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    Anonymous Donation. No reward or recognition desired. OK! But we'll ask our Angels to look out for you! And trust us, we have some pretty powerful Angels on our side!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Many Thank you's!!! And ANY REWARD you want above. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT on website, on the film credits and on IMDB, (if you want that status), PLUS an invite for you and your friends to a PRIVATE INDUSTRY SCREENING PARTY for Executive Producers, cast, crew and Industry only. This will be a fun adventure! You will have DINNER and DRINKS with the cast and producers. You can have many signed photos of cast and crew, as well as copies of the film. We will honor you as a WARRIOR ANGEL, taking up arms for the betterment of the human race! You will sleep WELL knowing you made a HUGE difference in the lives of many people around the world, especially Eileen and all the people she will inspire when she wins this battle!!!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You will really make a HUGE contribution to the possibilities of this film and the effects it will have on our society! Thank you for helping us WIN a VICTORY for HUMANITY. You choose to BE THE CHANGE you want to see in the world, and you DO NOT want recognition or credit just the knowing that you made a HUGE difference in the lives of many challenged people. We promise we will honor our commitment to keep going and going until people with differences and disabilities are fairly represented in the Media, Entertainment, Film, and Television Industry. We want to give you ROCK STAR status on our website! You ARE an ANGEL.

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Funding period

- (30 days)