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$830 pledged of $42,000 goal
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$830 pledged of $42,000 goal
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About

We're making a film about rape culture, pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders, and women's reproductive rights.

THE GENESIS

There have always been problems with our world and we're always trying to make things better. We may have different ideas on how to accomplish positive change where it's needed, but recently, specifically, after the presidential election, Leonardo and I became concerned about some of the problems being addressed at all. That's why we're here, on Kickstarter.

Let's take a moment to acknowledge that regardless the administration, the issues we want to talk about have always been a problem: 

Rape Culture has always been around, you might just not know what it is (it's blaming the victim, thinking the victim did something to warrant physical/verbal/emotional assault), how to see it, or how to make changes (like teaching people not to rape, instead of teaching people how to not be raped). Women have been fighting for their reproductive rights...well, forever. And, even though it's been there since the beginning of time, women have struggled without acknowledgement or help with their pregnancies or  postpartum mood disorders.

Unfortunately, our recent political landscape has given a voice to people that want to sweep these issues under the rug, or turn them on their head, entirely. We think rape culture is still a problem and needs to be addressed immediately. We're over the idea that women carry the onus of reproduction, and are further stigmatized for wanting reproductive rights. We want to give a voice to the women and families, struggling and suffering in silence with symptoms they don't understand. AND, perhaps the worst part of all is how all of these issues vary wildly depending on a woman's race and/or economic status. 

And so, we wrote "Venere" (pronounced "Ven" "uh" "ray"), a 30 minute short film to be submitted to festivals in order to gain momentum and find backers to fund it into a feature film. 

WHY ARE WE MAKING THIS FILM?

Art is a powerful tool that shapes our culture, and film is the most immediate art form of our time. It creates discussion. Our goal is to empower our audience to talk with friends and family in a respectful manner, about rape culture, reproductive rights, and the state of pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders in the United States.

When we change our culture, it is the first step to political change.

When it comes to women's rights we are all in danger. When a woman is not in charge of her own body, when a woman is paid less for the same amount of work a man does, when we deny justice to victims of rape, we all lose as a society because we withhold one of us from living to our full potential.

WHAT IS "VENERE" ABOUT?

“Venere” follows the lives of three women of diverse socio-economic backgrounds as each character grapples with their fear, struggling to identify healthy coping mechanisms. One woman navigates prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety, the second struggles to safely exit an abusive relationship, and the third resists losing herself and her choices as she faces the thought of abortion. None of the women know each other personally, yet they are connected in their dreams where the audience has the opportunity to watch them battle personal demons in order to find their inner truth to then be able to connect with a larger community of women. Each characters’ situation depicts an internal battle spurred by societal pressures that are placed on women every day in our country.

WHERE DO YOU COME IN?

Have you been a victim of rape culture? Do you know what rape culture is? Have you ever felt that you were not allowed to decide what to do with your own body? Have you struggled with mental illness or a mood disorder? Or, do you know someone that has answered yes to any of the above? Do you want to create a healthy discussion around these issues to effect change?

We assembled a professional cast and crew, and we'd like to pay these pros! Our budget of $42,000 will cover pre- and post-production costs for our 30 minute short.

We have a stretch goal of $80,000 which will enable us to submit to more festivals and provide public screenings to underserved communities where conversation about these topics is most needed. 

AND, if you guys think that our goals for this production are stellar, and you're super generous, helping us hit our final goal of $1.5M, we'll go straight into writing and production of the feature film :-)

TIMELINE

November, 2017 - Production begins 

April, 2018 - Post-production begins

May, 2018 - Submission to festivals

Risks and challenges

We're committed to this project so much that everyone involved has already invested so much time, energy, and our own dollars to produce "Venere". Our biggest challenge is exactly why we're here on Kickstarter - obtaining the funds to fairly pay our cast and crew for their expertise and experience.

The other challenge is having rational conversations about things that are deeply personal. Our message in the film is consistent with our own values: violence begets violence. Please be kind and empathetic when engaging in discourse.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUT-OUT

    Pledge $5 and you'll get an Aunt Marj-worthy 'thank you' from Brianne on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    SOCIAL MEDIA BILINGUAL SHOUT-OUT

    Pledge $10 and you'll get an Aunt Marj-worthy 'thank you' in English from Brianne and a way more beautiful one in Italian from Leonardo.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    HANDWRITTEN THANK-YOU + all of the above

    Pledge $20, Brianne and Leonardo will craft a beautiful, handwritten thank you, still Aunt Marj-worthy, and make sure your peeps on social media know how amazing you are.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    COOKING DEMO + all of the above

    You read that correctly - for $35, Leo will reveal his grandmother's vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe in a convenient cooking demonstration sent to you via link. Plus, all the other goodies.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DIRECTOR'S CUT+ all of the above

    Pledge $50 and you will receive a special link to access the director's cut and commentary of Venere. PLUS, you get the delicious vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe, a handwritten thank-you from Brianne & Leo, plus your peeps will see how amahzing you are on social media. In English and, the much more beautiful, Italian.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A COPY OF THE SCRIPT + everything else

    For $75, you get a copy of the Venere script, signed by the Director and Writer, yours truly, PLUS, a special link to the director's cut of the film (so you can read along), a link to Leo's grandma's famous stuffed eggplant, an Aunt Marj-worthy, handwritten thank-you, AND a shout-out thank you on Facebook and Twitter in English AND Italian. Wow.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 TIX TO SCREENING + all of the above

    For a $100 pledge, you get to see a private screening of Venere with a guest, plus a copy of the script to follow along, a special link to the director's cut for in-depth analysis, and a link to Leo's grandma's stuffed eggplant recipe (for dinner while you watch Venere at home), an Aunt Marj-worthy, handwritten thank you, PLUS a shout-out of equal worthiness on Facebook and Twitter.

    *Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "THANKS" IN CREDITS + all of the above

    Pledge $250 and you'll get to see your name on screen as a special thank you! PLUS, you get to see it at a private screening with a guest, a signed script to follow along, a special link to the director's cut and commentary for further analysis, a link for a cooking demonstration of Leo's Nonna Mafalda's delicious stuffed eggplant, an Aunt Marj-worthy handwritten thank-you, and bilingual shout-outs on social media. Holy Moly. That's a lotta guacamole.

    *Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    VIDEO IN CREDITS + all of the above

    Pledge $500 and you'll see yourself on screen! That's right, simply film yourself on your phone saying, "Hi, I'm John/Jane/JX Smith, and I helped make this project happen!" and send it to our email. You'll be featured in a special post-credits thank you reel, which you'll get to see after we thank you in the credits, also at a private screening with a special guest, while you follow along in your limited edition signed script. Later, at home you can watch Venere with your special link while you eat a fabulous dinner you learned to cook from a link to Leo's cooking demonstration of his Nonna Mafalda's stuffed eggplant. AND then you'll receive a special handwritten thank-you note from Brianne and Leonardo, the kind that Aunt Marj would be proud of, along with a shout-out thank-you on Facebook and Twitter.
    Whew...that's a lotta shtuff for $500...better act fast!

    Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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

    DINNER & SCREENING + all of the above

    That's right, for $1,000 you get a homemade dinner by our director/chef Leonardo, along with a private screening of Venere with the director as your personal guide...until the credits when you can shout "THAT'S ME!" when we thank you and then see you! (To do that, simply film yourself on your phone saying, "Hi, I'm John/Jane/JX Smith, and I helped make this project happen!" and send it to our email.)
    THEN, you'll get to take guest to see it in a private screening, while you follow along in your limited edition signed script. Later, at home you can watch Venere with your special link while you eat another fabulous dinner, that you learned to cook from a link to Leo's cooking demonstration of his Nonna Mafalda's stuffed eggplant. AND you'll receive a special handwritten thank-you note from Brianne and Leonardo, the kind that Aunt Marj would be proud of, along with a shout-out thank-you on Facebook and Twitter.
    This is a good one, folks. Leo makes exquisite Risotto.

    Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    ASSOC. PROD. CREDIT + some of the above

    FINALLY, you've arrived. You can shut up that mouthy cousin during the holidays by simply dropping your newest title, "Associate Producer".
    In addition, you'll get to see a clip of yourself in a special post-credits reel (to do that, simply film yourself on your phone saying, "Hi, I'm John/Jane/JX Smith, and I helped make this project happen!" and send it to our email) at a private screening with a guest, while you follow along in your limited edition signed script. You'll also receive a special link to watch Venere in your underwear at home, while you enjoy fabulous dinner that you learned to cook from a link to Leo's cooking demonstration of his Nonna Mafalda's stuffed eggplant. AND you'll receive a special handwritten thank-you note from Brianne and Leonardo, the kind that Aunt Marj would approve of, along with a shout-out thank-you on Facebook and Twitter.

    Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRODUCER CREDIT

    All right folks, this is a big one: for $2,500 you'll be named as a PRODUCER of the film in the credits. You'll also receive two tickets to a private screening, and an annotated script from the director to read along. Just in case you wish to view at home, you'll also get a DVD copy complete with director's cut. You will also receive bilingual heartfelt thanks from Leonardo and Brianne on Facebook and Twitter.

    Note: transportation to said event is up to you.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    CORE SPONSOR

    For $6,000, you/your board/your brand will be named as a CORE SPONSOR of Venere in the credits, on all promotional posters and materials. We'll also come to you (if you're in Chicago!) to host a private screening for your group and bring along an annotated script from the director, signed by the cast. We'll also give you a signed DVD of the director's cut for further edification.
    It's a great way to help make your brand/name/project be more visible to an audience interested in women's issues and social justice.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    PREMIER SPONSOR

    For $10,000, you or your brand will be named as PREMIER SPONSOR of Venere and all associated events in credits, helping make your brand/name/project more visible to an audience interested in gender equality and social justice. You'll also be included on all promotional posters and materials and we'll come to you for a private screening (in Chicago). We'll also arrive with some swag in the form of a signed and annotated director's script, and signed DVD.
    We'll also create a special thank you film for social media, where Leonardo and Brianne will proclaim your general awesomeness to the world.

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Funding period

- (60 days)