Few things are as frustrating as having your voice drowned out by someone who has not lived your experience. Oppression relies on suppressing minority voices. If you cannot share your stories, your truths, and your struggles, a crucial part of your identity is erased.
One way to stop this from happening is by lifting up minority voices and actively listening to their perspectives. The film industry has done a poor job of this for generations; however, the tide may finally be turning. 2020 saw a record number of films directed by women, and this year Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color to win the Best Director award at the Oscars. Victories like these will keep mounting as long as films by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are supported at every level.
This week’s crowdfunding picks feature filmmakers reclaiming their stories. The feature documentary “Waveguides,” directed by Morningstar Angeline and made with a majority Indigenous cast and crew, is about women-identifying Indigenous musicians and their art. “All The Things I Never Said” is a short film written by Chloë Florence based on her experience with homelessness as a queer woman. Finally, “Comin’ in Hot,” written and directed by Adriana Vecchioli, is a short about a woman looking to escape her life and reclaim the parts of herself she lost.
Here are Women and Hollywood’s latest crowdfunding picks.
“Waveguides” (Documentary) – Directed by Morningstar Angeline
History has often erased Indigenous voices from their own narrative. “Waveguides” is a feature length documentary allowing Indigenous creators to reclaim their stories. The film explores Indigenous music through the stories and art of six women-identifying Indigenous musicians.
“Our diverse cast thoughtfully put the vast spectrum of Indigeneity and womanhood on display through their work and shared stories often not represented in mainstream media,” states the Kickstarter campaign. “‘Waveguides’ is a celebration of the contributions to music Indigenous women-identifying [artists] have made and continue to make through an Indigenous lens.”
The six musicians include KP of Black Belt Eagle Scout, an alternative/indie-rock artist; Pura Fé, who performs Indigenous Blues; Lindy Vision, a New Wave musician; Raye Zaragoza, a folk musician; Divide/Dissolve, who writes neoclassical metal music; and Fabi Reyna, a Cumbia-R&B and Electro Tropical musician.
The majority of the documentary crew is Indigenous, including director Morningstar Angeline. In the Kickstarter campaign, they emphasize the importance of Indigenous people telling their own stories on their own terms: “[We are] allowing our cast and crew to reclaim the ancestral art of storytelling with total autonomy over their self-representation in media.”
Learn more about “Waveguides” and donate on Kickstarter.
“All The Things I Never Said” (Short) – Written by Chloë Florence
Robyn is a young homeless queer woman who finds solace in raving across the city. She uses dating apps to find dates for her nights out. When she goes out with Nala, Robyn finds that if she can’t convince Nala to stick around, she risks a night without a safe place to sleep.
The creator and writer of this short film, Chloë Florence, based “All The Things I Never Said” off of her own experience as a queer woman who was unhoused for seven years. She is aiming to show the audience a new perspective of LGBTQ+ homelessness via a compassionate lens.
“This is not a woe-is-me story, but one full of humor, color, and personality that shows the powerful, survival strength of queer women and the truth behind such a big important issue that is so misrepresented,” Florence says in her writer’s statement on Kickstarter.
Many members of Florence’s crew have personal experience with homelessness as LGBTQ+ people. They hope to inspire change by bringing more visibility to this pressing issue.
Learn more about “All The Things I Never Said” and donate on Kickstarter.
“Comin’ in Hot” (Short) – Written and Directed by Adriana Vecchioli
Mia, trapped in a boring marriage and unsatisfied with her life, goes into the desert to reclaim her story and surrender to her secret pleasure. She picks up a splashy car and a new identity and moves to the Mojave Desert, leaving her husband and her former life behind.
“Comin’ in Hot” explores themes of women’s pleasure, lust, objectification, and self-awakening, all through the female gaze. The crew for the film is entirely made up of women who are looking to change Hollywood’s gender disparity problem one film at a time.
“I am tired of seeing female characters that do not look like us or look like me,” states the writer-director-star Adriana Vecchioli in the above video. “In movies, women are either perfectly gorgeous or completely hysterical. How about seeing, instead, women who try their best but just can’t seem to fit in?” she asks. “Women who are tired of acting like good girls and sometimes just snap. Women who are weird and horny and who are exploring their sexuality without being sexualized by random dudes … Just women who are trying to be themselves.”
Learn more about “Comin’ in Hot” and donate on Kickstarter.
To be considered for Women and Hollywood’s biweekly crowdfunding feature, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. All formats (features, shorts, web series, etc.) welcome. Projects must be by and/or about women.