Get Pariah to Sundance in style!*

Pariah still
Director Dee Rees on the job, one of the most beautiful images I’ve seen in a very long time. [Source: Pariah: The Movie blog.]

*[Update: They did it! And now that they're fundraising in excess of their $10k goal, they're donating half of remaining money to the Ali Forney Center, a New York City homeless shelter for LGBT youth. Dictionary definition of walking the talk.]

Pariah! This film has to get to Sundance in the best possible shape, and its whole bodacious film-making crew has to be there along with it!  I found out about it this morning from my handy-dandy Frameline e-newsletter (thanks, folks), and am all inspired to do my wee part in boosting its support.

Here’s what Frameline had to say:

Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper‘s feature adaptation of their Frameline Audience Award winning short will be finished just in time to world premiere at Sundance. The film is about a Bronx teenager forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family while she juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression. If you would like to help Dee and Nekissa finish their film and make it to Sundance for their world premiere please check out their Kickstarter page.

Writer/director Rees’s bio on the Kickstarter page notes the following:

Dee Rees is an alumna of NYU’s grad film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow. Her feature doc, EVENTUAL SALVATION, aired on the Sundance Channel in 2009 and she was named as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

Pariah, in its first incarnation as a short, was her NYU grad thesis project.  Check out the film’s synopsis at its page on the Sundance 2011 site:

At the club, the music thumps, go-go dancers twirl, shorties gyrate on the dance floor while studs play it cool, and adorably naive 17-year-old Alike takes in the scene with her jaw dropped in amazement. Meanwhile, her buddy Laura, in between macking the ladies and flexing her butch bravado, is trying to help Alike get her cherry popped. This is Alike’s first world. Her second world is calling on her cell to remind her of her curfew. On the bus ride home to Brooklyn, Alike sheds her baseball cap and polo shirt, puts her earrings back in, and tries to look like the feminine, obedient girl her conservative family expects.

With a spectacular sense of atmosphere and authenticity, Pariah takes us deep and strong into the world of an intelligent butch teenager trying to find her way into her own. Debut director Dee Rees leads a splendid cast and crafts a pitch-perfect portrait that stands unparalleled in American cinema.

Okay, is that enough for you?  I haven’t seen the film yet (my queer film festival-haunting days are, alas, a thing of the past now, save for the various days they set aside for family fun). But all of the above, coupled with the writer/director and producer chat at their Kickstarter page, are enough for me.  Let’s do it, people! We can help get these gals their freaking 10 Gs so they can get this film in tippy-top shape for Sundance, and get their tippy-top selves there to boot!

Go here and give what you can.

As of this writing (midday Thursday, PST), they’ve raised $5,789 bucks off of 99 people, and have ONLY 13 DAYS TO GO. If they don’t make their $10,000 goal, they don’t get the cabbage, people! Meaning, your credit or debit card won’t be charged. I know no one’s feeling flush these days. But there’s only a $1 minimum pledge. Geez, $10 gets you a thanks on their website. Me, I’m going for at least the $25 pledge so I can get a limited release digital download from the film’s soundtrack, which features the music of Tamar-kali.  (Want a sample? Check this out.)

Wish I could do more. But together we could do a lot. If every one of you chipped in a dollar, THEY WOULD EXCEED THEIR GOAL.  Okay, some of you are robots or whatever. But if every one of the rest of you chipped in a buck-fifty, two bucks (a latté, people!), they’re there. Let’s do it!  Now off I go!


4 Responses to Get Pariah to Sundance in style!*

  1. Lesbian Dad January 6, 2011 at #

    All righty! The whole process took me less than a minute, (a) because I’m a lesbian and therefore have a good deal of manual dexterity, and (b) because the Kickstarter page is tied in w/ Amazon & if you have an Amazon “one-click” type of account, you have way less stuff to enter.

    Do it people!

    I’ll try to check back in here with some updates about their progress. Which has GOT to be swift and sure!

  2. Lesbian Dad January 6, 2011 at #

    Right! So AfterEllen was on this a few days ago: “Pariah” heads for Sundance, needs your help to get there.

  3. rlw012209 January 7, 2011 at #

    I’ve pledged my pennies at the kickstart page, emailed everyone I know about this film and posted the link on fb. Thanks for the 411 on this great project.
    :)

    • Lesbian Dad January 7, 2011 at #

      Thank you rlw01209! It’s such a modest amount to request, for such a huge thing (finishing their sound? getting their crew to Sundance? when it’s been picked to show OPENING NIGHT?). So easy for folks to be of such use for such an important project. I could count on one hand the number of coming-of-age films I’ve seen featuring a workingclass brown butch gal as the protagonist. And that would be with my hand clenched into a fist. The fact that this film has gotten this far is due, as the writer/director says, to its being a “labor of love.” It’s an honor to share and add to that love with a little bit of timely generosity.

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