Local DC filmmaker, Amy Oden (who recently released her first full-length documentary From the Back of the Room) has another movie in the works. This time around she’s pointing her camera on “Exotic.” The new documentary focuses on women in the U.S. who travel to Guam in order to work as exotic dancers near the military base there.
“I’m going to live and film in Guam for a month this spring to shoot, and give these women an opportunity to talk about their experiences. Sex work is a huge debate in feminism and in society writ large, and these women’s voices deserve to be included in the conversation,” says Oden on why she’s passionate about making this documentary.
“I started wanting to do this film when a friend of mine, who dances, told me that some folks she knows go to Guam every year,” says Oden. However, in order to make this project into an actual film Oden needs to travel to Guam for both footage and in-person interviews. The total of all this will cost roughly $5,000.
So following in the footsteps of other independent film-makers (i.e. Sini Anderson’s “The Punk Singer”) Oden started a Kickstarter account at the beginning of this month in attempt to raise the money to make this project happen.
If you’re not familiar with the site, Kickstarter is “a funding platform focused on a broad spectrum of creative projects” such as: albums, films, etc. Each project must have “clearly defined goals and expectations,” and it cannot be for a charity (such as Red Cross) or a “fund my life” project. Most importantly it’s an “all-or-nothing” funding method. In order to make any money from this site each project must reach its entire goal or absolutely no money changes hand. Anyone and everyone can donate as little as a dollar, and if you donate a large sum you get something in return.
In the case of “Exotic” anyone who donates $50 or more will be thanked in the film credits, along with a movie poster and a first copy of the screening. $100 will get you listed as a co-producer and $250 will make you a producer.
As of 11 am today, “Exotic” has raised just over $3,100 with 68 backers. But that’s still $2000 shy of the end goal. Oden reminds us on the site “The film simply won’t happen if we don’t meet the fundraising goal – if you have time, please pass along the campaign to folks you know!” So check out the site here and spread the word. “Film making is my life, and my activism,” says Oden. “But I can’t do this project without this funding – if the $5,000 goal isn’t realized by Tuesday, none of the funds will be available to me.”
Let’s keep independent and women centered art and film alive and vibrant!