Her First Kill
Three women of color are collaborating to produce a film that stars Black women in roles that challenge and encourage societal change. By breaking down stereotypes about motherhood, female strength, and certain cultural expectations for women, Her First Kill aims to create a societal paradigm shift.
Inclusion StatementHer First Kill (HFK) is changing the game! 80% of our cast and crew identify as female or trans and are people of color. HFK also passes the Bechdel Test so we are challenging normative notions of femininity.
About The Project
Hey everyone! Thank you for taking the time to visit our page!
A Note from Director, Writer, and Producer Nike Kadri:
I was inspired to create Her First Kill (HFK) by Showtime's Dexter and the questions the show posed about the human psyche in regards to vigilante justice. Not unlike Richard III or Macbeth, HFK aims to ask: What makes us root for characters who commit amoral acts? How far will someone go to get justice for a loved one?
The idea of creating Her First Kill was bigger than just me, which meant I needed Mirirai Sithole and Lakisha May to join me as producers on this film and I was so excited when they said yes!
Our goal as a production team is to use the plot of violent vengeance to provide our audience with the opportunity to reflect on their own capacity for violence. In reflecting on the complicit nature of viewing on-screen violence, does that complicity change when our hero is a mother? Or religous? What is a woman, who happens to be a mother in the 21st century, outside of motherhood? These are all questions that Her First Kill dares to ask and has taken on the challenge of answering.
Ultimately, my fellow producers and I are creating a psychological thriller that allows 21st century characters that happen to be women - and one who also happens to be a mother - to exist in a three-dimensional capacity on screen. We cannot wait to share this short film with you and we cannot share it without your contrbutions!
Queer women, women of color, and women are the most marginalized demographics in the film-making industry. As a filmmaker, writer, and now director I strive to create stories that highlight those who have been displaced from society and from media. Ex: Black Lives Matter. This does not mean White or Blue lives do not matter. It means Black Lives Matter TOO!
PASSING THE TEST
Not only do we pass the Bechdel Test, which requires that a film have:
1) At least two women in it
2) who talk to each other
3) about something besides a man
But we also pass the DuVernay Test, coined by our idol Ava DuVernay, which requires that a film:
1) Portrays fully realized African-Americans and other minorities
2) who have their own priorities, motivations, desires, and actions
3) that are not informed by white characters
Queer/women/of color are least often given opportunity in this industry, so they deserve opportunities first. However, we are always strive to work with crew persons of all ages, physical abilities, genders, orientations, creeds, and experiences because then we all grow together! We are stronger together.
WE CUT OUR BUDGET IN HALF
We had an original dream budget of $8,000 but after several meetings among our three producers we knew we had to make a drastic change for the better. That change started with us:
The director and writer, Nike Kadri, and our cinemtographer decided to work pro bono. That's right, $0. Our producers took a significant cut as well. Soon after our decision, physical contributions started pouring in! Locations were donated, props, equipment, set decorations, and people were asking to assist on our set for free! These were signs that we were moving in the right direction.
Upon hearing of this movement among our key creative team and in our community, our marvelous crew also agreed to work for a little less in order to make our film a reality.
I could not be more proud to have people on the #HFKfilm team who believe in this story on screen and behind-the-scenes!
The budget we have set is the minimum needed to make the film at a professional level while compensating our cast and crew. We aim to end the culture of working for credit or in unsafe conditions.
If we raise 5,000 - We'll be able to pay our cast and crew more for their time and work! Over 800+ hours have been spent collectively working on HFK in pre-production alone!
If we raise 6,000 - We'll be able to cover film festival submission fees and distribution costs. Help us share this story with the world and bring our film to YOUR city!
If we raise $7,000 - We'll host a public screening in NYC with catered food. And of course you're invited!
Help us set a new standard for short film production!
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
READ OUR FULL TEAM'S PROFILES at herfirstkill.w
Director. Writer. Actor.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Nike (NEE-kay) is thrilled to be making her directorial debut with Her First Kill after the success of her first film By the Tide! As a filmmaker, Nike desires to create opportunity and exposure for under-represented emerging artists who are passionate about creating work for and by artists like themselves so they can succeed financially and artistically in an industry that has great potential to give voice to minority artists in New York City and beyond. As an actor, Nike has performed Off-Broadway at The Signature Theater and Classic Stage Company and regionally at The Guthrie Theater, Shakespeare Theatre NJ, Chicago Shakespeare, The McCarter Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and others. She can be seen in upcoming seasons of Divorce on HBO and Seven Seconds on Netflix. She is a graduate of The University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.
Hometown: Gloucester, VA
Lakisha is thrilled to be one of the actors in Her First Kill. She has her MFA in acting from The American Conservatory Theater and her BA from Spelman College. She has performed off-Broadway and at various regional theaters throughout the country. Lakisha’s TV and Film credits include: Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: SVU, Forever, and Historias del Canal. Lakisha has written, directed and produced short films, web content, and IG shorts. Additionally, Lakisha enjoys teaching and facilitating team-building workshops at universities throughout the US and Canada. She also loves nutrition and to box at Women’s World of Boxing!
Hometown: Framingham, MA by way of Harare, Zimbabwe
Mirirai is an actor and writer first and foremost but overall she's a lover of the arts! This is the first film where she has a Producer credit and she's excited by the experience so far. Recently she was a production assistant on "CoExisting the Series" and Lakisha May's "Tale of Cuani". On screen she can be seen in "Master of None", "The Affair" & "Broad City". She has performed in theaters throughout New York City including Signature Theatre, The Bushwick Starr, Classic Stage Company, and Lincoln Center Education. www.MiriraiSithole.com
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
James Strosahl fell in behind the camera at a young age, a passion for
film and cinematography led him to his first big break shooting High
School Basketball games in his hometown. He received
a Bachelors in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and
Design. After finishing college, James moved to New York City. He
climbed the Camera Department ladder, working on Music videos, feature
films, and Television Shows as a First and Second Assistant Camera. In
2011, he began his career as a Digital Imaging Technician, sitting
next to many esteemed Cinematographers and assisting in bringing their
vision to the screen. He is currently breaking into the world of
shooting; a firm handle on traditional film-making with a rebellious
side and a real curiosity for innovation make him a Cinematographer to keep an eye on.
Hometown: Blairstown, NJ
Shannon is honored to be the Assistant Director for “Her First Kill” and wants to bring out the best in her fellow crew members. She is known for her relentless work ethic and to keep pushing forward past other's limits. In the past she has worked as a producer for the short films, By Chance, Lawn of the Year and Puppet Master. She was also awarded best film for her short “Cake” in the RTF Media Festival. She is a graduate of Rowan University with a BA in Radio/ Television/ Film, concentration in New Media Communication and plans to continue furthering her career as an Assistant Director. http://kagans13.wixsite.com/flipper
Editor & Colorist & Sound Mixer
Hometown: Miami, FL
Isabel Montes is currently a senior film student at the School of Visual Arts. She has been studying film for the past 7 years and has narrowed her focus to editing. She also works as the assistant to casting director, Destiny Lilly. She is best known for the film, “Miami Beat”, that recently won 3rd place as the youngest and only female finalist in the Miami Film Month Video Contest and for “Beneath the Flowers” and "BatCat", which premiered at the 27th Dusty Film and Animation Festival. Website: http://littleflamestudios.tumblr.com
ALEXA L. BORDEN
Alexa has studied piano and music since the age of five, and is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned her MFA in Music Composition for the Screen. She has over 30 credits to her name, including short films, features, musicals, and video games. Alexa composes a wide variety of genres and her musical roots lie in the classic rock of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, the romantic music of Beethoven, and the film scores of her youth: John Williams’ Harry Potter and Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings. Her most recent works include the short film, Limerence; Angela Matemotja’s award-winning dramatic feature, Elevate; upcoming family feature, Project: Puppies for Christmas, and orchestrations for an original musical, The Transcivility of Albert Cashier.