Inclusion StatementLady Parts puts the truth about being BRCA-positive in the spotlight. We want to help empower BRCA-positive women and their friends and family through this unique dramedy-fantasy directed by, based on, shot by, and starring women.
About The Project
After testing positive for the BRCA-1 gene mutation, Danielle has a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Her choice of preventative surgery while her sister undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer changes her life, and the hospital gives Danielle jars of her recently-removed ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix. These jars of lady parts become Danielle's confidants and advisors, dictating her life as she navigates how she and her family aren't just cancer survivors, but survivors of each other. Lady Parts is a dramedy-fantasy that tackles the complicated ridiculousness that cancer paints over everything. Sometimes simple questions don't have simple answers.
Origins of Our Story
Devin Sidell, who will be playing Danielle, is BRCA-1 positive and underwent a preventative oophorectomy/hysterectomy in November 2016 while her older sister was undergoing chemotherapy for Triple-Negative, Stage 2B breast cancer. Sidell’s mother survived borderline Stage 4 ovarian cancer in 1994 as well as breast cancer in 2012. Her mother’s sister passed away from ovarian cancer in 1996. In December 2017, Sidell opted to undergo a preventative double-mastectomy. However, she has not undergone reconstructive surgery specifically to play the role of Danielle realistically. She will openly exhibit her scars and expanders so that the audience can truly get a feeling for what a difficult decision this is and how the aftermath honestly looks.
Our team plans to shoot in the summer of 2019 and then submit to festivals. We would also like to use the film as a tool to talk about the importance of undergoing genetic testing in order to help save people from being murdered by their own organs!
Our ultimate budget is $250,000, and we need your help to START US OFF with our $15,000 seed money!
Our $15,000 goal is the absolute minimum we need to raise for seed money to cover most of the actors' wages, the creation of the puppets, and the puppet voiceover sessions.
If we raise $18,000, we'll be able to cover the costs of our shooting locations!
If we raise $25,000, we'll ALSO be able to cover the cost of meals during shooting for our cast and crew!
If we raise $30,000, we'll be able to pay for the rest of the actors' wages!
What we raise beyond that will go towards hiring our cast and crew, editing, hiring a composer, doing post-production, submitting to festivals, and all of the other expenses that go along with making a film!
If you're interested in investing or making a larger contribution, please click here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
A Note from Our Director
"I respond to personal stories. I was a film critic for several years and it’s incredibly apparent when a film comes from an impersonal place. When there’s nothing specific and intimate about the characters, the dialogue - the audience will not connect with the story. If it’s not personal, it’s not compelling.
When Devin Sidell approached me about her project, she proposed an incredibly vulnerable, authentic story about her experience having the BRCA mutation. The fact that she was willing to revisit the trauma and the emotionality she went through was impressive. Furthermore, she was willing to physically embody the character by putting off her reconstructive surgery. I knew this was a special project I wanted to be a part of.
I love the idea of documenting (both figuratively and literally) the physical changes of someone undergoing surgical procedures to avoid cancer, but also the emotional impact all of this can have on a family. I love that we’re building a story based on an authentic, powerful experience."
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About This Team
Joanna Kerns - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Joanna Kerns, perhaps best known as an actress for her role as Maggie Seaver on the beloved sitcom GROWING PAINS, is also an accomplished writer, director, and producer. Her more than 60 directing credits include episodes of THIS IS US, THE GOOD DOCTOR, GREY’S ANATOMY, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, and JANE THE VIRGIN. She is the co-writer, director, and producer of the short comedy GOLD LUNCH and the associate producer on the dramatic documentary UNREST. In 2016, Kerns was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. Following two lumpectomies, she made the choice to undergo a preventative double mastectomy to avoid the chance of the cancer returning and so that she would not risk the side effects of radiation. Since that surgery, she has been given an “all clear” – the best possible news.
Liz Manashil - DIRECTOR
Liz Manashil earned her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.F.A. from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Post graduation, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution guru Peter Broderick. Her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER, was called “an absolute must-watch for women everywhere” by HelloGiggles. It was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere (including Hulu!). Liz is currently in post-production on her second feature film, SPEED OF LIFE, starring Ann Dowd and Allison Tolman, and lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Laura Palmer, and her partner, Sean Wright. She is the Manager of Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative. www.lizmanashil.com
Elizabeth Yarwood - CINEMATOGRAPHER
Elizabeth Yarwood is an accomplished cinematographer working in narrative film, documentaries, and commercials. Her recent projects have included horror short HARPIES and spoken word piece WHY I SMILE, which raises awareness about teen suicide. She also served as director of photography for the comedic web series LA PICKER, which she wrote and produced. She has documented a groundbreaking eye surgery as well as photographed commercials for top tech, financial, and development firms. Her work has been seen on a variety of television networks and streaming platforms as well as at numerous festivals, including South by Southwest, Cinequest, Dances with Films, and the Sedona International Film Festival. Yarwood holds a BA in Photography from Bard College and an MFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She lives in Los Angeles. www.lizyarwood.com
Steven Sears - WRITER
Steven Sears is a director and writer. He wrote the feature film DAVE MADE A MAZE. Praised for its imaginative tone and striking production design, DAVE MADE A MAZE has shown in numerous international festivals and won multiple awards, including a Saturn Award and the 2017 Audience Award at Slamdance. His involvement with LADY PARTS stems from his experience as a caregiver for a family member with severe Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance (otherwise known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity).
Devin Sidell - ACTRESS PLAYING DANIELLE/PRODUCER
A Los Angeles native, Devin Sidell received her B.A. from Princeton University and immediately moved back to L.A. to pursue a career in film and television, appearing on such acclaimed shows as MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, THE O.C., and NUMB3RS while simultaneously feeding her love for the stage. She won an L.A. Weekly Award for her performance in LAND OF THE TIGERS at Sacred Fools Theatre and was nominated for both LADCC and Ovation Awards for THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS, co-produced by Center Theatre Group. Devin has appeared in shows at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as well as on The Broad Stage opposite Josh Gad and Bryce Dallas Howard.
In addition to recent appearances on RAY DONOVAN opposite Liev Schreiber, the viral singing criminals scene in BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, NCIS, and CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND," Devin appears in Rob Zombie’s horror film 31 (Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival) and recurs as a sketch performer on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! A carrier of the BRCA-1 gene mutation with a family history of ovarian and breast cancers, Devin decided in 2017 to undergo both a preventative double mastectomy and a preventative hysterectomy/oophorectomy, earning her the label of "previvor." She is a proud member of the Television Academy. www.devinsidell.com
Ani Avetyan - CASTING DIRECTOR
Ani Avetyan was the Casting Associate for 58 episodes of the TNT drama THE CLOSER as well as 85 episodes of that show’s spin-off series, MAJOR CRIMES. Other shows she has cast include The CW’s HELLCATS, about the world of competitive college cheerleading. She recently cast the short films FOR THE LOVE OF HATE and 37:24. Ani teaches acting classes in all genres in the Los Angeles area.
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