Crowdfunding has become an invaluable tool for the indie filmmaker seeking funds for the start or completion of a project.

And here at MovieMaker, we applaud and champion workman-like campaign efforts. To raise awareness of great ideas and future talents, we will be highlighting a unique project every month during its funding campaign. If you have a project you’d like us to consider, drop us a line at: [email protected].

We hope you’ll share, support, and be inspired by their stories.

Crowdfunder Pick: Look at Us Now, Mother!

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: Look at Us Now, Mother! is a feature documentary about the transformation of an abusive, tumultuous mother-daughter relationship to one of acceptance and love, as we follow the personal story of the filmmaker.

In 2003, Gayle Kirschenbaum turned her camera on herself to tell the story of her turbulent upbringing and her journey to forgiveness. In the midst of shooting, her father died, changing the dynamics of her relationship with her mother. They head off alone together and start traveling the world. Gayle keeps cameras on as they travel through countries, continents, time zones, ticking clocks and emotional mind fields.

Although dealing with a serious and universal subject, the film’s tone is funny, sharp and insightful. Her self-reflective and quick-witted personality, along with her often unpredictable, wild behavior of her mother, who is almost a carbon copy of Woody Allen’s mom, is what drives this film.

Cast: Gayle Kirschenbaum, Mildred Kirschenbaum

Crew: Gayle Kirschenbaum (Director, Producer, Camera, Editor), Melissa Jo Peltier (Co-Producer), Alex Keipper (Editor), David Zieff (Editing Consultant), Jonathan Sacks (Composer), Kirsten Larvick (Associate Producer, Outreach Coordinator), Lori Cheatle (Consulting Producer), Mark Mori (Consulting Producer), Steven Gladstone (Director of Photography), Su Kim (Additional Camera), Don Dinicola (Music Supervisor), Rex Fowler (Singer/Songwriter), Lygia Ferra (Singer/Songwriter), Stephen Day (Songwriter), Benjamin Court (Singer/Songwriter), Quentin Chiappetta (Sound Design and Mix), Steve Pequignot (Online Editor/Colorist), Jessica Phillips (Producer’s Assistant), Emily Dziobek (Researcher), Brian Ihnen (Assistant Editor), Elliott Christ (Web Designer), Victor Vazquez (Post Production Intern), Madeline Bey (Graphic/Web Designer), Bradley Cummings (Producer’s Assistant/Additional Camera), Kelly Brennan (Post Production Assistant), Melissa Marascia (Outreach), Lajonel Brown (Researcher), Jen Amon (Post Production).

Says Kirschenbaum: “Life with mom started out rough. I grew up with a Cinderella complex. I was convinced I was adopted and that was why I was being treated the way I was—being ordered around, criticized and punished. Quite differently from my two older brothers. According to my mother my nose was too big, my breasts were too small and my hair was too wild. In fact, there wasn’t much about me that she thought didn’t need fixing. I used to have dreams when I was a little girl that I’d wake up and my hair would be straight. I was sure God punished me by giving me curly, frizzy hair.

I decided to make a short film for my mother who was relentless about trying to get me to have a nose job. The people in my life couldn’t believe that my mother felt this way. And my mother couldn’t believe that most people wouldn’t agree with her. Hence, my short film, “My Nose,” was made. It has played all over the world in festivals.

I also realized that “My Nose” only scratched the surface of the highly complex and charged relationship between mother and daughter and I needed to go deeper. Look at Us Now, Mother! follows the transformation of my relationship with my mother, traveling across continents and over time.”

About the Moviemaker: Gayle Kirschenbaum is an Emmy-winning filmmaker/TV producer and personality. Called “the Nora Ephron of documentaries,” Gayle is the creator of the documentary A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary and co-creator of the TV series Judgement Day: Should the Guilty Go Free. Gayle is the creator and host of the video podcast series On the Trail With Gayle and producer/director of the award-winning documentary “My Nose,” a festival favorite playing worldwide to rave reviews.

Gayle has been featured in The New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Early Show, Fox TV, Oxygen TV, Ladies Home Journal, Washington Post, O Magazine, Howard Stern, CBC Radio, and BBC radio. Gayle is a published author and artist. She is the founder of the NY Writer’s Group, member of PGA (Producers Guild of America), NYWIF, Women in Film, Women in Publishing, and D Group.

Platform: Kickstarter

Campaign End Date: October 15, 2015

Theatrical poster for Look at Us Now, Mother!

Theatrical poster for Look at Us Now, Mother!

Request: “We are looking to raise $75,000, ideally $125,000, which will allow us to bring this important personal documentary on forgiveness and healing between mothers and daughters to theaters across the U.S. With $75,000 we will be able to do a five-city release including the two most expensive cities to release in: New York and Los Angeles. With $125,000 we will be able to do a 10-city U.S. release, cut down the film to 52 minutes to use for other markets including educational and television, plus close captioning.

We’ve reached $41,000 already, and are looking to reach our final goal by calling on everyone who is interested in our film to join this healing movement and pledge to our Kickstarter campaign as well as sharing it with friends and family. We have a number of exciting incentives for our backers, and encourage everyone to donate what they can. It is one thing to have produced a powerful and effective film but another to get it out into the world.” MM

Crowdfund by visiting: Look at us Now, Mother!