Kickstarter Launch – To Be Or Not?

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“To be or not to be?” This has been my exact thoughts for the past 2 weeks. Crowdfunding is not the funnest thing to do but, at times it’s necessary.

This is the time and it’s necessary ūüôā

You may not know this but I’ve been working on making my exhibitions and film screenings accessible for people with disabilities. It’s literally a whole new world and I wish more galleries and museums were on board with it.

Why Kickstarter?
I’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter to cover the cost of accessibility for my presentations of photography exhibitions, film festivals and screenings and author talks.

To make the exhibitions and screenings accessible for the blind and low vision audiences, I also plan to use the funds to hire an Audio Describer to create the audio description (AD) for my film. AD is a service for people who are blind or low vision where a recorded narrator explains the artwork or what’s happening on screen in gaps in the dialogue.

To make my film accessible for deaf or low hearing audiences, I plan on using closed captioning. This allows the words to appear and show (on the screen) what is being said in the film. I will also hire a sign language interpreter during my artist talks for film screenings and exhibitions.

The Final Cut
The final cut is when the project is handed over to the sound department for final sound effects, audio mixing and color correction. AD and closed captioning is also created during this phase.

The feedback I receive from film festivals has been consistent. My film has a powerful impact but it needs to be a final cut. I have the professionals in line to do the job, but funding is needed in order to complete this phase.

What’s the launch date?
It’s not set in stone as yet but I will share the pre-launch page for everyone to view on¬†March 3, 2020.¬†If you’re interested in reviewing and providing feedback please¬†contact me.¬†If you have crowdfunding experience and interested in helping with my campaign I’ll give you one of the Kickstarter awards.¬†Contact me¬†for more info and to discuss.

I’ve also been connecting with and submitting my proposal to several family foundations for funding as well as the Arts & Humanities Council. In other words,¬†I’m putting my eggs in multiple baskets.

TWE-film-festival-laurel

Thanks to your support I’m headed to Sarasota!

I Am More Than My Hair¬†was awarded an Official Selection and will screen at the¬†2020 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival, taking place¬†place on March 6 – 8, in Sarasota, FL. If you’re in the area, consider attending the film festival.

I Am More Than My Hair screens on Sunday March 8th. Read more and purchase tickets

Donate $50+ & I’ll send you a copy of the book and a bookmark!

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Your support is¬†appreciated!¬†Here’s a few ways you can offer¬†support:¬†

1.¬†Make a donation¬†–¬†Donate¬†$50 or more and I’ll mail you a copy of¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†book. As an added bonus, I’ll send you a bookmark!

  • Want a tax-deduction?¬†Donate via my fiscal sponsor,¬†Docs In Progress. Please note that it will take longer to ship as the¬†funds aren’t immediately available. I’ll keep you posted on the ETA. Please confirm your donation by¬†sending me an email.
  • Not interested in the tax-deduction?¬†Contact me¬†and I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal. Simply click the button below to send an email¬†letting me know your preference.
  • Prefer not to make an online payment?¬†Not a problem. Feel free to mail a check. Please include your reward preference (book, calendar, tote or mouse pad) on the check.¬†Contact me for the mailing address

2. Purchase a copy on Amazon. If you prefer to purchase a copy of¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†on Amazon, please purchase directly from me (AC Media). 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP).¬†Please note, I am only able to donate to CAP if you make a purchase via AC Media. I won’t receive payment for books sold via the other companies.

3. Interested in hosting a private screening? Contact me for more info.

Thank you for your continued support!

“I Am More Than My Hair” Marnobia’s Story

I Am More Than My Hair -  Marnobia

Meet Marnobia. We met in 2016 during my outreach Nueva Vida, a cancer support and empowerment group for Latinas. They shared my call for participants and Marnobia was the first woman I received a response from in the group.

Given our language barrier I couldn’t understand her exact response to my interview questions, but I could feel her power and bravery in the tone of her voice.

After having her interview translated from Spanish to English, her response about the support she received from her family and positive attitude during her journey with breast cancer treatment, gave me tears of joy. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I do.

TWE-film-festival-laurel

Thanks to your support I’m headed to Sarasota!

I Am More Than My Hair¬†was awarded an Official Selection and will screen at the 2020 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival, taking place¬†place on March 6 – 8, in Sarasota, FL. If you’re in the area, consider attending the film festival.

I Am More Than My Hair screens on Sunday March 8th. Read more and purchase tickets

As my outreach continues… with rewards!

If my film continues to be selected (a wonderful problem to have), it’s an average of $1K per festival for me to participate (airfare, travel, lodging, food, etc.). Unfortunately, even if my film is selected most film festivals don’t cover expenses or travel cost.

With that in mind… your support is¬†appreciated! Here’s a few ways you be of support:¬†

1.¬†Make a donation¬†–¬†Donate¬†$50 or more and I’ll mail you a copy of my book, calendar, tote bag or mouse pad (see photos below). You choose!

Donate $200 + and I’ll ship all 4!

  • Not interested in the tax-deduction? Contact me and I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal. Simply click the button below to send an email¬†letting me know your preference.
  • If you prefer a tax-deduction, donate via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress. Please note that it will take longer to ship as the¬†funds aren’t immediately available. I’ll keep you posted on the ETA.


2. Purchase a copy on Amazon. If you prefer to purchase a copy of I Am More Than My Hair on Amazon, please purchase directly from me (AC Media). 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP). Please note, I am only able to donate to CAP if you make a purchase via AC Media. I won’t receive payment for books sold via the other companies.

3. Prefer not to make an online payment? Not a problem. Feel free to mail a check. Please include your reward preference (book, calendar, tote or mouse pad) on the check. Contact me for the mailing address

4. Interested in hosting a private screening? Contact me for more info.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

“I Am More Than My Hair” is an Official Selection in the 2020 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival

I Am More Than My Hair¬†has been selected to screen at Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival 2020 taking place¬†place on March 6 – 8, in Sarasota, FL. If you’re in the area, consider attending the film festival.

TWE is a fundraiser for the US National Committee for UN Women (USNC), an arm of the United Nations. UN Women works in more than 90 countries in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. TWE is a volunteer-staffed festival and all net proceeds of TWE are donated to the USNC for advocacy programs and to support the work of UN Women worldwide. Read more and purchase tickets

Film Festivals

movie theatre marquee of I Am More Than My Hair

It’s a hefty price of $25 – $100 per submission¬†as well as travel/lodging expenses, if my film continues to be selected (a great problem to have). That’s an average of $1K per festival (give or take a few hundred $).

With that in mind…¬†your support is still appreciated!¬†

Here’s a few ways you can support:

1.¬†Make a tax-deductible donation¬†via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress.¬†Donate¬†$50 or more and I’ll mail you a copy of my book¬†(please forward the confirmation email to Alyscia@momsinfilm.org).¬†If you’d like me to write a special message for someone, once you make the donation¬†contact me¬†and let me know who the book should be autographed to and the message you’d like to share.

2.¬†Purchase a copy on Amazon. If you prefer to purchase a copy of “I Am More Than My Hair” on Amazon, please purchase directly from me (AC Media). 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP). Please note, I am only able to donate to CAP¬† if you make a purchase via AC Media. I won’t receive payment for book sold via the other companies.

3. Mail a check. If you don’t care to make a tax-deductible donation, feel free to make a donation via check and mail it. Once again, if you make a donation of $50 or more. I’ll send you a copy of “I Am More Than My Hair”¬†Contact me for the mailing address.

4. Host a private screening. Interested in a private screening? Contact me for more info.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

“I Am More Than My Hair” Wins Award in Best Shorts Film Competition and A Show For Change Film Festival

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I am honored to inform you that¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†has been recognized with an¬†Award of Merit¬†by the¬†Best of Short Film Competition. The¬†Best Shorts¬†Competition demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who contribute to profound social change. Knowing that is confirmation that I’ve my film is making a difference in society.

Storytelling

I was also recently informed that my film won the Storytelling Award for November’s A Show For A Change Film Festival. a socially conscious entertainment company that changes the world through the power of story.

 

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Thank you!

I am so grateful for the outpouring of support along the years. The patience, resources, donations and cheer leading me through my challenges hasn’t gone by unnoticed.

I Am More Than My Hair¬†has been a 4 year journey.¬†The funds raised were a huge contributing factor from the start of my film to its current stage.¬†I can’t thank my supporters enough. If this is you…¬†THANK YOU!

Would you like to support my film? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress.

“I Am More Than My Hair” Hits The Film Festival Circuit

I know you have many causes¬†to choose from for #GivingTuesday. However, please consider¬†supporting¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†into the next phase of the film festival circuit. If you make a tax-deductible donation,¬†I’ll mail you a copy of the book.

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For today and tomorrow, #GivingTuesday, I’ll mail an autographed¬†copy of¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†book for anyone who donates¬†$50 and up. That’s¬†until December 3rd only by 11:59PM PST.

It’s a hefty price of $25 – $100 per submission¬†as well as travel/lodging expenses, if my film is selected to be screened. That’s an average of $1K per festival (give or take a few hundred $).

With that in mind…¬†your support for this new phase of my film is needed and appreciated!

giving-tuesday-i-am-more-than-my-hair

How can I help you ask???

Here’s a few ways:

1.¬†Make a tax-deductible donation¬†via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress.¬†If you donate $50 or more I’ll mail a copy of my book¬†to the address you provided when making your tax-deductible donation. If you’d like me to write a special message for someone, once you make the donation¬†contact me¬†and I’ll let me know who the book should be autographed to and the message you’d like to share.

DOUBLE BONUS: Donate $500 or more and I’ll host a private screening at your home (note: you must reside in the DC metro area or cover the cost of travel expenses).

2. Become a Sponsor  if you or someone you know is  interested Contact me.

3. Share my project with friends and family. I’ll make it easy for you. Simply copy and paste the info in #1.

 

How can I purchase a copy of the film?

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I can’t duplicate and sell copies of the film if I want to submit it to film festivals.¬†Unfortunately, this is one of the stipulations if¬†I want I Am More Than My Hair, or any future films, to be considered for the film festival circuit. Regardless, this is¬†a new journey for my documentary and I am¬†excited!

With all my excitement comes the reality of the expense to participate in film festivals.Your support is needed and appreciated. Thank you in advance for supporting I Am More Than My Hair on #GivingTuesday!

 

 

*Docs In Progress is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which gives individuals tools to tell stories through documentary film to educate, inspire, and transform the way people view their world.

Your donation towards¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†also supports Docs In Progress in their mission to support documentary filmmakers. If you’re in a giving mood, please consider also making a tax-deductible¬†directly to the organization.

My Premiere Was Phenomenal!

When I first thought of the idea of “I Am More Than My Hair”, I visualized it to be a photography book encompassed with photos accompanied by personal essays of the women who participated.¬†Never did I imagine it to not only evolve into a film¬†but I also didn’t consider how life changing it would be for me, the girls and women involved, their families and my audience.

Although I feel very passionate about this project (as well as my previous), I thought back to the challenges I faced and how the women and girls involved were my driving force. They didn’t know me yet trusted me to share their stories. Despite the struggles that came with being a first-time Director, Producer and Filmmaker, it was vital that I live up to and deliver what I promised.

I am truly honored to have met everyone and provide the platform to share their stories, educate my audience (awareness) and create a shift in the way we see beauty and female hair loss (alopecia).

“The only way you can sustain a permanent change is to create a new way of thinking, acting, and being.”¬†‚Äď Jennifer Hudson

Thank you for attending and supporting the premiere screening of I Am More Than My Hair!

View Gallery

Were you unable to attend the premiere?

If you were unable to attend the premiere but would like to support my project, please consider making a tax-deductible donation via¬†Docs In Progress. You can purchase a copy of the book on¬†Amazon. 10% of sale proceeds will be donated to¬†Children’s Alopecia Project¬†(CAP).

The next phase is to secure distribution so that it will be available for streaming, purchase or rental. You donation is greatly appreciated.

Read more

We Did it! My First Premiere Screening

I’m finally having my first official Premiere Screening of I Am More Than My Hair. I couldn’t be more excited and nervous at the same time. Between now and then, I’ll have a load of work on my plate.

It takes place on Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 5-7PM at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Tickets are $10 in advance on Eventbrite. If you prefer to pay with cash, limited paper tickets are available. Contact me to purchase tickets.

Join me for an inside look behind the story of my 2-part project,¬†I Am More Than My Hair, documentary film short and photography book.¬†Meet the women who participated, hear about the medical aspect of alopecia, from Dermatologist Dr. St. Surin-Lord, and join in on the discussion of redefining beauty standards. Q&A and Book Signing to follow (the film isn’t available as yet for purchase).

Here’s the program:
5:00 pm: Mix and mingle with light refreshments
5:30 – 7:00 pm: Screening and facilitated Q&A session with the filmmaker and panel

Would you like to help with the event? Feel free to contact me.


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My work-in-progress screening at Docs In Progress on August 13, 2019 was a success! Not only did I receive great feedback about my rough-cut, but the topic of alopecia, beauty and the media led to powerful conversations.

In turn, it helped with the finalizing the fine-cut of my 30 minute documentary film short I Am More Than My Hair. I would love for you to join me on October 20th for the Premiere Screening of my documentary at AFI Silver Theatre.


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If you’re unable to attend but would like to support my project, please consider making a tax-deductible donation via¬†Docs In Progress.¬†You can also purchase a copy of the book on¬†Amazon. 10% of sale proceeds will be donated to¬†Children’s Alopecia Project¬†(CAP).

 

My Trip To California

Alyscia Cunningham's lecture at Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaI returned from the Bay Area after a visit to and lecture at Saint Mary’s College of California (in Moraga). Typically, when I travel for speaking engagements I stay at a nearby hotel. This time around, I was offered the opportunity to stay at the visitor’s residence on campus. I couldn’t have asked for a better communal experience.

Not only had staying on campus given me the option for convenience but it also provided me the time to connect with the students and staff of Saint Mary’s, beyond what may have been possible if I stayed at a local hotel.

Alyscia Cunningham's lecture at Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaTwo weeks have passed since my visit and the positive energy and heartfelt moments continue to replay in my memories and bring a warm feeling to my soul. I have to say it was my most monumental lecture thus far. And I’ve had quite a few.

Alyscia Cunningham's lecture at Saint Mary's College of California

I was surrounded around a beautiful campus on California’s gorgeous landscape and good hearted people. It was a intimate group and setting with genuine discussion, feedback and consideration for one another. For me, that’s the best ingredients for a successful event. Also, have I ever mentioned I LOVE California?

Alyscia Cunningham's lecture at Saint Mary's College of California

Over two years ago, Sharon Sobotta, Director of the Center for Women & Gender Equity, and I connected about the possibility of a speaking engagement at the Center. Although it took some time, Sharon made sure this event came to life.

Alyscia Cunningham and Sharon Sobotta
Alyscia Cunningham and Sharon Sobotta at the Center for Women & Gender Equity at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Directly after my talk, Sihin Tsegay, Gender Justice Leader at the Center for Women and Gender Justice, organized a meet & greet with the Black Student Union at the Center for Women & Gender Equity. We had a deeper discussion about personal and professional experiences and challenges faced as someone of color. I couldn’t have ended the day on a more profound note.

Alyscia Cunningham's lecture at Saint Mary's College of California
Meet & Greet with BSU, Gender Justice Leaders, and allies in the CWGE.

I am truly appreciative for this experience and connection with like mindedness. That for me is priceless.

Have you heard of Great Shoals Winery in Takoma Park, MD?

Alyscia Cunningham at Great Shoals Winery in Takoma Park, MD

Two days after my returning (I’m noticing a recurrence with the number 2), Great Shoals Winery in Takoma Park, MD hosted a book signing for I Am More Than My Hair. If you’re in the area and looking for a local winery with a cool vibe, visit Great Shoals. It used to be located at Heyser Farm in Silver Spring, MD (the farm where I often purchase eggs). Although I enjoyed wine tasting at the farm as chickens roamed around (I’m a city girl but I love the country), it’s nice to have space dedicated to wine… and cheese.

If you’re buying wine, don’t forget to look for local options.

Alyscia Cunningham at Great Shoals Winery in Takoma Park, MD
Thanks to Habibah, fellow GirlTrekker, my brother, and neighbors, for stopping by and supporting.
Alyscia Cunningham at Great Shoals Winery in Takoma Park, MD
Inside Great Shoals Takoma Park.

 

I Have A Rough-Cut!

Well, I thought I had a rough-cut¬†before, but I had to go back to the drawing board. To make a long story short, my previous rough-cut wasn’t received very well SO… I am grateful to¬†connect with another Film Editor…¬†A WOMAN!¬†A female Motion Graphics Editor is also on my team. Talk about excited!!!

That’s exactly what I originally envisioned! If not an all female film crew, at the least, I wanted to collaborate with other women.

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Thanks to my small but amazingly mighty team, Editor Daniela Ettrich and Motion Graphics Artist Tiffany Lewis.

Last Saturday, February 23rd, I held a private screening of the rough-cut version of my documentary I Am More Than My Hair. I invited other filmmakers with the request that they provide me with feedback for my fine-cut (the final version of my film). Thanks to the support of filmmakers from Creative Edge Collaborative, Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Women In Film and Video DC (WIFV), the feedback received was a tremendous help.

Much thanks to Melissa J. Houghton, Executive Director of WIFV, for taking the time to advise me on the hows and where to hold a screening, during my desperate attempt to figure it out. My local public library worked out just fine. Who would have known?

My next cut will be the fine-cut. Wooohooo! That’s after the next few edited cuts. It’s a process but we’re headed in the right direction.

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” ~Oprah Winfrey

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I am forever grateful for these talented filmmakers!

If you’d like to support the next stage of my film, feel free to make a tax-deductible donation via my Fiscal Sponsor, Docs In Progress. I appreciate your support!

Tax-deductible donation - I Am More Than My Hair

 

Appreciate the Journey

You know what I’ve grown to appreciate? My trials and tribulations have not only given me the ability to vigorously pace through life, but it has also built me to be undeniably resilient.

Please know that…

When I share the challenges I face on my journey, I am not looking for sympathy.

Instead, I am opening myself and being transparent about the ups and downs that comes with life. Professionally and personally.

People sometimes assume that rewards and accomplishments come easy. Thanks to social media, people can conveniently post about their achievements yet omit the adversities faced in order to get to that level of attainment.

It takes hard work, time, dedication and positive thinking to make things happen.

Furthermore, as a woman of color, married to man of color, with children who look like us and have unfortunately faced hardships related to race, I have no choice but to stand strong. Not only for myself, but also for my family.

With that…

I am undoubtedly able to handle what may crumble the World of someone unlike me.

Would I like for the people of the world to be different? Without doubt. But I am truly grateful that my hardships have strengthen me.

Regardless, anything worth bringing into existence doesn’t come easy, but it’s definitely worth the feeling of success and fulfillment once you stick to it. And in the process, you have the opportunity to know WHO IS and WHO ISN’T for you. Shedding layers and people is a good thing.

On your journey…

You may be redirected, take some time off to breath and reevaluate your steps, or may completely switch paths, but always pick yourself up and keep going.

And remember…

Don’t be afraid to share your quest. It is uniquely yours to hold and carry. It is my hope that sharing the transparency of my journey can be beneficial to someone else on the path to accomplishing a dream or goal.

My gift to you…

Rather than adding to the piles of Holiday emails you’ll receive next week, I send my greetings to you now. I wish you all that you wish for yourself… PLUS all that you need at this moment to appreciate your journey.

Enjoy the Holidays!

PS…

If you’re in the spirit of giving, please consider making a tax-deductible donation, via my Fiscal Sponsor Docs In Progress, to help me finish my film.¬† Visit the website for more info and to support. Feel free to also follow my blog tour with Goddess Fish Promos.

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Author, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker, Photographer