I’m Shooting My First Major Documentary & I Need Your Help!

“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.”


~ W.E.B. du Bois

Zwarte Piet

Greetings,

As you may or may not know, I’ve been engaged in research in the Netherlands for the past couple of years. Of course most of my experiences have been nothing short of delightful. One of the things I did encounter, however, is the Dutch’s blackface tradition in the form of Zwarte Piet, a character classified as the helper of Sinterklaas, who is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus. The major difference between Old Saint Nick and Sinterklaas is that every year, white people dress up in blackface, redden their lips and wear afro-wigs in the same tradition as the minstrel shows of the U.S. that are now seen as blatantly racist in the States and other parts of the world.

I’m asking that you get behind me as my community and help me and my Producer, Chanelle Pearson, make this film. Our goal is to raise $20,000 in 30 days. We actually need WAY more money to go back and shoot but this is our minimum goal. The way kickstarter works is that we have to raise EVERY PENNY or we won’t get a dime! It’s literally ALL OR NOTHING!

To those of you who are already on board, have donated and shared, THANK YOU!! Let’s keep up the momentum!

HOW TO SUPPORT:

It’s very simple actually!
1)CLICK ON THE LINK, go to our KICKSTARTER PAGE.

2)DONATE if you can (but no pressure if you can’t) seriously.
There is a green button that says “Back This Project” – CLICK THAT!

3)SHARE: Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Pete-Zwarte-Piet-The-Documentary/329331507184382
Twitter: @blackpetethedoc
Hashtag: #blackpete

4)EMAIL: Send an email to your people – organizations, networks, family, etc…

5)TALK about what’s happening: The more people who talk about this project, the more support we will gain.

 MOST Importantly: If you have contacts with press of some sort, definitely send this to them. If you need a press release, email me and I will forward it to you.

Kickstarter Week 1

So far, 227 people have backed this project in less than in less than a week. To date we have raised $11, 702, which is 58% of our goal. I know with the total support of my family and friends, we can do this! (And remember, the money won’t be taken out of your account until the end of the campaign on March 12th and if it’s 100% funded so you can donate now because the money won’t be paid until later!)

 ABOUT MY ALL-STAR TEAM:
Just so that you know: My team is also pretty cool.

• My Producer Chanelle Pearson, is Bronx-based, identifies as Queer and co-produced the international/award-winning   Sundance premiering film “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.”

• My Director of Photography Shawn Peters, is a proud Morehouse graduate (HBCU!).

• My photographer Brett Russel, is from Curacao (Caribbeans stand up!).

• And my sound recordist is tall, Dutch, blonde and handsome! (I’m an equal opportunity hirer!) LOL.

Never heard of Kickstarter?
Over the past week, I realized that many of my friends and family are unfamiliar with kickstarter – probably because they are not involved or connected to this crazy art world. So if people are confused, on the actual kickstarter page, I’ve provided some frequently asked questions and answers:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1576677152/black-pete-zwarte-piet-the-documentary#project-faqs

Lastly, many of you who have known me for years, know how much love I put into my work and following my passion. Well I’m clear on my purpose and passion. Now I’m pursuing my dream, which is much bigger than I can imagine for myself, and OUR people, here in the States and around the world. I’ve already started receiving hate mail but I am not discouraged. It has only encouraged me to work harder. I know that you all have my back. Thank you so much for all of your support throughout the duration of our friendship, whether it has been decades or the past several months.

I think as a Diasporan community, we can make this happen.

$20,000 in 30 Days or NOTHING! In fact, I want to EXCEED that goal! There’s work to be done.

Hugs,
Shantrelle

P.S. If all else fails, you can always use that line from my favorite movie, Coming to America, “we like the kind of money that jingles, but we rather the kind that folds.” :).

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