WHAT'S THE STORY?
Joey, 19, is a recent high school graduate who is slowly working her way toward nothing in rural Northeast Pennsylvania. Physically strong and honest, Joey lives up to the low expectations of others until she meets Rayna, 28, a sexy, married mother of two who is vivacious, bold - and lonely. Despite the realities of her Appalachian poverty, Rayna exudes a joie de vivre that is addictive. Rayna seduces Joey, and Joey is smitten.
But when Joey’s mother announces that it is time for Joey to move out, and Rayna makes it clear that their trysts will never become anything more, Joey must make some choices about her future in a post-industrial area with little to offer. With Rayna’s encouragement and without any other viable options for housing or employment, Joey joins the Army.
As summer becomes fall and fall becomes winter, Joey and Rayna exchange letters and fuel their passion. At Christmastime, just before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey returns home with her first assignment: ten days of “hometown recruitment” in the local mall. Preoccupied by her infatuation with Rayna, Joey concocts bigger plans to run away from her home, her family, and the Army with Rayna and Rayna’s kids.
January 2010: AWOL is shot as a short film, starring Kayla Dempsey & Breeda Wool. The short film is written and directed by Deb Shoval, and produced by Jessica Caldwell.
January 2011: AWOL the short premieres at Sundance, winning awards from Kodak, Technicolor, and Women in Film. AWOL the short then plays at festivals including Aspen, Palm Springs and Seattle, and at venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Queens Museum of Art, and the Museum of the Moving Image.
February 2011: Karolina Waclawiak & Deb Shoval team up to write AWOL the feature, chosen for Film Independent's Fast Track.
June 2011: AWOL is featured in the New York Times!
July 2012: AWOL the feature receives a grant from the Jerome Foundation. Director Deb Shoval and Producer Jessica Caldwell team up once again to make the feature.
August 2012: AWOL's lead Joey is recast, to be played by fabulous rising star Lola Kirke.
September 2012: The first third of AWOL the feature is shot on location in PA! This shoot is the first act of the movie, the "summer" that Joey and Rayna meet and fall in love. Production goes on hiatus to wait to shoot the remainder of the film in winter landscapes. http://citizensvoice.com/arts-living/entertainment/2.211/wyoming-valley-sets-the-scene-for-new-feature-film-1.1376306
November 2012: AWOL's lead Lola Kirke is cast as a lead in the new film by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and The Whale).
April 2013: Based on stunning footage from the first third of AWOL the feature, AWOL is chosen for the IFP's yearlong Narrative Completion Lab. We are blessed with mentors, including Producer Susan Stover (High Art) and Editor Lee Percy (Boys Don't Cry). http://www.indiewire.com/article/ifp-reveals-the-10-narrative-projects-taking-part-in-their-annual-independent-filmmaker-labs
December 2013: With your support, we will complete production of AWOL the feature film!
IS AWOL A DOCUMENTARY?
Nope. AWOL is a good old, 90-ish minute, make-you-laugh & make-you-cry romantic drama. The kind of movie you watch in a theater, with popcorn. And if we do everything right, two years from now you will be watching AWOL in a theater. Or on Netfix or iTunes or Hulu. And you'll love it!
WHY IS THE AWOL TEAM RAISING $ ON INDIEGOGO?
We need $ to make this movie. We need little amounts of $ to buy coffee for the crew & big amounts of $ to rent a camera, lenses, dollies, monitors, tripods - you get the idea. Film is an expensive medium.
But we're not just on INDIEGOGO for the cash. We're also here to find our audience and to build community around this important project.
AWOL is a love story. It is a rural love story, and a lesbian love story, and a story about the choices that young people in this country have - and don't have. If any of these themes are meaningful to you, or if you simply want to see more movies made by women about women, we invite you to participate in bringing this movie to life!
I'M NOT IN THE US, CAN I STILL PLEDGE?
Yes, you can pledge from anywhere.
WHO MADE THE INDIEGOGO VIDEO?
Credit goes to: Jessica Bennett, Director of Photography; Kate Pedatella, Editor; Deb Shoval, Director.
HOW CAN I CONTACT AWOL'S DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER?
Contact us via INDIEGOGO or Facebook, please. We look forward to hearing from you.
IS AWOL ON FACEBOOK?
Yep! Please like us. See you there!