What is Going South and who is behind it?
Greetings people of the internet! I'm Jeff Moneo, a current MFA candidate in Columbia University's Graduate Film Program. Going South is my thesis film and the result of a year long collaboration between myself, co-writer Emily Ragsdale, and producers Nicole DeMasi and Coral Aiken. In addition to our core production team, we've partnered with Angel Entertainment in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to help bring this project to life. I'm thrilled to be working with such an amazing team. We're ready to make a great film... well, almost. Can you spare a couple bucks?
We need to raise $10,000 through Indiegogo to make Going South happen. The raised funds will cover the production and post-production phases of the film. With your help and hard earned money, we're going to create a film that everyone involved can be proud of!
What is Going South about?
Going South is the story of Martha Barlow, a prairie wild child looking for a way out. Miles from nowhere, with seemingly no one paying attention, Martha finds herself disaffected and alone. Her horse has just been sold, the local boys don't interest her, and her home life is a freak show. Her father, Stan, is a heavy drinker who cares more about betting on horses than taking care of his daughter. Much the like the female protagonists in Smooth Talk and Bonnie and Clyde, Martha's been waiting for the opportunity to escape her rural despair. When the mysterious Donovan arrives on her farm unannounced, she finally gets her chance.
What's your personal connection to the story?
I'm originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Although I've lived and traveled all over the world, my relationship to my home province defines my vision of the world. During my time at Columbia, I've realized that my connection to the Canadian prairies is what makes my point of view unique. This is not something I always understood. Growing up, I looked outside my province for inspiration. Now, I can't imagine making films anywhere else.
My goal as a filmmaker is to create films that represent where I come from both artistically and geographically. I am interested in modern day tales of the West and the people and places in between the stops on a map. I am drawn to characters that live off the grid, free from the constraints of urban society. Going South is populated by such characters.
Where did the idea for the story come from?
Going South was influenced greatly by Southern Gothic literature, something I studied extensively as an undergraduate student. Stories such as Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People and Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? had a profound effect on me. Although written by American authors, I feel an immense connection to these works. In my mind, the rural experience transcends both borders and cultures.
Where will Going South be filmed?
Going South takes place in Southern Saskatchewan, a primarily rural area of the province that is slowly dying. Small towns, once bustling and vibrant, are now in a state of decay. Abandoned farmhouses litter the countryside. This environment provides the ideal backdrop for Going South. Martha Barlow, like the world around her, has been forgotten and ignored.
Despite the neglect of these rural areas, the landscape is immensely cinematic. From stunning vistas to derelict farms, there is a unique texture to rural Saskatchewan. This is the land of the living skies, a place Wallace Stegner once wrote was, "a distance without limits, a horizon that did not bound the world but only suggested infinite space beyond." It is in that infinite space beyond that Martha places her hopes and dreams.
Okay, I'm listening. Tell me more about your production team.
We have a very talented team assembled for the project. Here's some information about the people involved:
Jeff Moneo · Director/Co-Writer
Jeff Moneo is a filmmaker from Saskatoon, Canada. He has produced work in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, the National Screen Institute of Canada and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2010, Jeff received a Hollywood Foreign Press Award for his work as a first year student at Columbia University. Recently, his short film Big Muddy screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Cinefondation program.
Emily Ragsdale · Co-Writer
Growing up in Indianapolis, Emily learned an appreciation for kindness, a fondness for corn, and a tolerance for racecars. She studied English and French at Indiana University, and went on to work as Publications Manager for the Chicago International Film Festival. Her dramatic writing has been performed onstage at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, in partnership with New York Universityʼs Tisch School of Arts. In addition to pursuing an MFA in Screenwriting at Columbia University, Emily works as assistant to showrunner Tom Fontana of The Levinson/Fontana Company on the European television drama Borgia and BBC Americaʼs new series Copper.
Nicole DeMasi · Producer
After graduating from Boston College with a BA in English and Film, Nicole DeMasi went to work for Miramax Films, and then The Weinstein Company. She began as an executive assistant and worked her way up to director of Broadcast Production. While with Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Nicole helped produce numerous behind the scenes specials and awards campaigns for such prestigious films as City of God, Amélie, Chicago, Cold Mountain, Kill Bill Vol. 1&2, and Inglorious Basterds.
Though Nicole found the work rewarding, she decided to go back to school at Columbia University in 2010 for a Masters of Fine Arts in Film to focus on writing and producing her own projects, as well as other projects that strike her passion for storytelling. She also runs the Carla Kuhn Screening and Guest Speaker Series at Columbia University, which brings in yet to be released films and their notable directors. Nicole currently resides in New York City.
Coral Aiken · Producer
Coral Aiken is a director and producer from Winnipeg, Canada. After a career in dance, performing across Canada and mounting multi-channel works for stage, Aiken began choreographing work for the screen and then directing her own work.
Since completing a Masters of Fine Arts at York University in Film Production, Aiken has been producing independent film. In 2010, she produced “Big Muddy”, which screened in the Cinefondation program, Festival de Cannes 2011. Other screenings of her produced work include Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Rotterdam International Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand. Aiken recently joined Scythia Films Inc. as Head of Development.
Bob Crowe · Angel Entertaiment · Executive Producer
Bob left a successful legal career to re-enter the motion picture industry in 2000. Together with his favourite film client, Wally Start, he opened Angel Entertainment Corp and guided it to a premiere position as one of the top drama producers in western Canada.
Angel’s first dramatic series, “Rabbit Fall”, enjoyed critical success and is still broadcast in Canada and around the world. Angel’s feature film “Shadow Puppets” sold well throughout the world. “Stained”, another of Angel’s features, premiered out of competition at Cannes in May 2010.
Currently Angel has two feature films slated for summer and fall of 2012. “Tupelo 77”, helmed by Julie Dash, and “Blackfarm”, an adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s “The Fox”, with Paul Lynch directing. On the television front, Bob’s exciting new dramatic series, “One Square Mile”, is in development with the CBC, and a darkly comic supernatural series, “Wynter”, is in development with APTN.
What about cast? Do you have any information about them?
Yep. We sure do! Check out our amazing cast!
Shana Dowdeswell · MARTHA BARLOW
Shana Dowdeswell was born in Harare, Zimbabwe where she lived for a month. Next stop, New York City where she has spent her life. Shana began performing at 5 months in a 10,000 Maniacs music video, went on hiatus from the business, then took it up again at 5 years old when she did her first play Another Kind of Hero at the Pulse Ensemble Theatre. From that point on, Shana worked in New York theatre, performing roles in such varied plays as Eva Hesse, The Return of Peter Grimm, I Never Saw Another Butterfly and Beyond the Horizon. She also worked with various theatre companies including Metropolitan Playhouse and the Circle Repertory Theatre Company.
Once a teenager, Shana began to work more in films and television. Her film and television credits include 13 Going on 30, Garmento, Law & Order (all 3), Mercy, Body of Proof, The Winning Season, Choose, Asylum Seekers, and the upcoming film The Wedding. As a teenager, Shana also did numerous theatre roles, most proudly the lead in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey. Shana continues to live and work in New York City.
Sean Friel · DONOVAN HOLLIS
Sean Friel was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He is an actor is as well as an accomplished visual artist. He attended Temple University and received a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. He has been acting in New York City since 2009 in film and television. He has appeared on television in 30 Rock and Extreme Forensics and many films such as Nacirema, Que, At Each Other, and The Final Mission.
Kenneth Heaton · STAN BARLOW
Kenneth Heaton recently appeared in Jeff Moneo’s film, Big Muddy, which was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2011. Kenneth has appeared in a number of other short films. On stage he continues to play Paul in the award-winning Goliath at The Wild Project in New York. Prior to that he played H.F. Sullivan in I Will Go, I Will Go, at The Barrow Street Theater along with Michael Shannon and Austin Pendleton. His other roles include Harold in In Vino Veritas at La Mama, Werner Heisenberg in The Company’s production of Copenhagen in New Jersey. John Proctor in The Crucible, Lennie in Of Mice and Men, and Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy, all for the Phoenix Theater in Arizona. Kenneth received his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama and was a Fulbright fellow in theater in Zagreb, Croatia.
John Brodsky · JOHNNY BUMSTEAD
John Brodsky was raised in Rumson NJ. He started off singing in competitions, choirs and bands before discovering acting. John currently is studying with John Dapolito at Actor's Where Are You Going? and has worked on many short films with student directors from both NYU and Columbia. John also had a co-starring role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and a small part opposite Tina Fey in her new film, Admission.
How exactly will my money be used?
Your generous donations will all go directly to the film's production and post-production expenses. Even a short film has a lot of expenses. Our production is fortunate enough to have already received support from Columbia University and the Saskatchewan Film Pool. However, we still need more money to bring this film to life. We promise to work our hardest to make the most of your contribution!
Camera Package - $2500 (Columbia University Development Award)
Equipment Rental - $2300 (Saskatchewan Film Pool Grant)
Production Design - $1500 (Costumes, Set Dressing, Props)
Transportation - $3500 (Flights to Saskatchewan, transportation in province)
Food for Cast & Crew - $2000 (People get hungry making movies)
Post-Production - $3000 (Colour Correction, Sound Mix, Mastering)
What are you doing with the film once it's finished?
We will target high-profile international film festivals, festivals that specialize in short films, and regional North American film festivals. As a result, we hope to raise the profile of our team, promote the film and obtain a diverse exhibition schedule.
Festivals to be considered for the production include:
Cannes Film Festival - Cinefondation
Berlinale Film Festival
Clermont Ferrand Film Festival
Oberhausen Film Festival
Tampere Film Festival
Locarno Film Festival
San Sebastian Film Festival
Pusan International Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Aspen Short Film Festival
Palm Spring Short Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
New York International Film Festival
World Wide Short Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
You got me! I'm reaching for my wallet. How do I donate?
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "CONTRIBUTE NOW". You can pay with credit card or debit card, or paypal account. The donation can be anonymous, if you like. It's super easy and your information is safe!
Alternately, our production needs to purchase a few flights for cast and crew members. If you've been hoarding air miles for years and want to donate some to our production, it would be an immense help to our fundraising efforts. For more information, please contact us directly at: email@example.com
Are there any other ways to help?
If you can't give today, but want to support Going South, please forward the link to to the Going South Indiegogo campaign to friends you think might be interested. Every penny counts!