The first faith-based, LGBT film festival in the world!
Samantha Curley
Pasadena, California
United States
2 Team Members

We live in a world bombarded by social, political, and religious messages about LGBT communities. Many of these messages are divisive. At Level Ground, we believe art is a vehicle for conversation among otherwise divided people. Our vision is to use art in creating safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality.

Yes, this is a big and lofty undertaking - for both LGBT people and people of faith! But we believe art allows us to experience the stories of people who are different from us. And as we encounter different stories we believe it’s possible to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across those differences. We believe level ground is possible. 

In short, art + dialogue = a more civil world. We need your help to create this level ground!

Film expands and challenges our imaginations, our faith, and our worldview. We see film as fertile ground and sacred space for telling stories that foster relationships.

We’ve seen the power of film to cultivate dialogue. 

During our inaugural 2013 festival, we:

  • Screened 5 films on a small budget
  • Hosted Academy Award winners Dustin Lance Black (of Milk and J.Edgar) and Roger Ross Williams (of God Loves Uganda) as speakers
  • Welcomed theologians, pastors, and filmmakers as panelists
  • Facilitated meaningful conversation between people from different backgrounds and with divergent beliefs

For our second year, with your help, we will:

  • Screen 16 full-length films and 20 short films 
  • Invite 20 prominent leaders, writers, artists, scientists, and theologians from across the country to join the festival as speakers 
  • Fund 20 filmmakers to come to the festival and speak about their films
  • Have several different screening venues with limited capacity so that genuine dialogue is possible 
  • Invest in catalytic art by giving prize money to filmmakers who are committed to furthering dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality
  • Rent an artistic venue for our festival headquarters
  • Commission an Opening Night Gala performance piece and mount other art exhibits throughout the festival
  • Provide volunteer and online infrastructure to advertise and welcome attendees from across the country 

How will we make this happen? 

Turns out film festivals are expensive so we think that we = you + us. We need your financial support to make this big and lofty undertaking a reality! 

The budget for the best version of the film festival is $100,000 and we’d love to raise all of this through Indiegogo. However, we can create the festival by raising at least $50,000 from all of you and supplementing your contribution with sponsorships and ticket sales. 

BUT, with more than $50,000 we can:

  1. Show more films. We’ll pay for more filmmakers to attend and secure the facilities for more screenings. 
  2. Invite more speakers. We’ll be able to add the voices of more top thinkers and artists, bringing them to L.A. to participate in the festival.
  3. Give more money to award-winning filmmakers. We’ll better support the independent filmmakers who tell daring stories, giving these artists a much-needed boost while also attracting a higher caliber of films to the Level Ground Film Festival.
  4. Include more art around the films. By 2015 we hope to be a full-fledged film and arts festival. The more funds we raise this year, the more we can incorporate art (dance, the culinary arts, music, the visual arts, writing) into the 2014 festival.
  5. Pay people fairly. We believe good work should be well compensated. We want to support artists, not tax them by asking them to work for free! We need your help to pay the people who will be working hard to make this an innovative, successful festival.

For a full (and growing) list of all the people and organizations supporting the film festival, click here

Upcoming Dates:

  • January 1, 2014 - Package sales begin
  • January 17, 2014 - Online program released
  • January 20-24, 2014 - Package selection
  • January 27, 2014 - Single ticket sales begin
  • February 20 - Opening Night Gala Performance
  • February 21 - Indiegogo Exclusive Party 
  • February 24-28 - General Screenings and Private Galas 
  • March 1 - Closing Night Gala
  • March 2 - Awards Brunch 

Where will your dollars go?

  • Venues: $10,000
  • Art Exhibits: $5,000
  • Event Management: $5,000
  • Marketing: $5,000
  • Catering: $7,500
  • Merchandise: $5,000
  • A/V Staff and Equipment: $7,500
  • Speaker Travel and Accommodations: $40,000
  • Awards for Filmmakers: $15,000
  • Total - $100,000

Beside this Film Festival, what else does Level Ground do?

Thanks for asking! We team with artists of all kinds - filmmakers, musicians, dancers, photographers, playwrights, authors, poets, chefs, and painters - who are exploring the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality. We write discussion guides for films, produce art installations, host book readings, and coordinate event productions. 

We also help communities begin the difficult conversation about faith, gender, and sexuality. We partner with seminaries, colleges, churches, youth groups, and other community groups to facilitate dialogue following custom-curated film screenings and art events. We recognize that asking people to be vulnerable for the sake of reconciliation is a fragile process that requires grace and patience.

*Perk Details:

  • For businesses and/or organizations wanting to sponsor the film festival, please contact us for other sponsorship perks.
  • All tickets and passes can be given to someone else if you are unable to attend the 2014 film festival.
  • At $5,000+, the equivalent of (2) FF passes can be traded in for (1) paid flight for out of town guests to come to LA. OR Level Ground will pay to come to you and do a local screening in your community. 
  • Only U.S. flights up to $500 value.
  • Individual film festival tickets and packages DO NOT carry over from perk-to-perk. Signed books are only available at the $250 level, signed DVD's at the $500 level, and signed screenplay at $2,500. 
  • Please contact us with any questions about perk details. 

How else can you help?

  • Word of mouth is the best way to spread awareness. SO, talk about Level Ground, the festival, and this campaign. Tell filmmakers you know to submit to our festival. 
  • Come to the festival next February in Pasadena, California.
  • Volunteer during the festival.
  • Tweet about this campaign.
  • Post this link on your Facebook page.
  • Send a few emails asking people to join you in supporting Level Ground. Direct people to this campaign and our website. Request a flyer to send out to your networks. Mention us on your blog. 

If you have ANY questions about Level Ground, the campaign, or the festival, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us directly. Yep, as a thanks for making it all way to the end of the page we are giving you our cell phone numbers : )

If you would like to support Level Ground and the film festival, but don't have a debit or credit card - OR if you are having technical trouble giving to the campaign - please contact Samantha or Chelsea directly. 

Details and RSVP HERE

Find This Campaign On
raised by 314 people in 1 month
72% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 15, 2013
In partnership with
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    History Maker

    Warm fuzzy feelings for helping us make history! And a shout-out on our social media. (fully tax-deductible)

    4 claimed
  • $10USD

    Score an invite to the exclusive Indiegogo Party with first-class speakers and filmmakers at the film festival on February 21, 2014. And your name listed on our website. Plus all previous perks. (fully tax-deductible)

    32 claimed
  • $25USD
    Art Aficionado

    A commemorative postcard featuring original art from one of our Level Ground artists. AND a Level Ground Film Festival sticker. Plus all previous perks. (amount over $1 is tax-deductible)

    56 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $50USD
    Pass the Popcorn

    A commemorative Level Ground Film Festival poster and (1) festival ticket to a main-stage theater screening. Plus all previous perks. (amount over $15 is tax-deductible)

    40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $100USD
    I've Got Swag

    A Level Ground Film Festival t-shirt and (2) tickets to a main-stage theater screening. Plus all previous perks. (amount over $40 is tax-deductible)

    37 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $250USD
    The Reader

    A book written and signed by a Level Ground supporting author (including Jeff Chu and Wesley Hill) and (4) festival tickets to a main-stage theater screening. Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $70 is tax-deductible)

    15 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $500USD
    Moviemaker Magic

    A DVD copy of one of our favorite movies signed by a filmmaker (including Peter Staley and Gene Robinson). AND a Film Festival Basic Pass, includes: entry into any regular screening and VIP access to the Indiegogo party. Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $210 is tax-deductible)

    6 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $1,000USD
    The Agent

    A Film Festival PLUS Pass, includes: entry into any regular screening, the opening and closing night galas, and VIP access to Indiegogo party. You'll also get a 30 min. skype call with someone from the Level Ground team to help develop your artistic project or idea. Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $200 is tax-deductible)

    1 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    The Academy Award

    (2) Film Festival PLUS Passes, (2) tickets to one private gala screening, a one-hour skype session with someone of your choice from the Level Ground team, AND a screenplay of Milk signed by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black. Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $520 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $5,000USD
    Sky High

    (4) Film Festival PLUS Passes and (4) tickets to one private night gala (or (2) Passes and (2) domestic flights to LA for the festival, value of $500/each) Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $1,000 is tax-deductible)

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    The Executive

    The full VIP Film Festival experience for you and a guest. We pay for it all (from arrival in LA to departure - includes housing, tickets, dinners, transportation) Plus some previous perks.* (amount over $2,500 is tax-deductible)

    0 claimed
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.