Back in the fall of 2010, a group of senior film students at the University of North Texas wrote, shot and directed The Whale, a hauntingly beautiful short feature about a little boy, a wretchedly abusive family, and the transcendent power of imagination. Once released, Whale cleaned up. Josh Spires, the film's photographer, snatched the coveted 2011 Regional Kodak Film School Cinematography Award for his role in the work, an honor given to only three films per year, worldwide.
That accolade brought with it an invitation: the work was selected to screen at France's "Cannes of Short Films, " the esteemed Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. But a costly conversion to 35 mm -- a stringent festival requirement-- may now beach Whale.
These local filmmakers are in a tough predicament. With so much labor and talent invested in this 13 minute and 29 second digital work, a difference of $4,500 stood between them and greater distribution. After all, being showcased in Clermont-Ferrand's "Kodak New Talent Series" is an honor that comes with potential for international exposure. A rare thing, indeed.
This creative cast isn't giving up. They've hustled and used grass roots methods to raise the lion's share ($3,800), but are still scrambling to raise the rest.
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A new campaign on Kickstarter might change all of that.
The crew successfully used the fundraising website to gather green for the project's initial creation. They are hoping this campaign goes equally well and with a quick pace because aside from money, time is Whale's greatest nemesis. For the movie to be converted and arrive in France for the screening, funds must be in hand by this Sunday, January 15.