Fundraising Call! Activist Filmmaking!

With the political, social, educational, and artistic goals for my debut feature film, instead of traditional investors, we are raising production funds through our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions (Tax ID Number 95 444 5418), making your charitable donation tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed​. The 501c3 From the Heart Productions was itself established in the early 90s and is dedicated to helping independent filmmakers with unique films that contribute to society get their films funded. There is nothing more “from the heart” than Acid Test.

Fundraising Call! Activist Filmmaking! from Jenny Waldo on Vimeo.

Based on our award-winning short film that is still screening in festivals nationwide, the feature film Acid Test follows Jenny as she turns 18 and grapples with what it means to be an adult in the early 90’s. Steeped in the aesthetic of punk music, we watch Jenny discover a new aggressively feminist perspective inspired by the Riot Grrrl – girls in punk – movement. Along the way, she experiments with LSD and begins to question all of the rules and truths she’s lived by her whole life. Set against the backdrop of the 1992 Presidential Election and themes of civic engagement, Jenny launches a rebellion against her family, against the patriarchy her father represents, and tumbles into a new sense of self.​

The feature film is an activist film. With a female lead of Mexican descent, our story showcases much-needed diversity on screen as part of a need in the film industry and film market for more diverse content. We are also showcasing that diversity behind the camera: as a female writer director, it is vital to me to be part of the changes needed in my industry in hiring women and people of color in crew positions.

Please join me in rebellion by becoming Acid Test’s Donor. Your help is needed to spread the word and be part of the change in the film industry we all want to see!

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20 Year Anniversary

20 years ago, this month, I had my first internship in the film industry. Twenty. Years. Ago. For what it’s worth, I wanted to put that journey down into words because I have no idea what to make of this amount of time and what I’ve been able and unable to do within it, but I recognize it as a milestone and an accomplishment.

When I entered Oberlin College in 1995 – still seventeen years old – I thought I would be a math and dance double major because I loved them both but I had NO IDEA what kind of a career I could make or would want other than the fact that I didn’t want an “office job” and I had a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment streak coupled with a desire to do something “important.” At the time, Oberlin’s recruiting posters boasted a picture of the globe and their tagline “Think one person can change the world? So do we.” And so that was what I was there to do, without any form to that desire.

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New Music Video!

The latest in my collaboration with Houston Riot Grrrl band Giant Kitty, the music video I directed for “Disorder Girl” has premiered! It deals with a difficult topic – domestic violence – and the mental prison that so often goes along with it. Thanks to Houston Press premiered the video with a short write-up!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the project:

Jewel Cepeda
Rayleeyon DeJean
Ivan Etienne
Christi Goertz
Jennifer Hawkins
Betsy Medina
Elyse Monzon
Mia Ruiz
Elissa Saleeba
Alia Scheriman
Noah Toledo

And thank you to Anna Tran, Kristin Massa, and Darla Doshier for their work on the production.

Watch here:

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Now that ACID TEST premiered in the film festival circuit (more news on upcoming screenings soon!), my thoughts are going to the “what’s next” question. Over the next two years as the short makes its rounds in the festivals and we look to distribution options on platforms such as Seed&Spark, I want to keep the work and efforts we all put in together going. So I’m crowdfunding to expand ACID TEST into a feature film! 

Recently, Seed&Spark announced a “Hometown Heroes Rally” – an initiative where they’ve partnered with the Duplass brothers to help feature films find their audience, funds, and recognition. In order to qualify, filmmakers need to crowdfund for their scripted feature films over 30 days between September 12 and October 13 to raise at least $7500 and gain at least 500 followers. Finalists will pitch their projects to Mark and Jay Duplass for the chance to have them executive produce the film and up to $25,000 cash for production! The focus is on regional filmmaking and here in Houston, we’ve got that in spades. Texas is one of the chosen production areas, which makes sense since both brothers attended UT Austin.

I already have a draft of a feature adaptation of ACID TEST but it needs a lot of work. I jumped at the chance of raising development funds through this Hometown Heroes campaign.

In the midst of planning this crowdfunding campaign, Hurricane Harvey hit and I thought about cancelling it. How can I ask for money for a film when so many people need money just to survive? But I know Houston will recover, is already recovering, coming together in such an amazing way to help each other out. This campaign is one step toward bringing the larger film industry to Houston, creating jobs and opportunities, and I feel like if I cancel the campaign, I’m letting Harvey win.

I want this to be an opportunity for all of us. Incentives include film consultations and interviews with the heroes we have here in Houston. This is a Hometown Rally for Houston with an eye toward a stronger future.

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