Thursday, March 11, 2010

Support "Chess Movie"

I.S. 318 at NY State Championships
Katie Dellamaggiore, an independent documentary filmmaker from Brooklyn, is raising money for her Chess Movie, about the award-winning I.S. 318 team.  Visit her "Kickstarter" page to learn more about the project and to pledge your support.  Though they have already met their minimum goal of raising $4,000, they definitely need a lot more than that to finish this important documentary, which I think could do for scholastic chess what Mad Hot Ballroom did for kids' ballroom dancing.  Here is Katie's appeal:
Over the last 2 years I have been producing and directing a documentary about scholastic chess with my company Rescued Media.  Chess Movie (working title) goes inside one of the best junior high chess program in the nation, Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, New York. Many students at 318 come from difficult circumstances and 60% are from low-income families, but being part of a winning chess team gives them a unique opportunity to experience success at a young age. Justus, Patrick, Alexis, Pobo & Rochelle are 5 of 50 team members that are learning on the chessboard the skills they need to face challenges of adolescence and their working class circumstances.

In April 2009 we embarked on our first trip with the team to Nashville, Tennessee, to the USCF Super Nationals. Once we witnessed how big the scholastic chess world was, we were hooked. Over the next year we embedded ourselves with the team-- at home, at school and away at tournaments -- and slowly, the kids' individual stories began to take shape.  Please view our five minute teaser for an idea of where the film is now headed. It’s our ultimate goal to secure a national television broadcast for Chess Movie and maybe even a small theatrical release. We also plan to build a strong community outreach campaign in the hopes the film will build support for scholastic chess programs in under served communities as we have witnessed firsthand the profound effect the I.S. 318 chess program has had on its students.

Right now we have a fundraising campaign underway at Kickstarter is an online funding platform for artists to engage with their audiences and build support for their projects. Our Kickstarter campaign has been pretty successful so far, reaching our initial goal of $4,000 in just a few short weeks. But we still have 50 days to go and we need more than 4k to finish this film. When you log onto Kickstarter you will see that we are offering some really cool rewards and incentives for backers. For example a $10 donation gets you exclusive access to video updates and deleted scenes and a $55 donation secures you a "Special Thanks" credit in our film. We also offer chess-centric rewards like free memberships to WORLD CHESS LIVE and CHESS.COM but at the end of the day I hope you are most inspired to give because you love chess and are moved by the kids and their stories. We believe this film has the potential to breakdown false stereotypes about chess and present a new and fresh perspective to one of the world's oldest and most beloved games.

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