We're so impressed with Rachel Floyd's fund raising efforts for new production Black Girls Be Like that we had to ask her a few questions.
She raised nearly 7k on her indiegogo, and she's looking to raise several thousand more on December 12 with a holiday concert at Fountain Street Church. And, frankly, we want to help her.
Have you participated in the Grand Rapids Film Festival (GRFF) in the past - what production/year?
Yes I have, I participated in 2015 for my short film "Bloom"
Why is GRFF important to local filmmakers?
The festival gives us a platform to show our work. The year I entered GRFF, I had created a short film for a magazine contest. I missed the deadline and was devastated that I wouldn't have a place to show. One of my friends told me about GRFF, and I and was accepted, I was overjoyed that the work we completed would not go in vain. The experience was easily one of the highlights of my career as a filmmaker.:
What's your current project, and why is it important?
My current project is called Black Girls Be Like, it's a coming of age movie about a young girl living in Grand Rapids struggling to forge her own path and discover her own identity despite her environment. This project is important because it aims to give young women living in poverty a voice. I feel like this demographic is often left out of the conversation, and what’s more, when they are included it does not offer an accurate depiction of what life is like for them. This film offers the first real glimpse into that world from a female perspective.
Where are you at in the production process?
Right now we are in pre-production. Being an independent filmmaker is hard! Especially when you have no money. We've been in the funding phase for a little over a year now. We haven't given up though because we truly believe in the story. Also, the extra time has given me more space to conceptualize the look and feel of the film. It gave me the space needed to go back to the drawing board and to attack the project from fresh eyes.
Why are we hearing so much hype about this project before filming has begun?
I'm smiling really big as I type this; I don't know why there is so much hype but I am happy that people are excited about the film. I think the excitement stems from a Grand Rapids woman born and raised coming home to bring something exciting to the city. Also, the subject matter is exciting. Let's face it Grand Rapids is not doing much to promote African Americans and film, the fact that here I am doing just that is big, and I hope that it inspires more black filmmakers in the area to get active in the GR film scene.
What do you aim to accomplish with this film?
I want to give young women a character that they can relate with, I want to give them someone that they can point to and say "that's me" That sense of belonging, and feeling that you are not alone is huge, especially for young girls. I hope that through this film people feel inspired to go after their dreams and that they feel at the end of the day anything they desire is attainable with hard work. I also want people to see what life is like for people that live differently than them. There are very clear class lines in this country, and often times we don't realize it until we're faced with that reality. For some I want this to feel like they're stepping into a different world, and for others I want this to feel like they're stepping into a memory or going back home.