House of June Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Women of Color Coming-of-Age Film

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Woman led African-American indie art film house, House of June embarks on first journey to create feature film told through the lens of the black filmmaker.

2015 is officially the year of women of color film makers. The recent launch of House of June's (HOJ) Indiegogo campaign for their upcoming film "FRIED ICECREAM" is a reminder of that fact. The coming-of-age story is the first film from the artist-activist collective and an attempt to expand the narrow spectrum of films and narratives of untold stories of women of color. Of their work, HOJ noted “Proudly we create content on subject matters that are often considered taboo in a fashion seldom presented. Our work diligently advocates for the stories of those who are largely marginalized by mainstream media.” We caught up our sisterfriends at HOJ; here is what they had to share on the upcoming project:


Fundraising will be held from May 1, 2015 through May 30, 2015. Supporters can visit: www.indiegogo.com/projects/fried-icecream to donate to the creation of the film and learn more about the perks of being a contributor.


 

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BLACK GIRL FLY MAGAZINE: Tell our supporters about your campaign?

AMBER: Dope. Summer. Melanin. Estrogen. Arthouse. Donate.

TEMPEST: We have just launched our Indiegogo campaign for Fried IceCream. It’s a movie that needs to be made, seen, and received. Please donate so we can make this film that everyone can relate too. It’s full of color, melanin, summer, ups, downs, rights, wrongs, but most important it’s about black lives and black culture. EBONY: We’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign for our first feature film for “Fried IceCream” in which we are rallying for dope individuals to support us in pushing culture forward by contributing to our movement. We’ve taken the initiative to create three mini visuals to show potential backers the aesthetic of our film style and narrative their investing in.

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Amber Bournett, Ebony Blanding & Tempest Roque, House of June Creatives 

BGFM: Why is a coming of age story centered around women of color important?

AMBER: Its important to see character development, that’s how you get people to care about someone else’s world, you experience it with them; that’s why we love films like Stand by Me and Crooklyn. The problem is Stand by Me gets created and promoted every year, we can’t really say the same about the other film.

TEMPEST: I am a mother of two little girls whom when they turn on television they don’t have black girls coming of age unless it’s a cartoon or the new Annie which came out top of the year. I need my daughters to be represented- to look at someone on television and say “Mom she look like me.”, someone my children can relate too. It is important for us melaninated girls to have story’s and films full of experiences and characters that captivate the heart so they can sit and remember when they lived in Akeebah’s (one of our main characters) world just like I did with “Troy” in Crooklyn. EBONY: When’s the last time you were able to see a film in which a black woman comes of age and in modern context? My last fondest memory of this was Eve’s Bayou, that’s problematic. Our women, girls, men and boys of color deserve to see themselves and sisters and daughters cinematically. Moreover, the culture of Hollywood needs diversity represented.

https://vimeo.com/126495747

BGFM: What inspired your concept visuals, Do the Summer Thing, for FRIED ICECREAM? AMBER, TEMPEST & EBONY: The Huey Chair visualette, obviously was inspired by the famous Huey P. Newton photo of the Black Panther Movement. We wanted to show our heroine on a throne, emphasizing her independent spirit. Our other visualette “Sloan & Akeebah” was inspired by the Outkast’s skit, “Kim and Cookie”.  And “Do The Summer Thing” was an homage to Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”. We literally took a still from his film and gingered it with our own vibes and energy.

BGFM: Why are images of women of color, specifically Black women, loving and supporting one another important?

AMBER: Simply put, because there aren't enough.

TEMPEST: The representation that is shown in today’s time is 90% wrong. They emphasize the WRONG all the time and it’s time for the RIGHT to be represented and shown in all aspects of womanhood and sisterhood. Show us loving each other deeply as we really do and allow us to represent characters that often passed on to the non-melanin woman.

EBONY: There isn’t enough black presence in varied genres of film. Tactlessly so, we’re often represented as a whole in entertainment based off the popularity of “reality show” depictions or small cliché roles that don’t explore our backstories and allow the character presented to really have dimensions.

https://vimeo.com/125045988

BGFM: Why are Black Girls Fly?

AMBER: Lol, because it’s innate. I know that’s a simple answer, but the ideal isn't complex. It’s inherent, like a mutation for survival. We’re Fly because we have to be, our world demands it.

TEMPEST: God made us that way, we were created FLY. EBONY: It’s in our DNA – Black Girls are Fly because our history is luminous and organically so, when we're practicing self-care richly, we glow and set the world on fire.

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About "FRIED ICECREAM"

https://vimeo.com/126736495

“FRIED ICECREAM” follows AKEEBAH & SLOAN, two mix-matched peas in a pod living and finding themselves in the summer solstice of inner-city Atlanta. Faced with ultimatums by their parental figures and Sallie Mae to work summer jobs to afford their last semester in college, they arbitrarily become ice-cream truck drivers in West End Atlanta. Quirky adventures ensue when their entrepreneurial spirits become hallucinogenic.

Colorful, whimsical, and dark, the film will nostalgically explore the turbulence and beauty of maturing in a neighborhood filled with the ups and downs of inner-city living: where children die in the summer, where busted fire hydrants act as water parks, and the sound of an ice-cream truck is a serenade.

“FRIED ICECREAM” is a coming-of-age story of young mavericks, encapsulated within a tale of summertime’s vibrant adventures and Catch-22s.


House of June is an independent art film house that produces creative content for web and film. Headed by Amber Bournett (“the lens”), Ebony Blanding (“the pen”) and Tempest Roque (“the producer”), HOJ formed to address a void of full bodied portrayals of women and people of color in film living in the modern world colorfully and expressively.