CHOSEN FAM

San Francisco, California | Series

Comedy, Drama

Kyle Chu

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $20,060 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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CHOSEN FAM is written by/for LGBTQ people, People of Color + Women. We have longed for dignified, accurate and heartfelt reflections of ourselves. We are sick of carnival mirror media distortions of who we are. We need the real stories, told by, and for people who look and love like us. Join us.

About The Project

  • The Story
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  • The Team
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Mission Statement

CF features all Queer, Trans and/or POC leads, spanning Black, Mixed, Asian-American, Latinx, Queer, Trans, Bi, and Lesbian experiences. Our writers are POC, female and/or Queer/Trans, and our Director is a Queer Woman of Color. The creator's twin brother, Kevin, who has autism, also makes a cameo.

The Story

 

LOGLINE

CHOSEN FAM series follows members of an all-QTPOC indy rock band, as they navigate relationships, growing up and growing apart in the SF Bay Area DIY music scene.

 

 

SELECTED ISSUES EXPLORED:

sexual racism

callout culture

• drag and gender

• toxic codependency

• the model minority myth

• healthy family boundaries

• white vs. intersectional feminism

• queer celebrity and social capital

• queer / trans parenting & adoption

• lack of diversity in workplace leadership

moving back in with your mom (and having a sex life! eek!)

• and more of course! (have suggestions? feel free to email us about season two topics!)

 

 

INSPIRATION:

 

Why a QTPOC series?

 

Kyle: The embattled Junot Diaz once put it perfectly:

 

"You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves."

 

As a queer bigender Asian American, I grew up in a world without mirrors, or any cultural reflection of myself that was not infantilizing, castrating, and/or downright dehumanizing. As a kid, I identified with whiteness, because it was all I had access to. They were the only humanized narratives available. Come middle school, I would make ching chong jokes at other Asian students. I did this to make my white friends laugh. I asked my white friends often, "I'm not that Asian, right?", and felt a rush of relief every time they reassured me "no Kyle, you're practically white."

I thought I was alone in this experience. But when I talked to my mom about it, she told me, that growing up, she harbored similar thoughts. There are a lot of things that contribute to internalized racism, but I believe the biggest aspect is media. Media tells us what stories matter, and also... who matters. When you don't see yourself in lead roles, and instead, you're relegated to a two dimensional plot device, a perpetual foreigner babbling unintelligibly, a passive deviant, or a sexless pathetic nerd, you start to believe it about yourself. The effect is only amplified when you're young, and just coming into your sense of self in the world. 

 

We created CHOSEN FAM because we need more cultural mirrors; We need dignified, accurate and heartfelt reflections of ourselves that don't produce tired, demeaning, WWII-leftover carnival distortions. We need the real stories, told by, and for people who look and love like us.

 

We hope you feel the same way.   

 

Why music?

Kyle: I grew up playing saxophone in punk bands in the SF DIY music scene. These people were the first chosen fam I knew. They were LGBTQ folks, people of color and Bay Area natives, who care about keeping creative communities alive, producing great art, advancing just social policy, and preserving age-old bayside traditions. Today, bay area artists and musicians are being rapidly displaced, making it even more imperative to share our stories. We are honoring bay area artists by featuring local music in the series soundtrack, and incorporating their stories, through in-depth interviews, into our screenplay. 

 

 

PLANS AFTER PRODUCTION:

 

Festival Circuit

With $25k in funding, we will shoot four more episodes, completing CHOSEN FAM season one! After finishing post-production, we will submit the 5-episode series to the following (non-exhaustive) festivals across the US:

 

CAAMfest (SF)

Frameline (SF)

Outfest (LA)

Newfest (NYC)

Queer Women Of Color Film Festival (SF)

SXSW (ATX)

Tribeca (NYC)

Lighthouse Film Festival (NJ)

Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film Festival (LA)

Asian American International Film Festival (NYC)

LGBTQ Shorts Film Festival (LA)

Seattle International Film Festival (WA)

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HI)

Palm Springs International Film Festival (PS) 

San Francisco International Film Festival (SF)

San Francisco International Women's Film Festival (SF)

 

Distribution

We have pipe dreams of getting picked up by a major network to shoot season two, which is already step-outlined and ready to go. Your help will keep the dream alive.

 

 

 

Wishlist

Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Cameras, Lighting Equipment, Sound Equipment

Costs $2,500

We need top-notch equipment to showcase our stories with that same dreamy aesthetic as the pilot.

Crew Fees

Costs $5,500

We believe in compensating crew for their talents, so they can continue doing what they love in SF.

Cast Fees

Costs $5,500

We believe in providing our diverse actors with livable wages to support their craft living in SF.

Food & Craft Services

Costs $5,000

We aim to feed our cast and crew nutritious meals, so they are on their A-game during production.

Location Rentals

Costs $1,500

Many of our scenes take place in public spaces and communal areas that must be rented out.

Post-Production & Editing Services

Costs $5,000

Every production need a talented editor to piece together a cohesive, and satisfying story!

About This Team

CREATOR / STORY / TALENT / COMPOSER / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Kyle Casey Chu (Panda Dulce) is a multidisciplinary artist and Drag Queen Story Hour core queen who writes about race, desire and justice. Her work, combining drag, media and community engagement, has been spotlighted on National Public Radio, VICE, Huffington Post, MTV, SFMOMA and NBC, amongst others. In a previous life, ​Kyle produced scores for award-winning feature films.

 

DIRECTOR / STORY / PRODUCER

Natalie Tsui is a media artist born in Hong Kong, now living and working in Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY. Coming from a background as a filmmaker, Tsui appropriates traditional cinematic techniques to bring awareness to the exaptation of photography and motion imaging to propagate Western, heteronormative ideologies. Her work utilizes rhizomatic structures, spatial-temporal displacement, repetition, and performance to unsettle the cinematic gaze, inviting poetic interpretation and critical reflection on visual culture. Tsui received a BA in Film Studies and English from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008 and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2014. Her work has been screened at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Frameline, Museu de Arts Moderna of Rio de Janiero, Southern Exposure, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the recipient of the Fotokem Graduate Student Grant and the Princess Grace Film Honorarium, among others.


STORY / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Donna Mae Foronda is a screenwriter based in the SF Bay Area. She ventured into filmmaking in 2007 and learned the ropes through her time at Chapman University (B.A. Screenwriting, minor LGBTQ Studies), unpaid Hollywood internships (NBCUniversal, Center for Asian American Media), and collaborating with other Bay Area filmmakers in a local indie film incubator - Scary Cow.

 

She's written and produced multiple short films receiving awards from Outstanding Writing to Audience Choice, and screened at SF's Castro Theatre, CAAM Film Festival, Asian Film Festival of Dallas, and the Maine International Film Festival.

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