Queen of Magic Film

New York City, New York | Film Short

Drama, LGBTQ

Gina Rodriguez

1 Campaigns | New Jersey, United States

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This campaign raised $20,045 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

54 supporters | followers

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Think "magician." Did a man come to mind? Let's change that! Women have been a key part of the world of magic since its inception, and we're not talking assistants! Set in the 1890s, this is the fictional story of the first female magician who dared to chase her dream in spite of the patriarchy.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Society is taking strange turns in its view of women's progress. Now is the time to lift women's voices, in all forms. Led by a team of women and nonbinary filmmakers, Queen of Magic seeks to show the world just how passionate, determined, and worthy women are. Specifically, in the world of MAGIC.

The Story

First, and most importantly, let us reiterate that there ARE women in magic and they are amazing! We encourage you to seek them out, show your support and enjoy their brilliance!

But this is not their story...

This is the fictional tale of Addison Ellery, a young British woman of affluence who turned her back on her family’s wealth to pursue a life of magic. Leaving everything she’s ever known, Addison now finds herself living in poverty in New York City’s Gilded Age. In the 1890s, it was not easy to be a woman (though as we know, things aren’t quite peachy at the moment either).

Show business is a tough business to crack, but all the more so when you have to prove that you are worth more than the gender on your birth certificate. As Addison has heard time and time again, “there ain’t no lady magicians.”

Think of the style and tone of "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige" with additional visual inspiration from "The Greatest Showman." Each of our comparable films feature male protagonists. We are turning the genre on its head and focusing on the more complex female characters.

We’d like your help to educate the masses that there are indeed – “Lady Magicians.”

Our fabulous director, Stacey Maltin brings about six years of experience as a Magician's Assistant! Here is a sneak peak at her look book which will give you an idea of her visual approach to the film.

Without spoiling the film for you, we want you to know that while Addison will face hardship, she will be triumphant. Perhaps not in the way you'd expect, but our intention is to tell stories in which women not only persevere, but succeed. We deserve to see women succeed in media. Women do not exist simply to be the damsel in distress or a plot device. We ARE the story. Representation matters.

Women’s voices are once again being silenced, something that has happened over and over throughout history. We feel it our duty to create stories where women’s passions are not only highlighted but celebrated. We are not here to gloss over the struggles, rather to celebrate the joy of overcoming adversity because we know that women are nothing if not strong!

Here is a note from our writer, Kathy DiStefano, who says it best:

Feature films are expensive! The short film will serve as our “proof of concept,” a way to demonstrate this story’s viability on the big screen. This is our message to Hollywood: Audiences are ready for a female led film about the magician’s journey! We’ve had enough male magicians to last a lifetime. This film will show audiences and Hollywood executives alike that the time is NOW!

Plenty of other famous feature films got their start as a short film. We plan to join their ranks:

'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' - Lao Tzu

If we didn't believe in the potential of this project, we wouldn't be asking you to join us. We KNOW that "Queen of Magic" belongs on the big screen. We hope that you will join us on our journey!

Introducing Holly Curran as our ADDISON ELLERY and Kathy DiStefano as her faithful assistant (and perhaps a bit more than that), OLIVIA ALBINI!

Our leading ladies are the heart of this film but the full cast of leading and supporting characters totals six actors, the rest of which are yet to be cast. (Keep an eye out for casting notices)!

Holly Curran

A graduate of Tisch School of the Arts, Holly Curran is an LA based actor.  Her impressive credits include the Emmy-winning  "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Fear the Walking Dead," "Z: The Beginning of Everything,"and "Bull" among others.  A native of New Jersey, Holly is a dedicated artist with credits on both stage and screen. She also loves songwriting and singing, and just released her first EP. She is excited to return home to film Addison's story!

Kathy DiStefano

Another NJ-native who transplanted to LA, Kathy is a an actress/writer/producer most known for her starring role in the hit supernatural web series, "Last Life" which has accumulated over 40 million views and a dedicated fanbase. You may have also seen Kathy on Nickelodeon's "iCarly." She has written several original TV/Film scripts and produced the full 3 seasons of "Last Life" and her short film, "The Women's Room." In 2016, she co-hosted a panel, entitled “How to Create a Successful WebSeries,” at ITVFEST and has acquired multiple accolades for her scripts at major film festivals and script competitions. 

We believe in full transparency and the truth is, our ideal budget, which would allow us to make this film in the way it deserves to be made is $58,600. If you are so inclined as to help us get to our overall budget, we will be ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!

But we know that times are tough for everyone, and that is a lofty goal. We are fully dedicated to making this film, and so, we have set the "Cutting Corners" budget of $25,000. This budget means we will be doing just what it's called: cutting corners. We will need way more favors from people (crew, locations, craft services, etc), will have to make some hard equipment choices, have longer days, and possibly be making our own costumes! Sacrifices will need to be made. (This is the ROUGH indie budget.)

For our full budget of $58,600, we can pay everyone's full rate (livable wage), get the best equipment (camera, lighting, sound, etc), best locations, and make sure we have high-end period-accurate costumes, props and set pieces! (This film deserves this kind of attentive treatment!)

Whether you are able to contribute $10 or $10,000 or simply spread the word about "Queen of Magic," we are truly grateful for your support. Filmmaking is a team effort and you are very much a part of this team!

If you'd like to take a look at our FULL Pitch Deck, Director's Lookbook, or listen to our Podcast Reading of the script - please visit our website at WWW.QUEENOFMAGICFILM.COM. And feel free to reach out to us with any questions!


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

PPE & Covid Safey

Costs $500

These funds will ensure that we can protect and test our team in the age of COVID!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Camera/Lens Package

Costs $2,500

The "look" of a period film is vital for authenticity. Camera and lenses achieve this look!

Wardrobe, Props

Costs $4,500

If you have access to 1890s clothing or items, they may come in handy! All about authenticity here!


Costs $3,500

You can't film a period piece without authentic locations!


Costs $14,000

Camera crew, sound crew, sound equipment & contingency to make sure the money stays 'on the screen!'

About This Team

Kathy DiStefano


Kathy DiStefano is a writer/producer/actress who traded the country’s best pizza and bagels for sunshine and beaches by moving from NJ to LA. She has written several original scripts for both TV and Film, and produced three seasons of her web-series, "Last Life" and a short film - because let’s face it, screenplays are meant to be watched, not read! Her script “Queen of Magic” has won and placed in several screenwriting competitions including the Austin Film Festival. In 2016, she co-hosted a panel, “How to Create a Successful WebSeries,” at ITVFEST and her web content has accumulated over 60 million views creating a vast and dedicated fanbase. Kathy’s overall mission is to make the unseen more visible, so all her projects spotlight underrepresented communities.


Stacey Maltin


Stacey Maltin is an award-winning filmmaker and performer. A graduate from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a minor in journalism, Maltin has a unique perspective in storytelling, that is both authentic and entertaining. Through Maltin’s lens, she creates stories that explore everything from queer parenthood and homelessness to psychosexual horror and holiday comedic romance. She is building a name for herself within the film community and her resume keeps growing. Her feature script was produced as a radio play by The Black List starring Darren Criss. Her projects have been finalists for the Tribeca All Access Grant and have premiered at Oscar qualifying Cinequest Film Festival, Dances with Films, NewFest, & many more. 


Margarita Zhitnikova


Margarita is a non-binary multihyphenate performer and writer. Born in Stalingrad, Russia, Zhitnikova came to America with their family as Jewish refugees when they were six.  Zhitnikova found acting and creating to be an outlet, a salvation of sorts, to naturally express their feelings and the chance to be someone other than themselves. Zhitnikova is passionate about edgy, and dynamic characters, breaking societal norms and creating representation along the way.  They are a judge for the Revolution Me Film Festival and a member of NYWIFT, WIF, Women in Media, The Filmshop, and NYC Women Filmmakers. 


Jackie Schwartz


Jackie Schwartz is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and activist, with a mission to create uplifting and inspirational films about marginalized communities. In 2014, she co-created, produced, and sold a digital series about a plus size heroine called Rare Birds of Fashion to a major network. Since then, she’s produced multiple web series, shorts, and feature films which have premiered and won awards at festivals throughout the North America, including: Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Outfest, Cinequest, ITVfest, and more. Her film Dusty participated in the Outfest Screenwriting Lab Summer 2019 and the Middlebury Script Lab January 2020. She was also a finalist in the 2020 Sundance Creative Producing Lab. 


Gina Marie Rodriguez


Gina Marie Rodriguez is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, director, and actress based in NY/NJ.  Her foray into filmmaking began at a young age as a way to avoid public speaking in school.  From there, it grew into a love of telling stories and creating new worlds.  Rose and Pearl Entertainment was born not long after, producing films about life, love and everything in between.  

Gina is also a festival founder and director. In 2013, she founded the Westfield International Film Festival (formerly the Rahway IFF) Under the non-profit umbrella of Big Dreams & Silver Screens, the organization also hosts the first and only film festival in New Jersey dedicated to films both by and for artists 18 years old and younger - Big Dreams Youth Film Festival.


Current Team