RATIFY

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Feature

Documentary

Emily Best

2 Campaigns | California, United States

33 days :04 hrs :35 mins

Until Deadline

102 supporters | followers

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$14,819

Goal: $40,000 for distribution

Most Americans believe the US Constitution protects gender equality. It does not. The 100 year fight for an Equal Rights Amendment requires tending old wounds to build a truly inclusive movement. This film is about the brave women trying to do just that.

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About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We’re making this film to galvanize the movement to bring the Equal Rights Amendment across the very last threshold: to be published in the constitution and enshrine gender equality for all. It required us as artists - and it will require us as a country - to heal divides along race and gender.

The Story


You're invited to the party. Why should you join?

Well, 80% of Americans believe that the Equal Rights Amendment is already the law of the land. And perhaps they should. In 2020, Virginia indeed became the 38th and final state needed to ratify the amendment. And yet, it’s still not in the constitution. 

"WTF?!!" You say? Indeed.


We’re making this film to help people understand the forces at work against gender equality and what you can do about it. Yes, you!

And to get this film out into the world, we're choosing JOY. So we're throwing a party all over the country - screening this film, inviting everyone you know - to join the JOYFUL RUCKUS to make change.



Essential facts you need to understand why making this film - and getting involved with this movement - is so important. 

1

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was introduced to congress in 1923. “Equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex.” 

2

Article 5 of the Constitution determines how amendments to the constitution are made - it must be introduced, passed out of the house and senate, and sent to the states for ratification where 3/4ths of states (that’s 38 out of 50) must ratify.

3

It took 50 years before the House and Senate passed the ERA and sent it to the states for ratification in 1973. Each state has it’s own procedure to ratify an amendment. 

4

In 2019 - almost another 50 years later - 37 states had ratified the ERA and all eyes were on Virginia.

5

We were on the ground (with cameras) to witness Virginia become the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (spoiler alert!). 

6

Refer back to point 2, Article 5 says the ERA has to pass out of the house and senate, and be ratified by 38 states. We did that.

7

Four years later, the Equal Rights Amendment is still not in the constitution because there is not enough of a RUCKUS about it. 




RATIFY is about the women building a truly intersectional movement for equality. It’s about women fighting relentlessly against people who hide behind procedure to deny foundational protections for all people. This film taught us about all the ways in which our democratic ideals - and bureaucracies - can fail, even in support of something as wildly popular as equal rights. 


What we got to witness on the ground in Virginia was a renewed movement for equality in this country, one that seeks to heal the wounds caused by the divide-and-conquer strategy that had plagued our equal rights movements since the constitution was written. At many points throughout our short history, our movements for equality have fractured at the fault lines between race and gender. Feminists and abolitionists traded each other off to advance the causes of Black vote (for men) or the women’s vote (for white women). Again and again throughout history, our collective efforts for equality have been set back by a divide and conquer strategy that pits race against gender, leaving Black women, who sit at a very specific intersection in America, to fight a singular battle. Perhaps nowhere has this been a greater setback than in the movement for gender equality. 



Let's work together to finally see the ERA enshrined in the Constitution.



In order to release this film, we're throwing a BIG PARTY, ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Together, and with JOY, we can help our film’s heroes continue to advance their work by co-organizing screenings, panels and creating educational materials.


GET LOUD!

Our goal with the release of RATIFY is to get 15,000,000 people (you read that right) activated across the country to get the ERA published in the constitution. 80% of people already think the ERA is the law of the land, and we need to show them how to actually make it the law of the land. 


SHARE THIS CAMPAIGN ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

"Did you know the US Constitution does not guarantee gender equality? RATIFY tells the story of the 100 fight for an Equal Rights Amendment and this campaign will give you lots of ways to get involved in making history. Check out RATIFY on @seedandspark or ratifythefilm.com" #ratifythefilm #crowdfunding #indiefilm Tag @ratifythefilm on instagram and TikTok.




GET GENEROUS!

Contribute to the campaign to help us finish the film. The rewards are amazing ----->

Kati Hornung has, since the ratification of the ERA in Virginia, started a printing company to help women who have been out of the workforce re-build their resume. And they are printing the most beautiful ERA materials to help advance the national fight. So we have our impact campaign swag and educational materials locked in! We have spectacular posters from Artists4 ERA offered for this campaign, including limited edition Chuck Sperry and Shepard Fairy posters only available through this campaign!


Get a poster or the rights to host a screening!



GET ENGAGED!

Every screening we can book will help grow the body of informed voters in as many states as we are able to reach. In Virginia, we got to see first hand how one or two votes in a committee can hold up rights for an entire nation. We could see first hand how our local elections have the most profound impact on our daily lived experiences in the communities where we live. 


Do you have a local screening venue you could put us in touch with?

Are there local businesses who want to host a screening and party?

Check out the GET A PRIVATE SCREENING + PANEL incentive designed specifically for business!


Contact us through this campaign or go to ratifythefilm.com and click "contact."


CREATE A PLATFORM!

Every screening is an opportunity to create a platform for local movement leaders, so they can meet each other and their communities. In Virginia, our movement leaders helped to unite disparate groups working towards common goals. We want the film to be a tool to unite the movement for women’s equality, specifically to help young people find their place in the movement. Many young people today find the women’s movement to be stale and exclusionary, and we help to articulate an intersectional vision for that movement that is now helmed in the political, academic and legal sphere by courageous women of color. 


Are there partners, activists or influencers to whom we could give a platform at an after-screening panel?


Contact us through this campaign or go to ratifythefilm.com and click "contact."



Our goal with this film is to reach all 50 states with screenings and panels. The more we raise, the farther we will go - together!


$40,000 - SHINDIG

Finish the film and visit 4 critical states to hold screenings and panels (California, Illinois, Virginia, Colorado).


------ STRETCH GOALS ------


$60,000 - CELEBRATION

Expand to 8 states and at least 14 screenings. 


$70,000 - BASH

Expand screening reach to 12 states.


$80,000 - BLOWOUT 

You would think this is the biggest party but that would mean you underestimate feminists (what else is new).

We will reach at least 20 cities before November.


$100,000 - JOYFUL RUCKUS

We can expand to at least 30 cities before November. The more we raise the closer we can get to all 50 states!


TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION Your donation is tax-deductible! RATIFY is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of RATIFY are payable to IDA and are tax-deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation, decline the reward at checkout. 



Project at Columbia Law School Vote Equality Artists4ERA


Special Thanks

(for help on this campaign)

Ivan Askwith (advice and expertise)

Caroline Chu (intern, genius)

Nathan Bowhall (editor)

Brennan Kelleher- Best (pitch video cinematography)

Puppett (pitch video)

Randy Torres (pitch video sound)

Jillian Corsie (advice and expertise)

Gabriella Bottoni (campaign feedback)

Kati Hornung + MOMentum Printing (all the cool Swag and JOYFUL RUCKUS)

Shepard Fairey + Chuck Sperry (for making beautiful work)

Moby+ Little Walnut Productions (music and event)


Wishlist

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

Archival Licensing

Costs $20,000

The ERA is a microcosm for the whole American Experiment. We use incredible archival footage to tell the story.

Flights (10)

Costs $5,000

You'll help us to bring our directors and movement leaders to key screenings to kick off the campaign.

Music Licensing

Costs $5,000

Music is essential to making a film MOVE. Let's MOVE(ment)!

Color correction

Costs $5,000

We filmed in seven different years and have to blend that footage with 150 years worth of archival. WHEW this is a big job.

Screening venues (5-10)

Costs $5,000

We want to kickoff the campaign with in-person screenings in a few key states, including in Chicago during the DNC!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Deborah Riley Draper

CO-DIRECTOR

Deborah Riley Draper is an Emmy and NAACP Image award-nominated writer, director and award-winning filmmaker. Deborah most recently completed directing the A&E docu-series JAMES BROWN: SAY IT LOUD, produced by Academy Award winner Ahmir Thompson and Mick Jagger. Website.



Sabaah Folayan

CO-DIRECTOR

Sabaah made her directorial debut at the 2017 Sundance film festival, with the feature length documentary Whose Streets?. supported by Ford, Macarthur and other foundations, and nominated for Peabody, Critic’s Choice, Gotham and NAACP awards, the film chronicles the experiences of activists living in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown Jr. was killed. Website.



Emily Best

CO-CREATOR

Emily has produced films, VR, shorts and series that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance, Tribeca and more. She is best known for “Fck Yes” the digital series on sexual consent, where her writing and directing work has over 50M views. Work she has produced has shown at Sundance (HARD WORLD FOR SMALL THINGS), Slamdance (AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL), SXSW (GUEST ROOM) and more. TFI Profile.



Megan Goedewaagen

PRODUCER

Megan Goedewaagen is a producer. In 2019 she produced PRIDE, the FX docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ movement as well as DEAR ZOE, a feature film starring Sadie Sink (of STRANGER THINGS). She line produces Al Gore’s 24 HOURS OF REALITY, a show about the climate crisis, viewed annually in over half a billion homes worldwide. Megan works for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her production work includes The Oscars, The Emmys, THOR: DARK WORLD, BEYOND STRANGER THINGS and Discovery’s SHARK WEEK.



Eve M. Cohen

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Eve had two feature films released theatrically in 2023. MENDING THE LINE (director Joshua Caldwell) and THE OTHER ZOEY (director Sara Zandieh). She established herself as a pioneer in Virtual Reality filmmaking with THE VISITOR (AFI 2016, SFiFF 2016) and HARD WORLD FOR SMALL THINGS (Sundance 2016, Tribeca 2016). Her position as an innovator in this new frontier led her to ASHE ‘68 (Sundance 2019, Tribeca 2019) nominated for a Sports Emmy in 2019, and speaking on many panels and classrooms. Most recently she filmed DOJA CAT: SCARLET TOUR for Meta, a multi-camera stereoscopic immersive experience, released Jan 2024.



Sarah Adina Smith and Jonako Donley

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

Sarah Adina Smith is a writer-director most recently known for her work on the Golden Globe nominated series Lessons in Chemistry, starring Brie Larson. Sarah won a Directors Guild of America Award for her episode “Her and Him." She and Jonako Donley have produced four feature films together under their banner Everything is Everything, including The Midnight Swim (2014), Buster’s Mal Heart (2017), Birds of Paradise (2021), and The Drop (2023).

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