Season of the Witches

Luquillo, Puerto Rico | Film Feature

Crime, Thriller

Sherri Daye Scott

1 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

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This campaign raised $20,736 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Season of the Witches is a social thriller following three American women volunteering in post-hurricane Puerto Rico who kill a local playboy in a botched revenge scheme. When the “doing good on the Island” women try to cover up the murder, they are pursued by a detective with demons of her own.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our above-the-line is filled with women of color: writer, director, producers, three of our four leads. And, we are all committed to filming as much as possible in Puerto Rico to bring awareness and advocacy and dollars to the island as it recovers post-Maria. This campaign will help us do that.

The Story

 

Contribute to our project and get a tax deduction!

SEASON OF THE WITCHES is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions on behalf of SEASON OF THE WITCHES are payable to Film Independent and are tax deductible less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered in noted under each donation level.

 

Sherri, our screenwriter, is a Graham Greene fan. Hemingway. Paul Theroux. V.S. Naipul, too. Yet, as much as she finds their combined canon of strangers-in-strange-lands tales intriguing—and, as a former military brat, familiar—she also found them ... lacking in the end. 

 

You see, women who look like Sherri and the rest of the SEASON OF THE WITCHES production team, women of color, appear in such stories only as minor characters. Neither the hero nor trickster.  Never fully-actualized. Never given, as the Dixie Chick’s sang, “room to make the big mistakes.”The same phenomenon is true in film: regardless of genre, the world of women of color on screen is often small, limited to home, office, or place of worship. Domestic in the global sense.

 

We are making SEASON OF THE WITCHES to change that. We wanted to see a film that reflected the nuanced and larger world we  inhabit. So, Sherri wroteone about three American women who kill a local playboy Puerto Rico and try to get away with it. And, then she tapped director Deborah Riley Draper and Liz Edwards and Ilene Liff Mier to help bring the story to life. 

 

At its core, SEASON OF THE WITCHES is about the dichotomy of people, how a person/situation/setting can be two things at once. Beautiful and ugly. Brilliant and dull. Controlled and chaotic.

 

The project is a thriller because thrillers perform well with movie-going audiences on screens worldwide. The film is  set in Puerto Rico because the island's stunning landscapes and  lush sounds provide a perfect backdrop to the ugliness of the crime committed and its aftermath. 

(Images by Melissa Alexander of @phyllis.iller)

 

The script was written before Maria, but the storm and its aftermath made its messages and the economic opportunity the film represents even more pertinent to the island’s future. It is our hope that viewers will not only be entertained but also educated. We want people to watch the film for the thrills and walk away with a bit more awareness of what's happening in Puerto Rico post-Maria and why. 

 

Which is why filming on the island and this campaign is so important to us. Shooting in Puerto Rico is more expensive than shooting domestically for a variety of reasons. Several stateside locations, including Savannah, Ga, could (and likely will for at least some scenes) "cheat" for the island without audience being any wiser. But every dollar we raise in this campaign means we can spend more time and money in Puerto Rico, supporting the island's economy and filmmaking community. 

 

 

 

SEASON OF THE WITCHES will be entered into select film festivals (LA Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, International Panafrican Film Festival, Pan African Film & Arts Festival, American Black Film Festival, Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival, Women’s International Film & Arts Festival) to create buzz and shopped to acquisition executives at major studios and content distributors (Netflix, Sony Pictures Classic, IFC Films, BH Tilt, A24, Entertainment Studios and STX Entertainment).

 

Our primary marketing objective will be to highlight the film’s unique story and storytellers to generate interest and drive distribution.

 

The film’s authentic, timely link to Puerto Rico and the island’s recovery will also be leveraged. To that end, we will visually document the filmmaking process from pre- to post-production with an eye toward social engagement and invite select media to embed w/ filmmakers throughout the process (NPR, CNN’s Great Big Stories, Blavity, Vice, Fader, Refinery 29).

 

Much like horror films, thrillers are not primarily star driven. However because the success of the film will hinge on quality-acting performances, we plan to approach a slate of talented, up-and - coming actors for lead roles.

Wishlist

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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Puerto Rico Locations

Costs $20,000

Help us film as much SEASON OF THE WITCHES as possible on location in Puerto Rico

Professional Support

Costs $5,000

Professional legal and financial reporting support to help us dot every "i" & cross every"t".

About This Team

 

Deborah Riley Draper—Director

Deborah Riley Draper is an award-winning and critically-acclaimed filmmaker, author, motivational speaker and advertising agency veteran. Variety Magazine named Draper to their “2016 Top 10 Documakers to Watch“ list. She is a 2018 TEDx speaker and frequent guest on panels and in media speaking on storytelling, diversity and advertising.  Her 2016 documentary, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, tells the untold story of 18 African Americans who defied Hitler and Jim Crow in 1936 and is a 2017 nominee for the NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Documentary Film and qualified the 2017 Oscars. The film world-premiered at the 2016 LA Film Festival and is an official selection at many festivals, including the Traverse City Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, Cambridge International Film Festival (UK), and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. Her debut film, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, opened New York Fashion Week and Toronto Fashion Week in 2012. Versailles ‘73 is the first intimate look at the infamous Palace of Versailles fashion show fundraiser, which catapulted the American ready-to-wear to global prominence. The film was theatrical released and premiered on Viacom’s Logo TV in September 2015. Director Tate Taylor (The Help, Girl on the Train) optioned Versailles ’73 and Draper will serve as executive producer of the upcoming feature film. She has earned two regional Emmys, a Gold Effie, and several Addy Awards.

 

Sherri Daye Scott—Writer/ Executive Producer

Writer and producer Sherri Daye Scott has done a bit of it all when it comes to content: produced award-winning shorts, including Brooklyn Reel Sisters Festival fan-favorite, "Wanna- Be"; co-founded Durham, NC's Colored Pictures short-film festival; penned personal columns for the Washington Post and Women’s Health; and created AB+L Radio’s popular dating podcast "You Can't F*ck Me!" Her production CV includes work on feature projects such as "Black Knight" and "The Yaya Sisterhood" and a stint as a Full-Frame Documentary Film Festival judge and screenings at the Hollywood Black Film Festival, the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, the Santa Barbara Heritage Film Series, Dallas’s Black Cinematheque Women’s Festival and Atlanta’s Urban Mediamakers Film Festival.

 

Liz Edwards—Producer

In 2009, Liz Edwards started in the film and television industry as a script supervisor — enjoying the  meticulous analysis of scripts. Soon after she began producing and developing indie short films, music videos, and commercials. The bulk of her work has been documentary–series field producing, creating in-depth profiles for UFC, Showtime and CBS/MaxPreps.  Her most recent projects include “UFC: Road to the Octagon” and Showtime's Emmy-nominated “All-Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor”.

 

Ilene Liff-Mier — Executive Producer

Ilene Liff-Mier is a boricua who grew up to be the youngest news producer at CNN en Español. Since then, she’s acted as News Producer CNN en Español and CNN International; produced promos for CNNE, CNNI, TNT-Latin America; and co-produced the reality show "Proyecto 48" for TNTLA on location in Venezuela.

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