Unnatural

New York City, New York | Film Short

Comedy

Mandy Schmieder

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $13,400 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

127 supporters | followers

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A woman's struggle with infertility can make her feel incomplete, barren, ugly, old, wrong, and more rough-hewn than Gary Busey. Our society rewards marriage and children. But what if you're single? And what happens when pregnancy is everywhere but inside of you?

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Unnatural gives voice to women struggling with infertility, many of whom feel shame and stay silent. Isolation can be one of the worst effects. We want to shine a light on these warriors. And on the idea that motherhood doesn't define self-worth. Written, directed by, and starring women.

The Story

Meet Sam

A single, career-minded individual, she wakes up one day and realizes that what she thought would be her life has passed her by. Altough she's a strong woman, she still can't seem to force a sperm to fertilize her egg. So many happy endings invlolve "getting the guy" or getting pregnant. Sam has to decide whether failure isn't fatal when success isn't fetal.

  +    Unnatural

 

My Uterus & I

(An Introspective Restrospective Introspection)

 

When I was 15, I played my first lead in a play. I was Lizzie in The Rainmaker, a woman who desperately dreams of love, and to avoid the fate of a childless old maid. She doesn't believe she's worthy until the Rainmaker, a handsome confidence man, comes to town with the dream of ending their drought. Spoiler alert: he can't, and they fail at love. Their dreams, like many in real life, turn out to be unreachable.

 

Katherine Hepburn & Burt Lancaster                                       15-year-old me

                                                      

 

I've struggled with infertility. It was terrible.  But my story isn't the worst. If anyone has ever had their hormones effed with, you know that the negative effects can completely derail you. All the while, the baby Facebook announcements...

...never end. The desire to have a child can be all-encompassing, and the fear that you'll be the one woman amongst your friends who can't have a child is terrifying.

 

This film takes a closer look at what this situation can do to a person, any person, someone you might pass on the sidewalk. Or a friend, or a loved one, or maybe even you. This gives voice to all the women staying silent in this struggle. My hope is that they won't feel like they are less-than, or somehow deficient. What it means to be a "mother" is much broader than we realize. Maybe that love that people say, "You never realize you are capable of until you have a child," maybe that love can be redirected to ourselves. 

 

  +   = Unnatural

 

THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP!

Our ultimate goal is to make this a feature, so we need this to be truly spectacular in order to generate interest from investors and producers. That's where you come in! Every dollar you donate will go towards our vision, and making something inspiring. Please visit the Wishlist tab to see exactly how your money is being put to use. You'll be contributing to a project that will help women's voices be represented in popular culture. It's incredibly important to give women a stronger foothold in the film industry. We look forward to keeping you updated! And thanks in advance!!

Wishlist

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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Crew

Costs $4,200

Directors, Production Assistants, Sound, everything that happens behind the camera.

Talent

Costs $1,000

5 speaking roles to be cast + costumes

Equipment

Costs $1,750

Equipment, insurance, and dues

Food

Costs $500

Food to feed the tummys

Post production

Costs $8,500

Editing- picture, color, sound, music & titles

Locations & Transportation

Costs $800

Getting the bodies, equipment, and food in one agreed upon location.

About This Team

Shaina Feinberg - Director

Shaina Feinberg is a writer/director from New York City. Her six-part series, Dinette, which follows a group of women and gender nonconforming friends, was produced by BRIC Arts Media and premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Her short film, Shiva, which is a hybrid of improvised comedy and actual grief, premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. She just finished a follow-up to that piece, a feature-length film called Senior Escort Service, which blends nonfiction and fiction, and is a comedic meditation on grief. Feinberg is a 2018 Film Lab resident at Ryder Farms. For two years in a row, Indiewire has listed Feinbergʼs webseries in their end-of-the-year best-of lists. Her debut as a writer/director was with the award-winning feature The Babymooners, blurring the lines between documentary and fiction and examining gender stereotypes. In 2016, Refinery29 commissioned Feinberg to create a six-part comedy series called Expecting that exceeded 1.5 million views in its first week. She has directed content for RIOT, Shatterbox and IFCʼs Comedy Crib. Feinbergʼs unique voice has been heard on This American Life, WFMUʼs The Goddamn Dave Hill Show, RISK, the CBCʼs Wiretap, and NPRʼs All Things Considered, where she played Santaʼs elfin secretary two years in a row. Bankrukt.com

 

Jamie Cummings - Associate Producer

Jamie Cummings is an actor, writer, and director. He did all three of these for the Emmy Award-winning Web sitcom Floaters, which screened at Sundance. He's performed The King & Me, his solo show about a bad Elvis impersonator, from coast to coast. He's appeared alongside Aparna Nancherla for MTV, as well as for The Onion on Comedy Central. He currently appears Off-Broadway in the immersive hit Accomplice. He's been seen with international musical improv powerhouse Baby Wants Candy, as well as in hundreds of shows at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) and the Peoples Improv Theater (PIT).

 

Mandy Schmieder - Writer/Actress

Mandy Schmieder can be seen as "I'm So Bad" Mandy, the bi-curious fitness student, the apologetic scientist, and the pregnant cannibal as a recurring guest on Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer. She was just featured this past spring in the feature film, I Feel Pretty.

Her first introduction to comedy was watching Airplane in the second grade and thinking, "Oh, you can make fun of that?" Her work has been influenced by Catherine O'Hara, Phil Hartman, Fred Armisen, the talented ladies of Broad Comedy, and anyone who, as Philip Seymour Hoffman said, "takes off their cool-cat suit."

She earned an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California, Irvine. She has performed in Boston, Atlanta, Charleston, Providence, and Los Angeles, and is signed with Danny Prather at Hudson Artists Agency.

When she incorporated herself as Shemandigans Inc., she caused quite the kerfuffle at Bank of America. In her time off, she can be found preventing her toddler from climbing into the litterbox. mandyschmieder.com

 

Maureen Monterubio - Producer

Maureen Monterubio is a New York based director and producer. She focuses on developing new work for theatre and film. She also directs audiobooks for Penguin Random House. Maureen made her Off Broadway premiere with Across The Park produced by The Araca Project. Her work has been produced by The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, United Solo Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Tiny Rhino, 14th Street Y, Wide Eyed Productions, Peculiar Works Project, Field Trip Theatre, Source Festival, Rorschach Theatre, and The Kennedy Center. Maureen’s short film Emma On The Roof will premiere this Summer. She directed the solo show PolySHAMory which is touring across the country right now including showings at The Barrow Group Theatre in New York City and The Marsh in San Francisco. Maureen directed Parker Posey narrating her audiobook You’re On An Airplane. She is currently developing a new play Voyagers based on the NASA mission of the same name. Maureen interned at New York Theatre Workshop. She is a proud Tennessee Volunteer.

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