Braveheart Films Launches Kickstarter to Finance CARRIE PILBY Adaptation
Award winning Braveart Films is now crowdfunding a feature film based on the critically-acclaimed and best-selling novel "Carrie Pilby". The novel, written by Caren Lissner in 2003, was among the first novels published by Harlequin Enterprises's Red Dress Ink imprint which was created to take advantage of the "chick lit" phenomenon, including humorous books about young women like "Bridget Jones' Diary". In 2010, due to reader demand by its young female audience, "Carrie Pilby" was republished by Harlequin?s Teen line, and was subsequently published in France, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia and the UK where it has continued to gather a following and critical distinction.
Now, Independent Spirit Award winner Susan Johnson of Braveart Films will make her feature directorial debut with Suzanne Farwell and Susan Cartsonis producing the adaptation of "Carrie Pilby" by Lissner. The trio of veteran filmmakers are seeking partial funding for the independent film via the most popular crowdfunding site for artists today, Kickstarter.
Over 80% of working filmmakers are male, and women make up only 13.5% of film and television directors in the Directors Guild of America. Not to mention, films with female leads are almost non-existent. Today, the gender of the storyteller matters and, unless filmmakers are creating a remake of an existing movie, a sequel, a genre movie or a superhero movie, it's extremely hard to find financing. Although "Carrie Pilby" has the support of three dominant filmmakers, 5-star reviews on Amazon and over 50,000 copies sold, financial backing is the trio's biggest challenge in getting the film to production.
As of today, the Kickstarter campaign for CARRIE PILBY has been running for a little over a week and seen great support from backers and fans alike on Twitter, Facebook and blogs around the world. With just 16 days left in the campaign, these three women in film are optimistic about their journey to raise the $2,500,000 in capital needed to shoot the film this fall.
Carrie Pilby is a 19-year old genius who graduated early from Harvard with no emotional resources or concept of how she fits into the world. Her psychiatrist issues a five-point plan to adjust Carrie?s quest for moral superiority which challenges her with funny and life-changing consequences. Ultimately, Carrie faces the Universal question: "which trade offs, if any, are acceptable in order to fit in?"
"I love this book! Carrie is brilliant, fragile, funny, conscious, inquisitive and Brave enough to say the things we wouldn't dare," says Johnson. "We have put together a terrific team to bring this story to life. I'm honored to be working with producers Suzanne Farwell and Susan Cartsonis, and that Caren Lissner is trusting us with her beautiful story. Caren's been a constant source of inspiration for us, and an invaluable resource as production of the feature film begins."
Johnson earned an MFA in Directing on full scholarship at the American Film Institute, and moved on to produce eight feature films, and produce and direct over 30 music videos for which she received nominations and/or awards from Billboard Magazine, VH-1, MTV, CMT, CMA and NARAS. Susan's first film, MEAN CREEK, screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes (Director's Fortnight), and won the Humanitas Award along with two Independent Spirit Awards before being distributed by Paramount Pictures and Focus Features. This year will see the release of Johnson's most recent films, EYE OF THE HURRICANE, also partially funded through Kickstarter, starring Melanie Lynskey, Campbell Scott and Nicola Peltz; and THE BETWEEN, starring Joel Courtney, Isabelle Fuhrman, James Le Gros, Peter Bogdanovich, and Trace Adkins.<
"I've been in love with this novel and with the character of Carrie Pilby for a long time, so to bring Carrie and her journey to life on film will be a dream come true for me," says Farwell. "Susan Johnson, Susan Cartsonis and I have a shared Passion and enthusiasm for this very special story and I have so much confidence in us as a team to translate Carrie's unique charm and wit to film."
Farwell began her career in entertainment at the William Morris Agency in its motion picture literary department. In 1997, Farwell began working with writer/director/producer Nancy Meyers as her assistant on her directorial debut, THE PARENT TRAP. In 2001, Farwell began her post as President of Meyers' production company, Waverly Films, at Columbia Pictures. In 2003, she was Co-Producer on Meyers' critically acclaimed SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, starring Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Farwell then went on to Executive Produce THE HOLIDAY, starring Cameron Diaz, Oscar winner Kate Winslet, Oscar nominee Jude Law and Jack Black. Farwell most recently served as Executive Producer on IT'S COMPLICATED, which was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (Nancy Meyers).
"When Susan and Suzanne gave me Carrie Pilby to read, I was supremely flattered and then after I actually read it, I was thrilled," says Cartsonis. "Susan Johnson has supported other filmmakers and now it?s her turn up at bat, and we?re proud and happy to support her!"
Cartsonis was an executive at 20th Century Fox for nearly a decade, and rose from script reader to Senior VP of Production. At Fox, a few films she supervised include NELL, FRENCH KISS, THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. The Hollywood Reporter named Susan Cartsonis one of the top five grossing producers of the year for WHAT WOMEN WANT which was also the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time at the time of its release. Cartsonis has also produced BEASTLY, AQUAMARINE and executive-produced NO RESERVATIONS.
Launched in 2007 by Producer/Director Susan Johnson, Braveart Films is dedicated to helping emerging filmmakers find their voices, and established filmmakers complete their Passion projects. Braveart Films' catalogue includes independent and studio films, all of which have enjoyed significant distribution. Braveart Films is currently developing two additional book-to-film adaptations, A HALFWAY DECENT GIRL based on the novel by Rhonda Talbot, which Johnson will direct; and TETRASOMY TWO, based on the Oscar Rossiter novel to be directed by Guido Verweyen. To learn more about Braveart Films, visit http://www.braveartfilms.com, Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter @BraveartFilms.