Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming (The French Guy, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam) has announced her first collaboration with actress Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways) for her latest film, an animated feature called ‘Window Horses’. The duo is launching a campaign via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise funds to make the coming-of-age story. Watch the clip below via Vimeo.
The film centres on Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet of Chinese-Persian heritage who travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival. On her trip, Rosie begins an unexpected journey of forgiveness, reconciliation, and above all understanding, as she is forced to confront her past and the Iranian father she assumed abandoned her. Ann Marie’s animated character, Stickgirl, who has been appearing in her work for over 25 years, plays Rosie Ming and is voiced by Sandra Oh. Hollywood icon Nancy Kwan (The World of Suzie Wong, Flower Drum Song) will voice Rosie’s grandmother.
“This story was born of my interest in cross-cultural and cross-generational fears, assumptions and misunderstandings that often accompany any kind of diaspora, but at its core, it’s about a daughter’s search for her father while finding her own voice,” said Fleming. “Crowdfunding on Indiegogo will help us to tell a story that we’ve been working on for some time, and is very close to our hearts.”
“Ann Marie and I share a common belief that art, music and poetry can inspire transformation in one’s self and the world,” added Oh. “Indiegogo allows us to reach out directly to those who share that same belief and are interested in seeing themselves, their stories on the screen.”
The animation and sound play a huge role in telling the story of the diaspora, with visual and poetic references dating back to the 9th century. When Rosie travels to Iran and her world starts to blossom, so does the way it is represented: the palette becomes richer and the scenes become fuller. Fleming has been collecting music and poetry for years, and French, Chinese, North American, Iranian and German influences are represented in the film.
“Indiegogo is extremely proud to be supporting Canadian filmmakers such as Ann Marie Fleming and Sandra Oh in telling their stories, helping to build an audience and raising funds along the way,” said Ayah Norris, Indiegogo’s Toronto-based Canadian film lead. “With campaigns such as Window Horses, crowdfunding on Indiegogo works to promote diversity in art, making sure these important narratives get told.”
As a Canadian Film Centre (CFC) alum, Fleming’s ‘Window Horses’ campaign falls under Indiegogo’s partnership with the CFC to offer campaigners access to one-on-one support and discounted platform fees.
The campaign aims to raise $130,000, with $92,000 allocated to funding the animation. Contributors will be awarded unique perks that range from a DVD of the finished film, to a character in their likeness appearing in the film, and even an associate producer credit. For $5,000, a contributor can submit a poem that will be animated and included in the DVD extras, as well as an invitation to the film’s premiere and party.
To contribute to ‘Window Horses’ or get more information about the film and the campaign, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/window-horses-an-animated-feature.