A message today on behalf of my buddy Stuart Connelly, who’s running a Kickstarter to raise some funds for a film he’s just completed in rural Pennsylvania.

Wait, you’re asking. He’s completed the film? Why’s he need money?

Take it away, Stu:

Here’s the pitch: Confusion & stress engulf a small all-white town when an African-American stranger appears in the wake of a masked armed robbery.

Bring Hollywood talent to our rural town in Pennsylvania and shoot a crime drama involving racial tension, hair triggers, car crashes? 

Convince a famous musician not only to score the film, but also write and record original songs — lyrics and all? 

Shoot it all in nineteen days?

Are you kidding? 

But… with a lot of help… 

We did it.

We put every penny of our investors’ money onto the screen, and there are critical components still to tackle that we don’t have the financial resources for. That’s where you hopefully come in. To get The Suspect over the line and secure a meaningful distribution deal, to get on the radar of influential decision-makers in Hollywood and beyond.

We are looking for your help to offset some of the on-going promotional expenses associated with raising awareness for The Suspect. This includes costs associated with entering and attending film festivals, renting space and coordinating industry screening events to allow distribution companies to experience our film, creating and producing a professional press kit and other communication materials.  All key activities to help differentiate The Suspect in the marketplace.

The Suspect has just secured a place in its first major film festival. Our film was selected to be one of five narrative features in competition at the 17th Annual American Black Film Festival in Miami, June 19 – 23.  We are thrilled that the Festival’s Grand Jury has nominated The Suspect for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor - Mekhi Phifer and Best Actor - Sterling K. Brown.

We know we are close to our goal of being securely positioned and on the radar of key industry players looking for smart, stylistic films. We are looking for $25,000 to take us to the finish line. Yes, it’s a mere fraction of our film’s budget… but it’s a fortune when your production bank account is circling the drain.

Your support and contribution will help ensure that the wonderful performances of our amazing cast, the impressive talents of our core creative team and crew, the masterful work of our composer and the tremendous support we received from our community — which collectively became The Suspect — will be available to a broad audience.  To entertain, to inspire, to start a conversation…. 

Read on to learn more about the project and be sure to take a look at our list of rewards.  We tried to offer a little something for everyone — you’ll find props from the movie, books, music, clothing, artwork and more.  

Thank you for considering The Suspect.