Aimee Doc Project (working title)

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TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Development

LOGLINE

Aimee Doc Project (working title) is an 86 minute observational documentary exploring 15 years of grief, faith, motherhood, and rebirth through the story of Aimee, a Chinese-American widow and midwife, her family and friends, and her Muslim community.

SYNOPSIS

Aimee Doc Project explores 11 years in the life of a 30-something Bay Area native, a Chinese-American Muslim woman who gets to know herself in a new light, as a widow, a single-mother, an aspiring midwife, all while dealing with the trauma of her husband's suicide and her own diagnosis.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

As a creative person from an underrepresented community, my goal is to contribute work that brings forward an underrepresented voice, with an aesthetic that brings forth beauty, through warmth and human connection. We're told to tell stories we know and what I have here is a universal story that we all know: of loss and trauma, of the search for belonging and connection, and of passion and identity. Aimee Doc Project (working title) is shot in 16x9 aspect ratio on HD format for bold color and crisp photography, and at 24p frame rate for a smooth look and feel. The documentary will primarily consist of observational material intercut with interview footage, tableaux, and creative transitional montages (possibly, art and collage like animation). Handheld camera is used for increased intimacy, focusing on subtleties in emotion on subjects’ faces as well as in body language. The film follows a three-act structure. Interview material, shot in natural light and unadulterated settings is interlocked with observational scenes to enhance character development and storyline. Sound design consists of original compositions, local music, chanting (spiritual remembrance) from within the footage, all interwoven with the subject's own words through interview and the recitation of her written work and social media posts. The backstory component presents a creative challenge, one which will require trial and error to find visuals that best suit the material and support the narrative. Overall, the audience should experience this film as if they are witnessing Aimee's story as she sees it, as she tells it, as if to a diary or journal. In playing with camera styles, we almost break through Aimee’s own personal bubble in order to make the audience feel close to her. Then together go on a journey with Aimee as she reflects on where life has carried her, what that means to her identity as a woman, and where community and healing fits in her life. The audience becomes invested in Aimee's story, her state of being, and in turn drawn to root for her in this transformative journey.

KEY CREW

Alexis Costanza - Production Assistant
Alexis Costanza has been working in film and photography production for 7 years. She received her Radio, Television, and Film degree, and Screenwriting minor, from San Jose State University. During college, she spent most weekends working any production role that came her way. Alexis was the first female president of the Film Production Society of SJSU. She assisted on countless projects with indie filmmakers looking to hire some bright-eyed youngsters to sling snacks on set. What started as a shy kid trying to make some friends, quickly turned into a viable career path. One particular production assistant job in San Francisco led to networking opportunities with extremely brilliant filmmakers, whom she continues to work with today. This connection also led to a full time position at Apple, first as Production Assistant in the Photography department, and 5 years later, as Program Manager. Alexis values the time she spends working on films and documentaries outside of her day job, as it is these passion projects that make her the happiest at the end of the day.

NUR AISYAH EZRAL-STERN - PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
This film will be Nur Aisyah’s second involvement in a feature documentary production, after a short-lived collaborative one with the US State Department, Mustafa Davis Studios, and Universiti Teknologi Mara of Malaysia (UiTM). She has served as producer, production manager, and production assistant in said project and many other short film productions, as well as stage productions. Her background and passion lies in Creative Writing, with a focus on Film Writing, having formally studied it at UiTM’s Faculty of Film, Theatre, and Animation. She is also a mother of three, and a full-time domestic manager.

Erick Hernandez - Editing, Tech, Graphics
Erick Hernandez is a Graphic Designer by day and music producer, DJ, and editor by night. His creative projects consist of work for his local community space, Smalltown Society, and a variety of music projects including Eminent Green and March the Fifth.

Hana Siddiqi - Director/Producer
Hana Siddiqi is a documentary film producer, Ed-Therapist and Reading Specialist, a community organizer, and a creative. On the strategy team for her local community art space, Smalltown Society, she works with writers, musicians, and creatives of all types, to bring forth new ideas, develop artists, and nurture a sense of belonging. Her personal creative projects include a middle-grade manuscript, short stories, and a documentary film. Hana's article, Why I took my 11 year old to the Muslim fashion exhibit at the deYoung was published in the SF Chronicle (12/30/2018). In 2009, she co-produced a critically acclaimed PBS documentary film, New Muslim Cool, which brought home the Al-Jazeera Freedom Award. In 2012, she began development on Aimee Doc Project (Working Title), which was selected to participate in the ITVS Diverse Muslim Voices Exchange, funded by the Doris Duke Foundation. Hana holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies from NYU and a BA in Social and Political Thought from SJSU. In her spare time she loves to hang with her three children, practice yoga and capoeira, and read graphic novels.

 

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