In 2017, True/False Film Fest is partnering with Kickstarter to expand its staff childcare initiative to include visiting filmmakers, artists, and musicians. True/False will provide free, professional daycare during the four-day weekend of the Fest in order to make the festival more accessible to artists with young children.
Through this initiative, True/False & Kickstarter seek to support the real, current needs of all parents, especially low-income and single parents, as well as model possibilities for other festivals on how to be more feminist and equitable.
“Festivals play a vital role as gathering places for the film world” says True/False Co-conspirator David Wilson. “If our guests can’t travel because of young children, they risk missing out on making connections that could lead to future projects.”
Family obligations, especially as they pertain to young children, impact more women than men. While these maternity issues mirror the problems affecting many women in male-dominated workplaces, they are heightened in the film industry: filmmaking demands long hours, erratic schedules, and extensive travel. These factors create obstacles that wedge women without a financial cushion out of the film industry.
With the support of Kickstarter, True/False hopes to offset the cost of expensive child care and help parents give birth to their films, build essential industry relationships and remember why documentary filmmaking is an urgent art.
“A lot of our attention and resources at Kickstarter are going towards contributing to sustainability within the documentary community,” says Liz Cook, Kickstarter’s Director of Documentary Film. “While we are thrilled this will be able to support both male and female directors, this collaboration really stemmed from a conversation with True/False about our internal initiatives centered around supporting female filmmakers. This is a totally new type of partnership for us at Kickstarter and we are incredibly excited to be collaborating with True/False to offer this important resource for creators with children.”
The Cradle, True/False’s new daycare will be held at the Picturehouse Theater (inside the United Methodist Church, located in the epicenter of the festival) and run by trained child care providers employed by the church. In collaboration with The Atelier, a Columbia-based children’s arts studio, there will also be creative educational programming for children old enough to participate. The activities are tied to the theme of the festival, “Out of the Ether,” in that they encourage discovery of ideas related to the elements, and how small elements can be built together to achieve something larger than the individuals themselves. Many of the activities also involve aspects of light, video, literacy, and free play.