Misery Acquaints Filmmaker with Strange Bedfellows

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New documentary provides hope to those who have lost a lot, or maybe even everything. "In His Footsteps" is the real life story of a woman who cooks and dances her way out of the darkness.

In His Footsteps

But by enlarging my personal circle to include all of the friends I haven’t yet met, a.k.a. strangers, I’ve been able to create a new world, albeit different from the one I once knew.

Three years ago, entrepreneur Shelley Taylor lost her only son and only child and within months, her multi-million dollar Internet company. For two years, Taylor kept herself afloat in a sea of grief by organizing pop-up restaurants in London. After two paralyzing years, Taylor set off on a six-month road trip to Beverly Hills, Silicon Valley and New York, to retrace her son’s footsteps taking and sharing shelter with strangers. In His Footsteps follows her from hopeless to hopeful as she tries to find a new life in the ashes of the old one, in the company of strangers.

Determined to make a film that shows that life is not always over when we think it is, Taylor has become acquainted with many strange bedfellows on her magical, if painful journey. In her remix of Trinculo’s (The Tempest) story of storms, her shroud has been the people she least expected would offer help, mostly strangers. In His Footsteps shows how full engagement in simple activities, like cooking and dancing, can give people the courage and energy to climb their personal Mt. Everests.

According to Taylor, writer/director and subject of the film, “We have all been touched by challenges we think we cannot survive, but somehow do. I was not sure the dregs of my storm would pass. But by enlarging my personal circle to include all of the friends I haven’t yet met, a.k.a. strangers, I’ve been able to create a new world, albeit different from the one I once knew.”

Among the strangers who have become friends of this project is singer-songwriter Chrissi Poland who has contributed her music to the film. An old friend of Shelley’s son, singer Goapele, has also generously contributed music to the film’s soundtrack. "Music is an incredibly important part of healing," says Taylor.

Taylor’s production company Sweet Momentum has created a Kickstarter campaign to reach the vast pool of strangers on the Internet, to help raise the film’s completion costs. But Shelley is hoping that the Kickstarter campaign for In His Footsteps will lead to more than just funding, saying she “hopes to create a community of people who are dedicated to finding light at the end of their tunnels.”

Like social networks, Kickstarter is also a way to enlarge one’s circle of friends. It uses the power of the crowd as a funding platform, a threshold-based online donation system used to fund creative projects like music, books, and documentaries, which are increasingly difficult to fund. Kickstarter will allow Taylor to reward donors with In His Footsteps bonuses: DVDs, music downloads, video cooking classes and catered dinner parties. The campaign to fund the completion of the film will continue until December 23rd. Only when the full goal is reached will any of the money be collected.

People who saw the screening of the film’s first 18 minutes said:

“The humor is really nice. It’s tough viewing, it’s really hard, but it’s really watchable.”

“It made me laugh, and I heard a lot of other people laughing too.”

“What is the effect on a mother losing her son? That is the power of the film.”

Sweet Momentum Entertainment was founded in the spring of 2011 to bring video and audio projects, largely by and about women, to fruition. For more information, contact Sweet Momentum Entertainment.


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