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“Oscar Qualifying”…

Many people ask “What are your plans for the film? What’s your timeline?” 

oscar_1The answer is pretty straightforward.  We want this film to get as much attention as possible – to raise the bar on awareness about the issue of childhood lead poisoning to where it is “on par” with breast cancer and other similar issues.

Everyone knows the pink ribbon for breast-cancer awareness.  Why does everyone respond to hearing about lead-poisoning [the single most preventable yet single most expensive environmental illness in the United States today] by saying “Oh, is that still a problem?  I thought it was solved with the 1978 ban on lead-paint.”

Most documentaries take 4 – 5 – or even 6 or 7 years to film and edit and make it to distribution… IF they even get that far.   We started filming in December 2011 – so – today we are ahead of the game – with a fairly solid “finished” 87-minute rough-cut of the film.

Our goal is to have the film qualify for the Oscars.

While this may seem like a huge goal, possibly insurmountable  – it is not.  It is just a matter of money and taking the right steps to do all the things to qualify… just like filing your taxes, filling out a grant application, or applying for a mortgage.

Qualifying for the Oscars has a few major hurdles to overcome – but your film doesn’t even have to be good to qualify (and ours IS good!  😉 ) – you just have to be able to check off that you followed protocol for Oscar qualification.

The “money” part of that is: to qualify for a submission to be considered for the Best Documentary Feature Award – you need to have two full one-week theatrical runs, one in New York City and one in Los Angeles.  This.Is.Not.Cheap.

In addition to these two very specific theatrical runs (which must happen before the end of the calendar year) – you must fill out a complete application and – once you qualify, be prepared to submit 250 copies of the finished film (exactly as it will appear in theaters) on DVD to the Academy so members of the Academy can watch your film and decide whether or not they will nominate it for the Academy Awards.

Once you have been chosen to be nominated – people vote (as I understand it) and a “short-list” is developed and then – they vote again (on the short-list) and in the end, they announce the final handful of nominees in your category (and then vote again – from what I understand!)

The “Gold” I’m after however is not the Oscar, it is the possibility of qualifying  – thus having as many as 250 members of the Academy watch our film, regardless of whether or not they choose to nominate us.

So even just QUALIFYING to be nominated will be an amazing outcome here – having 250 members of the Academy watch this film and take this issue into their hearts.

Imagine what would happen if just one of those 250 people was awakened to the concern in a new way and chose to help us fight this fight to protect children everywhere.

So please  – help us make it that far.  We need to raise about $20,000 to cover our Oscar Qualifying Run (after we cover the finishing costs of the film) – but I promise you – it WILL be worth it!

And for the record – we could make a few minor adjustments and call the film “finished” right now and it is then ready for submission, but I don’t want to settle.  I plan on making it as good as it can possibly be before we have our Oscar Qualifying Run – because if we are going to put the effort in – why not go as far as it needs to go – so MisLEAD might actually have a chance of bringing home some gold.

Thank you.

Tamara Rubin
Director – MisLEAD
Executive Director, Lead Safe America Foundation

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