Dementia is a Beast. In this tender, eerie tale we follow hardscrabble, tightly-wound daughter Vivian to the fringes of reality. She travels to the Mojave High Desert in an attempt to convince her ailing father, Art, to move into assisted living. When Art goes missing in the dead of night, Vivian and her paranormally-inclined husband, Shelby, must follow whatever clues they can scrounge up if they want to find her dad.
It is an existential shift to witness the transformation, the ongoing loss, the faltering of reality that is dementia. It is important to me that a story taking this on be told in a setting that reflects both the complexity of this situation and the mind of someone staring down this process. The High Desert, behind Joshua Tree, is a harsh, isolating, beautiful landscape famed for being on the edge of the familiar world. Tales of the supernatural abound at this crossroads of off-the-grid survivalists, fringe thinkers, artists, and military presence. What better way to translate the illogical, impossible-to-comprehend grief of dementia, than with mythology. This a story about inevitable loss and the mystery of life that I want to tell with the only tools of comfort I really know – levity, humor, and love.
Thanks for tuning in,
Caleb Townsend is the Writer and Director of I Am Who I Am. He is a third-year MFA candidate in USC's Television & Film Production Program. In his second year, Caleb was the Head Writer and Producer of a USC -produced drama series entitled Provenance, based on his original idea. He has been named an Annenberg Fellow, one of the most prestigious awards in the Production Division at USC, given to students who have the greatest potential to be leaders in the industry.
how You Can heLp
Making a film is a complicated endeavor. Our talented team is striving to create a fresh, magnetic world for our characters to navigate, and we are relying on your support to bring that world to the screen. This project is made particularly ambitious by our goal of shooting on location. The unique world of Landers is an essential character to this story, and we are so excited to deliver that vision. For this film, our team hopes to raise $50,000 to cover things like locations, equipment, food, housing, and permits. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our cast and crew. If you are interested in helping at a foundational level, please get in touch directly to discuss how we can facilitate your involvement!
To date we have already raised over $30,000 from donors, scholarships, grants, and in-kind donations. It is already clear this project is resonating with people, and we are so inspired by the outpouring of love and support.
You can contribute in two easy ways. You can donate through our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions, which is a tax-deductible and matchable donation if your company offers that. You can also donate directly if you'd rather your entire contribution went into the production fund.
Please reach out with any questions about our budget or to discuss getting involved!