To fund ‘Sketel’ a documentary about empowering women in the Caribbean and in the rest of the world. Ava Vidal is a reknowned comedian on the British comedy circuit who has appeared on Michael Mc Intyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Mock the Week, Newsnight and Comedy Central shows such as ‘Live from the Comedystore’ and ‘The World Stands Up.’ She is known for highlighting social issues as both a comedian and a journalist.
Having travelled to the Caribbean in 2015 Ava experienced abuse first hand. In seeking justice, Ava witnessed first hand the sexism within the system that leaves women at a complete disadvantage.
Ava says: "There is still this commonly held idea that only 'weak' women get abused. Or that if you complain then justice will be served. This is not the case. Anyone can get taken advantage of especially when there is a scarce amount of sympathy both in society and the legal system for this kind of thing."
Using her experiences, skills and connections as a stand up comedian with influence in the mainstream media, Ava is now embarking on a project of empowerment offering women in the region free comedy courses, first hand training and skills that will help and support women in public speaking that will culminate in a performance at the first ever Caribbean Comedy Festival. Ava has already appeared on ‘Good Morning Barbados’ a national TV show that is broadcast throughout the whole region, to speak about these issues, which sparked a lot of interest. A newspaper interview in ‘The Nation’ will come out later on in the year. The aim is for women to be able to tell their stories in a way that reaches a wider audience. And this journey, from disadvantage to empowerment will feature in a ground breaking documentary. It’s unique blend of comedy and social justice issues will mean it will have a far and wide reach. And you can be part of it.
This women offers FREE comedy courses for women ages 18+, training and teaching people how to take the autobiographical matter of their lives and turn it into a comedy routine to be performed at the Frank Collymore Hall at the first ever Caribbean Comedy Festival (May17-19 2018.) Along the way, the course will explore their personal journey and give women the confidence to speak in front of a crowd.
Ava will be providing one to one support along the way, herself a former prison officer who took to stand up comedy as a life-changing decision. The documentary will feature the personal journey of these women and of Ava herself, giving her own unique treatment of her experiences in the Caribbean in order to highlight domestic abuse. It will also feature interviews with feminist trailblazers from across the region.
Ava says: “All too often women are written off and told they can’t make something of themselves. That’s not true. You can make something of yourself if you are presented with the right opportunity to do so. We are not looking to necessarily find the next Wanda Sykes, just to equip some women with public speaking skills and an outlet within which to express themselves. How they choose to utilise these skills is entirely up to them. They could start their comedic journey, gain confidence, find a new way to express themselves or even learn some transferrable skills. Stand up comedy opened opportunities for me including giving diversity talks in the City at established firms such as Citibank, Rothschild and Simmons and Simmons, as well as to participate in debates at both Oxford and Cambridge student unions.
The original score featured in the documentary will be provided by Trinidadian musician, feminist and all round badass Ms Mohammed. Read more about her here:
Hear a snippet from her new single 'Alibi' (OUT SEPTEMBER 1ST) featured on BBC Music which you can download for free as it is one of our many rewards on offer.
WHAT WE NEED:
Funding to enable these courses to be entirely free. We wish to impart these skills and knowledge to women with no cost. This will include the transport and meals for the participants. They will also be paid for their live performance at the comedy festival. For the documentary funding is needed in order to be able to hire local media staff, equipment and post production editing. Interviews will be taking place with participants from all over the region. The more funds we receive, the more women can be trained. We hope to raise all of the funds in the next 6-8 weeks to enable us to put together a brochure and put together a publicity strategy for the festival show. The sooner we raise them, the sooner we can begin. If we raise more than is needed the rest will be donated to women's charities. We will be completely transparent about where they are allocated.
WHAT YOU RECEIVE:
There are perks on offer for every funder including signed photographs, your name in the end credits of the documentary Comedy, DVD’s, a ‘talking head’ feature spot in the documentary about why you decided to fund it, personalised thank you letter/tweet and previews of the documentary. There will be a premier showing and a stand up routine at a Central London location if we hit the funding which you will receive an invitation to.
You will be part of a ground breaking project that will be empowering women as well as amplifying the voices of feminists in the region. The documentary will also hear from those that don’t want them to make it. Art and media, if utilised effectively can be a catalyst for change if it reaches a wider audience and creates awareness. We need support as this is a not for profit project that is seeking to make change in its own way. We believe that this is a unique project that can make a change by starting a journey for individuals whilst exposing a society wide issue. We hope that you can be a part of it.
- Becky Matthews
- Joanne Owen
- Jazmine Connelly
- Marcia Hearne
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