Benefit Concert at the GAPS (Gallery Above Penn Square), 128 N. Fifth St.
Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $10 at the door
Seed & Spark Closing Night Party
Sweet Street Cafe, 722 Hiesters Lane
Sept. 12 from 12 to 6 p.m.
Tickets: $50 in advance
Red Carpet Gala
Lehigh Country Club, 2319 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Lower Macungie
Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $150 in advance
To learn more
Filmmaker Tracy Schott has devoted three years to telling this story.
Her director of photography, Derek Dienner, has worked for free, because the film carries such an important message, he said. And the family featured in the documentary has opened up their lives and relived some painful memories, believing the film could help others and maybe prevent future tragedies.
Schott, a Reading resident, said the documentary film, “Finding Jenn’s Voice” could play a huge role spreading awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and the role everyone should play in preventing it.
But to make the documentary a reality, she needs some help.
On Wednesday, Schott and supporters and subjects in the film came to the GoggleWorks to announce a fundraising campaign to finish production of the documentary. Over the next 30 days, they are seeking to raise $50,000 on SeedandSpark.com, a crowdfunding page for independent films.
The film has already received more than $11,000 toward the $50,000 goal.
The documentary tells the story of Jennifer Snyder, who was 27 and two months pregnant with her first child when she was murdered in 2011 in Lehigh County. David A. Rapoport, the married veterinarian she had been dating for about three years, is serving two life sentences after pleading guilty to the crime.
Schott said the film began with a phone call from Jennifer’s aunt, Trina Angelovich-Rothrock. Schott was not sure at first if she wanted to pursue the film, but she soon discovered homicide is actually the leading cause of death for pregnant women.
“I thought, how could that be possible?” Schott said. “Nobody was talking about this statistic.”
Angelovich-Rothrock of Breinigsville said she wished she had known that when Jennifer was pregnant and could have looked for the signs.
“I just had this overwhelming feeling that something needed to be done,” Angelovich-Rothrock said. “That I missed something. My family missed something. I didn’t want her voice to ever be silenced.”
Jennifer’s mom, Patricia, was also in attendance for the event and said she believed the film could shine a light on domestic violence.
“We need to teach and expect responsibility and accountability that every human life has a great deal of value,” Patricia said.
For the last three years, Schott has interviewed Jennifer’s family, area law enforcement officials and leading national experts on domestic violence. She plans to bring survivors of domestic violence to the area as shooting wraps this fall.
She said many survivors have been eager to talk for the film because they have never had the opportunity to tell their story.
“What’s so profound about this film and others that are exceptionally well made is how our personal involvement leads to our becoming infused with the message and determined to see change happen,” said Christine Gilfillan, associate director of Berks Women in Crisis.
The total budget for the film is about $270,000, but the $50,000 goal will allow the team to finish the project by early next year.
Once complete, Schott plans to take the documentary to film festivals and elsewhere seeking potential investors and distributors. She believes colleges will be interested in the story, as well.
While documentary filmmaking can be a grueling process, Schott said she is determined to finish the project and share Jennifer’s story.
“We will finish this film one way or the other,” she said.
Contact Matthew Nojiri: 610-371-5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.