Filmmaker seeks crowdfunding for documentary on sexism in the games industry

New York-based filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson has turned to Kickstarter for funding on her latest project, a documentary on sexism and harassment in the video games industry called GTFO.

Sun-Higginson is asking for $20,000 to continue work on the film. Money raised through Kickstarter will go towards shooting expenses, including travel and paying crew members, post-production expenses, licensing rights for any gaming footage or images and promotional materials. She has already traveled to a handful of major events, including PAX East, but requires funding for ongoing production.

Sun-Higginson told GamesIndustry.biz she has received negative messages regarding the campaign, including accusations that she is seeking attention. She says that because she is an "outsider," someone who doesn't play games and became aware of the issue through friends, she has yet to attract backlash from serious "trolls."

"I've gotten a few messages so far that are like, I'm an 'attention whore' which is a hilarious assessment to gather from trying to make a movie about women in gaming," she said. "I have been lucky that I haven't gotten too many trolls yet, but I think actually being an outsider probably helps in that respect."

She notes that she doesn't think "it would be even possible to open a dialogue" with these trolls or people who are actively contributing to sexism.

"A lot of these anonymous people who are saying that they're going to do horrible things to these women, it would hard to get them on camera, I would think," she said, adding that the project isn't looking to shame anyone personally but rather call attention to the larger issue.

"This is an innately challenging subject, and many women who put themselves out there in this industry receive backlash," she wrote on her Kickstarter page. "But I, along with many of the people I've spoken with, believe in this project and know that we can make it a reality with your help. We want to stop the abuse that prevents so many women from doing what they love — play, create, and write about videogames."

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