DiMola Bros Gives Filmmaker & Friend Alicia Slimmer a Lift — Literally
This story is about my dear family friend Alicia Slimmer, who’s been in my life for I don’t know how long. She’s working on a career-changing project that’s been in the works for a while, and I wanted to share my support on the blog. Check out her fundraising Kickstarter video below (the DiMola Bros truck makes an appearance!) and be sure to read the story to find out about the amazing film on the way. I hope you enjoy it.
Alicia Slimmer grew up in a small neighborhood in Queens that looked a lot like the average suburban community: Charming houses and trees lined the streets, and kids carried their backpacks to and from the local school.
You’d never know that it was just a short subway ride away from the bustling borough of Manhattan. That beyond the borders of her Queens neighborhood were millions of people speeding to and from work. And you’d never suspect that it was just a few short blocks from Creedmoor, a mental institution that housed hundreds of mentally ill patients, drug addicts, and doctors who lived on its dreary grounds.
“It was routine to see some of the patients with day-passes milling around your block,” Alicia said. “Everybody has stories of leaving their front door open and then finding a patient sitting, peacefully, in the living room. Happened to us.”
That was in 1985. Fast-forward to now, when Alicia lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and their 8-year-old daughter. She no longer lives near Creedmoor, which is still in operation today. But Alicia’s memories of it, and the rest of her adolescence, live on — through Candy Cahill, the main character of the movie she’s making.
The film is called “Creedmoria,” and it’s a feel-good, fictional tale that Alicia wrote about nine years ago about family, adolescence, and the struggle to break out of one’s own limitations. Candy Cahill is a 14-year-old high school student who lives just outside of Creedmoor’s gates, much like Alicia did when she lived in Queens.
As the film progresses, we watch Candy grow up. At age 16, in an attempt to take her mind off of her crazy family, Candy gets her working papers and a job at Burger Barn, a burger joint right down the block from the patients at Creedmoor (and modeled off of the Wendy’s where Alicia worked). Four patients from Creedmoor — Alicia calls them the Creedmorian-4 — frequent the restaurant because they’re not allowed to go any farther down the street. They have no idea what else exists in the world, much like Candy, who has always wondered what lies outside of her small neighborhood in Queens.
“This is a true coming-of-age story because we watch Candy Cahill grapple with the everyday challenges of being a teen, growing up in a tough neighborhood and dealing with the complexities of high school,” Alicia said. “She must go through a rite of passage, from dependent child to independent young adult for us to believe she is who she truly is — a strong girl with great principles and a belief in better tomorrows.”
The story mimics much of Alicia’s adolescent life, particularly her experience working at the Wendy’s restaurant and waiting on all of the patients, who would often guzzle unlimited iced teas and smoke the day away, Alicia says. But it also resembles what Alicia went through at home. And, oddly enough, what she felt growing up is what has kept her going today and what has inspired her to make this movie.
“I guess what encourages me is the same thing that encourages Candy on — that every day is a gift,” Alicia said. “That every day is the stinkin’ best day ever just because we’re here. And to never stop believing in your dreams.”
Though the road to making this movie hasn’t been a simple feat, Alicia says the support of her family and friends has been amazing. Alicia is using the fundraising website Kickstarter to gather the funds necessary to make the movie. So far, she’s raised $20,544, all contributed by people she knows — family, friends, neighbors and other various supporters in her life.
Alicia’s goal is to make the movie for less than $200,000. She needs to raise at least $60,000 by Jan. 8, the date that Kickstarter will end the fundraising campaign if she doesn’t raise the full amount. She’s hopeful that she’ll get there, and she’s not giving up.
“This movie means everything to me because it’s a creed I live by and a strong message I believe is worth sharing,” Alicia said. “I am doing everything I can to get this movie made because I can’t stuff it in a drawer or put it out of my mind. What if isn’t part of my reality. When, is more like it. And if the Kickstarter campaign falls through and we don’t raise the money — that still won’t mean the end to this story. It will mean I have to get even more creative and find other means of making this film. And this isn’t the only film I hope to make — I’ve got a drawer full of scripts — this is only the beginning.”
To help support the production of Alicia’s film Creedmoria, visit Alicia’s Kickstarter page.