The production team is now raising completion funds through Kickstarter.com, the largest platform in the world for funding creative projects.
Directed by Eva Minemar and written by Gena Acosta, Sleeping with the Bear is a film about Emily, a former track and field Olympic hopeful, whose dreams have been cut short from a crippling accident that destroyed her leg. Now working as a manicurist, she receives news from her insurance company that the "revolutionary" series of surgeries she is supposed to finally undergo to restore her quality of life will NOT be approved. This devastating disappointment sends this usually strong woman spiraling down in ways she never has before, as her last hopes for an easier, pain-free life are dashed.
Her older neighbor William, a recently widowed taxidermist has just been commissioned to execute his biggest and most anticipated taxidermy job in his career: stuff and mount a 9 foot grizzly bear - "The Taxidermist's Everest". However, not having his wife there to share it with him, William finds himself lost on what should be the most glorious of days... So he knocks on Emily's door and she reluctantly answers.
Sleeping With The Bear is about friends helping each other rise above life's challenges.
The subject matter is especially personal to Grubba, a cancer survivor who has overcome a physical disability to build a formidable body of work over a 20 year career in the entertainment industry. Still, she finds employment opportunities increasingly difficult to secure as she encounters recurring discrimination because of her "perceived" differences and is at risk of losing her health insurance.
"Everyone should be afforded the same opportunities to pursue their dreams and succeed in their chosen field regardless of race, creed, religion, age, gender or orientation", says Grubba. "So why are individuals with disabilities blatantly discriminated against in the Entertainment Industry"
The facts speak for themselves:
"According to the US Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, the percentage of U.S. citizens reporting an apparent disability is slightly more than 12% (36.2 million people). The inclusion of people with non-apparent, ADA-covered disabilities, such as cancer, would greatly increase this census number. Yet, even that original figure is nowhere nearly reflected by the broadcast networks. As of this count, only six series regular characters on the broadcast networks, or 1%, are scheduled to appear in the upcoming season are people with disabilities. In addition, only ONE of the six actors has a known disability." - SAG.org
Grubba and her production team intend to use a percentage of the proceeds raised to create a development fund for film and television projects that will feature performers with disabilities in lead roles.
"We plan to set a precedent", says writer Acosta. "Actors with disabilities have great value, due to their exceptional life experience. They add incredible depth to a range of untold stories by what they bring to their roles." Director Minemar echoes the sentiment. "We plan to lead our industry to move past the final "category" of discrimination and into a more compassionate, open-minded world for everyone."
To learn more about the project and find out how you can support the movement for inclusion of performers with disabilities visit: