Love.Meet.Hope. is a movie about love and relationships, letting go of your past, and finding the courage to change through hope. I met with one of the creators, an inspiring woman named Amanda Markowitz, at the beautiful Farmers Market in sunny Los Angeles to talk about the film, its inception, and the message she and her co-creator, Bradley Fowler, want to send.
Amanda and Bradley met at Margie Haber Studios, where she was so impressed with his talent that she approached him after class and said she wanted to work with him. They met a few days after and found they had a lot in common and shared the same perspectives on life. They decided to write a series of shorts that expressed their ideas on love, life, and hope. Eventually these stories were compiled into one film, and Love.Meet.Hope. was born.
What I noticed first about Amanda was what a strong woman she is, full of positive and loving energy. She opened up to me and told me that things weren’t always that way. She was born and raised in Los Angeles in a very close and loving family, but she always struggled with herself, as a person and as a woman. She grew up with many of the problems faced by women in our society: negative mass media effects on body image, lack of good female role models in the media, the pressure to be perfect, and to look like the women in media. It didn’t help that growing up, she often found herself the brunt of viciousness and competition from other girls, which many of us in the post-Mean Girls world can relate to.
Although Amanda loved acting and putting on plays from a young age, she attended USC and received a B.S. in Business, because she felt she had to pursue a “real” job. During this time, she started doing print work, and became surrounded by a lot of the negativity and objectification of women that is so prevalent in the fashion industry. It was also during this time period that she suffered a life-changing experience. She was raped by someone who she had thought of as a friend. Although the man ended up apologizing, she kept blaming herself, feeling guilty for it and thinking she was crazy and invalid. After this, her body image issues worsened.
It was in treatment that Amanda learned to stop waging war on her body and mind, and learned the value of communication and connection, especially among women. And she realized how important a strong support system is, and that letting other people in and sharing your burdens can be cathartic and healing. She explains, “I didn’t have to hide and be alone anymore. I think that was a big life lesson.”
“The way in which I viewed women completely shifted. I had always had a difficult time with girls because growing up, girls can be very mean to each other. But, in treatment, we stood by each other and became advocates for one another,” she says.
“If you’re good to people, they’ll be good to you.”
Today, in part due to her experiences connecting with other strong women who were also struggling with body image and eating disorders, she is a big proponent of women empowering women.
It was through this journey of struggle, self-discovery, pain, courage to change, and hope that Amanda realized that life is too short to hate yourself and to not follow your dreams. And it was this journey that ultimately gave Amanda the hope to try acting again, the confidence to reach out to Bradley, and the humility and wisdom to put her life lessons into a story that would hopefully reach millions and give them hope. Love.Meet.Hope. testifies to Amanda’s refusal to allow her past to drag her down, and her decision to be the miracle she seeks in the world.
“My dad always taught me that if you’re good to people, they’ll be good to you,” Amanda says, and she hopes the film relays his message to others.
Love.Meet.Hope. follows Morgan, a recent divorcé, who is attending the memorial of his grandmother, and the young woman who works at the bakery Morgan frequents. While Morgan is mourning his failed marriage, and Morgan’s grandfather mourns the death of his adored wife, the young woman mourns the fact that love seems an ever-elusive fairy tale to her.
After the memorial, Morgan finds his grandfather’s book entitled “Love.Meet.Hope.” where each chapter is a different, imagined story of how his grandparents met and fell in love. Each story focuses on a different aspect of love and carries the central theme of hope. Morgan starts reading these stories and slowly, his bitterness starts to fade away, and he starts to feel hopeful about the renewed possibility of true love.
When Morgan finds the courage to change the negative attitudes which had kept him safe but lonely, and opens his heart to the possibility of love, he finds that the love he was searching for has been in front of him the whole time.
Amanda and Bradley feel that as actors, entertainers, and content creators, they have a chance and a duty to spread positive messages to the community. They want Love.Meet.Hope to be the miracle, no matter how small, that makes the world that much of a better
In a world where technology is replacing true connection and communication, and where relationships are often reduced to objectifying one another sexually and materialistically, Amanda and Bradley want to remind us that true love and true happiness come not from piling on the masks, but from opening ourselves up to another person and allowing ourselves to truly be affected by them.
We live in a world where we’re bombarded with messages of surgically-enhanced beauty, the latest must-have gadgets, dating shows that tell us how to be impressive but not how to be real, and million-dollar reality-show weddings. We live in world where relationships are increasingly based on tit-for-tat; where tragedies like Elliot Rodger’s rampage at USCB occur because men and women are taught that money and sexuality are what are important when it comes to finding love.
Love.Meet.Hope. is a movie about love, but it is so much more. It is a story that reminds us that true happiness comes from the immaterial things you can only get when allow yourself to genuinely connect with another person.
The two creators also want to break barriers between gender roles and stereotypes by portraying strong women, and sensitive and romantic men. They want to show positive, realistic, layered, and three-dimensional images of men, women, and the relationships between us. Ultimately, they want to show that tragedy does not mean the end of hope and love.
Amanda and Bradley have been working on Love.Meet.Hope. for ten months. The project has become a true labor of love not for only Amanda and Bradley, but also for the cast and crew, all of whom have generously given their talent and time to a project whose message they fervently support. The cast and crew’s support and dedication has been tremendous, and Amanda has always made sure that everyone, from the producers to the background actors, is appreciated and happy on set.
Most of the funding so far has come directly from Amanda and Bradley and their family and friends, and has covered equipment and lighting rentals, locations, and food, since those are the biggest expenditures.
However, after realizing how important the project’s message is, they have found that they need additional funds in order to reach the film’s full potential and get it out to the public effectively. They started an Indiegogo campaign and have set a fundraising goal of $18,000 to complete the project.
Love.Meet.Hope. Indiegogo Campaign Promo Video
If you are interested in learning more about and supporting Love.Meet.Hope. and its message, please visit this link to contribute to the Indiegogo campaign. They only have 45 days till the campaign ends!
Any contribution helps, no matter how small. However, if you’re unable to donate, you can still help by posting this campaign and article on your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others, liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter, or sharing the campaign via email or indiegogo sharing tools!
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Help Amanda and Bradley bring this story of of hope and love into the public eye!