A film documenting efforts to balance environmental sustainability in the Cinque Terre amid escalating tourism and political upheaval.
What happens when three million tourists jeopardize the environmental balance, cultural heritage, and historical preservation of the most remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy?
What happens when centuries-old, family-owned homes and businesses - and the sustainable solutions put in place to preserve them - are threatened?
What happens when a political power struggle forces the citizens of an ancient territory to choose between the history they've known for a thousand years and an uncertain future before them?
These things are happening right now in the Cinque Terre of Italy.
You may have heard about the Cinque Terre and its five, picturesque, tiny coastal villages. You may have been there and hiked the trails that connect them. Maybe you've heard about, or even tasted, the rare, unique dessert wine made there called Sciacchetrà.
But what you might not know is that the ancient wine and the history that comes with it is about to vanish as hoards of tourists descend upon this tiny region and potentially change the landscape in ways that no one could have ever anticipated. Face it - you can't have an upscale hotel in the same spot as a thousand year-old vineyard terrace. There's only so much room. And something's got to give.
Initially, our film detailed the decade-long measures that had been established with the intention of balancing the challenge of tradition and progress with the preservation of the Cinque Terre's rich history - a history that may be vanishing amid a staggering tourist onslaught.
That was the story - the first story. And now politics, corruption, and greed seem to be threatening the landscape of this beautiful Mediterranean coastline. We started with a story about efforts for sustainable ecology, environmental preservation, and eco-tourism.
We ended up with a story questioning its future.
That's the story we need your help to share.
It's not too late. Not yet.
How We Began
We set out in 2008 to find out what was really happening in the Cinque Terre. We thought we were going over to capture the dying vineyards before they were lost forever. We knew that the population there was aging and that the younger generation wasn't sticking around to keep up the vineyards or the family homes. We knew the Cinque Terre had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that the Cinque Terre National Park had been instituted, but we really weren't sure exactly what that meant.
We wanted to find out.
What we found were some extraordinary things that were being done to revive and restore not only the winemaking tradition of the area, but also sustainable solutions to preserve the area. These solutions were being implemented and taught to the younger generations, bringing back a sense of pride and community as they moved forward with determination to save their dying heritage.
How Things Have Changed
We came back from our last shoot in September of 2010 with some amazing stuff. We thought we had wrapped production and started editing. But less than two weeks after our return, a key player in our film - the then president of Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, Franco Bonanini, along with 24 others - was arrested for misappropriation of funds, among a slew of other charges that make up a 900 page document that was published in the media immediately after the arrest.
Bonanini was immediately removed from office and is still awaiting trial for all of these charges. As a result, the park is under temporary management and there is talk of closing it permanently. Most, if not all, of the park's programs to restore the area, as we originally observed, have been suspended or cancelled. We've been told that many hiking trails are closed, and that local businesses are in jeopardy. There has been talk of closing down the nursery school which provided child care to all parents.
Everything has changed. But we don't know exactly how.
We need to find out.
What We Need To Do Now
We need to go back and get the rest of the story. This is where you come in. We've paid for this project ourselves thus-far, and our talented crew has worked for little or nothing, volunteering countless hours of time and talent because they believed in this story.
Now we need your help to finish this film, and hopefully to help these people save their culture.
Your donations will help pay for getting us back over there, transportation once we get there, accommodations, equipment rentals, and translators. And after we return, your donations will help us get the film finished, distributed, and in front of the people who need to see it - again, hopefully helping to help these communities find the environmental balance and sustainable tourism they seek.
How Does Kickstarter Work?
Kickstarter gives independent filmmakers and other creative projects a launch pad to get their projects made. Here's how it works:
- Donate to our project
- Help us reach our goal and finish our film
- Get cool rewards!
But in order for our project to be funded, we MUST HIT OUR GOAL BY NOVEMBER 12TH!
IT'S ALL OR NOTHING: if we don't hit our goal, Kickstarter won't charge your card -- and no one gets rewards.
Donations start at just a buck, but the bigger the donation, the bigger the reward!
And -- it's okay to EXCEED our goal, but it's NOT OKAY to come in under our goal (even by a penny).
So please help us hit our goal! We need you!
**A note about the "Est. Delivery" date underneath all of the rewards - Kickstarter requires that you put the latest expected delivery date for ALL rewards listed in each package - since we are including a DVD of the film in most of the packages, we can't promise delivery of that until we finish the film and get it shown at a premiere! But most of the other rewards are things that can be sent out relatively quickly after the Kickstarter campaign ends.
Please check out all of the rewards we are offering on the sidebar to your right, but here are a couple of the things we have up for grabs:
This gorgeous, hardcover book with stunning photography on anchovy fishing in the Cinque Terre:
Or how about an amazing Tuscan getaway package at Ortaglia, the Biscardo Family Bed & Breakfast in stunning Montepulciano, Italy, featured here in this short video:
Thank you so much for helping us finish our film!
~ The Vendemmia Team
Yes. We understand that some donors simply want to make sure that the Cinque Terre's story is told. To give anonymously, click on "Back this Project." Then create a new Kickstarter account as "anonymous" or use a pseudonym. Amazon will ask for your personal financial information during the transaction, but that information will not be shared with either Kickstarter users or the creators of this project.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Every little bit helps! You have our sincere gratitude. Please pass it on and spread the word. Grazie mille!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Thank you!!! Even $5 helps pay for batteries and other daily essentials while shooting. At this level, we'll include your name with a special thank you on our website and we'll also send you a thank you "Vendemmia" postcard!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
You just helped cover the cost of a train ticket for one of our many volunteers in the Cinque Terre who translate for us and assist us while shooting. We'll include a special thank you in the film credits, and also on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. And we'll send you a thank you postcard printed with one of our beautiful set photos as well!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
**NEW BACKER REWARD** PURCHASE YOUR PRE-SALE COPY OF THE DVD! You just ordered your copy of the film at the regular retail price (standard shipping included)! As a special thank you for doing so in advance, we'll include with your DVD shipment a thank you postcard printed with one of our beautiful set photos, and include a special thank you on our website, facebook, and twitter! (And if you bump it up to $30, we'll thank you in the film credits too!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
Now we're talking! You just paid for one of our train tickets from the airport in Milan down into the Cinque Terre.... a four hour train ride with some of the most beautiful scenery you could imagine! As a token of our appreciation, we'll send you a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film, include a thank you in the film credits, on our website, facebook, and twitter, and of course, send you the thank you postcard printed with one of our beautiful set photos!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
You just helped us feed our volunteer crew a nice lunch in an area known for some seriously spectacular seafood! (Ever tried the pesto sauce or fresh anchovies from the Cinque Terre?) As a show of our appreciation, we'll send you a SPECIAL EDITION DVD of the film and include a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, AND, at this level, you will receive personal behind the scenes updates. We'll also include a handwritten, commemorative notecard printed with our movie poster image. Grazie, grazie!!!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Now we've got a one day rental on that essential lens to help us capture the spectacular scenery of this special place! To express our sincere gratitude, we'll send you a Special Edition DVD of the film and include a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, personal behind the scenes updates, AND you will receive a limited edition poster signed by the directors and select key players featured in the film!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Now we're REALLY talking, and literally so!!! In addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film, a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, personal behind the scenes updates, a limited edition poster signed by the directors and select key players featured in the film, we'll also include a 30 MINUTE SKYPE Q&A WITH THE DIRECTORS! Ask us all your burning questions about the amazing Cinque Terre or the intricacies of DSLR video shooting - you might be surprised to find out how you can take that camera you've got at home and turn it into an instrument for your own filmmaking! Let us tell you everything we've learned.... and believe me, we've learned a lot!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Did you know that anchovies are caught in the Cinque Terre at night using a night fishing light, or "lampara"? Our beautiful and talented set photographer, Uta Theile, knows all about the art of fishing firsthand, since she is married to one of the last anchovy fishermen in the Cinque Terre. At this very special level, in addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film (this time, signed by the directors!), a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, and personal behind the scenes updates, you will receive a SIGNED COPY of Uta's gorgeous, hardcover book, “L'Arte della Pesca - Un Viaggio nelle Pesca delle Cinque Terre”. This amazing book is filled with stunning photographs and a written documentation of the mysteries and beauty of the art of fishing.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
You just helped us secure a plane ticket and maybe a train ride or two (you know how finicky those airlines prices can be!) to get back over there and finish shooting! In addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film signed by the directors, a signed, limited edition movie poster, a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, and personal behind the scenes updates, at this level we'll send you a special commemorative "Vendemmia" coffee table book on the making of the film. This unique, signed, limited edition book includes behind the scenes set photos, insights from key players on the making of the film, still shots from the film, and spectacular photos of the Cinque Terre.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
Let us put you in your own short documentary film! In addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film signed by the directors, a signed, limited edition movie poster, a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, and personal behind the scenes updates, we will write, produce and edit a mini-documentary film all about you and one of your own family's traditions! It could be a holiday tradition, a cultural tradition, or even something simple that gets passed down from generation to generation. For example, do you have a favorite recipe that was handed down to your grandmother from her grandmother, to your mother, and now to you? Or does your family visit a special place (or the place your family is from) every year, or as often as they can? We'll do a phone call or Skype session with you, gather the elements we need from you to put your film together (old family photos, current photos, video, voice recording, and anything else that will help us tell your story) and we will work our magic, weaving these elements together to bring your story to life on-screen. We will send you your finished mini-film on a personalized DVD that you can play in your DVD player, and we'll also send you a DVD with your film in HD1080i60 format, H264 compressed format for web, and format for iPod/iPhone applications.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
Be one of the first to see Vendemmia on the big screen! At this level, in addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film signed by the directors, a thank you in the film credits, on the website, facebook and twitter, a limited edition poster signed by the directors and select key players featured in the film, personal behind the scenes updates, and the special commemorative "Vendemmia" coffee table book on the making of the film, we'll also throw in two tickets to the US premiere of the film and a cocktail hour with the directors.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
For going this far above and beyond, in addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film signed by the directors, limited edition poster signed by the directors and select key players featured in the film, and the special commemorative "Vendemmia" coffee table book on the making of the film, you will also be awarded a Producer credit in the film (indicated on IMDB, film credits, website, and facebook and twitter). Even more, we'll throw in your own private screening of the film, hosted by one (or both) of the directors. We'll arrive with the movie, do a Q&A afterward, and hobnob with your friends. Travel/lodging for the director(s) and any venue costs not included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
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This one is so special we can only give it once! Become the Executive Producer of Vendemmia and celebrate by experiencing all that wine and cuisine for yourself - surrounded by spectacular Tuscan vineyards! In addition to the Special Edition DVD of the film signed by the directors, a limited edition poster signed by the directors and select key players featured in the film, and your new Executive Producer status (indicated on IMDB, film credits, website, and facebook and twitter), this level gets you a four-night stay for two (airfare not included) in one of the premiere suites at Ortaglia in breathtaking Montepulciano, Italy. Owned and operated by our very own Nicola Biscardo, who appears in the film, this exclusive five-bedroom 15th century villa provides one of the most unique "bed & breakfast" experiences available for visitors in Tuscany. Your stay is valid any four days of your choosing between April 2012 and August 2012 (subject to room availability.) The package also includes a personal call from the directors to chat with you about the opportunities you may find while experiencing this one-of-a-kind Tuscan experience, and assistance from the directors in booking your stay. Check out our short video on Ortaglia to fully appreciate this remarkable opportunity! **Estimated delivery date below refers to the Special Edition DVD - Executive Producer status and the stay in Ortaglia will be bookable according to the above stipulations immediately once the Kickstarter campaign concludes and the package is awarded.Estimated delivery:
- (45 days)