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This ancient Meso-American healing art will be documented as we journey into the every day life of a married couple of curanderos.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Thank you all for believing in Raíz Viva/Living Roots and for pledging your support. While we were unable to reach our goal, we will proceed to bring this project to fruition, for our hearts are in every way connected with this documentary.

We are in the process of getting our fiscal sponsorship and once in place we will let you know so that you may want to consider reaffirming your support for Raíz Viva/Living Roots with your tax-deductible donation. Please visit our website for updates: www.raizvivathemovie.com

Once again, thanks a million and wishing you the very best for 2013.

Francisco Velasquez and Andrés Mercado

Raíz Viva / Living Roots

This documentary will examine how an ancestral healing knowledge has been transferred from generation to generation and how a married couple of curanderos (native healers) carries on the legacy and continues to provide this healing service as they deal with stigmas and meet everyday challenges.

Don Manuel and Doña Lupe
Don Manuel and Doña Lupe

HOW THIS PROJECT BEGAN

Over a year ago we encountered Doña Lupe and Don Manuel at a healing workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. We were truly amazed by their skills, expertise and their vast knowledge of the indigenous traditional healing method called curanderismo.

From the beginning we wanted to know about how does one become a curandera/o and from where does their knowledge stem from? Furthermore, we were intrigued by why hadn’t society fully embraced this amazing healing knowledge?

In our research we have found compelling leads that could help us answer these and other questions.

With our personal resources we were able to create a short trailer, however we do need your contributions to launch us into the next phase.

Please watch the trailer, get to know us, check out the nice thank you gifts and become part of the community that will make this film possible.

Reflejo Eminente by artist Alfredo Davalos - Poster Gift
Reflejo Eminente by artist Alfredo Davalos - Poster Gift

ABOUT THE FILM

In the decade of the 70’s in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico lived a respectful curandera (native healer) known as “La Mixteca”, apart from providing her healing services, she taught this disciplined and elaborate knowledge to people that were interested in it. Doña Lupe and Don Manuel were among those who received this instruction and today they have more then 35 years of experience as curanderos.

This is a journey of discovery in which we’ll find out about how Doña Lupe and Don Manuel became curanderos, how they see their roles in society and how society sees them. We will explore in depth their healing methods and its effectiveness. We will learn how Doña Lupe and Don Manuel pass down their knowledge and how they add to it and make it evolve.

The origins of their knowledge will be researched and documented throughout Mexican history to provide a more in depth understanding of the present situation of curanderismo.

San Jose Del Pacifico, Oaxaca
San Jose Del Pacifico, Oaxaca

WHERE WILL THE FUNDS GO?

So far everything that has been accomplished has been done through our own resources. So imagine what we can do with your support.

  • Your donations will  help us to continue to trace Doña Lupe and Don Manuel’s lineage of curanderos.
  • Your contributions will also make possible for us to follow up on their patients  and continue to register their results.
  • Your support will allow us to interview leading historians, anthropologists, and other professionals that will help us in this journey of discovery. 
  • The funds will also be used to interview the general public to survey society’s views of curanderismo (traditional healing).
  • Furthermore, it will help us access museums, universities and national archives in the U. S. and Mexico to achieve a more in-depth research and analysis.

We have set a goal but please help us surpass it! The additional support  will enable us to further advance into other phases of this documentary.

Doña Lupe - Ceremonia
Doña Lupe - Ceremonia

HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK

Kickstarter is all or nothing.

We must reach our minimum goal in order to receive any of the pledges, which means your credit card will not be charged for the amount you specify unless we receive all $30,000 or more in funding by the end of the campaign.

CAN CONTRIBUTORS INCREASE A PLEDGE ONCE IT IS MADE?

Yes, you can!

Even after an initial pledge is made, you can sign back into your account and instead of a green "Back This Project" button, you will see a blue "Manage Your Donation" button. Click on the blue button and enter a new amount and, if you choose, select a new incentive. Please keep  in mind that even if you increase your pledge, you can still only select ONE reward. (Kickstarter also only allows donors to make a single pledge per project to underscore the idea that you are contributing to the project and not "buying" rewards.)

If you have problems with the payment system please email us at raizvivamovie@gmail.com and we'll figure it out.

IS MY KICKSTARTER DONATION TAX-DEDUCTIBLE?

Kickstarter donations are NOT tax deductible. If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation, please Email us to find out how. (Please note that you cannot receive both a tax deduction and a Kickstarter reward.)

Since Kickstarter is an all or nothing program, we prefer that you donate through Kickstarter -- at least until we reach our minimum goal of 30,000. Again, if we don't meet our goal, we receive none of your pledges!

INCENTIVES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Nice and Soft T-Shirt _________Sticker__________Cool Notebook
Nice and Soft T-Shirt _________Sticker__________Cool Notebook

Please know that the examples presented here are a raw representation of what we plan to deliver.

MEET THE REST OF THE TEAM

Catalina Ausin - Cinematographer

Catalina studied Cinematography at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, and at FAMU, Film and Television School of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic.

Catalina has shot an array of narrative short films, music videos, documentaries, commercials and experimental art films. Her work has screened at South by Southwest, LA Shorts, and Atlanta Film Festival, amongst others. Her photographic work has been displayed at GoForALoop Gallery in San Francisco, Self- Help Graphics in Los Angeles, and was published in a sustainability-themed book, through Latajaca Galeria in Warsaw, Poland.

Catalina shares her passion by mentoring students in filmmaking. She has taught at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts through USC, New York Film Academy at Universal Studios, Live Arts Group, Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education.  Most recently she taught photography and video documentary to indigenous Mayans in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

She has been closely collaborating with indigenous communities and documenting their ancient wisdom for several years, both with didactic documentation with students in Chiapas and as a documentarian of Mayan elders in the Lacandon Jungle.

Yesenia Higuera - Editor

Co-Founder of The Hive www.hivedoes.com (Production Studio)

Producer, Post Supervisor and Editor Yesenia has over ten years of post-production experience and has collaborated with some of the film industry’s most awarded individuals on a wide variety of projects: feature films, documentaries, reality TV, commercials, PSA’s and music videos.

Yesenia began her career managing projects in such Visual Effects heavy feature films as “Coronado” with Academy Award winning post-production Supervisor Volker Engel and Producer Marc Weigert.

In 2010 Yesenia edited The History Channel’s featured documentary “The People Speak”. The documentary is based on the critically acclaimed book “A People’s History of the United States”, from famed author and historian Howard Zinn and produced by Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Chris Moore. Starring Marisa Tomei, Morgan Freeman, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen.

The same year Yesenia co-founded The Hive (www.hivedoes.com) with partner Benjamin Price. The Hive is a creative production studio that specializes in new media production, post production and motion comics. The Hive is currently in development of several shows and an interactive motion comic that will be exclusively shown on YouTube.

In December 2011, Yesenia Co-produced and edited the award winning Amazon Studios first feature length motion comic “The Alchemist Agenda”. Yesenia also produced and edited the film “Night Window”, and is presently writing, directing and editing a documentary on migrants crossing the Arizona desert.

 Xareni Lixarraga Gomez  – Sound Recordist/Designer

Xareni was born in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. She is a communicologist, a sound and visual artist and an experienced documentary sound recordist that has been living for the last five years in the surrealistic city of Mexico D.F.

Her multi-disciplinary work includes experimenting with random sounds to create ambient and on the visual arts front she carves wood and stone, paints, draws and assembles scenery.

She always delivers the best of her work and shares with the rest the knowledge she acquires, as she consistently understands art as an aesthetic phenomenon and as human expression to construct the myth of life. She believes in art as a means to heal.    “Arte para sanar”

David Rodriguez Estrada – Second Camera

Rodriguez grew up in Durango, Mexico. At age 17 he relocated to California to attend the Art Institute of Los Angeles where he received a Bachelors of Science degree in Digital Filmmaking.

David’s first short film SURIPANTA was nominated for an Imagen Award in 2008. His thesis film ¿Existes? (Do you exist?) is an homage to orgasm, God, onanism and the nature of existence. The film screened in numerous festivals including  Berlin’s Lakino, Toronto’s Alucine, Brasil’s Mix and Palms Springs Shorts Fest. It won best experimental short and the audience award at the Kinoki film festival in Mexico City in 2011.

Rodriguez has taught filmmaking at the Mary Pickford Institute to youth from underrepresented communities in Los Angeles. He also co-created the ECO Maya project, a filmmaking workshop in Chiapas, Mexico in which 5 teams created 5 documentary shorts for the Maya community.

He is currently developing his first feature project titled TRIP. In it a group of young friends travel from California to the Mazatec Sierra in Oaxaca. Along the way they encounter a mysterious Mexican girl, who will change their lives forever.

David is also editing his third short film and is lending his support to a couple of documentaries now in production. Rodriguez believes in awakening consciousness through the art of film.

The Raíz Viva Team
The Raíz Viva Team

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Like with most independent documentaries, funding is a struggle, and this Kickstarter campaign represents only a portion of the money we need to raise to complete the film. We are confident that we can raise additional funds through other funding sources. However, this Kickstarter campaign will help to show that there is an audience for this film. So no matter how small your contribution it will add another backer to the numbers.

We are well aware, as with all documentaries, that we have to be prepared to move quickly and efficiently to capture the story as it unfolds. Nevertheless, as much prepared as we may be there will be factors out of our control that could potentially slow us down. This is why we have put together our amazing team who knows how to roll with the punches.

Our goal is to have the film completed by March 2014 and we will do all possible to meet that goal. But like with any creative project, it's very difficult to know how long it will take to accomplish each step (production, editing, narration, animation, color correction, sound effects, music composition, audio mixing and mastering). So, while we estimate that it will take us about 12 to 14 months, we can't guarantee it.

We are optimistic that we can meet the challenge of delivering your rewards at the time we have estimated. While we feel that those dates are realistic, any delay we might have completing the film will also delay the shipping of your rewards. We’ll keep you informed with our regular Kickstarter updates of our progress and any obstacles we may have to overcome delivering your cool gifts.

Ultimately, with your support, we will reach our goal and realize this vision!

A sincere and wholehearted thank you.

FAQ

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