About this project
* "Thank you so much to Filmmaker Magazine and IFP for featuring us on their curated pages!"
Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter page! Please take your time, read below for more information and background.
On the right side bar, you can get a lot of awesome rewards based on your contribution to help us finish the film. (You will not be charged unless we are fully funded).
You can also be a part of this project by simply sharing our links. This is a very funny and entertaining film that will surely touch lives and we thank you for all the support!
My name is Gerry Balasta, a filmmaker from New York. We are in the process of completing my second feature film, a hilarious movie called THE SOLAR CHAMPION! Our first film The Mountain Thief had won several awards and continues to have a successful and grow as more than a motion a picture as it touches lives.
- THE SOLAR CHAMPION is the continuation of our work and this time in a narrative comedy and a documentary form. Acted by the talented actors of The Mountain Thief, this film is truly inspiring, funny and entertaining. It is truly a continuation of the changes that we have started.
- One of the challenges of our time is getting Solar or renewable energy to the poorest communities. 1.3 Billion people in the world doesn't have access to electricity, and they use kerosene gas to light their home at night. Aside from health issues, it has an impact to our environment. THE SOLAR CHAMPION will join the discussion through the documentary part of the film.
- We will find, highlight inventors, dreamers and "REAL LIFE SOLAR CHAMPIONS." Like Steve Katsaros, the American inventor of the "world's only rechargeable SOLAR BULB" and we would like to find the Brazilian from Sao Paolo, widely credited for the Brazilian Bottle Bulb and many more. We want to include their inspirational stories in the film, and the other inventors, dreamers and organizations who are all responding to the challenges of renewable energy and the children and people who benefits from it. When this film is done, we have a very "cool" TRANSMEDIA component to go with the advocacy, which can potentially make the impact of the film HUGELY SIGNIFICANT! We're very excited!
The Solar Bottle Bulb:
- The Mountain Thief and The Solar Champion were acted by scavengers from a dumpsite community, children from the film got medical help,and a special needs child and the main actor, is now going to school. Through the film and its supporters, more children from the landfill will go to school this June 2012 on scholarships(6 total). I am proud to say that after working on it for more than five years, the film has become an agent of philanthropy as more change will happen. This is featured in both film.
- FILM and ADVOCACY: Similar to our first film, we want to use The Solar Champion as an agent for our advocacy. We want to use the film as a platform in highlighting and promoting the urgency and impact of using renewable energy and, be part of the discussion and be one of the bridge to the solution in lighting a billion lives without access to electricity. We start with documenting solar bulbs on its nees and its positive impact. If you want to join our advocacy or be one of the producers or outreach partner please send us a message at The Solar Champion Page.
- Join our efforts and adventure, help us finish this truly unique film and opportunity! PLEASE READ THE SIDE BAR as we have prepared a lot of perks and rewards, limited edition T-shirts, DVDs, CDs and other exceptional offers including THE NOKERO SOLAR BULB!!! The World's Only Solar Bulb (Below):
We are so so excited to get a chance to share this film to entertain and make people laugh and continue to make positive changes! Looking forward to hearing from you! Please join our Facebook Page (CLICK HERE), a place for a discussion, get updated and exchange ideas. Thank you!
All the best,
Gerry Balasta, Writer-Director and THE SOLAR CHAMPION TEAM
The CHAMPION FAMILY from HAPPYness VILLAGE, Manila tries to get the word out on Daddy Champion's (father) inventions. Most are ridiculous but one is a SOLAR BULB that will change their fate.
Their father, a 70 year old dreamer and a hopeless romantic who dreams of things that are impossible encourages his kids to follow their dreams and one project that they have is to find the "next" Manny Pacquiao, a prized fighter who just earned $25 million dollars from his last fight. The search begins as they navigate their way in life.
In the end they all find inspiration from their father and the least likely place they expected it, and that they didn't know it existed---from the prizefighter within themselves. The film ends in a documentary, where we discover and track the real lives of the actors of the film---They are the cast of THE MOUNTAIN THIEF from a landfill community. We will also feature inventors, dreamers and real life SOLAR CHAMPIONS!
HOW YOUR MONEY WILL HELP?
We will get the film out in film festivals and expected to have a cut of the film in time for festival submissions for an exciting 2013 film festival run!
Your support will help us finish the film and allow us to spread our comedy of hope and inspiration to the world. With such an incredibly important and universal story, It is crucial that it reaches the largest audience possible.
If you are able to contribute financially we have amazing incentives to the right. If you can spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign to your friends, on facebook and to strangers in the grocery store we would be eternally grateful!
Here’s a breakdown of how we plan to use the funds:
- 01. Pay for Film Music Rights (for world release)
- 02. Pay for Film Composition, Sound Design, Music Edits and Mix
- 03. Pay for editing Final Cut of the film
- 04. Pay for Subtitling Final Film in English
- 05. Pay for Editing various versions of the film, in different formats, HDCAM, Beta, Blue Ray etc... to share in as many different outlets as possible: Theatrical, Domestic Broadcast, International Broadcast
- 06. Pay for Editing Film Trailer
- 07. Pay to shoot additional footages for the documentary part at the end of the film. Shooting the lives of the actors and interviewing the real life SOLAR CHAMPIONS! and finding and including in the film visionaries and inventors of solar bulbs, the Brazilian bottle bulb, solar lamps and new innovations in renewable energy in India, Philippines and many more!
- 08. Build a "robust" website and make it a resource site for the advocacy of the film in renewable energy, energy poverty the environment and using film and the arts to make a direct impact on lives.
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
We need $20,000 to do all of the above and we need to exceed our goal as the project continues to evolve and its call for action and scope is getting bigger. We want to make a film that will have a huge impact!
THE SOLAR CHAMPION executes our mission and philosophy of "using films and the arts to make a direct impact on lives."
This film is unique in its feature, although it is a comedy in a narrative format, it is an independent film with an independent documentary nature and it also has a short documentary in the end. Making the film does not follow a capitalist model, which judges success by the dollars a product makes in the market place, but more of a NGO or non-profit model, which judges success by the number of people it reaches and the change it effects.
Because of the success of The Mountain Thief that we have slowly built (our blog chronicles)on since 2010 so far, we have the opportunity to have this film, a continuation of the process reach more worldwide. People will be very interested especially in this comedy form. However, the challenge is ours to raise funds to complete the film so it can get to the audiences that will and can actively watch it and use it as a tool to learn about how we are able to affect change, make a direct impact in our own little way and using films as a platform. In this case, through the direct impact to the lives of the actors involved in the film.
Moreover, a specialty film like this, not only production, but distribution is dependent on donations or state grants to fund the outreach to a broad audience. THE SOLAR CHAMPION is a classic ‘social issue’ film that can and will have a broad impact on communities everywhere if the funds can be found to do the work properly.
By supporting our work and this kickstarter campaign, you are supporting the artist, his work as well as the impact to lives beyond the film.
THE SOLAR CHAMPION IS A WINNER!
Most films that you might want to make a donation to are high risk propositions: will they even get finished and be any good, let alone be seen by more than the filmmaker’s friends and family?
The Solar Champion is one of those rare, no risk film, of which the precedent has already received acclaim, and has started a non-profit and movement. But needs your help to reach the larger world. Your donation will go to a project that once it makes it’s budget is guaranteed to touch lives and carry over what The Mountain Thief has started---as a tool for awareness and directly touching lives by inspiring people and the call for action. See your name in lights!
Through the supporters of THE MOUNTAIN THIEF, a non-profit in the US was formed called THE MOUNT HOPE PROJECT, Inc. An NGO called THE MOUNT HOPE INITIATIVE, Inc. was also formed in the Philippines. These are the organizations that are both independent of the film that has been executing the changes and the impact that our film has started.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal of $15,000, we lose everything. Once we have reached our goal we will contact you to get your address and then we will start working on getting those awesome incentives to you!
HOW TO PLEDGE
Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
WHAT IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL?
If funding fails, all pledges are canceled and that's that. Your card is not charged, it’s like nothing ever happened. We hope this doesn’t happen! Those days will fly by, donate today!
CAN YOU DONATE IN ANOTHER’S NAME?
Of course! We will contact you once funding is complete to gather information so that we can get your incentives to you. Just let us know then the name you would like to donate under.
CAN YOU DONATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes and Yes! Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country! But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems just contact us.
WANT TO HELP BUT CAN’T DONATE?
Become an Outreach Partner. Spread the word about the film in your community and receive a special Outreach Partner credit on our website and the logo of your organization in the film. We’d love to discuss partnering with you, your organization, your community to help get the word out about the film. Please contact us and we’ll get the collaborative juices flowing!
And of course we need your help broadcasting the Kickstarter campaign. Facebook it. Tweet it. Sing it from the mountain tops.
INTERESTED IN PLAYING AN EVEN LARGER ROLE ON THE FILM?
There is a Co-Executive Producer credit available at $8,000, an Executive Producer credit at $10,000. Your name will appear in the credits for all US Festivals, multi-city US Theatrical, Some International And IMDB!
Please note that these are honorary titles and do not engender any creative or business involvement/decision-making nor does the credit entitle any claim of ownership.
Help us finish the film and GET YOUR LIMITED EDITION T- SHIRTS, printed by the actors!:
EACH OUT AND CONTACT US!
How much do these special bulbs cost each and where can I buy them in the USA mainland....and also are they availaboe in the Philippines for the middle class and poor people?
The green bulb in the trailer is the Nokero Solar Bulb , the world's only rechargeable bulb, and we are featuring the inventor on our film too along with other visionaries. Go to http://Nokero.com.
The Bottle Bulb is the SOLAR BOTTLE BULB that was credited to a Brazilian inventor who we would like to find and feature in our film. It's also known as THE BRAZILIAN BOTTLE BULB. And it is easy to make and is open sourced (anyone can make it).
Part of the advocacy of the film is to take these technologies and others like it to the Philippines and the developing world and be a part of the solution to the issue of ENERGY POVERTY and it's impact to our environment.
The Solar Bottle Bulb or Brazilian Bottle Bulb is a cool invention credited to A Brazilian Engineer in Sao Paolo. It is an open source innovation, that can help save energy but CAN NOT BE USED AT NIGHT and typically in houses with tin roof at day time, as it is a simple refraction of sunlight.
We encourage the use of it but it has its obvious limitations at night when light is needed the most, and it depends on types of houses, for some it's really more practical to just open up the windows. Mostly on houses with tin roof or sheds, when used it saves up on electricity.
The green bulb in the trailer is the Nokero Solar Bulb , the world's only rechargeable bulb, and we are featuring the inventor on our film too along with other visionaries and inventors. Go to http://Nokero.com.
The problem ENERGY POVERTY and off grid lighting is so huge. We feel to make an impact in the advocacy of the film we need to include and promote all technologies and innovations. The Brazilian Bottle Bulb, the Nokero Bottle Bulb and more like it can be a huge part of the solution.
HOW TO MAKE THE SOLAR BOTTLE BULB?
MATERIALS: a used plastic bottle (preferably a 1.5 liter soda bottle), 1’x1’ roof sheet material, purified water, chlorine and rubber sealant.
1. On the roof sheet, cut a hole to the size of the bottle’s circumference. The bottle is inserted through it, with the bottle’s upper 1/3 on one side and the bottle’s lower 2/3 on the other.Next, fix the device firmly on the roof of the house, with the bottle’s upper portion exposed to the sun and the lower portion protruding in the ceiling. The rubber sealant, or epoxy resin, is used to secure the roof sheet and prevent leaks.
2. The bottle is filled with a solution of water, salt and chlorine measured by three bottle caps.
The water refracts the light while the chlorine and the salt slow down evaporation and prevent molds. The solution is expected to last up to two years before it needs changing.
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