Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 11, 2012.

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One year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland reveals an intricate bond between man and nature.

A great big bear-hug of a THANK YOU to all of you for making this happen!

But we aren't finished yet -- we have a few more hours in the campaign and we'd really like to take it one step further. If we can reach $42,000 by Friday mid-day (2:24 PM Eastern, to be exact), we'll use the extra funds to bring the Aatsinki family to the U.S. for the film's premiere. Don't you want to meet the cowboys? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it, I'm so excited!

The other thing we'll do if we make it to $42,000 is send an ARCTIC COWBOY temporary tattoo to every donor who wants one -- even those of you who only help out with a dollar or two. Meeting our original goal was an important step, but we also launched this campaign to get the word out about the film and reach as many people as possible -- which means we still need your help. If each of you can get just one friend to support the project between now and Friday, it will make a huge difference in many ways!

Thank you all for bringing the campaign so far in just a few short weeks, and for helping us take advantage of the awesome opportunity the next few hours provide.

THANK YOU!

To my friends, old and new,

As many of you know, I have spent the last year living with and filming a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland, well above the Arctic Circle near the small town of Salla. In November 2011, I completed the last of six shoots and began editing a documentary about their amazing lives called AATSINKI. Making this film has been a labor of love for me, but I’ve gone as far as I can on my own – now I need your help.

$38,000 is the bare minimum I need in order to finish the film and cover some essential expenses (for those of you who want to know exactly where your contribution will go, there are details below). Anything raised over this amount will be used to kick off the film’s theatrical distribution and – most important – to bring the Aatsinki family to New York for the premiere! If I don’t make it to $38,000 mark, none of your generous pledges will go to the project, so please give early, contribute what you can, and tell your friends! Also, there are rewards!

With undying gratitude,

Jessica

ABOUT THE FILM

Brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki are cowboys of the Arctic. Quiet but good natured, dare-devilish but humble, rugged but gentle, and exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to their little slice of wilderness. These men are what John Wayne wanted to be. The brothers, along with their wives and children, live well north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, where they are the leaders of a collective of traditional reindeer herders who manage the last group of wild reindeer in all of Finland. AATSINKI follows the family for the span of one year, quietly observing their seasonal routines and the difficulties and joys of a life so closely tied to the land.

Theirs is a story of action and work, of small moments between husband and wife, father and daughter, animal and man, man and landscape. It is a life of sweeping panoramas and commonplace details. The simplicity of the film allows the extraordinary action to shine through, whether it be a thousand reindeer cresting a hill or Aarne’s daughter opening a Christmas present. 

Though, on the surface, AATSINKI is the story of a single family, its underlying narrative is one of global consequences and connections. Between their uncanny understanding of the landscape and their reindeer on the one hand, and their heavy reliance on snowmobiles and helicopters on the other, the herders have been categorized as beacons of sustainability and demons of environmentalism – in essence, poster children for simplicity and technology alike. Their story raises weighty questions about what it means to live with the land and invites audience members to reconsider their own assumptions about technology, food production, and, most critically, man’s place in nature.

WHY AATSINKI?

AATSINKI is part rugged cowboy adventure, part environmental study, and 100% a love letter to this family’s way of life. I found Aarne and Lasse while searching for the modern equivalent of the classic American frontier story. Though they ride snowmobiles instead of horses and wear fur hats instead of Stetsons, they are quintessential Arctic cowboys. Having made their home in one of the most extreme environments imaginable, they have pioneered and prospered where most people wouldn’t even vacation.

With AATSINKI, I hope to make sub-zero weather, 24-hour nights, and an intense bond with nature feel real to someone who has always had a thermostat and known the glow of electricity. The film creates an atmosphere, a soundscape, and a pace that will fully submerse the audience into Finnish Lapland and its people.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION MATTERS

First and foremost, your contribution will allow me to finish AATSINKI (which means finalizing the edit, sound design, color correct, titles and credits, and making exhibition copies).

Finishing the film is just the beginning though! In order to get AATSINKI out into the world, I need to make press materials, develop an advertising strategy, create posters, design merchandise, apply for film festivals, build and print DVDs, and basically keep USPS in business by shipping screeners all around the world. Each of these steps is critical to the success of the film, and every contribution makes a big difference!

We accept donations from as little as $1, and we sincerely appreciate contributions large and small. Please join others in helping us finish the film so we may bring AATSINKI to audiences around the world.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO TO HELP?

Thanks for asking! Please blog, tweet, write, and sing about the film and our Kickstarter campaign. Spreading the word is half the battle! 

Also, if you “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress.

GET IN TOUCH!

We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment above or email us at info@myriapodproductions.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

THANK YOU AGAIN!

FAQ

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255
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$40,758
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  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    37 backers

    I'll send you a really fierce Arctic Cowboys temporary tattoo + thank you as a backer on the AATSINKI website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    21 backers

    I’ll send you an original AATSINKI movie poster (29"x40") + the above. (If you would like your poster in a tube as opposed to folded, please add $5 to your pledge for shipping)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    76 backers

    Be one of the first to receive a DVD of AATSINKI + get all of the above so you can wear your Arctic Cowboy tattoo and hang your stunning poster while you watch the film.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    21 backers

    You'll look fantastic in your official AATSINKI t-shirt + I'll send you all of the swag above.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You'll get a $110 Film Forum membership (details here: http://www.filmforum.org/membership) AND I'll send you everything included in the $50 donor package -- the DVD, poster, and temporary tattoo.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    10 backers

    Get the complete AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE: A cozy AATSINKI sweatshirt + all of the above rewards. Show your love, summer or winter.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    4 backers All gone!

    A beautifully carved Lappish kuksa wooden mug (the cowboys often wear kuksas dangling from their belts so they can pour themselves a cup of coffee as soon as the moment presents itself) + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    5 backers

    You'll receive a signed archival art print (8"x10") of a photo I took in Lapland during my year there (you choose the theme: aurora borealis, fall colors, or reindeer) + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    6 backers All gone!

    A *super deluxe* Lappish kuksa wooden mug with reindeer antler detailing and a handy reindeer antler stirrer + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers

    The ultimate AATSINKI picnic basket: Finnish ground coffee and instructions for making traditional Lappish “black kettle coffee” (just like they do in the film!), rye flatbread, cloudberry jam, salty licorice, an assortment of AATSINKI reindeer salami and jerky, a bottle of traditional glöggi, and a reindeer antler bottle opener) + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    5 backers All gone!

    A reindeer skin directly from the Aatsinki herd (I will select the best of the best, just for you), approximately 30” x 60” + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $3,500 or more
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    3 backers

    CREDIT, DESSERT AND A MOVIE: You and three friends will join me for a Finnish cooking lesson (featuring delicious Finnish doughnuts, among other treats) and a private screening of AATSINKI in New York City (lodging and travel not included) + THE AATSINKI FAN PACKAGE for each of you + I'll thank you as a sponsor in the film's credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    THE ULTIMATE FINNISH GETAWAY: You and three guests will be whisked away on an unforgettable, five-day Lappish adventure hosted by myself and the renowned Finnish Reindeer Ambassador and Father of Local Food, Jari Etelälahti. Our personalized tour of the Aatsinkis’ home town will include an exciting snowmobile ride to the Russian border, cozy reindeer rides on traditional sleds, an exclusive cooking class with the well-known local chef and butcher Hannu Lahtela, and a night of feasting and stories with the Aatsinki family, among other insider adventures. From start to finish, this trip will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the place and the people have influenced the creation of the film. Your group will stay in a wonderful, large cabin in the woods (complete with wood-burning sauna) overlooking an icy lake perfect for quick dips. All meals and activities will be paid for and coordinated on your behalf. Travel and lodging are not included. This trip and this place will change your life. (Really – it changed mine!) Timing to be decided. Please email info@myriapodproductions.com with ideas or questions. You'll also get a credit in the film.

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Funding period

- (28 days)