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.
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,
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
THANK YOU AGAIN!
- (28 days)