About this project
By turns both harrowing and heartwarming, The Starfish Throwers explores how three of the world's most fiercely compassionate individuals fight hunger and struggle to restore hope to the hopeless in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways. Half a world apart, a five-star chef, a retired school teacher and a sixth grade master gardener fight for what appears to be a lost cause, until they discover their impact may reach further than their actions.
Follow Narayanan Krishnan as he sharpens skills acquired as a top chef to cook and hand deliver fresh meals to hundreds of people, 365 days a year - all while initially bringing social shame onto his high-caste-born family. Will he be able to overcome this stigma and realize his decade-long vision of building a rehabilitation campus for those he serves?
Discover how 50 vegetable gardens can be traced to the seed of a single cabbage planted by nine-year-old Katie Stagliano. Will the voices of critics dissuade her from continuing her work as she enters her teen years?
Join the midnight rounds with retired middle school teacher Mr. Law as he hand delivers more than a thousand sandwiches nightly. Find out why he hasn’t slept in a bed in thirteen years, and if his blatant disregard for his own health and safety will ultimately put him in harm’s way.
In each of their unique journeys, these unforgettable individuals meet unexpected challenges and must find a way to persevere, despite being constantly reminded that hunger is far too big for one person to solve.
WHY I’M MAKING THIS FILM
I began this documentary three and a half years ago when I first heard about a retired teacher who drove around Minneapolis 365 nights a year, giving sandwiches to homeless people out of a van with the words LOVE ONE ANOTHER and his cell phone number stenciled on the door. Once I began filming with Allan Law, I became instantly amazed and humbled by his dedication to a cause many say is lost. Why was he giving everything to a battle he could never win? I began to look for other individuals who were fighting that same fight. This search ultimately brought me to Narayanan Krishnan in India and young Katie Stagliano in North Carolina. The intimate access they granted allowed me to witness their intense struggles and beautiful triumphs these last three years. The experience has been both humbling and unforgettable. Seeing them reject cynicism and transcend mass apathy with every act of kindness they committed reminded me of the lost idealism of youth. While many of us have put aside some of those innocent dreams of changing the world and making a difference, we believe that sharing these stories will help us to rediscover our own potential to affect positive change.
Our entire team has been incredibly generous with their time, and we’ve been able to finish principle photography and edit the majority of the film on a shoestring budget. Now, so close to completion, we’ve exhausted our limited arts grant funding and our need is simple: We must give this film the cinematic finish it needs to connect with the largest possible audience. This is where you come in.
YOUR PART IN THE STORY
The most important question the film explores is: How can one person’s impact reach further than their actions? In this case, the answer is you. We believe that through helping us to share these stories, you will be giving countless people the invitation to reconnect with their youthful goals and rediscover their own potential. As we discovered in the documenting of these stories, everything big starts small. So it is with The Starfish Throwers.
Your support of this campaign will give the film everything it needs to reach the masses: a beautiful soundtrack that propels the images in their emotional intensity; professional color grading, sound design and mix; license to use pivotal footage from CNN and MSNBC (which costs up to $3,000/minute!), and all things that go into mastering and finishing the final cut.
We are so close! And we’re asking you to become part of the ripple that carries these stories out into the world and inspires a movement of simple kindness and compassion.
CHECK OUT THE REWARDS (partial list)
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Director/Producer/Photographer: JESSE ROESLER
Jesse is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened internationally in venues such as South By Southwest Film Festival and on Current TV. Jesse’s approach to filmmaking is best described as Cinematic Authenticity. By fusing narrative cinematic technique with the authenticity found in documentary style filmmaking, his work blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction by capturing the Truth in an artful manner. All of Jesse’s creations can be viewed here and his client work with Bolster here.
Editor/Sound Design/Associate Producer: BILL KERSEY
A resident of St. Paul, Bill Kersey holds a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona. He has edited several documentary features, including the award-winning THICKER THAN WATER and RITA OF THE SKY, and also worked as editor on the Independent Lens documentary PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE. He has been an Editing Fellow at the NALIP Latino Producers Academy and a selected participant in the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium, and his award-winning short films have screened at dozens of festivals nationally and internationally.
Producer: MELODY GILBERT
Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced non-judgmental, character-driven stories for film and television for more than 20 years. The Documentary Channel calls her “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema.” She has made five independent feature-length documentaries in the past seven years: FRITZ: THE WALTER MONDALE STORY (2008),URBAN EXPLORERS: INTO THE DARKNESS (2007), A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN (2005), WHOLE (2003) and MARRIED AT THE MALL (2002). All of her films have screened at major film festivals, in theaters and on television worldwide, including the Sundance Channel and on dozens of television networks internationally such as TF5 (France), YLE (Finland), RTL (Germany) and more.
Executive Producer: DAN SATORIUS
Additional Photography/Sound: VICTOR RUKAVINA
Additional Photography/Sound: PATRICK MEEHAN
Editorial Assistant/Sound: THOMAS SCHMIDT
Editorial Assistant: JAY RUDEEN
Editorial Assistant: ALLIE YOUNG
Transcription: SANDI ROESLER
Social Media/Outreach: PETE TEDROW
Publicity: REBECCA LUNNA
Learn more about the film’s subjects below.
Narayanan Krishnan http://akshayatrust.org
Katie Stagliano http://www.katieskrops.com
Allan Law http://mrdinc.org
Let's Make Something Beautiful!
Risks and challenges
Documentary filmmaking has inherent risks and challenges. One of the greatest risks are unforeseen elements that stall production. One of our greatest advantages in this regard is that this film is entirely “in the can.” Because we’ve completed our photography and the vast majority of editing, we feel confident we can deliver a finished film in the timeframe provided. Filmmaker Jesse Roesler's past work has screened internationally at festivals such as SXSW and Big Sky Documentary Festival. While this is his first feature, this isn't his first rodeo.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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