ONE DAY TO GO - THANK YOU to all our supporters so far! We're truly humbled.
Please keep sharing the project as we enter the last few hours - we'd love to reach 100 backers just because.... it sounds better!
There's also plenty of things anything we raise over our target will go towards. When we set out our main aim was simply to raise enough money to finish the film within a really tight budget and time-frame.
Any additional pledges that keep us moving us beyond £12k will help achieve some of our more unattainable (we thought!) dreams for the film. For example, we'd also love to be able to license Arun Ghosh's amazing reworking of The Clash's classic tune, LONDON CALLING:
And then there's festival entries, the remaining composition, marketing, poster design and much, much more which all needs to be paid for somehow. Every contribution will enable us to do more of these things in the right way.
The Russell Exchange auction house in Calcutta / Kolkata is a rare and special place that draws people from across Indian society to meet and trade as equals. Owned and run by the same family since 1940, it's a chaotic, entertaining and much-cherished place in the heart of one of India's most well-known cities.
Once it was the Sotheby's of India but these days it's living out a much humbler reality. This film follows its present-day owners, brothers Anwer and Arshad, as they battle to uphold their father's legacy and keep the place in business.
In the late 1960s, elder brother Anwer left India for London whilst Arshad, his younger brother, stayed behind and ran the auction house for the next 40 years.
But Anwer returned four years ago to try and drag the auction house into the 21st century. The film follows his journey, with plenty of humour along the way, as he also gets used to living and working under the same roof as his kid brother for the first time since they were teenagers.
THE FILM SO FAR
We've made many filming trips to India over the past 4 years, and over that time have met people from across the world who know and love the Russell Exchange... everyone from a housewife in Walton-upon-Thames to a German ambassador in North Korea!
Now we're on the radar of several broadcasters, very nearly ready to screen at film festivals and have pitched the film at numerous events, including this year's Scottish Documentary Institute's Edinburgh Pitch and last year's Sheffield DocFest MiniMeetmarket.
However, we really need your help to finish postproduction on the film. A lot of people have put enormous amounts of their time and effort but we're trying to raise money to cover the final bits of editing, the sound mix, colour grading and to acquire a few music licenses. Without this final cash injection we're stalled and won't be able to get the film shown to as wide an audience as we think it deserves.
For example, one of the tracks we're trying to license is the unmistakeable 'Ladies of Calcutta' - a classic that deserves to be heard once more we think you'll agree! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozKEo8f5cmI
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE RUSSELL EXCHANGE?
And you can read some of the stories about the objects that go in and out of the auction house on our Tumblr blog here.
As well as seeing Instagrams from the behind the scenes here.
And check out our latest reward from super-talented illustrator Clare Mallison, who's created this bespoke portrait of the auction house (45.5cm x 39.88cm giclee print on Hahnemühle German Etching (310) paper).
WHO WE ARE:
Director Ed Owles is an independent filmmaker who has made films all over the world for broadcasters and NGOs for the past 7 years. This is his first feature documentary and, although it's taken about 8 times as long as he thought it would, he's very excited it's now coming to fruition.
The producers are Native Voice Films, a London-based production company that has produced feature documentaries and films for leading international broadcasters including Film Four/C4, HBO, ARTE and the BBC. Their latest feature documentary ‘The Bengali Detective’ screened at Sundance and Berlin film festivals and won the 2012 Grierson Award for Most Entertaining Documentary. Exec Producer is Phil Cox and lead producer is Giovanna Stopponi. They are being ably assisted by independent producer and tweeter extraordinaire Elhum Shakerifar.
The film is being edited by the esteemed Signore Emiliano Battista, who's previously worked on many successful feature length documentaries; the score is being especially composed by the exceptionally talented Harry Lightfoot, with sound design being orchestrated by Dennis Wheatley of Salty Sea fame.
And special thanks to the folk at The Dog & Wardrobe for letting us film the kickstarter trailer in their brilliant shop.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
So far we've covered travel and living costs for the shooting thanks to some small pots of funding from Worldview and Goldsmiths Centre for Visual Anthropology, as well as our own now very empty pockets.
As independent filmmakers in this digital age we rely on the support of our community. Often depictions of India focus on abject poverty or the economic miracle. We hope this film brings something different.
By funding 'The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers' you can be part of creating a film about a unique place in India's history and two brilliant characters. In the age of eBay, Amazon and shopping malls its unique character should be treasured.
In return for your support, we've got some great rewards ranging from posters to DVDs to VIP screenings and a slap-up curry with the main character and the director!
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR MONEY IF WE DON'T HIT THE TARGET?
Kickstarter is all or nothing so if we don't hit £12,000 by the deadline on Christmas Eve, your card won't be charged and we won't receive any money pledged.
Risks and challenges
Independent film making in the UK is very challenging at the moment and this film has been made on a shoestring thanks to an enormous amount of time and effort by lots of different people. Whilst production costs have largely been met, we want to make sure the film is finished to the highest standards we can in postproduction.
For example, if we're unable to license the music then we won't be able to show the film in the wide array of places we hope to... there's already real interest in the film - for example, we have a sales agent, DR Sales - who are just waiting for the finished film to arrive on their doorstep.
- (29 days)