Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 25, 2011.


A film about a group of Brooklynites surviving the winter in a farmhouse after a massive collapse of infrastructure.

THANK YOU! We've raised the money we needed to get going and we've begun production! Daily updates HERE

We are continuing to raise funds to pay for steadicam days and the film transfer so please get out the word!

The Premise:

In December 2012, a massive collapse of infrastructure leaves a group of Brooklyn yogis snowed-in at a country farmhouse without electricity, cell phone reception, or running water. With nothing to rely on but their wits, a couple of old books, and each other, they must survive the first winter off the grid.

The structural skeleton of First Winter is the procedural aspects of survival: chopping firewood, melting snow for water, hunting for food, etc; but the movie at core is really a spiritual exploration. As the distractions of modern of life are replaced by the routine simplicity of living off the land, the friends gradually evolve out of their neurotic fixations into a more quiet, contemplative state of being (of course, not all of them make it).

The aesthetic approach is rigorously formalist; mirroring the inner journey of the characters, the film gradually evolves from frenetic jumpy handheld close up camera work at the beginning to slower, wider, more composed shots towards as the film progresses.

The film draws on the experiential, ecstatic filmmaking styles of artists like Malick and Tarkovsky, the raw intensity of Cassavettes, and the American literary traditions of Thoreau and Emerson; and yet First Winter is very much a film of our time, a prescient meditation on the situation we are facing as humans on this planet.

With an amazing location, a group of talented actors and celebrated filmmakers hailing from New York’s robust indie film scene, First Winter is poised to be the most talked about indie film of 2012.

Cast and crew will all be living, eating, and working together in the farmhouse in upstate new york for 23 days while we shoot the film. The money we raise will help us to cover the cost of equipment and food so please give what you can!


Lindsay BurdgeKate Lyn SheilJen KimSamantha JacobsJaffe ZinnPaul Manza

Written and Directed by Ben Dickinson

Cinematography by Adam Newport-Berra


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    18 backers

    An invitation to a release party and screening that will take place at the beautiful farmhouse in upstate New York (where we are shooting the film) this summer.

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    17 backers

    A DVD of the completed film.

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    2 backers

    Package of homemade "Heartland" granola, made here at the farm.

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    DVD of the completed film.

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    1 backer

    You will receive a special "Thank You" credit in the closing credits.

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    6 backers

    You will receive Associate Producer credit on the film. In addition you'll receive a beautiful one-sheet poster signed by entire cast and crew.

Funding period

- (15 days)