Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Photo original
Photojournalist Liz Gilbert sets out on a journey through remote Africa to find the vanishing cultures of a rapidly changing continent.
217 backers pledged $69,902 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE LAST SAFARI

4 likes

Dear Friends,

Matt and I wish you all a happy 2015  - may your year ahead be filled with health and happiness!  Since it's the time of year for taking stock, we thought we'd send you an update on the Last Safari and our experiences in the film world so far.

Since first screening the film a little over a year ago at the Hamptons International Film Festival, The Last Safari has appeared in eleven film festivals in the United States, one university theater, one film festival in Africa, and was screened at the Cannes Marketplace (a commercial film screening event in tandem with the Cannes festival). Friends of the film also hosted private screenings in their living rooms and backyards - these intimate, informal events with wine, popcorn and laughter were the highlights of our 'tour' and we hope they will continue in 2015. If you would ever like to share the film with friends in your home, please let us know and we'll make sure to get you a  DVD.

During the festival tour, the Last Safari received a Raven Award for Best Cinematography at Docutah, and an honorable mention at the Bahamas International Film Festival where Danny Glover was also awarded an enormous paper mache 'junkanoo' fish decorated with sparkle paint and glitter in honor of his lifetime achievements. How he got it on the plane home with him we do not know.

During our memorable visit to the Bahamas we got lost in Atlantis, attended a conch fritter fest, made appearances on local radio and waded our toddler Jackson into warm seawater for the first time. We also made the acquaintance of a sales rep - a one man band from Canada who was wildly enthusiastic about the film and eagerly signed on to handle all our distribution negotiations. We signed the dotted line and felt hugely relieved to give distribution to someone with so much experience.

Then we never heard from him again. Well, we did hear from him twice, both times to say that he had a big Swiss theatrical distribution deal in the works and to be patient. Then he really vanished. From what we've learned, this is a common scenario in the Indie film world. That's partly why we've been silent in recent months. We had little to report during this slow waiting period.

This fall we scratched our heads and pondered. The film had great reviews and was often sold out at screenings. Audiences seemed to love it. Whenever we got it in front of viewers it was met with emotion and applause. But how to get it in front of audiences outside of the festival circuit? We decided it might be wise read a book on film distribution ourselves. (The one we recommend is Think Outside the Box Office by Jon Reiss. Really, this book is for anyone with a product to sell. It outlines basic marketing strategies that can apply to just about anything, anywhere.)

Taking into account the lessons we've learned so far and the advice of the book, our plan for 2015 is to steer the ship ourselves, set up a digital download platform where the film can be purchased online, and see if we can secure an educational screening tour in colleges and universities. In my heart, that is where I've always believed the film belonged.

Step One of any plan these days is setting up a basic website and presence for the film online. Anyone can watch the trailer, learn about screenings, read reviews, and book a home screening by visiting http://thelastsafarimovie.com/ or by joining our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thelastsafari.  I know some of you were sorry to see us jump over to the social media platforms for our communications and I hope you will not feel slighted in any way. We are trying to find our audience and create awareness for the film, so these are natural next steps. It is our hope that you will stay with us on the journey, share the links with others and help us expand our little community. We need you now more than ever. 

Which brings us to some final thoughts, which are of gratitude to you all. We remain humbly grateful for the sponsorship which made this journey possible. We are also deeply thankful for your patience. So far we feel our biggest failure was the speed with which we were able to get the Kickstarter awards distributed. Part of it was being overwhelmed with a new baby and and an edit going on in our tiny apartment at the same time. The Last Safari was a true Mom & Pop operation from start to finish. And back when we ran the campaign we could not attach images or files in our correspondence through the Kickstarter site, nor could we transfer the mailing list, which made it very hard to send out the image downloads and postcards in particular. But by now everyone should have gotten their reward as well as the private digital download link to view the film. If you didn't for any reason, please please please reach out to us.

We look forward to staying in touch in 2015 and hope to hear from you all.

Best wishes,

Liz & Matt

To Clarify...

10 likes

Hi again.

We have gotten a little blow-back from this whole Facebook 'like' request so we wanted to clarify a couple of things.

- We are compiling our backers' emails into our own email list so that we can message your from our personal accounts, rather than on the Kickstarter platform.

- Since you backed our movie, we hoped you would have no problem 'liking' our FB page and enable you to read our status updates, of which we don't want to bombard you with here on Kickstarter email.

But...

-We are NOT migrating you to FB! As stated above, we are compiling our own backer email list for use with our own accounts. This is all an attempt to simplify the myriad platforms we have going on at once. This means that you may eventually get a Backer update from our gmail account rather than from a Kickstarter messaging service. You will still continue to get backer emails when appropriate, not to mention this account shall always remain active and you will still be able to contact us thru here anytime.

We appreciate your continued support. Please stay with us here as the journey is just about to begin!!

With Regards

Matt & Liz

World Premieres and other delights..

1 like

Hi Everyone!

Last time we spoke, we promised to have some exciting announcements, so here goes--

We are proud to announce the WORLD PREMIERE of the Last Safari at the Hamptons International Film Festival Oct 10-14!

Now here's the funny thing, we had a sneak peak screening in Sept at DocUtah, but we were not allowed to announce it. And despite the fact that we were abroad and unable to attend, we won the Best Cinematography award! 

And there's more-- As it turns out we have also been invited to screen at the Tucson Music and Arts Festival on the very same day as our World Premiere at HIFF, so we're calling that one our Southwest Premiere.

It looks like things are finally moving for our little movie. The next step is to have a nice and long festival run, get some press and land for a good sales agent so we can get this little engine-that-could distributed.

So, if you happen to be in either the East Hamptons area (NYC is only 2 hours away) or Tucson Arizona on Oct 13 (& 14th in the Hamptons), then you should get back to us immediately so we can get you a ticket to the screening. It is a holiday weekend afterall, so you may wanna take a little jaunt out of town before it gets chilly.

For more info on the World Premiere at HIFF (Oct 13/14):


https://www.ticketcentral.com/HamptonsFilmFest/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=1296E502-9026-4F31-B844-F503AC2AAF5C

And for Tucson Music and Film Fest (Oct 13):

http://tucsonfilmandmusicfestival.com/events/the-last-safari/

Lastly, there are just way too many forms of communication floating around the ethers these days. Between Facebook and websites and gmail accounts and Macmail and Tweets and Kickastarters, we simply can't keep up. So we are trying to consolidate, but bear with us; we're still working on a few awards! For now, we think it would be a good idea to migrate our backers to our Facebook page. It seems to be the easiest way to stay in touch. In fact if you're already following us on FB then its likely you already know some of this info :) So please, if you haven't already, click this link, push the "like" button and you'll be sorted--

https://www.facebook.com/thelastsafari

Its also accessible from our newly launched webpage--

http://thelastsafarimovie.com/

Thanks again everyone. And of course do not hesitate to bug us about your reward if you haven't gotten it, or just to say hello.

With much love and appreciation

Matt & Liz

COMPLETION OF THE LAST SAFARI

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Kenya. I am writing from Nairobi where Matt arrived last week with the first printed Bluray copy of our film, The Last Safari, in hand! It seems like ages since we wrote to you to say we were in 'picture lock' . Little did we know that we were in for several more months of labor-intensive post production -  sound mixing, color correction, graphics, VO recordings and even further editing....

But finally, a week ago, Matt wrapped up the project on a cold day in New York and headed back to Africa. So, we're pleased to announce: It's done! (REALLY pleased!!!)

What next, you may wonder? Well, first there is the Kickstarter campaign to complete - We'll begin catching up on the rewards now that the film is done. That process has already begun and started when we submitted names to the graphics department for the film credits - you're already on the credit scroll. :) Next we'll start sending out the physical rewards - books, photos, and the collage of all our car breakdowns on safari, among others. Thanks for your patience on those!!!  Now, with the hard work of the film behind us, this is our first priority.

And then, there' s what to do with the movie itself. We'll start applying to film festivals, speaking with distributors, looking for additional screening venues such as museums, private auditoriums, university theaters...and planning a launch for the film here in Kenya.

Here's how you can help or get involved: If you or anyone you know is involved with local film festivals in your area, or any local programming (such as at museums, schools, clubs or local theaters) please let us know. We'd like to send screeners out for consideration and get the film up and running. Additionally, if you would like to host a screening in your area, please contact us.  Private screenings can be anywhere - at home or in a small local theater, auditorium, club meeting venue or private screening room.

We truly can't wait to share the film with you and will continue to post updates in the months ahead. Thank you for all your patience and support over these many months.

We are ever grateful.

Sincerely,

Liz & Matt

  • Image 206082 original

Still moving forward

Greetings friends and backers!!

Liz and Matt here just giving you a quick update on our progress. We are fast approaching picture lock and expect to be in final post stages by next week, taking us to around Thanksgiving.

We have already submitted a rough cut to Sundance. We are keeping our fingers crossed, but if you happen to know someone over there, feel free to make mention of our movie :)

If you are in the New York area and are interested in attending a private screening of the film in Nov/Dec let us know and we will make sure there's a seat waiting for you.

And lastly, we are hoping to refocus on our rewards program as soon as the film is complete. This does include devising our festival and sales strategies, creating a website and gathering promotional materials and that like. So please be patient as we get it all together. We haven't forgotten about you!!

Thank you again for your support and we can't wait to show you all the movie. We promise you'll love it.

Best

MattG & LizzieG