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Colombia is the focal point of the new global gold rush and Marmato, a mining town with over 500 years of history, is the new frontier. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on November 27, 2013.

Colombia is the focal point of the new global gold rush and Marmato, a mining town with over 500 years of history, is the new frontier.

About this project

Mark on top of Marmato Mountain - Underneath lies $20 Billion in Gold
Mark on top of Marmato Mountain - Underneath lies $20 Billion in Gold

After nearly 6 years of filming, we are so close to completing this film, but need your help to make it happen. And we only have 30 days!!!

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A MOUNTAIN OF GOLD

In this mountain lies over $20 billion dollars in gold, but its 8,000 inhabitants are at risk of being displaced by an open-pit mining project planned by a Canadian mining company. This mountain of gold has always been both a blessing and a curse for the people of Marmato.

The film intimately follows how the townspeople cope with a disturbing prophesy of change and takeover delivered by the mining company’s prospector: “You can believe in God all you want, but I don’t think he’s got too much to say about this mountain getting leveled.” Filmed over the course of 5 and a half years, Marmato is a canvas of magic realism and the confrontation with globalized mining. 

Movie Poster by Agency 71
Movie Poster by Agency 71

WHAT WE NEED

After 6 years in production, MARMATO has received incredible support from The Sundance Institute, The MacArthur Foundation, Cinereach, and BritDoc, among other great organizations. But now we are in the most crucial stage of post-production and we need to harness the power of your support and passion for our project to bring it to completion.

Calle Films is a non-profit corporation, hoping to raise a minimum of $42,400 through Kickstarter to finish the film. Whether it’s $5, $25, $50, $100, $1000 or more, your contribution will help us complete MARMATO and to share this unique story with the world. We are so close to accomplishing our dream; we just need a small push from you, kind backer, to get us to the finish line. We hope you’ll consider making a pledge!

NEW ARTWORK REWARD!

We are honored to present an incredible new LIMITED EDITION print from Colombian artist, v i v i a n a  p a l a c i o from her series, M A R M A T O

M A R M A T O  by    v i v i a n a   p a l a c i o
M A R M A T O by v i v i a n a p a l a c i o

Now by pledging $1500 to the film, you'll get a high-quality limited edition print (only 1 of 5 available!). Each piece is printed on cotton paper, numbered and signed by the artist, plus you get all of the great rewards from the $250 pledge! 

GRAPHIC ARTWORK BY SCOTT MURPHY

Artwork by Scott Murphy
Artwork by Scott Murphy
                         

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO? 

All proceeds from the campaign will go directly towards post-production, composing our original score, our sound design & audio mix, festival submission costs, legal, and promotional material. 

If we raise more than the goal of $42,400, that will continue to fund the remainder of the project and additional hard costs. We could go on and on with other expenses on the horizon (audience engagement and outreach, a more in-depth interactive website, research, additional editing) but for now we want to be specific about our intent for our goal. 

FIND OUT MORE 

Some additional background on our story and characters...

Mark first came upon Marmato while traveling through South America as a photographer. It is a place that has always seen it's rich gold deposits as both a blessing and a curse. From the very moment he arrived, Mark knew everything about the town was about to dramatically change. A small Canadian gold mining company had stumbled upon Marmato and began buying mines at a fraction of their real worth. Their plan was to move the people, destroy the town and create a massive, open-pit mining project where the town now sits.

As Mark talked with the locals it became very clear that he had the rare opportunity to document this takeover process in its early stages. This was in April of 2006. Two years later, he set out alone and has been filming and working in the town this same way for 5-and-a-half years. This once peaceful town has now become unsafe; the miners, desperate to reclaim their rights to the mines and their town, have been protesting the government only to have their movement violently crushed by police force.

Mark has worked hard to develop and maintain close, personal relationships with many on both sides of this issue; made possible by years of living and working alongside these families. This is a dramatically complex case and the people in the film will speak to its complexity. This is not an activist film with 'talking-head' experts. It is a portrait of those actually living in this world – experts on their own lives.

JOSÉ DUMAR

José Dumar is a miner that has worked in the tunnels most of his life. He came from a broken home and now wants nothing more than the opposite for his young family. His every thought and action is on the betterment of his wife and 5 kids. Since the arrival of the Canadian company in his town, his work security and that of his family’s future has steadily eroded. Now, he works illegally in one of the company’s mines, has no secure income, and is out of options. He awaits a future that is out of his control.

LUCELLY AND CONRADO

Conrado, unlike the majority of the town’s traditional miners, owns a mine and a small farm. He believes a large-scale mining project in Marmato is the best future. He wants to sell his mine but only for the right price. His wife, Lucelly, loves Marmato and does not want to leave. She also fears money will change Conrado. As pressure mounts in the town and Conrado becomes more obsessed with the best price for his mine their marriage deteriorates.

JOHANN BOLAÑOS

Johann was raised by a single mother, lived a hard life, but one that was only possible by virtue of being raised alongside rich gold mines. He is the voice of resistance and fights for the future of those qualities of Marmato that are now necessary for those dependent on him–his newborn daughter and his aging, ill mother. He sees a dark future for his town if the people don’t rise up with him.

LAWRENCE

“They are going to take this whole mountain down. I have seen it before and it will happen here. This town is finished”, states Lawrence, a Canadian driller contracted by the Canadian mining company, as he gazes out over the valley below Marmato. His career as a diamond driller has spanned 35 years and has brought him to many developing nations. After spending several months in Marmato, Lawrence begins to feel a fondness for the locals that he has never experienced before. 

LUIS GONZAGA

Luis Gonzaga is Marmato’s Woody Guthrie - the classic troubadour that sings the folk consciousness of the town during a time of uncertainty and division. Over 15 years ago, he had a premonition that Marmato was going to end and his songs reflect the collective fear and division of the town now that his premonition is becoming a reality. He is our film’s narrator and his songs are the compass for what is happening and why.

THE TEAM

Mark Grieco

Director/Producer

Mark is an independent filmmaker and photojournalist interested in human rights and justice in the global economy. His first short documentary, RAZING TABACO examines the violent displacement of a peaceful Colombian village near the world’s largest open-pit coal mine. He has spent many years in Latin America producing photography and documentaries. He studied film production at New York University. MARMATO is his first feature documentary.

Mark Achbar

Executive Producer

Working for almost 30 years on films, videos and books, Achbar is known for MANUFACTURING CONSENT. The film was honored with 22 awards and distinctions. Achbar’s next film, THE CORPORATION, was nominated for numerous awards, and won the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, 2004. It holds the distinction of Canada's all-time, top-grossing feature documentary.

Peter Starr

Executive Producer

Starrʼs career has spanned over 28 years, 50 films, numerous awards including an Oscar® nomination and an Emmy nomination for HARDWOOD. Starr was nominated for Gemini Awards for DREAM TOWER, EAST SIDE SHOWDOWN , NO PLACE CALLED HOME and AFTERMATH: THE REMNANTS OF WAR. He co-produced MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (Genie for Best Feature Documentary and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award).

Stuart Reid

Producer

Stuart has nearly a decade of experience working for some of North America’s largest entertainment companies, including Alliance Atlantis, Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Stuart has produced for the National Geographic Channel, History Television and BBC Canada, to name a few. Stuart was a producer on Jason Buxton’s dramatic feature film BLACKBIRD, which won the Grand Prize this year at Cannes Ecrans Junior, the Claude Jutra Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, and Best First Canadian Feature at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

Todd Boekelheide

Composer

Todd Boekelheide started working in film in 1974 as a member of the staff at American Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppola’s production company in San Francisco. In 1976 he left to work as an assistant editor on Star Wars, and went on to edit picture and sound on The Black Stallion 2 years later. This film kindled an interest in film music, so he began music studies at Mills College in Oakland. As he began to develop his film scoring career, he also specialized as a rerecording mixer, and won an Oscar for mixing the music on Amadeus in 1984. He has scored several feature films, including Dim Sum and Nina Takes a Lover, and numerous documentaries, notably Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse and Ballets Russes. In 1999 he won an Emmy for his score for the documentary Kids of Survival: The Life and Art of Tim Rollins and the KOS. In 2007 he was nominated for an Emmy for his score for Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, and in 2010 he was nominated again, this time for the score for Blessed is the Match. 

Ricardo Acosta

Editor

Ricardo studied at the world-renowned Cuban Film Institute before immigrating to Canada in 1993. His outstanding work and keen sense of the human condition has contributed to the making of several award-winning and award-nominated films including: SHOOTING INDIANS, A JOURNEY WITH JEFFREY THOMAS (Genie Award Nomination for Best Short Documentary 1997); SPIRITS OF HAVANA (Genie Award Nomination for Best Documentary 2001); THE TAKE (Official selection Venice  Film Festival, 2004, Nominated Best Picture Editor – 20th Annual Gemini Awards); and HERMAN'S HOUSE. Ricardo was chosen to be a fellow by the Sundance Institute in 2006 and 2011 for the prestigious Documentary Film Editing and Story Lab.

Additional Producers 

Dan Green

Izabel Hoyos

Harry Swartz-Turfle

UPDATES

Stay tuned throughout the campaign for more rewards, updates and information!

Risks and challenges

We have overcome some unbelievable challenges over the course of 6 years making this film. We know more are coming and we are ready for them. Our greatest challenge right now is to complete this film and put the people and the town of Marmato on the map. We want audiences to walk into theaters, see the film, challenge their beliefs, and walk out knowing that the experience does not end there. The story goes on and the people of Marmato need this awareness to grow.

We are so close to achieving this dream. We will do everything in our power to tell this story how it deserves to be told and we promise to keep you in the loop as these challenges are overcome.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    11 backers

    Get the newsletter updates & the incredible feeling that comes from knowing that YOU helped make a difference.

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    Pledge $15 or more

    8 backers

    AN ORIGINAL GOLD NOTE POST-CARD, from artist Scott Murphy, with a personal thank you from Mark! Plus we'll thank you digitally and throughout our social media.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers

    AN ADVANCED DIGITAL STREAMING LINK OF THE FINISHED FILM + AN ORIGINAL GOLD NOTE POST-CARD, with a personal thank you from Mark!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    69 backers

    MUSIC!!! All of the cool stuff above - plus we'll send you a digital copy of our original score + A DVD OF THE FINISHED FILM SIGNED BY MARK! Plus we'll thank you digitally and in the film's credits!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    A BEAUTIFUL FILM PRINT - All of the above, PLUS an 8 X 10 print from the film - representing Mark's cinematography. Of course - we'll send our sincerest thanks, too!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    20 backers

    LIMITED EDITION SIGNED MOVIE POSTER. The talented team at Agency 71 Inc. has designed a powerful movie poster, signed by the director, Mark Grieco, plus everything included in a $50 pledge.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    9 backers

    GRAPHIC ARTWORK, SIGNED BY ARTIST SCOTT MURPHY! Your choice of one of two prints, exclusively available from artist Scott Murphy. Plus all of the above!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    CONSULTATION / DOC FIMMAKING WORKSHOP. We'd love to share with you all we've learned about grant-writing, trailer-making, cameras and gear, editing and getting an indepedent film off the ground. You've got us booked for 4-hours! Mark and one of the producers will give you feedback on your project, your script or treatment, as well as the inside scoop on writing proposals, and hard-earned advice on moving your project forward. Plus everything in the $100 reward!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    LOS ANGELES/TORONTO AREA ONLY - PRIVATE VIP SCREENING WITH Q & A! The director and producer will take you out to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants in the LA or Toronto area, then host an intimate screening for you and your friends! Everything in the $100 reward, we'll provide postcards for your guests, plus we'll host a Q & A afterwards. We can't thank you enough!!!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    LIMITED EDITION SIGNED ARTWORK from Colombian artist, viviana palacio! Printed on cotton paper, these are very special prints & ONLY 5 AVAILABLE! PLUS you get all of the great rewards from the $250 pledge.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    TICKETS TO OUR PREMIERE! Join us for the first time the world sees MARMATO! We'll send you links of all our cuts along the way - invite you to private Skype/Google hang-outs with the director and producers. You'll receive private newsletters. Massive thanks. And when the film is complete, two tickets to our world premiere festival screening! Plus everything above. (Travel and lodging not included)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    Pledge $5,000 or more
    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - Welcome to the team! We are thrilled to have you on board - and to honor your huge contribution to this film at a time when we need it most. A credit in the film's credit roll and in the billing block on our posters, web site and print materials. All the goodies above - plus a framed full-size movie poster (27 X 39) with your name & well-deserved "Associate-producer" credit.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    HONORARY CO-PRODUCER - Join the team! And we'll honor your huge contribution to this film with a very special credit in the film's credit roll - and in the billing block on our posters, web site and print materials. All the goodies above - plus a framed full-size movie poster (27 X 39) with your name & well-deserved "Co-producer" credit.

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Funding period

- (30 days)