UPDATE: 8 hours To Go ~ CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL AND REACH OUR STRETCHED GOAL?
YES ~ We can exceed the goal! The goal funds will cover the minimum development expenses of the film. If we reach our STRETCHED GOAL of $115,000 or more, the more empowered we are to cover further development costs. The more help we can get the sooner we will start pre-production. With your support YOANI The Film will continue spreading the global message of Yoani’s fight for human rights and freedom of speech in Cuba. YOANI's story needs to be told not only for Cubans but for citizens of the world. MASSIVE THANKS for your Wonderful Support!
WHO IS YOANI SÁNCHEZ?
Among the world’s most influential voices in social media, Yoani Sánchez uses her blog, GENERATION Y, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to inform the world about the oppressive conditions that Cubans endure every day. Her blog, her courage and her commitment to human rights and freedom of speech have created a massive groundswell of support from all around the world. GENERATION Y averages over 15 MILLION views per month and is translated into 17 LANGUAGES. Yoani has been kidnapped, beaten, threatened and lives under constant surveillance in Cuba for her apparent ‘crime’ – expressing her opinion. She’s a blogger, a Cuban, a mother and the Voice of a New Generation.
“I promised myself that I would live in Cuba as a free person and accept the consequences”. -Yoani Sánchez
“Sánchez provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba… empowering fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.”
-President Barack Obama
REALITY IN CUBA
Still today to have an internet connection at home in Cuba is illegal. In order to connect to the web, Cubans go to hotel business centers and pay half of their monthly salaries for 1 hour of internet connection. If they write or say ANYTHING critical of the regime, they often face physical violence, defamation campaigns against them, or being exiled.
*NOTE: The film is not a documentary. It's a motion picture based on Yoani Sánchez's true life events .
YOANI Is Not Just A Film
It's a Movement to create awareness and help bring powerful social transformation. We plan to use the film as a vehicle to reinforce a universal message: Regardless of where we are born, we all have basic rights as citizens of the world. The completion of the film will showcase the power of the Movement, its creativity, the courage to follow our dreams, and the empowerment of communities joining together as One.
HOW DID THE FILM PROJECT BEGIN?
I began developing this incredible project two and a half years ago. One morning reading the Italian newspaper I came across the news of a Cuban blogger who was kidnapped and beaten because of what she wrote in her blog. At first I couldn’t understand: “Why the violence against this woman?” I started researching who she was. I opened her blog, GENERATION Y to her first post of April 2007 and found myself reading one blog after another. Her writing is so descriptive, so poetic that the reader can feel the soul of the Cuban people, their humor, their courage, and the frustrations of their daily lives. I immediately read her book Havana Real and realized Yoani was creating a “Freedom Revolution”; she had become the VOICE of a NEW GENERATION. It became clear why there was so much violence against this courageous woman.
As an activist-filmmaker I felt compelled to produce a feature film about this important story that would portray Yoani’s heroism, humor, wit and love for Cuba.
We recently returned from Cuba where we spent 16 days going through the script structure with Yoani, her family members and friends. We also scouted locations and recorded essential footage for the film.
Now we are ready to share it with you!
WHY ARE WE REACHING OUT TO KICKSTARTER?
Thanks to the help of volunteers and supporters from all around the world Yoani’s voice has been spread and protected:
- Her blog has been translated into 17 languages.
- Phone cards have been donated, allowing her to Tweet.
- Followers have protected her blog from getting shut-down by Cuban government hackers.
- Supporters have traveled to Cuba and donated phones, computers, USB keys, technology magazines, and supplies that are still not accessible in Cuba today.
This community of supporters, these new friends have helped Yoani to “push the wall of violence and oppression” inside of Cuba. You, as the Kickstarter community can do the same by backing this film - you’ll be contributing to spreading the voice of freedom and democracy, of hope and courage.
We can't wait to show this film to the world!
WHERE WILL THE RAISED FUNDS GO?
So far we have stretched to invest our own funds to continue the research and development of the feature film. Now to KEEP US GOING FORWARD:
- We need to complete the screenplay with an “A-list” screenwriter.
- We are creating a sizzle reel that will capture the tone, style and essence of the film. (This will be used to attract financiers and obtain distribution pre-sales -- a necessary component in independent films).
- Shooting footage for the sizzle reel.
- Editing of the sizzle reel.
- 2nd trip to Cuba for the writer and producer to continue the ongoing research/screenwriting with Yoani.
- Hiring a social media expert for the film’s campaign on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and various other marketing outlets.
We have the people, we have the skill, we just need that extra push to keep us going forward. We cannot make this film without you and the incredible collaboration of many extraordinary and talented individuals.
CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL AND RAISE THE FULL BUDGET OF THE FILM?
Yes, yes, yes! The goal funds will cover the development expenses of the film. The more funds we raise the more empowered we are and the closer we get to our ultimate goal - the film's theatrical release. The film’s budget is 2.9 Million USD. The more help we can get the sooner we will start production. With your support YOANI, the film will continue spreading the global message of Yoani’s fight for human rights and freedom of speech in Cuba.
SHARE this CAMPAIGN and JOIN the MOVEMENT!
Come join this adventure! Join for whatever you can. Together we are creating a project that may indeed become film history. YOU will have made it happen. Whether you end up with a soft t-shirt or an invitation to a special preview screening, you'll know that without you, this film never would have been made.
We need your help to spread the word and reach our goal! SHARE it with fans, tell friends, co-workers, classmates and family! Or simply post the Kickstarter link with a note to friends via email or other social media. And of course, keep checking here for more updates! Here are links you can easily share and like:
We want to inspire the world with YOANI’S universal message and we need your support. Take part of the journey with us. Join 'The Movement', not only as an audience but as an Activist!
Thank You - Muchas Gracias!
Your Support means the world to us.
- Open View Productions Team
Risks and challenges
We are determined to make this film. In order to remain true to the story we need to make this film independently. Often times when films are financed by a major studio the core message gets lost while trying to satisfy the opinions of various studio executives. The challenge involved in making an independent film with the quality and commercial appeal of a big studio picture is to supply the filmmakers with the necessary funds to create an extraordinary cross-over film.
This film is about courage, joining forces creatively, following your dream, making it a reality and not just a hope. With your help we can make this film happen!
- (50 days)