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A documentary about two circuses in remote corners of the Canadian Arctic and West Africa that are turning the world on its head.
A documentary about two circuses in remote corners of the Canadian Arctic and West Africa that are turning the world on its head.
170 backers pledged $27,455 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$27,455

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Acrobats Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura met in Montreal’s acclaimed Cirque Eloize. They hail from distant parts of the globe—Guillaume from an Inuit village called Igloolik in the Canadian Arctic, Yamoussa from the Guinean city of Conakry. Yet they share a common dream, which is to revitalize their struggling communities through the power of performance. Both Igloolik and Conakry are reeling from a legacy of colonialism that has decimated their cultures and caused desperate social problems: Drugs, apathy and suicide in the Arctic, wretched poverty and massive unemployment in Guinea. Their response to the hardships was to found circuses – Guillaume created Artcirq, Yamoussa started Kalabante.

Artcirq performers
Artcirq performers

Kalabante performers
Kalabante performers

BIG TOP WITHOUT BORDERS is a film of great beauty. It will be told through vérité footage of charismatic characters, and feature riveting circus performances and interviews shot on location. The crowded, colorful markets of Africa will contrast with the frozen, isolated Arctic tundra. Yet the story unfolds amidst great social and political turmoil in both communities. Visiting one another in their respective
 countries, the performers see how that despite their differences, they are
 mirror images of one another. Both are reclaiming their heritage through art and tradition. They begin to see themselves as
 empowered participants rather than victims, determined to build better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

BIG TOP WITHOUT BORDERS has important and timely global implications. It shows how 
the ripple effects of colonialism still resonate across the developing 
world today, including the tragic consequences of youth suicide, 
joblessness, and hopelessness. It reflects the profound sense of 
disorientation resulting from globalization and the lure of mass
 culture from the “South” for the Inuit, and the “North” for the
 Africans.

We are raising money to go back to the Arctic and Guinea one last time and to pay for post-production services so we can share this extraordinary story with the world.

REWARDS

Michele McDonald Photography

Children in Cape Dorset

Flight to the Arctic

Inuit Child

Resolute Bay

Sara Gray photography: http://www.saragray.com/

Winter Landscape
Winter Landscape
Alaskan Malamute Kennicott, Alaska
Alaskan Malamute Kennicott, Alaska
Red Clouds at Sunset- Herring Cove Beach Provincetown, MA
Red Clouds at Sunset- Herring Cove Beach Provincetown, MA
Canoe on Caspian Lake Greensboro, VT
Canoe on Caspian Lake Greensboro, VT
Roses ­ Monte Antico Tuscany, Italy
Roses ­ Monte Antico Tuscany, Italy
Piazza Maggiore ­ Bologna Emilia-Romagna, Itlay
Piazza Maggiore ­ Bologna Emilia-Romagna, Itlay

Risks and challenges

This entire project has been a challenge, but a rewarding challenge. Listen to our Kickstarter video to hear about the ups and downs of the project thus far.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Virtual high five from us!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital download of film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Dvd copy of the film "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison"by Northern Light Productions. A digital download of our film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Big Top Without Borders T-Shirt; beautifully designed production map showing you where we filmed; DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A mystery novel about the Arctic by acclaimed Australian journalist Melanie McGrath (title TBA); A signed Arctic photo by Michele McDonald; Big Top Without Borders T-Shirt; production map; DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A CD of ArtCirq music; BTWB movie poster; Three signed Arctic photos by award-winning Boston photojournalist Michele McDonald; BTWB T-shirt; production map; DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits. (see photos at the bottom of the page)

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    A djembe drum; A CD of ArtCirq music; BTWB movie poster; Three signed Arctic photos by award-winning Boston photojournalist Michele McDonald; BTWB T-shirt; production map; DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits. (see photos at the bottom of the page)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Two tickets to the premiere of BTWB (travel costs not included); a djembe drum; A CD of ArtCirq music; BTWB movie poster; Three signed Arctic photos by award-winning Boston photojournalist Michele McDonald; BTWB T-shirt; production map; DVD copy of the film and your name in the credits. (see photos at the bottom of the page)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    A private tour of the Pucker Gallery in Boston's Back Bay, conducted by owner Bernie Pucker, with a focus on the Inuit collection (travel costs not included); Dinner with the filmmakers (travel costs not included); associate producer credit; photograph taken by acclaimed Maine-based nature photographer Sara Gray; two tickets to the premiere of BTWB (travel costs not included); a djembe drum; A CD of ArtCirq music; BTWB movie poster; Three signed Arctic photos by award-winning Boston photojournalist Michele McDonald; BTWB T-shirt; production map; and a DVD copy of the film. (see photos at the bottom of the page)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    An original Inuit sculpture valued at $2,000 from the Pucker Gallery in Boston; producer credit; dinner with the filmmakers (travel costs not included); two tickets to the premiere of BTWB (travel costs not included); photograph taken by acclaimed Maine-based nature photographer Sara Gray; a djembe drum; a CD of ArtCirq music; BTWB movie poster; Three signed Arctic photos by award-winning Boston photojournalist Michele McDonald; BTWB T-shirt; and a DVD copy of the film. (see photos at the bottom of the page)

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Funding period

- (30 days)