About this project
Hooray for Dao!! Check out this great article: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2011/05/06/elephants-in-captivity-awareness-film-hits-its-goal-on-kickstarter/
A HUGE TRUMPET!!!! May 5th
Dear, dear, DEAR people, we hit our goal at 7:02 this morning!!! I am so moved and excited, I'm in tears. I've never tried anything like this before and had no idea whether it would work. And now we are on our way!!
We still have more days to go, and we are not shutting down! If we get more donations, the funds will go directly into helping the projects and elephants we meet in Asia -- and also towards editing our promo and getting the film off the ground. So... if you'd intended to donate and just hadn't quite gotten to it -- or if you've just learned about the project and are moved by Dao's story -- no worries! IT IS NOT TOO LATE! Your support will still be invaluable.
So... step right up and join the herd if you haven't already!!
With all my love and deepest thanks, xxxxxAllison
For those of you new to this page, please read on to learn about this important film and our dear Dao...
Twelve years ago I met an elephant named Pang Dao while filming in Bangkok. She was living in an abandoned lot under a highway. Each night she would beg for food on the streets with her mahouts. Pang Dao still had open wounds from decades of logging; she had a distant look in her eyes, as if long ago she had retreated to some place deep inside. Her past was blurry and her future tenuous…
“The Story of Dao” is a theatrical film based on the life of Pang Dao and hundreds of elephants like her. Captured from the wild as an infant, Dao is taken from her family. She is broken and pressed into human service, forced to leave behind all that she loves. The film spans Dao’s lifetime – over fifty years – from pristine jungle, through ancient temples, logging camps and a black market underworld. As her journey unfolds, the world around her shifts: the forests shrink, illegal logging and drug trafficking flourish, elephants beg on city streets and tradition erodes…until at last, a kinder attitude towards elephants begins to emerge. In the final chapter of her life, Dao finds safety in a forest sanctuary.
Like the beloved tale of Black Beauty, The Story of Dao will open hearts and minds to the plight of some of earth's most intelligent, sensitive and endangered creatures. While African elephants are listed as “Threatened” Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered.” Behind the dwindling numbers are hundreds of stories, and behind every statistic there is an individual…a breathing, sentient being who has witnessed the dizzying change. This is the story of one such elephant and her unforgettable journey.
From director Allison Argo
My films have won six Emmys and been broadcast throughout the world. Through 20+ years of making documentaries, I have witnessed the power of film to transform. I met Pang Dao, the inspiration for this story, while making my 1997 film The Urban Elephant w/ Nat Geo & PBS. The film went on to win two national Emmys (one for directing and one for producing)—but more importantly, it helped to shift the way we perceive elephants and improve the care they receive in captivity. With your help, we can raise awareness about elephants in Asia.
Please join us in the infancy of this project. The film proposal is complete, as are five chapters of a companion book -- but now I desperately need to scout. We are raising funds for a four-week scout in SE Asia. While there, I will research locations, story details, permits, budget, etc. Award-winning cameraman, Joe Pontecorvo, and sound recordist Nim will join me for part of the scout to shoot footage for a promo. Our travel budget is bare-bones, and we’re hoping to have enough funds to shoot for three weeks..
I hope you'll consider joining me on this labor of love. I know the film will be a significant one. In return for your support, I’ve tried to come up with worthwhile premiums—but if you can think of something you’d rather have--or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@ArgoFilms.com. If you're not interested in receiving a premium but want to contribute, that's great, too! If we exceed our Kickstarter goal, never fear: every penny will be used to breathe life into The Story of Dao!
We are almost there…but we still need your help!!! The funds that we raise will be used for travel in SE Asia, room & board while there, paying the crew and renting the camera gear. We are using frequent flier miles for our tickets, and I will not be taking a penny for myself.
While I’ve been busy raising funds and planning the shoot, Joe has been pulling together the gear. We’re super-excited that we’ll be able to shoot with the new SONY F3!! It’s a beautiful camera that will provide a wonderfully cinematic look. We feel that the F3 will do justice to the magnificent elephants we will be filming -- and if we’re lucky enough to find Pang Dao, she will be immortalized in a way that she deserves...!
Please join us and be part of this exciting project. A million thanks for your support! xAllison and the Dao team
Get the inside scoop...
If you'd like to see more of my work, please visit www.ArgoFilms.com You can also check out these clips on Vimeo:
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- (41 days)