We met our goal and we are now aiming for a stretch goal!
If we're fortunate enough to exceed our goal, it will extend the film's ability to impact change.
If we raise $5k over our $40k goal, we can fund another trip for Beto Marubo of the Javari to attend screenings or global advocacy events. This allows us to connect even more deeply with audiences and continues to grow his leadership capabilities as an advocate for his people.
If we raise another $5k over this, we will apply it to our education initiative to continue speaking with classrooms around the world.
Have you heard? Damien Rice's beautiful music will be part of Tribes on the Edge! Here's an exclusive new clip of the song and the film. Please contribute to the campaign to help make the film happen!
When Beto of the Marúbo tribe in the Brazilian Amazon reached out to me and asked me to help tell his people’s story, I had no idea where the journey would lead. 8 years later, this independent documentary is almost complete. I am now asking for your help to finish the film and get us back to the Amazon for a strategy meeting with the tribes of the Vale do Javari to propose and define tangible initiatives that support their community.
More than a narrative of tribal reality in the Amazon, Tribes on the Edge suggests the universal story of our human tribe and how our future is interwoven with each other and with nature. This is a story that invokes the critical importance of respect and care – for land, culture, and humanity.
I first went to the Amazon with my grandfather Jacques Cousteau when I was 9 years old. 25 years later, I returned to film a documentary and as part of our filming, we attended a gathering of the Indigenous Peoples of the Vale do Javari in the Brazilian Amazon. I returned home from that expedition - but the stories and reality of the people I met were a constant presence. The list of challenges was long and overwhelming: hepatitis rates said to be close to 50-80%, high incidence and reoccurrence of malaria, illegal extractions on their ancestral land, a government decreasing funding for proper governance and protection of Indigenous territories. And in Javari, there is the largest concentration of vulnerable uncontacted tribes in the entire Amazon - at risk because of an encroaching developing world.
The indigenous people Vale do Javari help protect an ecosystem that produces 20% of the oxygen WE ALL breathe every day. The film allows us to share their story far and wide - but it is also a catalyst for advocacy and action. The accompanying impact campaign has three initiatives: education, advocacy, and activism. We have already started with some components of education and advocacy, but we need to keep going. We want to continue to give the people of Vale do Javari support beyond the film - setting in motion tangible actions guided and governed by the tribes themselves. And long after our camera crews are gone, these actions will be a source of support.
The survival of Javari is symbolic of the survival of each one of us.
We live in a world threatened by global warming, fractured by crippling inequality and increasingly disconnected from each other and our environment. It is crucial we reconnect with people and land, that we awaken to the reality that we depend on each other, and understand that the Amazon and its inhabitants, as far away as they may feel, are crucial to our survival.
Indigenous people make up 4% of the earth’s population yet they protect 80% of its biodiversity on their ancestral lands. This biodiversity is the key to a healthy ecosystem and is an essential resource for the advancement of medicine, for us all.
In the Brazilian Amazon there is no deforestation on indigenous land - they are the guardians of an ecosystem that generates 20% of our global oxygen. WE ALL literally depend on the Amazon for our breath.
If you are concerned about the realities of global warming, the steady eradication of our indigenous cultures and the bureaucracy threatening human well-being, YOU can become a change-leader. This impact film not only tells a story to increase awareness, the impact campaign initiatives will directly benefit the tribes with projects determined and governed by them.
Tribes on the Edge is more than 90% completed, thanks to the support of multiple funding organizations and in great part individuals. But we need that final support.
With your help, we can finish the film and meet with Vale do Javari tribal leaders and NGOs to create tangible actions that support the indigenous people of the Javari.
Here's where your support will be spent:
25%: Musical score- Kahlil Gibran once said "Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” Our film's score is an essential component of our storytelling, tasked with imparting the themes of our story and bringing the audience into this important global issue. Our composer, Dean Grinsfelder has been nominated multiple times and received an Emmy, multiple Telly and Mobius Awards. But above that- he is pure talent and heart. A friend of the project, Dean has been adding the essential audible layer to the story.
25% Animation- We have a few key sequences of the film where details must be imparted via animation. Céline's story in Amazon dates back to the late 80s when she was barely 9 years old. To capture and bring to life the eyes-wide open perspective of a child, we enlisted the talent of creative director Nick Cogan (ad campaigns such as Peanuts and Ice Age) to oversee the various animations; from maps, to character sketches, to the animation scene we need to finish: Céline as child in the jungle.
50%: Kickstart our activism initiative. We need to make one more trip to the Vale do Javari to define the activism initiative with the guidance of the Javari tribes and in collaboration with NGOs and support of partners. With your help, we can make that trip to the Amazon for the strategy meeting and ultimately create projects and tools the indigenous leaders have identified as most helpful for their peoples' empowerment and well-being.
The impact campaign has 3 initiatives: education, advocacy, and activism. We're thrilled to have already launched our education initiative reaching over 2,500 students around the world. The advocacy initiative will focus on communication through NGO partnerships, screenings, distribution, conferences, press opportunities, and other events.
We started filming with a small National Geographic grant, received funding in Brazil through a government grant, but we mainly made it to this point because of the incredible generosity of our individual funders. We truly did this as an indie doc. We are thankful to our gear supporters: LowePro, Goal Zero, Keen, Klean Kanteen, SteriPen, Fiilex, Geigerrig, Edelkrone, Kessler, Small HD, Clif Bar, Serengeti.
We are aligning with non-profit organizations such as Amazon Watch and Tribal Link Foundation for various aspects of our impact campaign and will continue to grow this network. We will work closely with UNIVAJA, the representing organization for all the tribes of the Vale do Javari.
Tribes on the Edge is about reconnecting to the global human tribe and we understand that this includes a lot of different individuals and circumstances. This is why we hand selected rewards to cater to every budget, personality and lifestyle.
With our rewards, getting access to Tribes on the Edge can be as easy as clicking a download link or as exciting as meeting Céline Cousteau for a dinner and screening. The fun part is…YOU get to decide.
There are so many ways you can get involved! Here’s what we need:
Contributions. If you can, please back the Kickstarter. Every penny helps!
Personal shares. Tell your friends about us!
Organizational shares. Does your group have an email newsletter, a Facebook page, or a blog? It would mean a lot if you could share our link with your subscribers!
Rewards. It’s not too late to donate a reward that we can offer to potential backers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matching backers. Are you thinking of making a sizable contribution to our Kickstarter? Consider matching the donation of others within a given time period, up to a certain amount. Contact us to start the convo! Email email@example.com
Risks and challenges
Because the film is almost complete, the risk lies not in finishing the film but making sure we can launch the 'on the ground' efforts through our impact campaign. Our work does not end once the credits roll. Half the funds for this Kickstarter go toward a strategy meeting in the Amazon between indigenous leaders, NGOs and relevant partners so we can jointly create the impact campaign intended to give the people of Vale do Javari the necessary tools for their self-identified priorities and solutions. The bigger risk beyond this Kickstarter is the continued survival of the people who live in and the place known as Vale do Javari...The survival of people of the Vale do Javari cannot wait, they need aid now and they need if from all of us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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