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As satellite TV signals bombard the Guatemalan highlands, Maya magic confronts the myths and rituals of American consumer culture.
As satellite TV signals bombard the Guatemalan highlands, Maya magic confronts the myths and rituals of American consumer culture.
163 backers pledged $16,874 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$16,874

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Four years in the making, and just in time for 2012, this documentary has wrapped production and been honed to an exciting ninety minute fine cut. Your finishing funds will allow us to perfect it and bring it to the public. They'll go toward historic archival footage and music licenses, legal counsel for our "fair use" footage, a final score and voice over narration, special effects, and a professional color correction and sound mix. They'll also allow us to make one last trip to Guatemala to tie up some loose ends and share the movie with the community that helped create it.

ROBIN BLOTNICK (WRITER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR)

A freelance editor of everything from anarchist propaganda to celebrity home movies, Robin's first documentary, the short Chocolate Country, received a Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival and the five minute version was a winner in LinkTV’s ViewChange competition. It is used as a teaching tool by educators and Fair Trade advocates around the world. He is currently a video journalist in the Occupy Wall Street media working group. Gods and Kings is his feature length debut.

RACHEL LEARS (WRITER/PRODUCER) 

Rachel Lears is a filmmaker, musician and writer, and holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from New York University. Her first feature documentary, Birds of Passage (Aves de paso; 2010) was supported by the Uruguayan Film Institute (ICAU) and Fulbright IIE. The film toured Uruguay sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and will be broadcast nationally in a number of South American countries in 2012. Rachel's doctoral research on music, visual culture, and politics in Uruguay has been supported by grants from Fulbright-Hays and the Mellon Foundation/ American Council of Learned Societies.

ELYSE NEIMAN (PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHER)

Elyse Neiman has distinguished herself as show producer, supervising producer, story producer, shooter/producer and field producer on television shows like Made, My Super Sweet 16 and on MTV's acclaimed documentary series True Life. She recently received an Emmy for her episode "True Life: I’m Deaf."

CARL WOOLEY (CINEMATOGRAPHER)

A filmmaker, cinematographer and still photographer, Carl Wooley's directorial debut, Cotton Candy was a finalist in the 2005 Akira Kurosawa Short Film Festival in Tokyo. In 2008, he was commissioned by FOAM (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) to photograph Amsterdam at night, a project that was exhibited for three months in Amsterdam's City Archives. His latest photographic series, "In the Rose Garden", is profiled in the New Yorker's Photo Booth.

RYAN BLOTNICK (SCORE COMPOSER)

Guitarist/composer Ryan Blotnick has been called "a vital contemporary voice" by Time Out New York, and "an authentic, compelling player" by Cadence Magazine. Deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, but always listening for new sounds and trends, Ryan has released two albums of original music on Songlines records. Gods and Kings is his first feature film score.

JOSH WEISS (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / STILL PHOTOGRAPHER)

From 2007 to 2008, Josh Weiss lived in Guatemala and fell in love with the people and culture there.  Returning to Los Angeles in 2007, he began to aim his lens at those throwing and participating in Los Angeles' underground music scene. He has documented music scenes in Guatemala, Colombia and California. When not taking pictures, you can find him DJing as DJ GOZAR.

ANAÏS ALEXANDRA TEKERIAN (NARRATOR)

An actress, singer and playwright, Anaïs has performed at La Mama, HERE, and as part of the Invisible City Theater Company and Theatre in the Flesh. She's a founding member of Zulal, an Armenian a cappella folk trio, which has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Space, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, along with performances for Cirque du Soleil and The Silk Road Project.

A full list of the great crew that helped create this film can be found here.

This film has been made possible through the onscreen and offscreen contributions of several writers and scholars - especially RHONDA TAUBE, MAURY HUTCHESON and GARRETT COOK, who have helped develop its ideas from the very beginning. Even more essential was the kind cooperation of the dancers, daykeepers and townspeople of Momostenango, Guatemala. We owe them a tremendous debt for their hospitality and wisdom.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A 1.75" round "Gods and Kings" button. Pin to your label and start conversations everywhere you go.

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    One high quality download of the completed film. (Note: does not include the special features that come with the DVD)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Reward #1, plus a special edition early release of the DVD - including scenes it broke our hearts to delete, an interview with cultural theorist Sut Jhally, and a deeper look at Maya festival dances.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    All of the above, plus a dramatic "Gods and Kings" poster.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The button, the DVD, and a stylish "Gods and Kings" tote bag.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Rewards #1 and #2, plus a special mention in the end credits

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The DVD, a mention in the credits, and one traditional wooden dance mask, hand carved and painted by artisans who collaborated in the film.

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

    The DVD, a mention in the credits, and a fiberglass “Disfraz” mask, handmade by artisans who collaborated in the film. Unlike the folk dance masks, this new style is virtually unknown outside Guatemala!

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Rewards #1-5, plus a special screening at your school or organization, with director Q&A*

    *Fine Print: 2 months notice required for scheduling. Travel expenses not included outside North America.

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

    Rewards #1-4, a dance mask of your choice (traditional or Disfraz style), and an Executive Producer credit. Basically you'll be our new best friend.

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Funding period

- (40 days)