Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 9, 2013.

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Every six seconds, a child dies of malnutrition. This film shows how Harvard students are saving thousands of children in Uganda.

THE PITCH!

HI Kickstarters--

I'm Karen Day, 50% of TRUE STORY MEDIA and 100%  humanitarian journalist, author and filmmaker. From Afghanistan with imprisoned women to Dharmsala with the Dalai Lama, I've produced and written compelling stories for the LA TIMES, NBC and The Pentagon. But enough about me--as this KICKSTARTER  is not about me or my partner, Andy Lawless, who has also traveled the world making films that tell important stories. (For more information go to www.truestorymedia.tv)

THIS KICKSTARTER IS ABOUT our latest film

                 FROM THE GROUND UP

FOUR YEARS AGO,  a group of Harvard Students had an outrageous idea. They wanted to end world hunger. Crazy-right? How could a few volunteers on a miniscule budget succeed where 600 billion dollars in international aid has failed to save the world's starving children? Impossible-yes? No-- at least not in the brilliant minds and huge hearts of the  students who went to rural Uganda and against all odds, created  a successful, sustainable and replicable model for saving thousands of children's lives. How did they do this?

FROM THE GROUND UP documents the  amazing story of the students' Initiative To End Childhood Malnutrition (IECM) and explores how simple, innovative micro-empowerment projects can solve the global problem of world hunger.

Harvard student weighing in a malnourished child
Harvard student weighing in a malnourished child

We traveled to Uganda three times in 2012, documenting the heartbreak and triumphs of the villagers, the students, the medical staff and the INCREDIBLE SURPRISE OF THE SUCCESS of the program. Yes, children have died of malnutrition, but more than 5000 have been saved because of the ingenious efforts of these university students. And their success is growing—literally, in gardens, all over Southwestern Uganda.

This film is not about promoting hope or another charitable cause in Africa. FROM THE GROUND UP explores difficult questions and answers about preventable deaths of children around the world.

With the funds from this KICKSTARTER, it's our goal to edit 100 hours of footage into 43 minutes that shows a clear and realistic landscape of why the IECM project is uniquely sustainable and replicable. The college student’s dedication and the project’s success are not exaggerated, but rather the film tells a story of micro-empowerment that mirrors the analysis and conclusions of world-renowned experts interviewed in the film. 

The film also asks some profound questions of viewers and the international aid industry.

 Why is there no demand for accountability in regards to 600 billion dollars of African aid? What about the proven liabilities of local governmental corruption? Is international aid actually an institutionalized political tool of developed nations costumed as charity?

Most importantly, the film asks and answers the greatest humanitarian question facing each one of us:

     Can one person make a difference in a world with so much need?

FROM THE GROUND UP shows the answer is

                               YES! 

The end of childhood malnutrition and starvation is possible through accountability, transparency, compassion and the dedicated cooperation of humanity and international stakeholders.

It's an important message and that why we're asking for your help to finish this film!

IECM helped this mother, and thousands more, keep her children alive!
IECM helped this mother, and thousands more, keep her children alive!

FROM THE GROUND UP continues to be a low-budget documentary with extensive audience appeal and profound intentions. Like the Harvard students, we’ve worked hundreds of unpaid hours to bring this story to the screen. We already ready enough to get us to this final edit BUT ....

The $25,000 raised from this Kickstarter is imperative to finish the film!

And if we (thankfully, miraculously) raise more than 25K with your generosity--the extra funds will  give us the necessary funding to market the film and enter it in the documentary category of major film festivals around the world. So remember--

BY SUPPORTING OUR KICKSTARTER, YOU ARE HELPING SHARE THIS INSPIRING TRUE STORY!

Thanks for your support!

NOW FOR THE REWARDS!

People tend to lean in very close to me when I ask if they'd like to be in the business. Here's your chance to be producer at a myriad of levels and get rewarded too!

You'll even have the chance to go to Harvard -albeit for one night--Thursday, May 9th, 2013 for the RED CARPET PREMIERE

If you're going into the movie business with us at the $250 level and above you'll have the chance to choose one or ALL of these signed professional photographs by the filmmaker. Make your choice when you pledge and we'll do the rest! Each of these one-of-a-kind prints tells a beautful story fit for framing!

Beauty in India
Beauty in India
Afghan Burkas
Afghan Burkas
Sub-Saharan Dance
Sub-Saharan Dance
Your Very Own Dalai
Your Very Own Dalai

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FROM THE GROUND UP is my 11th documentary film and my 4th with Andy, who has worked on more feature films than I've had time to watch. Still, there are ALWAYS daunting challenges to creating a great documentary. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling a bit nauseous when Andy and I first enter the editing suite to begin the challenging process of culling together the 100 plus hours of footage into a cohesive and engaging 43 minute film. It's a bit like chipping away at a block of marble until you reveal Michaelangelo's David. We know the story is in there, but in the end, we must rely on artisitc vision and skill to bring all of the elements together to tell it well. And let's don't forget the daily pitfalls, like failed harddrives, music licensing denials, color resolution and audio nightmares...etc. Good news is that we're dedicated to telling this story no matter what the degree of difficulty. One way or another, this film WILL be finished in 2013! Thanks for your time and consideration, and of course, your contribution!

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    10 backers

    First- A BIG THANK YOU for helping us make the final edits on this film! For a ten spot, you get a good karma photo postcard from the filmmakers (framable!) AND we'll make you semi- famous by listing your name IN THE FILM CREDITS and on our website: www.truestorymedia.tv.

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    12 backers

    You're in the movie business now and we're glad to have you on our crew! You get the good karma postcard, film production credit- as well as a filmmaker-signed DVD of FROM THE GROUND UP --OR--this reward will buy you a General Seating ticket to the HARVARD RED CARPET PREMIERE. Your name will appear on film to doubters who insist you have never even been to Hollywood OR Africa !

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    1 backer Limited (99 left of 100)

    This reward rocks and so do you even if you CAN'T ATTEND the RED CARPET PREMIERE! You'll receive all the above-the email, credit, our signed DVD --PLUS receive a package of 4 custom-made note cards of the prints -suitable for framing or gorgeous snail mail!

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    6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)

    We couldn't do this film without you! Therefore, you'll get that good karma postcard from us testifying our thankfulness. Of course, you'll also get the production swag and signed DVD, AND a ticket to the Red Carpet Movie Premiere at Harvard on May 9th!

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    7 backers Limited (43 left of 50)

    This donation makes you an integral part of the operating crew! You get the karma, the film credit, a signed DVD- AND--the chance to meet the filmmakers and student stars of the show at the RED CARPET PREMIERE. PLUS--even If you can't make it on May 9th, you'll also receive written "Thanks" from a student in the IECM program and a package of 8 custom-made photographic notecards .

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    3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)

    You're an invaluable production partner at this level. You'll receive everything promised above--as well as an invitation to a private post-premiere party with the filmmakers, stars and some "really" smart professors - the rock stars of Harvard. Even if you can't attend the show, you will still get all the goodies listed above-AND we'll send you your choice of one of our gorgeous global 8 x 10 signed photographs - it will be difficult to choose from those displayed in the KICKSTARTER text. Therefore-maybe you should jump to the next level and get TWO prints!

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    A film can't get made without a post-production producer - and that's you! You'll receive everything above, PLUS your name will be one of only 10 listed in this category in the film credits. And please--choose your TWO favorite signed 8 x10 photographs!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    A thousand Thank Yous!! Welcome to the Associate Producers short list! Maybe you don't think of yourself as Steven Speilberg just yet, but we do and your name will be displayed as prominantly on our film credits. You'll receive EVERYTHING listed above PLUS a Boston lunch or a personal SKYPE call with the filmmakers. Trust us, we have some incredible stories to share from the front lines! Choose THREE of the signed 8x10 prints or ONE 16x20 print from around the world. Imagine the Dalai Lama in your living room!

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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Being a full-fledged Producer makes you one of the game changers in the movie making process. The message of the movie is clear - A GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN STOP CHILDREN FROM DYING OF MALNUTRITION! To "Thank You" for puttting your money and faith into this film and it's message, you'll get everything listed--PLUS a singular spotlight on your name in the credits AND a private lunch with the filmmakers and student leaders of IECM. You will also receive all FOUR signed 8 x10 photographs or TWO 16 x 20 prints ready for framing!

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    An Executive Producer is the hub of the movie making universe. Without you, the cast and crew and post-production specialists can't do their job. With this level of participation, you'll receive your own credit in the film and the confidence of knowing your contribution is insuring the world will see HOW the international aid paradigm can be more effective - one child at a time. Your rewards are ALL of the above AND an invitation to attend a compatible international film festival premiere of FROM THE GROUND UP with the filmmakers. Sorry, we can't pay your way to Sundance or Sun Valley, but we can assure you entrance and panache to all the private parties! Your FOUR beautiful, signed photographic prints will be 16x20s!

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Funding period

- (30 days)