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A documentary celebrating the lifeways of the HAIDA. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 10, 2012.

A documentary celebrating the lifeways of the HAIDA.

About this project

We are proud to share that Survival Prayer will have its world premiere at the Camden International Film Festival at the end of September 2012!

Many people have come together to support this project from its inception. After all this laboring of love, this is our opportunity to launch Survival Prayer. We are raising funds to prepare for exhibition and pursue a successful launch to the world -- see below!

The Canadian Premiere will be at the Vancouver International Film Festival in early October 2012!


Survival Prayer is a journey to the edge of the world. Following individual food harvesters as they gather and prepare for the winter, the film celebrates the modern lifeways of a remote indigenous community and bears witness to a profound relationship between individuals and the land that sustains them.

The story takes place in Haida Gwaii, an archipelago drifting off the northwestern edge of the North American continent. Formerly known as the Queen Charlottes, Haida Gwaii’s diverse geography supports an unusual abundance of animal and vegetable life that has sustained its inhabitants for countless generations.

In the past century, commercial logging, over-fishing, and invasive species have compromised the availability of traditionally harvested foods and threatened the long-term viability of these practices. Compounding this ecological damage is the imminent extinction of the Haida language and loss of traditional knowledge.

Naanii Mary Swanson, a last speaker, frames this portrait of age-old traditions at risk. Against the spectacular scenery of the North Pacific coastline, her ancient words set the tone for detailed views of modern life, in which the labor of survival — cutting seaweed fronds, pulling salmon from nets, plucking young spruce tips — speaks to timeless rhythms that still retain strands of sacred ritual.

With scenes that favor the authority of silent acts and a rich visual vocabulary, Survival Prayer vividly illuminates the points at which nature and culture join to sustain human life.

An intimate ethnographic reflection, this meditative encounter with the Haida people’s traditional food systems reveals poignant possibility amid deep loss.

View the TRAILER and visit our WEBSITE

What the funds support and make possible:

  • Final audio mix
  • Final color grading
  • Masters (HDCam tapes for exhibition)
  • Festival travel
  • Website design and coding
  • Poster design and printing
  • Press kit materials
  • Outreach
  • Office Supplies and Postage

Survival Prayer is one of ten films selected to participate in IFPs 2012 Documentary Filmmaker Labs, and will be showcased at the Independent Film Week in mid-September in New York City.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    4 backers

    A Thank You on the SURVIVAL PRAYER website! (completed in September 2012)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    39 backers

    A signed first edition DVD of SURVIVAL PRAYER, plus a Thank You on the website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    13 backers Limited (17 left of 30)

    The limited edition Soundtrack by Michael Beharie, signed first edition DVD, and Thank You on the website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    Stand alone reward: 60-minute massage by Christina Wienhold in her office in Bellingham, WA.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    14 backers Limited (26 left of 40)

    The signed DVD, the Soundtrack, PLUS a postcard sent to you from the premiere with a personal note from the director Benjamin Greené and original drawing from editor P. Corwin Lamm.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers Limited (11 left of 15)

    The signed DVD, Soundtrack, Postcard, AND a signed copy of the limited edition film poster.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    4 backers

    The above, plus Associate Producer credit in the film, and verbal recognition at the premiere.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (26 days)