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For 17 years there has been no explanation as to how my buddy Oscar Gomez died in Santa Barbara. This is my attempt to figure out why.

Oscar "Bandido" Gomez was a radio activist based out of the University of California, Davis who roamed the Golden State like the famous social bandits of a hundred years before.  He was a hero, a voice for human rights in the U.S. and abroad and exposed audiences to many struggles against injustice.  Oscar emerged as a citizen journalist with a loyal audience ranging from farm workers, neighborhood youth, activists, prison inmates, and college students. 

His weekly radio program, La Onda Chicana on KDVS FM began in the early 70's during the Chicano Movement- the socio-political movement that galvanized a new generation of Chicano civil rights advocates.  Oscar carried on the show's historic musical tradition until he quickly recognized the opportunity to develop it into more than just a Chicano music show. By educating and empowering the local community through the moniker "ritmo & resistencia" (rhythm & resistance), "Bandido" was born. It was while studying at UC Davis, Oscar's socio-political consciousness was developed during the political environment of the Quincentennial, NAFTA, Proposition 187 and the Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas, Mexico.  In those politically polarizing times, Oscar took the message of community self-determination, fighting against racism and for social injustice to larger audiences through La Onda Chicana, public protests and networking up and down the state. A typical weekend for Oscar could include attending a protest along the San Diego/Tijuana border, buying Oldies and Mexican music in East LA, waking up in  San Francisco to cover another protest and then back to Davis for his Sunday evening radio program and classes. 

WHY AM I TELLING THIS STORY?
Oscar was a personal friend of mine. We both left Southern California to continue our education in Northern California to pursue our goals of using media as a tool to reach, educate, communicate and connect with our community.  In 1994, sadly, Oscar's body was found on the shores of Santa Barbara.  The local police dismissed the case as an accident.  The more I studied the official recorded circumstances of his death, the more I realized it is filled with unsatisfactory explanations, unexplained conclusions and unanswered questions thus making the case of Oscar's death a perfect example of the type of injustice and oversight that Bandido himself would expose through the media.

Oscar's unexplained and tragic death silenced a voice of the Chicano Movement as well as a new generation of journalists.  Some to this day still have a difficult time discussing this time period, while others are uncomfortable by the mystery of Oscar’s death.  Radio Bandido is part of a healing process that has yet to happen between friends and families that were bonded by a common struggle and a connected to one person, our friend Oscar.  With the cooperation of Oscar’s friends and family, his voice is brought back to life and we are given an opportunity to reflect on his case and our world. This documentary needs to be finished now because, unfortunately, as time continues to pass us, I feel we move further away from the truth of that fatal night.

Creating Radio Bandido has allowed me to touch the lives of countless amounts of Oscar’s friends and family.  The film is full of many remembering him, the essence of his work, his being and his activism.  This documentary is not only a sincere heartfelt attempt to make clear the events of that night which led up to Oscar’s death but also shedding light on his journey from Baldwin Park to the unfortunate bluffs of Isla Vista, Santa Barbara.  Without fully comprehending the possibilities of what might have transpired that night and without fully appreciating the significance of the voice we all lost, we can’t possibly move forward.  Radio Bandido begins the process of moving in that direction.

Where will the funds go?
Currently, I am in the post-production phase and nearing completion.  Your support will help us finish this 5-year journey.  With funds in place, our Radio Bandido will benefit from working/consulting with a professional editor, an animator and graphics specialist who will help illustrate certain theories of how Oscar may have died.

Completion funds will also support the mastering of the final sound mix, color correction and help to clear music rights.  Backing Radio Bandido will ensure the project will have an original score, assist with marketing and promotional services, travel and entry fees to film festivals.  Though completing the project is a major goal of this campaign, it is equally just as important that we get Radio Bandido on the screen, into the classroom or onto your tablet.  All of these funds give us a fighting chance to achieve this.

Who's on board?
Just as Oscar was influential in many Latino communities throughout California, several people are ready to collaborate on Radio Bandido, including singer/composer Francisco Herrera, Artist John Leaños and Burning Wagon Productions, East L.A. band Los Bullets and graphics guru Sergio Torres  Every cent of your donated money will make its way into the completion of the film.  Every donation, no matter how large or small, will make a difference, and in turn will get Oscar’s story not only out into the world but give it a long life!

Yours truly,
-Pepe Urquijo & The Radio Bandido Team

FAQ

  • Currently, I am in the post-production phase and nearing completion. Your support will help us finish this 5-year journey. With funds in place, our Radio Bandido will benefit from working/consulting with a professional editor, an animator and graphics specialist who will help illustrate certain theories of how Oscar may have died.

    Completion funds will also support the mastering of the final sound mix, color correction and help to clear music rights. Backing Radio Bandido will ensure the project will have an original score, assist with marketing and promotional services, travel and entry fees to film festivals. Though completing the project is a major goal of this campaign, it is equally just as important that we get Radio Bandido on the screen, into the classroom or onto your tablet. All of these funds give us a fighting chance to achieve this.

    Last updated:
  • Just as Oscar was influential in many Latino communities throughout California, several people are ready to collaborate on Radio Bandido, including singer/composer Francisco Herrera, Artist John Leaños and Burning Wagon Productions, East L.A. band Los Bullets and graphics guru Sergio Torres Every cent of your donated money will make its way into the completion of the film. Every donation, no matter how large or small, will make a difference, and in turn will get Oscar’s story not only out into the world but give it a long life!

    Last updated:
  • 1.) The best way to get involved would be to donate to this project at a level that you feel comfortable giving. If the film is given a chance to be completed in a professional manner, the power of Oscar's story will have a new life in theaters and film festivals all over the world.
    Many folks would like to do fundraising on their own. Even though this is a good idea, the immediate fundraising effort should remain focused on this Kickstarter fundraising effort.

    2.) Spreading the word through friends and family is very helpful. Many Latinos do not have a strong history of giving large amounts of money by themselves, but we have a long and strong history of giving small amounts. Those small amounts together add up to large amounts. So give what you feel comfortable giving.

    3.) Donating your time and work is always helpful. Keep in mind that we are a small fundraising team, so we do not have the capacity to oversee volunteer projects that would take away from the main effort of creating a successful Kickstarter campaign. Any art work, videos, pictures, recordings can be shared either through the facebook, twitter, wordpress blog, or Kickstarter page.

    Last updated:
155
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$9,140
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    4 backers

    A supreme shout out on the Bandido Facebook Group page!

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    14 backers

    The above plus a nicely handwritten thank you note for your donation.

  • Pledge $20 or more
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    15 backers Limited (3 left of 18)

    A download of Radio Bandido. This is an exclusive offer for those who give between July 8th and 9th, 2011. This offer also includes all of the above.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    30 backers

    All of the above plus free downloads of mexhaTTan & El Panadero.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    13 backers Limited (47 left of 60)

    Limited reprint of the classic Aztlan Underground Xicano Power T-Shirt, revived especially for the Radio Bandido Campaign. Plus a digital download of Radio Bandido. (one dozen in each size S, M, L, XL, XXL)

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    9 backers Limited (491 left of 500)

    All of the above, plus a signed DVD copy of Fruits of Labor by filmmaker Pepe Urquijo.

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    4 backers Limited (46 left of 50)

    A limited addition Radio Bandido piñata designed by Isaías Rodriguez, a digital download of Radio Bandido, digital downloads of mexhaTTan & El Panadero, a handwritten thank you note, and a Supreme Shout Out on the Radio Bandido Facebook group site.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    0 backers

    This exclusive offer stands by itself until Saturday, July 31st, 2011 only through this Kickstarter campaign: - 1 hr. Q&A session for your classroom with filmmaker Pepe Urquijo via Skype or Live (travel costs not included) - Digital Download of Radio Bandido

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    25 backers

    All of the above plus signed copies of the whole Pepelicula catalog (Beca de Gilas, Fruit of Labor, Of Mexican Descent, and Algún Día)

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    2 backers

    All of the above, Vimeo access and feedback opportunities, a copy of the finished Radio Bandido, tickets to premiere screening in NYC (transportation not provided), and limited edition print by Jesus Baraza for Unsung, the soon to be released Pepelicula documentary shot in Jamaica.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    All of the above, a framed limited edition print by Jesus Baraza for Unsung, the soon to be released Pepelicula documentary shot in Jamaica and a rare limited edition cassette of La Onda Chicana radio show.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer

    All of the above plus IMDB credit as Associate Producer, a private screening for your class, group or family in the comfort of your own home or location of your choice with a one hour conversation with the director Pepe Urquijo in person or via Skype (all negotiable.)

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    All of the above plus one night accommodation in a chic NYC hotel, tickets to the premiere and Executive Producer credit (Does not include travel.)

Funding period

- (36 days)