I am trying to raise funds to complete my second documentary, 'Volunteer.' The goal of 'Volunteer' is to raise awareness about the importance of environmental volunteering, and to inspire people to take their own cross-continental conservation journeys.
The great news is that my distributor from my first documentary, Cactus Three Films, has expressed interest in taking 'Volunteer' to various channels for consideration, including PBS, Sundance, and HBO. Unfortunately, it's the kind of interest that doesn't come with a cash advance, so in order for 'Volunteer' to have a chance to be seen by a worldwide audience, I need the help of generous Kickstarter backers! My aim is to have the film done by March 2011. That gives me just 6 months to complete editing, sound mixing, and scoring the film.
'Volunteer' is currently being assembled by the talented documentary editor Amy Enser, whose award-winning work has been shown on PBS’s POV series. Thus far, I have paid for the production of 'Volunteer' from in-kind donations and profits from selling my first documentary for broadcast.. but donations from Kickstarter would be immensely helpful in pushing forward on editing and scoring the film! For more about the film, check out the synopsis below, and the film's Facebook page where you can become a fan:
I believe passionately in 'Volunteer,' but I won’t be able to complete the journey without your support. In return, beyond receiving my heartfelt gratitude, I'm offering goodies like photo stills from film shoots, on-screen thanks and credit, and invitations to private screenings of the film.
After stumbling across a sea turtle conservation program while on a trip in Costa Rica, filmmaker and travel enthusiast Mariah Wilson was inspired to embark on her own environmental adventure. In 2009, she set out on a volunteering voyage to two programs on opposite sides of the world: one focused on endangered and threatened animals in Uganda, the other on coral reefs and oceans in Fiji. Not knowing what she might find, she decided to bring a camera along and make a volunteering video diary of her experience in order to inspire others to make their own cross-continental conservation excursions.
In Africa, she spent two weeks living in a Ugandan wildlife sanctuary that cares for exotic and endangered animals that have been rescued from poaching, illegal trading, and human-animal conflict. The day-to-day at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center ranged from cleaning part of a cow carcass out of lion’s cage to being chastised by a cheeky baboon… but amidst all this she saw firsthand the urgent need for halting the trade in exotic animals and endangered species products around the globe, before we lose these magnificent creatures forever.
In Fiji, known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world,’ Mariah was trained on how to perform underwater diving surveys to assess the health and biodiversity of coral reefs in the South Pacific. But despite being a fairly seasoned scuba diver, she quickly discovered that surveying the exotic waters off of Vanua Levu wasn’t nearly as easy at it seemed…
Follow along as Mariah learns how to drink Kava in a remote Fijian village… and what to do during a tsunami warning. Watch her approach an angry 15-foot python, tickle a chimpanzee, and have her teeth cleaned while 70 feet under water. And discover how everyone, for the price of a plane ticket, can affect global change… even if just a little bit at a time.
'Volunteer' is about one person’s journey to try and do something more for the world’s most vulnerable habitats and species while satisfying her insatiable urge to explore. From the shores of Lake Victoria to the reefs of the South Pacific, 'Volunteer' will document a global journey to see the biodiversity of the world that is worth fighting for, and those who do the fighting every day.
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