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Through miniature puppets, we follow the lives of the Cicadas as they come out of the ground for the party at the end of their lives.
Through miniature puppets, we follow the lives of the Cicadas as they come out of the ground for the party at the end of their lives.
1,097 backers pledged $74,272 to help bring this project to life.

Sept 17th - Cicada Princess completed.. Happy Birthday!

Dear kickstarter friends,

Exciting news: As of yesterday, we officially wrapped post production on Cicada Princess and successfully submitted it for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival. We will find out the outcome of the submission on December 3rd, please cross fingers, toes, and wings. Please download hires images of the ones in this update here and here.

About four months back, I had met with the folks at the San Francisco Film Society and they had recommended that we try and submit for Sundance by September. I noticed the final cutoff was Sept.17th and decided then and there that I would do anything and everything possible to get the film out in time. That date is of particular importance to me as it marks the four year anniversary since someone really important to me was taken in a violent act in the San Francisco suburbs. If my life was a sheet of glass, when it hit the floor that day it shattered into thousands of pieces.

That event has shaped my life very much so since then: I went through a very dark period of self-discovery, I questioned the origins of violent acts, the choices people make, and all the mechanisms that allow periods of deep suffering to occur. Unable to draw a conclusion I simply set forth on the course of living in balance in the hopes that folks around me would bubble up and together we would at the least apply positive pressure to the things immediately around us. I'm not sure what I can do to make the world better, but I have a pretty good idea of what I can do to make it worse. This has been the motivation behind my work, I thought I would take the time and explain it finally:

If I could build bridges I would, but mine would likely fail (I'm not good with math).
If I could be a diplomat I would, but I can be kind of an ass so chances are I would start more wars and just make people angry.
So I make pictures, I take in what life gave me and I filter it out. I put love in the images, I see them as gifts and I dote over every detail as if I was making a pie for my very very best of friends.

Cicada has been a long journey for me, over the course of two and a half years I've spent every dollar I've ever made, sold everything I've had, lost most of my hair, lost friends, dodged thugs, got beat up, slept under benches, was homeless, found new friends, learned to trust, learned to ask for help, learned to paint... 

This last month was absolutely crazy with the post schedule but very touching: we had crews working from Ireland, Louisiana, New York, and the Bay Area. We were entrenched at Atomic Fiction, it was really moving to see folks with day jobs coming in and working night shifts on Cicada so we could make our submission. It came out beautiful and I literally cannot wait to start shipping out copies of the film.

What's next?

There are a few minor fixes in the picture and sound that we are doing before committing to the run of DVDs. Princess Dolls are being made at Fonco, I have been too busy this past month to start sending out the surveys but I promise to start that up finally. By the way thank you for the folks who picked up extra dolls. We received about $4k in donations last month, it really helped out.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off and rode my bike to the Berkeley campus. I laid on the grass where my friend and I used to eat peanut butter sandwiches and make fun of students, I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of bugs and kids in the distance. I was joined later by my very best friend, her and I had a classy dinner of fries and wine. Later we fell asleep playing scrabble on my mattress. It actually felt like it was my birthday, something I hadn't felt in a long time.

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    1. Susan V Brewer on

      I am so excited that the film is finished. Congratulations to everyone involved! I am sure the film will be a wonderful success at Sundance.

    2. Rebecca Jackrel & Will Burrard-Lucas on

      Congratulations!! Fingers crossed for Sundance! I can't wait to see the film - the stills are absolutely gorgeous!!

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      Kenton Aemmerson on

      How wonderful that after all the perseverance, hard-work and sweat! I wish you the best of Luck at Sundance. Thank you for your creativity and your stick-to-it-tiveness.
      I am glad I was able to support you on this project.

    4. Thierry on

      Loved your comment.
      Funny from how deep and sad our work energy comes from.

      Thanks for beeing part of Cicida. I feel like a princess....

    5. Michelle Gallagher on

      Congratulations on completion of the film and for not only surviving the struggles and challenges that came along the way, but for keeping it all in perspective and moving forward. Best wishes for a successful run. I am greatly looking forward to seeing this movie, and proud to have supported your project in a small way.

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      Vish Kumar on

      Congratulations Mauchi...I am really happy for you as I know since I have known you Cicada has been a part of you. I wish you all the best...Hope to see you soon, can't wait to see it.

    7. Andrew Fry on

      Wonderful. I am happy that you were able to continue to move forward and bring this film to life. Everything presented so far has been delightful and I am excited to view the final product and wish you a very successful Sundance premiere.

    8. PushStart Productions on

      Congratulations, Mauchi! Good luck with all your submissions, your festival run, and getting it out there! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    9. Christopher Barnes on

      You seem like a very honest and inspired individual and thereby, via this film project, have inspired me moreso in my own film endeavors. I have a project that is ready for principal photography that has been languishing on the shelf and this is just the pick-me-up I need to push forward with wrapping things up. I am confident this film will be winning awards left and right!

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      Melanie Hansen on

      I am thrilled. My husband and I met during the summer of the 17-year cicadas in 1990 in Illinois.

      Cicadas are wonderful. My husband has passed away but I still love the nightsong of the little bug(ger)s.

      Good luck--I can't wait!

      Melanie Hansen

    11. Michael Dialynas on

      Thats Great! cant wait to see this film and put my Bridge Cicada on my shelf :D

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      Laurel Huber on

      Congratulations - I like your philosophy. You have to do what you were meant to do - your hard work will show up in the beauty of the film. I can't wait to see it and I hope miracles happen at Sundance (but not to worry, they already have)!

    13. Christina Tassell on

      Like Christine I am soooo excited that the film has finally been finished. It touched my heart from the very beginning! Good luck at the film festival.

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      Lilith Rogers on

      Very wonderful that you MADE IT! I'm sure it will do great at Sundance.


    15. Christine Peterson Mackstaller on

      I am so excited for you! There is so much that is raw emotion and beauty about this project that has touched me from the beginning. I am SO excited to see the film. Thank you for your update, thank you for opening this project up to so many people. Its energy is palpable!

    16. Ann Marie Hodrick on

      I'm so very honored to be a part of your project. If only more people would heal their wounds with creativity this world would be a zillion times better place. Thank you for being you :) Looking forward to seeing the film!

    17. Jody Lemke on

      We all wish you luck and peace with the outcome of this beautiful film. Thank-you for letting us all be a small part of the process, and hopefully of the healing as well.

    18. Susan Ator on

      It is amazing you could make something so beautiful out of so much pain. My hat is off to you. You've done something wonderful.

    19. Laurie McConnell on

      Congratulations and Thank you, everyone has already stated so elegantly the emotions that you conjured just from this update, I cannot imagine what the film will be like...I live in Salt Lake City, so Sundance is just a 30 minute drive away and I will be buying tickets for this film! Good luck and again congrats. Laurie

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      Mary Sutherland on

      Mauricio, Thank you for letting us be involved, it has been a pleasure and an honour to have been involved in your epic Cicadas project, even in a very small way. Congratulations on making your deadline, good luck with Sundance. My daughter will be so excited to see the DVD when it comes (as will I). I love this funding idea, hope and joy to artists everywhere! All the best for your future, Mary.

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      Austin J. Austin on

      Dear Mauchi, First, CONGRATULATIONS to you and your team and the cicadas on the making of and completion of CICADA PRINCESS!!! WOW!! This is amazing to think that the movie will be touching even more lives incredibly soon. Sundance is going to love Cicada Princess. Period. Secondly, thank you so much for the moving, touching update. Clearly, your life has been in service to this uncommonly excellent and peaceful vision, and it shows. Lots of love! Austin

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      Teika Newton on

      Mauricio, congrats on seeing this beautiful project through to completion. I am honored to have had a chance to help you bring it to life. My kids, who were very small when this started, are now old enough to appreciate the transcendent, elegant grace in this film. We very much look forward to watching the entire piece, and wish you much luck at Sundance and beyond. Much love, Teika

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      Nick O on

      Wow, it almost doesn't matter to me if the movie is great or not - just watching this project unfold through your eyes has already left me over-flowing. But I am guessing the movie will be pretty great too :) Sincerest thanks for everything you have shared and best of luck with Sundance.

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      Tian Mu on

      Congrats, Mauricio! Wow, your latest update nearly moved me to tears... I think that should be your next movie- the making of Cicada Princess! I can't wait to see this magical film since it's a labor of love and I'm sure it'll be the darling of Sundance!

      All my best, TM

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      deej on

      DUDE -- Your profound message upon completing this labor of love brought tears to my eyes. From what you've let us see, you've created a beautiful masterpiece. Congratulations and thank you for the inspiration my friend. Much Aloha, dj

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      Liz O'Brien on

      Dear Mauricio, it has been an absolute privilege to make a small contribution to this beautiful piece of art and to read the unfolding story of its creation. The sentiments you have shared today have given it an even more impressive weight and value. You ARE making the world a better place - through your art, through your own story and the evidence of that is the global community you have built to bring us Cicada Princess.
      In Australia, the cicadas are emerging from underground and on the 16th September I heard the first calls of the season - a very fitting herald for the completion of your film. Thank you so much for making my life richer and for your contribution to the world. I know I will love the film.
      best wishes, Liz

    27. Frank Bango on

      Congratulations!!! Beautiful work and words.

    28. Matthew Kinman on

      What a joyous day, congratulations to all involved. Goodluck little Cicadas, I hope you bring Sundance to it's knees with emotion and you are all rewarded for you dedication and unending passion to see this project through.

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      Orlando Baiocchi on

      Congratulations! Well done and profound words to wrap it up.

    30. Jim Kirk

      Congratulations! Every image is so beautiful, I can hardly wait to see the complete film. Truly a work of love & passion.

    31. John Vincent Valeroso Andres on

      These stills are gorgeous. Thank you for letting is share in your journey. I can't wait to see the film.