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Amazonian communities living on the edge of the zone of legal contact have invited a team to tell their story and explore their views.
The Manú Project features the hidden stories of Peruvian Amazonian natives, struggling to save their culture as Manu Park restrictions pressure them to abandon everything.
The Manú Project features the hidden stories of Peruvian Amazonian natives, struggling to save their culture as Manu Park restrictions pressure them to abandon everything.
150 backers pledged $15,124 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Uncontacted Project: A Short Film about the Amazon

$15,124

150


THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT
 will follow the journey of six team members as they travel more than 300 miles through the Peruvian Amazon to document the lives of tribal communities living an experience that is vastly different from the world we know. The month-long journey will take us through the restricted area of Manu National Park, a legally protected zone of pristine Amazonian rainforest, and one of the last truly wild places on Earth. 

One of the many young faces of the Amazon.
One of the many young faces of the Amazon.

We want to make something clear:  

We are NOT planning to make first contact with any uncontacted tribes.

We ARE planning to document the lives of Native Communities established along the border of the uncontacted zone. By allowing the people in this transitional region to tell their story through their own words, we plan to shine a light on one of the most unique places on Earth. Their contact with the outside world is at times sporadic, relatively new, and often precarious. The project will ask: What does "our" society look like, from the outside looking in? How is the growing presence of modern technology affecting the lives of people in this region, who are just beginning to transition to a state of connectivity with the rest of the world? 

On April 1st, we'll set out for 30 days to visit these Amazonian communities who have invited us in to share their experiences, their voices, and their values.

To make THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT a reality, we've decided to engage in a collective effort between those who will benefit from learning more about this important issue. 

Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. So we're raising $14,800 in the next 30 days. Anything less, and we're back to the drawing board (and all funds will return to our donors). Any excess funds will be greatly appreciated and will go toward making this the best possible project it can be.

From each and every one of us, thank you.  We hope you'll join us and pledge now!

Para nuestros amigos quienes hablan español:

 Querido amigos del proyecto THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT

Antes de comenzar, vamos a aclarar algo:

NO estamos aquí para hacer contacto con las tribus indígenas de no contacto.

Como equipo, SI estamos aquí para traer luz sobre uno de los lugares más singulares de nuestro planeta - ¿cómo aparenta "nuestra" civilización, si se mira desde el exterior mirando hacia adentro? Y ¿cómo se afecta la vida de estas comunidades nativas, que están haciendo la transición a un estado hacia la conectividad con el resto del mundo?

Así que el primero de Abril, vamos a proponernos llevar a cabo esta misión. Durante 30 días vamos a estar viajando a través de la Amazona Peruana para visitar comunidades nativas que nos han ya invitado - para caminar en sus zapatos, poder escuchar sus historias, su voz y representar sus valores.

Para hacer realidad el proyecto de THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT, hemos decido crear una campaña en la única fuente que mejor encarna la identidad de este proyecto - un esfuerzo colectivo entre humanos - Kickstarter.

Para aquéllos que son nuevos en Kickstarter, esta campaña funciona que tenemos todo ó nada. Estamos recaudando $14,800 en 30 días. Cualquier cantidad menos como meta , al llegar al fin de los 30 días, regresamos al comienzo (todos los fondos regresan a los donantes) - lo perdemos todo. Llegamos a nuestra meta , y llegamos al oro - hacemos lo que sea para crear el mejor proyecto posible.

De todos y cada uno de nosotros, gracias. Esperamos que te unas a nuestro proyecto. Done HOY!

A Matsigenka tribal woman from our scouting trip last year.
A Matsigenka tribal woman from our scouting trip last year.

The final film for THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT will be a 60 minute film diving deep into the heart of the Amazon, the lives of these individuals, and their reflections on our own society and its impact on their lives.  We'll be traveling by foot, canoe and off-road vehicles to meet these very special individuals.

THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT photo book will contain a selection of the best work from our expedition, allowing the reader to see the journey through the eyes of our newly emerging and internationally published photographers.

Photos are from previous scouting trips to the region.  Photo by Kevin Floerke.
Photos are from previous scouting trips to the region. Photo by Kevin Floerke.

Our team hails from Puerto Rico, Perú, and North America and consists of a conservationist (Brett Garner), a filmmaker (Kyle McBurnie), a journalist (Shelby Johnson), an anthropologist (Kevin Floerke), a photojournalist (Lina Collado) and a local Peruvian conservationist/guide (Dante - see 'Our Game Changer').

Port Atalaya, Manu National Park - One of our stops to reach the communities
Port Atalaya, Manu National Park - One of our stops to reach the communities

Our game-changer, Dante, was born in Cusco, Perú and has dedicated his life to protecting the delicate ecosystem of the upper Madre de Dios River. Dante was instrumental in the creation of the nonprofit private reserve, Amaru Mayú Ecological Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, which has protected over 1,000 acres from illegal logging, mining and agriculture (a first of its kind effort for the area). Currently, Dante operates as an official guide specializing in the Manu region and continues to manage the Amaru Mayú project. Click here if you wish to learn more about Dante and Amaru Mayú. 

With over 20 years in the Amazon, Dante has acquired invaluable connections, and gained the trust and friendship of Native Communities we will visit in the area. Thanks to Dante we have received invitations from multiple villages deep inside the restricted zone of Manu National Park. He will act as our local guide, our translator and a crucial team member. 

Dante Karín Núñez del Prado Santander
Dante Karín Núñez del Prado Santander

*In-country expedition budget includes: transportation, gas, generators, food, lodging & guides - it's no small feat trekking 300 miles into the Amazon.

Total funds required : $26,400

We have already received $11,600 in personal donations. With a successful Kickstarter we will make this happen.

All we need now is your support.

We ran a scouting trip in July 2015 and acquired our connections.

Everything shifts into high gear once we reach our Kickstarter goal!

One of our signed & accepted invitations:

Yomibato Tribal Community Approved Invitation
Yomibato Tribal Community Approved Invitation

After our return from the expedition in the end of April, we hope to keep our momentum moving to impact a broader audience.  After cutting and producing the documentary, we plan to submit The Uncontacted Project to several film festivals (Jackson Hole, Telluride and Banff Film Festival, among others). 

We will also be showcasing this film and the photos in schools for high school students, faculty and parents in order to connect them to this important region. We have already secured a presentation for one school in Jackson, WY, and are continuously seeking out new schools at which to present our story. We hope this widespread outreach will lead to an increase in support for conserving what is left of the Amazon rain forest and the people, both contacted and uncontacted, from within.

Check out our new reward from Supporting Partner Lifestraw!
We now have Lifestraw Go water bottles available as a reward, which comes with a sticker and a digital copy of the film.  Lifestraw filters make contaminated water safe to drink - and we'll be trusting them for our hydration needs deep in the Amazon.  Learn more here.

Pledge now and join THE UNCONTACTED PROJECT

Rewards range from shout-outs to T-shirts and getting to actually visit Dante in his one-of-a-kind nature reserve, we hope you'll enjoy our rewards. Our limited-edition photo book will be signed by our artists and will include limited edition photos and content not available online.

We are most excited about the CURIOUSITY reward.  Come up with an amazing question and we might even include it in our final documentary! 

Shout-outs will be given as donations come in.  All other rewards will take 4-5 months after our return to arrive:

The Uncontacted Project T-shirt and Sticker
The Uncontacted Project T-shirt and Sticker
Mountain Khakis and Fractured Atlas (our 501c3 Fiscal Sponsor)
Mountain Khakis and Fractured Atlas (our 501c3 Fiscal Sponsor)

To learn more about the project, click here to go to our website and read more in depth about our team, our philosophy, our goals and keep up to date with our blog!

Risks and challenges

The Amazon is a place known for its challenges, including high waters, mudslides, and many other general complications that come with operating in a rainforest.
This is a big project and we may encounter possible weather delays - there's only so much anyone can plan for when venturing into the Amazon. But with Dante as our seasoned expedition leader we're confident we'll be able to adapt to anything we come up against.

Most importantly, we are committed to open communication. Our backers will be the first to know if anything comes along that may affect our timeline. Our team is committed to being forthright and transparent should any problems or delays occur along the way. We are committed to doing our very best to make sure this project happens on the presented timeline. We are all in this together!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    - JUNGLE FLOOR -
    Behind the scenes for your eyes only. We'll send you a personal Snapchat from the Amazon!

    Plus some love on our Facebook page.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    - SAPLING -
    Get our awesome 'The Uncontacted Project' sticker AND watch the digital download of the completed feature film.
    Plus your online thanks!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    For BackerClub Project's Members ONLY - Special Reward.

    Watch the awesome digital download of the completed feature film.
    Plus your online thanks!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    -48hr last minute reward -

    Support to receive a LifeStraw Go bottle (limited quantities)! Get the bottle that gives you safe drinking water on the go - refill it in a river, stream, or even a puddle!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    - LifeStraw Reward -
    Support to receive a LifeStraw Go bottle (limited quantities)! Get the bottle that gives you safe drinking water on the go - refill it in a river, stream, or even a puddle!

    PLUS The Uncontacted Project sticker + digital download of the film (will be sent once released in Sept).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    - GROWTH -
    Receive a hardcopy DVD AND a 10-pack of 'The Uncontacted Project' downloadable wallpaper images of photos taken during the journey.
    And of course get our sticker and online thanks!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    - SUB-CANOPY -
    T-Shirt & a limited edition print!
    Receive ONE limited edition 8x10 print taken during the filming of The Uncontacted Project and our project shirt.
    Plus the GROWTH level.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    - CURIOSITY -
    Get a glimpse into their lives.
    We’ll take your question with us into the Peruvian Amazon, and pose it to one of the tribe members. We’ll record their response and send you their answers. We’ll be using our discretion here to deem whether your question is appropriate.

    If your question is great and the answer greater, it might even appear in the final film!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    - CANOPY -
    Your name in the credits!
    Plus THREE limited edition 8x10 prints.
    And you still get the GROWTH level and your shirt.

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    Pledge $330 or more About $330

    - VISIONS -
    See it through the eyes of our photographers. Receive a first round print of the limited edition Uncontacted Project photo book. This book offers the full photo-journalist perspective through the eyes of our award-winning photographers and will feature their very best images. Signed by all team members.
    (After the project we will produce more editions)
    Plus your T-shirt and the GROWTH level.

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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    - CONNECTIVITY -
    Here’s your opportunity to meet us! We’ll arrange a Skype call after we’re back so you can ask us any questions - and we mean anything. How the expedition went, stories we omitted from the film, how we got started as photographers and film-makers, what we’re brewing next… we’ll try to answer them all.
    Plus the VISIONS level (so you get your beautiful photobook).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    - EMERGENTS -
    Become an Associate Producer and receive two tickets to attend the premier screening of The Uncontacted Project in Jackson, WY (Travel and Accommodations not included, location subject to change).
    Plus your VISIONS package.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,700 or more About $1,700

    - THE RAINFOREST -
    It's like we brought you with us.
    Get a digital download of our MAP - our actual plotted route through the dense Amazon rainforest, complete with unreleased behind-the-scenes footage at specific locations.
    Plus Associate Producer (of course!) and receive the EMERGENTS level.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    - THE EXEC -
    We love you. Become an Executive Producer for The Uncontacted Project and be touted proudly as such by our team and film.
    And don't forget you receive the MAP, our limited edition photobook, and all previous rewards.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,800 or more About $4,800

    - UNCONTACTED -
    Get off the grid. Dante is amazing and has offered a two-person package for six days in his volunteer-based conservation headquarters called, Amaru Mayu on the border of Manu National Park in the Amazon. From there you will visit the community of Matsiguenka, and some primary jungle areas along the Madre de Dios river. Work alongside Dante to get to really see the Amazon. Check out more about Amaru Mayú here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epj-3syctFE

    PLUS Executive Producer credit and all previous rewards.

    No blackout dates. Includes travel in and outside the jungle (depart from Cusco). Does not include transportation to/from Perú.

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Funding period

- (30 days)