UPDATE: Thank you so much for helping us hit the £5k mark and making sure our project will be funded!!
But... please don't stop now! Any additional pledges will help us make our film even better and you can be a part of it. Our main aim was simply to raise enough money to make the film - working to a very tight budget and time-frame to make the best possible documentary we could. Anything over and above £5k will allow us to reach a larger audience and dream a little bigger. If we can raise £2,000 beyond our target, here's what we will spend the extra money on:
Post-production: professional sound editing and grading will allow us to make a film suitable for TV and multi-platform viewing. This is an expensive process but can make a big difference in improving how the film communicates a sense of place and engages the audience.
Marketing and Distribution: In order to reach the widest audience possible, we need a marketing budget to promote the film to festivals and other distribution partners.
All funds raised will go towards helping tell the Batwa's story in the best possible way and to the biggest audience we can. Please help us if you can!
All of the Rewards will continue to be given to each of our Backers!
What is the Batwa Project?
The Batwa Project will be a short documentary film about the mountain gorillas of Southern Uganda and the ancient Batwa tribe who lived in the forest for thousands of years.
A guided tour to see endangered Mountain Gorillas is one of THE most iconic wildlife experiences on the planet. Gorilla tourism is big business. It accounts for more than 50% of the wildlife tourism revenue in Uganda where roughly half the remaining 880 global Mountain Gorillas are based. Sharing these Ugandan forests with the Gorillas were a tribe of ancient pygmies, known as the ‘Batwa’ people.
In 1992, life for the Batwa people changed forever. National Parks and a World Heritage Site were created to protect the Gorillas. The Batwa people were evicted from the forests without compensation. Since then, Gorilla numbers have been steadily rising but life outside their spiritual home has been a struggle for the Batwa.
The film will explore the Batwa’s relationship with the gorillas - one they have developed over thousands of years of close contact. We intend to investigate issues surrounding their exclusion from the conservation process, and also identify the efforts now being made to redress the balance between this community and global eco-tourism.
We intend to travel to Uganda to live with and film the Batwa and Gorilla Tourism communities. We aim to uncover the story of how this ancient tribe of people have adapted to losing their indigenous home.
Why are we on Kickstarter?
We believe that the story about the Batwa should be told and we need your help to make the documentary and share a little known but inextricably-linked side to gorilla conservation.
The Guardian newspaper will be distributing our film on their website and we are also considering distributing it via various film festivals. However, the Guardian does not have a big budget for documentary filmmaking and we therefore need your help to raise funds to make this project happen!
We are hoping to raise £5,000 which will go towards:
- Equipment hire - we need high quality audio equipment suitable for work within an equatorial rainforest. We also need to supplement our camera gear with adequate lenses for wildlife filming. - £500
- Interpreters and translation - £750
- Local guides/logistics and support - £2000 (Government imposed permits to access the National Parks are £400 per person).
- Travel - Flights for the crew = £2100
Funding from our Kickstarter campaign will allow us to make sure the story of the Batwa is told and shared with people across the world.
- sharing insider news,
- high quality prints, posters, photo Books and large framed photos of the best images from our trip.
- Shiny DVDs and digital downloads of our film.
- Personal workshops and presentations from our team to share all we’ve learnt during this documentary film project. (For our international backers at this level we'll be sharing a comprehensive E-book of all we've learnt and can offer online workshops and presentations).
How can you help?
Fund the film and become a part of the project! You will be helping to make a unique film and by sharing the story of the Batwa you will help to ensure that they are given a voice and become a partner in gorilla conservation, rather than a victim.
To say thank you for your support we have a range of fantastic rewards so that you can feel a part of the project.
Tell everyone you know!
Please spread the word and tell everyone you know about our Kickstarter campaign. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and with friends, family and colleagues. Thank you so much for your support!
The team behind the project
Director Rupert Shanks is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who works in the Scottish Highlands. He makes travel videos and has worked for the Guardian, CNN and the Sunday Times. Check out his website to find out more: http://www.rupertshanks.com/
Jocie Cox is a London based filmmaker and editor. She travels to shoot music and festival events across the globe. http://jociecox.com/
Producer Rory Maclean works for Channel4 Television.
Rory Trust worked as a journalist for the Press Association, Evening Standard and News International. He now works as a lawyer in Bristol.
Want to know more about the Batwa?
What happens if we don’t hit the target?If we don’t hit the £5,000 target by 12 March 2014, then you will not be charged a penny. That's just the way Kickstarter works, it's all or nothing!
Risks and challenges
We are travelling and filming in remote parts of Uganda and the situation can change rapidly. For this reason we have built up a local network of fantastic contacts and relationships with many people out there.
The crew have a great deal of experience making short adventure travel films, television and video documentaries in some very challenging environments. The Guardian's commitment to distribution has given us some amazing access to people who are keen to be involved. However, we need the funds to make the project a reality!
- (21 days)