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Help us finish our documentary about Cuba's drag-racing community and their quest to hold the first official race since the Revolution. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 3, 2014.

Help us finish our documentary about Cuba's drag-racing community and their quest to hold the first official race since the Revolution.

About this project

LAST DAY!!!

After reaching our goal a few days ago, we've managed to surpass it by 112%! Thanks to all who kept giving. Each extra dollar will be used to license songs from some of Cuba's best musicians for our soundtrack. If you haven't donated yet, you still have until midnight tonight to do so!

WE DID IT!

WOW! WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL AND NOW HAVE ENOUGH FUNDS TO FINISH OUR FILM!! THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. IT MEANS THE WORLD TO US!!

FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T DONATED YET, IT'S STILL NOT TOO LATE. FROM NOW UNTIL SATURDAY, EVERY DOLLAR WE RAISE WILL GO TOWARDS LICENSING THE BEST CUBAN SONGS WE CAN AFFORD FOR OUR SOUNDTRACK. THANKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY DONATED, WE CAN NOW LICENSE OUR FAVORITE SONG OF THE FILM, "LA MAQUINARIA," FROM ONE OF CUBA'S BIGGEST BANDS, LOS VAN VAN. CHECK IT OUT BELOW.

2 DAYS LEFT!

Campaign Updates:

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Dear friends and fans of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB,

Thanks for visiting our Kickstarter page! For the past two and a half years, I've been directing and producing a documentary about Cuban drag racers. Through the experiences of these racers, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB explores the prohibition of racing after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, why the ban was recently lifted, and how challenging the process of holding the race becomes for the organizers. It sheds light on modern life in Cuba and how Cuban society is constantly evolving. This project has been a long labor of love, and I'm happy to announce that we are months away from completing the film. We are now looking to raise $52,250 for final finishing costs, music, sound design, and licensing so that we can launch the film into festivals and distribution.

For those of you who are new to Kickstarter, it works as a funding platform for creative projects and is driven by an all-or-nothing modus. If we don’t raise our goal of $52,250 in 31 days, we lose everything, and no money changes hands. If we do reach our goal, the film will come out in 2014 or early 2015. 31 days go by very fast. If you can, please pledge TODAY – it will help us build crucial momentum. 

During our campaign and beyond, we will keep you updated on the progress of the film, and we welcome any feedback and comments. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK, JOIN our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you very much for helping us cross the finish line!

Warm wishes,

Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt

Director/Producer of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB

www.havanamotorclub.com

Carlos, one of our racers, in his '56 Thunderbird.
Carlos, one of our racers, in his '56 Thunderbird.

THE FILM

HAVANA MOTOR CLUB is a character-driven story about Cuba's underground drag-racing community and their quest to hold Cuba's first official car race since the Revolution. It tackles how Cuba’s recent reforms — the owning of property, allowance of small businesses, and greater exchange between Cubans, Cuban Americans, tourists, and other foreigners — have affected the lives of these racers and their families. One racer enlists the help of a Cuban American patron in Miami to bring in parts for his modern Porsche. His main competitor is a renowned mechanic who uses ingenuity rather than resources to soup up his '56 Chevy Bel Air. Another racer ponders whether he will participate in the race or sell his motor — one that he recovered on the ocean floor from a sunken speed boat used to smuggle Cubans off the island — in order to leave Cuba on a raft headed to Florida. Through the eyes of these racers and their vibrant community, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB explores how Cuba is changing today.

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Director / Producer Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt with Cinematographer / Producer Zelmira Gainza
Director / Producer Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt with Cinematographer / Producer Zelmira Gainza

HOW HAVANA MOTOR CLUB STARTED

I've been involved with various film projects in Cuba for over five years now. While working on a documentary in Havana several years ago, I attended a classic car event where they announced that Cuba was going to have the first official car race since the Revolution. I decided to make a documentary that would capture this historic event.

The project seemed simple at first: for six weeks, I would follow several of Cuba's top drag racers as they prepared their cars for the race. Three days before the race, however, the Pope announced his visit to Cuba, and the race got suspended because governmental authorities claimed they needed all the barricades in Cuba (including the ones that were to be used for the race) for the Papal Mass. 

The race organizers told us that the race would be rescheduled for a few weeks later, so we waited and kept filming with our racers, their families, and their community. After many more postponements for many various reasons, we ended up waiting almost a year for the race to be rescheduled. Even then it was unclear whether the race would actually happen. It was like we were WAITING FOR GODOT.

While all these postponements made great drama for our film and shed light on modern life in Cuba, it added an enormous cost to our budget. My crew and I ended up having to take several more trips to Havana over the course of two years, which resulted in much more footage than we had originally anticipated.

Additional Cinematographer / Editor Armando Croda and Sound Recordist / Additional Editor Lindsey Cordero
Additional Cinematographer / Editor Armando Croda and Sound Recordist / Additional Editor Lindsey Cordero

OUR GOAL

We are now in the final stages of the edit, and at a pivotal stage in bringing this film to completion! We are so close to the finish line, but in order to cross it, we need to raise $52,250. Please consider donating ANY AMOUNT to our campaign, and in return, we're offering a lot of great rewards.

Co-Producer Marcel Piedra and Associate Producer / Sound Recordist Jeremy Sorgen
Co-Producer Marcel Piedra and Associate Producer / Sound Recordist Jeremy Sorgen

PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

We are grateful to already have financial support from our executive producers at IMPACT PARTNERS (Producers of THE COVE and HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE) and GLOSS STUDIO (Producers of DIANA VREELAND, THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL), as well as from GOPRO CAMERAS and THE JEROME FOUNDATION.

We've also had institutional support from THE SUNDANCE INSTITUTE, THE INDEPENDENT FILM LAB, THE CENTER FOR CUBAN STUDIES, and THE HAVANA FILM FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK. 

We recently partnered up with the MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL who screened a series of selected clips from HAVANA MOTOR CLUB in early March. Both VARIETY MAGAZINE and THE MIAMI HERALD called the screening one of the highlights of the festival. 

These organizations have all brought us to the final stage of the edit, but now we need your help to finish it!

HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT US?

  • Make a pledge today via Kickstarter. Any contribution, no matter how small or large, will make a difference. And all contributions will be rewarded! Please check out the donation tiers to your right to find the level and gift that’s right for you.
  • Spread the word by telling your friends, family and social networks about our film and this Kickstarter campaign. Please send the URL of this page with a heartfelt endorsement to everyone you know! "Like" and Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, by email or blog. Encourage people to follow us. We can be found online here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & www.havanamotorclub.com
  • If you have other ideas how to help, please contact us at info@havanamotorclub.com!

TAX DEDUCTIONS

If you donate $200 or more and would rather have your donation be tax deductible, you may choose to opt-out of a reward and donate through our fiscal sponsor, Meteor Films, Inc. It's exactly the same process as a regular donation, but instead of a reward, you get a tax deduction.

Those who donate $200 and above will also be acknowledged in the film with the following credits:

$200 and above: THANKS in the credits

$500 and above: SPECIAL THANKS in the credits

$5000 and above: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit

$10,000 and above:  CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit

Have questions about your donation? Check the FAQ below!

OUR TEAM

Director, Producer, EditorBENT-JORGEN PERLMUTT co-directed and edited DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2012).  He directed and produced LUMO (POV, 2007), a documentary that won a Student Academy Award and was broadcast on PBS.  He served as the co-producer and additional editor of CONTROL ROOM (Magnolia Pictures, 2004), and the associate editor of VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR (Acolyte Films, 2008).  He wrote, directed and produced LES VULNERABLES (Perlmutt Productions, 2007), the closing night short of the New York FF and a grand jury prize-winner at AFI Dallas. He also edited and field-produced MAN V. VOLCANO (Market Road Films, 2011) for National Geographic Explorer.

Producer, Cinematographer ZELMIRA GAINZA recently shot OKAY BREATHE AURALEE  (Sundance 2012) and BURN TO SEND (Nestor Almendros Award for Excellence in Cinematography 2012).  She served as director/writer/producer on THE POOL (Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay NYU First Run Festival 2011, National Board of Review Student Award.)  She has shot films in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Burma, Argentina, Vietnam, Cuba and Abu Dhabi. She is currently based in New York.

Editor, Additional CinematographerARMANDO CRODA is the co-director, cinematographer and editor of FIRMES, MEXICANS IN THE BRONX (2013) a documentary made for Nat Geo Latino about a group of undocumented immigrants who have left the gang life and formed a Lowrider car club in the Bronx. He was the co-director, Cinematographer and Editor of the documentary LOS COJOLITES, A LOOK INTO SON JAROCHO MUSIC (2014) for Canal 22 International in Mexico.  He also completed the feature film, VICTORIO as Co-Director and Editor, which was awarded the Opera Prima at the Guanajuato Film Festival, and screened in various festivals in Europe and Latin America, including Valencia, Huelva, St. Petersburg, Havana and selected for the Human Right competition in Bilbao festival.

Editor - JULIO C. PEREZ IV lives and works in Los Angeles, editing narrative and documentary features, but lately he's been poking his nose around New York as well. Some of his film editing credits include THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (2010 SXSW; 2010 Cannes Film Festival), SOMETHING REAL AND GOOD, and THIS IS MARTIN BONNER (Best of Next Audience Award Winner, 2013 Sundance Film Festival; 2014 Independent Spirit John Cassavettes Award Winner), MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS (addtl. editing; Official Selection 2013 Tribeca Film Festival), and DOIR AND I (Official Selection 2014 Tribeca Film Festival). He is currently in post-production on David Robert Mitchell’s next film, IT FOLLOWS. Julio has twice been invited to edit at the Sundance Institute Director's Lab (2012 & 2013) and loves to wander around forests, deserts, and cities.

Sound Recordist, Additional EditorLINDSEY CORDERO is the co-director, sound recordist and editor of FIRMES, MEXICANS IN THE BRONX (2013), a documentary for Nat Geo Latino about a group of undocumented immigrants who have left the gang life and formed a Lowrider car club in the Bronx. She was also co-director, location sound recordist and editor of the documentary LOS COJOLITES, A LOOK INTO SON JAROCHO MUSIC (2014) for Canal 22 International in Mexico.  Lindsey is former assistant to the Latin American Program Manager in the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian / Smithsonian Institution in Lower Manhattan and is currently a candidate in the Integrated Media Arts MFA program at Hunter College. 

Co-ProducerLAURA DUARTE GOMEZ graduated from Northeastern University in 2011and then moved to New York to be the assistant to the director of DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2012). Since then she has also worked as a translator for WASHINGTON HEIGHTS (MTV, 2013), and as a production assistant for THE WINO CROSSING (2014). She is currently pursuing her master's degree in Media Studies at The New School.

Assistant Editor, Additional Camera - JAVIER DE PABLOS VELZ was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in cinematography. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2013 and continues to work on different commercials, music videos, and films as a director of photography.

Associate Producer, Sound Recordist - JEREMY SORGEN is originally from Berkeley, California.  He finished a degree in Metropolitan Studies at New York University where he applied oral history technique to capture the stories of residents in the slums of Bogotá, Colombia and former squatters of the Lower East Side. In late 2011, he halted a self-directed study of religion in the Middle East to fly to Cuba for this film project. He now studies religion at the Graduate Theological Union and uses his digital media skills to empower people to tell their stories with The Center for Digital Storytelling. He is currently working on the audio series "Admirable People Project" to transmit the life lessons of community leaders.

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REWARDS

Here is the illustrated map of the history of Cuban cars by NYTIMES bestselling author/illustrator Reif Larsen that you can get as a fine art print.

Here are examples of some of the beautiful images by photographer Michael Coles that you can receive either as a postcard or fine art print.

Here is a video of the Cuban salsa group with instructor Christopher Rogicki that is one of our rewards. See if you can spot our director. 

Risks and challenges

If our HAVANA MOTOR CLUB Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, we’ll be able to finish our film and begin the process of applying to festivals with the goal of getting it distributed theatrically worldwide. Although no independent film is ever guaranteed distribution, I’m confident that HAVANA MOTOR CLUB will find a wide audience. I’ve already directed, produced, and/or edited several documentaries that have performed very well theatrically, including CONTROL ROOM, VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR, and DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL. I trust that HAVANA MOTOR CLUB will have similar popularity among fans of car racing, classic cars, as well as Cuba-philes and documentary-lovers. Thank you for your trust in us.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • At any level of support at $200 and above, you choose NO REWARD. Once the campaign is done we will check in, and at that point let us know that you would like to take a tax-deduction.

    Havana Motor Club will transfer your payment on your behalf to Meteor Films Inc., our 501c3 fiscal sponsor.

    Once your donation has been transferred to Meteor Films Inc., you will receive a receipt from the organization for your tax records. Please include your mailing address for the receipt.

    Backers are responsible for filing all paperwork and complying with applicable regulations in connection with tax-deductible donations. We suggest you consult with your tax adviser.

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  • Meteor Films, Inc. is a 501c3 that is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, more specifically to: (1) develop and produce documentary films for distribution to the greater public; (2) involve the communities represented in the films in the filmmaking process; and (3) facilitate the work of other documentary producers, when their projects are in line with the established tenets of the Organization.

    Projects that Meteor Films Inc. has supported include: "Downeast,""Romantico,""Girl Model," "Pressure Cooker," "The Last Laugh" and "You Must Remember This."

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    19 backers

    ¡GRACIAS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! This pledge amount earns you a THANK YOU on Twitter and our Facebook wall, plus sincere appreciation and good karma!

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    Pledge $12 or more

    37 backers

    WITH LOVE FROM HAVANA. Few things are better these days than getting a hand-written postcard in the mail. We will send you a personal note on one of our limited-edition postcards that feature stills of old cars on the streets of Havana, taken by our internationally acclaimed still photographer Michael Coles. I will also give you the Facebook and Twitter shout-outs, and I will add you to an updates list so that you can receive the latest news and information on the film.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    148 backers

    OWN THE FILM. Be one of the first people to view HAVANA MOTOR CLUB. I will send you a private link to a digital download of the film at least ONE WEEK before it's commercially available! You'll also receive the updates and shout-outs mentioned above.

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    Pledge $40 or more

    56 backers Limited (444 left of 500)

    COLLECTOR. Prefer to own a DVD copy of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB? In addition to the digital download link to the film, I will send you a DVD copy of the film that I have personally signed once it's commercially available. You'll also receive the updates and shout-outs.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    17 backers

    POSTCARD/FILM COMBO. I will send you a set of THREE (3) timeless postcards featuring some of my favorite stills of old cars on the streets of Havana taken by our acclaimed still photographer Michael Coles. Send one to your mom or just post 'em on your fridge. I'll also send you a digital download link to the film, as well as the updates and shout-outs.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    49 backers

    LIKE CUBAN MUSIC? Then you will enjoy this reward! I will send you a link to a digital download of the official HAVANA MOTOR CLUB SOUNDTRACK featuring classic and new music from some of Cuba's finest musicians when it's commercially available. I’ll also send you the digital download link to the film itself, the updates and the shout-outs.

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    Pledge $100 or more

    30 backers Limited (70 left of 100)

    DREAMING OF CUBA. Organize your year with a 2015 wall calendar featuring TWELVE (12) of my favorite stills of classic cars and street-life that Michael Coles and other members of our crew took during our production in Havana. I will also send you the digital download link to both the film and soundtrack, the updates and the shout-outs.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    7 backers Limited (13 left of 20)

    DANCE LOVER. Wanna learn how to dance Cuban-style Salsa? Enjoy a one-month session of Salsa classes with my New York-based Salsa instructor Christopher Rogicki in NYC (travel and lodging not included). I will also send you the digital download link to both the film and soundtrack, the updates, and the shout-outs.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    15 backers

    YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS! We will place your full name in the "Thanks" section of our rolling end credits, for all the world to see! I will also send you the digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.

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    Pledge $200 or more

    12 backers Limited (188 left of 200)

    SIGNED MOVIE POSTER. I will send you a limited-edition, 11x16 copy of the official movie poster for HAVANA MOTOR CLUB, signed by me. We'll also put your name in the "Thanks" section of the end credits and I will send you the digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    8 backers Limited (92 left of 100)

    FINE ART PRINT. Want to hang a piece of Cuba in your home or office? Choose from ONE (1) of the following fine art prints:

    Option 1: A signed, limited-edition print of cars and street-life in Havana from our internationally renowned still photographer, Michael Coles. Choose from several different options.

    Option 2: A signed, limited-edition print of an illustrated map of the history of Cuban cars by NYTIMES bestselling author/illustrator Reif Larsen.

    Either option will also get your name in the "Thanks" section of the end credits, and I will send you a digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    BUDDING FILMMAKER? Join me for a consultation/mentoring session in NYC (or on Skype) to discuss your own film project (travel and lodging not included). I will watch your rough cut, read your script, hear your pitch, brainstorm ideas, etc. I will also take you on a tour of our post-production facilities in NYC where you will get a personal screening of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB and discuss how we made the film. We'll put your name in the "Thanks" section of the end credits and send you a digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    FIX IT IN POST – Join me for your choice of an edit, sound mix, or color correction session of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB in New York City, and see how our film comes together in post (travel and lodging not included). I'll give you a personal screening of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB and put your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the end credits. I'll also send you a digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs. For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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    Pledge $700 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    RED CARPET. I will send you TWO (2) tickets to the New York, Los Angeles, or Miami premiere of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB, and take you and a guest out to dinner afterwards with members of my crew (travel and lodging not included). We'll also put your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the end credits and send you a digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs. For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    HAVANA NIGHTS. Enjoy a night of Cuban food, music and drinks with me and other members of my crew. We will treat you and a guest to one of our favorite Cuban restaurants in NYC followed by a night of Cuban music and mojitos (Travel and lodging not included. Must be 21 or older). We'll also put your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the end credits and send you a digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (6 left of 8)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE (Your Name Here). I will give you an Associate Producer credit on the film. You are now a film producer! We will add your name to our IMDB page and include you in the credits of the movie. I will also invite you and a guest to a major festival or commercial screening of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB and treat you to a dinner with me and the crew afterwards (Screening TBD. Travel and lodging not included). Lastly, I will send you a set of THREE (3) of our“With Love From Havana”postcards, a signed DVD copy of the film, the 2015 wall calendar, the signed movie poster, your choice of either ONE (1) of Michael Cole’s fine art prints OR Reif Larsen’s “History of Cuban Cars” map, and of course the digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    DIY SCREENING ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE. Host a private preview screening of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB for your family and friends anywhere in continental US. I will join you for the screening and offer a Q&A afterwards. But wait, there’s more! You will also receive the entire ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE (see above).
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PACKAGE. I will give you a "Co-Executive Producer" credit in the film and TWO (2) tickets to the WORLD PREMIERE of the film (or any other screening of your choosing, including your own private screening attended by me, as mentioned above. Travel and lodging not included). You'll see your name listed as "Co-Executive Producer" in the film's MAIN TITLE SEQUENCE, and you’ll become a core member of our team.

    In addition, you will have an opportunity to visit our editing room to give us feedback on our rough cut, get invitations to special events, and receive a dozen signed DVD's of HAVANA MOTOR CLUB to share with your friends and family.

    I will also send you the set of THREE (3) of our “with Love From Havana” postcards, the 2015 wall calendar, the signed movie poster, ONE (1) of Michael Cole’s fine art prints, ONE (1) of Reif Larsen’s “History of Cuban Cars” map, and of course the digital download link to the film and soundtrack, as well as the updates and shout-outs. You'll basically become my best friend too.
    For those who wish to opt out of this reward, your pledge can be made TAX DEDUCTIBLE! More info in the FAQ section below.

    Estimated delivery:
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Funding period

- (31 days)