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In the traditional world of Mexican Rodeo, a team of first-generation California girls does it their way.
In the traditional world of Mexican Rodeo, a team of first-generation California girls does it their way.
88 backers pledged $10,640 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,640

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UPDATE

GREAT NEWS!!! Thanks to our very generous backers, we have reached our goal and WILL be funded. But that doesn't mean you can't still pledge. Donations will be accepted through Friday, July 16, and will go towards necessary Post Production expenses.

THE STORY

The feature documentary ESCARAMUZA: RIDING FROM THE HEART tells the story of Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, a team of first-generation Mexican American horsewomen on a two-year journey to represent California and the United States at the National Charro Championships in Mexico.

America’s original rodeo, rooted in the cattle culture of Colonial Mexico, Charreada blends the equestrian skills, handcrafted tack, elegant costumes, music, and food of that rich heritage into a living folk tradition. Between the men’s riding and roping contests, the female escaramuzas charras perform their perilous, precision horse ballets, bending and twisting their galloping reining horses around each other in intricate, synchronized patterns.

For the eight young members of Las Azaleas, “escaramuza”—skirmish—describes not only the danger and fierceness of competition, but the tug of war between New World modernity and freedom versus the Old World traditions and values embodied in their Charrería culture, where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.”

Confronting obstacles both known and unforeseen on their path from California to Mexico, their sometimes difficult choices demonstrate the values of goal-setting, teamwork, personal responsibility and sacrifice, grace under pressure, and strong family ties—making Las Azaleas inspiring role models in a world where Latina female athletes are few and far between.

At home, as California and U.S. champions, Las Azaleas work hard to pass on their inherited tradition and values to the next generation—their sons and daughters, little brothers and little sisters. In Mexico, competing against the very best of the best, they must come to terms with their own complicated relationship to the culture they love.

WHERE WE ARE & WHERE WE’RE GOING:

We began making ESCARAMUZA in May of 2008. We’ve gotten ourselves through two years of shooting, including a big trip to Mexico, with just a little help from one small grant. Shooting is finished, and we’re now in the midst of editing the movie from the more than 250 hours of material we’ve collected. The teaser you see above gives a small hint of our treasures.

But in this Post Production phase, there are some hard expenses that there’s just no avoiding, and that’s where Kickstarter comes in.

Funds raised on Kickstarter will go towards:

License fees for video footage and music
Original score composition
Music recording
Sound mix
Color correction
Final mastering
DVD authoring & replication
Outreach and distribution expenses

If you’re thinking this sounds like way more than the goal of $10,000 we’ve set, you would be right. But since we won’t get ANYTHING if we don’t reach our target amount, we’re nervous about setting the bar too high. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep on giving once we’ve reached the goal. Believe us, we will certainly need it.

THE REWARDS:

DVDs, cool Wrangler jeans, rodeo and racetrack days--we’ve got some great rewards for you. Check them out to the right. Thanks especially to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for the DEL MAR SPECIAL.

And the good news is that your donations will be partially tax deductible.

ESCARAMUZA is a fiscally-sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization. Contributions made on behalf of ESCARAMUZA are payable to IDA and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

So please contribute in any way you can, and use your own networks to help us spread the word. We’ll do our part by making a movie we can all be proud of.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Get our heartfelt appreciation, periodic updates on the project, and some great karma.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    All of the above, plus a DVD of the finished documentary when it's released.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    All of the above, PLUS in addition to the Escaramuza DVD you'll get a DVD of our last project, the award-winning documentary series On the Muscle: Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    WRANGLER SPECIAL--All of the above (including the two DVDs), PLUS, a Wrangler Jeans gift certificate (worth as much as $74, depending on the jeans you choose, even good for 20X brand) redeemable at any Wrangler Western retailer. (Thanks Boot Barn!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the finished documentary, PLUS everything above EXCEPT the Wrangler gift certificate.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    MEXICAN POPULAR ART--Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, PLUS the two DVDs, PLUS a personalized, autographed copy of the gorgeous coffee table book MEXICAN POPULAR ART: CLOTHING AND DOLLS, celebrating traditional Mexican regional clothing styles through authentic dolls made by folk artists in Mexico. This hardcover book contains 370 photos of vintage dolls and textiles from author Wendy Scalzo's private collection, with illuminating text. (see Update #4 for cover and some inside photos)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PURA RAZA SPECIAL--Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, PLUS the two DVDs, PLUS a personally dedicated, autographed copy of the gorgeous coffee table book CARDENAS: HORSES & HOME by world-renowned equine photographer Robert Vavra. This hardbound, out-of-print book showcases the Andalusian stallions and mares of Miguel Angel Cardenas at his 500-year-old Moorish estate in Ecija, Spain. The Cardenas Stud has had a huge impact on the Pura Raza Espanola. 11.5x11.5 book, with 272 color pages, also comes with a signed poster (18x24) of Vavra's image "Horses of the Wind." (see Update #5 for cover and some images)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    STALLIONS SPECIAL--Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, PLUS the two DVDs, PLUS a personally dedicated, autographed copy of the out-of-print coffee table book STALLIONS OF THE QUEST. Aficionados know that Robert Vavra is universally-acclaimed as the world's premier photographer of horses. Stallions of the Quest tells the dramatic story of the horse's return to America after abandoning the land of its origin 8-10,000 years earlier. 12.5x12.5, 225 pp, hardcover, also comes with a signed poster (18x24) of Vavra's image "Horses of the Wind." (see Update #5 for book cover and poster image)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CHARRERÍA SPECIAL--You and a guest will attend a charreada in Southern California with Robin and Bill (tickets, tacos and beer included!!!) and meet the wonderful women of Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, PLUS you'll receive the two DVDs, and be included in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FIESTA SPECIAL--You and a guest will picnic with Robin & Bill in box seats at the fabulous Fiesta of the Spanish Horse, Burbank Equestrian Center, May 2011, PLUS you'll receive the two DVDs, and be included in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    VAVRA'S VISION SPECIAL--Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, PLUS the two DVDs, PLUS a personally dedicated, autographed copy of the retrospective coffee table book VAVRA'S VISION. This is Robert Vavra's last and final horse book, with imagery spanning his 60-year career as the world's preeminent photographer of horses.13.5x13.5 hardcover, over 300 photos, more than 400 pages in full color, and comes with a signed poster (18x24) of Vavra's image "Horses of the Wind." (see Update #5 for book cover and poster image)

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

    DEL MAR DAWN TO DUSK SPECIAL--You and a guest will join Robin and Bill for an all expenses paid day of VIP treatment at Del Mar Racetrack. Start behind-the-scenes in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella for early morning workouts. Enjoy lunch and watch the races from your table at the Clubhouse Terrace, rub elbows with the swells inside the walking ring, and catch a race from down-by-the-rail. Includes parking, admissions, programs, lunch, two Del Mar Media Guides and two copies of the history book: Del Mar: Its Life and Good Times." AND, you get the two DVDs, PLUS inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary. (Del Mar race meet runs July 21-Sept. 8; Wed., Thurs. or Sun. preferred)

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

    VIDEO SPECIAL--Besides the two DVDs and inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, you'll get a day of video shooting and a day of editing from Robin & Bill. As long as we can shoot it with our Sony Z1U HDV camera, and you're within 2 hours drive of Littlerock, CA, you're on. Nothing kinky :)

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

    VAVRA COLLECTION SPECIAL--For those collecting Robert Vavra books, you can't beat this! Inclusion in the "special thanks" credits at the end of the documentary, PLUS the two DVDs, PLUS personally dedicated, autographed copies of all three Robert Vavra books described above: CARDENAS: HORSES & HOME, STALLIONS OF THE QUEST, AND VAVRA'S VISION. PLUS two signed posters: Horses of the Wind, and The Horse Whisperer. PLUS two bookmarks, one featuring Vavra with Ernest Hemingway, and other of Vavra with James Michener. PLUS a postage stamp from the Russian Republics of one of Vavra's equine images. WOW.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT, the two DVDs, the updates, and our everlasting gratitude.

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Funding period

- (45 days)