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A feature doc about Kim’s heroic escape from North Korea and the network of aid workers who risk their lives to help along the way. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 11, 2011.

A feature doc about Kim’s heroic escape from North Korea and the network of aid workers who risk their lives to help along the way.

About this project

This story is one that grabbed me by the heart and it won’t let me go. It’s about the pluck and the courage of kids as young as eight years old and grandmothers in their mid-sixties, who want to make a run for a better life, or die trying. They are only two of roughly 300,000 North Koreans who have escaped starvation conditions and are living in hiding. With no status or rights, they live in constant fear of being deported back to North Korea where they would face imprisonment, torture or possible execution.

This is the legacy of the Cold War that has divided a country and brought tragedy to tens of thousands of families, including my own. Since the 1900s, ongoing famines in North Korea have forced hundreds of thousands to flee in the desperate search of food and aid.

The Defector is about this human crisis. It’s a film with a lot of heart, and it’s got guts.

As mentioned in the trailer above, this project is also about taking you right into the heart of the experience. With the help of satellite images, smuggled footage and multimedia tools we are able to expose the true nature of life in North Korea, never before seen on film.

Status: We have received support from several Canadian broadcasters and funders and have started production. We have filmed a couple aid groups based in the U.S. and in Canada.  But this is a film with multiple international locations spread across five continents. We still need upwards of $50,000 to fund this next stage of production, which is risky and unpredictable.

$20,000 will ensure that we can follow the initial departure as Kim and 3 others embark on their journey. We will follow them on the 3,000-mile journey through numerous towns and hinterlands as they make their way toward freedom.

Additional funds will help us follow their story to the end – traveling to find out where each of them ends up months from now. How will they settle in their new countries? What is the news of their family back in North Korea? Are there any thoughts of re-uniting?

And finally, as mentioned, there are hundreds of inspiring aid workers and individuals from the far-flung corners of the globe who are all involved in this effort to help North Koreans. If we were to raise more than $50,000 in funds, we would be able to travel to these brave individuals and film a number of them. We want to feature their personal stories and show why these individuals would give up middle-class comfort and risk their lives to help North Koreans.

Please join our team and contribute the equivalent of the cost of dinner, or more, or less. Every little bit helps us on our way. We appreciate your support.

Pledge your support here and help us get to our Kickstarter goal!

If you would like to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation, you can go to our page at Women Make Movies

Find out more information, posts and follow our progress on Facebook, Twitter, or on our Blog: 

http://www.facebook.com/thedefectormovie

http://blog.thedefectormovie.com/

Twitter.com/TheDefectorMov

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Prizes include:

{KEY-CHAINS} Hand-crafted crosses made by defectors living in hiding in Asia:     

{T-SHIRTS} We are also offering your choice of a Limited Edition T-shirt! Three amazing graphic designers donated their time and came up with three unique and different designs:

Joshua Corliss' Kim Jong-Il Balloon

Cole Sullivan's Dear Leader Skull

Jeff Levine's Kim Jong-Mickey Mouse

We are offering the shirts in men and ladies, sizes XS, S, M, L, XL. When you order a T-shirt, please specify which one you would like, and in which size. Don't worry if your can't make up your mind, we will be happy to choose one for you!

FAQ

  • It's both, and more! We are developing an interactive website that recreates the journey of a fugitive, from inside North Korea, across Asia and halfway around the world. We also have an interactive Facebook app as well as a mobile app, and a feature film. It's Documentary 2.0! All the various media are different ways to take part in the dialogue on North Korean social justice issues.

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  • Once the project is fully funded, we will send out a survey asking for specific details from each pledger. We'll take your shirt size, style, name you wish to have in the credits, address, and any other information we need to make sure you get what you want out of your package!

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  • You are by no means obliged to have your own name in the Thank You credits of the film. You can buy it for a friend and put their name in the credits, or leave your name out if you prefer. We will send out a survey once the project is successful, and you can tell us exactly what name will appear on the credits.

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  • Can I expect to get my T-shirt and/or key-chain in time for the Holidays? We are going to do our best to send out your packages as soon as we can. Hopefully that means they will be ready for the holidays, but there is no guarantee. We will keep you posted once the project is successful!

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  • Is my donation tax deductible? Kickstarter donations are not tax deductible, unfortunately. But you can get a tax deduction if you donate through our project page on Woman Make Movies http://bit.ly/ucjUf3. It does not contribute to our Kickstarter unfortunately, but if getting a charitable receipt is important for you, please consider this option!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    8 backers

    {THANK YOU} in both our hearts and on our website and the Facebook page. You'll be credited as a supporter of The Defector.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    18 backers

    {A BIG THANK YOU} along with a hand-crafted key-chain made by North Korean refugees living in Asia, PLUS a "Thank You" in the credits of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    17 backers

    {A STEP AHEAD} Get a digital download of the finished film, plus a handcrafted key-chain, PLUS a "Thank You" in the credits of the film!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    26 backers

    {EXTRA SPECIAL} Get a DVD copy of the finished packaged with DVD 'extras,' PLUS the handcrafted key-chain and a "Thank You" in the film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    9 backers

    {POSTER PACK} Receive an official Defector poster signed by the director and producer, Ann Shin. PLUS the DVD, the handcrafted key-chain and a "Thank You" in the credits of the film!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers

    {DESIGNER T-SHIRT} Five designers have created limited edition T-shirts for this campaign. You get your choice of logo printed on an American Apparel T-shirt with the official Defector logo, and a "Thank You" in the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    17 backers

    {DEFECTOR PACKAGE} For every bargain lover! Get a designer T-shirt of your choice (see above), PLUS the signed poster, the DVD of the finished film, the handcrafted key-chain and a "Thank You" in the credits of the film. To get the T-shirt sooner, add $5 for shipping! Amazing!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    6 backers

    {PERSONAL CHAT} Get a Skype session or phone chat with the director about independent filmmaking, or about the North Korean issue. Also included is the DEFECTOR PACKAGE: a designer T-shirt of your choice (see above), PLUS the signed poster, the DVD of the finished film, the handcrafted key-chain and a "Thank You" in the credits of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    {MIKE KIM AMAZING} That's right, an autographed book by author Mike Kim, who is an activist, North Korean specialist, founder of the Crossing Boarders NGO, and an important part of this film's community. And of course, the DEFECTOR PACKAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    8 backers

    {A WAY OUT} You will receive a limited edition map of the escape routes out of North Korea, designed in our Digital Animation studio, along with the DEFECTOR PACKAGE!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    3 backers

    {BETA TEST} You get to become part of the BETA TEST group for the interactive website! You will be one of the first in the world who will 'play' The Defector interactive website. You get to give us your feedback, and not only will we consider your comments, but you'll get a special acknowledgment on the website, PLUS you get the DEFECTOR PACKAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    {COMING TO THEATERS SOON} You will get two tickets to a festival screening near you! PLUS you get to become part of the BETA TEST group and the DEFECTOR PACKAGE. (Transportation and accommodation not included.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    {GALA BUNDLE} Two tickets to a red carpet Gala screening of the finished film and an invitation to the Launch party! That means you get to party with the creators of the film. PLUS you get to become part of the BETA TEST group and the DEFECTOR PACKAGE! Available in select cities only, please contact hannah@fathomfilmgroup.com for further info. (Transportation and accommodation not included.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    {PLEASED TO MEET YOU!} Meet with the director in person or on Skype for a two hour meeting about the film industry! She will provide feedback on your own project, and offer advice on producing and directing films and cross-media projects. PLUS you get the GALA BUNDLE, you'll be part of the BETA TEST group, and the DEFECTOR PACKAGE!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers

    {EXPERT PACKAGE} Host an information session about North Korean refugees in your own community, school, church, or organization! This includes a film screening and a discussion with two aid workers involved in the cause. PLUS you get the GALA BUNDLE, to be part of the BETA TEST group, and the DEFECTOR PACKAGE! This prize is available in numerous cities across the United States, Canada and the UK. If interested, please email hannah@fathomfilmgroup.com.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    {THE MOTHER LODE} Watch a pre-screening of the film, and have a jam session about the editing and storyboard. Your contributions will get you a big, bold Associate Producer credit in the film. PLUS you get a meeting with the director over a dinner we'll buy you, the EXPERT package, the GALA BUNDLE and the DEFECTOR PACKAGE. Welcome aboard! (Transportation and accommodation not included.)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (43 days)