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Cesar Chavez’s commitment to fighting for America’s farm workers and the urgent need to resurrect his organizing model today. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on November 24, 2011.

Cesar Chavez’s commitment to fighting for America’s farm workers and the urgent need to resurrect his organizing model today.

About this project

Two Days and Only $865 Left to Raise!

Friends! We only have $865 left to meet our $21,000 goal! Have you been thinking about donating and just haven't had the time? Please do it today ... we're so close! $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 or more will help us get there!

9 Days Left!

We're so excited to announce that earlier today we received a $5,000 matching gift from philanthropists Lyn and Norman Lear. Lyn, co-founder and member of the Board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), and Norman, producer of such legendary television shows as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and many others, as well as being the founder of People For the American Way, have supported Cesar’s Last Fast form the inception of the project by providing seed money, and now this challenge grant.

"Now THIS is a story that needs to be told" says Norman. “Please join Lyn and me to make sure America learns about Cesar Chavez.”

Between now and November 24th, every dollar donated (up to $5,000) to Cesar's Last Fast will be matched by the Lear Family Foundation. That means new donations, large donations, small donations, and additional donations - everything!

Please donate today and forward our Kickstarter link to all of your friends and networks and help us make sure we beat our goal!

We're just so thrilled! Our $21,000 goal is DEFINITELY within reach! We're going to get there!


14 Days To Go!

20 Days Left In Our Kickstarter Campaign:
What will you eat today?

Yesterday I bought some pears, brought them home and set them out to ripen on the kitchen table.

This morning, just before I started today’s work on our film, I looked at one of the pears. I realized that it’s more than just a fruit. That pear has a story to tell.  

The story starts with a seed that a farm worker planted. With water and proper attention, that seed grew into a sapling that another farm worker planted into a field. And that field then grew into an orchard, a fertile forest nurtured by the hands of farm workers who care for each tree:  they feed it, water it, and prune the branches so it could blossom and bear beautiful fruit. Then, at just the right time, another farm worker picked and harvested the pear and carried it several hundred feet to a bin. That bin was transported to a packinghouse where another farm worker packed it. Then it was transported to the super market where I bought it- making its wat to my home to ripen on my table. 

When I think of Cesar’s Last Fast, of course I think of Cesar Chavez. But I also think of the hands that nurtured and delivered this pear to my table. I think of the probability that the farm worker who picked this pear lives in poverty, may face the threat of deportation, and ironically, can’t afford to eat the very fruit they grow and pick. But the story doesn’t have to end like this.

The most exciting part of our project is that when we’re done, we’re going to screen Cesar’s Last Fast for farm workers across the nation. Since Cesar Chavez’s passing in 1993, an entire generation of farm workers have immigrated to the U.S. Interestingly, they know little about Cesar Chavez and the historic movement he led, the movement of their predecessors. Our goal is to introduce Cesar Chavez’s story and his organizing model to today’s farm workers.

You can help us bring this reality to today’s farm workers. 

As of today, there are 20 days left in our campaign and we need to raise another $10,000.

Please pledge what you can to help finish this film and empower the people who work hard to bring food to you and your family.  

About The Film

Director Richard Ray Perez has deep personal connection with the issues raised in Cesar’s Last Fast. For 22 years Perez’s father was a farm worker who labored and lived in the conditions Cesar Chavez fought to end.  And, when Perez was 4 years old he and his family joined the grape boycott and marched in the picket lines that Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America organized to pressure growers to sign labor contracts that guaranteed the humane treatment of California’s grape pickers.

Cesar's Last Fast is a feature documentary film about the private sacrifice and spiritual conviction behind Cesar Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers, and the impact Chavez’s legacy has on today’s generation of organizers fighting for farm worker rights.

The film is built around powerful, never-before-seen footage of Chavez’s 1988 “Fast for Life,” a 36-day act of penance for not having done enough to stop growers from spraying pesticides on farm workers. The story of this water-only fast is the film’s dramatic arc into which the filmmakers interweave the historic events that defined the life mission of America’s most inspiring Latino leader and the struggles confronting today’s farm workers.

Cesar's Last Fast differs from the films that have come before it by offering a new and unique perspective. It looks beyond the chronological history of Chavez’s movement and focuses on Chavez himself; his inner spiritual life, his motivations, his virtues and his flaws, examining what we can learn from his legacy today.

The footage of this Gandhi-inspired act has never before been seen by the public and serves as the film’s dramatic spine, a suspenseful narrative arc, into which the filmmakers weave Chavez’s story; the story of a man who galvanized our nation’s poor in a non-violent struggle for social justice, and the story of the current living and working conditions of 21st century farm workers — conditions that sadly resemble those that inspired Chavez’s fight 50 years ago.

This project is more than just a film. It will be a powerful tool to engage people and organizations to participate in social justice movements using Chavez’s inspiring story as a model for how individuals and communities can address the inequities they confront every day.

How We'll Be Using The Money

All the money raised from this campaign will be used to finish the production of Cesar's Last Fast. 

We'll travel to California's Central Valley to interview farm workers in the fields and in their homes and capture the conditions under which they work and live.

About Kickstarter

KickStarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. It is unique in that it is an all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded before its time expires or no money changes hands.

In other words, if we don’t meet our goal of 21,000, we don’t get anything. So please spread the word today -  word-of-mouth "advertising" will make a big difference in helping us promote this campaign and ensure that this documentary is wrapped in early 2012.


  • With your support, we are targeting finishing the film in early Spring, 2012. Upon the completing the film we will immediately start a series of grassroots and community based screenings to reach the audience who most needs to see this film: today's generation of farmworkers, workers in other low-wage industries, and young people who came of age after the historic rise of the farmworker movement and Cesar Chavez's passing. (See "Where will the film be show?)

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  • To date we have received funding from Latino Public Broadcasting, The Lear Family Foundation, The Sundance Institute, The California Community Foundation, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, and hundreds of people like you who feel passionately about bringing this film to a new generations of Americans.

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  • PBS has the first option to broadcast the film in the United States. With the help of our largest financial supporter to date, Latino Public Broadcasting, our goal is to get a national Public Television broadcast. In addition to broadcasting on television, we plan to release the film theatrically, in large US media markets. Lastly, and more importantly, we will organize hundreds, if not thousands, of grassroots and community-based screenings in schools, churches, community centers, and homes. The goal is to bring the film to people who most need to see the film: today's generation of farmworkers, workers in other low-wage industries, and young people who came of age after the Cesar Chavez's passing.

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  • Yes. Producer/Director Richard Ray Perez has an exclusive agreement with the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the non-profit organization the Chavez family established to, among other responsibilities, grant permission to uses Cesar Chavez's image, likeness and voice.

    While Mr. Perez has the full support and cooperation of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, this project is an independent venture. The agreement Mr. Perez has with the foundation grants him editorial control of the film.

    The project also has the cooperation of the United Farmworkers of America, the historic union that Cesar Chavez founded with Dolores Huerta to improve the lives of America's farmworkers.

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  • If the project is successful funded all the money raised minus a 5% Kickstarter fee and an Amazon credit card processing fee will go directly to fund the film.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    6 backers

    You'll receive a special acknowledgement on the Cesar's Last Fast website home page, our sincerest appreciation, and all Kickstarter updates.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    55 backers

    You name will appear in the "Thank You" credits on DVD version of the film. You'll also receive a special acknowledgement on the Cesar's Last Fast website home page, our sincerest appreciation, and all Kickstarter updates.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    50 backers

    An 8"x10" original production photograph of one of the film's interviewees on the film set: Martin Sheen, Richard Chavez (Cesar's brother), Paul Chavez (Cesar's son), or UFW Co-Founder Dolores Huerta. All photographs are the work of artist Martin Cox and are signed by director Richard Ray Perez. You'll also receive all of the rewards for the $10 level.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    66 backers

    A special edition DVD of film, produced exclusively for Kickstarter donors, plus all of the above rewards.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    32 backers

    A special edition CD of film's soundtrack and original score by composer Ed Barguiarena, plus all of the above premiums.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    A special edition DVD with this personalized custom message: "This Edition Of Cesar's Last Fast Was Made Possible By The Generous Support From (your name here)." You'll also receive all of the above rewards and personal invitation to a premiere screening in Los Angeles with director Richard Ray Perez (travel and lodging not included)

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

    0 backers

    A case of Columbia Crest Wine - a long-standing UFW union-label winery, and all the other rewards listed above.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer

    Donating at this level will earn you an Associate Producer credit on the DVD and theatrical versions of the film. You will also receive all the other premiums listed above.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (60 days)