Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 1, 2012.

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The story of Jadab Payeng, an Indian man who single handedly planted nearly 1400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli.

The Story:

In the far reaching north east of India, lies the island of Majuli, situated in the middle of the Bramaputra River. Majuli is the worlds largest river island, and is home to the Assamese neo-Vaisnvite indigenous culture. Over the last 100 years, Majuli island has experienced severe soil erosion due to flooding caused by global warming, and has lost over 70% of its landmass. Thousands of homes and farms have had to be abandoned. Today, much of the riverbank is nothing but barren sandbars, and the island is at risk of disappearing.

In the 1970's a local man named Jadab Payeng decided to start planting things to combat the erosion of his island. Over the past 34 years, he has planted an astonishing 1400 acres of forest. This is an area almost twice the size of Central Park in New York City. This new forest, dubbed Molai's Woods is now home to many animals including rhinos, tigers, and elephants. 

Payeng lives in a small house he built himself, and has a small subsistence farm. He lives simply. He works not for money or fame, but to protect his environment. His achievement has not come easily. He's had to fight against poachers and was seen as an outcast by local villagers. 

Despite Payeng's achievements, he has received little attention in India and even less abroad. We hope to change that. 

The Documentary:

This project will be a documentary short, approximately 20-30 minutes in length, shot on DSLR. We aim to capture Payengs way of life, hear the story of his struggle to create the forest, and see the glorious end result. What kind of person dedicates themselves to such a cause? What motivates him? What are his thoughts about how we treat the environment? These are all questions we hope to answer. After the film is complete, we hope to screen it in as many film festivals as possible, and ideally, on television as well. 

Why you should donate:

Your donation will go towards airfare, transportation, equipment, and post production. This project will help Payeng get the recognition he deserves, but more importantly, it will help to raise awareness of this fragile, beautiful, and quickly disappearing region. 

You can find out more about Majuli and its issues, see tons of photos, and read important documents our Facebook Group

Thank-You so much for reading! 

Director, Will McMaster
 

Producer, Tom Cotter

Sound Recordist/Composer, Mike Ritchie

FAQ

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    16 backers

    Your name will appear in the credits under Special Thanks, and you will be added to the Friends of Majuli Facebook group.

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  • Pledge $12 or more
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    35 backers

    Above, plus a link to a free download of the completed film.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    6 backers

    All of the above plus a handwritten postcard of thanks from the director.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    10 backers

    All of the above (special thanks, download, postcard) plus a seed will be planted in Payengs forest in your honour! A photo of the seed being planted will be emailed to you. Your donation here can really make a difference!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    6 backers

    You'll get: the special thanks, download, postcard, PLUS a sapling will be planted in your honour! Your donation here will make an even bigger difference to Payengs forest!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    You'll get: the special thanks, download, postcard, planted sapling, PLUS a personal phone call from the director, PLUS, an associate producer credit!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    All of the above (download, postcard, planted sapling, phone call, associate producer credit), PLUS a 2 minute short film of exclusive footage edited together just for you!

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Top level! You'll get: download, postcard, planted sapling, phone call, PLUS a recorded message of thanks from Payeng himself mailed to you on a special DVD, PLUS a full Producer credit.

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Funding period

- (30 days)