About this project
The Project Basics: Santa Cruz del Islote is a small Colombian island of only 2.4 acres and is home to over 1200 people. I will explore the daily life of this island's tight-knit community and document its inhabitants' stories, traditions, and culture. I want to discover how a community works in such tight living quarters. What can those of us who live with more than enough space learn from the way in which these Colombians live?
More About The Island: Santa Cruz del Islote is a small island in the Caribbean Sea about two hours from Cartagena, Colombia. The island has almost four times the population density of Manhattan, yet residents live in only one-story structures (List of most densely populated islands). Santa Cruz del Islote has just 97 buildings for its residents, including three general stores and a small discoteca where all ages are welcome. The only unoccupied space on the island is half the size of a tennis court. Although the majority of the residents make a living as fishermen, many others find work on the mainland or neighboring islands. No running water or sewer system is available and all electricity originates from a small generator shared by all houses. Although the Colombian Navy transports drinking water to the island once every three weeks, supplies are limited and expensive. Despite these challenges, Santa Cruz del Islote enjoys a peaceful existence within one of Colombia’s most beautiful natural environments. Nowhere on the island do residents feel the need for locks as they live as one cooperative family. I am intrigued by this way of life and hope to explore it with my camera.
Why This Film Should Be Made: What can those of us who live with more than enough space learn from the way in which the residents of Santa Cruz del Islote live? Scientists and popular media present resource management and overpopulation as some of the largest problems facing our world's future. However, how many of us know what it is like to live in tight quarters with so few resources? How many of us have confronted these challenges in our immediate lives? By learning directly from the residents of Santa Cruz del Islote, we stand to gain a greater understanding of how to best approach these constraints as they inevitably arise in our collective future.
The Project Logistics: I will travel to the island with a Colombian friend, Santiago Saavedra Pineda, who has been instrumental in helping me organize my trip. I plan to be in Colombia from June 17th until August 17th of this year. We will stay at an eco-lodge on the mainland, about a one-hour boat ride from the island. The eco-lodge has generously given me a reduced rate as work on the project. Additionally, some of the employees at the eco-lodge are residents of Santa Cruz del Islote and have agreed to introduce me to their fellow community members. They have suggested the possibility of hosting me on the island with their families and friends. Please note that I speak fluent Spanish.
After my stay in Colombia, I will return to the United States to edit the film. The final film will be about 20-30 minutes in length and I will submit it to numerous international film festivals. Throughout the entire project, I will keep a blog where contributors will be updated on the film's progress. I will post preview clips, stories, and photographs as well as details regarding the status of the film.
Where Will the Money Go?
- Local ground and water transportation
- Food and lodging for 8 weeks
- Equipment rentals and purchases
- Boat rental
- Post production and editing
- Film festival submission fees
Please contact me if you would like more specific budget information.
Geography: Santa Cruz del Islote resides in the archipelago of San Bernardo, about two hours from Cartagena, Colombia.
Risks and challenges
My biggest challenge will be building strong relationships with the residents of the island so that they feel comfortable in front of my camera. In order to truly understand this community, I want to live amongst them for at least two months. I plan to spend the majority of the first month getting to know the residents and will save the majority of the filmmaking for the second month. Additionally, I plan to follow three individual characters in order to portray life on the island through their specific personalities and routines.
As mentioned previously, many of the employees at the eco-lodge where I will be staying live on Santa Cruz del Islote. I will be working alongside these residents during my entire stay and may have the opportunity to spend nights with them on the island. This connection will give me a direct window into their lives in a way that would otherwise not be possible.
Another big challenge will be filming without a production assistant or crew. Due to financial restrictions, I cannot support a second crew member. I hope to collaborate with the residents of the island and thereby make them part of the project's creation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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