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Suspended between life and death, a Mexican-American mother (of a 6 year old) explores her uncertainty and fear of death through dance.
Suspended between life and death, a Mexican-American mother (of a 6 year old) explores her uncertainty and fear of death through dance.
309 backers pledged $33,105 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Foreign Puzzle - a film about love, dance and breast cancer. project video thumbnail
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OUR STORY 

Sharon Marroquin, Protagonist
Sharon Marroquin, Protagonist

Sharon Marroquin is a Mexican-American mother, dancer, choreographer, bilingual school teacher and much more. On January 8th 2010, she received a call informing her that she had breast cancer.

In Sharon's own words, "Since that moment, the eyes I see with belong to someone I do not know, and my body is a foreign puzzle with missing pieces. Every day I am newly surprised by the decimation of what my life once was" 

For 18 months, we documented Sharon's struggle as a choreographer and mother battling breast cancer, highlighting her relationship with her son Dali and the healing power of art.

Chithra  Jeyaram, Director
Chithra Jeyaram, Director

The documentary "Foreign Puzzle" echoes and processes the fear of mortality. The dynamic story unfolds through intimate observational footage that expresses delicate mother-son and fragile ex-spousal relationships intricately woven with dramatic medical scenes. In the midst of this roller coaster journey with breast cancer, dance is Sharon’s only outlet. She begins to create a ninety-minute dance titled, “The Materiality of Impermanence.” The choreography allows her to escape to another realm that is not confined by the pressure of the disease, child-rearing, teaching, and running a home. The documentation of the creative process offers the viewer a window into her inner struggles and their artistic manifestations. How this escape shapes Sharon’s perceptions of life and death forms the narrative arc of the film.

In March 2012, after 3 surgeries, 16 chemotherapy treatments and 30 radiation sessions, Sharon performed The Materiality of Impermanence to sold-out houses in Austin, Texas. 

After documenting Sharon's epic journey, the film crew took a few months off and then meticulously sifted through 210 hours of amazing footage and distilled its essence into one moving, intimate and honest film - Foreign Puzzle. We are almost there but not quite. We have a few more crucial post production steps that need to be completed to make the film the best it can be.

OUR AUDIENCE

Foreign Puzzle appeals to breast cancer survivors, advocates and caregivers. It is inspirational for dancers, artists and art therapists. 

Among Latinas, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer & the #1 cancer killer. Due to lack of awareness and poor access to health care/insurance, Latinos are more likely to forego or delay receiving timely screening and treatment for cancer care, putting them at risk for suffering worse cancer outcomes, and lower cancer survival rates.Therefore, Foreign Puzzle is a valuable educational tool for the Latino community. 

At its heart, this film is about love and living in the moment. The resilience of Sharon Marroquin to push through the insurmountable hurdles imposed on her by life and create a beautiful, raw and honest dance that embodies the brutality of the disease and the beauty of the human spirit will move and inspire every viewer.

HOW DOES THE KICKSTARTER MONEY HELP?

Foreign Puzzle is a labor of love and passion. We still need $$$ to cover essential costs associated with finishing our film and sharing it with the world.

All of the above mentioned tasks can only be performed by highly trained professionals using expensive gadgets and software. Most of our collaborators love the film and are charging us just to cover their basic costs. Our goal of $30,000 is really the absolute minimum needed to complete this film.

Remember Kickstarter is an ALL OR NOTHING platform. That means the film will get funded only if we meet our entire goal amount. 
 

WHAT IF WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?

Hell Yes!!!! We will be over the moon. But the reality is we still have to 

  • Pay Kickstarter 5% of the money raised 
  • Pay Amazon 3-5% processing fees
  • Design and print posters and publicity material 
  • Create a professional trailer
  • Pay for duplication and shipping costs for screeners, prints and masters
  • Design and publish a website for outreach

So every additional dollar really helps us get the film to more eyes. 

MISSION: SEND 1000 HOPE CRANES 

Origami Cranes in Foreign Puzzle by Designer Ia Ensterä
Origami Cranes in Foreign Puzzle by Designer Ia Ensterä

Foreign Puzzle symbolizes hope. And in that spirit we want to make and send 1000 Origami cranes with unique/personalized 100 character messages to 1000 people around the world. Folding 1000 Origami paper cranes is truly a labor of love. PLEDGE to send a HOPE CRANE to someone you love. We will fold and deliver it with hope and positive healing thoughts. Help us deliver 1000 HOPE CRANES in 30 days.

OUR SINCERE THANKS

Our deepest and sincerest thanks to Sharon Marroquin, Dali Gaytan, Pepe Gaytan, Michelle Marroquin, Materiality of Impermanence dance ensemble, Sharon's friends, students, doctors, nurses and Austin's community who welcomed us into their lives. This film would also be impossible without the support of my friends, filmmakers and family who are too many to list. This film exists because of you all. 

OUR REWARDS

If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution or if you prefer to keep your contribution completely anonymous or if you have any questions about the rewards - please feel free to email foreignpuzzle@gmail.com.

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Director, Producer and Editor: Chithra Jeyaram

Foreign Puzzle is Chithra's debut feature length documentary both as a director and editor. 

Director, Chithra Jeyaram
Director, Chithra Jeyaram

Cinematographer: Therese Tran

Risks and challenges

This film has been in the works for three years. Life does not happen in a jiffy. That is how long it takes to tell a transforming human story. All this while, we have dedicated our time and money on this project and the film is worth all of it and more.

There are still a few finishing things such as color correction, sound mix etc that needs to be done but with adequate funding all of that can be accomplished in a few months.

Foreign Puzzle will hopefully premiere at a film festival in 2015 and begin its outreach and distribution with a bang.

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    NAMASTE (means "I bow to you").
    Heartfelt gratitude and thanks.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PEP TWEET:
    Send us a custom 100 character gem about love, dance, cancer, survivorship or art and healing and we will tweet it out with your twitter handle from @foreignpuzzle.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    INSCRIBE: Yes we are old school! We will SNAIL MAIL A HANDWRITTEN postcard featuring a still from the documentary Foreign Puzzle with a100 character gem to anyone you wish.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DIGITAL MOVIE TICKET: You will receive a private link to view the film on the day of its world premiere. And we will stream a Q&A with the filmmaker and protagonist. Now that is something, right? Plus a twitter shout out for your support from @foreignpuzzle and @realtalkies

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    HOPE CRANE: An origami crane is a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times. We will print your 100 character message and lovingly handfold an origami crane in white, red or pink and send it to anyone you choose. Help us send positive vibes and beautiful cranes to 1000 people. If you permit, the image of the crane and your message will be shared on @foreignpuzzle and Foreign Puzzle FB page (https://www.facebook.com/The.Foreign.Puzzle). Reward includes a DIGITAL MOVIE TICKET (delivery Oct 2015).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    KEEPSAKE: You will get a DVD of the documentary Foreign Puzzle signed by director Chithra Jeyaram and protagonist Sharron Marroquin. Reward includes a PEP TWEET and INSCRIBE.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PUZZLED: You will get a 60 or 252 piece (10" X 14") jigsaw puzzle featuring cat Louie. He was rescued on Dali’s (Sharon son’s) 7th birthday.
    In the picture Dali’s hand comforts Louie just
    before the adoption. Enjoy putting it together again and again. Reward includes a DIGITAL MOVIE TICKET (delivery October 2015).

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LEARN TO DANCE (AUSTIN, TEXAS ONLY): An introduction to modern dance group class with the film's protagonist Sharon Marroquin. Reward includes a DIGITAL MOVIE TICKET and PEP TWEET.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FAMILY PUZZLE: You will get a 70 or 500 piece (18" X 24") jigsaw puzzle featuring featuring
    Sharon and her son Dali from the documentary
    Foreign Puzzle. Enjoy putting it together with friends/family and build memories. Reward includes KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015) and PEP TWEET.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SOLO WITH SHARON (AUSTIN, TEXAS ONLY): Explore modern dance in an hour long private one on one dance lesson with the film's protagonist Sharon Marroquin. Reward includes KEEPSAKE DVD (Deliver October 2015), PEP TWEET and INSCRIBE.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    FOOD AND FILM (DC, MD and VA only): Spend an evening with the director Chithra Jeyaram (at your home or hers), talking filming and learning to make lip-smacking Tandoori Chicken Wings. Take home a spice pack to surprise your friends with your own batch of tandoori chicken wings. Reward includes PEP TWEET, INSCRIBE and a DIGITAL MOVIE TICKET

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    COMMUNITY/PRIVATE SCREENING: Screen the documentary Foreign Puzzle at an event to raise awareness about breast cancer or art and healing. Reward includes an OFFICIAL POSTER of the film, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD, PEP TWEET.
    *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    CHANGE MAKER: Your organization's logo will be featured on the film's website (www.foreignpuzzle.com) under the resources tab. The logo will be accompanied by a small blurb and a link to your website.

    Reward includes a Community screening (delivery October 2015) of the film, OFFICIAL POSTER of the film, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015), PEP TWEET.
    *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    DINNER AND MOVIE FOR TWO (DC, MD and VA only): Dosa is a fermented crepe or pancake typically made from rice and black lentils batter eaten with an assortment of chutneys. Making them thin, round, crisp and golden brown is an art. Almost like filmmaking. Director Chithra invites you to her humble abode to indulge in 4 kinds of dosas made from scratch - Masala Dosa (with potato stuffing), Rava Dosa (Semolina), Mungbean Dosa (Pesarattu) and Ragi (Millet) Dosa with Sambhar, Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney and Coriander/Mint Chutney. Mouthwatering!!! Reward includes two tickets to the premiere of Foreign Puzzle in DC/MD/VA, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD (October 2015) and PEP TWEET

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    COMMUNITY SCREENING WITH FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE: Screen the documentary Foreign Puzzle with Q&A at an event to raise awareness about breast cancer or art and healing. Reward includes an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD and PEP TWEET. *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities. THE ORGANIZATION WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION IF OUTSIDE AUSTIN OR DC METRO AS THE REWARD DOES NOT INCLUDE THOSE COSTS.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BE THE CHANGE: Your organization will be prominently featured on the film's credit roll as a sponsor. In addition, your organization's logo will be featured on the film's website (www.foreignpuzzle.com) under the resources tab, accompanied by a small blurb and a link to your website.

    Reward includes a Community screening (delivery October 2015) of the film, OFFICIAL POSTER of the film, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015), PEP TWEET.
    *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    COMMUNITY SCREENING with MOVEMENT WORKSHOP: Screen the documentary Foreign Puzzle followed by a movement workshop with Sharon Marroquin to raise awareness about breast cancer and art and healing. Reward includes an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD and PEP TWEET. *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities. THE ORGANIZATION WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION IF OUTSIDE AUSTIN OR DC METRO AS THE REWARD DOES NOT INCLUDE THOSE COSTS.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    HARBINGER: Your organization's logo will be prominently featured on film's DVD & Poster. In addition, Your organization will be prominently featured on the film's credit roll as a sponsor and will be featured on the film's website (www.foreignpuzzle.com) under the resources tab, accompanied by a small blurb and a link to your website.

    Reward includes a Community screening (delivery October 2015) of the film, OFFICIAL POSTER of the film, INSCRIBE, KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015), PEP TWEET.
    *Highly recommended for organizations involved with breast cancer advocacy/awareness, dance and latino communities.

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

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: You will receive an associate producer credit plus two tickets to the world premiere of Foreign Puzzle and after parties (travel and lodging not included). Reward includes TANDOORI CHICKEN SPICE PACK & RECIPE, an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, a KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015), INSCRIBE and PEP TWEET

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    WEB VIDEO in 16 hours (DC, MD and VA only): Chithra Jeyaram will make an under 3-minute web video for you or your organization - 6 hrs of planning, 4 hrs of shooting and 6 hrs of editing (Does not include animation, motion graphics or original music). Reward includes two tickets to the premiere of Foreign Puzzle in DC/ MD/VA, an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, a KEEPSAKE DVD (delivery October 2015), INSCRIBE and PEP TWEET

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRODUCER: You will receive producer credit plus 3 tickets to the world premiere of Foreign Puzzle and after parties (travel and lodging not included). Reward includes a COMMUNITY SCREENING of the film at one organization of your choice to raise awareness about breast cancer or art and healing, TANDOORI CHICKEN SPICE PACK & RECIPE, an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, 5 KEEPSAKE DVDs (delivery October 2015), INSCRIBE and PEP TWEET

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: You will receive an executive credit plus five tickets to the world premiere of Foreign Puzzle and after parties (travel and lodging not included). Reward includes a COMMUNITY SCREENING of the film at four organizations of your choice to raise awareness about breast cancer or art and healing, TANDOORI CHICKEN SPICE PACK & RECIPE, an OFFICIAL FILM POSTER, 10 KEEPSAKE DVDs (delivery October 2015), INSCRIBE and PEP TWEET

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Funding period

- (32 days)