*This Kickstarter closes THIS WEEK - ON FRIDAY EVENING, Dec. 1st, 11:59PM (PST).
*** UPDATE, NOV. 25, 2017: with your support $5K, $7.5K and $10K - reached!
$15K - This crucial last $5,000 is the difference between us making a film that falls short in technical execution and one that has the means to deliver on the script. We won't have to eliminate crucial scenes in our story, and will be able to meet the massive equipment costs necessary for a first-rate production. If we can make it to 15K— it will still be a stretch— but we’ll be able to get our full film done.
What is Asylum?
Asylum is not a documentary, but a short narrative film.
All of the actors in this film are immigrants, acting out characters similar to themselves. Enzo, our main character, takes us into a network of undocumented immigrants living under the radar of the U.S. government.
This film seeks to do something different than the standard immigrant story. We want to empower the community to tell its own story. The actors in this film were cast through cold-approaches on the street and word-of-mouth. One actor was encountered at a bus stop, two others at a market, another at a food stall.
The aim of this film is to expose an alternative narrative to the one that is often exploited in immigration stories, where we don’t see the lives of immigrants once they arrive. The film's script is written with a knowledge of each actor's real life. The actors in this film initially made contact with Asylum on the street and we take it back to the street to tell this story.
In the lives of our actors and in the film— gentrification and immigration create a complex trauma.
There is no attempt to package the immigrant experience as a clean, manageable thing. Asylum enters into the messiness that is being a human traveler, and the roulette of human chance. In Asylum, the U.S. border becomes a concept, an arbitrary line, a source of pain.
The Bay Area does not need another documentary with a scientific approach to the issues that plague us. Instead we need a narrative that affects how people think about undocumented immigrants and how anyone new to trendy urban areas experiences home.
Asylum is empowering real people to become actors in the drama of their own stories.
How you’re helping:
Making a film is up keeping a village.
No matter what, almost all of our crew is going to be working entirely for free to make this happen. The money will go for locations, the permits we need to shoot, lighting, and our camera package, feeding and transporting our cast and crew. We will be shooting for 5 five days in December. Without these things, we cannot make the film happen.
The actors in our film are nervous. They’re nervous to expose their own stories, to make a drama of their own struggle, to expose their own existence - which often goes unrecognized in our society. Your backing of Asylum, is a vote of confidence, solidarity, and a real step toward immigrants exposing in new ways (creating a true narrative around) their lives north of the border.
Here’s how it works.
Kickstarter gives you nothing if you make under your goal. We set our minimum goal at $5,000. We reached that goal in 24 hours and with two more flex goals under our belt, we're asking for what we need to complete this production. With our fundraising now above 10K, we are reaching for the last $5K in order to reach 15K by this Friday evening, Dec. 1st, 11:59pm (PST).
In all of these situations - director, cinematographer, producer, lighting and electric crew, PA's, wardrobe, crafts - are subsisting on adrenaline and not pay. We’re doing it for free.
Who we are:
Nesaru Tchaas is an Oakland-raised award-winning artist and director. He’s been granted the Marion B. Anderson award for aspiring peace activists, the Jerome Davis award, and the Shansi Fellowship (2010-2012) during which he became fluent in Hindi and worked in India translating for a joint project between slum residents and architects.
Ryan Helfant is a Bay Area-born, N.Y.-based cinematographer who has shot films for Grammy-nominated Anderson Paak, Syd tha Kyd and the most recent 16-camera shoot for the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop documentary, starring Puff Daddy and Mase.
Risks and challenges
The risk of this project, like all narrative films, has to do with completing our production schedule in a timely manner. We are prepared to adhere religiously to our shooting schedule so that we wrap on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)