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Cut off from the surrounding world by treacherous ocean, a collection of rocky islands off the western-most coast of Ireland housed a people and a King. Constantly fighting against the threat of famine and cruel weather, this group of families helped preserve a language and culture that was forcibly taken from their country.
That was long ago. Since then, the Blasket Islands have become a cult topic, producing and inspiring nearly as many books as it had residents. One person frequently featured in these celebrated memoirs was known as "An Ri": the King.
Among the King's duties was to trek across miles of unforgiving ocean to the Dingle Peninsula for correspondence and supplies. After his death and the evacuation of the island, his descendants settled in America.
On opposite sides of the country, two of the King's great great grandchildren would inherit a love for the ocean and make their way -- unaware of the other's existence -- to the world of serious surfing. Upon discovering each other, they arrange to meet for the first time in the land of their unique heritage, to explore their history and satisfy a desire to conquer the dangerous water of The Blasket Islands. This isn't coincidental -- it's in their blood.
Andrew Jacob was born and raised in Boston, MA. His passion for surf and art has flourished in the diversity of the New England landscape over the past 20 years.
Andrew enjoys drawing, painting, surfing, urban exploration, traveling the earth, taking pictures & drinking brews with friends. His work can be found in galleries along the east & west coast, city walls, back alleys, freight trains & bathrooms stalls. Andrew has produced T.V shows in L.A, created original art for bands like Aerosmith, painted murals for the prestigious big wave Mavericks surf contest and helped his friend move out of his apartment.
As of late, Andrew has been exhibiting art with some of the art worlds leading contemporary artists. Jesse Reno, John Severson, Phil Frost, Shepard Fairey and Dave Kinsey are a few of the lot to mention. When Andrew isn't working to push his artistic vision forward he is most comfortable being in the ocean sliding on waves.
Dennis "DK" Kane is originally From Ocala Florida. DK is an avid surfer, skateboarder, and snowboarder who has been living in Encinitas, CA for 7 years. Surfing up and down southern Caifornia's coast with scattered trips to shape and surf in Australia, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
He has been finely tuning his skills in the art of shaping surfboards for 10 years and was fortunate enough to learn under multiple elite craftsmen.
DK Surfboards was started in 2003 and has sent boards all over the world to surfers of all abilities.
MARK COVINO - DIRECTOR
Originally from Queens, NY, Mark fell in love with film at an early age. By the time he was a student at Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S., he was honing the skills he would need to make the leap from High School student to filmmaker. Soon after, Mark moved to VT to attend Burlington College, earning a BA in Cinema Studies and Film production in 2006.
While Mark was working towards his undergraduate degree, he became heavily active in the VT filmmaking community working on productions such as Unless a Death Occurs: Hazing Examined for PBS, Rally-Nation (a pilot optioned for ESPN 2), as well as the highly acclaimed Black Panther documentary What We Want, What We Believe.
Most recently Mark co-directed the award winning documentary A Band Called Death - which was an official selection of the South By Southwest Film Festival and The Los Angeles Film Festival (among others) The movie has been acquired by Drafthouse Films and will be appearing in theaters this summer.
***A BAND CALLED DEATH TRAILER***
JOHN KANE - PRODUCER
Born in Salem, MA and raised in South Burlington, VT, John has been heavily involved in the medium of video for most of his life - from convincing teachers to allow video projects in lieu of written papers to conceiving and producing several cable access tv shows throughout high school.
Following school he worked in Los Angeles for several years in various roles. His television credits include: Clean House (Style Network), How Do I Look? (Style Network), Three Wishes (NBC), 10 Years Younger (TLC) and others - and feature film work such as: The Hard Easy and License to Wed.
John currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Colchester, VT, spending the last several years concentrating on documentaries and screenwriting.
Mark Covino and John Kane have been collaborating since 1999 and formed Butter Flavored Films in 2007.
GEORGIA PANTAZOPOULOS - DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Born and Raised in Lowell, MA, Georgia knew she wanted to be behind the scenes of production since her freshman year in high school, where she directed the morning tv show and shot & edited her own segments. She fell in love with the power of video and film, joined the high school's communications academy and graduated at the top of her class in video production.
Georgia attended Burlington College in Vermont (earning a BA in Cinema Studies and Film Production) where she met filmmaker and fellow student Mark Covino. The two joined forces and have collaborated on many projects together - in school, and since.
Pantazopoulos has been a mainstay in the busy production hub of Massachusetts. In the summer of 2006 she joined the local grip & electric union and was hired to work on a film titled "On Broadway." Since then, Georgia has worked over 20 hollywood feature films such as, "The Fighter", "TED", "Shutter Island", & "R.I.P.D."
Most recently Georgia was a Camera Operator & Gaffer for the award winning documentary "A Band Called Death"
ELIZA C. KANE - CO-PRODUCER
Eliza C. Kane earned a BA and MA in literature with a concentration in Eco-criticism. She has taught anglophone literature and writing at University of Massachusetts Boston as well as Lycée Félix Esclangon in Provence, France.
Originally from Vermont, often on the road, now based in Cambridge, MA, Eliza works for the Alliance Française and devotes her free time to creative writing, conceptual art, and other narrative projects such as this one. Her work has appeared in such publications as Inertia Magazine, Ekleksographia, nthWORD Magazine, Stranded in Stereo, San Diego CityBeat, and The Mass Media.
DAVE SCHULZ - PRODUCTION CONSULTANT
Dave Schulz has been producing feature films, documentaries & unscripted television for more than a decade. He Produced & Directed the award-winning documentary Cult Of Personality about the first mayoral election in post-Katrina New Orleans and served as Co-Executive Producer of the Lifetime docu-series One Born Every Minute.
Currently, Dave is VP of Production for a global television production company. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.
Dave is originally from Buffalo, NY and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
JACK KANE - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jack Kane is an experienced financial executive. He earned bachelors and masters degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University, worked for Ernst & Young in Boston, MA for over five years and was the chief financial officer for IDX Systems Inc. (IDXC) from 1984 to 2006. During that time the company grew from $13.5 million in revenue to $600 million.
Since the sale of IDX he has done a variety of business consulting and has been on the boards of two public companies, The Merchants Bank (MBVT) and athenahealth (ATHN) along with eight private companies over the last six years.
He was born in Springfield, MA and currently resides in Fort Myers, FL.
MITCH CARTER - PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Born and raised in Utah, Mitch developed a deep love for film at an early age. Currently a student at the University of Utah, he spends most of his time studying with the University’s Film and Media department, and working as a service and transportation representative at a mental health clinic.
Aside from his passion for film, Mitch also enjoys hip-hop, professional basketball, and the finer things in life.
ERIK JEFFERIS - VISUAL EFFECTS
Erik Jefferis is a motion and graphic designer based in Burlington, VT. He works for a local cinema producing marketing and branding material while challenging himself with various freelance work. Erik received a Business degree with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Vermont in 2011. Using his equal passion for marketing and design, Erik continues to explore the relationship between design and the success of a business, while furthering his knowledge in animation and motion graphics.
JOE SPURR - CAMERA OPERATOR
Joe Spurr is a photographer, web developer, and multimedia journalist currently reporting for and producing an investigative series at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. Previously, he trail-blazed journalistic uses of new media as a staff web developer for KPBS, San Diego’s NPR station, and also reported as a freelancer for The Boston Globe. A Boston native and graduate of Northeastern University, Joe is very much looking forward to his first trip to Ireland.
Risks and challenges
Filming a documentary with limited funding is always a challenge - and for us even more so. This is due to the specialty equipment we need to film on and in the waters off the coast of Ireland and the additional gear we need to bring with us to the Blasket Islands, which have no electricity or running water.
However the greatest challenges we face are those posed by time and distance. The journey required to tell the story of the descendants of the King of the Blasket Islands will take us from San Diego to Cape Cod where the two cousins live and all points in between to interview descendants scattered throughout the country as well as across the ocean to Ireland and the Blasket Islands themselves where the story begins. Time is of the essence since the cousins' journey coincides with The Gathering, a reunion this May of Blasket Island descendants from all over the world.
This is also the risk. If we are not able to pull together the funds to film this spring, we will miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to document the experience of this unique homecoming as well as the chance to explore the enduring influence the traditions of these islands and this shared heritage has on generations of Blasketers now living in the Americas and elsewhere.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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