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Story of Afro-Ecuadorian World Cup players, after finding international success,are coming back to their small valley to give back. Read more

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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pledged of $40,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on August 11, 2011.

Story of Afro-Ecuadorian World Cup players, after finding international success,are coming back to their small valley to give back.

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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About this project


Please listen to the message  Ulises de la Cruz, two time World Cup Star and Community Hero, has for you. 

(Lee la información en español más abajo)

DREAMTOWN: HBO / NALIP Grant Award Winning Documentary film

DreamTown is the HOOP DREAMS of Soccer in Ecuador.  It is an underdog story with a universal theme that will move and inspire every person to keep striving for their dreams no matter what the odds or the obstacles!

DreamTown follows the triumphant although at times tragic portrait of the struggle three young men face to realize their soccer dreams from learning to play barefoot in the slums of their village to the heights of international soccer stardom, these players are not only hungry and passionate about the beautiful game but make great sacrifices along the way, not just to win out for themselves but in hopes to save their families and uplift their community!

The film is set in the impoverished backwater Afro-Ecuadorian town of El Chota Valley, a place where the primary export is Ecuador’s top soccer talent but was invisible prior to the success in the World Cup.

Meet Director Betty Bastidas and family to learn about what inspired this story.

With only 5% of Ecuador being of Afro Descent and rampant racism, the 2002 and 2006 World Cups rocked the boat of the country setting a new precedence since over half of the World Cup Squad team that took them there were Afro-Ecuadorian and hailed from the same small town of El Chota Valley. Soccer being the source of Ecuador's greatest pride and passion the success of these amazingly talented players have since united a very fragmented country by opening up a dialogue to include a community that has long been marginalized.

DreamTown features the story of one of these players who went from very humble beginnings on impoverished dirt fields to International Soccer Stardom. Ulises De La Cruz a footabller of high standing in English football and who has participated in the World Cups of Korea-Japan in 2002 and Germany in 2006. After achieving success not only did he remember where he came from but donated much of his earnings to start a foundation to promote the development of the people of his hometown, a poor village that had been permanently neglected and forgotten by the Ecuadorian government but now due to his efforts has new schools, hospitals, running water, paved roads and other basic necessities that they never had before. At the end of his career he is now dedicated to inspiring the next generation of Soccer stars, like Antonio Valenica (also featured in our film) to do the same.

He and other players like him from the World Cup team (all featured in our film) have given hope to the valley and inspired hundreds of young boys to follow in their footsteps despite only 10 players per year being chosen to play professionally. We also follow two of these talented hopefuls, Anibal and Carlos who are now in the middle of facing their biggest challenges and struggles as they are still striving for their dreams. We bare witness to what it takes to truly make it.

Bringing these never before told stories to the world is important and special because it truly is an amazing example of the transformative power of dreams that can shift and overcome a century of prejudice and neglect. While bringing a true appreciation of the passion, risk and sacrifice involved for those lucky few who achieve such a dream and rise to the highest heights of this beautiful game getting a second chance at life.

Meet Anibal, our youngest character in DreamTown:

At 13, he is a talented player that dreams of playing for Manchester United yet faces a reality of struggle and sacrifice as he's had to drop out of school to help care for his 9 siblings and still dedicate himself to soccer. With his entire families future in his hands he plays with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Will he and others like him make it to create a new identity for themselves and their community or will a generation of young boys be lost by risking it all for a pipe dream.


This past year we received the HBO/ NALIP Documentary Prize and were awarded a $10,000 Grand Prize given to Latino Filmmakers who present issues of social change with uncompromising honesty and quality.

The development of our film has also been helped by NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers). It was accepted into the Latino Media Market two years ago in the early stages as a work in progress, after which the Director Betty Bastidas was accepted to UC Berkeley where she received a Masters Degree in Documentary Film as well as valuable mentorship.

 Frontline World | PBS also funded the completion of a short version of the film and featured it as part of their ‘Stories from a Small Planet’ programming.


By telling the personal stories of youth from El Chota, we want to bring visibility to this region and continue its development via direct and indirect initiatives. For example, partnering up with international organizations such as Soccer Without Borders and Education Without Borders, as well as supporting and donating profits from the film to Ulises non-profit foundation Friends of FundeCruzalready doing service projects in El Chota Valley Ecuador, to bring forth international and cultural exchange while opening minds to a new and more hopeful reality.

Our goal is to have this film completed by the Spring/Summer of 2012. Once finished, we will be submitting to both domestic and international film festivals for early 2012 screenings. We will also create a number of special event screenings to promote our theatrical screenings, DVD release, and digital download. In conjunction there will be an educational version DVD released as well. In the meantime our plan is to maximize visibility of the film through our social networks while in production and make inroads to find a TV broadcaster with the greatest audience reach.


KickStarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. It is unique in that it is an all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded before its time expires or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t meet our GOAL, we don’t get anything. So please spread the word since that is the way we will meet our goal and succeed in bringing this documentary to the big screen.


Funds pledged go directly to the production of the film. Currently we are in pre-production for two trips planned to Ecuador to complete filming, one is as early as August. We are seeking funds to get through 40 days of production. Every cent of your donated money will make its way to the production of our story—such as airfare for crew, licensing rights for sports footage, meals, transportation, graphics for film and initial post-production costs—It will make a HUGE difference!! We are relying on its success to fund and form partnerships with supporters to complete the film. After which we'll be in post-production for our feature doc. Here is our cost breakdown:

Equipment Rentals Camera A Rental- Panasonic HD     $6,000,  4 P2 cards,field  labtop $3,600, Camera B package rental  $4,800, Sound Equipment Rental $3,600, Lighting Rental  $2800, Batteries & expendables $550, Field Drives- Lacie 1Terabite $500, Lacie 6Gig Terabite $500

Travel Expenses from NY Airfare for three for two trips to Ecuador Dir, Producer from NY $3,200,  DP from SFO $2000, local car rental $800, Hotel  $4000 Local Expenses Gas, parking, tolls $800, Loss, Damage, Repair $500

POST-PRODUCTION  Assistant Editor   $9,000, transcriber $2,000, Archival Researcher $1000,Archival Licensing Fees $30,000

If we do not reach our fundraising goal by the deadline, all donations will be returned. We keep nothing and the film production will be delayed or worse, our story happens and we are not there to capture it.


We are calling on all film lovers, soccer fans, Latinos, Ecuadorians and ALL that love an inspiring story that can make a difference in the world to SHARE OUR FUNDRAISER with your friends and family and help us make this film a possibility. It will only happen with your help. We want this to be your film just as much as it is ours. The more people participate the more the chances we have of getting the story out. To help out please share the KickStarter link on Twitter, "Like" us on Facebook, email this KickStarter link to your friends, teammates, supporter groups and co-workers to let them know about the film and our campaign. If you want to host a screening or get involved, e-mail Betty directly at


If you would like to receive a TAX WRITE-OFF for your pledge, please mail a check to our fiscal sponsor before August 10, 2011:

Woman Make Movies 462 Broadway, Suite 500WS New York, NY 10013

*Be sure to write "DreamTown Kickstarter" on the memo line.

Thank you for your generous support of our film - Nothing would be possible without you!


To learn more and get updates on our progress, please visit our website:

Also please feel free to email Director/Producer Betty Bastidas at or Producer/Writer Maia Monasterios at


@DreamTownDoc on Twitter on Facebook

Many thanks for your generous support!


En Español

“El Fútbol para mi es más que meter goles y ganar trofeos, es la herramienta social que uso para acabar con las injusticias “Ulises De La Cruz, estrella de la copa del Mundo y líder comunitario”

Estas palabras de Ulises de la Cruz son una de mis mayores inspiraciones. Me presento, mi nombre es Betty Bastidas, soy una cineasta Ecuatoriana – estadounidense y vivo en Brooklyn NY. Escribo para contarle la historia de mi película DreamTown, una  historia  inspiradora que narra las experiencias de futbolistas afroecuatorianos y cómo, a través de su lucha diaria y su fortaleza han hecho del fútbol y sus éxitos en este deporte,  su herramienta para transformar sus pueblos y lograr una sociedad más justa.

Además gracias a sus enormes esfuerzos, han traido esperanza y unidad a un país fragmentado, creando oportunidades de diálogo y de inclusión para sus comunidades que continuan luchando por condiciones más justas.

Hemos estado trabajando en este proyecto 4 años. Creemos en el poder de esta historia y la importancia de documentar y hacer visibles la realidad de las regiones del Ecuador que luchan por la justicia social y necesitan servicios básicos. Nuestra película recientemente recibió el premio HBO/NALIP que se otorga a realizadoras Latinas por presentar temas de cambio social con una visión honesta y con un trabajo de calidad. Es un proyecto ganador y que se beneficiaría mucho del apoyo de organizaciones como la suya.


Kickstarter es una página en la cual cualquiera puede donar. Si no se consigue el total ($40,000) en 30 días, el proyecto recibirá nada, y no le cobran a nadie.

Queremos saber si el público quiere que hagamos esta película. Queremos saber si esta historia es necesaria.


Muchas gracias por creer en nuestro proyecto! Pasa la voz.


PAREOCINADOR DE VERDAD: un sticker de DreamTown más un agradecimiento publico en Twitter y Facebook. Cada poquito cuentapara obtener los fondos y alcanzar nuestra goal.YEAHH!


BOMBA: Para los amantes de la música, una CD de musica afro-ecuatoriano, la música tradicional de El Valle del Chota. Este CD incluye canciones de la banda sonora DreamTown y lo pondrá a  bailar a todo momento.


DELANTERO: (a pedido del público) pre-ordenar su DreamTown DVD


FANATICO: Un DVD de DreamTown + un sticker de DreamTown + CD de Bomba +  un agradecimiento publico en Facebook y Twitter


ARMADOR: Camiseta Original de DreamTown + una decatga previa al lanzamiento oficial de DreamTown + un agradecimiento público en Facebook y Twitter!


GOLEADOR: un DVD de DreamTown + una camiseta original de DreamTown  + bolsa de DreamTown + Agradecimiento público en  Facebook y Twitter + Un agradecimiento especial a nuestro sitio web


GOLEADOR ESTRELLA: Lo que será un placer! Una deliciosa comida típica ecuatoriana para dos personas en Barzola, uno de los mejores restaurantes de comida ecuatorianan en NY Una descarga digital +  un agradecimiento especial en nuestro sitio web


BENEFACTOR: Con espíritu de un verdadero filántropo, una cuarta parte de su donación será para los residentes de El Valle del Chota. $ 100 de su promesa se ​​dontated a FundeCruz, la organización sin fines de lucro comprometida con la reconstrucción de EL Valle del Chota dirigido por el miembro del elenco DreamTown y la estrella del fútbol, Ulises de la Cruz.


CAMPEÓN: Un balón de fútbol firmado por las estrellas ecuatorianas de la Copa Mundial como Ulises De La Cruz + DVD + una camiseta + su nombre en la pantalla grande en "agradecimiento especial" o de selección especial para su salón de clase, organización, o en la comodidad de su propia casa. El director. Proyección privada + DVD + camiseta + su nombre en la pantalla grande - incluidos en DreamTown en "agradecimiento especial"


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2 or more

    7 backers

    A big thank you for believing in our project! Please spread the word.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    52 backers

    DreamTown sticker plus a Thank You Shout Out on Twitter and Facebook.
    Every little bit counts toward getting us a step closer to reaching our goal.YEAHH!

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    38 backers

    BOMBA!: For the music lover, a CD mix of Ecuadorian Bomba, the traditional music of El Chota Valley. This CD includes songs from the DreamTown soundtrack and will have you on your feet and dancing in no time.

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    Pledge $25 or more

    70 backers

    STRIKER: (by popular demand) pre-order your DreamTown DVD

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    35 backers All gone!

    A DreamTown DVD + DreamTown sticker you can put on your labtop or bumper + a Thank You Shout Out on Facebook and Twitter page

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    Pledge $40 or more

    77 backers

    DIE HARD FAN: (by popular demand) DreamTown DVD + Bomba CD Mix + DreamTown Sticker + Shout out on Facebook and Twitter

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    Pledge $75 or more

    27 backers

    Original DreamTown T-shirt + Digital Download of DreamTown upon its release + a Thank You Shout Out on Facebook and Twitter!

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    Pledge $125 or more

    32 backers

    DreamTown DVD + original DreamTown T-shirt + Dreamtown styling Tote Bag +Shout out on facebook and twitter + a special THANK YOU on our awesome website.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    8 backers

    What at treat! A YUMMY Typical Ecuadorian MEAL for two at Barzola, one of the best Ecuadorian restaurants NY has to offer + digital download of DreamTown + a special Thank You on our awesome website!
    Signed ART PRINT by Artist Martin Brecht ( + original DreamTown T-shirt + styling Tote bag + DreamTown DVD + a special Thank You on our awesome website + shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    2 backers

    DO-GOODER: In true philanthropist spirit, one-quarter of your donation will directly impact the residents of El Chota Valley. $100 of your pledge will be dontated to FundeCruz, the nonprofit organization committed to rebuilding EL Chota Valley led by DreamTown cast member and international soccer star Ulises de la Cruz.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    4 backers

    A signed soccer ball by two time World Cup soccer star Ulises De La Cruz +DreamTown DVD + DreamTown T-shirt + your name on the big screen under "Special Thanks"

    Special Screening for your classroom, organization, or in the comfort of your own home. The director . Private Screening + DVD+ T-shirt + your name on the big screen - included in DreamTown under "Special Thanks"

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    0 backers

    ARTIST IN SOCCER: An original mix media oil painting by artist Abraham Ushina. dimensions: 30in x 40in. This painting has been published in an article by Noticiero Universo

    Estimated delivery:
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    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    PRESS PASS: Join members of the DreamTown crew behind the scenes at the next Ecuador national team friendly in NYC. Experience a soccer match like you never have before and maybe even meet a player or two with this unique reward!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    TEAM ECUADOR: Limited addition *TEAM* signed Ecuadorian national team jersey. "La Seleccion" signatures include World Cup stars from El Chota Valley.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Join the crew! Come down for a week of filming (airfare included) and we'll show you around the valley ourselves. Play a game of pickup soccer with the children of El Chota, meet members of the cast and crew, and dance the night away to Ecuadorian Bomba!

Funding period

- (30 days)