Rewilding is not just a documentary about sharing a transformational experience with Anthony, though it is that! It is also bigger. Rewilding has partnered with transition programs in NYC and is going to change the way that prison rehabilitation and transition are done. This film is going to show the world how we're going to do that.
Transition programs lack funding to offer a more balanced approach with a wider focus. We want to inspire individuals, broaden horizons, introduce new ideas, places and ways. We want to encourage personal growth, hope and belief.
We believe that this can start with a new opportunity. An opportunity to leave the familiar behind and go on an inspirational adventure of a life time. A chance to connect with nature and people, climb, practice yoga, farm and most importantly broaden horizons.
Our goal does not end with offering this journey, instead, this is where it begins.
In collaboration with our transition partners we want to support a Rewilding Alumni Community through which past participants can congregate, stay connected, help one another move forward, and avoid old environments and unproductive habits. The Alumni Community will build upon the initial adventure, and will enable past participants to continue pursuing outdoor activities, yoga, art, urban farming and more with the support of our local collaborators.
Anthony DeJesus, is leaving NYC for the first time in his life. He's jumping in a van and joining Jesse Spiegel, Vitek Linhart, and Gordo (their dog). Together they are embarking on on an inspiring and epic journey across the Western United States. (Below is our pilot episode).
Along the way they'll climb mountains, practice yoga, live in an eco-village, and meet people from all walks of life. They'll explore leadership, health, adventure and happiness. Its going to be a fun and wild ride designed to broaden their horizons, as well as their sense of the world and self. Please join us!!
At age 6, Anthony was sent to his first foster home. By the time that he was 22 years old, he had lived with 6 foster families. Every time he began to settle in, he was moved to a new home. Lacking a family that he could count on, he ended up finding community in gang life. (Below is an interview with Anthony)
Gang life inevitably led to jail, but it also led Anthony to make a decision: At 23 years old, Anthony decided to leave the gang life behind and redefine himself. It was not easy; without his gang, much education or resources, Anthony found himself homeless in NYC. Still he was determined to continue on this chosen path, which he believed would lead him to the future he desired. Since then, Anthony has gotten himself off the streets and is eager to take the next steps forward. Anthony could not be more excited for this trip and sees this journey as the most significant opportunity of his life.
Jesse has always had an adventurous spirit. His mom recalls that at the youngest age he was already climbing the tallest trees and rooftops that he could find. At 12, he was sent to a climbing camp in Colorado and fell completely in love with the great outdoors. Jesse’s spirit has not changed and he has adventured all over the world, climbing, mountaineering and exploring, always pushing his comfort zone. Jesse is passionate about sharing these experiences with others.
Gordo, Jesse's sidekick is loved by all. Trained as a service dog by Jesse he is more attuned to human emotion than most humans! He can open and close doors, bring in the newspaper and can even fetch a beer from the fridge. But above all of his fancy tricks, he’s great company and we know you’ll love him just like we do!
Vitek Linhart was born and raised in the Czech Republic. He grew up in the forest where he developed a deep and lasting connection with nature. His love for physical challenge and outdoor adventure can only be described as a burning passion.
Vitek is a climber, long distance runner and professional arborist. He was also a pro skier and college athlete. Vitek received his masters degree in sports and physical education, a path born out of his love for teaching and sharing what he loves with others.
We see this journey as a way to expose Anthony to breadth of experiences. We aim to create an environment where he can reflect on what inspires him and decide what he would like to continue to pursue. We don’t expect that he will love every activity and opportunity equally. Instead, we have created a platter, from which Anthony gets to try and taste so that he can decide in which direction to continue.
At the end of the trip, and in the last episode of the series, we will introduce Anthony to a variety of programs based in NYC that are designed to empower and give more opportunities for growth. As we learn more about Anthony, and what excites him, it will inform the direction of support that we provide.
Also, for the year that follows the journey, we will have a weekly skype check in with Anthony where he will have time to reflect about what happened in the previous week, and will set goals and intentions for the upcoming week. We will also will include Anthony in helping us to develop the next stages of the Rewilding program. Anthony wants to help people and be a role model, so we intend to empower him with a role on the team as a community coordinator who helps us identify other candidates for the Rewilding Program.
Has been involved in film all of his adult life. His works include the award winning documentary Chasing Ice and Natural Response as well as a pilot series sold to Amazon Prime called Those Who Can’t.
Has been involved in the production of feature films and television for 37 years. He was honored with the Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award for his work on “Dances with Wolves.” Doug has produced, directed or been the assistant director on over 35 feature films, which have grossed over $1 billion. Some other films he has been a part of include: The Italian Job, Wonder Boys, City Slickers, and White Fang.
Has been involved in 5 startup businesses over the last 12 years. In 2007 he and one of his companies were featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. In 2012 Jesse sold one of his companies, then spent 2 years traveling and climbing before he began development of the Rewilding Alternative Adventure Retreat (RAAR).
Is a motion graphics specialist & post-production generalist. He pursues partnerships which allow him to support educational and philanthropic missions with his technical expertise. He believes that a great story can be one of the most effective mechanisms to change the social climate and prompt reform.
Is a recording engineer and composer with 17 years of experience creating original scores. He is also a certified drone operator. He utilizes a H3-2D Gimbal. Giorgio is also a talented writer, editor and film lab technician.
Suzanne is a talented organizer and communicator. She has a much experience managing projects, organizing people, running media campaigns, raising money and building social movements. Suzanne is one of three individuals who built Frack Free Colorado from the ground up. FFC has been one of the major forces that has worked to keep fracking out of Colorado's Front Range.
All over the media, we see systemic brutality and injustice toward minority people with less privilege. Police brutality, a growing discrepancy between rich and poor, and an incarceration rate higher than all other industrialized countries combined are some factors which are keeping people disempowered and in a cycle of poverty.
We believe that new experiences, people and ideas are some of the most effective catalysts for personal growth. We feel lucky to know how powerful it is to be in the outdoors, and to have the time to explore oneself and world. We want to share these experiences with people who really want it, but until now have had no way in. Anthony is a remarkable person whose spark is hard to miss. Together, we can offer him a chance to go on this life changing journey.
We believe that by facilitating this one transformational journey, we can foster many more. This documentary series is the stepping stone toward the creation of Rewilding’s Alternative Adventure Retreat (RAAR): A place for wilderness immersion, self-discovery, adventure, and sustainability education. The RAAR team is dedicated to sharing the opportunities we offer with communities that would otherwise not have access to such experiences.
The formerly incarcerated population is one of the communities with the least access to these types of experiences and we believe is one of the communities that would benefit the most from access.
Rewilding has partnered with 7 transition programs in NYC (The Bronx and Harlem) that assist formerly incarcerated young men as they transition back into their communities after incarceration. RAAR will offer these men an opportunity to leave the city and head west where they will participate in a variety of hands-on activities aimed at developing leadership skills and promoting growth and healing.
Let`s talk about our goals!
- $65,000 would cover the basic costs of the trip and production with the smallest crew possible using the gear we already own which is very decent.
- $ 75,000 would allow us to have a better camera to film this documentary.
- $ 80,000 and we could also afford to get a better van. By better we mean one that we can all travel in more comfortably and that will have a lower risk of problems during the trip.
- $ 85,000 would allow us to bring a dedicated editor on the trip with us so we could put out more content for your viewing pleasure. It would also allow us to build a simple editing bay in the van.
- $ 90,000 would allow us to have a drone operator join us at some of our more beautiful destinations and epic climbs
- $95,000 would allow us to really utilize our composer Giorgio Giannini and have him create an amazing soundtrack for the project.
- $110,000 Would allow us to better fund marketing efforts that will allow us to reach more people and build up our community of supporters and fans.
Risks and challenges
For anyone who has travelled, you know that there are some inevitable challenges. Some foreseeable challenges include:
-Mechanical problems are possible, however, we have budgeted for a dependable van so that we can avoid this risk as much as possible.
-Weather is another foreseeable challenge. We are embarking on many outdoor adventures during our 8 week journey so it's possible that we could get rained out on occasion. We have built in some flexibility by creating alternative plans in each region.
-The final challenge that we can foresee are the interpersonal challenges of four guys, living and traveling together in the very close quarters of a van. In order to set the dynamic right at the beginning of our journey, the four crew members will be involved in a discussion about healthy communication, conflict resolution and positive intentions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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