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Kantza is a film envisioned by Amazon natives intending to share their creativity & wisdom in support of their ancestral homelands.

Kantza is a film envisioned by Amazon natives intending to share their creativity & wisdom in support of their ancestral homelands. Read More
pledged of $15,000 goal

Funding Canceled

Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on July 16, 2012.

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About this project

Kantza is a film project envisioned and produced by members of the Shuar nation, indigenous caretakers of the Ecuadorian Amazon.  Through collaboration with professional video and audio technicians the tribe intends to share the beauty of their culture as well as the struggle to preserve their homelands.  Furthermore, the skills gained by making their own movie will offer on-going opportunities to document culture, share wisdom and engage the global community in ways that support social and environmental justice.

Kantza will explore the interface between traditional Shuar culture and the possibilities and challenges of today’s modern world.  Rather than sending scholars, explorers, and university ‘experts’ to study and report about indigenous cultures, the Amazon people ask instead for help in obtaining the tools that will allow them to share their world personally and truthfully, in their own words, through their own creations. The Shuar are excited to express their living tradition through new mediums.

Kantza has its roots in traditional Shuar mythology, a cultural soil rich in human wisdom and teachings about environmental stewardship. This is an opportunity for old stories to come to life in new ways. Film will add new  textures and layers of meaning to the stories themselves and render them available to people across the world interested in learning traditional indigenous stories.

With support from this campaign the Shuar will receive valuable training in audio and video production as well as minimal but professional quality equipment, designed to handle the extreme conditions of the Amazon jungle. Prepared to share their story with the world, the Shuar intend to document their own culture and offer knowledge and inspiration pertaining to environmental and social issues impacting the entire planet.  Additionally, the Shuar are excited to share skills and resources with neighboring communities in an attempt to further empower cultural expression and vocalize indigenous presence throughout the Amazon and support inter-tribal solidarity.     

The $15,000 we raise through Kickstarter will provide the minimum needed to realize a short film version of Kantza.  This includes a professional camera, updates for computers, and solar power to run the media center. This also contributes to the travel expenses of professional video and audio technicians who will be supporting and teaching the Shuar in their initial filming process. 

This version of the film will stand on its own as the first creative film produced by the Shuar.  It will also be used to garner additional support in order to create a final, feature length film.  If this current campaign is capable of reaching $20,000 - $30,000+, the additional funds will support expansion of the project, including additional post production support and training.  Furthermore, it will be possible to begin similar work with neighboring villages, enabling more indigenous voices to share their perspective with the world.  

Ultimately, we hope to see media outposts created throughout the Amazon, capable of addressing four critical aspects of global environmental and cultural health: Human Rights, Culture, Environment, and Youth Action.  By amplifying the voice of the indigenous caretakers of these lands we hope to support global health in the following ways:  

Indigenous peoples in the Amazon live in extremely remote locations where they have virtually no access to the outside world. They currently do not have efficient communication tools for urgent needs and adequate political representation.

400 indigenous groups in the Amazon are waiting to speak for themselves to the international community for the first time. The communications equipment will provide a means for the tribes to preserve their cultures through self-archiving: sharing their medicinal knowledge, sustainability practices, spiritual heritage and cultural ways through online repositories.

When a tree falls, the world will finally hear. Through a communications network of local media centers using portable technologies, indigenous communities can alert officials on illegal forest degradation, educate others about sustainable forestry practices, and strengthen scientific efforts to monitor the forest. Many scientists now suggest that preserving the Amazon is one of the most efficient and effective ways to lessen the impact of climate change

Cultural archiving tools provide the youth with inspiring artistic projects that bring the focus away from external cultures back onto their own, encouraging them to convene with elders to capture rich cultural music, stories, medicinal knowledge, and histories of the land. Cultural erosion is prevented through access to online education that eliminates the need for children to leave their homes to attend distant schools where they lose their cultural values, native language, and environmental knowledge.

More information at:


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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more
    About $2.00 USD

    27 backers

    A “thank you” and a subscription to newsletter updates.

    Estimated delivery:
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    34 backers

    The above + an exclusive video update produced by the Shuar, including a special "thank you" message.

    Estimated delivery:
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    100 backers

    The above + a digital copy of “Spirit of la Selva” the new electronic music compilation featured in the soundtrack to our Kickstarter video. Compiled by Bluetech and including music gifted from Tipper, Govinda, ill-esha and others the album was created for the sole purpose of raising funds for this project.

    Estimated delivery:
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    20 backers

    The above + an exclusive, pre-release, short film version of Kantza.

    Estimated delivery:
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more
    About $75 USD

    2 backers

    The above + you'll be listed on the Amazon Voice website as a supporter of Kantza.

    Estimated delivery:
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    32 backers

    The above + a traditional, handmade Shuar bead necklace or bracelet.

    Estimated delivery:
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more
    About $150 USD

    14 backers Limited (16 left of 30)

    The above + a Kantza inspired art print from co-producer Adrien sAne or associate artist David Hale.

    Estimated delivery:
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    3 backers

    The above + personal thanks you from co-producers Estalin Tzamarendo and Adrien sAne, handwritten on professional (8x10) photo and/or screen shot from Kantza.

    Estimated delivery:
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    1 backer

    The above + a Skype chat with the creator of Kantza, who is also the acting village chief of Tawasap, the indigenous community featured in and co-producing the film. Spanish translation provided.

    Estimated delivery:
  10. Select this reward

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

    1 backer

    The above + you'll receive associate producer credits on Kantza.

    Estimated delivery:
  11. Select this reward

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

    0 backers

    The above + executive producer credit + a private screening of Kantza. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or Cambridge, Mass. our project directors will make a guest appearance and share their personal experience of working on the project. Otherwise, we're open to making a Skype call or negotiating travel expenses to join you and your invitees in order to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of the film and on-going management of the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,000 or more
    About $4,000 USD

    0 backers

    The above + a chance to travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon, meet the indigenous community of Tawasap and share in their daily life, ancestral heritage, and spiritual ceremonies (travel expenses not included).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (60 days)