Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 25, 2011.


A modern Native American artist loses his path and faith but regains it again with the help of one rugged guy.

Hello everyone!

My name is Jason Asenap and I want to make this film.  This project was selected by the Sundance Institute for the 2011 Nativelab.  It was inspired by true life events so it's a very personal story to me.  I believe it to be a funny and inspirational film made from the perspective of a modern day Native American artist, dealing with the loss of confidence in his work and coming to a crossroads in his life. It's a universal story about making big decisions when the time is right and being bold and reaching for the sky.

You might say I've been working on this script for some time, having arrived at it after writing numerous other scripts that dealt with contemporary Native life.  I wrote this humorous, lighthearted script as a way to try something different and I really just want to see more humorous, intelligent stories that portray the real lives of contemporary Native people. So I went out and did just that.

I have a number of colleagues/friends who believe in this project and I've called upon them to graciously put their time and efforts into this project.  Filmmakers such as Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo), Steven Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw), Tvli Jacob (Choctaw) and Jonathan Sims (Acoma) are involved all involved in this project in some way, shape or form.  They bring a wealth of experience and expertise. I am honored and thankful for their willingness to contribute to this project. Also,I believe I've scored a great actor in Kelly Byars as well.

Being that the story is local, we're keeping it local by shooting in my neighborhood, EDo right here in downtown Albuquerque NM and on the University of New Mexico campus. We are utilizing local Native talent from right here in Albuquerque, where there is an abundance of it.

How are we going to do this?  With your help, we can feed the crew, rent the equipment we need (light kits, lenses, camera rigs, etc.), house those from out of town (we got a few who want to help from my home state of Oklahoma), pay for post production fees and acquire some good quality recordings from my very talented friend down in Austin TX, professional musician John Wesley Coleman who records solo work and with his great band, The Golden Boys. We want to get this film to the Sundance film festival, being that it's a Sundance lab selection, so we want to make the highest quality film possible.  We are doing our very best to keep costs low and yet even in doing so making a film is a very costly process.  So needless to say we are thankful for any assistance we get! 

I'm incredibly excited about taking this film from script to screen and telling what I think is a unique, contemporary story from one of the major urban areas of Indian country, right here in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico. I'd really appreciate any support, whether it be financial and/or spreading the word far and wide by posting, re-posting, tweeting, and retweeting our info throughout the social media stratosphere, on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks so much for your support!

Udah! and Mvto! (Thank you in both my languages,Comanche and Muskogee Creek!)


pledged of $5,000 goal
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    7 backers

    A hardy Rugged Guy hand shake when I see you, and a Rugged Guy virtual hug if we never meet. Rugged heartfelt gratitude. Cannot thank you enough for this assistance!

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    1 backer

    Heartfelt gratitude and a rugged shout out on our Facebook page (as long as our neighbor keeps paying for his internet AND doesn't add a password to it...gah, rugged) Thank you so much! and stay Rugged!

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    17 backers

    A Rugged guy postcard featuring one of the Rugged Guy production sketches created by my father, Hollis Asenap! Each design is VERY RUGGED. As a fellow Rugged Guy or Girl, you may have been known to spend the weekend in "County". Well, now you will have a post card to write to family and friends to remind them to pick you up on Monday. Weeeechaa!

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    17 backers

    A whole SET of rugged postcards with each Rugged Guy production sketch, created by the Comanche artist (and my dad) Hollis Asenap. These are five different pieces of artwork that my father created drawing inspiration from the screenplay and you'll get each piece of Rugged Guy art! You'll be overflowing in ruggedness!

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    10 backers

    An official Rugged Guy film poster signed by the artist Hollis Asenap! A set of Rugged Guy postcards with original art work by Hollis Asenap AND a signed copy of the Rugged Guy script cover page signed by Jason Asenap (Director/Writer) and the cast. As a fellow rugged guy or girl, we are sure you wont mind the coffee ring stain on it.

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    15 backers

    An official Rugged Guy t-shirt! This is the same one issued to the cast and crew, designed by Comanche artist (and my dad) Hollis Asenap! AND you get the Rugged Guy postcard set also! To make this a true "rugged guy" shirt, we advise you not to wash it until you have worn it out at least 5 times.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    20 backers

    A set of Rugged Guy postcards, a Rugged Guy poster, an official Rugged Guy t-shirt, the same one issued to the cast and crew, designed by Comanche artist (and my dad) Hollis Asenap! And a shout out in the credits! How Rugged are you man? You are that guy or gal singing at the 49, the last one to leave, the first one to start a song, you are straight up RUGGED! Needless to say we are happy to know you and we embrace your ruggedness.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    Your very own Blu-Ray copy of the Rugged Guy film! Plus the set of Rugged Guy postcards, A Rugged Guy poster, an official Rugged Guy t-shirt, the very same shirt issued to the cast and crew AND a shout out in the credits. You are positively dripping in Ruggedness.

Funding period

- (30 days)