Remember that film on the use of ayahuasca in the treatment of addiction?
The one that an international team of crazy people had spent the better part of a decade trying to make?
Well - whether you remember us or not - you are receiving this letter because somewhere along the way you kindly pledged to support us - and so, to the tremendously helpful group of people who’ve done so - (both patiently and, understandably, less patiently)
We have some very exciting news.
But first we need to apologize for the silence these past few months - there was a reason: one that surprised us all - a legal one.
Since the crowdfunding campaign, and for reasons not worth going into, our relationship with our producing partners (who held the rights to the film) had become more and more complicated. So much so that eventually both parts agreed it was best to go our separate ways.
No separation is ever easy, and neither was this one. It was a long negotiation, much much longer than we ever expected. Long letters, long conversations, lawyers were called, then were called off. It dragged on for months (about as long as our silence to you.)
And then last week, after many months of back and forth, we reached an agreement all parts are happy with.
We are extremely happy to announce that the rights to the film are now fully back in our hands.
Our film is ours again,
and we are ready to proceed.
It has been a difficult process. It was especially difficult not being able to talk about it.
We want to thank you again for your patience through what must have felt like a strange silence.
But now, get ready - from now on, our updates will be regular- and we hope you will become bored with them, rather than left wondering. We are working on the rewards and you will be getting sneak peeks into them very soon. Our brilliant editor Mahi is moving into a new home closer to where Mark lives in Toronto. She’s camera shy, but we’ll coax her to include her thoughts of the process.
Many things have happened in the past 2 years, Jeronimo has had a second child. Some of us lost our parents. There have been breakups and reunions. Toddlers have learned the wonders of our natural world.
& we have honed the direction we’d like to take the film.
More to come on the next steps we are taking. But for now, it’s exciting to have our child back.
We look forward to taking these next steps with you.
When Gabor heard the news he wrote this:
“Now that the legal situation has cleared, I’m excited about the potential of this film being completed. It could, I know, be the most powerful documentary on the plant ever done and certainly the most beautiful.“
We hope to honour that promise, and the one we’ve made to you all.
- Mark, Robin & Jero
Greetings from the Ayahuasca Project decentralized offices. I have been slowly going through the hard drives containing 10 years worth of recordings, to make a preselection of songs to include on the Songs of Ayahuasca CD reward. In the coming weeks I will be sharing some of them with you. I am going to start with a rather special one.
The story goes like this: in 2007 while doing research for the film I met in Perú a man who was convinced he was possessed by the devil. I won't go into the details, he looked normal enough. I'll just say that when I met him he had been drinking ayahuasca for a few months with no major effects. The first 2 times I drank with him it was uneventful. The third time, however, something happened. During the session what he called his devil "came out" in the open for the first time. It just so happened that I was recording audio that night.
I will save you that recording, suffice it to say it is some of the most hair-raising shrieking I have ever heard. The entire rom was terrified. When I revisited the recording I could barely listen for more than a few seconds. That night it took the curanderos all their power and more than an hour to get the situation to the point where the shrieks became a whimper. When there was finally silence, the entire room breathed out a collective sight of relief.
When the room was finally at peace Jacques Mabit sang this ícaro: madrecita ayahuasca.
Mabit told me that the author of the ícaro is maestro José Campos. I have translated the lyrics so English speakers can understand the words. Use the captions button (next to the gear icon) to see the English subtitles. This ayahuasca song is almost a battle tune, meant to cast off evil, and claim the space back. Mabit calls the spirits of the most powerful plants, and of everything he holds most sacred. It's almost a declaration principles, a manifesto, stating where the curandero stands, and under which forces his sessions are run, as you will see it is also full of poetic turns, and inspiring calls.
I will say no more. I think the song speaks for itself. I am however, unsure of wether to include in on the selection or not. What do you think? Would love to hear your opinions.
Once again thank you for your generosity and patience.
First of all, our deepest apologies for the long silence. We didn't want send an update until we had firm news, and we have been carefully taking our next steps.
As all you know, after 10 years of work, the final stretch of The Jungle Prescription put all three of us on the verge of economic ruin. We wanted to make the best film about ayahuasca ever - so when the funds ran out, we poured our own savings into the project. We launched the crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds to finish our film, and thanks to the open-hearted generosity of hundreds of backers like you, that’s now possible: the funds we gathered will cover a new edit.
They do not, however, cover our living expenses through the edit, post and promotion period.
So, while thanks to you now we have money to finish the film, we don't have money to stop everything and and work on it full-time in the manner it deserves. For that reason, the 3 of us have spent the past year taking other work, hoping to be able to save enough to properly get us through the 3-month edit, and 6 weeks of final post (including sound design, music composition and colour correction).
We are trying to live a dream and pay the bills, it is possible, but as many of you know, it takes time. So it is taking longer than we expected, and that is the reason for the delays.
The good news is that while we each work on other projects, we have been making important allies and deepening our community: like-minded people who will help us spread our film further afield. In the long run, this means the film you’ve supported will have a greater effect on the world - and reach more people than we had imagined.
Gee, that is great, but what about my rewards?
We are very conscious that we promised to deliver all rewards by Sept 2012. Unfortunately, that estimate turned out to be wildly optimistic (what can we do? we like to think positive .-)
So we have revised our plan. We were hoping to save on shipping costs by shipping all rewards together. But since finishing the film (DVD) is taking longer than expected, we have come up with a new plan: we have divided rewards in two categories, short-term delivery, and long-term delivery.
Short-term deliveries include the Songs Of Ayahuasca, and Poder Verde! CDs, the Jungle Insight t-shirts, the Art Prints, and Gabor Mate´s signed books and skype consultation. We intend to get those on the fast track and deliver them to you in the first quarter of 2013.
Long-term deliveries are those which will take some time to produce: basically the Ayahuasca Conversations book, and the DVD of the feature-length film (and the rewards tied to the film, like Associate Producer credits, the premiere invites, etc). We can't deliver those until we have finished the film- but we promise when we do it will be worth the wait!
So the good news is that we are on it. Jero has been pouring through the archives and fishing out some amazing ayahuasca songs for the CD. We think we have found a service delivery company that will do all shipping for us. We are on it, and you will hear more from us soon, as we prepare to ship CDs, t-shirts, and other rewards.
With our deepest gratitude
-Mark, Jero, and Robin
PD Please don´t hesitate to continue contact us with questions, suggestion, comments, love/hate mail, etc. We take some time, but we do answer every email.