In 2017 our dream of making a film about bananas began to become a reality. We were first given support from Imperial College London’s Exploration Board, and later from a dedicated community of crowd funders on GoFundMe. This gave us the funds we needed to spring board our filming and enabled us to plan and execute a trip to Costa Rica.
While exploring what the future holds for the banana, we collected 44 interviews and countless hours of supplementary footage. Our interviewees include researchers striving to understand the genetics of the banana, entrepreneurs fighting to bring new banana products to the market, and growers in Costa Rica who are on the front line of banana protection and innovation. Within this footage are dozens of stories and perspectives we feel a responsibility to share to the best of our ability.
As well as journeying into the lives of the people behind the banana industry, we have hundreds of hours of footage showcasing how bananas reach your table, from soil to plant to transport to shelf. Our footage includes incredible landscapes in high definition, including aerial footage shot with our Mavic drone. We travelled to remote locations and cutting-edge research institutes. We want to share this with you now.
In 2017, we launched a Kickstarter campaign that was ultimately unsuccessful. We turned to GoFundMe to raise a minimum amount for our trip and each member of the team put forward funds to help make this project a reality. Since then, we've expanded our community and worked hard to include as many voices and perspectives as we can. We are hoping that this campaign will prove a redemption--and that your support will help us push this film across the finish line.
In this round, we are looking to raise $7,000. The largest chunk of this amount will allow us to hire an assistant editor to help organize the massive amount of footage we have collected. We will also be looking to polish the film for viewing, a process called color editing. Additionally, interview transcription and translation is crucial, as we are not only translating our non-English interviews, but we also hope to produce a Spanish-subtitled version of the film so we can share it with the people who shared with us in Costa Rica and others who may want to hear these stories.
Ultimately, the more money we can raise, the better we can make this film, so we've set a stretch goal of $10,000. With this amount, we can facilitate finishing the film faster and submitting it to more festivals, where more viewers can experience this story.
As rewards, we are offering digital downloads, postcards, and t-shirts. There will also be a limited number of packages including some special dried banana products from our friends at Banana Karma, a new company trying to provide snacks made from alternative banana varieties while providing fair wages and labor practices to the banana workers growing those bananas. (Banana Karma is one of many stories featured in our film but have no creative say in our documentary.)
Thank you so much for coming to our Kickstarter page and reading about our project. We so appreciate your time and your support. If you are active on Twitter or Facebook, we would love if you could share our campaign link on your platforms.
Risks and challenges
A lot has changed in our lives since starting this film. We've all transitioned beyond being Masters students at Imperial College London. Of our 7 team members, three have begun PhD work at prestigious universities and other members of the team work at universities and NGOs. But while our lives are full, we all still "meet" digitally on a regular basis to discuss our plans for this film. We have a responsibility to tell the stories we set out to explore and achieving this Kickstarter will go a long way to helping us do that. The funds from this campaign will go to helping us hire an assistant editor to help assemble the film and cover the entry fees we will have to pay to submit the film to festivals so that we can insure that as many people see this film as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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