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Our mission is to reconnect the faces of real people to the controversial topic of immigration. We do that through story.
39 backers pledged $50,306 to help bring this project to life.

About

The American Immigrant, A Feature Documentary project video thumbnail
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$50,306

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We are a nation of immigrants. Currently one in four U.S. citizens is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. They range from the impoverished to the wealthy. Some arrived via first class air, and others barely survived a boat trip in a dinghy. They come from all parts of the world and for any number of reasons. All weave their unique skills, worldviews, culinary preferences, languages, and cultures into the fabric known as America.

Unfortunately, the politics of immigration have created a lot of impersonal dialogue. So, we're working to bridge the gap, to reconnect the faces of real people to this controversial topic. 

What We've Done

The idea to compile immigration stories in one cohesive series started in early 2016. Elevate Publishing's CEO, Mark Russell, connected with former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and the relationship ignited a mutual passion to record and share immigrants' life experiences:

"Immigrants are valuable contributors to the US, but their stories are relatively unknown. As a result, their value is unrecognized. We want to elevate their stories so that we can collectively realize how foundational they are to our nation historically and how necessary they are for continued progress."

For over a year, our publishing team collected stories from local restaurant owners to Major League Baseball players and powerhouse CEOs. We drew the attention of Amazon and in October 2016, we released the first Kindle of, what will be, a multi-book series called The American Immigrant.

Where We're Going

As a publishing company, we are passionate about books; however, we are not so naive to think that a book is the best medium to spread, what we believe to be, an extremely important message. We believe the most valuable way to expose a national audience to our incredible stories is through the creation of a full-length feature documentary.

ENTER KICKSTARTER. This resource will provide you with the information you need to support and help us fund the production and promotion of this documentary. This is a project about people, about our humanity, and we want as many people as possible to participate in its production.

The film, like the books, will celebrate the American legacy of immigration by featuring stories of first-generation Americans. Alongside director Jonathan Cipiti, we will spotlight the stories of a select group of immigrants to lead viewers to a renewed appreciation for the people involved, in hopes of refreshing their pride in this great American tradition.

Heval Kelli, a Syrian immigrant, went from refugee to dishwasher to cardiologist. His story is one of many that will be showcased in our feature documentary.
Heval Kelli, a Syrian immigrant, went from refugee to dishwasher to cardiologist. His story is one of many that will be showcased in our feature documentary.

It takes a team of dedicated and passionate people and partners to make a purposeful and profitable impact. That's why we have built relationships with industry greats to produce, deliver, and promote our vision and mission.

American people want to hear these stories, and we're ready to share them.
Follow along with the most recent updates and info on FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

The initial $50,000 raised will be used specifically for the completion of our short-story film. Become a contributor under one of the following reward tiers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Risks and challenges

With any project, one must face and overcome challenges. Fortunately for us, we have many dedicated supporters to the overall brand which has helped us make this film a real possibility. This is a very critical moment in our history and the stories that we have transcribed and those in the future need to be heard. A potential delay in production is always a concern, but our timeline allows for minor delays so we're not affecting the projected release. This Kickstarter is for the development of a high-quality trailer of the future full-length documentary. It will be the backbone of all promotional and marketing initiatives for the documentary. We have a goal to provide you with all your rewards in a realistic timeframe. You can expect all ancillary products outside of the film and connected to each reward to be delivered one to two months after launch completion. We will reach out to those who have chosen to meet with the authors to set a meeting that will work with each party. Video downloads will be delivered when the video is completed. Based on our estimated developmental timeframe, we anticipate a 6 to 8 month delivery of the video. We'll keep all backers informed and up-to-date with relevant information and sneak peeks!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Gratitude

    Social media shout out! We will include your name in a post on our Facebook page (31,000 followers) and say thank you for your contribution!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "The American Immigrant" Ebook

    This reward includes an instant digital copy of "The American Immigrant: The Outsiders" book by Dick Gephardt and Mark Russell. This reward also includes all previous rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Wristband and Ebook

    Get an exclusive American Immigrant wristband AND a free digital copy of "The American Immigrant: The Outsiders" by Dick Gephardt and Mark Russell. This reward also includes the previous reward listed above.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Free Movie Download

    Contributors will receive a free digital download of the movie prior to release! This is an opportunity to get a special first look at the documentary. This reward also includes all previous rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    T-shirt and Physical Copy of the Book

    This reward includes a "The American Immigrant" T-shirt and a free physical copy of "The American Immigrant: The Outsiders" by Dick Gephardt and Mark Russell. This reward also includes all previous rewards listed above.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Movie Credit Feature

    Includes your name featured in the movie credits as a "Contributor to The American Immigrant." You deserve a thank you, we wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't for all your help! This reward also includes all previous rewards listed above.

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

    Meet the Authors

    These contributors get an opportunity to have a one-on-one 30 min phone conversation with Dick Gephardt, former Democratic House Leader and Mark Russell, CEO of Elevate Publishing. Dick and Mark are the co-authors of the book, "The American Immigrant" that sparked the passion to make this documentary. This reward also includes all previous rewards listed above.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Dinner with the Authors

    These contributors get an opportunity to have dinner with Dick Gephardt, former Democratic House Leader and Mark Russell, CEO of Elevate Publishing. Dick and Mark are the co-authors of the book, "The American Immigrant" that sparked the passion to make this documentary.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Premiere Sponsor

    These contributors will be listed as a premiere sponsor for the "American Immigrant" documentary and entire initiative. They will be featured within the opening credits of the documentary and have dedicated sponsor placement on our website and other marketing pieces. They will also have personal access to the leadership team for project input including a conversation with the founders, Dick Gephardt and Mark Russell.

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Funding period

- (42 days)