No matter where we live, whatever our race, color or creed, we all have roots somewhere. History progresses, societies evolve, and people shift location. Origins, however, remain the same.
In the modern global society we live in, chances are we currently don’t live where our families came from. Many past generations pursued economic stability and new endeavors, crossing mountains sometimes oceans to find a better life. But how did they feel about their choices and what impact did it leave on future generations?
Birthplace is a short documentary film that presents the vital importance of the geographical location our families came from. Whether it’s a small country town nestled in the hills of Bavaria or a bustling cityscape in urban China, we all come from someplace and our identity is shaped, in one way or another, by this place and its essence.
Birthplace was made in the Italian town of Vacri between the mountains of the Abruzzi region and the Adriatic Sea. The town sits at the top of a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and roughly 1,500 people inhabit its stony walls and sloping alleyways. The film tells the story of its inhabitants as they reflect on the effects of emigration and globalization upon their proud way of life.
What makes Vacri so interesting as the subject for Birthplace is how wonderfully it serves as a microcosm for emigration and the search for personal identity. Vacri was traditionally a farming town of merchants and many of its inhabitants left the town between the end of the 19th century and today, going to places like Venezuela, Australia and the United States. As a result, across the world, there are pockets of Vacri’s inhabitants and their children (Vacresi) that still cling to their homeland and the memories of their past life.
My story is very similar to the concepts presented in Birthplace and in many ways a reflection of how geographical shifts form hybrid generations and new types of people.
My father was born in Vacri and came to the United States when he was 18 years old. I was born and grew up in a small suburban town in New York where my grandparents from my father’s side lived with us, teaching us kids the Vacrese Italian dialect and recounting stories of what the old country was like.
While growing up I visited Vacri a few times and became enamored with the history of the place and the stories of those who left it. It seemed like a foreign world that I would hear about in America and I developed a strong connection to the town when I managed to visit over the years.
I had been thinking about making a film on Vacri for many years and this effort is the fruit of many stories from relatives and townspeople about the longing for one’s homeland as well as how a small town can represent the tide of globalization.
What We’ll Use the Money For
Birthplace is in a fine cut stage with a runtime of about 18 minutes. The film needs these post-production elements for completion and support:
Music: A musical score to accompany the film
Sound design & mixing: Re-mastering the reproduction of the film’s ambient sound and dialogue for theatrical presentation
Color grading: Optimizing the colors of the picture to enhance the mood of each sequence
Legal counsel: Ensuring the film’s location, subject releases and partner contracts are top-notch and compliant with industry standards so the film can be screened in public forums and be ready for distribution
Publicity: Enlisting a team of publicists to create online buzz about the film and foster a community around it in places like Facebook and blogs; design and print promotional material for festivals
Web development: Creating and hosting a basic website that has more information and multimedia on the film
Film festival submission: Submitting applications to festivals around the world so Birthplace can be screened in theaters in front of audiences
How Kickstarter Works
(*taken from Kickstarter’s guide)
At this very second, thousands of people are checking out projects on Kickstarter. They're rallying around their friends' ideas, backing projects from people they've long admired, and discovering things that make them laugh and smile.
Every project is independently crafted, put to all-or-nothing funding, and supported by friends, fans, and the public in return for rewards.
The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their own projects. They spend weeks building their own project pages, shooting their own videos, and brainstorming what to offer as rewards.
Rewards are things like a copy of what's being made, a limited edition, or a custom experience related to the project. This isn't Best Buy — rewards aren't shrink-wrapped and ready to ship. Once the project is funded, the journey to bring them to life begins.
**Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short no one is charged.**
People come to Kickstarter to build community around their projects. It's inspiring to be supported by people you know, and amazing to connect with strangers who are discovering your ideas for the first time.
Since launching in April 2009 Kickstarter has had some impressive results:
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Francesco Paciocco – Director/Editor/Director of Photography/Producer www.francescopaciocco.com
Francesco Paciocco is the Director of Birthplace and an avid filmmaker who has professionally created video content over the years for brands such as MasterCard, Toyota, and Walmart. His films have screened both off and online where top media outlets such as Gadling, The Guardian U.K. and Corriere della Sera have featured his work.
Francesco Marchegiano – Producer/On-Site Photographer francescomarchegiano.tumblr.com
Francesco Marchegiano is an architecture student at University of Pescara in Abruzzi and was raised in Vacri. He is a passionate photographer and studies urban development where the relationship between structures and spaces continues to hold his interest.
Julia Kent - Composer www.juliakent.com
Cellist Julia Kent was born in Vancouver, Canada, and lives in New York City. She has released two full-length solo records: Delay (2007) and Green and Grey (2011), as well as an EP, Last Day in July (2010). She scored the National Film Board of Canada-produced documentary The Boxing Girls of Kabul, and her music has been used extensively in film soundtracks and as accompaniment to theatre and dance performances throughout Europe and North America.
Sound Designer & Mixer
Birthplace’s sound designer has worked on award-winning films which have screened internationally at major film festivals including Sundance, Venice, Cannes, Berlin, and Toronto among others.
Frederick Trevino - Colorist www.beamboxstudio.com
Frederick Trevino is an award-winning filmmaker and colorist living in Brooklyn, New York with over 8 years experience in post-production. In addition to writing and directing, his color work has screened at such highly esteemed locations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and countless festivals throughout the world. His vast experience includes working on everything from broadcast commercials to feature length films.
Joseph Gorelick – Art Director
Joseph was born in New York City and is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He has been a successful Creative Director for years now, launching a multitude of campaigns both web and print based for a large variety of clients. His work for Pfizer, Walmart, Myspace, Gaylord Hotels, Deutsche Bank and Dell are only a few big names in an ever growing list. In his spare time, he has been an international touring musician with Dischord Record’s Bluetip / Retisonic, Cargo Record’s Garden Variety and one of Bruce Springsteen’s favorite bands Marah. Joseph has appeared on television several times for his music and art, from TVE in Spain to MTV to the Howard Stern Show on the E! Channel.
Domenic Romano – Legal Counsel www.romanolaw.com
Domenic Romano is the Managing Member of Romano Law, a business and entertainment law firm located in New York City. Before founding Romano Law in 2003, Domenic was an international corporate attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and before that at a company in Toronto, Canada. He has lectured on business law issues at the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), and the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). Domenic is a member of the Business Law Section and the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of both the American National Theatre (ANT) and STREETS International, a non-profit organization serving disadvantaged youth in underdeveloped nations.
We're proud to receive early support from the town of Vacri and its people. Everyone there is very excited about the project and can't wait to see the finished film!
Vacri's hotel, La Locanda Del Vecchio Borgo (http://www.locandadelvecchioborgo.it) has been very gracious and has donated eight rooms for the World Traveler reward package:
- 2 double-sized rooms
- 2 triple-sized rooms
- 2 quadruple-sized rooms
- 2 family-size rooms
The hotel not only offers scenic vistas but a welcoming staff and a memorable experience that really makes you feel special. It's a one-of-a-kind place.
I’m extremely lucky and excited to be working on Birthplace. An expert, professional and passionate team is ready to get to work on the film and everybody who has viewed the fine cut has expressed their enthusiasm for the project.
I hope that you will take some time to reflect on your own origins and what they mean to you. No matter what background we come from, who our parents are or where we currently live, we only have one birthplace.
As one of the people of Vacri says in the film:
“The past builds the future. If our ancestors and their stories didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be here right now. The past history of things and people will build and give us our future.”
Thank you for your time and support!
- Francesco Paciocco
- (30 days)