Share this project


Share this project

Birthplace is a short documentary film that presents the vital importance of the geographical location our families come from.
98 backers pledged $12,623 to help bring this project to life.


Birthplace - a documentary on where our families come from project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with



The Concept

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? 

The Film 

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:

  • $250 million pledged to projects 
  • 2 million people have backed a project
  • 24,000 projects successfully funded

The Crew 

Francesco Paciocco – Director/Editor/Director of Photography/Producer

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 

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  

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 

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 

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. 

Early Support

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 ( 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.

Closing Thoughts 

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





Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ


  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Your name in the “Donors” section of the Birthplace website. The whole world will know you have contributed to this project. Thanks for the support!

    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A digital HD download of the film when it has finished playing at film festivals. You've helped make this project a reality and your help is very much appreciated! Plus a “Donors” mention on the Birthplace website.

    Estimated delivery
    21 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    An 11x17 Birthplace poster signed by composer Julia Kent and director Francesco Paciocco. Now all your friends will know that you support independent film when you hang this on your wall! Plus the above rewards.

    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    We’re sharing screen time now—your name in the “Thanks” section of the film’s credits. Not only will we spell it right but you also get to be surrounded by other amazing people. Plus the above rewards.

    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Ever wanted an incentive to visit Italy? Now you have it—1 (one) complimentary night at the Locanda Del Vecchio Borgo hotel in Vacri redeemable from autumn 2012 until September 1st, 2013. You’ll get to experience the lush, welcoming Abruzzi region and see the town where Birthplace was filmed. Rooms will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis (see main text for details on availability). The hotel is very flexible within the allotted time but would need a reservation three weeks in advance to make sure you get your room! Travel not included. Plus the above rewards.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your contribution is a major part of Birthplace’s funding—an Associate Producer credit in the film. If you're an organization or business entity, we'll display your logo in the credits of the film. Plus the above rewards (World Traveler pending availability).

    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You’re the film’s main patron and we can’t thank you enough—an Executive Producer credit in the film. Plus the above rewards (World Traveler pending availability).

    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)