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As Gibraltar marches forward into the 21st century, its people search for political recognition. This film tells their story.
As Gibraltar marches forward into the 21st century, its people search for political recognition. This film tells their story.
31 backers pledged $1,553 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Film Synopsis

Spain and the UK have battled for centuries over possession of the Rock of Gibraltar. Spain continues to siege Gibraltar in an attempt to claim it, though the modern face of the invasion has changed. Nicholas Bethell (member of European Parliament, 1979-94) described Gibraltar's plight as “one of the most intractable of the European Union’s internal political problems.”

The people of Gibraltar are searching for international recognition to help free them of ongoing Spanish aggression, but as a small nation their interests are often overlooked.

The film tells the story of the roughly 30,000 native inhabitants of Gibraltar who have been trying to decolonize themselves since the 1960s. Because both Spain and the UK want Gibraltar for its tactical geographical position, they have been fighting over its possession since the 1500s. Neither will let Gibraltar govern itself, despite the various constitutions and acts of self-determination that the UN Charter lists as an international human right.

Gibraltar is confident that their case would be honored before the UN, but only a member of the UN can take their case and neither Spain nor the UK has been willing to take it. They both want to keep it as their own and neither wants Gibraltar to be the independent entity that it wants to be.

The film establishes the identity of the people as ethnically, linguistically and culturally independent and shows how over the last thousand years they have developed from their Maltese, Genoese, Moroccan, Spanish, British, Jewish and Italian roots. The movie has a lot of music, linguistics, cooking, poetry and other art forms to show their unique identity.

After showing who the people of Gibraltar are, the second portion of the film goes into their political struggles, Spain's embargoes, and centuries of sieges that have left it a fortified, walled nation that is economically independent despite having almost no natural resources. There is also discussion of the immediate political relevance of their national football (soccer) team, as well as the native monkey population.

The film is especially relevant in terms of the internal EU human rights issues that are being denied to Gibraltarians by its parent nations.

Project Background

"People of The Rock: The Llanitos of Gibraltar" is a feature-length documentary film currently in production. It demonstrates the beautiful and unique culture of the people of Gibraltar, a small but close-knit community that has lived in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar for hundreds of years.

An early trailer for the film is available here, or watch the full 48-minute early draft of the film.

Expanding The Film

Since making this short film in 2008-2009, I have been flooded with requests to return to Gibraltar and expand the scope of the film to include members of the Gibraltar GSD party, Gibraltarian musicians, culinary artists and athletes. I will return to Gibraltar during the first two weeks of March 2011 to finish filming.

An estimated 750-1000 hours have been invested in the research and development of this film, along with roughly $10,000 in travel expenses, rentals and expendables. My goal is to raise $1,500 to pay for the off-season flight to Gibraltar and cover a few lodging expenses while there. Any additional donations will go directly to film festival submissions and post-production costs related to this film.

The original film was shot on a standard-definition TV-grade DV camera in 2008. Since then, HD television and movies have become standard. All new footage is being filmed at 1080p on Canon HDSLR cameras. The old footage has been upscaled to 720p HD using industry-standard conversion techniques and will be intercut with the new 1080p footage filmed in 2011. The final film will be mastered at 720p to avoid excessive upscaling of the original standard-definition footage.

Sharing Gibraltar's Story With The World

Once the film is completed, it will be submitted to film festivals across the world, especially festivals known for documentary films and for dealing with political and social issues. Whenever possible, I will attend these showings to hold discussions and help raise awareness of Gibraltar's political plight. Any surplus funds raised with Kickstarter will go towards film festival submission fees (often around $100 per festival) and travel costs to represent the film.

Detailed updates will be sent to all of the film's supporters. Some updates, photos and video clips will also be available on the film's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PeopleOfTheRock). Large announcements will also be made on the film's blog (www.gibfilm.blogspot.com).

Thank you for making this film happen!!!

Note: The film location is set to Seattle, WA (my home) only because Gibraltar isn't listed in the database of locations.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Signed and numbered B&W photo print of the Rock of Gibraltar.

    Receive a special limited-edition pre-release copy of the movie as an HD digital download or DVD!

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    Film credit as Executive Producer of the film!

    Signed and numbered B&W photo print of the Rock of Gibraltar.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    A new iPad (whatever is the latest at the time the film is finished) with the film pre-loaded in HD! Plus Executive Producer credit and a copy of the film on either DVD or as an HD digital file. (You know this is the one you want!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)