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A film about conservationists inventing innovative strategies to alleviate the pressure of human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka.
A film about conservationists inventing innovative strategies to alleviate the pressure of human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka.
152 backers pledged $10,710 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,710

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Common Ground is an independent documentary collaboration with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society. The elephant and the people of Sri Lanka have shared a cultural bond and relationship that is over 5,000 years old. Today this relationship is in danger of disintegrating mainly due to the loss of elephant habitat that is creating intense conflicts between people (mostly rural subsistence farmers) and elephants. What is incredible to see are the similarities between people and elephants—especially how they take care of their families as they go about trying to survive in a rapidly changing world. The film will explore the remarkable similarities between both groups.

Today the Asian elephant is not just a living symbol of the cultures of Asia but it is also very much ingrained in the socio-cultural values of the people in the west and northern hemisphere. Therefore the loss of the Asian elephant will not be just a huge loss for the people of Asia but to the entire world.

For conservation biologists these are challenging times—where we need to develop innovative strategies to balance the needs of people and their aspirations while at the same time attempting conserve one of the most endangered mega-herbivores of the world. We'll learn about some of the innovative conservation projects happening on the ground; solar powered electric fences, elephant alert systems, habitat enrichment programs, programs teaching habituated elephants how to paint, and even projects that are making novelty paper out of elephant poo.

The purpose of the film is to create awareness and to educate the general public as to the critical need to conserve a living cultural symbol and to generate support for its conservation. What began as a smaller educational project for the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has turned into a much larger project, and we're hoping to find a wider distribution platform than we had originally planned for. To do that, we need just a little push.

Principal photography has been completed, and as we step into post-production, we realize that there are a few holes in the story that we want to tell. The funding we are currently requesting will allow for a skeleton crew to return to Sri Lanka to capture the remaining pieces and bring the story to completion. This will include a helicopter shoot which has funds already secured and will be the first aerial footage of natural sites in Sri Lanka in high definition. This funding will also help us secure matching funds from grant institutions to aid in post-production.

50% of any profits generated through distribution of the film will go directly to the SLWCS to aid in their mission of HEC resolution and to develop sustainable land uses and livelihoods for farmers impacted by HEC. More information about the film can be found at http://www.greenermedia.com/hec.html and more information about SLWCS can be found at http://www.slwcs.org

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Any pledges of $10 and up will receive a credit in the special thanks section of the film.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    For a $20 pledge you will receive 2 hand-made chocolate elephant pops from Conrad's Confectionery. Only available in the continental USA.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Any pledges $30 and up will receive an authentic small-sized elephant Batik from Sri Lanka. They look great framed and hung on the wall! You will also receive credit in the special thanks section at the end of the film.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    For a $30 pledge you will receive 1 hand-made chocolate elephant from Conrad's Confectionery. Only available in the continental USA.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    For a $50 pledge you will receive 3 hand-made chocolate elephant pops and 1 hand-made chocolate elephant from Conrad's Confectionery. Only available in the continental USA.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    For pledges of $100 you'll receive funding credit and we'll give you access to our online photo gallery from Sri Lanka. For pledges in the USA we'll send you an 8x10 high rez digital print of your favorite photo. For any pledges outside of the USA, we'll send you 4 high rez digital files (not prints) that you can print as large as 16x20.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Any pledges of $250 or more will receive a funding credit at the end of the film in addition to an original piece of elephant themed art from Sri Lanka.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    For pledges of $500 you'll receive funding credit and we'll plant a citrus tree in your name on a local farm. That tree will grow and provide an added income source for a local farmer while contributing to the protection of that farmer's livelihood. Project Orange Elephant was developed by SLWCS as a way to safely deter elephants from encroaching on farming areas while providing added economic value to farmers.

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

    Any pledges above $5,000 will receive an executive producer credit and an all-expenses paid package to one of SLWCS's field sites in Wasgamuwa (Central Sri Lanka), not including airfare. It is a remote site near Wasgamuwa National Park, and a great place to get away, relax, and view wild elephants. Meals will be cooked on site by the in-house chef and you will travel with SLWCS researchers to project sites in the area. It will definitely be an experience of a life-time.

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Funding period

- (89 days)