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A film about a rural community in Panama that's plagued by drought & contaminated water sources, receives help from an unlikely source.
A film about a rural community in Panama that's plagued by drought & contaminated water sources, receives help from an unlikely source.
79 backers pledged $30,034 to help bring this project to life.

About

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De la Misa a la Montaña | From Mass to the Mountain

$30,034

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The Film

A community in rural Panama finds itself without water for months every year during the dry season with "not even enough water for a cup of coffee." In search of a solution, members of the community try to get the government involved, but with no money and few votes to offer, their pleas fall on deaf ears.

Through community discussions they decide to search for another water source. “And that’s when we starting going up, walking, walking, walking until we found, up in the mountains, this big, huge, beautiful watershed."

The small stream they find is not enough for the suffering area. Action must to be taken to ensure the current population, and future generations, don't go thirsty ever again. "That's when I knew that we needed to build a dam."

To see if their goal is accomplished and what the consequences will be if it fails, please contribute to our efforts and follow De la Misa a la Montaña | From Mass to the Mountain's Facebook page www.facebook.com/masstomtn

The Issue

In 1914 engineering history was made when the Panama Canal opened its locks for the first time. Since the canal's completion, the surrounding area has continuously prospered and developed but the rest of the country (about the size of South Carolina) has remained isolated in poverty.

In an attempt to stay competitive and maintain their quality of life, Panamanians living in rural areas looked to lumber clearing and cultivation for subsistence farming as a means to stay afloat. As a consequence, rapid deforestation occurred, creating a steep decline in necessary natural resources like freshwater. The dry season continues to worsen each year and the wet season doesn't seem to quench the growing population's thirst.

How is your money helping?

The goal for this project is to reach as many people as possible, notify them of the good work going on in the world, and to inspire them to contribute. This untold story highlights a larger worldwide problem that unfortunately doesn't receive the attention it deserves. Your contributions will be extremely helpful at getting this documentary completed and seen.

Donated funds will go toward improving the production quality of the film, making it more appealing to film festival critics, audiences, and broadcasters.

  • A professional editor will ensure the story arc and plot structure are solid and will speak to a larger audience. ($1,200 per week for 24 weeks)
  • Sound editing and mixing are essential for any film trying to break into the film festival/broadcast market. ($2,000 per week for 2 weeks)
  • Music helps tell the story and evoke emotion in a film. ($400 per track for 4 tracks)
  • Distribution costs (avg. $40 per festival submission, DVD authoring, etc.)

Ways You Can Contribute

Financial Contributions:

  • Online - see the "Rewards" on the right side of the screen and select your pledge level, similar to any other online purchase.
  • Offline - to make a contribution offline please contact Kurt via email at MasstoMtn@gmail.com and we can discuss check or money orders.

Non-Financial Contributions:

  • Word of mouth will always be the best advertising tool and I would appreciate your help!  Please share this project with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and friends & family via email. Every click counts these days!

The Filmmakers

Kurt Sensenbrenner - Director/Producer/Co-Cinematographer

Kurt is located in Brooklyn, New York where he is working as a freelance cinematographer, AC, editor, etc.  He has an MFA in Documentary Studies & Production from Hofstra University and a BFA in Film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This is his first documentary feature.

Colin Sytsma - Cinematographer

Colin is a Milwaukee based documentary filmmaker whose work has been published on outlets such as PBS and Al Jazeera. Primarily working on social issue documentaries Colin has dedicated himself to help De la Misa a la Montaña | From Mass to the Mountain be finished.

Lucas M. Dantas - Editor
Lucas is a Brazilian journalist, writer, and film editor located in Brooklyn, New York. This is the second documentary Lucas has worked on concerning freshwater in Latin America.

Risks and challenges

"I don't know everything!" Father Wally "Padre Pablo" Kasuboski once told me, and neither do I!

All of the material to make this story engaging to an audience has already been filmed, the challenge now is structuring and editing the footage to make it really pop! I am confident Colin, Lucas, and you can help me bring this important story to the big screen.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Hand Cement Mixer Level:

    Every bit helps! Thank you for your contribution.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Rock Line Level:

    You and your rock line are doing great work! You deserve a public "Thank You" on the film's Facebook page.

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    18 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Standing In The Truck Level:

    You earned a standing spot in the truck on your way up the mountain! Congrats, you'll receive a thank you card with photos from our time in Panama on it, signed by the crew. Plus a "Thank You" on the film's Facebook page.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Slurry Level:

    You are elbow deep in the project, literally! We appreciate it, you get a DVD copy of the film and a "Thank You" on the film's page for your hard work.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Forming Team Level:

    Grab some wire and a pair of pliers! Your name will be listed under "Forming Team" in the credits, plus you get everything from the Slurry Level.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Rock Star Level:

    Thanks for being a Rock Star! Your name will be listed under the "Rock Stars" during the credits, plus you'll get a DVD of the film.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Driving a Truck Level:

    Welcome to the inner circle, you are trustworthy enough to drive in Panama! You deserve to be listed with your fellow "Drivers" during the credits, plus everything from the Slurry Level.

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  8. Select this reward

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

    "Deserves a Jensen" Level:

    Wow, you deserve a Jensen!
    As a thank you, you'll receive a 5x7 group photo from our last trip to Panama, your name will be listed under the "Deserves a Jensen" credit in the film, plus you get a DVD copy of the film, and special recognition on the film's Facebook page!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Cement Truck Driver Level:

    Before the film is released to the public, it will premiere in your living room! At this level you get to host a private screening of the film, plus everything from the "Deserves a Jensen" Level.
    *some restrictions apply

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  10. Select this reward

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

    Executive Producer Level:

    Thank you! You just earned an "Executive Producer" credit in the film, a private screening at your house with the filmmaker, and a DVD copy of the film!
    *some restrictions apply

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Funding period

- (35 days)