Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
An inspiring short documentary about the Karenni, a refugee community that has survived the longest ongoing civil war in the world.
An inspiring short documentary about the Karenni, a refugee community that has survived the longest ongoing civil war in the world.
142 backers pledged $15,311 to help bring this project to life.
Last updated

About

Like We Don't Exist: Refugee Film Finishing Fund project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Like We Don't Exist: Refugee Film Finishing Fund

$15,311

142

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

About The Campaign

Like We Don't Exist is a short documentary about a minority from Burma called the Karenni, and their story of survival in the midst of the longest ongoing civil war in the world.

We have already produced the film with an international team of filmmakers, artists, and Karenni people. The film is nearly complete! But in order to bring this important story to the next step, we need your help. 

We are proud to announce that Like We Don't Exist is a fiscally sponsored project of IFP Chicago, a non-profit arts service organization. Your Kickstarter contribution to support Like We Don't Exist is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Along with the normal costs associated with finishing a film (music licensing, software/hardware, etc), we need support for distributing and promoting this film, and help us to pay those who have helped us along the way. Until now, we have paid for 95% of the production costs required to make this film a reality -- now, your tax-deductible contribution will help us spread the story of the Karenni people to a global platform.

We have a great collection of perks to say thank you for your generous support. Check out the list on the right hand side!

If you donate, you will be supporting our effort to empower a refugee community that desperately needs global support. In light of the worldwide refugee crisis, as well as the decades-long civil war in Myanmar, we have a responsibility to do what we can to raise awareness about these communities. 

Help us help the Karenni people by donating to our film-finishing fund today!

Who Are The Karenni?

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The Karenni are a culturally rich, ethnically diverse population that live along the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Many are displaced within Thai refugee camps, or living in temporary IDP (Internally Displaced People) villages in Karenni State, Myanmar. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of people from minorities similar to the Karenni that are currently affected by the civil war in Burma, living in extreme conditions without healthcare, education, or basic infrastructure. 

 

 

The humanitarian crisis in Myanmar is the most dire consequence of one of the longest ongoing civil wars in history; and yet, it remains largely unknown. During the height of the civil war, human rights violations included forced labour, land confiscation, torture, arbitrary execution, and sexual violence. The Karenni who have fled to refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border are faced with an impossible choice: to live without rights or citizenship in temporary shelter abroad, or face continued violence and instability as they rebuild their war-torn homeland.

What We've Accomplished

In February 2016, our international team traveled to the Thai-Burmese border and spent a few weeks embedded in a village outside of Refugee Camp 1. During that first round of production, we realized the story was much bigger than we had previously expected. So, we quit our jobs, and moved to Thailand to work on this project full-time. 

We formulated a core mission statement: to help the Karenni by raising global awareness about their situation. 

Today, that mission statement is being realized. What started as a five-minute film soon evolved into a sweeping half-hour journey through the Karenni environment, growing in equal measure as a greater community movement online. 

Within a week of being released, the film trailer was viewed nearly 150,000 times on Facebook. We share videos and photos of the Karenni experience with an expanding Facebook group dedicated to the project. We are building relationships with universities, humanitarian networks, artistic communities, religious leaders, and experts in peace and conflict resolution who express their deep concern for the refugee crisis in Myanmar. 

Inspired by the support shown for our project online, we have been privately screening the final draft of the film in nearly a dozen Karenni communities across North America, with plans to visit several more during fall 2017. This grassroots effort to acknowledge the Karenni story and voice has already made an impact in communities around the United States -- and we're just getting started.

About The Film

Like We Don't Exist feels like a continuous journey through the Karenni world: a cinematic patchwork of vérité footage, intimate interviews, and aerial sequences sweeping over the Thai refugee camp and dense jungle where many Karenni have taken shelter. In the film, you come face-to-face with Karenni people as they tell their stories. 

 

 

We have hundreds of hours of footage, 17 interviews with diverse community members, and sensitive material obtained at significant risk in this contested border region. Transitioning from a sober meditation on the atrocities of the recent past, to an uplifting reflection on the hope for a better future, Like We Don't Exist calls for a renewed effort for peace.

What Will The Funds Be Used For?

Even though we're nearly finished with post-production of the film, the simple reality is that we cannot release the film without the community's support. We have been able to pay for nearly every aspect of production so far out of pocket -- but there are some remaining costs that we need your help to cover.

The Team

____________________________________________________________________

If you want to find out more about the Karenni people, visit our website at www.likewedontexist.com.

Word-of-mouth is incredibly important to the success of this film. Whether or not you're in a position to contribute funds, we need your help to get the word out about this campaign.

So, please share this campaign with your friends, family, and professional networks. Share us on Facebook and tag #LikeWeDontExist to help spread the word!

You can share this Kickstarter on social media by clicking here

You can share our cinematic trailer by clicking here

Sign up to receive email updates about the film by clicking here

Follow us on Facebook by clicking here

And for a simple way to get the word out, click the share tools at the top.

If you want to donate philanthropically to a cause that is helping to expand educational opportunities for Karenni youth, please support KnNC's ongoing fundraiser here: https://www.gofundme.com/KnA-KnNCAlumniPledgeDrive

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

Risks and challenges

Because we have already overcome most of the difficulties associated with making this film on our own, we are confident that with the right resources, we can finish this film before the end of 2017. The most acute challenges that face this project are external.

This is a difficult moment in our global political climate. Xenophobia, terrorism, and globalization are making it harder for people to have the emotional bandwidth to want to learn about new human rights issues -- especially something as difficult to process as a decades-long civil war.

However, we have seen firsthand that our audience does care about this issue, and that they are willing to act now to help the Karenni people. While donating to our cause is not akin to a philanthropic donation to the Karenni community, your contribution is crucial to the process of empowering a previously unknown minority voice.

As the civil war in Burma continues for other minority groups such as the Rohingya, now is an urgent moment to be a part of positive engagement. The film has provoked conversations about identity, patriotism, and statehood not only in Myanmar, but also in the U.S., reflecting a deeply fractured moment in the way our political systems respond to global crises. For the first time in nearly a hundred years, we have a chance to turn the hearts and minds of a developing nation towards the path of democracy, free speech, and independent media. Please help us in our fight to help the Karenni people.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    High-five!

    Thank you! We're grateful for your support. This film couldn't be made without your help.

    This perk level is tax-deductible up to $5.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Personal Social Media Shout-Out

    $10 might not seem like much, but it means a lot to us! And for $10, we will make you a personalized social media post that we'll share on our official Facebook channel to thank you for your contribution. These many small steps will help us reach our goal, and we appreciate your support.

    This perk level is tax-deductible up to $10.

    Includes:
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    20 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Special Thanks, BTS Postcard

    Thanks for the love! We will send you a one of a kind Behind The Scenes (BTS) postcard from the Thai-Burmese border and give you a personal shout-out on our Facebook page.
    Don't forget to "like" our page so you can receive our gratitude:
    www.facebook.com/likewedontexist

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $23. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $25.

    Includes:
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 23 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    First Look - Private Screening Link

    For your generous support, get your own special private showing of the film before public release! We'll send you a private Vimeo link to view the whole film.
    This perk is available in addition to all of the above.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $48. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $50.

    Includes:
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 23 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Director Talkback Webinar

    As thanks for your generous $100 contribution, you are invited to a one-hour webinar with the film directors Ansley Sawyer and Corey Embring. We'll discuss our vision, process, and impressions after making this film.
    This perk is available in addition to all of the above.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $78. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $100.

    Includes:
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your Name in Lights

    In addition to all of the above, your name will be listed in the film credits as a Special Contributor! Thank you for your contribution.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $228. If you opt out of receiving any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $250.

    Includes:
    • Your Name in Lights: Film Credit
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    LWDE In Your Community

    We are so excited to bring the film to your community!
    For this level, you get to host a community screening of Like We Don't Exist, as well as an exclusive Q&A (in-person or virtual) with Co-Directors Ansley Sawyer and Corey Embring.
    You also receive all of the above perks.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $0. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $100.

    Includes:
    • LWDE Screening in Your Community
    • Your Name in Lights: Film Credit
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

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

    Associate Producer

    To thank you for such an impactful donation, we will list your name in the credits as an Associate Producer of the film. Welcome to our team! As a Like We Don't Exist AP, our team will offer up to two one-hour conversations (Skype or in person) about our experience filming, editing, and producing this project.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $478. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $1,000.

    Includes:
    • Allstar Credits: Associate Producer
    • LWDE Screening in Your Community
    • Skype Interview with Karenni Filmmaker Johnfreeco Komoe
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Skype with Karenni Filmmaker

    As a special way to thank you for supporting the Karenni storytelling community, we are excited to offer a one-hour Skype interview and conversation with Like We Don't Exist Production Manager Johnfreeco Komoe. Learn more about John's experience as a Karenni refugee, hear firsthand stories of what life is like within the refugee camp, why our team decided to take on this project, and how John's life has changed since working on this project.
    In addition to this special opportunity, you'll also receive all of the above perks.

    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $968. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $1,500.

    Includes:
    • Skype Interview with Karenni Filmmaker Johnfreeco Komoe
    • Allstar Credits: Associate Producer
    • LWDE Screening in Your Community
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • Your Name in Lights: Film Credit
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • BTS Postcard
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

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

    Director's Circle: Custom Session

    This perk is available for those who are interested in learning how to develop run and gun style storytelling concepts. This one-on-one training session can either be fulfilled in person (travel not included), or over Skype, for a total of 2 hours of customized consultation and training. Co-Directors Ansley Sawyer and Corey Embring will work with you to bring your film, production, editing, photography, or design ideas from concept to reality.
    This perk is available in addition to all of the above.
    To receive this perk, this level is tax-deductible up to $1,448. If you opt out of receiving this or any of the above perks, this level is tax-deductible up to $2,000.

    Includes:
    • Director's Circle: Personalized Session with Co-Directors
    • Allstar Credits: Associate Producer
    • Skype Interview with Karenni Filmmaker Johnfreeco Komoe
    • LWDE Screening in Your Community
    • Webinar: Talkback with the Directors
    • First Look: Private Screening Link
    • Personal Social Media Shout-Out!
    • BTS Postcard
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (20 days)