About this project
Thanks to our AMAZING BACKERS we are in the HOME STRETCH of this campaign and on our way to telling this incredible story with our film Little Haiti Rock City.
We need your help to keep spreading the word! We still have a little ways to go TODAY. Please take a few moments now and call or email five (or ten;) friends and share with them our story.
TOGETHER, we can make something that we are ALL proud of, and share with the world this LEGENDARY piece of music history that came from right here, in Little Haiti, Miami Florida.
Stick with us through to the finish line, and we are DEDICATED to rewarding you with an amazing, beautiful and completely badass film that will both entertain and educate, and preserve the LEGACY of the music scene and culture born of Churchill's, FOREVER.
Franco & Angel and the entire Little Haiti Rock City Team
MARILYN MANSON AND THE SPOOKY KIDS, THE MAVERICKS, IRON & WINE, IGGY POP, WYCLEF, DICK DALE, R.E.M., U2, TORCHE, THE JACUZZI BOYS, HUMBERT, LOAD, THE HOLY TERRORS, QUIT, YOUNG TURK, RAT BASTARD, SUM 41, NUCLEAR VALDEZ, AL'S NOT WELL, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, THE UK SUBS, DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN, HOLLY HUNT and a bit of fish n chips!
Every one of these artists and tens of thousands more have had their day at the legendary Churchill's Pub. Many even playing their very first show on its humble stage, and some moving on to world-wide acclaim. This unlikely watering hole and live music venue in the middle of Miami, Florida's Little Haiti community, has been a part of American music history like no other for nearly thirty-five years.
Just as CBGB's defined a large part of the music scene in New York, so Churchill's has done for South Florida. It's a venue unlike any other, and which has survived against all odds, where freedom of expression reigns and anyone with a guitar is welcome to the stage. Churchill's is much more than the bar that's seen more live bands than any other bar in the world. It's become a home to many, a community and a family, and a haven that has fostered and shaped the live music scene in a vacation town known mostly for bright lights, sunny beaches and electronic dance music. The number of acts that have performed at Churchill's is estimated at well over 20,000 and counting. However it has reached the end of an era.
"The definition of a music scene is based on a music venue. So once a venue disappears, that scene is gone... if Churchill's disappears the music scene that is living here at Churchill's now, is going to disappear."
~Rat Bastard, Miami's Godfather of Noise, and international music legend.
Churchill's has been sold. Sadly for many, the time has come for owner Dave Daniel's to retire, and now that the bar has changed hands Churchill's Pub, as the world has known it, will never be the same. Dave's amazing ability to not allow favoritism and opinion to control the stage is a rarity amongst ownership and management in any part of the world and that shall go along with him. No matter what happens from here on out, whether the bar changes or not, or continues as an amazing live music venue, the Churchill's Pub that we know and love, that has made such an impact on so many lives and musical careers and ambitions, will be forever changed. Good or bad, for better or worse, the change is inevitable. Though we're sure no one will complain about cleaner bathrooms...
This is our opportunity to tell this inspiring story, to document it, and to make sure that its history is forever preserved and we keep the legacy alive.
We just could not let this moment pass us by. We saw an amazing story that was about to disappear and fade away like so many others untold. Only to be reminisced upon and thought of fondly in years to come, everyone wistfully agreeing, yeah, that place was one of the greats. And so we jumped at the opportunity, and together with the help of our amazing friends and local crew, started production on a little documentary we call LITTLE HAITI ROCK CITY: A `SORT OF' FILM ABOUT CHURCHILL'S PUB.
We need YOUR help. The response we've had from everyone has been AMAZING, and everyone we've contacted or who has heard about our project has come with an outpouring of support, stories to tell, photographs, video footage, old posters, and most importantly of all, overwhelming emotion and gratitude that we are telling this story.
This is a film that needs to be made. That much is clear. So far, it has been purely a passion project and none of the crew is being paid. What we've done so far has only been possible with the support of our friends, who have provided us with both their time and the necessary equipment, and everything else has come solely out of pocket for us. The fact of the matter is that the art of film making costs money. We are turning to Kickstarter to ask that you JOIN US, to help make this film a reality and to be a part of this legacy with us.
We are not making this film just for us. We are making it for you and everyone who has ever felt like a piece of them was being taken away and no one would ever know how much it meant. For the misfits, the quiet kids, and the not so quiet kids. For everyone that has ever needed a place to fit in and flourish. And for all you lovers of a damn good story.
And a few words from some of Churchill's beloved prodigies:
By now you want to know who we are:
Franco Parente, Director/Producer
Franco is a Cuban-American filmmaker born and raised in Miami, Florida. He has spent the last fifteen years working as an Assistant Director on countless television commercials, music videos and narrative films, and also had the pleasure of serving the SUNDANCE FILM INSTITUTE as a crew chief for the Summer Director’s Lab in 2009 and 2010. As a Director he has worked for such clients as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Toyota and The Florida Department of Health. Independently he has produced, written and directed various award winning short films that have screened at film festivals worldwide. His short film Casper & Kitty was the recipient of three Best Florida Short Film Awards and was acquired by CANAL + in 2009. In his free time he is struggling with writing about himself in the third person and raising a young puppy saved from animal services, which fills up a great chunk of his time. Franco digs on cheeseburgers and obscure cervezas. He has been a patron of Churchill's Pub since 1990.
Angel Eva Markoulis, Producer
California born, Canadian raised, Angel Eva Markoulis has one common thread connecting the diverse collection of projects in her repertoire; passion. A classically trained dancer turned filmmaker, Angel's passion for art, film, and storytelling is only overshadowed by her strong advocacy for freedom of expression. Angel's connection to Little Haiti Rock City was as instantaneous as the first day she entered Churchill's Pub, and immediately felt she was back in her hometown of Vancouver B.C. Having worked together on various projects the past two years, teaming up with Franco on a film they both feel so strongly about was a no brainer. She has been based in Miami for the past eleven years, but continues to follow her wanderlust in travels the world over. She is of Greek heritage, drives stick and knows how to cha cha.
Nicky Bowe, Co-Producer
Nicky Bowe, long-time bartender and resident Jester of Churchill's has been named one of the twenty most influential people in the city by the Miami New Times. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Nicky moved to Miami sixteen years ago and embraced the paradise that has bestowed him with this and many other accolades, some tongue-in-cheek some deadly serious. Nicky has collaborated with Franco on previous homegrown projects, and his frontline connection to the pub's artists and performers, has become invaluable to Little Haiti Rock City. When not being Miami's favorite pint-slinger or burning donuts indoors with his motorcycle, Nicky can be found leading an Irish karaoke rendition of Abba's Dancing Queen from on top a bar; any bar.
Romina Rey, Editor
Romina Rey is a Miami raised, Mexican born editor now working in Los Angeles, CA. A graduate from the Miami International University of Art & Design, her credits range through all platforms of modern media with companies such as NBC/Universal and mun2 while working hard on independently produced projects where her passions truly lie. When not busy making sense out of puzzles and chasing down live shows, she’s always looking for the next great story to cut together.
Ryan Patrick Kelly, Sound Engineer
Born and raised in South Florida, Ryan fell in love with music at a very early age. A collector of vinyl as a teen, he started DJing at local clubs and parties after high school and pursuing any and every opportunity to be involved in the music scene. He graduated with a degree in Audio Engineering from the SAE Institute Miami and began his career in production, working on projects ranging from TV to film and commercials. Ryan's commitment to Little Haiti Rock City is as deep as his love for all things sound. When he's not on set giving one hundred percent to a project, Ryan can be found sleeping... as a matter of fact, we've caught him catching a snooze or two ourselves.
Connect with us!
Please feel free to contact us at any time, night or day, with questions or concerns, with submissions of old photos/videos, or even just to say hi if you like what we're doing.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/littlehaitirockcity
Follow us on Instagram at Instagram.com/littlehaitirockcity
And on Twitter at twitter.com/churchillsdoc
What is the money for?
We are extremely passionate about this project, and have invested our own time and money into this film, producing it completely independently up until now. We need your help to meet the remaining budget so that we can complete the film. Your investment will go directly toward:
- Film Crew: Camera, Photography, Sound, Lighting, Behind-the-Scenes
- Equipment Rentals: Cameras, Lights, Audio equipment, Large-format scanner, hard drives and memory cards
- Travel Expenses for key high-profile interviews
- Crew Meals (basically the way we've been paying them until now:)
- Acquisition and transfer of Archival Footage
- Production Supplies: office supplies, web management (to keep you all informed)
- Voice Over
- And all those little things that come up on a day-to-day basis to keep a project running..
We cannot begin to thank you for your investment in us, and for joining us on this journey. Raising this much money through pledges is a monumental task, but we believe in the story we are telling and together with you, we can deliver a high quality documentary film that preserves this piece of music history and keeps the Churchill's legacy alive.
If you're still reading, that's awesome! We are just as excited as you are about this project. Here is our film treatment in full for those of you who want to delve deeper:
A STORY WORTH TELLING
Churchill’s Pub is an anomaly; how does a place like this exist in a city like this? Much less for nearly thirty-five years in the neighborhood it’s routed again and again. Dave Daniel’s came to Miami on an adventure with no particular plan, but what he did was give new life to thousands of people he never thought he’d encounter, and is leaving a legacy all his own. An accomplished amateur soccer player and student from England turned party promoter and booking agent, primarily of jazz acts in the late sixties and later soul and ska bands in the early seventies, Dave looked beyond the pond to an underappreciated oasis of opportunity and landed smack in the middle of it. Miami in the late seventies had just declared war on itself. A city going through changes and strife from year to year seems to be the last place a fine British gentleman would hang his hat. The mass immigration of Cubans and Haitians fleeing their own battle ridden countries for asylum, the front lines of the drug wars between Colombia, Bolivia and Peru playing out on the streets, the “white flight” of the cities Anglo middle class and the raging tempers bubbling over from years of segregation and violation of the civil rights in the Black communities must have seemed the perfect backdrop to open a bar. And so it was.
IT'S A PUB NOT A BAR
The British call it a pub and rightfully so. A Public House offers a friendly environment and sense of community. One the neighborhood usually protects the same they would their schools or churches. Dave Daniels didn’t set out to run a watering hole for barflies and degenerates hiding away from their spouses. He wanted a piece of home. In the end he got what he wanted, just maybe not the way he saw it in his head at the time.
From day one, food has been the driving force for Dave. Hearty traditional meals from his motherland and a variety of affordable libations to wash them down while enjoying good conversation and the occasional sporting event from overseas; welcome to the aptly named Churchill’s Hideaway. It used to close shortly after dinnertime in its early days. Long before the sounds of electric guitars and kick drums rolled out onto the late night streets. Once business steadied, Churchill’s was a destination for people from all over Florida and the Caribbean for their real time British sports fix while strolling down memory lane. The local community becoming more and more Haitian expats embraced it and Dave gave back. Soon he knocked down a wall and wanted to tap into his roots in entertainment. Just as CBGB’s stood for Country Blue Grass Blues and then became the nations portal to the rebellious Punk movement, the then named Hideaway was about to find a sound of it’s own.
LITTLE HAITI ROCK CITY?
As the stage was being built and grimy PA systems dragged in, there was a musical sound and style all it’s own that would become a way of life making it’s way across the Atlantic. Just as Dave did, Punk music landed in the United States via the airwaves and didn’t really know what to expect. A country filled with angry adolescence and adult disappointment from post war politics and diplomatic corruption couldn’t have been a better host for the punk movement to feed on. It filled garages and basements around the country faster than the concord could get them here and soon everyone with six strings and a pair of chucks was a punk rocker. In America it began at a little bar on the east side of Manhattan that’s become famous the world over. In Miami it landed so far under the radar no one would notice if it hit them. It was a foreign as the Creole laden signs popping up around Lemon City’s changing demographic. It’s still unsure as to which of the poor punk bands showed up first on the rickety wooden stage in, but it would soon bare witness to the birth of what Churchill’s would be known for around the world.
With the closing of nearby bar venues, Charlie Pickett and The Eggs strolled in and they brought a few friends down with them. Suddenly to Dave, punk was king and he welcomed royalty back whenever they wanted.
Charlie and his band of misfits and malcontents overflowed out onto NE 2nd Avenue. The register rang, the kitchen clanged and the vibrations off the walls were hard to determine if from the stage or the crowd that boxed it in. And so it began.
Dave and Churchill’s opened its doors to all who could, would and wanted to play; all you had to do was bring a friend or two. After trying out live music on the weekends, the Hideaway would soon become the only establishment in town where you can walk in and find original live music seven nights a week. Over the years, it’s become thee establishment for experimental performance in a city known for clave driven Latin rhythms and repetitive electronic drum beats. While it’s had its share, it’s usually done so creatively different from the rest they stand in class all their own. Churchill’s; sometimes labeled a “punk rock” bar, surprises every chance it gets. From Grammy winning Country Music artists the Maverick’s to folky raspy sounds of Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam to the shrieking power of Marilyn Manson, and hosting both the longest running live jazz jam in the area code as well as the International Noise Conference; Churchill’s has had more live acts perform on their stage than any other bar venue in the world! Hosting over twenty thousand bands and countless other solo, acoustic or performance art exhibitions.
THE STORY TO TELL
This film is not homage to a bar, or to Dave Daniels or to punk rock, soft rock or Shepard’s Pie. It’s not a love affair with Miami or a retrospective of Lemon City. It’s about a place that could be anywhere in the world. A conduit to creativity and expression while bridging the gap in a divided community segregated and obstructed so blatantly yet those who commute around it regularly pretend not to notice and turn a blind eye. It’s about people and the never-ending search for individuality. The Pub is simply the church of expression the world constantly seeks in this particular place. It’s the podium for freedom in a region stifled by conformity and criticism. This is a story of a fish out of water that sprouted wings and gave a voice to those struggling to cry out.
Risks and challenges
The risk we face is missing this small window of opportunity before Churchill's Pub as we know it is gone forever.
Once it's gone, it's gone.
Together with fans and supporters like you we can make sure this doesn't happen.
There are definitely going to be some challenges with a project of this scope, but none that we are not experienced in handling and confident that we can overcome. We have 35 years of history to tell, and all the planning, researching, scheduling, interviewing, filming, sorting, editing, etc that goes along with it. But we are seasoned professionals, passionate about and good at what we do, and we
know without a doubt that we can deliver an incredible story, and a film of high quality.
At this moment, we are working against the clock in order to shoot as much footage as we can, as well as some key interviews, which we'd live to have take place within the venue.
Once the bar sale and change of ownership is final, we will continue shooting as there are many more interviews for us to conduct, as well as b-roll footage to shoot.
In addition, that is when we will be able to start responding to the submissions we have been receiving of old photos, videos, etc, and archival footage.
Our goal is to have a completed film by fall 2014 in order to begin the film festival circuit and share this big story about a little place with the entire world.
We're in this together. Let's make it happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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