Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Closer Than You Think | The Cuban Artist Project's video poster
Play

Director Paul Irmiter and producer Mariesa Ryan, founder of US Cuba Artist Exchange, are making a documentary film about Cuban artists. Read more

211
backers
$42,787
pledged of $42,000 goal
0
seconds to go

Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 13, 2014.

Director Paul Irmiter and producer Mariesa Ryan, founder of US Cuba Artist Exchange, are making a documentary film about Cuban artists.

About this project

Closer Than You Think | The Cuban Artist Project
A feature length documentary film from director Paul Irmiter. 

This film examines artists abilities to communicate across cultural borders and make deep and lasting connections.

Produced by 612im in cooperation with US Cuba Artist Exchange.

Featuring Cuban Artists
Nelson Valdés VieraValentiAdrian RumbautCamilo Diaz de Villalvilla and Yrak Saenz.

In Collaboration with US Artists
Rafael Gonzalez, Chaka Mkali/aka I Self Devine, Sharolyn Hagen, Malamanya, Sarah White, Rico Simon Mendez, Orko Eloheim, Walter Chancellor and others.

Our Story 
In April 2014, Director Paul Irmiter, producer Mariesa Ryan and their crew traveled to Cuba to start the filming of a documentary about 2 painters, 2 musicians and a photographer where they quickly immersed themselves into the daily lives of these 5 Cuban artists.

A toast at Valenti's house
A toast at Valenti's house

A mural, conceived and painted in Cienfuegos, Cuba, music written and recorded in Havana and live music performed and filmed for the documentary in Trinidad inspired artists, friends, families, neighbors and seemingly all of Cuba to jump in to help. All of this was captured on film.

Minneapolis/Cuba crew in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Minneapolis/Cuba crew in Cienfuegos, Cuba

In true Cuban fashion, Paul and crew rolled in with a very small amount of gear, only what was needed. Everyone on the crew at some point was recording or filming. It was truly a collaborative effort.

Group meeting at Nelson's house to talk about the mural
Group meeting at Nelson's house to talk about the mural

On June 11, the 5 Cuban artists will all be traveling to Minnesota for 10 more days of filming and then we move into post-production. When we finish there will be a feature documentary and a sound track.

This is more than just a film project for both Paul and Mariesa, it is a labor of love and a way to bring greater understanding of Cuban people through the voices of some of their most beloved citizens...artists.

Your producer and director team, hard at work in Cuba
Your producer and director team, hard at work in Cuba

What Comes Next
On June 11, the 5 Cuban artists will all be traveling to Minnesota to continue filming in Minneapolis and the midwest, capturing performances, workshops and exhibitions with Cuban and American artists, working side by side.  After this intensive tour, we begin post-production; editing, sound design, and culminating our journeys by producing a feature length documentary and soundtrack.

We already have strong interest in hosting our premiere in Minneapolis and we will screen the film in Cienfuegos, Cuba this fall.

Why We Need Your Help
This film project isn't a profit driven venture, we are telling the story of a group of people that exist outside of the standard dialog of Cuban - American relationships. We hope to rise above the noise and simply help foster the connections everyone of us share through art. To make this a reality and finish it in a professional and timely manner, we are reaching out to you for help to complete this film. In doing so, you will be a part of a cultural exchange between the people of Cuba and the United States. As the title says, we are "closer than you think".

Breakdown Of Costs 
100% of funds will go towards previous production costs, producing the 2nd half of the documentary, completing the film (editing and post production) and supporting exhibition options.

Rewards 
We are so excited to share Cuban culture with you in some way, the Cubans will be in Minnesota in less than a month!  Here are some of the rewards we are offering for becoming a part of our effort.

- Original and print artwork by the Cuban artists featured in our film
- Film and song downloads and hard copies
- Comp tickets to paid events and workshops (June 2014)
- Meet and great with Cuban artists and filmmakers (June 2014)
- Promotion as film or event sponsors at engagement events (June 2014)

Our Film-making Team

Paul Irmiter | Director - Paul is a commercial film director and photographer from Minneapolis.
Paul Irmiter | Director - Paul is a commercial film director and photographer from Minneapolis.
Mariesa Ryan | Executive Producer - Mariesa is an event, music and video producer and the founder of US Cuba Artist Exchange.
Mariesa Ryan | Executive Producer - Mariesa is an event, music and video producer and the founder of US Cuba Artist Exchange.
Dane Whitehead | Editor - Dane is a commercial and feature film editor.
Dane Whitehead | Editor - Dane is a commercial and feature film editor.
Sabrina Osman | Producer - Sabrina is a commercial and feature producer.
Sabrina Osman | Producer - Sabrina is a commercial and feature producer.

Partners & Supporters
UNEAC Cienfuegos, Cinequipt, Trost Motion, Emetrece Productions, Public Functionary and Scenergy Events.

About US Cuba Artist Exchange
US Cuba Artist Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering cultural appreciation and personal growth between American and Cuban artists through collaborative art programs and cultural exchange. We aim to enrich US and Cuban communities through the development of artists from both US and Cuba, the production of collaborative works, and the infusion of inspiration and influence from each other's culture.

Risks and challenges

Getting into Cuba was a challenge in itself, but we were able to make that happen legally with the help of many people and organizations just like you.

Personally, we have a lot at stake. We're extremely invested in this project and feel passionate about sharing this story when it's relevant. Some personal and professional things have been put on hold as we make our way into the 2nd half of production.

Also, we've made it through several big hurdles on our own with our own resources - we got the 5 Cuban artists their Visa's to come to the US, shot the 1st half of the documentary and are planning the June production as we speak. If we aren't able to shoot the 2nd half, all the work and resources we've leveraged so far would be lost.

THANK YOU for contributing to our project, we can't do it without you or any of the other collaborators we've worked with or will work with along the way. Community is powerful!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    32 backers

    Become a part of our film crew family. Your support means the world to us! PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: You'll receive a high quality digital download of one of director Paul Irmiter’s favorite photographs from his time filming Cuba.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    40 backers

    SOUND DESIGNER: You'll receive a digital song download of Cuban trova musician, Nelson Valdés Viera.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    32 backers

    CAMERA OPERATOR: You'll receive a digital download of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    24 backers

    GAFFER: You'll receive a signed 4"x6" print by Cuban photographer Valenti and digital download of the film. (Print avail June 2014)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    0 backers

    EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: You'll receive a mug, signed by director Paul Irmiter, from 612im Production Company.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    7 backers

    EDITOR: You'll receive a DVD copy of the film with cover photo signed by director, Paul Irmiter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer Limited (29 left of 30)

    SCOUT: You'll receive a handmade Cuban craft and 2 Cuban Art Exhibit Preview Invitations.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    1 backer

    SET PHOTOGRAPHER: You'll receive a signed 5"x7" print by Cuban photographer Valenti and DVD of film with cover photo signed by director, Paul Irmiter. (Print avail June 2014)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    CASTING DIRECTOR: You'll receive a ticket set for 2. Pre-concert dinner and Cuban Art Exhibit Preview invitations.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: You'll receive a photobook with director Paul Irmiter's favorite shots, people and moments from our trip in April.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    ART DIRECTOR: You'll receive a print of artist work by Valenti or Adrian Rumbaut and film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    PERFORMANCE & EXHIBIT SPONSOR: You'll be recognized at all performances and art exhibits as a sponsor, receive 2 Cuban Art Exhibit Preview invitations and will be promoted through social media and film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR: You'll receive an original art piece from artist Adrian Rumbaut & Camilo Diaz De Villalvilla and film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    CREW & COMMUNITY SUPPORTER: You'll receive the framed and signed concept art for the mural that was created on our April trip, designed by artist Chaka Mkali (aka I Self Devine) and film credits. Original art, only 1 available.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    ARTIST WORKSHOP SPONSOR: You'll be recognized at all our workshops as a sponsor, receive 2 invitations to a meet and greet forum with Cuban and US artists plus the filmmakers and receive 2 comps to each workshop in Minneapolis and will be promoted through social media and film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer

    PRODUCER: You'll be recognized as our sponsor at both Minneapolis and Cuba film premiers, receive 4 comps (Minneapolis premier only) and will be promoted through social media and film credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: You'll receive a private pre-screening with the director, Paul Irmiter and producer, Mariesa Ryan, 4 invitations to a meet and greet forum with Cuban and US artists plus the filmmakers and will be promoted through social media and film credits. (Meet and great forum will be in June 2014)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)