Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 15, 2012.

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A feature-length documentary about Albinio children coming-of-age, and coping with acceptance in a small Caribbean mountain town.

Synopsis 

Blanco follows the story of three albino children who have a lot  more in common than simply meets the eye. In the outskirts of a small mountain town called Constanza in the Dominican Republic, albinos are commonly referred as “blondies” or “Americans.” These kids face the daily challenges of sun-burns and susceptibility to blindness, but most challenging of all is coming-of-age in a culture that struggles to understand them and their condition. Our goal is to portray their hardships under a poetic light while documenting the social constraints that surround them.

Story

Blanco is an observational documentary about the daily lives of two families with albino children. We aim to bring to light the realities they live in, amidst their internal struggles and their strenuous livelihoods. Both families live off subsistence farming and possess few resources to cope with their childrens' condition. The story will weave through mountain ranges, fog, rivers and country roads; despite whatever hardships our protagonist’s endure they will always be surrounded by inescapable natural beauty.


(Left to Right: Yeni, Yanibel, Joba, and Cakito)

The Victoriano family (featured above) have three children, eight-month-old Yanibel being the youngest. The family often doesn’t have enough to meet their basic needs or an adequate standard of living. Yanibel’s parents are marginalized by a classist society which reduces them to nomads. Their daughter’s albinism has created a sensation amidst the town folks, sparking gossip that the child is stolen or that the mother was unfaithful to her husband. These rumors have further alienated them from their neighbors. Yanibel has an innocent almost angelic aura that makes her seem unaffected by the hardships that surround her, and in her blue eyes there is wisdom beyond her young age. The uniqueness of the child has made her a symbol of hope for the family as they struggle to take care of basic daily needs.


(Left to Right: David Yoel, Bella Niris, Anaíris, and Ana Belkis)

The Diaz-Lara family are hard workers with big goals. As opposed to the Victoriano family, the Diaz-Lara’s are integrated into the Constanza life.The parents are educated and all of their children attend school. That withstanding, there is a lot of internal conflict brought about by their childrens' albinism. The oldest daughter Ana Belkis, is entering puberty and having difficulty accepting why she looks different than almost everyone around her. Her younger brother, David Joel, is a restless youth, he is fun, outgoing, and likes to take charge of household affairs. Unfortunately, both are beginning to show some symptoms of loss of eyesight; something their parents do not want to accept.

Characters and Locations

In this photograph you can see the mist just making its way over the mountains. By the evening Constanza will be covered by a thick fog.
In this photograph you can see the mist just making its way over the mountains. By the evening Constanza will be covered by a thick fog.
Despite being on a tropical island, Constanza's cool weather and fertile lands makes it ideal for evergreens.
Despite being on a tropical island, Constanza's cool weather and fertile lands makes it ideal for evergreens.
Many paths cover the hills. Some lead to towns nestled between mountains and others to natural savage beauty.
Many paths cover the hills. Some lead to towns nestled between mountains and others to natural savage beauty.
Hopefully some day Yanibel will attend school; she would be the first member of the Victoriano family to receive an education.
Hopefully some day Yanibel will attend school; she would be the first member of the Victoriano family to receive an education.
Because Ana Belkis is loosing her vision, she has to sit extremely close to the TV to make out the pictures.
Because Ana Belkis is loosing her vision, she has to sit extremely close to the TV to make out the pictures.
David Joel excited upon receiving a photograph of him and his family.
David Joel excited upon receiving a photograph of him and his family.
When the director Melvin Duran first saw Yanibel, her bed was a cardboard box.  Since then the Victoriano's has been given a crib.
When the director Melvin Duran first saw Yanibel, her bed was a cardboard box. Since then the Victoriano's has been given a crib.
A photograph taken from inside Yanibel's house.
A photograph taken from inside Yanibel's house.
A man and his dog.
A man and his dog.
As you can see, Yanibel is a very messy eater.
As you can see, Yanibel is a very messy eater.

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?

  • Production: The crew will need to be fed and lodged in the town of Constanza. The rental of video and audio equipment for 3 weeks.
  • Transportation: Most of the locations are only accessible by 4x4, motorcycle, or horseback, which makes it a daily logistical challenge.
  • Hospital visits will play an important role of the narrative. These visits will help the parents understand their childrens' needs and provide a new level of self-understanding to the children themselves. 
  • Post-production: Because of the observative nature of this documentary the editing and sound design will be a massive undertaking that will take up a third of the budget.
(Some of the crew in the back row, left to right): Melvin Duran, Ricky Gluski, Rodrigo Montealegre and Gaby Valencia.
(Some of the crew in the back row, left to right): Melvin Duran, Ricky Gluski, Rodrigo Montealegre and Gaby Valencia.

Any amount of support will appreciated, thanks for reading and please share.

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141
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    Every dollar counts! We will send you production and pre-production updates to include you in the decision-making process.

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    Thanks a lot! And to show you how much we mean it you'll get a thanks on our website. You get updates on what's going and you get a thanks on our website.

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    Thank you Video (just added): Access to production and pre-production VIDEO updates and you will receive via e-mail a personalized thank you video.

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    Vas al Estreno (only for people living in D.R.): ¿Quieres ir al estreno de una película? Escoge esta oferta y te invitaremos al estreno de BLANCO. Esta oferta está incluida en todas las ofertas siguientes (si van a estar en R.D. durante el estreno).

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    Special Thanks Package: A special thanks in the film's credits, a photograph (5x7) of your choosing and updates on the production's progress.

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    12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)

    Extra Special Thanks Package: A special thanks in the credits, and a photograph (8x10) of your choosing. Behind the photo there will be a signed thank you by the published photographer and director Melvin Duran.

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    23 backers

    Download Package: A link to a download of the film upon completion with English subtitles, and a special thanks in the credits.

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    5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)

    Photo Package: You will have your choice from a selection of photographs, which were all taken in Constanza by either the director Melvin Duran or the director of photography, Gabriel Valencia. You will recieve 1 large photograph (8x10) & 3 regular photographs (5x7). Also, a digital download of the film upon completion, and a special thanks in the credits.

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    14 backers

    DVD Package: A copy of finished documentary in it's DVD case, a digital download link. You will, of course, also receive a special thanks in the film's credits

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    Big Photo Package: 1 extra-large photographs (11x14), 2 large photographs (8x10) and 3 small photographs (5x7). You can choose which photographs you would like us to develop. This will also include the DVD Package. And you will receive via e-mail a personalized thank you video.

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    Poster Package: Your choice of a poster-sized print of a photograph of Constanza + the DVD Package.

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    Double Poster Package: 2 poster-sized prints of your choice, signed by the crew + the DVD package

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Collector's Package: You get to choose up to 10 photographs and we will develop them to any of the following sizes: 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, or Poster. Also this includes the DVD Package. You will also receive via e-mail a personalized thank you video.

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    Skype Package: Skype conversation with crew before and after shoot. You will also receive the Collector's Package.

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    3 backers Limited (5 left of 8)

    Associate Producer Package: an associate producer in the film's credits and on the International Movie Database. We make you a personalized account on www.imdb.com with the credits for BLANCO. You can show your friends you made a movie.

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    Executive Producer Package: executive producer in the film's credits and on IMDB + the Collector's Package. Executive Producer in IMDB is no small thing.

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Venture Adventurer Package: Experience the varied beauty of the Dominican Republic yourself with a three day trip to Constanza with the crew to visit the locations and get a tour of the area. We will take you on a hiking trip to the Pyramids of Valle Nuevo. We will provide transportation from Santo Domingo and lodging in Constanza. We will arrange airport pick-ups, and would need to coordinate with others pledges to make the trip up to Constanza together. Photographs and video area and rooms can be provided upon request. Airfare not included. Plus the Executive Producer Package.

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    Premium Couple's Package: Holy Cow! In addition to our eternal gratitude we offer a trip to the beautiful Constanza personalized to your needs and interests. Everything will be taken care of once you get to the island including food, transportation, informative tours and a stay at a luxurious Constanza hotel. A perfect get-a-way for you and whoever you choose to bring a long with you (+1). We can take photographs of you and your +1 throughout your trip to share with family and friends when you get back. Airfare to the Dominican Republic not included. Plus the Executive Producer Package.

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Funding period

- (29 days)