WE CANNOT BELIEVE THAT WE PASSED OUR GOAL!
BLACK SHEEP: VENEZUELA
David Mendez returns to Venezuela to climb his nation’s highest peak. As his country collapses around him, the climb is his last chance to prove that there is still beauty in his home, underneath the violence. But his patriotic mission quickly leads him to question the real reason he left, and to confront his guilt for leaving his family.
The film follows David Mendez, a 21-year-old Venezuelan mountaineer who returns home for the first time after years in exile to climb Pico Bolívar, his nation’s highest peak. Dedicating his ascent to the protesters who died fighting Maduro’s regime, David sets out with ostensibly patriotic motivations accompanied by his old mountain crew, Las Ovejas Negras (the Black Sheep).
But as his story progresses, it becomes clear that the mountain is his way of processing grief – as he painstakingly pulls himself closer to the peak, he peels away layers of himself, confronting childhood trauma and his guilt for leaving his family to suffer the experience he had to escape.
The brutal climb up the mountain intercuts with David’s emotional journey home in a film meshing the climbing genre with the heart and determination of a refugee’s journey.
As thousands flee Venezuela every day, the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere will soon rival that of Syria. David’s quest to leave a mark on his country echoes the dreams of the millions who have now been forced to flee their homes.
A dangerous journey to even consider, few have made it to the summit alone. Thankfully, by David’s side will be Luis — his childhood best friend, his climbing teacher, and now, his guide.
For David, reaching the summit of Bolívar is a Venezuelan baptism. A right of passage that joins you to the elite men and women who, with this climb, also experienced the extreme beauty and riches of their homeland.
Luis first led David to the peak as a coming of age. Today, David will lead his very own blood through the same right: his 16-year-old cousin, Samuel, will also join in their attempt to reach the peak.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
We raised over $50,000 to shoot Black Sheep: Venezuela. We have all the footage we need to finish the film and we cannot wait to be able to share this amazing material with an audience.
WHAT WE NEED
We need to raise the final third of the budget to begin our editing process. Once the film is completed, we will be able to apply for film festivals and international distribution opportunities that will bring this story to audiences internationally.
We will be hiring an experienced Latina documentary editor to complete our film. She is extremely passionate about this story and has agreed to take a pay cut in the interest of facilitating this project.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The funds from this kickstarter will allow us to hire an editor full time for 3 months. The remainder of our post-production expenses will be covered through grants.
We feel strongly that we finish the film as soon as possible. David and everyone in his family allowed their most intimate and challenging moments to be captured on film because they believed that their stories could be helpful to others experiencing the same things. It is now our responsibility to make sure that their story reaches an audience.
Since we finished our shoot, the situation in Venezuela has continued to deteriorate, forcing more and more people to leave their homes. It is very important to us all that this film is seen by those currently leaving their homes, and those who now must decide how to respond to the influx of Venezuelans in their country.
PENDING GRANT APPLICATIONS: 15,000
Round Room Image is a creative production company that challenges social narratives with honest representations of stories unheard. Having created content in over 21 countries around the world, we practice storytelling as a global conversation, believing that everyone should have an equal seat at the table. In cultivating our relationships with diverse companies ranging from Funny or Die to Al Jazeera, we have collaborated closely with Academy Award Winners and Emmy Winners, and have seen our content featured on powerful platforms such as VICE on HBO, NBC, ABC, PBS, El Barrio, and OnCuba. We lead with integrity in the quality of our work, as in ourselves as responsible storytellers.
Risks and challenges
Timing is everything. We want this documentary to be done at the time that it can serve its greatest purpose.
A second challenge is that it's incredibly difficult to distribute a documentary film. We hope to have a theatrical or festival release in the US, UK, and Colombia. We also hope to arrange for television broadcasts throughout South America, the US and Europe. The reality is that none of this is easy to do, but there is no shortage of determination on our production team.
A final challenge is that funders and distributors rarely take the risk of supporting young filmmakers like us. However, we know that we will deliver a film that is relevant, compelling, and of extremely high quality. With your support, we hope our finished product will speak for itself and prove to distributors that it's worth taking the risk to bring this story to the widest possible audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)