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A short documentary featuring Saba, a Caribbean island, and its people's efforts to conserve the island's natural treasures.
A short documentary featuring Saba, a Caribbean island, and its people's efforts to conserve the island's natural treasures.
49 backers pledged $10,003 to help bring this project to life.

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Saba: The Unspoiled Queen 

***We made it, but please keep donating!***

We made it; thank you! If you would still like to donate, it's not too late. All the additional money we raise will be spent directly on making the film even better, with a greater impact. More money will allow us to do more in the editing room and will give us the ability to submit the film to even more film festivals worldwide, leading to greater impact.

Island nations throughout the world are experiencing the effects of climate change.

And Saba is one of them. 

This small volcanic island, just 30 miles south of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is known for its incredible coral reefs and scenic ocean views from the top of its peak. With the effects of ocean acidification spreading and water temperatures rising rapidly, these natural resources are at stake. 

The good news? The environmental decline seen across the globe has not been as rapid nor detrimental here. 

And it’s all due to one unique reason: 

The people of Saba. 

Saba: The Unspoiled Queen is a short documentary showcasing a Dutch Caribbean island that should be looked upon by the rest of the world as a model of conservation excellence. 

Come along as we meet four Saban residents who will show us the incredible beauty that the island has to offer, both above and below the waves:

Crocodile James is a 9th generation Saban, whose pirate ancestors helped settle the island. James is the Trail Manager for the Saba Conservation Foundation and knows all there is to know about the terrestrial environment of the island.

Fred & Kelly are experienced dive masters who have lived on Saba for the last 8 years. They can speak first-hand about the changes that Saba's reefs are facing, along with the changing environment on the island itself.

Nicky is a local fisherman who makes his living off of Saba's reefs. He has seen the ups and downs of the fishing industry over the last 20 years.  

Why We Care 

We live in a time where all we hear in the media are themes of “time is running out”. It’s only doom and gloom stories that we hear about the future of our environment. 

But thanks to the passion of its residents, Saba’s time is just beginning. 

The island is an incredible case study of how proactive conservation efforts and a keen understanding of human impact can allow for the preservation of natural resources.  

Although the island is well-conserved, local organizations lack funding and resources that could jeopardize future efforts. This film intends to show what could be if everyone pitched in to take care of our planet. 

Where we’re at

Nick Zachar visited Saba in January 2016 for a 4 day location scout. While there he met some wonderful people whose stories would help paint a picture of how amazing this island is. In April 2016, he returned with a crew for 7 wonderfully productive days of filming, interviewing, exploring and getting to know Saba's environment and residents. 

A special thanks to our sponsors for covering the majority of production costs:

We Need Your Help

Production may be over, but we are far from finished. We’re now entering post-production for the film, which includes editing, color correction, sound design, music composition, closed captioning and packaging for delivery. 

We need your help to raise the funds that will allow us to finish the film. We need to raise $9,000.

Here’s how we’ll use your donation: 

What’s Next 

Post-production will take most the of the summer of 2016. The film’s release will take place in late August. Once finished, Saba: The Unspoiled Queen will be screened in Saba, the United States and internationally at film festivals. 

We want to show this film to the masses. The more people who are exposed to the amazing efforts taking place on Saba, the better. We want the world to see and learn what happens when a community takes proactive measures to protect their natural treasures.   

Follow Along 

If you haven’t already, check out our website and follow us on social media for updates on the film’s progress:  

Meet the Crew

Nick Zachar, Producer & Director

Nick Zachar is a multimedia producer and filmmaker currently pursuing his MFA in Film and Electronic Media at American University. Nick's background in Biology has taken him to the Virgin Islands, where he traveled with a team of biologists on an expedition to aid efforts in the conservation of a critically endangered species of iguana. As a graduate student at American University, Nick has had the opportunity to film on the Chesapeake Bay aboard Coast Guard vessels, hike through Costa Rican rainforests, and repel into crevasses of Alaskan glaciers. During his recent travels to Mexico he combined his passions for the natural world and film by documenting stories related to the Monarch Butterfly, highlighting what needs to be done to restore the declining populations of this important pollinator. 

He is currently producing and directing his upcoming documentary Saba: The Unspoiled Queen, which highlights the people of the island of Saba and their efforts to conserve their natural treasures. Nick strives to find and share meaningful stories that shed light on environmental and conservation issues, and he hopes that his films will inspire viewers to take action.

Ross Godwin, Director of Photography

Ross Godwin is a Washington, DC based filmmaker and MFA candidate at American University. Over the course of an almost ten year career in filmmaking, Ross has won several awards for his work as a director and cinematographer. He has traveled the globe making both fiction and non-fiction films, from the wilderness of Alaska to the Czech Republic and everything in between. He is currently directing a short film, 9 Seconds.

Susan Billings, Manager of Promotion and Distribution 

Susan Billings is a digital strategist who builds bridges between people and causes that matter most. With an expertise in social media and a passion for travel and conservation, Susan has contributed to a variety of campaigns aimed to make a positive impact on the world.

Risks and challenges

Creating a film about a small, remote island in the Caribbean can be difficult. Especially if your home base is in Washington DC, over 1700 miles away. But we’ve been fortunate enough to receive plenty of support along the way and have successfully completed production, the most logistically challenging part of the process.
With the determination and passion we have for this project, we’re confident Saba: The Unspoiled Queen will be a spectacular film and finished on time.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A virtual shout-out on social media to express our gratitude.

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    A postcard from Saba, the location of production for US donors with a personal message from Producer/Director Nick Zachar. For Saban donors, we will send you a postcard from Washington DC, the location of post-production.

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    Private reel of some of the film’s most beautiful shots/time lapses

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    Digital copy of the film and title of “special contributor” in the credits

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    Film poster

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    Invitation to private screening event (exact locations TBD)

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Funding period

- (30 days)