Indie comedy about undocumented immigration, set on a hilariously catastrophic, very unusual family roadtrip across the Mexican border.
THE LINES ARE STILL OPEN!
We are so incredibly grateful to have reached our goal here on Kickstarter! There is STILL 1 DAY LEFT to get those last pledges in, closing at 9:05pm TONIGHT (Aug 14th, 2012). Every dollar donated over our goal will go EVEN FURTHER toward the creation of this clever and rare film. So please go ahead and make your pledge before time runs out, and join us on this wonderfully crazy ride that is Sun Belt Express! Thank you!
Set to the south of Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, Sun Belt Express follows offbeat liberal dad Allen King as he juggles two separate lives on different sides of the border. In Arizona, he’s in the middle of a divorce from his conservative State-senator wife, Margaret, and is struggling to come to terms with his precocious daughter Emily’s aspirations to be the new president of her high school’s Young Republicans Club. During the week, he cross-commutes into Mexico, where he’s an ethics professor at a university and has, against his better judgment, fallen head-over-heels for his student, Ana, who is 8-months pregnant with his kid.
And when he’s not working... Allen smuggles undocumented immigrants across the border in the trunk of his car! It’s not long before his delicately balanced life begins coming apart at the seams. What starts as a typical Saturday afternoon rapidly degenerates into a catastrophic, hilarious, and unusual cross-border family road trip, where anything that can go wrong, does, forcing Allen to re-evaluate his beliefs, his actions, and his closest relationships.
Sun Belt Express is a challenging, irreverent indie comedy about family and political dysfunction, bringing audiences into the world of undocumented migration through the lens of humor. There isn't really anything else like it out there right now! It highlights our unending potential for laughter and hope – even in the most trying of circumstances. That’s rare, and it continues to fuel our passion to share this project with audiences.
One of the hardest things when talking about making a film, is giving people an idea of what it will actually look like on the screen, it's aesthetic. To help with that, we put together a multimedia lookbook - basically, a compilation of short clips from various sources that help give an idea of what Sun Belt Express will look like, the world that the film will inhabit. Sit back, relax, and take a short trip to the desert with us:
Why THIS Story?
Message from Evan: When I started work on Sun Belt Express, I was asked one question more than any other: How had a white kid from the not-so-mean-streets of the Upper West Side ended up making a film about illegal immigration? The truth is – it found me. I've worked in several bars over the years, and many of my co-workers have been immigrants. I’ve heard the wildest stories, but perhaps most shocking of all, was the fact that many of the stories were, against all odds, funny. It’s a remarkable, transformative sort of comedy, about the triumph of humor in the most difficult of situations, and I couldn’t help thinking: there’s a story in there that needs to be told. So we're telling it!
How You Can Help
Sun Belt Express is our first feature film, and we'd love to have you on this adventure with us! We're raising money on Kickstarter to continue to develop the project, and move towards production, slotted for this coming March in New Mexico. We've budgeted $600k overall to make this film, and have already raised about 30% of that! We've got a ways to go, but your support through this Kickstarter campaign is essential as we strive to put the rest of the funding together. All of the money we raise goes directly to the film -- for paying our cast and crew, shooting on location in New Mexico, renting production equipment, and so on. This $40k chunk from Kickstarter will help us get SO much closer to a finished film, and beyond. We simply cannot do it without your help! Please help make our Sun Belt Express dreams come true and MAKE A DONATION!
How Kickstarter Works
Since our movie is being made completely independently from the big film studios, we need all the help we can get from friends, family, and strangers who believe in us - and this story - to make it happen! That’s where Kickstarter comes in. When you make a pledge by clicking the big green "Back This Project" button at the top right of this page, or by clicking one of the fun rewards we've posted in the right-hand column, the site keeps a tally of what you and everyone else intends to donate. The campaign only lasts for a certain amount of time, and in order for us to get the money at the end, we have to meet or exceed our goal. Kickstarter is an "all-or-nothing" platform, so if we don’t raise our entire goal by the deadline, everyone's pledges will be returned to them in full, and we won't receive anything at all. But if we do reach our goal, even if only by a penny, we get it all!
SO PLEASE DONATE! Whatever you can give, from $5, to $50, to $5,000 -- all of it is immensely helpful and will be much appreciated! And after you donate, please SHARE with your friends, family, Facebook and Twitter followers, blog and Instagram stalkers, sorority sisters, bike-riding group, stich & bitch club, Mad Men screening group, roller derby team, church congregation, office buddies, high school students -- please tell anyone and everyone to check out our page and to donate too! It's going to be a great movie, and we can't wait to have you and all your friends along for the ride!
Oh, and by the way, Sun Belt Express started with a short film Evan made called "La Linea". Check out the trailer for it below!
Sample Sun Belt Express storyboard art by artist Dawn Williams Boyd (aka Iyabo's mom!)
Sneak peek at Iyabo's Sun Belt Express "Haircut" Reward! Get your initials cut into Iyabo's hair and let her display your SBE love all over town!
Evan's production company Thank You Keith offers to make your next music video or commercial as a reward! Check out their cool site and logo below - http://thankyoukeith.com/
Photos representing work from Company B Painting -- refresh that home or office paint job while also supporting Sun Belt Express! Donated by Iyabo's Dad Joe.
What's the deadline for donating?
- August 14th, 9:05pm eastern time, on the dot!
What happens if the money isn't raised in time?
- If our goal isn't met before the deadline, we don't get ANY of the money, and no one gets their rewards. It's all or nothing, kids!
Can we exceed the goal?
- Yes! And that would be freakin' amazing. Kickstarter will allow as much money as is given before the deadline. The more money we raise, the closer we get to being able to make this movie!
What does the money go to?
- All of the money we raise goes directly to the film's production budget: for paying our cast and crew, shooting on location in NM, renting production equipment, feeding and housing everyone, editing, sound mixing, color correction, film festival applications, and so on.
- No, only you and the project creator will be able to see the amount.
Do I have to start a Kickstarter account?
- Yes, please create a Kickstarter account - its free and only takes a few seconds. And you can keep up with our project here through the Updates tab at the top where we're gonna put up lots of fun videos. (Plus, there are tons of other cool projects on the site that you can also donate to!)
When I go to make a pledge, why does it take me to an Amazon page?
- Amazon is the company that processes all the financial stuff for Kickstarter. You do have to create an account for them as well -- again, it only takes a few moments. It'll be time well spent because then you can donate to Sun Belt Express!
When would I get my rewards?
- The reward delivery date is listed below each pledge in the column on the right. Kickstarter says for pledge levels with multiple rewards to put in the date the LAST reward will be delivered. Just wanted to let you know that we'll be rolling rewards out as soon as they're available. For instance, we can start doing the thank you notes, Instagram shout-outs, Facebook mentions, etc. right away! Some things like set visits and private screenings won't be available until we start shooting in March or after we finish. We'll definitely get everything to you as soon as they're ready -- thanks in advance for your support and your patience! And don't worry, shipping costs are included in all pledge amounts.
How will you know where to send my rewards and my T-shirt size?
- After our deadline, we will send you a Kickstarter message requesting all the necessary information.
I've already made a pledge but want to change the amount or my reward level, can I do that?
- Yes! Login to Kickstarter and go to our campaign page. Since you've already made a pledge, that green "Back This Project" button has been replaced with a blue "Manage Your Donation" button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new reward.
I want to donate more than $5,000, how do I do that?
- Reach out to us! We'd love to talk to you about becoming a larger investor in the film. See contact info below.
How can I contact you? Where can I get more info?
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Thank you -- You'll receive two vouchers for a hug, high five, bro shake, booty bump, or chest bump from Evan or Iyabo! Plus, everyone at $5 and above will get a shout out on Facebook/Twitter for being SBE's coveted "First Fans."Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
SBE character RAFI dreams of being the first Mexican Country Music star in America. Get a free download of his future hit "Bedpost Knives," and his album cover art! Plus the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or moreYou selected
**NEW REWARD** Get a digital download of Evan's short film "La Linea" - the short film that started this whole journey. And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Get a hand written "Green Card" thank you note from Iyabo and Evan, plus SBE film crew essential: a pocket Spanish to English dictionary! And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
**NEW REWARD** Get a DVD of the finished film! Complete with cover art, bloopers, and behind the scenes videos from the shoot. And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
SBE character MIGUEL suavely rescues Emily from a painful run-in with a vicious cactus. Get a friendly mini cactus in his honor! Plus, a special Instagram photo shout-out from Iyabo and Evan, just for you! And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or moreYou selected
7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)
**SPECIAL REWARD** Get a mounted Sun Belt Express storyboard artwork created by artist Dawn Williams Boyd (Iyabo's mom!). Each piece is hand drawn, featuring three images inspired by the film. See a sample piece below! And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
**SPECIAL REWARD** Iyabo will shave your initials (or whatever two letters you like) into her hair! Let Iyabo rock your Sun Belt Express support for all the world to see! As soon as all 10 spots are taken, Iyabo will get her hair cut, and share all the video/pics with everyone. Limited to just 10 people, so better move fast!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Official SBE Kickstarter T-shirt! It'll say something funny on it... Plus, match it with this sweet American flag bandana with cooling crystals that provide 4 hours of relief! Perfect for those long hot rides in a trunk... -- http://bit.ly/OeYYHy. And all the rewards above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
When SBE character ANA rolls her sultry 'R's, you'll break into a sweat -- she's one hot pregnant lady! Get one "Speak Sexy Spanish" lesson from SBE crew member Karla (Skype or in person in NY). Plus, have your name listed in the film's "Special Thanks" section of the film credits! And all the rewards above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)
**SPECIAL REWARD** Get a numbered print of one of Evan's photographs from his travels in the gorgeous American Southwest! And all the rewards above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
3 backers All gone!
**SPECIAL REWARD** Need to make a music video, commercial, or promo materials? Get 10 hours of video production from Evan's company Thank You Keith (http://thankyoukeith.com/). And all the rewards above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $350 or moreYou selected
Celebrate our shared adventure! Join Evan, Iyabo, available cast and crew, and other donors at this level for a Mexican dinner/ margarita party on us in NYC. And all the awards above! (Travel/lodging not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Be a part of the SBE world -- Name a character! Send three options por favor, and don't go too crazy! Plus a special video shout-out from Iyabo and Evan! And all the rewards above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $600 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)
**SPECIAL REWARD** Get $600 worth of excellent interior or exterior home/office painting from Company B Painting (Iyabo's Dad's company!). Fully licensed and insured, will travel anywhere in the USA! Check out some pics on this page to the left. (Cost of materials not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
Get a cameo in the film! Join us on set in New Mexico and we'll place you in the scene with some SBE characters! Plus, have lunch with Evan, Iyabo, and available cast and crew on set. And all the rewards above! (Select dates. Travel/lodging not included.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Get inside our heads -- Have lunch and a short edit session with Evan and our editor (select dates). Check out our dailies and chat about story structure like a pro! And if we're not in the same city, we can still Skype and send you some special clips. And all the rewards above! (Travel/lodging not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or moreYou selected
A true comrade! Get an official Associate Producer credit on the film (in the credits and on IMDB), plus four tickets to the SBE premiere or a festival screening near you. And all the rewards above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
Committed til the end! Get the Associate Producer credit, plus we'll host a special private screening of the film for you and your friends! (Anywhere in the USA.) And all the rewards above. AND of course, the incredible feeling of helping make our SBE dream come true!Estimated delivery:
- (36 days)