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SWAMP CABBAGE is a dark and sweaty feature-length documentary by Hayley Downs & Julie Kahn. Help us raise funds to hire an editor! Read more

De Land, FL Film & Video
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This project was successfully funded on December 20, 2010.

SWAMP CABBAGE is a dark and sweaty feature-length documentary by Hayley Downs & Julie Kahn. Help us raise funds to hire an editor!

De Land, FL Film & Video
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About this project

Hayley Downs, a half-Cracker* stuck in Brooklyn, discovers that the eccentric Florida childhood she left behind is the key to surviving love and loss in a disconnected world.

Hayley grew up in hard drinking, gun-toting, backwoods Central Florida. Not the Disney World Florida or the Florida where your grandparents moved when they retired. It’s the Florida you don't send postcards from. Though encouraged by her father to embrace her Cracker lineage, at 17 she flees, seeking the high life in Miami, then Brooklyn. But everything changes when her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer and she moves home to help her mother care for him. Desperate to cope with his impending death, she sets out to film his hunting buddies and their annual hometown wild game feast. What starts as a documentary about a quirky community event becomes a tragicomic odyssey of self-discovery through a vanishing culture, betrayal, addiction, illness and a whole lotta livin’ and lovin’.

*In Florida, “Cracker” is a term of pride referring to the descendants of Florida pioneers known for their ability to survive in the treacherous Florida wilderness. It is often confused with but unrelated to the slur meaning ignorant bigot.

We are both second-generation Floridians who share a passion for wild, weird, spooky beautiful Florida as well as a yearning to reclaim our personal connections to the natural world. We started this project together over 10 years ago when we filmed Hayley’s father’s wild game feast. Hayley continued to obsessively document her family and her life while Julie traveled deep into the heart of Cracker culture. In 2005, Julie launched Swamp Cabbage: Cracker Culture in a Fast Food Nation, a hybrid documentary and wild game tasting in Miami funded by the NEH. Now we are barreling toward completion on Swamp Cabbage: A Dark & Sweaty Documentary, the feature film about Hayley’s life and the product of our long-term collaboration, friendship and shared commitment to the real Florida.

We plan to release Swamp Cabbage in early 2012 in conjunction with a series of wild game feasts across the country. We’ve already hosted three sold-out events in Miami, Brooklyn, and San Francisco where chefs, hunters, foragers and jerky-makers pitched in to serve up local food with a Cracker twist – pig candy, alligator bites, soft-shell turtle stew, wild boar, a “jerk-off” handmade jerky competition and moonshine. Thanks to the wild game feasts and love from funders like Chicken and Egg Pictures, Winston Foundation, Southern Foodways Alliance, Film Arts Foundation, Savory Thymes, and San Francisco Film Society, we have just wrapped production. We are now ready to edit the full film.

Your contribution will allow us to hire an editor for this last critical phase. In exchange for your support, not only will we love you forever, but we’ll also send you some really cool goodies. Check out the highlights below.

If you like our campaign, help us spread the word: post it on facebook, tweet it, blog it, and in general, help us take it viral! The more money we raise through this campaign, the closer we are to releasing the film.

Your credit card is only charged, if and when, we reach our goal. If we do not reach our goal by the project's stated deadline, we lose ALL the money that has been pledged.

All "goodies" are only redeemable if we reach our fundraising goal. After that time, we will contact supporters to obtain any additional information necessary (ie. shipping address, sizes, etc.).

Contributions at the “Coral Snake” level and above can be tax-deductible. Contact us at for details.


Hayley & Julie
The Gals from Swamp Cabbage Pictures




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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    11 backers

    PALMETTO BUG → → → → → → → → → a dark & sweaty bear hug + updates.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    45 backers

    SQUIRREL → → → → → → → → → → → above + secret cracker recipe + adopt an alligator in St. Johns River named for you or person of your choosing. You’ll receive an official certificate in the mail.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    29 backers

    COOTER → → → → → → → → → → → above + "I Like 'Em Dark & Sweaty" beer koozie OR set of 3 temporary tattoos designed by Jessica Milazzo (wild boar, gator & coral snake) + link to the finished film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    33 backers

    CORAL SNAKE → → → → → → → → → above + "Dark & Sweaty" clothing (choose t-shirt, thong OR onesie) + signed Swamp Cabbage dvd.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    16 backers

    POSSUM → → → → → → → → → → → above + caller (turkey OR owl) + your name in the film credits + 2 VIP tickets to a Swamp Cabbage screening in NY, SF or Florida.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    ARMADILLO → → → → → → → → → → above + Swamp Cabbage wild game sampler pack (Marin Sun Farms peppered grass-fed beef jerky + wild boar prosciutto + wild boar lomo "harvested" by Hayley with Farmer John & cured by legendary SF butcher Morgan Maki).

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    BUCK → → → → → → → → → → → → above + limited edition 11" x 14" Cracker Florida photograph by Julie (choose wild boar, cur dog OR sabal palm) + 5" x 7" swamp creature painting by Hayley (choose gator, snake OR coon).

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers

    GATOR → → → → → → → → → → → → above + 4-hour kayak trip with author & environmentalist Bill Belleville on the beautiful Wekiva River in Central Florida + money for lunch + 2-dozen homemade buttermilk biscuits delivered to your home or office (NY, Bay Area or Florida supporters only).

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    WILD BOAR → → → → → → → → → → above + fried chicken dinner with all the fixin's for 8 prepared in your home by Hayley & Julie (NY, Bay Area or Florida supporters only).


Funding period

- (31 days)