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It's time to take THE TERRITORY, the longest running showcase of independent film on PBS, to the next level.
It's time to take THE TERRITORY, the longest running showcase of independent film on PBS, to the next level, and WE DID IT!  Thanks to all of our supporters.
It's time to take THE TERRITORY, the longest running showcase of independent film on PBS, to the next level, and WE DID IT!  Thanks to all of our supporters.
241 backers pledged $43,255 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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THE TERRITORY is on a mission and we need you. Since 1977, we've broadcast 35 seasons of short films as a space for filmmakers from all over the world to innovate, experiment and create new work. 

We're out to revitalize and expand THE TERRITORY so that we can increase support to the filmmakers involved and open the show up to a whole new generation of artists and audiences.

We need your help. 

In 1977, filmmaker James Blue envisioned a world where anyone could make films. He would come to call these artists "Citizen Filmmakers." He created an outlet where these films could be seen by a wide audience through the PBS series, THE TERRITORY. Before the internet, this show was one of the only places where independent short, experimental, documentary and narrative films could be seen by the public.

Now entering its 36th season, THE TERRITORY includes contemporary films (and, occasionally, iconic historical work) in all genres—documentary, narrative, animation, and experimental.

OUR LEGACY AND FUTURE

THE TERRITORY has expanded the reach of experimental filmmakers, provided a platform for new work, and offered scholarship and mentorship to beginning artists, many of whom received their first funding or first exposure through the show and its support.

Here are just a few of the directors who have shared their work through THE TERRITORY and SWAMP: 

Robert Rodriguez • Gus Van Sant • Jane Campion • Kat Candler • Kelly Sears • Jason Kovascev & Matt Mamula • Anne Silverstein • Darius Clark Monroe • Jason Mann • David Lowery • Jeremy Robbins • Julio Ramos • Soham Metha • Kelley Baker • Raquel Chapa • Steve Mims • Chris Eska • Bryan Poyser • Terrence Nance • Marek Dojs • Mary Magsamen

For 39 years, Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) has been a major force in independent film and continues to promote the creation and appreciation of film, video, and new media as art forms of a multicultural community.

This legacy is important and as we premiere Season 36 this September. It's time to take THE TERRITORY to the next level. We need your help.

 

 THE ENTIRE SEASON 36:

 

SUPPORTING FILMMAKERS & REACHING A NATIONAL AUDIENCE. 

We are raising $43K to take THE TERRITORY to expand it's reach and we need you. We want to take THE TERRITORY to a national audience, to find and recruit the world's most exciting short filmmakers.

We also aim to curate past seasons online so the work is accessible to all. All of your pledges and backing will ensure that we are able to do the following:

1) We will be able to pay filmmakers a higher fee for licensing their work and hire an artist and musician to create a new opening title-sequence for the rebranded series.

2) Just as important, it will allow SWAMP to market the rebranded series so that up-and-coming filmmakers will have a better chance of getting their work seen by a national audience.

3) Finally, we'll be able to curate and archive all past films on our website in digital form so that the history of the film, artist, and THE TERRITORY is preserved for generations to come.

Our choice is Kickstarter, incredibly well respected for its support of film and the arts.  We have 30 days to raise $43,000, and it's an all-or-nothing deal! We'll need your help to make it to the finish line. 

We can’t do it without your help! Contribute to our campaign. We have incredible rewards for contributors, including script consultations, gala invitations, teen film camps and more! And your contribution is TAX DEDUCTIBLE (after the value of your reward). What could be better?

Michelle Mower is an internationally acclaimed motion picture writer, director and producer. Her debut feature film “The Preacher’s Daughter,” starring Andrea Bowen (“Desperate Housewives”), has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, including the European Independent Film Festival and Madrid International Film Festival. The movie premiered on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) in August, 2012 and garnered the highest ratings on the network for the year. Since then, Michelle has written and directed two made-for-tv movies for Lifetime, including “The Preacher’s Mistress” and the “The Preacher’s Sin.” Michelle also produced the critically acclaimed independent feature “Dreamer” that premiered on NuvoTV in July 2014. Michelle is heavily involved in the film community in Texas. She has served on the boards of Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) and Women In Film and Television (WiFT) and currently sits on the board of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP).

Ruth Villatoro is a veteran producer with more than 20 years experience creating commercials and documentaries. She has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and production studios to streamline their productions and staff. After years working under the studio system, she formed Toros Film in order to tell the stories that mattered most to her. Focusing on human rights and social justice issues, her journalistic drive has taken her from the dangerous slums of Africa to the human trafficking compounds in the United States. Named “best Houston documentary” by the Houston Press, her film “The Cantinera” has been recognized through organizations such as the National Association of Latin Independent Producers and Youth for Human Rights. It continues to screen in universities, awareness events and fundraising efforts while raising thousands of dollars for organizations fighting against human trafficking.

We have 30 days to raise $43K. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform; if we don't raise it all, we won't receive any of the funds. That's why we need your help to succeed.

You can help in any of the following ways.

1. Back the Project - The trick with Kickstarter is, if we don't meet or exceed our $43,000 target, we get nothing. Any amount helps us achieve this goal!

2. Spread the Word - Whether you are able to donate or not, sharing this project on your social media accounts or via email truly helps us build a community.

3. Follow Us - We are on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Have a favorite short from the past 35 seasons? Share it with us at territory@swamp.org

4. Get in Touch - Have questions? Want to learn more? Write an article? Let us know by emailing us at info@swamp.org 

In 1977, through the vision of the internationally acclaimed filmmaker and educator James Blue, with founding director Ed Hugetz and initial financial support of Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, SWAMP became the first Texas independent nonprofit organization for the “citizen filmmaker.”

Over the course of its history, SWAMP recognized and supported the work of such noted filmmakers as Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez and Jane Campion, and helped Texas filmmakers receive over $2 million for their non-commercial films in the last 13 years alone.

Today, SWAMP offers aspiring filmmakers of all ages professional development workshops, after-school programs, summer film classes, special screenings, fiscal sponsorship, THE TERRITORY (our Texas PBS broadcast television series), grant opportunities, collaborative events, and much more in our mission to promote the creation and appreciation of film and new media as art forms of a diverse, multicultural community.

SWAMP’s educational programs and screenings, directly benefit an average of some 2800 filmmakers and film-lovers annually. We depend on partial funding from The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, The Brown Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Houston Film Commission, and individual donors just like YOU!

You've been with us for 39 years and thousands of amazing independent short films. You've seen animation, innovation, compelling narrative and incredible talent blossom and grow as filmmakers get their start.  We thank you for watching THE TERRITORY, supporting film shorts and we thank you now for backing our project. You and your support is so important to us.

Thank you!!!!

Michelle and Ruth

THE TERRITORY TEAM

"Red Pearl" by Wayne Slaten, airing this season.
"Red Pearl" by Wayne Slaten, airing this season.

 REWARDS! 

$60 Reward: "The Territory Tote"
$60 Reward: "The Territory Tote"

 

$40 Reward: Magnet 4 Indie Short Lovers
$40 Reward: Magnet 4 Indie Short Lovers

 

    

Risks and challenges

Production of Season 36 is complete. The series will screen all over the state of Texas on PBS. We are confident that people will want to bring these innovative film shorts to a national and online audience. That being said, we cannot guarantee a national or online distribution plan. We have worked tirelessly on this project for many years and are committed to supporting the world's most talented and creative filmmakers and to share their work with the world through our long lived and deeply loved television program.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    OPENING CREDITS

    We'll put your name in lights with a shout out on our Facebook or Twitter!

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    THE IN CROWD

    You'll get an Invite to a private AMA (Ask Me Anything) with select Season 36 directors!

    PLUS

    You'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter!

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    Citizen Cred

    Your own THE TERRITORY button!

    PLUS

    You'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and an invite to the Ask Me Anything!

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    ABOVE THE LINE

    You'll get one Annual Individual Filmmaker Access Membership to SWAMP.

    AND

    A collection of digital BTS material from various Season 36 directors.

    PLUS

    Your own THE TERRITORY button, you'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and an invite to the Ask Me Anything!

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    BEHIND THE SCENES

    You'll get an invitation to a live stream chat room with THE TERRITORY producers and select directors during the broadcast of Season 36.

    PLUS

    Your very own THE TERRITORY button, you'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and an invite to the Ask Me Anything!

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    MAGNETS 4 INDIE SHORT LOVERS

    A set of four 3" x 2" unique & witty magnets celebrating indie short films for your fridge, cabinets, lunch box, toolbox and spacecrafts.

    PLUS: Your very own THE TERRITORY button, you'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and an invite to the Ask Me Anything!

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    THE CALL SHEET

    You'll receive one free admission to a SWAMP workshop (excluding the Business of Film Conference and Lights! Camera! Action! Teen Moviemaking Camp).

    PLUS

    Your very own THE TERRITORY button, you'll get a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and an invite to the Ask Me Anything!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    THE TERRITORY TOTE

    Carry indie shorts on the go! This limited edition tote bag is a tribute to everything we love about TV: independent short films on The Territory. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the design.

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    THE BUSINESS MEETING

    Attend SWAMP's Business of Film Conference and Learn What it Takes to Succeed .

    AND

    One "Best of The Territory" DVD!

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    THE CONSULTATION

    Have your script reviewed by the experts! Your script will get full coverage and you'll meet for one hour with Jenny Waldo, Judy Garlow or Michelle Mower! You can meet in person or Skype if out of town!

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    MOVIE NIGHT

    You'll get a collection of DVDs/Promo Swag from Season 36 director's previous work.

    AND

    6 DVDs from Houston Film Commission's Texas Filmmaker's Showcase from 2010-2015!

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    THE VERITE

    You'll get an invite to an upcoming THE TERRITORY Season Premiere Party with the date to be determined.

    AND

    A "Best of The Territory" DVD!

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    LET'S DO LUNCH

    Get inside scoop and great advice from directors Kat Candler, Chris Eska, Kelly Baker and Michelle Mower for a one hour meeting. If you are in town, lunch awaits! Skype is available for those out of town!

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    CITIZEN FILMMAKER

    Get your teen an incredible experience! SWAMP's Lights, Camera, Action Teen camp 2016 or 2017 available now! Travel and lodging for out of town teens not included.

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    THE VIP

    Two Last Night At the Alamo VIP tickets with special seating, treats, and a shout-out at the event! Event is July 7, 2016 at 6 pm at Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) in Houston! Travel and lodging not included.

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    THE INDUSTRY

    You'll get one SWAMP membership, free conference membership and free entry to events for a year!

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    THE JURY

    A sneak preview of the upcoming season just curated and selected by THE TERRITORY's jury and panel!

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    OPENING NIGHT

    Host your own private screening of (nearly) any film at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH)! Travel and lodging not included.

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    THE BLOCKBUSTER

    You'll be a production assistant (PA) on a film set.

    AND

    Two tickets to the Last Night At the Alamo VIP with special seating, treats, and a shout-out at the event! The event is July 7, 2016 at 6 pm at Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) in Houston! Travel and lodging not included.

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    15 MINUTES OF FAME

    Want to be a star? You'll get a Walk on Role in an upcoming film.

    AND

    The red carpet treatment at the Last Night At the Alamo VIP screening with two tickets, special seating, treats, and a shout-out at the event on July 7, 2016 at 6 pm at Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH). Travel and lodging not included.

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    THE EXECUTIVE

    You'll receive Producer credit on Season 37 of THE TERRITORY, enjoy a Lunch/Skype with a director.

    AND

    Get the red carpet treatment Last Night At the Alamo screening with two tickets, special seating, treats, and a shout-out at the event on July 7, 2016 at 6 pm at Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH). Travel and lodging not included.

    AND

    The Swamp Package- Membership, free conference membership, free entry to events for a year.

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Funding period

- (29 days)