About this project
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.
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.
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.
4. Get in Touch - Have questions? Want to learn more? Write an article? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com
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.
Michelle and Ruth
THE TERRITORY TEAM
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
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