Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 16, 2013.

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A quest to find Honduras’ most infamous underground drug-ballad band.

Why should you care?

The violence and murders tied to the Honduran drug trade are a direct result of our demand for cocaine in the United States.  Although many Americans don't realize it, our irresponsible habits affect the safety and well-being of people in Central America.  Despite having the best communications technology in the world, we remain deaf and blind to the plight of our neighbors to the south.  By pledging to this project you will be bringing us one step closer to exposing the reality of our role in the drug trade and our effect on Honduras.

The quest

Somewhere in the rugged ranching countryside of eastern Honduras there is a band that plays what locals call “música típica,” which represents life in the region. Unfortunately, life in eastern Honduras is marked by the international drug trade and the world’s highest homicide rates.  Through music, this band tells stories of people intimately involved in the violent world of narco-trafficking.

In a place where people are afraid to utter the names of the most powerful drug lords, where police rarely investigate crimes and where journalists fear reporting the truth, Los Plebes de Olancho immortalize the kingpins and their cocaine culture through song.

We want to find Los Plebes de Olancho and hear from the musicians themselves.

Does their music glorify and perpetuate the drug culture or does it present injustices that are often covered-up?  And is the risk of singing about drug barons worth the fame?

Without your help, however, the world will never know the answers to these questions.

Why kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a reputable and revolutionary crowd-sourcing platform that brings ideas to life in a way that has never before been possible.  It’s simple; it works on an all-or-nothing basis and with your support this investigative documentary will become a reality.  If we don’t reach our goal we won't receive any of the pledges and your credit card will never be charged, meaning the film won't be made.  We are fully committed to the project but in order to get it off the ground we need help from you.

The band and the plan

When we were teaching in Honduras our friends often listened to and talked about Los Plebes de Olancho.  Though their albums were widely circulated on the streets, they seldom performed in public and their whereabouts seemed unknown.  The mystery surrounding this beloved band caught our attention.

After returning to the US and working in Boston for 10 months, we had an idea.  We could find Los Plebes using our knowledge of Honduras, our friendships and our connections.  By documenting our journey, we could show the world the problems that plague the country as well as the beauty and resilience of the Honduran people.

We mapped out a detailed 11-month plan for the project and laid the groundwork by tapping into our Honduran social network, which includes people from all walks of life; politicians, police, teachers, ranchers, and even powerful business owners.  We are working full time in order to make this happen. The rest depends on you.

If we reach our Kickstarter goal we’ll assemble a film crew and go to Honduras in October, 2013 for two months.  The majority of the expenses that your donation will fund are the cameraperson, equipment and the editing process.  We expect the project to be complete by June of 2014.

The team

Chris Valdes was born in Yorktown, Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a degree in psychology (go Hokies!). After graduating he left Virginia for the first time to live in Central America and experience a new culture.

Ted Griswold is from Needham and Sudbury, Massachusetts.  He graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a degree in English and Spanish.  After college he went to Honduras to live and teach English at Day-Star School en la tierra de amor y paz; Olancho, Honduras.

Jacob Griswold edited the promotional video above and serves as a creative and technical advisor to the film. He hails from Buffalo, New York and graduated from Notre Dame in 2010 with a degree in Film Production. Jacob's documentaries have been showcased in film festivals and on television networks all across the globe. He now lives in Queens, New York with his wife and works as a successful producer and editor at Four Corners Media. 

Jeff Consiglio, writer, producer, director and editor serves as a special creative/technical mentor to the project. His extensive filmmaking experience includes two Oscar-nominated documentary films on which he served as editor: "Wardance" nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 2008 and "Inocente," which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short in 2013 and was the first Oscar-winning film to have been funded in part through Kickstarter. Jeff is currently producing two documentary feature films and is directing a series of short documentaries through his LA-based companies VFRFilms and madeinhollywoodusa. He is also a graduate of Virginia Tech and comes to our project as a key creative guiding force.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

In 2012 the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ranked Honduras #1 on the list of the most murderous countries in the world. It is undeniably a dangerous place. Given our years of experience in the country and our knowledge of Honduran culture, we are confident that we can safely make this documentary. We’ve been to the most remote places in Central America and were able to navigate dangerous situations. Our past experiences will help us access people and places that are unreachable for most.

Filmmaking is an unpredictable endeavor; timelines may shift and the story itself may turn out differently than we expect. We’ve meticulously revised our budget and timelines with the advice of professional, experienced documentary filmmakers. We know our plan is the best it can be, but if the situation changes we are ready to adapt to ensure that the project is completed.

FAQ

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434
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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    34 backers

    Exclusive access to our blog, which we’ll update regularly with photos, audio and news of our adventures and mishaps

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    24 backers

    A handwritten thank you from Ted and Chris on a unique postcard from cowboy-country; Olancho, Honduras + Exclusive access to our blog

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    150 backers

    A high-quality digital copy of our completed documentary + Exclusive access to our blog

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    65 backers

    Afraid you won’t hear the drug-ballads through your computer speakers? With a $50 pledge, you’ll get a hard-copy DVD of our documentary to watch on your home TV + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    6 backers

    A Narco Ranchera CD bought on the streets of Honduras, authentically signed by a famous Narco Ranchera band + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    60 backers

    The pleasure of seeing your name in the credits of the film + The autographed Narco Ranchera CD + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    13 backers

    Access to an exclusive live online Q+A session with Chris and Ted where we’ll give the inside scoop on how we plan to execute our journey + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    7 backers

    A one-of-a-kind movie poster featuring one of the infamous bands we’ll encounter + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    7 backers

    As a major contributor to the film’s success, you will be titled Associate Producer and your name will appear in it’s own frame during the credits. + Movie poster + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    1 backer

    Two VIP tickets for you and a guest to attend the premiere screening at a select theater in Boston (travel not included) + Associate Producer credit + Movie poster + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers

    You will get a personalized video of one of the infamous Narco Ranchera bands performing a ballad featuring you! The band will use your name and portray you as a character in their song (your choice of digital download or DVD format). + Associate Producer credit + Movie poster + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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    0 backers

    You’ll receive a handmade classical guitar, custom built to your liking by Juan H. Rool. Living in the town of Catacamas, Honduras, Juan has been constructing beautiful acoustic guitars for decades. Narco Ranchera bands have been known to use his finely crafted instruments. You will be able to specify wood-type, stain color, size, and any inscription (guitar will be available January 2014). + Personalized video + Associate Producer credit + Movie poster + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    3 backers

    You’ll receive our sincerest gratitude and one of the bullet casings we found on the streets of Juticalpa, Honduras during our time teaching there. The shell will represent your truly generous contribution to the success of our project. + Custom guitar + Personalized video + Associate Producer credit + Movie poster + Q&A session access + Your name in the credits + The DVD + A digital copy + Exclusive access to our blog

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Funding period

- (31 days)