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A father in a Texas town resorts to desperate measures to save his critically ill son.
A father in a Texas town resorts to desperate measures to save his critically ill son.
107 backers pledged $25,025 to help bring this project to life.
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$25,025

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TO KICKSTART THE PROMISE, PRESS THE GREEN BUTTON THAT READS, "BACK THIS PROJECT" ON YOUR TOP RIGHT!

We are raising funds to begin principal photography on our feature film, The Promise. Your pledges will allow us to continue the casting process, secure the rest of our crew,  and lock in our key locations. We are amazing at pinching pennies, and each dollar we raise here will go directly into the film.  None of our core team members will be taking salaries. With a small cast, character-driven action, and largely contained single location, The Promise is specifically designed to be made on a low budget.  

Once this goal is reached, we will move on to our stretch goal of  $30,000. which will go toward permits, insurance, props and wardrobe, and craft service/catering.

 Every little bit helps to reach the finish line. We are SO GRATEFUL for your support!

THE STORY

Based on writer-director Torben Bech’s personal experiences, THE PROMISE is a neo-western crime drama about a working class family’s struggle to save their son. The film is set within a highly dramatic framework,  against the backdrop of a small South Texas town. 

It’s the story of Jim and Bee, a truck driver and supermarket cashier whose son is diagnosed with advanced cancer. In their greatest hour of need, they are left out in the cold by a  system that should be helping them, and they are suddenly forced to find the money for treatment on their own.  In emotional and financial crisis, Jim resorts to trafficking drugs across the US/Mexican border.  Jim must deal with the fear of losing his son, while desperately trying to save him. Everything he believes in is questioned, everything he normally wouldn’t do, he does.

The film explores how an otherwise rational, law abiding family man would resort to a life of crime. It’s a story about trying to save your child, and the sacrifice and moral decay that goes with it. What a parent is willing to do; how the system is for some, but not for all. 

It all begins with the promise all parents make when they hold their child for the first time “I’ll take care of you. I’ll keep you safe.” 

THE TEAM

DIRECTOR/WRITER: TORBEN BECH

Torben Bech is a two-time Sundance recipient and has worked both as a director and scriptwriter for 10+ years. He has worked on TV- series for DR, directed and written the feature, NUUMMIOQ (Sundance 2010, 2011 Oscar shortlist), written BRIDGEND (Tribeca 2015), THE COMET 2017, and episode writer of eight episodes for THANNANAYA, a 2018 DR production.  Bech holds an MFA at the Norwegian Film School as Scriptwriter. 

 DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: BO BILSTRUP

Bo’s work has been nominated for a Kodak Award, BAFTA and EMMY. Bo is a two time Sundance recipient. His work has received grants and accolades for his achievements within his field. His film, NUUMMIOQ (Sundance 2010), was highly praised for the cinematography in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter during screenings at Sundance 2010 and was shortlisted for a 2011 Oscar. He is currently in high demand as a cinematographer on both sides of the Atlantic. Bo has developed his own distinctive style of cinematography with a keen artistic and versatile understanding of the interplay between light and motion. He strives to create an environment of meticulously placed light to illuminate, but never distract from the inner human experience told by the actor and captured by the camera.

PRODUCER: MAGNUS KRISTIANSEN

Magnus Kristiansen has worked with media and tech-startups in Silicon Valley for 6 + years and runs a content/commercial production company out of Oslo, Norway. Kristiansen has produced two features, THE COMET (“Best Sci-Fi” Rhode Island FF, Austin Film Festival 2017) and AS I FALL (Special Jury Award, Black Nights FF 2018). Kristiansen holds an MFA at the Norwegian Film School as Producer. He also holds an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at BI Norwegian School of Management and UC Berkeley and a BA in Film and Television Science at Lillehammer University College. 

PRODUCER: THERESA BURKHART GALLAGHER

Theresa is a writer, producer and actress based in Los Angeles. She wrote and starred in the original comedies, THE BITCHES BREW, at The Lillian Theatre, PHRASES OF VALIDATION IN HOLLYWOOD, at The Red Room NYC and the critically acclaimed modern farce, FEEDING THE MONKEY IN HOLLYWOOD. Her first short film, SCHMOOLIE THE DEATHWATCHER toured the film festival circuit internationally, winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at San Antonio Film Festival and Best Actor at Philadelphia First Glance. Theresa is in pre-production for SCHMOOLIE THE DEATHWATCHER the feature film, and has written a TV series, HONEY AND CLOVER, which is in development with comedian Jackie Monahan.

ACTOR: MICHAEL RAY ESCAMILLA

Michael is attached to play the role of JIM. Both an accomplished stage and screen actor, Michael Ray has appeared opposite Robert Duvall in A NIGHT IN OLD MEXICO, alongside Laura Linney in Showtime’s THE BIG C, was part of an ensemble cast that included Ed Harris, Eva Longoria & Michael Peña in Frontera, and HOT PURSUIT with Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara. He received the prestigious OBIE Award for his performance in Heather Woodbury’s A TALE FOR TWO CITIES in New York City, a HELEN HAYES Award from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for his performance of Craig Wright’s RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS, and the San Antonio Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for ‘Best Actor’ for the lead performance in his own film CRUZANDO.  Michael’s upcoming projects include the Indie feature UNDER MY SKIN and the dark comedy feature film EL TONTO opposite Charlie Day and Kate Beckinsale, both set to be released in 2020.  He can currently be seen in all three seasons of FX’s television show SNOWFALL, created by John Singleton.

PRODUCERS: ELIZABETH GRACE and CÈSAR GARCIA

Elizabeth Grace & Cèsar Garcia co-own Phoenix-based production company WildBird Studios where they produce, write, and direct award-winning commercial content and short films. Recent work includes 'Back Home' and 'The Cause', a short film adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello.

Aside from producing, they are both accomplished actors. Cesar has appeared in numerous films and national commercials including GoDaddy, Walmart, Tilted Kilt, Peter Piper Pizza, Petsmart, and WildBird’s recent projects ‘Back Home’ and ‘The Cause’.

In addition to numerous commercials, Elizabeth can most recently be seen leading the feature film 2 Gentlemen of Verona. She is also featured in Wish Man, currently playing in theaters nationwide. 

They currently have two feature films in development.

PRODUCER/LINE PRODUCER: SALVADOR CHACON

Salvador Chacon is an actor, director, and producer actively working in Hollywood. He formalized his producing career in 2009 when was hired to line produce the large format reality show Paradise Hotel. After moving to Los Ángeles in 2010 he founded Wild Goats Creative together with his brothers, where they produce high-end advertising, branded content, as well as short and long form narrative projects. Wild Goats latest film The Path of Least Resistance has it's World premiere at the Guanajuato International Film Festival at the end of July. Salvador can currently be seen in FX’s television show MAYANS MC, created by Kurt Sutter.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: SIGVE ENDRESEN

Sigve (b.1953) is a well established Norwegian film producer. Since the 1970s he has worked on a number of feature films as well as many politically charged documentaries. Sigve is the founder of one of Norways largest production companies, Motlys. Amongst his many credits, Sigve was executive producer for Joachim Triers latest films THELMA (2017) and LOUDER THAN BOMBS (2015) (Cannes 2015).

LOCATIONS

We’re shooting the film on location in South-Texas to capture what it’s like  be a part of its unique culture.

Risks and challenges

The challenges of the low-budget feature are especially unique. The lower the budget, the harder it is to put out the inevitable fires that start. We don’t have the luxury of shooting for months with a giant crew and ample resources to support us. Fortunately, we do have the experience to handle the specific low-budget obstacles we will encounter. Our cast and crew has worked on giant, multi-million-dollar studio productions as well as tiny, low-budget indie features. Both extremes are incredible learning experiences in crafting a film.

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Funding period

- (57 days)