About this project
Thank you for making the campaign a success! We are going to try and go further in the short time we have left and reach a stretch goal of $5,000 more to add a piece of animation to the film: bringing the actual Sheriff of Mars drawing to life! We hope you will help us get there!
Over the last 2 years, we've traveled between France and the USA to document the musical story of one of the most extraordinary characters you'll ever meet: Daniel "Donut" Antopolsky a.k.a. "The Sheriff of Mars". Musician, rebel even among the rebels, and truly unique in every way. A friend, musical compatriot, and life saver of the legendary Townes Van Zandt... One who every Townes' fan has heard about on the album "Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas" without knowing who the mystery "Daniel" is.
For Daniel escaped the US and the drug riddled 1970s Nashville music scene on a quest to find a more spiritual path. But by chance he was recently discovered and is now attempting to make an impact with his music: a lifetime of songs that are as great as any that have ever been written. He wants to make a difference in people’s lives with his soulful music and we want to prove it's never too late to reach for your dreams. We've captured some vital moments on this journey, but as independent filmmakers, we've come to a point where we need outside resources and expertise to finish the job.
French Translation (more in English below)
Durant ces derniers 18 mois, nous avons voyagé entre la France et les États Unis pour filmer l'histoire musicale de l'un des personnages les plus extraordinaires qui soit : Daniel "Donut" Antopolsky, mieux connu sous le nom de "Sheriff of Mars". Musicien, rebelle parmi les rebelles, personnage unique dans tous les sens. Ami, compagnon musical et sauveur du légendaire Townes Van Zandt.... Celui dont tous les fans de Townes ont entendu parler sur l'album Live at the Old Quarter, sans vraiment savoir qui était le mystérieux "Daniel". En effet, Daniel avait quitté les États-Unis et l'engrenage de la drogue des années 70, fuyant le monde de la musique de Nashville, à la recherche d’une vie plus spirituelle. Il a été "découvert" par hasard et il essaie maintenant d'avoir un impact avec sa musique. Une vie entière à écrire des chansons qui peuvent rivaliser avec toutes celles jamais écrites. Il veut faire une différence dans la vie des gens avec sa musique pleine de sens. Nous voulons également montrer qu'il n'est jamais trop tard pour réaliser ses rêves. Nous avons capté de super moments sur son parcours, mais en tant que réalisateurs indépendants nous avons besoin d'aide et d'expertise venant de l'extérieur pour finaliser ce projet.
“The Sheriff of Mars” explores the life of Daniel 'Donut' Antopolsky, a 66 year old from Augusta, Georgia, who gave up the opportunity to become a Country & Folk singer in order to escape the craziness of the Outlaw Country music scene. Having been on a tumultuous journey, he’s never stopped writing songs. And at an age when most people are retiring, he's recorded his first album with two of Nashville’s Grammy nominated producers and some of the best musicians in the world.
But it hasn't been easy.
Our movie will follow Daniel's turbulent life as a Jewish boy from the Deep South, to touring and playing in his early 20s with the legendary Townes Van Zandt, then retreating to South East Asia until he found a "conventional" life with a wife and twin daughters on a farm in Bordeaux, France.
400 songs and 40 years later, "The Sheriff of Mars" will explore sex, drugs, religion, the wild life, loss and redemption, dreams and hopes, the soul of Country Music, and the importance of chickens and tractors.
Why "The Sheriff of Mars?" - What's This Drawing All About?
The Sheriff of Mars is a character Daniel's been drawing from kindergarten until today: a Sheriff who came down from Mars to Earth with the express mission of making everyone happy. Ever since then Daniel has been drawing the Sheriff with the lines between them becoming blurred by Daniel's own infectious happiness, good will, and hopes of bringing joy to all around him both through his actions and his music.
After many years - in February of 1975 - Daniel wrote a song dedicated to the Sheriff, called 'The Sheriff of Mars'. As we grew to know and love Daniel we realized that he is The Sheriff of Mars (though he denies it) and it seemed obvious to us to name the movie after him. We hope you love The Sheriff and his music as much as we do!
The above picture was initially drawn for Townes in 1972, but as you can see, Daniel changed his mind and gifted it to journalist Bill Hedgepeth and signed his own name backwards.
'The Sheriff of Mars' written in Crete, February 1975
I am the friendly and the funky sheriff sent from Mars.
My six-guns are candy canes and tiny dream guitars.
I pay a visit to the planet Earth to check out the people scene.
There's so much love in the Universe in every sunshine beam .
We can visit my family on Mars. Just a honey milk away.
Where all the angels living there adore the way you play with you mirth and music, and nature walks and sharing what you have.
I've come to celebrate with you and climb the magic stairs.
From many different homes you come and many distant lands.
And I see you yearn the golden way together singing hand in hand.
La La La La La.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweet to us @SheriffofMars - We're here if you have a question, or want to chat about the project.
Risks and challenges
We are a team that has a combined experience of over 50 years in production, and we are highly motivated Deputies of the Sheriff! Having worked so far with an amazing award-winning international crew and re-doubling and re-tripling our efforts to to complete our movie... We will succeed.
However, no project is without risks and challenges. Throughout production we've been faced with money issues, scheduling difficulties, editing trials and travel troubles, but we've overcome all obstacles in our path successfully, leading us to the point of being close to crossing the finish line. We are now in a great position to deal with any more complexities that may come our way, especially with the help of our Kickstarter community supporters who want to see The Sheriff of Mars spread happiness around the Earth.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)