Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 25, 2012.

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A documentary focusing on the largest dam removal in U.S. history and its affects on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington State.

UPDATE - 100% funded!
We made it to $8,000, but guess what?! If we can raise $12,000 we will be able to shoot aerial flyovers of the Elwha River and film the salmon underwater as they visit upstream spawning grounds for the fist time. Additionally, we hope to shoot on the Red Epic, currently the most digitally advanced camera in the industry. Check out our newer, discounted rewards and consider becoming a backer if you haven't already done so.

September 17th, 2011 marked the beginning of a three-year river restoration project on the Elwha River in Washington State. The main component of the restoration project is the removal of both the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams. The dams, erected almost one hundred years ago, flooded Lower Elwha Klallam tribal sites and depleted the Tribe’s sacred salmon stock.

Now that the dams are coming down, we plan to document the recovery of not only the River but the Tribe as well, stressing the relationship between these two entities. The Strong People will begin with the history of the Tribe, dating back one hundred years to when the dams were constructed, destroying one the most prolific salmon runs in the world and thus damaging the economic and cultural structure of the Klallam people.

In addition to interviews with Klallam Tribe members, we will film the stages of the dam removals, the changes along the Elwha River, and the return of the salmon. We will be traveling and filming from the peaks of the Olympic Mountains to the Straight of Juan de Fuca, where the Elwha empties into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we will discover new places, meet fascinating people, and document the stories of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

Together, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Elwha River will thread a story about finding balance between ecological restoration and cultural integrity. But in order to tell this story, we'll need you're help!

Here are some important things we will need during our fabulous two and a half week trip out to the Olympic Peninsula:

Archival Images of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Elwha River dams - $150

Transportation (airfare, ferry, and car) - $1,200

Lodging and food - $3,000

Equipment, which includes an underwater camera rig, glide camera, slider, and follow focus - $1,800

Insurance and Permits for National Park filming - $300

The Strong People will be shooting this summer and into next year. The final film will be released May 2013.

Thanks for checking us out ;)

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    DISCOUNTED - Receive an original art water globe creation from our audio recordist turned Elwha fisherwoman, Isabel. (Plus a film credit and digital download).

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    DISCOUNTED - An original song (in your honor) written and performed by our lovely camera team Frank and Joe. Expect rapping, acoustic guitar riffs, and overall awesomeness! (Plus a film credit and digital download).

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    Drink of the Elwha! We'll send you a fully filtered bottle of water straight from the newly freed waters of the Elwha River. (Plus a credit and a digital download of the film).

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Funding period

- (30 days)