About this project
“The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them.” -- Helen Keller
A sincere THANK YOU to all of our supporters! Please know this is only the beginning, we want you to be a part of this journey and this community that we have built together, so we can keep you informed, include you in local screenings and offer nourishment for the soul.
If you didn’t get a chance to donate, and would like to do so, all future contributions, which are tax deductible, can be made through Filmmakers Collaborative at: http://filmmakerscollab.org/films/three-days-to-see/ and will go toward the completion of the film.
Thank you again! Our cup runneth over.
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CHECK US OUT IN THE HUFFINGTON POST!
THREE DAYS TO SEE is a feature documentary about Michelle Smith, a student at the esteemed Perkins School for the Blind near Boston, est.1829. Following in the footsteps of famed pupil Helen Keller, Michelle leaves behind a troubled past and confronts both her physical and emotional challenges. At Perkins, Michelle - who is legally blind - is taught that anything is possible, and with the encouragement of English teacher, Jeff Migliozzi, Michelle struggles to learn to trust her own voice and gain the confidence to embrace an independent life. Using the inspired words in Helen Keller’s essay, “Three Days to See,” as a structural and metaphorical tool, our story reveals an insularity to human perception and attempts to illuminate a common humanity. Along her journey, Michelle traverses the murky waters between darkness and light, fear and hope, discovering the beauties of the wider world and learning what it truly means to “see.”
In her 1933 essay Helen Keller describes what she would like to see if she were given her sight for just three days. In 2011, 18-year-old Michelle Smith, who is legally blind and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, ponders this very question in her classroom in her final year of studies before graduation from Perkins School for the Blind.
At age 14, Michelle tried hard to fit in, but struggled in public school and suffered at the hands of school bullies. When her 5-year-old brother Mitchell passed away, her family was ripped apart by a bitter divorce. Plagued by anxiety and an increasingly debilitating sense of failure, Michelle courageously demands to leave her home in rural Maine and follow in the footsteps of Helen Keller at Perkins School for the Blind.
After a rocky start at Perkins, Michelle finally finds friends who accept her and a teacher named Jeff Migliozzi who, through the teachings of Helen Kellers inspired essay, emboldens Michelle to believe she is in control of her own destiny. Michelle becomes one of the first students in Jeff's groundbreaking film class for the blind, with guest instructor Kevin Bright, creator of TV's Friends. Jeff, who is also blind, experiences a watershed classroom moment with Michelle while studying Hamlet, a turning point for both student and teacher.
Through their discussions, we consider the blindness that can befall all of humanity and contemplate a new definition of success that does not center around society’s expectations.
With Jeff’s guidance and a staff dedicated to supporting her, Michelle gains confidence and blossoms at Perkins. However, with graduation fast approaching, Michelle surprises her advisors and family when the question of college is raised. With the looming reality of returning to life in a sighted world, Michelle finds herself once again wrestling with her greatest fear – the fear of failure.
Seventy-nine years ago famed author and Perkins most famous student, Helen Keller, penned the essay “Three Days to See,” providing a light of hope in the dark days of the Great Depression. Today, amid one of the worst economic downturns since the 1930s crisis, the unemployment rate for people who are blind has reached a dizzying high of 80 percent.
In this time of growing disillusionment, over-diagnoses, over-medication and broken homes, Michelle Smith’s beautiful story of triumph over adversity – through an education focused on empowerment, discovery and possibility – can advance disabled rights by revealing a common humanity, one that Helen Keller underscores in her own work. Sight is more than just a tool of convenience, but a means of discovering a world of delicate intricacies that we often take for granted. The film THREE DAYS TO SEE provides us with much needed perspective, and reminds us to make the most of every sense and every experience.
- WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SHARE THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY!
- How the Money Will Be Spent:
- Two years into our project, we have a lot of beautiful footage, and so far we have paid for this film out of our own pockets, fueled by passion and a strong work ethic. However, we are now at a crossroads.
- We need $20,000 to create a rough cut, step one of the post-production process. If this is just a rough cut, what will we do? Good question! Successful films take years to produce and having the ability to have a talented editor get our film to the rough cut stage opens the door for us to secure post-production grants and help us further promote it to investors and funders. It is simple, the more funds we raise, the better the end product. We would love for you to be a part of that.
Did you know your donation is tax deductible? All donations will go through our 501c3 partner and Fiscal Sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative so you can write off your donation - it's win, win!
- Kickstarter is all or nothing! Not a penny is taken from our backers until we reach $20,000. When the deadline is up, our chances are up.
- Rewards for Donations:
- Donate and get REWARDED! The funds we raise also help pay for our fun and inspirational rewards here on Kickstarter, and who doesn't love being rewarded? You can choose to donate in honor of (as a gift), or in memory of, a friend or loved one. It's up to you! Check out our fun rewards for donations of $5 or more to the right!
How Can You Help?
- Make a tax deductible pledge via Kickstarter. Every little bit helps, no matter how small or large. Not only will you have our sincerest gratitude, but you will also get a reward for your contribution! Please check out our rewards on the right and find the one that best fits you!
- Spread the word! Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website that thrives on its all-or-nothing format. If we don't raise our goal amount, we get nothing. You can help us tell this story, so help us by telling everyone else about it! Send the Kickstarter URL (www.kickstarter.com/projects/threedaystosee/three-days-to-see) to everyone you know, share this page on Facebook, Twitter, by email or on your blog. Encourage people to look at our project. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter and at threedaystosee.com
For your convenience, use our pre-made tweets, just copy and paste the below messages and help spread the word!
- Michelle Smith has really touched our hearts and we believe that if you were to experience her by watching this film, she would touch yours too.
If you have any questions or ideas about people we should contact, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THANK YOU for your time and consideration. Remember, it is you who can make or break this project, we greatly value your support!
- The THREE DAYS TO SEE team
If you have any questions that are not answered above or in the Kickstarter FAQs, please feel free to contact the filmmakers directly.
MEET THE TEAM
Garrett Zevgetis, Director
Garrett Zevgetis is a Boston-based documentary filmmaker focusing on fascinating people and social change. Garrett grew up in "Cow town," Kissimmee, Florida - a couple miles from Disney World. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm. After the service he earned a Master of Arts degree in Media Arts from Emerson College. During graduate studies, Garrett interned at the PBS program FRONTLINE. His graduate thesis was a short film called "Making Mission" about an Army Recruiter struggling to make his quota during the Iraq War. After graduating, Garrett worked at WGBH as an assistant to Judith Vecchione, acclaimed producer for many PBS programs including, "Eyes on the Prize." Garrett's latest documentary, "A Mercenary Tale," is a short film about a modern day mercenary, which premiered at the Boston International Film Festival and was picked up for worldwide distribution by Quat Media in Toronto, Canada Garrett has also worked as a Producer for WGBH's "Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon," a nationally syndicated public radio program.
Jordan Salvatoriello, Producer, Cinematographer
Jordan Salvatoriello is an award-winning media artist and journalist specializing in social issue documentary video and photography. Her work seeks to illuminate the human condition and ultimately evoke social change through education and entertainment. Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Boston University in 1999, and has since worked to add a human element to the work of both for- and non-profit organizations.
After earning her M.F.A. in Media Art from Emerson College in May 2012, Jordan's acclaimed documentary short,Graceland Girls, won the Director's Guild of America Jury Prize and the Gold Circle Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors. Graceland Girls premiered at the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival and screened at the Women’s Independent Film Festival in West Hollywood, where she won the “Best of Feminism on Film” award, as well as “Best Cinematography,” “Best Director,” and “Best Editor” in that category. It’s a compelling story about Kenyan girls who struggle against familial, economic and societal pressures to escape early marriage through education, with the hope of helping themselves and their families break the cycle of poverty. Jordan is an avid traveler and adventurer, is one of eleven children and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Also featuring the unique talents of [click "See Full Bio" on top right]:
Ariana Garfinkel, Executive ProducerKeiran Watson-Bonnice, Editor
Kori Feener, Intern - Digital Outreach
Risks and challenges
There are many risks associated with documentary filmmaking, it is an ever changing process, more so as a documentary where your subject can evolve and grow, as human beings often do.
There is still more work to be done beyond this next big step, but we're confident that with the footage we have captured to date, and a solid rough cut created with the funds raised here, we'll have a beautiful story to share.
It may take longer than we estimate to complete the rough cut, since the editing process tends to reveal the puzzle pieces that are missing from our footage. We may even need to shoot some more. Regardless, we are committed to completing this project as a team, and to promoting this great story.
These risks and challenges really hinge on our fundraising efforts now. With your support, we can overcome this next step of completing our rough cut. Again, we thank you for putting your faith and support in our project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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