UPDATE (Dec 29, 2018): We've Reached Our Goal!
A HUGE thank you to all our backers for pledging and sharing about SEADRIFT! We will keep the campaign going until January 2, so there's still time left to grab one of our rewards and support the film.
All funds raised above $50,000 will go towards SEADRIFT and will help fund:
- Kickstarter fee + credit card processing fees (~8% of total campaign contributions)
- Vietnamese and other language subtitles
- Festival travel and marketing
- Educational material development
In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shoots and kills a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, TX. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence and ignites a maelstrom of boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast.
Set during the early days of Vietnamese refugee arrival in the U.S., SEADRIFT is a feature documentary that examines the circumstances that led up to the shooting and its dramatic aftermath, and reveals the unexpected consequences that continue to reverberate today.
Just before Thanksgiving we received news that SEADRIFT will have its world premiere at Slamdance 2019! It’s an incredible honor to be selected, and we’re excited to have this platform to launch the film and share it with an audience for the first time.
With this exciting news comes the challenge of finishing the film with limited time and resources, so we’re launching this campaign to ask for your support.
Our $50,000 Kickstarter goal is the minimum we need to pay for:
- Archival Licensing
- Music Composition
- Motion Graphics
- Sound Mix
- Color Correction & Online
- E&O Insurance
The way Kickstarter works, if we don't reach our goal, your pledge will not be processed and we will not receive any of the funds.
The history of the Asian American experience in our country, particularly in the South, has been largely ignored in mainstream media and our history books. The shooting in Seadrift, the KKK’s terror campaign to drive the Vietnamese out, and the landmark court case filed by Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center marks this story’s significance within our long march towards civil rights, and we hope you'll join us in bringing this story to light.
We have several SEADRIFT-related rewards for our backers to choose from, including official poster art by filmmaker/designer extraordinaire Yen Tan (Otto is the One) and original soundtrack by award-winning composer A. Lu.
JUST ANNOUNCED: Limited Quantity Signed "An Unreasonable Woman" ($125 Pledge Level)
Diane Wilson is a lifelong Seadrift resident, one of the few women who made a living crabbing and shrimping on the Gulf Coast, and an activist. She's an incredible storyteller and is a key character in SEADRIFT. The newly added $125 pledge level comes with a signed copy of her book An Unreasonable Woman.
Limited Quantity Signed "Asian Texans" ($150 Pledge Level)
Get the book that inspired this film! Producer/director Tim Tsai first became aware of the shooting in Seadrift and its dramatic aftermath through a chapter in the book "Asian Texans" by Irwin Tang. The Vietnamese Texans chapter was co-written by Dr. Thao Ha, and both have since become close advisors and supporters of SEADRIFT.
"Asian Texans" is a landmark work that chronicles the history of Asian Americans in Texas, starting from the first Filipino who landed in Texas on a slave ship, to recent Burmese refugees settling in Austin. The book will be signed by both authors. More info on this edition here.
Note: The "Asian Texans" as well as "An Unreasonable Woman" signed books are also available to $250 and $2,500 backers by messaging us through Kickstarter (while supplies last).
*When will I be able to watch the film?
As an independent project without distribution in place, we don't yet know how the film will be released to the public, but we will do everything we can to allow our Kickstarter backers to view the film as early as possible.
Before the film is available to the general public on VOD, we will provide a private streaming link for a limited time to our backers at the $25 level and above.
For backers at $50 and above, the digital download and physical copies of SEADRIFT will be sent out as soon as it is available to own. The timing of this depends on where we find distribution, since theatrical distributors and subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix may not allow downloads or physical copies of the film to be distributed for a set amount of time.
**Can I host a public screening of SEADRIFT?
Yes! A screening that's open to the public requires a special license to do so, and the rewards at $500/$750 allows you to screen the film for your community.
SEADRIFT is a film about conflict, but it is also about reconciliation and our capacity as human beings to empathize and overcome differences. At a time when our society is becoming increasingly polarized along racial, economic, and political lines, we believe SEADRIFT can be an important tool for organizations working to bridge these seemingly unbreachable divides.
We will be developing supplemental materials to support constructive post-screening conversations, whether it's in a classroom, community center, or a church!
Public screening rights will be available after these materials have been developed. (estimated August 2019)
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions about our backer rewards.
Meet The Team
Tim Tsai (Director/Producer/Editor)
Tim is a documentary filmmaker and editor. He directed KLRU’s short doc series Austin Revealed: Pioneers from the East, which profiles some of the earliest Chinese American families to settle in Central Texas. Editorial work include Yakona (SXSW '14 Audience Award), a hybrid non-narrative film about the San Marcos river. He holds an MFA in film production from U.T. Austin, and is a Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program associate. Seadrift is his first feature.
Sara Giustini (Consulting Producer)
Most recently, Sara produced PJ Raval’s award winning documentary Before You Know It (SXSW 2013), which follows three gay seniors as they navigate the challenges, adventures, and surprises of their golden years. Sara has worked as the American Experience project manager for Command and Control (Tribeca 2016) and Last Days in Vietnam (Sundance 2014), as well as the outreach coordinator for the Emmy Award winning Freedom Riders (Sundance 2010). Other producing credits include PBS’ God in America, Trinidad (Showtime, LOGO) and Hansel Mieth: Vagabond Photographer (Independent Lens).
Andrew Lee (Co-Producer)
Andrew is an Austin based film producer launched his feature film producing career with the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule (Gravitas/WB Digital) about the world's strongest naturally occurring psychedelic drug and sports comedy Balls Out (MGM/Orion Pictures) a NYT Critics Pick starring Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Jake Lacy, and Nikki Reed. He co-produced DEALT (IFC Films) about the world's greatest card magician who is also completely blind. He's currently producing the feature documentary Jump Shot about the inspiring man who revolutionized basketball with the jump shot but never let that define him.
Tengah Nguyen (Co-Producer)
Tengah is a Houston based film and video producer. Her company Brilliart Films promotes film, photography, visual media projects, creative marketing campaigns, and much more. She is actively involved in the AAPI community and is Co-Director of OCA-GH's Houston AAPI Film Festival.
Colin Harrington (Cinematographer)
Colin is a cinematographer and filmmaker based in Austin. His production credits as gaffer include Prince Avalanche (dir. David Gordon Green, SXSW 2013) and the Student Academy Award winner Fatakra. He is co-creator of the digital short series Wheel Love Show. Colin was the cinematographer on Tim Tsai’s KLRU series Austin Revealed: Pioneers from the East, as well as Tim’s MFA thesis film Post-Racial. They continue their collaboration on Seadrift.
Angela K. Pires (Editor)
Angela is a film editor with over 15 years of experience. Her work has been screened at festivals around the globe: Berlin Film Festival, SXSW, Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films, AFI Docs, Full Frame, Rotterdam, Havana, and That’s All True, among many others. Her credits include The Prison and The Street ("Elegantly shot and extremely well-structured documentary... impressive." - Variety), Trash Dance (“Magical” – The New York Times), and61 Bullets (“A unique and intimate perspective that will prove irresistible to history buffs.” – The Times-Picayune).
Alex Lu (Composer)
Composer Alex Lu’s scoring work has been praised by the Huffington Post as “a graceful counterpoint” and the Austin Chronicle describes his composition and performance as “lovely music… the audience was transfixed.” He was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Original Score by Cinema Eye Honors for In Pursuit of Silence (SXSW 2016). Notable projects include Nomis (LA Film Festival 2018 Closing Night Film), Carpe Kilimanjaro (Best Documentary, Mallorca Int’l Film Fest), and the SXSW award-winning film, Mine: Taken By Katrina. Alex has also contributed music to the Emmy Award winning documentary series, Have You Heard From Johannesburg? He is an alumnus of the acclaimed ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop and a recipient of the ASCAP David Rose Award.
OUR ADVISORS INCLUDE:
- Andrew Garrison (filmmaker, "Trash Dance", "Third Ward, TX")
- Dr. Paul Stekler (filmmaker, "Getting Back to Abnormal", "George Wallace: Setting the Woods On Fire")
- Leah Marino (editor, "Motherland", "Southwest of Salem")
- Irwin Tang (author, "Asian Texans: Our Histories and Our Lives")
- Dr. Thao Ha (professor, MiraCosta College)
- Dr. Linda Trinh Vo (professor, UC Irvine)
- Dr. Sam Vong (curator, Smithsonian Institution)
- Dr. Madeline Y. Hsu (professor, UT Austin)
THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY:
Risks and challenges
All film projects carry risks and challenges due to factors outside the producers' control. However, the bulk of the journey of making SEADRIFT has been completed, and now we are asking for your help to get us to the finish line.
If we reach our fundraising goal, we are confident that your contributions will allow us to complete the film and begin distribution in 2019. The schedule to deliver certain rewards may shift depending on how SEADRIFT is distributed, but the indicated timelines are our best estimates, and we will deliver rewards in a timely manner as soon as we are able to.
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