About this project
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THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE SUPPORT. PINE HILL SCREENS AT SLAMDANCE SUNDAY 1/22 @ 1:30p & MONDAY 1/23 @ 2:30p AT THE TREASURE MOUNTAIN INN, 255 MAIN STREET, PARK CITY. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Keith Miller and Shannon Harper first met fighting over a lost puppy one late night in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by the chance encounter and a range of true experiences they blurred reality and fiction to create a movie called WELCOME TO PINE HILL. Keith had never directed a feature film before, and Shannon had never been on camera, but they put all their heart and soul and time and energy and love and guts into it, and WELCOME TO PINE HILL is now premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival next month.
We're here to raise some last-minute funds to prepare PINE HILL for its World Premiere and to make sure Shannon can travel to see himself on the big screen for the first time. Click on the video above and read below to learn about Keith, Shannon, and the journey we hope you'll come along.
A recently reformed drug dealer working as a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, Shannon Harper receives earth-shattering news that compels him to make peace with his past and search for freedom beyond the concrete jungle of New York. With a cinema verite style rooted in very real life, WELCOME TO PINE HILL features an extraordinarily intimate performance by Harper playing himself, supported by an eclectic mix of real people and improvised performers. Traveling from the backyards of Brooklyn crack houses to the lush Catskill Mountains, the film is a meditative journey about how we choose to live our lives. In collaboration with the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, of which director Keith Miller is a part, WELCOME TO PINE HILL is a 2011 Independent Filmmaker Lab participant and Miller's debut feature.
I was out late walking my dog when a pretty large and angry young man stopped me and said, “Hey, that's my dog.” A long and heated argument revealed that man was Shannon Harper, and that my dog William was in fact Shannon's lost puppy Prince. Over the course of our long conversation, I began to realize that we were both consciously and unconsciously working through issues of race, class and above all, our love of this puppy. So the next day when I met up with Shannon to pay him for this dog we both loved so much, I asked him if he'd be willing to make a movie about the experience. Shannon was intrigued enough to agree, and playing ourselves — dog included — we made the short film PRINCE/WILLIAM, which premiered at the 2010 Rooftop Film Festival.
From that collaboration we expanded on a range of true experiences, creating WELCOME TO PINE HILL with Shannon as the star. Shooting up to 45-minute takes with real people in a three-camera verite style, I worked with Shannon alongside a totally fearless, generous, trusting, and talented cast and crew, letting reality bleed into fiction throughout the summer of 2010. Our story is a work of accidental encounters, intuitive leaps, heightened realities, and most of all — heart.
WELCOME TO PINE HILL is a film that questions the opposition between reality and fiction. Some events in the film are taken directly from life. Others take real situations and transform them. Still others are completely invented. I try to disregard the often-rigid line between fiction and fact to share a story that is as real as it is urgent. I hope our film might bring a little more empathy into our world, just as it did between Shannon and me.
-Keith Miller, Director
WHAT WE NEED:
PINE HILL was made on a micro-microbudget, thanks to the support of friends, family, and the heroic efforts of my collaborators in the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. After locking picture and completing our sound design and mix this fall, we're raising funds now for color correction, mastering to tape, festival submissions, marketing and publicity expenses, and for Shannon to travel to PINE HILL's world premiere in Park City, Utah. We hope you'll join us in sharing our story with the audience we hope and believe it deserves.
ABOUT THE BROOKLYN FILMMAKERS COLLECTIVE:
BFC is a tight-knit community of professional filmmakers in Brooklyn, NY who are dedicated to innovative approaches to filmmaking. The collective comes together through weekly peer workshops to provide sustained feedback and critiques throughout the life of its members' projects. It is the mission of the BFC to inspire groundbreaking films and maximize exposure of the best work from Brooklyn-based filmmakers. Collectively, BFC has won an Emmy, been nominated for an Academy Award, received awards from Sundance, Independent Spirit Awards, Student Academy Awards, HBO New York International Latin Film Festival, and IFP. BFC members have produced work seen at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Slamdance Film Festival, and on A&E, PBS, HBO, IFC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, MTV, France 3, The Smithsonian, and Al Jazeera.
EXAMPLES OF 3' x 4' MOUNTED PHOTOS BY KEITH MILLER ($500 REWARD): Photographs taken in Central America just after 1999's Hurricane Mitch. Each print is one of a kind mounted on gator board, ready for wall hanging. Click here to see all options, and after you pledge, email email@example.com with your selection.
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