About the project
“My Village, My Lobster” is a one-hour documentary film that tells the powerful and harrowing story of the indigenous Miskito lobster divers along Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast who risk their lives diving for the region's most lucrative resource – the Caribbean spiny lobster.
We feel that the plight of these Miskito Indians is a story which needs to be shared with the world. As an example in commercialization and human rights, we hope this documentary film stimulates important dialogue surrounding these issues, as well as where the goods and foods we consume originate from.
We’ve been producing the documentary film “My Village, My Lobster” for about 4 years. It has been a long, tiresome, but very educational journey. And now we’re at the finish line -- the end of post-production -- with the film nearly completed. The film is currently at picture lock (meaning that all filming, writing and editing have been completed), but we are still lacking the necessary funds to pay for:
- Final narration recording fees
- Sound design and mix
- Color correction
- Film website
With your help, we can meet our post-production fundraising goals and complete this film.
The "My Village, My Lobster" Story
Commercial lobster diving is the largest industry along Nicaragua’s Miskito Coast, accounting for over $20 million annually and employing more than 5,000 Nicaraguans, most of whom are indigenous Miskito Indians. It’s an industry that affects the livelihoods of over 50,000 men, women and children. Since the early 1990s, over 90% of the lobster caught in Nicaragua has been exported to the United States and sold at a premium to restaurant chains and supermarkets via international distributors.
Because of commercial lobster diving, thousands of Miskito divers have become paralyzed and hundreds more have died from decompression sickness, a diving-related condition commonly known as the bends, creating an epidemic of decompression disease that has remained ignored by the Nicaraguan government and international community. Decompression sickness results when a diver ascends too rapidly from the depths of the ocean or fails to make decompression stops during the ascent, causing a rapid decrease in pressure. In severe cases, divers can lose consciousness, experience immediate paralysis, fall into a coma or even die.
The film features exclusive testimony from a cast of compelling central characters: lobster divers who have been injured from the bends while diving; boat owners and captains who are responsible for their divers' safety; a hyperbaric medicine specialist who treats injured divers; and diving boat crew members who have witnessed divers die from the bends firsthand.
In addition, this film includes exclusive, never-before-obtained footage aboard a commercial lobster diving vessel as well as stunning verite footage from the remote Miskito Keys -- the fabled turtle hunting grounds of the Miskito Indians. It is the goal of this film to bring the complex social and economic issues facing the Miskito Coast to the attention of a larger audience and foment targeted change that will lead to fewer injuries from a better-regulated lobster industry and assistance for the thousands of men who live paralyzed along the Miskito Coast.
In addition, we hope that the project will frame the broader social and environmental issues affecting indigenous populations around the world through the story of the Miskito Indians.
And this issue is a timely one. Economic pressure on both divers and lobster companies is stronger than ever. Lobster populations are at their historic low. And more and more divers and their families are being affected by the decompression sickness epidemic. However, improved technology, better education and training, industry regulation and sound environmental policies can improve the situation -- but only if we can motivate stakeholders to take action.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please help us get the word out about "My Village, My Lobster" by talking about this film on your social media accounts -- blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more. We appreciate your support!
Josh, Brad, and Chris
- (31 days)