Galgos, also called Spanish sighthounds, have been praised in tales and myths for centuries, they were respected figures and cared for, almost gods for some cultures, but today they suffer what might be considered a genocide. Yes, it is a big word, I know. But what can you say when between 50.000 and 100.000 galgos are killed or abandoned every year after the hunting season? Every year healthy galgos are killed, beaten to death, drowned or abandoned when they no longer live up to their owners expectations. The breeders, the so called galgueros, breed hoping to end up with the fastest dog to compete and hunt the hare, but overbreeding leads to the "throwing out" of thousands and thousands of galgos every year.
That's why I started YO GALGO, this documentary. Because the day a galgo entered my life I couldn't look away, I needed to act. And that is how I started filming a story that took me back to Spain.
The galgo who sparked my interest in making this feature length documentary is called Bacalao. I always wondered what would have happened to Bacalao if she weren’t with me, so I started investigating what goes on with the galgos. Little by little I was accepted in circles that you don't normally get access to. I wanted to see all angles as I believe this story hasn't been told yet. It's been almost three years in the making of this film and now I would like to ask for your help to finish it.
The film explores the passions for competing, breeding and hunting with galgos as well as the consequences such unregulated practices have for thousands of dogs in rural Spain. It is not an easy world to get into, there is a lot of fear and mistrust, but I got lucky. I have been in the fields long enough with my galgo to be trusted and welcomed by some galgueros, gypsies, NGOs and different people working with this breed. I am thankful for their help which allowed me to have a deeper look into what is going on with these dogs.
This is a story that surpasses the individual; it talks about traditions, power, folklore and the ways in which we relate with animals and each other. In the galgo world we find a very particular Spain, kind of frozen in time, hard and cold, in which the galgo becomes an invisible figure that somehow society has accepted as the sufferer and looks away. There has always been something about the galgo that nobody wants to talk about. Well, I do.
I have spent much time with galgo breeders, galgueros, listening and filming their ways and views. I have followed them to the competition, the hunt and their homes. I've also been with volunteers rescuing galgos spending long hours waiting as if to see a white whale, a ghost that many times will never appear again, some of the ones that do appear are really frighten and difficult to catch. Rescue shelters, gypsy suburbs also welcomed me. I wanted to see for myself what are the possible futures for a galgo born in Spain.
But this is also a film about the beauty of spending time with such dogs, to see them run and have them close. “The Galgo is a drug, when you know it, it's addictive” I have often heard and I agree.
In a way, the film is a journey back home. After having lived in Denmark for a while we decided to come back and give the documentary a chance, that is how it begins. Bacalao returns to Spain to find her brothers and in the way finds much more.
YO GALGO deals with old and complex issues in Spain (laws, the concept of animal sports, identity and culture) but this one is not a local story. It is a story about human nature, about why we keep certain traditions nowadays, about the life in the villages, the social pressure and the way in which we relate with other earthlings.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You can donate to our Kickstarter campaign; we're pleased to offer an array of rewards to those who support this project. You can also be our voice, help us spread the word, you are doing it already by reading this and I thank you. The more people knowing about YO GALGO, the stronger the community will be and the closer we'll get to reach our goal. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, word-of-mouth, anything you can think of. Let's make this this documentary and ensure a better future for the galgos.
HOW WILL YOUR DONATION BE USED?
Your support will get us the minimum funds we need to finish YO GALGO. Every penny of your generous donation will serve to make sure we deliver the best possible documentary. Your contribution will go to:
- Production. The success of this Kickstarter will allow us to finish recording the film. I have been working almost three years on it and 90% of filming is done. But the next months will be dramatic and need to be filmed. The hunting season is over and the galgos are let loose, abandoned, killed or worse. They are out there and I want to find them. There is a lot to do here. I am also following cases as the dogs recover.
- Research. We have started some lines of investigation that we need to finish to complete the script. What are the real numbers? How many galgos actually die every year? I believe the number is staggering. There are still some interviews to conduct and a lot of transcripts to do, but we'll get there with your help.
- Post-production. With your funding we will edit the documentary and color grade it. That's it, YO GALGO will be finished. I am looking forward to show you the result.
- Rewards. Part of the total amount will go to funding the rewards we will have ready for you. We want them not only to be beautiful but also to last, that is why we chose the best and most sustainable materials (all the cotton used in this project is organic).
Why Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a platform that supports creative projects to get in contact with people that want to help. You set a deadline for your project and a goal, but if you don´t get there, no money exchanges hands. That is right, all or nothing.
Crowdfunding is the only way this film can be made and I'll tell you why. The story of the galgo will not find funds in Spain, it involves too much politics.
SCHEDULE: I would like to have the documentary ready before the end of the year. Thanks for supporting the project with your donations, your voice, your shares and your attitude towards animals.
If you wonder about the music in our trailer, it is by www.bensound.com
You have a longer description of the rewards on the right column of your screen.
Thank you so much for being with us this far. Please, join our Kickstarter campaign, donate, spread the word and help us. This story, their story, is important.
Risks and challenges
The access to certain people and stories related with the galgo is not easy, that is why we waited to launch this campaign, we wanted finish the all difficult parts of the movie before going public with the material. In that way, there is no risk of not having what we need for the documentary.
Yo Galgo faces the same issues as many other feature documentaries , mostly related with distribution and communication. In that sense we believe our film has an advantage because there are networks, already created, that work for the welfare of animals that can help us be visible
We fear that the hunting federation or certain groups within the galgo world try to stop the film, it has happened before. But we are ready.
They are all challenges we can overcome, we are a group with experience, supporters and ready to go. Thank you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)