Thursday, November 8, 2012
Holy Crap! happenings
Greetings one and all on the eighth of November, 2012 and the first update on the Holy Crap! film project in over a year!!
I am very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the year and a half since the 5-minute version of the film was released. We created that version specifically for the Possible Futures Film Festival, and while we were disappointed when our project did not win an award, we learned a lot and were excited to be included among all the amazing films.
But then, to our complete surprise, within a few weeks the film was broadcast on National Geographic on-line! This was a great boon for the project and at the same time the film was accepted into two Film Festivals, the Tall-grass International Film Festival, and the Our-Stage Superstars on-line festival, where the film was named a finalist.
The next boon to the project was when, over the summer, a wonderful editor and filmmaker named Jessica Jones contacted me to inquire about the film and we decided to work together to seek ways to develop it. We got started looking for grants, and in the end submitted a proposal to the Chicken and Egg Grant, a fund that supports women filmmakers who are passionate about story-telling, social justice and environmental and human rights. We feel that this project is very well-qualified for the Chicken and Egg grant and are awaiting the announcement of winners on Wednesday, November 28. Here’s hoping!!
Soon after we submitted this grant another amazing woman, Cassandra Jabola, got in touch with me, as she had heard I was wanting to develop my film. Cassandra brings a lot of experience in the area of distribution, development, and documentary narrative through her years working with National Geographic as an Associate Producer. We could not be more thrilled to have her on-board.
The three of us set about to develop our first project together, and targeted making a submission to the Focus Forward on-line festival. This is a contest that seeks 3-minute films about a wide-variety of topics from filmmakers around the world. It is a very large festival with thousands of entries, and we were skeptical that our film would be noticed, as they already have a film about composting toilets!! (“Toilet Man”).
But we felt that we really have a different angle on the topic, and decided to take the 5-minute piece that I made with editors Xuan Vu and Barbara Kadri last year, and see what we could do to make it into a stronger, shorter piece.
The 3-minute restriction worked really well for the material that we had to work with, as we already had a pretty strong piece, and just shifted our focus, changed a few of the clips, and drove home the point that I’ve been wanting to make with this film ever since I first conceptualized it over 5 year’s ago: could POOP be the answer to a lot of the world’s problems??
Unbelievable. But poop is having a very positive impact throughout Haiti with SOIL (www.oursoil.org) and other organizations that are implementing safe techniques for transforming this substance into a very important material: fertilizer.
We want to tell their story and we want to tell the story of how other organizations are using this same substance in other parts of the world to reclaim a sustainable future for various communities. And we want to begin an investigation into how we here in the U.S. could also benefit from water-less toilets. Perhaps eco-san could become a global movement......
To our delight and surprise, in late October we were notified that the newly-revised version of Holy Crap! had made the first cut in the Focus Forward contest and was named a semi-finalist, bringing us one step closer to the possibility of being the recipient of the contest’s top prize, a $100,000 cash award.
The Focus Forward contest is set to go live on Wednesday November 14, so stay tuned, as there will be two components to the festival: audience voting, and judge and jury voting. The audience voting will be an opportunity for the film to be seen by a large audience, and we are so excited to get the feedback, input, and exposure from this!!
In addition, the judges will be announcing the Finalists for the festival on Wednesday, November 28, and the top 5 winners will all be announced and awarded large cash prizes ($200,000 total!!) at none other than Sundance Film Festival!!
I can’t wait to show you the new and improved version of the film, and I can’t wait to see all the other films that made it to the Semi-finalist category!! From what it looks like, they are going to blow my mind!!
So please stay tuned for upcoming updates to the project, and in the meantime, give thanks for the hidden infrastructure that can so easily be taken for granted....until the moment a hurricane wipes it out.....and we have to figure out what to do with all this sh*t.....