Calamity & Mercy

By daniel w smith
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This campaign has ended. It raised $10,500, reaching its minimum goal.
Calamity and Mercy is the story of the aftermathof the Russian Invasion, the human voice of the conflict acting as a direct counterpoint to ethnic Nationalism and Russian propaganda used to dehumanize Ukrainian victims and justify naked aggression.
Calamity & Mercy


Calamity and Mercy is a feature length documentary film detailing the stories of individual Ukrainian refugees submerged in the chaos of battle, fleeing war, and integrating into new cultures, along with the NGOs and efforts in place to help or harm the incoming migrants.



February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine by order of Vladimir Putin, beginning the most significant conflict in Europe since World War II, and sparking the largest refugee crisis in almost a century. Calamity and Mercy are the stories, the voices of people affected by the conflict. A direct counterpoint to Russian propaganda used to justify naked aggression.


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Immigration into a new society is complex after fleeing a war zone. Folks deal with the trauma of loss of home, family members, and friends while trying to understand an uncertain future. 


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Calamity and Mercy examines the individual journeys of Ukrainian refugees in a three-part arc.


Interviewees detail why they left their homes in Ukraine and NGOs and reception centers share how they organized to support the sudden influx of refugees.


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2. Fear versus hope: The refugees and NGO staff explain their challenges and individual and collective efforts to overcome them. 


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3. The film highlights real-world examples of local solutions to alleviate the resource needs of refugees while welcoming them to the community.




The Editing team includes professionals from Ukraine, Italy, and California. We aim to use $15,000 to $22,000 to complete the edit.


The funds raised will focus on post-production, music, sound-scoring, and editing to make a professional documentary. We also plan to use part of the funds for film festival entry fees to help us gain momentum to stream, distribute, and market the film.


Our stretch goal of $42,000 will be for the production and travel costs already incurred to make the film.  


Additional Information


We spent February and March 2022 researching and developing contacts throughout Europe to seek refugees, NGO staff, and shelter families to interview. 


Through this outreach, we conducted fifty hours of interviews. The most challenging task was selecting which interviews to include in the film as we cut the film to 10, then 5, then 3 hours, toward our goal of 100 to 120 minutes.


The Nitty-Gritty


Our critical challenge now is managing the funds to complete the film. Another significant issue is how to provide the content from the fifty hours of interviews we did not include in the movie. Distribution and Marketing for streaming or educational release are also critical. 


We need help getting the word out.  Here are some ways you can support:

  • Personally, ask just one or two people in your life to contribute any amount.
  • Text the link to our campaign to 5 friends asking them to support by contributing any amount.
  • If you're able to, consider making an additional contribution, but only if you're able to; we're already incredibly grateful for your support.
  • Share our campaign on your social media.

Thanks again for being part of this journey


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This link is to a work sample that has a teaser, part of one interview, and a montage of kids' artwork about their feelings and the war.


Thank You

Our team thanks you for your contribution to Calamity & Mercy. We feel our effort will help sustain and support the Ukrainian people directly affected by the war.  


Please spread the word and share this campaign. We believe this film can make a difference for the refugees. We want you to know that every life impacted by this film was because of you. When you support this campaign, you will receive various benefits such as a shout-out on our social media, early screening for our film, and even an associate/executive producer credit..


Best regards, Daniel

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Molly Huggins
Communications and Social Media


Molly (USA) is a storyteller at heart with an artist eye for color and balance. She has years of experience writing across industries in a variety of voice. She is obsessed with grammar, word choice, and policing unnecessary adverb usage. Most recently, Molly has been teaming up with nonprofits and documentary filmmakers to write grant and funding proposals. Her mission is to find out who is making the world better and make that known most effectively.


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Valentina Corrado
Co Director

Valentina (Italy) collaborates closely with Rodolfo at GA TA audiovisual as an experienced professional filmmaker. She assists in co-directing, filming, and editing. She also creates advertising, music, and documentary projects, both for international brands, national foundations, and local companies, as well as creative projects in collaboration with independent filmmakers and performance artists.

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Rodolfo Colombarra
Co Director

Rodolfo Colombara (Italy) is a filmmaking instructor and professional video maker. He directs, shoots and edits mainly in the advertising, music, documentaries for large international brands, national foundations and for local companies in Torino, Italy.

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Kay (USA) is a screenwriter, film maker, and screenwriting consultant in Los Angeles, California. She studied Screenwriting at Chapman University, and English at Northern Arizona University. Her latest film is The Miseducation of Bindu.

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Alice Gidone
Production Assistant and Translator

Alice (Italy) is a critical collaborator on Tahriib, her first documentary experience. She is outstanding in coordinating schedules with both official and unofficial contacts for interviews and travel arrangements in Italy. She also provided the humor, friendly persuasion, and patience to help interviewees feel comfortable and keep all involved in high morale.

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Daniel Smith
Producer and Director

Award-winning screenwriter and veteran Daniel W Smith graduated from George Mason University, the Joint Military Intelligence College, and holds an MFA in both Screenwriting and Producing from the New York Film Academy. Previous work includes 50/10 Saul Turteltaub (2016) | Tahriib (Those Who Travel North) | Landfill | Freedom of Movement Festival (2018) and has two more in production. 

Shari Guggenhime Thank you for coming on board!
Thu. May 25, 3:43 PM EDT
A few hours left! Thanx Everyone for contributing!
Wed. May 24, 6:42 PM EDT

Best regards, Dan



Angela Ottomanelli and Edward Birdie Thank you!
Tue. May 23, 8:55 AM EDT

Your contribution got us over the goal line and down the road!uploaded image

Foto by Pavy (Pavlina Popovska)

We are almost there! We have 4 days left!
Sun. May 21, 9:07 AM EDT


We are almost there! We have 4 days left!  We still need a ...miracle


Hello, Calamity & Mercy contributor! Campaign creator Daniel has an update:

As of today, we have raised over $7,541.  We're blown away by the support. We must reach at least our minimum goal of 10,000 or we get none of it. That's right, we either reach that minimum goal or we get NOTHING.

We will need your help to get us there?

If you haven't made a financial contribution, please do so today; any amount makes a big difference.

If you already gave, we're very grateful for your contribution. Please consider increasing the amount of your contribution by a few dollars. But only if you're able to. 

Please share our page with others. Ask a couple of your friends to contribute in any amount.

Thank you so much. We know that with your support we will get there!

Feel free to tell your friends about this campaign! It will run until Thu., May. 25th. You can just send them to


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Support Our Story

P.S. Don't want to receive more updates about this campaign? Feel free to unsubscribe.


We are almost there! But we may need a ...
Sat. May 20, 11:46 AM EDT

We need a miracle.

And the miracle is you! Here we are. We only have 5 days left on our campaign.

As of today, we have raised over 2,700. That is simply AMAZING. We're blown away by the support. That being said, we must reach at least our minimum goal or we get none of it. That's right, we either reach that minimum goal or we get NOTHING.

Will you help us get there?

If you haven't made a financial contribution, please do so today; any amount makes a big difference.

If you already gave, please consider increasing the amount of your contribution by a few dollars. But only if you're able to. We're already very grateful for your contribution.

Also, please share our page with others. Ask a couple of your friends to make a contribution in any amount.

Thank you so much. We know that with your support we will get there!


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Thank you! Sr. Rose Marie Tresp
Fri. May 19, 6:50 PM EDT

We are closing in on reaching our initial goal of $10,000. We have 5 days left. Thanx for helpng kep moving in the right direction.

Patricia Vasil Ryan Thank you for joining us!
Tue. May 16, 9:09 PM EDT

Patricia, we are going through edits so your help will contribute to finishing the documentary. Thanx! Dan

Roger Hale! Apprecate you joining us to finish Calamity & Mercy
Mon. May 15, 7:19 PM EDT
Thank you Valentina Corrado! Piano, Piano!
Mon. May 15, 6:46 PM EDT
Harry S Christian, We appreciate your help to finish the film!
Mon. May 15, 12:01 PM EDT
Curtis Dunn! Thank you for joining us. De Oppresso Libre
Tue. May 9, 4:23 PM EDT
Wed. May 3, 4:14 PM EDT

Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks. In Calamity & Mercy you will meet Mom's who personify this characteristic. They make lemonade from tart situations.uploaded imageC

Thank you Jim Worley!
Wed. May 3, 11:52 AM EDT

Jim Worley,, I have been wrestling with this project for over a year and I really appreciate your donation to the film.

Thanx Bethena Grady Best & Billy Best, Jr!
Wed. April 26, 7:33 PM EDT

Bethena & Billy Best, thank you for supporting the documentary. More momentum to our goal. I appreciate your contribution. Regards, Dan

Thanx, Gary and Linda Beaver!
Wed. April 26, 4:29 PM EDT

You guys are a dream team. You helped us keep the momentum going. We appreciate your belief in the project.

Thanx Jen!
Wed. April 26, 4:26 PM EDT

Jennifer Fullmer thank you for contributing to the effort for Calamity & Mwrcy. Also, thanx for your work assisting Afghan refugees find new hmes and stability in the US.

Aubrey Vernon Watts
Tue. April 25, 10:11 AM EDT

Aubrey, Thanx for kicking in support for Calamity and Mercy. You kept us moving in the right direction. Best regards, Dan

Clyde Gant thanx for your support
Sun. April 23, 1:30 PM EDT
Thanx CSGM Patrick St Claire! You came in early t
Sun. April 23, 1:27 PM EDT
Thanx Terry!
Sun. April 23, 1:24 PM EDT

Thanks Terry Quist for supporting Calamity & Mercy. Having deployed to many of the conflict areas you fully understand what the Ukrainian refugees are going through.


Carlyn Lightfoot! I saw you helped us
Sun. April 23, 1:22 PM EDT
Thank you! PAul,Julia, Mary, George, and Family
Sun. April 23, 1:21 PM EDT
Thank you! Greg and Stacy Lukanuski
Sun. April 23, 1:20 PM EDT
Bethe Anne and Raymond Schwarz Thanx for helping
Sun. April 23, 1:19 PM EDT
Dana and Ehud Taibi! Thanx for contributing to Ca
Sun. April 23, 1:17 PM EDT
Only 1 left!
Social Media Shout Out ($10+)
Your name and our undying gratitude blasted across all our channels.
Unlimited supply.
Digital Stream ($25+)
Digital streaming access.
Unlimited supply.
Immortality (on film anyway) ($50+)
Your name in the credits!
Unlimited supply.
Digital Artwork ($100+)
A digital download of the documentary poster.
Unlimited supply.
Invitation Only ($250+)
Invitation to the premiere (Travel not included)
Unlimited supply.
Associate Producer Credit ($500+)
Associate Producer Credit plus all of the above!
Unlimited supply.
Executive Producer Credit ($2500+)
Executive Producer Credit plus all of the above
Unlimited supply.
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