The Power of One (Production)
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our pre-production campaign! We have successfully raised $40k from 160 amazing supporters and we need $10k to fund the rest of the film's principal photography. The amount of support has been nothing less than astounding and we are excited to unite an even larger network of contributors who want to join this adventure to turn the power of one into the power of many!
Naturalist Alex Valdez, and a team of young documentary filmmakers will take us on an adventure to discover an unknown ecological sanctuary deep in the Colombian wilderness, where an anonymous conservationist is restoring an ecosystem from a deforested piece of land and creating a home for a variety of endangered animals. Through this impactful story we seek to inspire a whole generation to turn their power of one into the power of many.
This film is the first step in our mission to to build a network for independent conservationists around the globe to easily access ecological experts and funding to properly restore their habitats and expand the world's wildernesses.
We are a group of young filmmakers hungry to tell an important story. Alex Valdez is the only person in the U.S. that knows where Jorge and Jaibazul are located and he is one of the only people in the world with the same passion for nature as the ecological conservationists we want to feature in our stories. We are also in talks with several ecological organizations, international and local to Colombia, to partner in studying the evolution and natural richness of Jaibazul, as well as helping Jorge scale Jaibazul by buying land, planting more trees, and building a station for studies on ecology, primatology and even astronomy.
Why This Film?
We are in a race against time when it comes to preserving the ecological areas that give life to our planet. For example, there are less than 6,000 cotton-top tamarin monkeys roaming the wild and a large group of them are living in Jaibazul.
What Can We Achieve?
Our long-term plan involves giving Jaibazul global exposure through the film to scale Jorge's efforts to grow the reserve but also to build a station for scientific research. We also dream of showcasing other conservationists around the globe like Jorge, who are individually making a change to their local ecological areas, as we believe that these stories can inspire and activate a whole generation to use their power of one to preserve the life of this planet.
To fund our documentary film, which we will be shooting in late November of 2023, we have raised $40k with the help of 160 supporters and we need to raise an additional $10k to fund the principal photography. $50k will be needed for post-production, for which we are approaching grant opportunities and will open a crowdfunding campaign once we have shot the documentary.
We are currently applying for to grants but we also believe we can reach these goals through this second crowdfunding campaign, as our previous efforts have opened our eyes to how many people are willing to join a cause that involves our planet, its fragile species, and the effort of a person who is willing to sacrifice everything to save it.
This budget will allow us to work with a professional crew, including a professional wildlife photographer, and high-quality cinema equipment with which we will capture the beauty of Jaibazul and its animals, as well as cover all the travel, transportation and supplies necessary for our trip to the sanctuary. We will also be able to reach the necessary production quality to be accepted into festivals, as well as to potentially be scaled into a series.
About Jorge, Our Protagonist
Starting with a large deforested piece of land, Jorge has created an entire ecosystem and brought back Colombia’s critically endangered cotton-top tamarin monkey. Jorge began his mission after he inherited a large piece of barren land on the northern tip of Colombia. The land used to be covered in dense tropical jungle but was deforested for livestock. Jorge keeps his real name and face anonymous so no one will poach the new homes he continues to create for multiple endangered species of flora and fauna. Jorge is a modern-day version of the American legend Johnny Appleseed, as he has to date planted 10,000 trees despite the adversities surrounding the land, such as harsh weather and organized crime. Even though Jorge could retire with the money that comes from his project, he chooses to instead invest it in saving the forest and the wildlife as this has been his goal since he was a small boy. Ironically, Alex Valdez, the independent anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, has always had the same dream as Jorge. They are two peas in a pod.
The Journey to Jaibazul
To get to Jaibazul, one must fly into Medellín, Colombia, then travel by car for several hours to a remote town called Necoclí. From Necoclí it is another 35 kilometers through dense jungle and across mudslides and rivers on an ATV. During the rainy season, the road to Jaibazul is unpassable. The filmmakers and their crew are prepared to embark on this unique adventure that will certainly be a story to remember.
Risks of the Project
We will need to be extremely careful in not giving out the exact location of the sanctuary or revealing Jorge’s identity. If word would get out of the location of Jaibazul, poachers would seek to steal the endangered monkeys that now inhabit this area. We plan on mitigating this risk by never revealing the exact location of Jaibazul, and not showing Jorge’s face during interviews or b-roll.
We cannot wait to embark on this adventure with you and this documentary is only the beginning of a movement in which we all can partake in shining a light on all the people in the world taking ecological and humanitarian initiatives to change it for the better.
Alex Valdez is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. Being raised in proximity to the industry, film has always been a large part of his life. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he has translated his love of nature to dedicating the last two years to raising awareness, creating academic publications, and pursuing a documentary related to the Jaibazul sanctuary. Alex is also working on his Ph.D. in primatology. As a proud Mexican American, he has not only a linguistic, but a cultural connection to Latin America, leading him to visit and initially scout out the Colombian nature reserve on nothing more than an email conversation with its host and founder, Jorge.
Pablo De la Fuente is a producer and filmmaker from Mexico City based in Los Angeles, California. After being raised in Mexico, his love for filmmaking led him to study in Chicago, IL, to later move to LA to work as an Associate Producer in various projects, from the hit series The Garcias to the critically acclaimed HA Festival. Due to a fascination with impactful storytelling and humanitarian causes, Pablo has found great synchronicity with Alex’s mission to tell the story of Jaibazul, in which they both see a great potential of inspiring a whole generation across the globe.