NEW PERK! We're so thrilled to be collaborating with Oula Fitness, for a climactic scene in Bella Vista. For a $75 contribution, receive a 12-class pass good at Oula Fitness's gorgeous new studio in Missoula! (A $120 value!!) More about Oula: www.oulafitness.com
Update! Our beautiful poster design by Victor Hu:
A signed, limited edition copy is yours with a contribution at the Study Abroad level!
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We’re making a feature film! It’s about a community of outsiders led by an itinerant language instructor whose search for meaning and identity leads to a remote city in the Rocky Mountain West.
Written and directed by Vera Brunner-Sung, Bella Vista focuses on Doris, a woman at a crossroads in her life. Just arrived back in the U.S. from years of teaching abroad, Doris is readapting to America in Missoula, Montana, a small city in the Rocky Mountains. The people she feels most comfortable around are her students at the University, who come from all over the world and are going through their own cultural adjustments as well. Doris is at a point where she’s beginning to doubt her path — and starting to wonder if she’s missing out on important things like a serious relationship and a stable home.
The story is set in the present day, but it’s also about the past. As Doris explores, she discovers clues to a recent history of displacement: people who moved or were removed, for political, economic and social reasons. Doris takes her students to Fort Missoula, where they discover the imprisonment of Italians and Japanese that took place during World War II. As winter begins to thaw, Doris and her students must consider the sacrifices and opportunities of adaptation, and what it means to belong somewhere new.
Bella Vista is inspired by Vera's personal experience of moving to Missoula from Los Angeles in 2011, knowing next to nothing about Montana. As she met new people and explored the city and its history, the story of Bella Vista — her first feature — evolved. She knew she had to make this film. Its themes have interested her since she began making experimental films nine years ago: how do we define home? How does the past manifest in the present? And how does landscape speak to us on a psychic level, affecting our perceptions of the world and ourselves? For Vera, as a first generation American, the concepts of identity and laying down roots are highly personal. But then, most of us have been outsiders at one time or another, uncertain of how, or whether, to connect in a new environment. Bella Vista is about lives on the margins of history and the economy, but also how central these are to the idea of the American West, where anyone can reimagine their future.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
A deeply realist film, Bella Vista is being shot entirely on location. The students in our film are playing themselves — actual international students studying at the University of Montana. Using long takes and a documentary approach, we're emphasizing the city of Missoula and the surrounding landscape: the stunning mountains, valleys, and forests, the Clark Fork River that runs through downtown, local neighborhoods and businesses.
It’s a lot, so where is it going? This is a critical moment for us. We’re raising this money to complete principal photography for Bella Vista. It takes a lot of time and a lot of dedicated people, equipment, planning, and money to make a film like this. We need your support to pay and feed our cast and crew, as well as cover location, equipment, travel, and insurance costs. Until now, we’ve managed to raise $18,000 in grants and private funding. Much of this funding has already covered our winter shoot. With your contribution, we can complete our spring shoot and get started editing the film! We’ll spend the summer working on post-production, and begin submitting it to festivals late this year.
WAIT, DID YOU ALREADY START SHOOTING?
Yes! Our story takes place over winter into spring, so we’re shooting in two phases. We raised enough money through grants and private individuals to fund our first round at the start of February. Check out the clips in our video above!
CAN YOU EXCEED YOUR GOAL?
Absolutely! Every penny you contribute (minus Indiegogo’s fee) goes directly toward making our film happen, and any money we raise over our goal will make our film even BETTER. You’re supporting any additional days of shooting we might need, as well as crucial time in post production for us to edit and finish Bella Vista, and bring it to a screen near you!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T MEET YOUR GOAL?
CALAMITY! It's now or never. We can't delay our shoot, because we’ll lose our cast. Our student actors are actual international students, and most are returning to their home countries.
Help us meet — heck, SURPASS — our goal, and we’ll be golden!
WILL OTHER PEOPLE SEE HOW MUCH I CONTRIBUTED?
No — only you and the project creator will be able to see the amount.
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT THE PERK, BUT JUST WANT TO CONTRIBUTE?
No problem, you can opt out. Thank you for your generosity!
I’M NOT IN THE U.S. — CAN I STILL CONTRIBUTE?
Yes, you can contribute from anywhere in the world!
CAN I INCREASE MY PLEDGE?
Yes! We would love that! Just visit our Indiegogo page and sign in. You can change the perk or donation amount when you view your donation.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
Please visit our website, www.bellavistafilm.com, to find more information about the story, our vision, and our amazing cast and crew. Follow us on Twitter @BellaVistaMT and like us on Facebook -- you'll receive all the latest updates including behind-the-scenes photos, and more.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Even if you are unable to contribute financially, you can still help! Donations, sponsorships, ideas, and any support you may have to offer — please get in touch and let us know. And most of all, please help spread the word about our campaign!
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
We’d love to hear from you. You can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.