Stories that ignite social impact - Capturing the lives of individuals bravely facing their journeys with passion and vulnerability.
I AM Amarai is a webshow of short films and we believe everyone has a story worth sharing. The art of storytelling has the ability to penetrate places our mind rarely explores; it transcends simple logic and triggers our imagination to reach the depths of our hearts. Through imagination, we tap into creativity, which is the foundation of innovation, self-discovery and social change. By contributing to this campaign, you will enable compelling stories to be heard around the world!
With Story No. 1 (click on the link to watch the full story) we have already touched the lives of thousands in various countries with the messages that something beautiful can come from the pain of loss and the role of culture in our identity. In an effort to inspire and create tangible impact in the world, we intend to present compelling stories of real people facing challenges in life head on.
The "big picture" goal of I AM Amarai is to:
- Capture compelling stories of people who are overcoming obstacles in a brave effort to pursue their passions
- Through the telling of these stories, we hope people are inspired to chase their dreams and positively affect their own communities
- Spread messages of hope worldwide
Story No. 2 - MODERN LAOS
Our most immediate project is the filming and production of Story No. 2. There are a few films that touch on the history of Laos and the Laotian diaspora after the Vietnam War, even fewer films that look into Laos' future. We've been working tirelessly for the past few months to prepare for this journey to discover what is "Modern Laos?"
Laos is on track to post an impressive 8.3% growth rate in 2014, according to the IMF. Having opened it’s gates to foreign investment, the Lao economy is set for boom years ahead as increased infrastructure helps expand trade and tourism. At the same time, more than a third of its population continues to live below the global poverty line of $1.25 USD per day. An economic boom doesn't necessarily translate to sustainable social development, but we believe there are pioneers who are addressing poverty in creative ways and taking entrepreneurial risks to see their dreams come to life.
We want to seek out pioneers in Laos and share their story with YOU! By helping us bring awareness and inspiration through storytelling, YOU can be a part of this movement to help a once war-torn country transition from "survivor" mentality to "innovator."
Where Is Your Money Going?
$35,000 will cover all costs for Story No. 2...
- Travel costs to Laos for a team of 5 people over a one-month span (airfare, accommodations, food, gas, ground transportation, visas, domestic airfare, etc)
- Research, filming and post-production
- Equipment rental (cameras, sound, lighting, etc)Equipment rental (cameras, sound, lighting, etc)
- Soundtrack/music licensing
Filming permit and licenses in Laos
$15,000 will go towards…
- Launching the Story bag line that will help us to become a sustainable organization
- Research, development, materials and production costs of the Story bags
- Marketing and promotion (online and offline)
$15,000 will go towards….
Research, filming and post-production of Story No. 3 & Story No. 4
What You Get
I AM Amarai is 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, you will receive a tax deductible receipt for all your contributions in addition to the awesome perks - TAX WRITE OFF & GIFTS?! Now that's what we calling #winning
Storelicious Tote "On the Go" // A rugged simplicity with a twist of urban practicality. Our canvas and leather eco-friendly bag is locally made in California. Beautiful copper rivets are used to fasten the sturdy dark brown leather on canvas. This bag is sure to age with grace.
(16"Wx12"Hx5.5"D) - $99
Story No. 2 Envelope // A versatile masterpiece, this handcrafted leather envelope can be used as an iPad case, a clutch or man's folio.
(9.5"x7.5") - $125
SIMAHNO Lao Beef Jerky // a morsel of Southeast Asian flavors and uncompromising taste. Nicked named "Heavenly Beef," my grandmother the originator of our recipe describes the experience of eating Lao beef jerky as an explosion of flavors, so good it’s like having tasted heaven. To some this jerky can be served as full meal with warm sticky rice and Lao tomato dipping sauce. For others it serves its purpose as a high protein snack on the go (simahno.com)
About The Founder
I AM Amarai was founded by Amy Chanthaphavong. Amy believes that personal stories have the power to mobilize tangible impact in the world. She’s on a mission to inspire the world to grow emotionally and spiritually with a deeper appreciation for human connection.
Amy is a Jill of all trades with a background in politics, law, business, fashion, media and technology. Once a beauty queen, she was the first Laotian American to be crowned Miss Asian America in 2009. Pageantry was a chapter in her life that allowed her to travel and meet amazing individuals doing great things within their communities. It was a game changer that opened her eyes to needs around the world and fueled her passion to impact lives through Hope, Faith & Love.
Future Plans For SustainabilityI AM Amarai is 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with a heart for social business. Our model is to become a self-sustaining non-profit by developing fashion goods that reflect the essence of each story. Each collection will have a Story No. __ stamp that correlates to the story they represent. We want to develop a business model where 90% of all profits go towards funding future stories, while 10% is paid forward to benefit the causes of our stories.
Risks & Challenges
LACK OF RESOURCES: Due to our shoestring budget thus far, we are often overwhelmed and understaffed. Our team members work tirelessly (for no compensation) on each project to ensure the highest quality of production.
SUSTAINABILITY: We hope to use this Indiegogo campaign as a launchpad from which we can create a bag line that will coincide with each story. Profits made from selling these bags on line, at I AM Amarai events, and in various boutiques will go directly into funding future stories.IN LAOS
SAFETY: We are filming Story
No. 2 in Laos which is a developing country ruled by a
single party government. Much of the country is still undeveloped; therefore,
we have to exercise a high degree of caution due to ongoing security
concerns related to ethnic conflicts, banditry and unexploded
HEALTH: Health facilities in Laos are primitive, at best. In the event of illness or injury, our team members may not get the care one might expect from a first world country.
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand that some people simply can’t contribute financially. But there are other ways to help!
- Spreading the word about our campaign via email and various social media outlets
- Introducing us to any press connections is MUCH appreciated
- Helping us pursue potential corporate sponsorships
- Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter via IAMAmarai.com
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.