Life on the Douro is a documentary connecting 300 years of history with the current situation in Porto and the Douro and the recent rejuvenation of the region. Many of the interviewees talk about their family history going back two and three centuries as if they had lived it themselves, in great detail, intimacy and warmth, and often with a great sense of humour as well.
I've been lucky to have such fantastic material to work with - the personal stories, the history of the region, and the breath-taking terraces and scenery - all which has lent itself to my concerns of creating a strong story structure and powerful imagery.
The story of wine in general is widely unknown, and if more people would be aware that it is much, much more than just a beverage, I believe there would be much greater interest in it. This is especially true for Portugal, a country that historically has had a wide-spread influence across the globe but is a relatively unknown quanitity today. Whereas Port and Douro wines are considered excellent amongst experts, they don't have the same wide-spread reputation as those of other countries.
What We Need & What You Get
The money will be used for post-production costs including a professional sound mix and color grading, a transfer from the European PAL television system to the American NTSC system, subtitles, and music rights. If I go over the goal, the extra money will be used to defray the costs of setting up screenings and disseminating the film.
The film is almost done, an early rough cut has been completed, and I'm busy refining it. I have traveled to the Douro region four times already for a total of more than 30 days, and will be returning to film for another ten days in July for two or three more important interviews to fill a couple of gaps, as well as get more shots of specific things that the film needs - the old streets of Porto and Gaia, the old railway stations, a couple of wineries, etc.
The film will be finished and start screening this autumn, and I could temporarily skip or skimp on some of the above, but would like to have the best quality possible to show around the world over the next year, and help give the region, its people and its wines, and Portugal in general, the recognition they deserve.
There is the thank you credit on the web site for five dollars, but the basic perk is the pre-order of the DVD for 15 dollars, shipping included. Then there are invites to events that will include premiere screenings, after party with Port and Douro wines (possibly presented by people with intimate knowledge of the region), a thanks on the end credits of the film, and associate and executive producer credits. I'm also offering a series of archival quality digital prints that I have created, each signed and number in a series of 10.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please help spread the word via Facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. If 400 people buy the DVD, then not only is the goal met, but the word about the film, future screenings, and the incredible region, the people and its wines gets out there too.