North Passage Film Project
Two summers ago, we (four west coast
transplants) decided to collaboratively make an independent short film in rural
Wisconsin, our new home. We spent the summer of 2010 working on a script that
we felt related to a shared set of interests and genres. During the fall and
winter of 2010 we started working on a series of photo portraits and character
studies to help us work through some of the ideas we had before moving into the
film portion of the project. During the summer of 2011 we decided that to best
serve our fundraising needs, we needed a proof of concept trailer to move
things forward. Working with absolutely no budget, very little equipment and a
volunteer, highly-coerced actress (Talula Pontuti, the daughter of the producer
and director), we shot a trailer that we feel very proud of. Were ready to
move into the next phases of the project and are seeking funding for equipment,
sets and wardrobe to realize the film.
Premise and Plot
An unorthodox coming of age story set in a post-civilization world, NORTH PASSAGE mixes dramatic narrative with Northwoods fairy tale. We follow a young heroine and her family as they escape worldwide economic meltdown, taking shelter on her eccentric, survivalist grandfather's farm. There, she mysteriously crosses paths with her regional ancestors in a fantastic adventure. The film explores environmental, economic and social issues relating to contemporary life. To survive, these new pioneers must find hope and renewal in their challenging conditions.
Goals and Exposure
Once completed, we plan to submit our film into festivals both locally and internationally. At the top of our submission list are the Stockholm Film Festival (Stockholm, Wisconsin), Wisconsin Film Festival (Madison, Wisconsin), Topanga Film Festival (California), Tampere Film Festival (Finland) and the Sundance Film Festival (Utah).We also plan to submit the film to online festivals and have screenings at select venues.
We have two overarching goals for the project:
Create an entertaining and meaningful film that showcases the talents of our creative team, crew and actors.
To promote Independent Filmmaking in our area (Western Wisconsin).
Funding and Perks
The funds raised will be used to secure equipment needed for the film (rigs, dollies, additional camera, lighting, etc.) as well as, insurance, costumes and wardrobe, sets and props and miscellaneous items (printing paper, ink, DVDs, etc.)
If we exceed our funding target, well donate 10% of the overages to Sustainable Dunn, our local organization for sustainability and use the rest of the overage to promote the film and pay film festival entry fees.
If we raise less than our funding target, well prioritize and scale down our budget, as well as look for more donations and loans from equipment manufacturers (we understand they also need to make a living!). Well also work to build our own DIY equipment but would still need a materials budget to cover those costs.
Companies donating equipment will receive a film credit and a testimonial/equipment review video or article written by the director/cinematographer. Were also planning a behind the scenes video that will highlight the process and the equipment being used.
Were looking for volunteers to help crew the film and plan to cast local actors and extras for the film.
Creative Team Bios
As an accomplished photographer, art director, commercial and studio artist, Director Kevin Pontuti has a stellar track record, including countless collaborations on high profile advertising and exhibition projects. Kevins eclectic methods and successful creative projects have been executed across a wide range of media, showcasing his depth and comfort in a variety of artistic arenas. He spent over a decade running a successful Los Angeles-based digital production company, and now teaches at Stout.
An experienced creative force and studio head, Producer Mimi French lends creative expertise, human resources support and leadership to any endeavor. As a founder and creative manager for Studio P Inc., Mimis experience in hiring and managing teams combined with her visionary and pragmatic understanding of production work has made her a key role in the success of many different kinds of projects. Most importantly, she brings a clear head and yogic calm to the set.
Writer Charis Collins finds she's actually managed to put her English degree to use, having written television scripts, theater reviews, textbook and feature essays, full-length screenplays and anything else that might require a pen for hire. Though she can find appeal in any sort of word-related activity, it is film writing that has most fully captured her imagination. Whether a Welsh period piece, a very current-feeling romantic comedy, or a post-apocalyptic fairy tale, thinking in images, action and dialogue has become second nature. Influences include E.B. White, William Goldman, Cameron Crowe, Woody Allen, Jane Campion, Ang Lee and Tom Stoppard.
An accomplished alto saxophonist playing in a variety of Chippewa Valley jazz bands, Composer Jay Collins has been writing and arranging joyful, eclectic music for 15 years. His tunes travel the diverse roads connecting swing, hard-bop, afro-cuban, groove, modal and ballad, drawing inspiration from Thelonious Monk, Dave Holland, Horace Silver and Ben Allison. He has studied with be-bop legend Don Lanphere as well as contemporary greats Warren Rand, Renato Caranto and Dennis Plies. Jay leads the Jayson Collins Septet, which plays originals and his own arrangements of popular tunes for established venues like Phoenix Park, The Mabel Tainter Theater and the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra.