* Please note there is an additional 3 minute video of an interview I did with Quaker Betty Polster, former principal of the Argenta Friends School, in the "Gallery" above or here is direct link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/argenta-a-community-film?c=gallery
A film about the remote community of Argenta, British Columbia from the 1950's to the 1980's, when the counter-culture flourished, and its effect on the present.
Hi, my name is Peter Schramm – I’m a filmmaker based in beautiful Nelson, BC, Canada. I spent my childhood in the remote community of Argenta on Kootenay Lake. There is a powerful and magical story to be told about Argenta, its Quaker settlers, the elders in the community, and the impact this special community had on the young people and children.
I would love your support in raising funds to complete this documentary so we can share it with the world! We were living quite locally and eating organic before anyone knew what organic or a carbon footprint was? For us it was just food and life.
What makes Argenta special?
Argenta is a beautiful, rural community of about 100 people in the remote Lardeau Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It looks like heaven on earth and many people comment on this when they first arrive. Animals, birds and nature are ever-present. It is very peaceful, which makes it much easier to be silent and hear the still, quiet voice within that the Quakers speak of.
Argenta and area are still relatively untouched and pure. Grizzlies and caribou have a corridor they can migrate through. There is a feeling of wildness, of being uncorrupted, of purity, of how the world could be. People involved with Argenta had grand ideals, yet also humility and a realization that we are only this small place.
The Quakers’ story
The Quakers arrived in Argenta in 1952 mostly from California. From 1959 to 1982, they ran the Argenta Friends School—a boarding school where students learned academics as well as gardening, and how to milk cows, chop wood and cook on a wood stove. The students sometimes lived with their teachers and it made for an intense and rich learning experience, being in a remote community with little or no TV where they made their own entertainment.
The war in Vietnam, the hippie movement and the Back-to-the-Land movement all happened during this time and the counter-culture was in its heyday! In this video clip, Betty Polster, former principal of the Argenta Friends School, talks about her opposition to the Vietnam War and her activism in the Civil Rights movement in America.
The Impact of the Argenta life
Many Friends School students have gone on to do amazing work in the world! One worked as an economist at the World Bank in Washington. Another former student is head of disaster relief for the UN in Nairobi, Kenya. And it wasn't just the Friends School students... Children who grew up in Argenta have gone on to do amazing things as well. Nancy Herbison changed her name to Nancy Argenta and became a well known opera singer based in London. See this video clip of Nancy performing in Italy (she is the singer on the left).
The way of life in Argenta and the Quakers' vision has valuable lessons for our current times. The economy has been unstable for awhile, and it seems like we are getting more "weird weather" events that could be coming from global warming caused by carbon emissions. The lifestyle in Argenta was definitely more locally based and had a lower carbon footprint. Plus it was fun!
Was the lifestyle in Argenta how we need to live to have a sustainable future?
What we need to complete the film
Over the past several years, I have been slowly working on the Argenta film project. I have 25 to 30 hours of footage, including the Argenta Friends School reunion in the summer of 2009.
I have already recorded David Stevenson and Ted Pollard (children of the original Argenta Quakers) speaking about the Quakers arrival in Argenta. 2012 was the 60th anniversary of their arrival in 1952.
The funds will be used to edit a rough cut of the film, and then to record additional interviews and footage still needed in order to complete the film.
I will also need to gather and/or record music for the film.
I may need to license some archival footage if appropriate royalty free archives are not available.
Once I have "picture lock", then the film will need to be colour corrected and sound mixed.
Your contribution of any size will help immensely in bringing this special feature documentary to the world. This project is near and dear to my heart and I feel a strong impetus to finally complete the film Before the vision of the original Quakers is lost.
To make a film, the hard costs can really add up. A documentary can cost in the million dollar range!
However, as a frugal filmmaker, I know I can bring this film to life with a much smaller budget than most films of this caliber. We drafted up a budget for “Argenta: A Community” and trimmed all the excesses of the bigger productions. Our goal is to raise $100,000 in 70 days through Indiegogo with your help.
The beauty of using a crowdfunding service like Indiegogo, is it allows us to receive small donations from people all over the world who resonate with the particular campaign.
In exchange for your contribution of any size, you’ll receive a special Perk!
How you can help
1) Make a donation
First, we would love your financial contribution! Every little helps. For as little as CAD$10, you’ll be making a big difference. Please donate what you can; we are extremely grateful for your support!
(NOTE: As this is a Canadian campaign, all donations are listed in Canadian dollars; however, you will be contributing funds in your own currency as your credit card company or PayPal—depending on how you donate—will handle the currency conversion. For our friends in the U.S., the current exchange rate is USD$0.96 to CAD$1.00. So, for every CAD$10 you donate, you save USD$0.40!)
2) Share the link to this page
Please let your friends know who you think would love to support this campaign. Just share this link directly to our Indiegogo page:
3) Share through social media
Word of mouth is essential to the success of crowdfunding campaigns. We would LOVE your help by the use of social media. Please do share this campaign with your friends, fans, followers and contacts on the various social networking platforms. Use the buttons at the top (they appear just under the first video).
Or, we’ve made it super easy for you with suggested tweets and Facebook posts:
Copy and paste:
Support this fun fundraiser to help "#Argenta: A community" http://bit.ly/argentamovie @marismith grew up here!
Please help support this fundraiser! Argenta: A Community http://bit.ly/argentamovie
Discover the amazing Quaker history of #Argenta in this documentary http://bit.ly/argentamovie Donate today! #fundraiser
or Click the tweet button:
Click to share on Facebook:
Copy and paste:
Help support this fun fundraiser! Social media guru Mari Smith recently reconnected with her elementary school friend Peter Schramm and he’s making a film about Argenta – the tiny Quaker community in BC, Canada where they grew up! http://bit.ly/argentamovie
Please also share on LinkedIn and Google+. And, if you have an email list and feel so inspired to share this campaign with your subscribers, we’d love your support, too! If you’d like to blog about this campaign, we’d love that!
If you need any resources or have questions in order to write your post, please let us know.
We want to reward everyone that makes a donation! Whether your contribution is big or small, we’ve done our best to create a range of special Perks that are gentle on the earth’s resources.
At minimum, when you donate, we’ll be keeping you up do date with the film’s progress. And, your contribution will go towards a discount of the digital download of the film when it’s released.
Rewards include: a digital download of the finished film, thank you credit in the film, Sponsor, Associate Producer or Executive Producer credit... and much more! View the Perks on the right hand side of this page.
You can choose to contribute without a Perk, if you wish. Just click the “Contribute Now” button, insert your amount (which will be in Canadian dollars but converted to your currency), then click the Continue button.
What is crowdfunding?
Sites like Indiegogo offer a trusted, reliable platform to allow anyone on the Internet to make a monetary contribution of any size to a specific project. By collecting smaller amounts of money from a large group of people, we can raise sufficient funds to create this film!
What currency will my contribution be in?
As this is a Canadian film and campaign, donations and Perk values are listed in Canadian dollars. However, you will see a line item on your credit card bill (or PayPal statement) that will be converted into your own currency. For our friends in the U.S., the current exchange rate is USD$0.96 to CAD$1.00. So, for every CAD$10 you donate, you save USD$0.40!)
Can I contribute from outside the United States/Canada?
Absolutely! Indiegogo accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal. You can contribute from anywhere in the world. We would love to have your support. The Quakers are a worldwide group of peace-loving people from all walks of life.
About Peter Schramm
Peter was a cameraman, editor and technical director on a feature length documentary and has worked for and continues work with CBC, CTV, TSN (Canadian ESPN) and French Community Television.
Peter has worked on a number of multi-million dollar films shot locally in the Kootenays such as Disney's “Miracle” with Kurt Russell and the “The Tall Man” with Jessica Biel.
He has the necessary background and skills to complete the film.
Message from Mari Smith
After following the Quaker faith for a while, my parents heard about teaching opportunities at the Argenta Friends School and decided to move from Toronto, Ontario to Argenta, BC in 1968. I was two years old at the time and my big sister was three. Though I was very young at the time, I remember the move and the culture shock. Argenta was always a magical place, though.
My parents bought a bunch of land (very cheap at the time!) and we had goats, hens and a large garden filled with every imaginable fruit tree and vegetable plant. My dad was a baker by trade and also taught French at the school, while my mom taught typing skills. My father built a log cabin and then a bigger home with a bakery and tearoom.
It was a very remote lifestyle and my parents struggled for a while, eventually ending their marriage in 1978. My father chose to return to his original homeland in Scotland along with my four sisters and me.
I lived in Scotland through 1999, then emigrated to San Diego, California where I have since become a successful internet marketing entrepreneur and now one of the foremost social media thought leaders, specializing in Facebook marketing. (Take a look at this video for Mari's relationship marketing book... which reveals some of her personal story).
Mari's connection to the Argenta film
I recently had a wonderful personal interview published that included some details about my childhood in Argenta. I went to do a Google search for images of Kootenay Lake and Argenta to share on Facebook with the article… and that’s how I came across Peter Schramm. I saw his photo appear in the search results alongside all the lake pictures, and said to myself, “Woa, I think I went to elementary school with this guy!” (We both attended Jewett Elementary School in Meadow Creek – the closest school to Argenta for our age group).
After searching online a bit more, I discovered Peter’s Argenta documentary that he’s been working on for a while and got very excited to track him down and help him! Of course, I reached out to Peter on Facebook, and we’ve now teamed up to get the word out about this Indiegogo campaign. Peter is also going to interview me for the film, which I’m thrilled about, too.
Please do help Peter’s vision for this feature documentary come to life by making a contribution today. Having grown up in Argenta, this project is very close to my heart, too. We would SO appreciate your support.