The Ayahuasca Project - The Jungle Prescription

A documentary about what indigenous people know, and we have forgotten, about the most potent plants on earth
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Jerónimo M.M.
1,666 Facebook Friends
Film
toronto, Ontario
Canada
1 Team Member

English text below - Español aqui   -  Français ici -  Português aqui

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

 

Ten years ago Mark Ellam, Jeronimo Mazarrasa, and Robin McKenna began to make a documentary film about what indigenous people know, and we have forgotten, about the most potent plants on earth.   

The Jungle Prescription tells the story of ayahuasca, a visionary Amazonian brew of indigenous origin and its encounter with the West, as played out through the story of two doctors. The first, Dr. Jacques Mabit, runs a legendary detox centre deep in the Peruvian jungle. The second, Dr. Gabor Maté, is risking his reputation trying to establish a similar program in Canada. Through the intimate stories of these doctors and their patients, we see how an ancient medicine causes cathartic, life-changing insight, and we witness the commitment of people who have devoted their whole lives to helping others applying this medicinal knowledge.

The Ayahuasca Project is a labour of love developed over the course of ten years of research, with long periods of travel in the Amazon region. We have gathered an outstanding and unique collection of footage, stories and experiences in the complex and multifaceted ayahuasca world. 

We made a short version of the film for Canada´s CBC, The Jungle Prescription, and we ran out of money. Now we need YOUR support to help us finish the editing and final post-production of the feature-length documentary we set out to make.

 


ABOUT THE FILM 

The film follows the story of two radical doctors and their patients.  One is in Peru, and for 30 years has worked hand in hand with indigenous healers.  The other is a doctor and bestselling author from Vancouver. He believes the medical system has failed us - by chasing symptoms instead of the root causes of illness. To help his patients - and benefit all of us- he is willing to risk his reputation and go up against Canada’s legal system.

We follow Dr Maté’s attempts to help his patients, and the miracles and disasters along the way. We watch young, cocaine-injecting lovers teeter on the edge, and an aboriginal single mother with a decade-long crack habit reunited with her children.  Meanwhile, Dr. Maté relapses into his own addictive patterns, and is forced to face the consequences, and to learn the true meaning of commitment.

Along the road, we meet a Kurdish gangsta, a Catalonian pharmacologist, an indigenous shamanic powerhouse from the Putumayo, a shoeshine boy from Perú, and a very very angry wife.  All wrapped around a mysterious visionary drink from the Amazon, outlandish rituals, purgative plants, tears, laughter, epiphanies, relapses, classical music, and the eternal human question: how to live.


See trailer here


                                                                   


WHY ARE WE MAKING THIS FILM?  

We decided to focus our film on the treatment of addiction through the combination of traditional Amazonian medicine and western psychotherapy.  We believed it was the best way to present to the world how ayahuasca affects people (as displayed by the dramatic process of change that the addicts undergo), while making a clear statement - the very same plants can be poisons or remedies, depending how they are used.  We want to make a film that not only pays homage to the richness of indigenous knowledge, but actually shows an example of how it can be put into practice - and the mutual benefits this can bring, when the exchange is reciprocal. 

Since news of our documentary was made public, the Canadian government has threatened Dr. Maté with prosecution if he continues working with ayahuasca.  This ongoing controversy reminded us why it’s so important that we continue. As we move towards finishing the film, the story continues to unfold- and we are uniquely positioned to tell it.

                                                                   


WHY ARE WE FUNDRAISING?

This film is a labour of love, and then some. After over a year in 4 countries and 3 continents, we spent all the money we had raised, and then we began to spend our own money in order to continue.  We shot a beautiful film, but we spent all our savings making it, and went broke. Now we need your help to finish it.

Your contributions will help us finish a feature length documentary:

- Paying our super-talented editor.

- Helping to pay the colourist, online, sound mixer and composer.

- And contributing to the Amazonian communities that participated in the film.

                                                                   

SOME REWARDS YOU CAN GET

SONGS OF AYAHUASCA CD

This CD has been specially compiled from our personal recordings. It includes our favorite vegetalista icaros from Perú, Yage songs from Colombia, hymns from the Daime and Barquinha churches in Brazil, and UDV chamadas. Nothing like it exists anywhere. The CD comes with a booklet with liner notes, pictures, and translations of the lyrics.

                                                                   

THE JUNGLE INSIGHT T-SHIRT

                                                                   




THE AYAHUASCA CONVERSATIONS BOOK

We have collected hours of fascinating conversations with the world´s most knowledgeable ayahuasca minds, from shamans to scientists. This book is pack full with information you won´t find anywhere else.

             

                                                      

PODER VERDE! CD

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A very special mix of the radio sounds of the jungle. A selection of Amazonian Cumbia grooves, mixed with real ads that travelling shamans broadcast in local Amazonian radio stations. Full of outrageous claims, reverb drenched voices, boasting DJs, and green grooves. Take a listen! http://soundcloud.com/you/sets


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WANT TO KNOW MORE?

The best way to keep up with the project is our facebook group

The Ayahuasca Project official website

The project´s blog

 

 

 

 

Find This Campaign On
$11,063USD
raised by 127 people in 4 months
111% funded
0 time left
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 30, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    BACKSTAGE PASS

    A password to access a special selection of our work in progress and best sequences that didn´t make it to the film. See an example here http://vimeo.com/27883092

    9 claimed
  • $20USD
    SONGS OF AYAHUASCA CD

    The one thread that unites Ayahuasca cultures across the Amazon is their use of music. These songs, of ayahuasca, for ayahuasca, carry in them the knowledge of these traditions. This CD has been specially compiled from our personal recordings. It includes Vegetalista icaros from Perú, Yage songs from Colombia, hymns from the Daime and Barquinha churches in Brazil, and UDV chamadas. Comes with a booklet, liner notes, pictures, and translations of the lyrics. Please add $5 for international order

    21 claimed
  • $35USD
    LIMTED EDITION SIGNED DVD

    Special edition DVD copies of the film, with very special extras, including some of the legendary full conversations that took place between our characters. Please add $5 for international orders

    40 claimed
  • $50USD
    T-SHIRT + CD COMBO

    Limited edition T-Shirt (see image on the left) and Songs of Ayahuasca CD. Please add $10 for international orders

    5 claimed
  • $65USD
    T-SHIRT + DVD COMBO

    Limited edition T-Shirt (see image on the left) and special edition signed DVD of the film. Please add $10 for international orders

    5 claimed
  • $75USD
    AYAHUASCA CONVERSATIONS BOOK

    Our film includes only a small fraction of the rich material we have amassed on the subject. We have collected hours of fascinating conversations with the world´s most knowledgeable ayahuasca minds, from shamans to scientists. This book is pack full with information you won´t find anywhere else. Please add $15 for international orders

    5 claimed
  • $90USD
    TRIPLE COMBO PACKAGE

    Signed DVD, T-SHIRT, Songs of ayahuasca CD, a handwritten thank you note - PLUS an extra CD of music: PODER VERDE! A very special mix of the radio sounds of the jungle. A selection of Amazonian Cumbia grooves, mixed with real ads that travelling shamans broadcast in local Amazonian radio stations. Full of outrageous claims, reverb drenched voices, boasting DJs, and green grooves, you have never heard anything like this! Please add $20 for international orders.

    12 claimed
  • $150USD
    TOTAL COMBO PACKAGE

    The Ayahuasca conversations Book, Signed DVD, T-SHIRT, Songs of ayahuasca CD, a handwritten thank you note - PLUS PODER VERDE! A very special mix of the radio sounds of the jungle. (see previous reward) Please add $30 for international orders.

    11 claimed
  • $300USD
    ART PACKAGE

    Audiences have been consistently awestruck by the beauty of the film’s cinematography- Mark Achbar (The Corporation) called the Jungle Prescription “gorgeous, groundbreaking.” Avi Lewis (director of The Take) says “Mark paints on your eyeballs.” Own high quality prints of 3 meticulously shot and crafted images from the film, signed by Mark Ellam (Sample images here: http://bit.ly/xHEvmQ.) PLUS the TOTAL COMBO PACKAGE (book, DVD, t-shirt, Songs of Ayahuasca and Poder Verde! CDs)

    4 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    PATRON

    An Associate Producer´s credit on the film (and IMDB). 2 tickets to our world premiere plus after. PLUS the TOTAL COMBO PACKAGE (book, DVD, t-shirt, Songs of Ayahuasca and Poder Verde! CDs). (Travel expenses not included)

    3 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    PRIVATE PREMIERE

    A private screening of the film with one of the filmmakers (Mark and Robin in North America, Jero in Europe) Our home or yours, we provide food and stories, and you get to ask all the questions you want... PLUS An Associate Producer´s credit on the film (and IMDB) the ART PACKAGE (3 signed lithographs) and 2 TOTAL COMBO PACKAGES (book, DVD, t-shirt, Songs of Ayahuasca and Poder Verde! CDs). Travel expenses not included.

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    JUNGLE EXPEDITION

    Let us take 2 of you to a very special place in the Amazon, to visit our favorite medicine man and participate in very special ceremonies. Our mission has always been to create a film that is a tool for understanding. Now you will have the chance to participate in its creation. INCLUDES 2 PATRON PACKAGES (Transport to the Amazon not included. Minimum 2 pledges - 4 people for the trip to take place)

    0 claimed
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