In a dystopian future, an average drone discovers an area free of the environmental authoritarianism he is accustomed to.
Sean Buttimer
NEW YORK, New York
United States
1 Team Member

The Pilgrim is a sponsored project of Moving Picture Institute.

Who we are

We are Sean Buttimer (writer/director) and Shriman N. Raj (producer), 2 independent filmmakers based in New York City.  We took on the same roles in the 2010 short, Threnody, which garnered multiple awards and appeared in film festivals from Ireland to Las Vegas.  Threnody can currently be seen on Vimeo.  

The Pilgrim is inspired by the real-life report by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that classified carbon dioxide (CO2) as a "pollutant."  Couple that with our own personal discovery of Central Park's North Woods, and the story wrote itself.

We've put together a website complete with pictures of the shooting locations and the fictional "expedition" taken beyond the fence.  You can also "like" us on Facebook or "follow" us on Tumblr and get updates on the project as they crop up.

The Story

The Pilgrim is a short film set in a dystopian future in which CO2 emission is regulated to the point that humans are forced to wear specialized respirators that minimize the amount they exhale.

John has made an odd discovery.  The North Woods outside the city contain clean streams, waterfalls, and...a fence. A fence that is only about waist-high - clearly nothing to keep people out.  In all his years, he never knew this place existed.

Things are made even stranger when John witnesses two official-looking gents approach the fence to confer with a man and a woman on the opposite side.  While the officials on John's side wear the standard-issue breathing apparatus, their counterparts wear no such thing. In fact, judging from the argument that ensues, it could be the entire reason they're on the other side of the fence.

Upon returning home, to the city, John is forced to ponder a number of questions.  Who were those people?  How are they allowed to live without the mandated breathing apparatus?   What is on that side of the fence?

What We Need & What You Get

First things first...thanks to Moving Picture Institute's sponsorship of this project, all donations to this project are TAX DEDUCTIBLE !  You forgot it was the end of the year, didn't you?  That's right, before you know it, it'll be time to pay the tax man once again.  Well, what better reason to contribute to a worthy campaign than knowing that you'll be able to write your gift off on your taxes?!

This, of course, is limited to U.S. citizens.  Sorry to our international friends!

However, the perks of this project know no borders!  We have plenty of avenues that allow you to be directly part of the film...whether you'd like to receive credit as an executive producer, or get a special thanks on IMDB, or even be an extra!  Perhaps you'd like the audience at Sundance to see your name before the film's title appears?

But regardless, know that no contribution is too small and certainly none too large!  Thank you in advance. 

The Impact

Threnody was made with a $5k budget, won multiple awards and appeared at numerous film festivals, both domestic and foreign.  The Pilgrim, with a budget six times its predecessor, will have six times the production value and exposure.

Your contributions will ensure that we have a proper production and postproduction budget.  We already have a great editor lined up, now we just need the space to edit!  

Afterwards, we'll be able to take the completed film to all of the big film festivals, Video on Demand, iTunes, and even advocacy groups that promote liberty.

Other Ways You Can Help

Not all of you are millionaires. We get it.  Or maybe you don't need anything else written off on your taxes because you have 3 vacation homes and 14 kids.  It happens.

But by all means, if you know of someone who might like this idea or would be willing to contribute, please let them know.  You can also give an open endorsement on social media via Facebook, Twitter, etc., and maybe one of your friends will become interested.

And at the very least, we'd love to have you follow our progress and see the film when it comes out. That's the whole point, to build an audience!  So we hope you'll stay with us!

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This campaign ended on December 31, 2012
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