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Independent Filmmaker Turns to Kickstarter.com to Raise Funds for Controversial PBS Documentary

Filmmaker Michael Torres turns to alternative fundraising site Kickstarter to help fund his PBS documentary, "Who Is Albizu Campos?" which chronicles the life of the controversial Puerto Rican revolutionary.
  • <strong>Who is Albizu Campos? Logo</strong>
  • <strong>Michael Torres - Filmmaker</strong>
    LOS ANGELES, CA, September 25, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Independent filmmaker Michael Torres is turning to the Internet to help raise funds for his feature film project, "Who Is Albizu Campos?" the first feature length documentary that tells the life story of the Puerto Rican revolutionary considered a patriot by some and a terrorist by others. Raising funds for independent film projects has always been a daunting task, especially for controversial subjects such as Latino revolutionaries. Creativity is key to raising all of the money needed and community fundraising sites such as Kickstarter offer filmmakers the opportunity to take a fresh approach to funding their projects.

According to their site, "Kickstarter.com is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors...powered by a unique all-­or-­nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands." Guidelines state that artist have a set number of days to meet their goal - in the case of "Who Is Albizu Campos?" the filmmaker has until October 8, 11:59pm EST to raise $27,000.

For Torres, the best part of raising money through Kickstarter is having the opportunity to build a community around his project, "What I dig about Kickstarter is that I get to connect with a community that is personally invested in the project. When they donate to the film, or spread the word via Facebook or Twitter, it's because they really want to see this film get made, so if we hit our goal, we all win."

While the majority of historical documentaries cover well-known figures, most Americans have never heard of the man accused of orchestrating the attempted assassination of President Truman and the 1954 attack on the House of Representatives. Despite the fact that several streets, schools and parks in the United States and Puerto Rico are named after him, most people are unaware of the important role he played in U.S. and Puerto Rican history. Torres emphasized that this lack of awareness is what drives his passion to complete the film,

"I come from a city of millions of Puerto Ricans who aren't taught about their history. When a friend told me about Albizu Campos, I was fascinated. He was a Harvard educated lawyer with degrees in engineering and chemistry. He fought for the United States in WWI, then returned to Puerto Rico to form a people's army to directly challenge U.S. rule of the island! How could I've never heard about him? I just feel like it's a story that everyone should know about, that needs to be told." Torres continues, "In the process of making this film, I've found that there are a lot of people who want to hide his warts, who want to make him out to be a saint. On the other hand, others want to discredit him and write him off as a madman. My goal is to make a character driven documentary that shows Albizu as a real person who lived by his principals, but had flaws, just like the rest of us. I don't have a political agenda --I'm a story teller, and this is a great story."

Torres began his labor of love seven years ago, working nights and weekends between full time work as a film and television editor. The project has been supported and invited to workshops from Film Independent's Project Involve, The Corporation of Public Broadcasting's Producer's Academy and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers' (NALIP) Latino Producer's Academy and has received small development grants from Latino Public Broadcasting and International Television Services (ITVS). Most of the project has been self-funded. With his Kickstarter campaign, Torres is looking to acquire funds to finance the animated segments of the film.

Since starting this project in 2005, Torres has interviewed over 20 scholars, historians, associates and family members of Albizu, accumulating over 100 hours of interviews, archival footage, and hundreds of unpublished photos and original speeches given by Albizu. Excerpts from many of these interviews can be seen on the film's website http://www.whoisalbizu.com

Recently Torres moved to Puerto Rico with his wife and newborn son to complete production on the film. Those interested in supporting the project should visit http://kck.st/Sa4ixt.

For more information about this project, or to schedule an interview with Michael Torres, contact Andrea Ferrell of Rip Media Group at Andrea.Ferrell@ripmediagroup.com or 818-231-4969.


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Andrea Ferrell
Rip Media Group

Los Angeles, CA
US
Voice: 818-231-4969
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