Little Village, Big Mountain

$4,620 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 22 months
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My name is Melissa Kirkendall and I am the founder of Little Village, Big Mountain.

Little Village, Big Mountain started out as a title for the feature length project we are doing in Ecuador now called The Vastvity Experiment. It comes from a saying the Ecuadorian’s use to describe strength in community to overcome obstacles. It is a different way of saying “It takes a village.”

I believe it perfectly describes the philosophy behind our films as we are a group of creative collaborators working together to create compelling, meaningful and inspiring films about other people working to improve lives in villages all over the world.

I am proud to announce that Motion Media Arts Center/ Austin School of Film has become a full sponsorship partner for our short film "You are Me & I am You" about an indigenous midwife and healer in Ecuador.  Partnering with MMAC means that all future donations made through MMAC are 100% tax deductible.  MMAC will receive 10% of any donation and we get 90%... it's a win-win-win situation.  Please visit our full web site at LittleVillageBigMountain.com to see what we have been up to and to give us a 100% tax deductible donation for "You are Me & I am You".

We also have just been awarded a grant from the City of Austin Economic Development Department to help fund "You are Me & I am You". 

We would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported us thus far as we would not be where we are now without you!!  

For those of you who have not collected your donation gift yet from this gofundme campaign, we will be in touch with you to settle up after we return from filming there in January 2019. 

If you’d like to collaborate with us, know more about our projects or learn how to be a part of our village, please visit the web site for Little Village, Big Mountain, email us or visit us on facebook. 

www.LittleVillageBigMountain.com

EMAIL for more information:
LVBMinfo@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/Little-Village-Big-Mountain-614308205423165/

INSTAGRAM:
@littlevillagebigmountain
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Hello and thank you for your for support of Little Village, Big Mountain. I know it has been a long while since you have heard anything from me. It has been a crazy long year, but I now have lot’s of good news to share!!

Part of my silence about the project is that in January this year I discovered I was ill and I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which had to be treated quickly to stop it from spreading. I then spent the 1st six months of the year doing exactly that. I am happy to report that I am now cancer free.

While I was dealing with my health issues and unable to work I spent a great deal of time thinking about the projects in Ecuador and how to best continue to pursue them. I made some big decisions and changes during this time.

First, I decided to focus more on getting the documentary short film on the famous midwife of Cotacachi green lit. I then began developing this idea more fully and applying for grants for this project while I recovered from surgery.

I also decided that changing the original story about Deborah Ellis and the finca her father purchased into a scripted piece would be a better way to tell that story. I am now writing that script.

Last, I decided to change the name of Deborah’s story to “The Vastivity Experiment” as that is a word her father made up to explain what his vision of the land his daughter is working to turn into a self sustaining sanctuary and community farm in La Calera. I also think “Little Village, Big Mountain” makes a great name for the type of production company I have been building. The phrase comes from a saying the Ecuadorian’s use to describe strength in community to overcome obstacles. It is a different way of saying “It takes a village.” I believe it perfectly describes the philosophy behind our films as we are a group of creative collaborators working together to create compelling, meaningful and inspiring films about other people working to improve lives in villages all over the world.

It seems all this change and work is paying off!

I am now proud to announce that “You are Me & I am You” (the midwife in Ecuador documentary short) has recently been awarded a grant for over $5000.00!!

“You are Me & I am You” has also now partnered with the Austin School of Film as a non-profit sponsor. Partnering with ASF means that all future donations made through AFS are 100% tax deductible.  AFS will receive 10% of any donation and we get 90%... It is a win-win-win situation.  Please visit our full web site at LittleVillageBigMountain.com to see what we have been up to and to give a 100% tax deductible donation for "You are Me & I am You".  

Please watch the video with this update to learn more about this project.


We are no longer accepting donations through this gofundme campaign however you can donate and support us through our web site.  Perhaps you or someone you know could benefit from a 100% tax deductible donation? Or maybe you or your company would like to become a sponsor?



I would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported us thus far as we would not be where we are now without you!!  



For those of you who have not collected your donation gift yet from this gofundme campaign, we will be in touch with you to settle up after we return from filming back in Ecuador in January 2019. 



If you’d like to collaborate with us, know more about our projects or learn how to be a part of our village, please visit the web site for Little Village, Big Mountain, email us or visit us on facebook. 

Please help us spread the word by sharing this update with anyone you think might be interested in getting involved!


 www.LittleVillageBigMountain.com



EMAIL for more information:

LVBM@gmail.com



FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Little-Village-Big-Mountain-614308205423165/

INSTAGRAM:
@littlevillagebigmountain
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I know it’s been awhile since I have posted an update. I hate excuses, but here I am… Yes, I have been busy. More importantly, some events transpired in Ecuador that I wasn’t at liberty to share with you until now out of respect for the family who owns and runs the finca (farm), the anchor of this entire project. So here it is:

As you may know, Ecuador is a beautiful mountainous part of the world and a fairly inexpensive place where westerners have been known to retire comfortably. Before Deborah moved to Ecuador, her father Ron Ellis retired there.

Ron Ellis was in his early 70’s and wanted more than a place to live out his golden years in luxury. He wondered to himself if it was possible to turn a life-long dream into a reality, a reality where people of diverse cultures can thrive together. He asked himself: “Can a harmonious cohabitation with self-sustainability exist?”

On a hunch, he rolled the dice and purchased the finca – “as an experiment to test this belief”. Soon after he asked Deborah to leave her life in the states and come manage it. Together, father and daughter began planting seeds of sustenance and hope on this neglected, forgotten piece of land in an impoverished community.

Ron & His Daughter Deborah on the Finca
In the month I stayed with Ron, I learned a lot about him. We took long strolls and had extensive conversations on the way to the finca to see Deborah. Ron was a peculiar person, a man of science, yet he frequently made decisions on gut instinct alone. He was an open book, a generous person. He shared his worries as a father of his daughter Deborah’s future. But that never stopped him from believing in her. With comvisction he spoke of her dynamic personality and intellect combined with the natural good will of the people of La Calera was a winning formula.

Ron had flaws like anyone else and sometimes drove the women in his life crazy, but his heart was bigger than most. His greatest weakness, in my opinion, was being a human male with a scientific mind and dreamer’s heart on a quest to live a better life, a life that enriches the lives of others. He deeply wanted that philosophy to catch on until the whole world understood we could have positive change without the violence and the destruction of our planet.

Unfortunately, Ron will not get to witness his dream realized, at least not in the physical form. A few months ago, Ron fell extremely ill and began a long process of visits to and from various Ecuadorian hospitals and doctors. Deborah had asked me to keep things quiet for a while until they knew what was going on, so the family could focus on his healing and not feel bombarded with inquiries from friends and relatives from around the world. His illness would require every ounce of strength Ron had.

For months I had been praying and hoping along with Ron’s family that Ron would get better. He didn’t.

It is with a heavy heart I report to you that on the morning of August 24th, 2017, Ron Ellis passed away.

Deborah called me that evening distraught. Her Daddy was gone. But, she was full of hope and conviction that she would persevere and see Ron’s vision through. The finca was his one last good deed before leaving this world. He wanted Deborah to continue developing the finca and I have no doubt Rob’s legacy will shine through Deborah’s great work.

With the money spent on Ron’s treatment, and the time spent away, the finca is in financial trouble. Sadly, Deborah had to let some of her employees go. Her beloved foreman Alonzo is staying on and working at a discount to help do whatever is necessary for the farm’s survival.

Now more than ever, I want to help Deborah and Alonzo keep this dream alive and turn it into a reality. One of the 1st things I am doing is donating my birthday on Facebook to Deborah and the finca so they can pay a few more bills and keep things afloat while they go through this adjustment.

Here is the link so you can donate directly to Deborah and the finca.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/2029460577290230/

Stay tuned for more news coming soon.
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WOW!!!! So many exciting things happening for this project!! First, we now have a the official web site up and it's looking great! check it out www.littlevillagebigmountain.com

Also, the benefit concert in Fort Worth at Lola's this weekend was just picked as 1 of 2 of the best options for things to do this weekend in all of DFW by the Star Telegram!! The article is on our web page or via this link: http://www.star-telegram.com/entertainment/music/article153245469.html

If you or anyone you know is in Fort Worth this weekend! Come out and have some fun with us while supporting the film!! We have several thousand dollars of stuff to win as prizes for silent auction or ticket drawings! Visit the web site for more info!
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Hey Everyone! The fund raising event in Fort Worth on June 3rd is starting to shape up! We are starting to book some musical acts and Heather Bond, an amazing local artist has agreed to create an original painting just for the fiesta for us to use on our event posters and then we can auction it off at the fiesta as well! We are seeking sponsors for this in the form of goods and services for a giveaway and silent auction. However, bigger sponsorship opportunities are available. Below is a jpg of the sponsorship flyer that explains the perks of being a sponsor to the event and/ or film. Contact us if you have a product you'd like to promote in this way or if you are interested in a bigger opportunity. And as, always... pass it on to anyone else you think might be interested!

Today was a great day for crowdfunding as we raised over $1000!!! We are about $1200 from being at 25% or $5k of our goal!! Please continue to help us spread the word and get this film funded!!

Thank you all for your support!!
XO
-Melissa & Crew!
June 3rd event sponsorship opportunities
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$4,620 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 22 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created February 3, 2017
$7,000
Presidente
4 of 4 left
You will receive producer credit & backend $ + You +1 guest for 5 days at Hacienda Pinsaqui + more. Read full description to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$5,000
Hefe
5 of 5 left
VIP Passes to premiere & dinner with Melissa & team + more. Read full description to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$2,500
Alpinista
6 of 6 left
Jose Cotacachi Rug hanging, screening passes +more. Read full description to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$1,500
Ranchero Alpaca
8 of 8 left
Alpaca blanket & woven bag + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$1,000
Tejador
5 of 6 left
Alpaca scarf + bag + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$750
Artesano cuero
2 of 2 left
Exquisit handmade leather purse or hand made wool poncho/ blanket + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$500
Agricultor
10 of 10 left
Handmade bag or Alpaca scarf + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$250
Aprendiz
4 of 8 left
Pick a silver pendent or scarf + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$150
Asistente
Signed and numbered 8x10 - 11X14 Photo print from Melissa's photos + more. Read full description & view images to the left under REWARD EXPLANATIONS
$100
Aldeano
Hand made set of 6 photo cards from Melissa's Ecuador photos + more.
$50
Cuya
Once the movie is complete and released on DVD, you will get a copy of the DVD and a thank you on our web page.
$25
Amigo
Up to $25, thank you email and updates.
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$20
Anonymous
16 months ago
$50
Anonymous
17 months ago
$10
Lori Decker
18 months ago

Just showing a little love for a great project. Keep it up, Melissa!

LN
$100
leighanne neese
18 months ago
1
1

Wasn't able to make it out to Lola's, but we need stories like this. Thank you for what you are doing.

$60
Anonymous
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
$50
Anonymous
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
TD
$50
Tangi Davis
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
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