Thanks to so many of you, we have reached our initial target! This will allow us to facilitate up to ten workshops, over an approximate five-month period. But we’d love to be able to teach even more, and empower more new filmmakers in developing countries, throughout the coming year and beyond. With this in mind, I hope the momentum we’ve created in this campaign will continue to roll on. And any additional funds we make beyond our goal will go towards even more free documentary workshops!
Everyone has stories to share, and has the need to both tell their stories and be heard. In April 2014 I launched the Bent Marble project, teaching free documentary filmmaking workshops in developing countries around the world. In these hands-on classes, the students learn the basics of camerawork, lighting, sound recording, directing, and editing for documentaries. In addition, each participant completes a short film about their world, using whatever cameras, phones, and computers they already possess.
My teaching method, inspired by over a decade’s experience working with some of the world’s best documentary filmmakers in New York, emphasizes learning by doing, and has proven remarkably effective, even with individuals who have had no prior filmmaking experience. Indeed, it is not uncommon for students, who had previously barely touched a computer, to tell me that their favorite part of the workshops was video editing! And the confidence they each gain, in seeing themselves progress from novice to finishing their first film, is truly inspiring.
To date I’ve taught more than 30 free workshops in 12 different countries, in world regions including Latin America, East Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Through these trainings, I’ve empowered more than 300 new filmmakers, who would not have otherwise been able to afford this kind of specialized education.
Along the way, I’ve done everything I can to keep operational costs down. Since the students use their own phones, cameras, and computers (instead of expensive professional equipment), the workshops are extremely cost-effective. And while my travel and living expenses form the lion’s share of overhead costs, I always search tirelessly for discount airfares, use public transportation, and stay in humble local housing. Because of these measures, the average total cost of conducting a month-long workshop for 15 participants comes out to just $1000, or about $65 a student.
Documentary filmmaking is a particularly effective way for poor and marginalized individuals and communities, who aren’t normally heard, to elevate their voices and broaden their communicative reach. I clearly believe very strongly in this work… so much so that over the years I have whittled away the majority of my personal savings to develop and maintain this project. Today I humbly launch this GoFundMe campaign, because I can no longer afford to continue without your help.
Please make a donation, of whatever you can afford, so I can continue to offer these empowering workshops to a new generation of documentary filmmakers in poor and at-risk communities around the world. Your contributions will help invest those most in need with skills that can serve them, personally and potentially professionally, for a lifetime.
For more information on the Bent Marble project, or to see examples of past participants’ works, please visit our website, bentmarble.com .
Let’s keep this marble rolling!!
DonationsSee top donations
- KIM HAMROFF
- Nicole Lerario
- Erika Gabela
- Hal Jennings
- Geoffrey Michell
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more