Filmmaker Seeks Contributions to Finish Yasuni Documentary
Producer/Director Ryan Killackey is seeking funding to finish his documentary Yasuni Man. The film exposes a conflict raging deep in the jungles of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. Resembling a true-to-life hybrid of the documentary Crude and the blockbuster Avatar, Yasuni Man aims to take the viewer on a spectacular journey through the heart of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
The project chronicles the work of Killackey and seven scientists as they inventory the reserve’s remarkable birds, fish, animals and plants. Through their work, the researchers hope to bolster international initiatives to preserve a large swath of this threatened land.
Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, a 6,500-square-mile territory in eastern Ecuador where the Amazon basin ascends into the Andes Mountains. But Yasuni also sits atop vast reserves of oil, and this rainforest wilderness, home to the indigenous Waorani people, faces intense development pressure.
Killackey had previously raised over $112,000 from Kickstarter, Yale Environment 360, Passion Planet and independent investment. With that funding the filmmaker purchased gear and got his film crew to the Yasuni Biosphere. After three trips and more than eight months of shooting, Killackey has over 300 hours of spectacular footage.
Now the goal is to edit the film and submit it to the Sundance Film Festival. To get there, the project needs your help. Killackey has set up a Kickstarter fund-raising page where anyone can donate to the project, which is seeking a goal of $25,000 to finish the film. Donations can be as little as $1. The project currently has more than 140 backers from around the world. If you are interested in contributing to the project, please go here, but please do it today as the fund-raiser ends soon.
Killackey, an award-winning Washington, D.C. filmmaker who will be the subject of an upcoming television series for National Geographic and PBS in 2014, says, “the biggest risk we face right now is that, after having come this far, we’ll fail to raise the resources necessary to complete the film’s post-production. That is, to carry out the editing, color correction, sound mixing, and other steps necessary to turn our raw footage into a feature film worthy of the big screen.”
To get an idea of the quality of Killackey’s work, check out their short film on Yasuni at Yale Environment 360. The feature film will add beefed up graphics and professional editing and narration. You can also listen to his interview about Yasuni Man on National Geographic Weekend.