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This Land

Join Sundance and SXSW winner Jim Cummings and director Matthew Palmer

Pitch Video
Investor Panel

Highlights

1
Our production team has successfully sold and distributed multiple films including Thunder Road
2
Jim Cummings (Executive Producer) is a Sundance and South by Southwest winning filmmaker
3
Jim's film Thunder Road made a 400% return on investment in its first year
4
Director Matthew Palmer was selected for the Cannes New Directors Showcase
5
Be a part of a project that documents a historical moment in America in a cinematic and artistic way

Our Team

We believe in the power of art - film in particular - to make lasting and significant global change. As young Americans, we have witnessed a growing divide between humans. This film will bridge the gap between Americans, as well as document one of the most poignant singular moments in American history.

This Land

A snapshot of American Life in all its beauty, flaws, and contradictions.

A project for those who love film and art.

Introduction

The day Donald Trump won the 2016 election is a day that many people will never forget.

It was a day that transcended politics, dominating the social zeitgeist and resulting in joyous shock or enraged surprise. It defied media rhetoric and polling predictions and defined the last four years. Given this, November 3rd 2020 will be one of the most anticipated, scrutinized, and impassioned days in history.

This Land, a feature-length documentary film, will follow six groups of people throughout the country over the course of Election Day 2020. The politics, ideologies, and general lifestyles of these six groups of people will vary dramatically. We will follow a Native American man fighting to keep his traditions alive, a same-sex couple on opposite sides of the aisle, an off-the-grid anarchist, and more. We will capture intimate moments in the lives of these unique individuals on a pivotal day in the United States. All of this will be complemented by interviews with our subjects (conducted before and after the election). Furthermore, the film will chronicle a key component of living in a democracy: an election.

This film will expose viewers to the diverse array of people (love them or hate them) that make up our large, powerful, flawed, beautiful country, with the foundational facet of democracy as the backdrop. We're all guilty of asking ourselves "what are they thinking!?" when it comes to those with differing views. This film will seek to answer that question.

The Film

The everyday people that make up our land, our fellow citizens of the United States, are more than what we see on the news. They are more than abstract ideas and stereotypes. Not all Republicans look and act the same, nor do all Democrats. In short, everyone is unique and everyone has a story to tell. In a way, that is what connects us to one another.

This feature-length documentary will share the stories and lives of various people with the goal of connecting us all…even just a little bit. We do not wish to fan the flames of divisiveness, but instead to bring people together. It will intimately explore everyday moments of despair, joy, loss, emptiness, parenthood, work, fear, addiction, angst, hope, and more.

Election Day 2020 is November 3rd. On that day, six film crews around the country will follow a diverse array of American citizens from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. The camera crews will film as these individuals vote (or don’t), interact with family members or friends, take care of their children, work, play, party, protest, or simply go about their daily lives. We will capture unique moments of joy, peacefulness, and angst; camaraderie, loneliness, and passion. All the while, we will document the election results as they trickle in. After filming on election day, one film crew will travel America and gather glimpses of other parts of the country, which will complement the stories of the primary subjects by further emphasizing the size and diversity of our country.

This footage will ultimately be edited into a poetic, meditative feature-length film that offers viewers the opportunity to witness a diverse array of Americans.

What separates this film from others about America and about the election?

1.) This film will chronicle a “day-in-the-life” of a cross-section of Americans. This day could be any day - it just so happens that it is Election Day 2020. Thus, the film is not making a political statement. While the election and democracy as a whole will be an important facet of the film’s narrative, the film will not analyze American politics. Instead, the film will present the people behind the political issues often discussed on the news, the humanity behind the rhetoric. It will be an intimate depiction of the lives of our neighbors and fellow Americans.

2.) In order to accomplish our goal of filming several people on Election Day 2020, we will station professional film crews around the country. This will allow us to capture cinematic footage in each location, rather than relying on news footage or home video.

3.) Cinematic and often poetic visuals will be combined to create an emotive impression of the trials, triumphs, and beauty of everyday life in the United States. We will not editorialize or provide our input as filmmakers. We will simply allow life to unfold before us.

4.) This film will not be inundated with “talking head” interviews. Instead, our subjects will speak to camera when inclined to do so and will provide information and insights in a conversational manner.

Our Previous Films

The Team

Matthew Palmer, Director

Matthew is a Los Angeles-based director. His films have screened at festivals around the world, as well as on the web sites of The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Aeon, and more. His short film One Week In April was selected as part of the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at Cannes ICF in 2017 and Matthew was named as a “Rising Star” by Shots Creative. His films have also received five Vimeo Staff Picks and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.

Matthew is most proud of his work on One Week In April, a short documentary that chronicles the experiences of parents whose young children accidentally shot themselves. While emotionally trying, the experience exposed Matthew to people and places around the country. You can watch the short film here.

Brian Gagliardi, Producer

Brian is a San Francisco-based creative producer. His producing experience spans multiple mediums including film, photography, and podcasting. He has produced documentaries, music videos, and branded content. His films have garnered multiple Vimeo Staff Picks and have been shown at film festivals around the globe. The unifying theme that connects all of his creative work is his unending belief that the best of humanity is often found in the subtlest of moments.

Brian is proud of producing the documentary film, One Week In April as well as creating the I AM DIABETES podcast. He strongly believes that his best work will always be the project he is currently consumed by. To find out more, please stop by.

Undine Buka, Producer

Undine earned a BA degree in Film and Television Production from the University of Westminster in London and an MFA degree in the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California. She has held positions at Amazon Studios, eOne, and Paramount Pictures. She has produced feature-length documentary films, music videos, numerous short films, and commercials for brands including Samsung, Toyota, and Nike. She also worked as Production Manager for the feature animation Rocks in My Pockets, which was screened at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, and more and was selected as Latvia’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award. She is currently splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe.

Undine is most proud of producing the feature-length documentary film Looking for Mr. Dice. The film explores the life of a successful banker, known as "Mr. Dice,” who mysteriously disappeared off the face of the earth, along with millions of dollars from investors and friends alike. The filmmakers traveled to Sierra Leone to find the mythical man. Learn more about the film here.

Jim Cummings, Executive Producer

Jim Cummings is a writer, director, producer, and actor. His hit short film Thunder Road premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the festival’s grand jury prize. He later turned that short film into a feature-length film of the same name. The feature film went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW. Jim has proven to be an action-oriented thought leader, mentoring with Sundance Institute’s Collab and founding the Short to Feature Lab. He has been giving speeches at places like SXSW since 2014 and doing articles with Filmmaker Magazine and Ted Hope’s Hope For Film about the state of independent cinema, and what comes next.

Jim is also Vice President of Creative Initiatives at the independent production company Vanishing Angle.

Case Study

Our Executive Producer, Jim Cummings, made the feature film Thunder Road for $190,000 in Austin in 14 days. The film has made over $400,000 in the first year alone through self-distribution. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at South by Southwest in 2018, screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and has won awards at film festivals around the world. We plan to follow a similar distribution model for This Land

Furthermore, documentaries are attracting a global audience like never before thanks to online streaming. They are also securing distribution deals and earning revenue on par with their narrative counterparts. As stated by Indiewire, "while documentaries have experienced greater theatrical market share and overall ticket sales in past years, 2018 will be remembered as the first time four independently-released nonfiction films earned more than $10 million."

https://www.sundance.org/case-studies/creative-distribution/thunder-road


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