It’s a project within a project – and it’s all designed to help at-risk teens.
Christopher Proulx, a real estate investor in Exeter, Me., has a unique plan. With the help of two University of Maine students, he wants to hold a two-week filmmaking and video workshop for Native American teens in Indian Township and Pleasant Point. In addition to learning valuable skills, these teenagers will be part of a larger project: a documentary about children in rural areas.
“The Native Americans in this area of Maine were one of the first people in North America,” said Proulx. “Sadly, they have become a forgotten people, and it’s even sadder when children are involved.
He pointed out that, regardless of culture or ethnicity, people in rural areas tend to have higher incidences of drug abuse, alcoholism and negative behaviors.
“This documentary film will help to explain the challenges that these teens face, challenges of geography, being a Native American and issues of racism,” explained Proulx. “We hope to foster a lifelong interest in filmmaking, allowing them to realize their own creativity and uniqueness.”
Thus the students are not only learning about filmmaking but are participating in a documentary will be used as a teaching device.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Proulx said. “We’ll be able to show others in rural areas how to reach out to kids.”
In addition to holding the workshop and producing the documentary, Proulx plans to donate camcorders and sound equipment to a local school.
This all costs money and the final budget is estimated to be $20,500. In order to generate this capital, Proulx has launched a Indiegogo campaign, which can be viewed at www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-kids-of-indian-township-and-pleasant-point , as well as an Kickstarter campaign, which can be viewed at www.kickstarter.com/projects/720312980/the-kids-of-indian-township-and-pleasant-point
Donations of any amount are welcome. For a $25 pledge, backers will receive a film credit in the documentary. Larger contributions will fetch coffee mugs, T-shirts, Native American jewelry, framed photos and signed books.
“The main focus of this project is to leave these kids with the knowledge and tools that they need to succeed,” said Proulx. “By supporting this project, we may be the first link in a chain of good deeds that will stretch throughout their lifetime. We’re giving these kids self empowerment, an opportunity to have their voices heard.”
Contact: Christopher Proulx
Company: Grassy Knoll Productions
Zip Code: 04435