Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WILL CINQUE TERRE SURVIVE? You Can Help Tell Their Story

You may have heard about the Cinque Terre and its five, picturesque, tiny coastal villages, in Italy. Cinque Terre is made up of five once-remote villages along Italy’s Ligurian coast.  You may have been there and hiked the trails that connect them. Maybe you've heard about, or even tasted, the rare, unique dessert wine made there called Sciacchetr√†.

But what you might not know is that the ancient wine and other traditions of these villages may be about to vanish in the wake of rising tourism, political upheaval, and most recently, a terrible natural disaster.

Sharon Boeckle and Krista Lee Weller are two independent filmmakers of Harvest Films who came together in 2008 and traveled to Italy to document the unique traditions of Cinque Terre's 5,000 residents and their efforts to achieve sustainable tourism amid a staggering tourist onslaught. In recent years, the region has gained international fame for its unique beauty, drawing in 3 million visitors annually.

Directors Sharon Boeckle and Krista Lee Weller set out to document the decade-long measures that had been established by the Cinque Terre National Park, measures intended to balance modern-day ecotourism with the preservation of the Cinque Terre traditions and culture, most notably its winemaking tradition. After recording the stories of residents and documenting the process of becoming a UNESCO site, their filming wrapped in 2010.

But only two weeks after the film crew wrapped shooting in 2010, the Cinque Terre National Park was thrown into political upheaval and most of the programs designed for preservation were eliminated or changed. One year after that, this past October 2011, two of the five villages were nearly destroyed in flooding and landslides, leaving the citizens in a race against time to re-open for the 2012 tourist season, upon which their livelihoods depend.

These tragic complications have now brought these filmaking women to a race against time to return to Italy and document the villages, their citizens and the challenges they are facing now.

The documentary film Vendemmia began as a story about the Cinque Terre’s efforts for sustainable ecology, environmental preservation, and eco-tourism.  It’s ending up as a story questioning its future. That's the story the directors need your help to share.

It's not too late. Not yet.
Harvest Films has turned to crowd sourcing, asking lovers of Italy to help them tell the story of this incomparable bit of Italy. Donations will be used to fund the documentary and release the film to a wider audience. Sharon & Krista, independent and self-funded filmmakers, have raised over $3000 in a Kickstarter campaign which has received support from as far away as Europe and Australia. Anyone can donate, as little as a few dollars or as high as a few thousand, and receive DVD copies, signed film posters, and even a stay at a B&B in Tuscany in exchange for their generosity.

All donations will be used directly to fund the return to finish filming. For more information on how you can help to finish the documentary Vendemmia, and tell Cinque Terre’s story to the world, visit the Kickstarter page to read more about the project and make a donation before the deadline on the 31st of January.
Please follow the links below to watch the trailer and make a donation to help.
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