A new documentary, which will explore the politics of natural resource management in the North Atlantic, has broken the record for monies raised on the Irish crowd-funding website Fundit.ie.
Risteard O’Domhnaill ‘Atlantic’ - from the award-winning director of 2010’s ‘The Pipe’, which looked at Mayo’s Corrib Gas controversy - will follow embattled fishing communities in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting challenges.
As well as telling the personal stories of families affected by the encroachment of major oil companies the film will fully examine the scramble for resources in the North Atlantic, contrasting the liberal Irish approach with the systems at work in Norway and Newfoundland.
As nearby regions benefit from tighter state management of their resources, Ireland is increasingly at the mercy of outside influences which control most of her oil and fishing wealth.
By listening to communities which have experienced proper regulation - both financial and environmental - the film asks: Can resource exploration, done fairly, actually benefit small coastal communities?
To answer these questions Cahir filmmaker O’Domhnaill sought a different funding approach and since September 2013 the project has grown beyond all expectations.
“Given the huge uncertainty around traditional film funding and our unshakable passion to get this film made, we decided to go straight to our audience,” explained Risteard O’Domhnaill.
“We’ve been blown away by the support,” he says of the project which initially set a goal of €25,000, but which has gone well beyond that target.
“We’ve held fundraisers across the country and the goodwill shown by artists and the paying public, many of whom are struggling themselves, has been incredible.
“It’s clearly a film people want to see made; in essence it will be their film.
“With just a couple of days left to pledge to the ‘Atlantic’ project the gang at Fundit are excited to see where things will end up,” explained Fundit’s Andrew Hetherington.
“At this moment ‘Atlantic’ is looking like it will raise over twenty per cent more than our previous highest-pledging campaign.”
The ‘Atlantic team’ first ran a Fundit campaign in September 2013 for ‘On the Horizon’ - as the project was then known - and raised over €12,000.
These funds were used for location filming, the creation of an online presence and the hosting of live streaming debates.
Filmed in some of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the North Atlantic, at close quarters with those at the epicentre of the issue, ‘Atlantic’ will bring the critical offshore resource debate out into the open.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in our documentary; it gives us an unprecedented level of independence to tell this story,” says O’Domhnaill.
“The fact that we have got this documentary funded democratically to such a degree is a game-changer. We really look forward to launching the film in early 2015.”
For more information and to keep up-to-date which this project please see: www.theatlanticstream.com.