What is Atlantic Portals about?
Atlantic Portals documents a community’s struggle to celebrate and mourn the past, accept the present and create the future. From displacement to renewal, follow the journey of Cape Verdeans in America.
Atlantic Portals is the second film in a trilogy of documentaries about the Cape Verdean community in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island: the second oldest and largest community of Cape Verdeans in the world, outside of the Cape Verde Islands. A feature-length documentary currently in post-production, Atlantic Portals picks up where the critically acclaimed “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?” A Cape Verdean American Story (2006) left off, with the displacement of the community in the 1960s as a result of urban renewal and gentrification.
Atlantic Portals documents present-day Cape Verdeans as they discuss what was lost and efforts to maintain a sense of community despite the destruction of their neighborhood. Atlantic Portals brings the story back to Cape Verde in search of “home” only to return to Fox Point with the recognition that being Cape Verdean is a state of mind, not just a zip code, and survives in our memory and in the telling of the story.
Why this is important: Cape Verdean American History
Cape Verdeans have been a vital part of the cultural and social history of Southeastern New England and the American immigrant experience for close to two hundred years. The Cape Verde islands, lying 240 nautical miles off the coast of West Africa, (click here for more information) remained in the backwaters of world history until 1975 when the islands gained independence from Portugal. Uninhabited prior to discovery in 1462 by the Portuguese, Cape Verdeans developed as a mix of Africans, Portuguese, and other European voyagers to the islands.
Cape Verdeans were the first people of African descent to migrate voluntarily in large numbers to the United States. Tight-knit, self-contained Cape Verdean American immigrant communities are concentrated most heavily in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Cape Verdeans worked in Cape Cod’s cranberry bogs, as well as on the waterfronts and textile mills. Today’s population of Cape Verdeans in New England, now more than 300,000 strong, is greater than the population of Cape Verde. It is a universal story. Everyone comes from somewhere.
What do we need?
Thanks to a generous $50,000 tax-deductible donation in 2007 we were able to pay off deferred production expenses of SKFPR, make the SKFPR DVD and shoot the remaining principal interviews and recent new community initiatives for Atlantic Portals. Now everything is “in the can,” meaning production is done, and we’re ready to jump in and start editing. We need at least $50,000 to finish post-production: editing, sound design, motion graphics, and the transfer of rare archival materials that are in very fragile condition - 8mm, super 8mm film and video footage. These archival materials were recorded by Cape Verdeans,so they are critically important because they are the voice of the community whose history was wiped out by urban renewal before it was recorded.
Why should the viewer be interested in Atlantic Portals?
Atlantic Portals already has an international and regional PBS fan base waiting to see the next chapter of a story that began in the critically acclaimed and popular first feature in the series. Viewers will find out how the community is surviving and will experience the spectacular vistas of Cape Verde when Atlantic Portals goes back “home” in its journey back to Fox Point. It’s a visually stunning, warm and engaging story, highlighted by spectacular archival photos and film.
When and where is Atlantic Portals going to be shown when completed?
October 2011, the World Premiere at the CVIFF (Cape Verdean International Film Festival) on the island of Sal, Cape Verde; the North American/USA Premiere at the MFA in Boston in early December-- five years after the triumphant sold out premiere in 2006 of "Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?"—followed by a RI PBS broadcast on WSBE TV 36. This is pretty impressive for a little story with grassroots support and a big heart!
Why should I trust you?
We deliver. Atlantic Portals is the second in a series. SKFPR, the popular and critically acclaimed first feature in the trilogy, is a high quality, low-budget project ten years in the making. Since its release in 2006 it has gone around the world, airing on RI PBS/WSBE TV36 in 2010 and re-airing March 26, 27 2011. Atlantic Portals, pending completion, will be part of the RI PBS/WSBE TV36 2011 fall line-up.
What’s the impact of small donations?
Every dollar counts! We’ve received donations over the years from $5.00 on up. It‘s what people can give, and it’s from their heart. It represents to us how much this project means to the community, and that spirit keeps the project alive. And those dollars add up!
What’s the challenge?
Public funding for independent projects like Atlantic Portals has dried up in the last few years, and individuals who have been able to contribute in the past are hard pressed to make donations in the current economic climate. So we’re exploring new ways of fundraising.
Where are you now in your fundraising?
We received $18,309 in online pledges toward our $50,000 target through kickstarter, a new online fundraising tool for artists. But the way kickstarter works it you don’t make the target goal, the donors cards don’t get charged. The project expired on May 6. Since funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing, all pledges made through amazon.com, the online partner for the kickstarter project, are now released.
Kickstarter is only a PART of what we’re been doing over the years to fundraise for our project. What it has done is given us whole new level of visibility for Atlantic Portals and fundraising, using social online media and connected us directly to you, the donor. Now we can continue to roll out on this momentum through our normal direct tax-deductible donations to the fiscal agent for Atlantic Portals.
Where do people send their donations if they want to renew their pledge from kickstarter as well as others who want to donate to the project?
It will only take you a few moments, and is very easy to make your donation for Atlantic Portals(still tax-deductible) to the Center for Independent Documentary, the 501c3 non-profit umbrella for Atlantic Portals.
Click here for secure online payment through PayPal.
Or if you prefer snail mail, make the check out to Center for Independent Documentary, with Atlantic Portals in the memo line. Then mail to:
Susi Walsh, Director
Center for Independent Documentary
680 South Main St
Sharon, MA 02067
Their tax exempt number is: 042-738-458