Lincolnville friends bring Cuba to Maine in film, book form

By Louis Bettcher | Nov 28, 2017
Courtesy of: Tyler Dunham Film producer Tyler Dunham, left, and director Corey Mclean sit with subjects Frank Gonzalez, rear left, and Yaya Guerriero at an internet park in Camagüey, Cuba, searching for potential waves along their route.

Lincolnville — A Kickstarter campaign is under way to promote the sale of a photo book, "Cuba Unknown": a montage of vibrant, colorful photographs taken in Cuba by a trio of friends from Lincolnville: Tyler Dunham, Corey McLean and Seth Brown.

The proceeds of the campaign, which ends Dec. 6, will also support the completion of the trio's film, "Havana Libre," a documentary that examines the juxtaposition of high risk and immense beauty surrounding the sport of ocean surfing in Cuba.

Dunham, McLean and Brown each attended Camden Hills Regional High School, and upon completing college went on to create the production company Makewild Films. One of their first projects was the web series "Love, the Bus," which followed the friends as they drove a school bus across the United States, completing challenges submitted to them by viewers. For each challenge that was successfully completed, the "Bus Boys," as they are referred to by friends and fans alike, donated money to charities of the viewers' choosing.

"Love, the Bus" was the first time the group used Kickstarter, and they were able to purchase the school bus with funds raised online. As Makewild, the friends, now based in Venice Beach, Calif., have gone on to complete projects for companies such as Puma, Universal and Capitol Records.

This time, through the "Cuba Unknown: An Exploration in Times of Change" Kickstarter campaign, supporters will have a physical reward -- a beautiful book -- that they can hold in their hands, which will arrive at their homes in time for Christmas. The men created the book using photographs they took while in Cuba documenting surfing culture on the island, as well as the archaic laws that prohibit many athletes from enjoying the turquoise waves in their backyard.

"In 2016, we traveled to Cuba to make a film about a group of athletes who risked their freedom to legitimize surfing on the island. If you can imagine, until recently, surfing in Cuba was illegal.

"Those in pursuit of the elusive barrel [wave] were made outlaws, risking their boards' being confiscated or getting arrested. These surfers took the sport into their own hands, passionately shaping surfboards out of refrigerator doors, ceiling tiles and whatever else they could find. They paddled out to score a few moments of freedom. They inspired us. They instilled in us a new appreciation for the sport we love. They taught us a new meaning of adventure. Now we want to share these stories with the world," reads a description of the project on the "Cuba Unknown" Kickstarter page.

Set for a 2018 release, whereas Makewild's film "Havana Libre" tells the story of the Cuban surfers, the book will provide readers with a behind-the-scenes look at Cuba from the perspective of a visitor, told through the photographs and writings compiled by the Maine friends while they were shooting the film.

"While we were down there, as a group of 'creatives with cameras,' we took a lot of photos in process of creating a solid documentary; we were following a story in real time. But we want to put something out sooner [than the film], that people who might be interested could enjoy in some other form of media on this subject. The book tells a parallel story, and more of our adventures as we traveled through Cuba with a group of intrepid local surfers and followed their effort to legitimize the sport," Dunham said Nov. 28.

The Kickstarter campaign aims to raise $24,000 through sales of the book, pre-orders of the film, and a number of packages that could bring enthusiasts of the project up close and personal with the filmmaking team. As of Nov. 28, the campaign had raised approximately $13,000 through 142 donations with eight days remaining.

Donations can be made from $5 to $2,500 -- the "El Jefe" or "Boss" donation, which will earn the donor an associate producer credit upon the film's release. For those on a more modest budget, a pledge of $45 earns you a copy of the limited edition, 180-page coffee table book "Cuba Unknown," a set of customized postcards and updates on the completion of the film project.

The Kickstarter page, titled "The Cuba Unknown: An Exploration in Times of Change can be found here. Dunham said that if the campaign receives enough support from individuals in the area, a Maine screening of the film will held before its anticipated release date.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/20220303/the-cuba-unknown-an-exploration-in-times-of-change

 

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.