Esperanto Language Blog

Goal reached: Esperanto Cultural Festival documentary Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today, I’m with Rogener Pavinski, who you might already know as the editor of Kontakto or who was the person responsible for post-production of Esperanto Is. He’s now planning to make a documentary about the Esperanto Cultural Festival. This festival is the place to listen to the best Esperanto concerts in the world. He’ll take you back to 2005 to help you get a feel for this event, whether you want to reminisce about your time there or never had the opportunity to go. He’s already collected the $2,500 he needed to reach his $2,500 goal, but you can still help!

Why do you want to make a film about KEF 2005? Wouldn’t it be better to make a film about a more recent event?

For two reasons: first, because I’ve already recorded a lot of material, and second, because no more recent event was as interesting. It was very well organized and the program brought together many musicians, authors and actors, who were never in the same place again so brilliantly. Among other things, there was a unique concert by La porkoj, the next-to-last concert by Esperanto Desperado with Amir in the group. There were also many different enjoyable and interesting workshops and presentations.

How long do you plan the film to be?

I don’t suppose it will be longer than 40 minutes, however I’m not sure. I want the film to be dynamic, so that it will hold the viewers interest from start to finish. I will probably use only the very best parts of my film stock in the final video.

What is the target audience for this movie?

I believe every Esperanto speaker, but mostly for fans of Esperanto culture.

How much did the film cost to make?

The whole cost of the project was set at $2,500 (€1,910), because that is what, Indiegogo, our crowdfunding website accepted, since they are hosting the collection of money for this project. 4% will go to the website and 5% as a donation to Filmoj sen Limoj. The rest of the money will go to pay the costs of editing, scenes, voice recording, DVD creation, copies, graphics, and for the backer rewards of Indiegogo.

How is your experience working with Indiegogo? Did you have any problems, because your project is in Esperanto? Do you think that crowdsourcing is an interesting financial model for other Esperanto projects? What kinds?

Until now, my experience has only been good. I believed that I wouldn’t be able to launch it, because the most famous website of that kind, Kickstarter doesn’t allow others, who do not live in the USA, to host projects. You can contribute there, but not collect money yourself. Then I discovered Indiegogo, which is much more flexible about that among other issues. The website really helps out with a lot of information on their blog, on how to make a project succeed. Despite the fact that almost all their projects are in English, I had no problem with my Esperanto project. I even asked them on Twitter what they thought of an Esperanto project on their website, and they were curious what it was about, because that was really unique!

Crowdsourcing is an interesting model to me. In fact, many other Esperanto projects were created on this foundation. Remember the unsuccessful ITV project and the current successful online PIV. However, the difference between those and “La Plejpleja festivalo” is that I’m using an official webpage for it. That means that anyone can immediately see how much money I’ve collected and how much is still needed. In addition, there is a set deadline for contributions. In summary, the whole thing is clearer and more trustworthy.

I remember a project a few years ago, “RatMan in Esperanto”, which collected pre-orders to publish it. Other similar projects, like book and CD publications have really profited from crowdfunding. In fact, it’s so full of promise, that I might make such a website in Esperanto.

In what languages will it be available?

I’m not sure. The subtitles, if any, will come from people working with us. But, in the meantime, I can’t think about subtitles, because that will only happen once the whole film is ready.

How can one use the film after it’s ready?

You can watch and download it freely online and also present it in public for non-profit. The contributors will, however, get a DVD and can watch it two months before its public launch.

Even though you’ve already reached your goal, can people still contribute?

Certainly! I welcome further contributors. Also note that this will be the only way to get some of the materials, such as the DVD which won’t be available after the project is over.

So, I’d recommend you go to La Plejpleja Festivalo right now and learn more about it!

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About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.


  1. Tim Owen:

    I’m really looking forward to this. Rogener has an exemplary record of bringing a professional standard of work to his projects and always presents Esperanto in a good, contemporary light.