SMOOCH Documentary’s First International Shoot


Project: SMOOCH: Kilong’s Story (First International Shoot)

Goal: $10,000

Deadline: Thursday, May 31

Why it’s good: Dawn Mikkelson, the director, describes SMOOCH as “a cinematic call for civility.” In other words, it’s not just a documentary. It’s an initiative to encourage dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation. Inspired by the story of Mary and Oshea, the mother who forgave her son’s killer, the documentary presents stories of people from all socio-economic, political and cultural backgrounds. Although the documentary itself is still in works, Mikkelson says “the trailer alone has already worked on many people’s lives. It has the potential to change lives and it already has.”

The Kickstarter project will fund the shooting of SMOOCH’s first international story. As one of the “four international stories” of the documentary, the story of Kilong Ung will take the crew to Battambang, Cambodia to tell his story of forgiving Khmer Rouge torturers.

Rewards: All donors’ names will be on the IMDB site. The rest of the rewards go up from there. The backers of the project can expect a digital travelogue with photos and thoughts from Kilong’s family, a copy of the film, a private screening with the director and even a chance to attend the filming in Cambodia. Giving to this documentary makes you intimately involved in its production and initiative.

Why Kickstarter: Mikkelson says it’s not all about the money. It’s also about “building community around the film, which may be more important in the long run in increasing awareness of the global tales of forgiveness.”

Also, if the project fulfills its $10,000 goal, it will continue to raise money till May 31. The extra funds will go towards shooting the other international stories, hopefully in South America and Europe, says Mikkelson.

Last Word: “A Minneapolis story started this all!” The very diverse nature of the Twin Cities made SMOOCH possible.

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