Saving Mes Aynak launches Indiegogo campaign

Our new documentary film, Saving Mes Aynak has launched an ambitious and innovative crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $50,000. Please support the film and its goal to #SaveMesAynak.

The news was announced in Variety.

The Indiegogo funds will go towards educational outreach and creating an international movement to put pressure on the mining company, the Afghanistan government, and UNESCO, to make Mes Aynak a World Heritage Site. Our campaign will bring viewers around the world together to watch the film via VHX on July 1st, 2015 - “Global #SaveMesAynak Day” - with an initial 10% of the campaign goal of $50,000 of raised funds going directly to funding archeologists preserving the site. Should the filmmakers exceed their goal, they will double that direct donation to 20%.

The filmmakers hope to add thousands of signatures to a petition asking Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to spare the site from destruction via designation as a UNESCO world heritage site. They plan to present the petition to him in person in Kabul following the Afghanistan premiere of the film.

Saving Mes Aynak on IndieGogo from Kartemquin Films on Vimeo.

Saving Mes Aynak follows archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save a 5,000-year-old Buddhist archeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition. Sold to them by the Afghan government, a Chinese State-owned mining company is closing in on Mes Aynak, eager to harvest $100 billion dollars worth of copper buried directly beneath the archaeological ruins. To get to the copper, however, would mean blowing up the site and reducing it - and an entire mountain range - to rubble. It would mean the forced evacuation and relocation of countless native Afghans from the area, who will never be able to return to their homes due to toxicity from the mining. It would mean erasing from the face of the Earth all of the culture and history that Mes Aynak contains.

Although only 10% of the site has been excavated, the discoveries are already rewriting the history of Buddhism, Afghanistan, and us - who we are as human beings. Imagine what is still there, waiting to be re-discovered and shared with the world. Saving Mes Aynak, from the producers of Life Itself and The Interrupters, examines the conflict between cultural preservation and economic opportunity, through the lens of the Afghan archaeologists and local villagers who live and work near Mes Aynak. They face a nearly impossible battle against the Chinese, the Taliban, and local politics to save their culture and heritage from permanent erasure.

“The time to act is now. My fear is that we’ll all gasp in horror when the Mes Aynak site is destroyed but won't do much when there was actually time to save it." - Brent E. Huffman, Director, Saving Mes Aynak.