Our Trailblazer Tuesday Crowdfunder Pick of the Week is a documentary titled Gennadiy from Danny Yourd and Steve Hoover, the creators of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Blood Brother.


What, or, better question, who is Gennadiy? Yourd and Hoover’s Kickstarter campaign page describes their real-life protagonist, a heroic activist of almost mythic proportions: “Gennadiy (Mokhnenko) works through the political system as an activist, and he runs an orphanage. The system doesn’t work fast enough for him—or for the thousands of street kids who live in his city of Mariupal, Ukraine, most of whom are addicted to a lethal cocktail of injected cold medicine and alcohol. So at night, he goes on raids for the lost children in the ruins of this empire.”

The documentary embodies many aspects of its predecessor, Blood Brother, also capturing heartbreaking hardship, a simultaneously exotic and damaged location and the attempt to build a family from scratch—whether in Blood Brother’s Indian AIDS hostel or an orphanage in Ukraine. The project combines a relentlessly noble pursuit with the timely exposure of an appalling statistic: UNICEF estimates there are over 100,000 homeless children in Ukraine. Gennadiy promises not to shy away from these chilling facts and the questions they bring up: “When, if ever, is it okay to force someone to change? When should we take someone else’s life into our own hands?”

Yourd and Hoover plan to return to Mariupal, Ukraine to continue following Gennadiy and documenting his amazing story. The footage they have collected so far is both starkly poetic and painfully hard to watch, and its harrowing poignancy has already netted the moviemakers some top-quality collaborators. Atticus Ross (best known for his work with Trent Reznor on the soundtracks of The Social Network and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) has agreed to score the film, calling Gennadiy “a powerful experience that I couldn’t say no to.”

He definitely knows how to pick them. Gennadiy is as much of a no-brainer one could ask for in the crowdfunding landscape this week, with all of the elements in place to make for a sharp, moving documentary that will hopefully alert a wider audience to this lesser-known social malady. The undeniable prestige of the team behind it can’t hurt its fundraising prospects, either.

• Campaigners: Danny Yourd & Steve Hoover
• Target Amount: $40,000
• Amount Currently Raised: $21,169
• Campaign Opening Date: July 9, 2013
• Campaign Closing Date: August 13, 2013 (35 days in total)

Funding Goes Toward: Travel and accommodations for four key crew members to finishing filming in Ukraine, production rates for freelance crew members (who have agreed to lower their rates for the cause, but need to feed themselves), an original score created by Atticus Ross. Any additional funds raised will cover post-production costs such as editorial, color grading, sound design/mix, master creation, film festival submissions, and shipping.

Donor Reward Highlights:
• $10: A 12-image Wallpaper set of photos from our first trip to Ukraine (sized for desktop, iPad and iPhone). Wallpaper photography taken by friend of the film and humanitarian photographer Mia Baker.
• $75: Two tickets to a sneak preview of Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Blood Brother in Hollywood followed by a Q&A by the filmmaking team.
• $150: A visit to Steve and Danny’s office for a screening of Blood Brother followed by a discussion of the film over dinner.
• $500: (Pittsburgh, PA) Admission into Steve and Danny’s one-day documentary workshop and a copy of CrumplePop’s ColorKit Suite.
• $2,500: Ongoing private one on one producing/editing/story consultation with Steve and Danny.
• $7,500: An Honorary Associate Producer credit.
• $10,000: Steve and Danny will fly anywhere in the US to put together a three minute documentary of your choosing for a day.

For more information on Gennadiy, visit its Kickstarter and Facebook pages.

Moviemakers, keep them coming! We welcome any crowdfunder campaign submissions for spotlighting consideration in our Trailblazer Tuesday series. Email [email protected] with your pitch! Help us to help you get your films made.

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