Pablo Neruda: The Poet's Calling
Red Poppy, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is producing the first feature documentary on Neruda in English, a lyrical tapestry of rare archival footage; incredible shots of his native land, captivating artistic poetic sequences, often with Neruda’s own voice, and compelling interviews with intimate friends and notable poets. There will be a Spanish version to show all over Neruda’s Latin America.
Compelling biography represents an idea larger than its individual subject--even if the subject is seemingly larger than life—in the case of Neruda, we use the theme of el deber del poeta, the poet’s duty, obligation, calling. For Neruda, poetry was a rallying cry for the social function of art, a way of bearing witness to suffering and injustice. The Poet’s Calling will create an intimate portrait of one of Latin America’s most colorful characters, and introduce a broad new audience around the world to the universal power of Neruda’s poetry, while captivating readers already familiar with Neruda with an intimate and beautiful cinematic tale providing much more insight on the man and his words.
In July 2004, on limited funds, Red Poppy rushed to have a cut of the film to show for a monumental celebration for Neruda’s Centennial in San Francisco, a festival that The San Francisco Chronicle called “a perfect birthday party.” Despite being a preliminary rough cut, this initial version received strong reviews in Variety and The San Francisco Chronicle. The film subsequently went on to screen as a work-in-progress at festivals, campuses, gatherings, and homes around the world, from Yale to the Trieste (Italy) Latin American Film Festival.
We then returned to work on the final version of the documentary, including more interviews, rights clearance, and plans to film in high definition. Carlos Bolado, part of a new generation of Mexican filmmakers, is now part of the production team. Bolado directed and edited Promises, nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary of 2002, a film about Israeli and Palestinian children. Early on, he edited Like Water for Chocolate. In 1998, the first feature he directed, Bajo California, won 2 Ariels, Mexico’s highest cinematic award, including Best First Work and Best Editing; Bolado was nominated for the Best Director Ariel.
The Last Push
Due to the generous donations from hundreds of Pablo lovers, from $7 to $5000, we were able to shoot more vital material. We are now set for the last push, which will consist of producing sequences for four different poems, and then working with a new story editor and film editor to engage in the length process of putting all of our material together in the most compelling, poignant, meaning full way. We will then have to complete the final post-production steps, secure the costly rights to some of the archival video, and we’re pretty much set!
We have just been awarded a grant from Latino Public Broadcasting. While it will help lead to the film being broadcast on PBS, the funding amount was not enough to get us to the finish line. We still need your help to cross it.
Please join us and make it happen.
This is a grassroots film, just like Pablo's poems, and your membership in Red Poppy will enable us to spread the power of poetry to the world. As we have official 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS, if you're from the US, your donation is tax-deductible, less the cost of any gift you receive with it.
Please click here to see all the information about how you can support us and join our family.
Please help us continue our work while we continue to pursue more grants, institutional support, and significant donations from certain individuals.
And, if you dig what we are doing, send an email to your friends telling them about us, point them to www.redpoppy.net.
Gracias y Paz,
The Red Poppy Family