As you may know, we have been planning and are in pre-production of the documentary Lionfish Huntress (working title) since December 2012, when our Executive Producer, Lydia Linton Pontius, was first inspired to tell our story. Since that time we have been working feverishly on a promotional piece. Lydia traveled to Akumal last November and Mike Madden's son, Michael, and some of his friends from film school, worked with her on the promotional piece. We were able to do this with no money, because Hotel Akumal Caribe, Villas Flamingo, Lol-Ha and Akumal Dive Center helped with in-kind contributions. Lara Popyak, Mike Madden (Nohoch Productions) and Lydia worked closely with Michael to complete the promotional piece, which highlights the team's founder.
The documentary will focus on a team of lionfish hunters, mostly women, and the men who photograph and spot for them. The team was founded by Gynna Sainz, Akumal chef and owner of Gynn'AK Restaurant in Half Moon Bay. The team has been hunting lionfish (Lionfish Hunt Statistics) and Gynna has been serving them at her restaurant since 2009.
The documentary will also highlight the Akumal Coral Reef Restoration Project. The production crew is committed to follow the progress of this historical program as well as the effects of lionfish hunting over the next five years in hopes of another documentary or possibly a series.
In addition to the promotional video being done, Mike Pontius and Just Imagine, Inc. did our website. Pete Hennrikus, who first visited the Riviera Maya in 1994, is handling production duties that take advantage of his writing and research skills. Everyone to this point has done their jobs without receiving a single peso. All expenses have been paid out of pocket or were donated through Hotel Akumal Caribe, Lol-Ha, Villas Flamingo, Sac-Be.com, Just Imagine, Inc., Nohoch Productions and Akumal Dive Center.
We are ready to start production and we need your help! We have launched the promotional video and it's time to get the word out. The Yucatan Environmental Foundation (YEF) will act as fiscal sponsor so that donations to the project can be tax deductible in the U.S. To date we have spent, out of pocket and with in-kind donations, about $10,000. We need $78,000 to produce the documentary. We have commitments of in-kind donations of approximately $12,000 so far. That leaves us $66,000 to raise. We can do it with 7 people giving $10,000 OR 700 giving $100 OR any combination thereof ... very doable with your help. Become a Sponsor and please encourage others to do the same.
Lionfish Huntress is not just about the devastating effects the lionfish invasion has had on the area reefs, nor is it just about the need to hunt them, cook them, and educate people about them. It is about a community facing a problem, and individuals making a difference and inspiring others to do the same. As a visitor to the Riviera Maya, you know what a very special place it is. We hope you’ll join us in this effort to tell this amazing story and protect our most precious resource–our reef.
Thank you for your help financially and in spreading the word. We appreciate your support!
The Crew and The Team!
PS: All contributions are recognized with wonderful benefits. Please become part of the Lionfish Huntress Team today! And Follow us on Facebook.