City of Trees raises over $58k on Kickstarter

On the night before New Year’s Eve, dozens of City of Trees Kickstarter backers gathered around our studio’s computer screens as the final minutes of our campaign came to a close.


People furiously texted, called and emailed friends and family to make last-minute pledges. As we all joined in the final countdown, we watched and cheered as the backer #503(!) made the final pledge! It was perfectly poetic that the last backer was none other than Leah Edwards, our former student from our Sitar Youth Documentary Program and co-director of the award-winning MHP film Doing it for Me.

At our closing party, we asked guests to share why our film matters to them. Here’s a sampling of some of their responses:


Ja'anai, MHP intern alum



Brandon's friend & top MHP Facebook fan Ash



City of Trees new exec. producer Nancy



MHP intern extraordinaire Ingrid


Studio friend Andrej



Studio friend Kate



MHP advisory board member Angie



MHP's awesome development manager Lindsay



Beloved studio dog Ellie


It’s taken us a few days to rest, recuperate and reflect on the amazing success of the campaign. We not only met our initial $35K goal — but met and exceeded all of our stretch goals to raise a total of $58,262 (that’s over 160% of our goal)! This critical funding will allow our team to complete the film and provide the first stage of outreach and distribution support. 

Thanks to the support of the wonderful City of Trees community and Kickstarter, our team is already aggressively working on finishing the film in time for upcoming Spring 2015 festival deadlines.

Even though the Kickstarter has ended, there are still plenty of ways to stay involved in the ongoing City of Trees campaign:

  • Know a festival or broadcaster? Introduce us! If you have friends who work at a film festival or broadcaster you think might be a good fit for City of Trees, please put us in touch! Personal connections go a long way.

  • Help us tell our story. If you know anyone in the press (newspapers, tv, bloggers, etc) who might be interested in covering City of Trees, encourage them to write about the film.

  • Host a screening at your workplace or school. We are starting to build a list of people and places interested in hosting a screening of City of Trees once the film is complete. If you are interested, please email Alison [at] and let us know more about your community.

  • Tell your friends to check out the website. The website for City of Trees launched two weeks ago: On the site, you can find more background on the film, participants, filmmakers, and regular updates on the City of Trees blog. You can also sign up for email updates, and there’s a page to make tax-deductible donations for anyone still interested in making a contribution.

  • Support more work by Meridian Hill Pictures. Beyond producing City of Trees, Meridian Hill Pictures operates year-round as a community-based documentary production company, producing films and conducting media arts trainings for non-profit clients. Our client work helps to subsidize production costs on our independent films and keep our staff active creating social impact through the power of documentary storytelling. If you know an organization interested in working with MHP, contact Lindsay [at]

Thanks again to all the amazing supporters of this film - it wouldn't exist without you!

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