Do you believe in crowdsourcing funds?
“It was the start of a brand new life, but Tom Allen’s dream journey takes an unlikely detour when he falls in love with an Iranian girl. Self-shot over four years, Janapar is an honest and life-affirming tale of finding what you’re looking for when you least expect it.” — Janapar.
It was a chilly Tuesday afternoon when I stepped off the train in Wimbledon. Spring had not yet driven the cold winter chill from the air, flower beds were lined with daffodils swaying in the breeze, it was the first week of April.
I had arranged to meet with James Newton and Ben Gray, two young guys who had recently started a film production company. The plan was to discuss some ideas they had for an ecotourism/responsible travel/fair trade themed documentary. We met upstairs in what used to be a Waterstones coffee shop, it’s now an HMV store.
It turned out that meeting was to be more significant to James and another fella called Tom Allen (who wasn’t there) than it was to me–the two of them would later become very close friends.
As I threw away my coffee cup and we moved downstairs to leave, I mentioned to James about a couple of young English guys planning to cycle around the world, using only off-road routes, they were calling themselves “Ride Earth“. James’ eyes lit up. He saw an opportunity.
Tom Allen and Andy Welch left the Harwich ferry port with their bikes a couple of months later, in mid-June, with a couple of cameras in their possession and the first installment of a video podcast series posted on iTunes. Tom’s partnership with James had just begun.
It was 2007 when we had that coffee near Wimbledon station. And I’m telling this story now because this is my connection to the film Janapar.
The Janapar story, directed by James Newton and filmed by Tom Allen, recently premiered at the Raindance Film Festival in London. Besides being a tale of adventure and romance it also reveals the fate of that Ride Earth expedition that began 5 years ago.
Over the next 21 days Tom is crowdsourcing funds on Kickstarter to publish a book (that accompanies this film). If you know Tom or are simply inspired by the story you might be willing to visit his Kickstarter page and help him reach his goal of £6,000 (http://tomsbiketrip.com/kickstart-janapar)