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This three minute video will give you an overview what is the state of the effort to preserve Plum Island. 

Thank you for your interest in our documentary about Plum Island, one of the last open spaces on the East End of Long Island, which has been off-limits to the public for decades and is teeming with nature. When the government decided to sell the island to the highest bidder, local resistance formed. An eclectic group of conservationists, businesses, history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, climate activists, and artists united behind one goal: saving Plum Island. Our film tells the story of their relentless fight for a better future. It will reveal Plum Island’s mysteries and beauty and the passionate dedication of some of your neighbors. It is crucial that everybody learns what’s on the table for this precious island right in front of your home - before the final decision is made. And this is where you can make a decisive difference!

What you get when you support the film

Support

Through your support, you can become a major force in making this film happen, and in return, you’ll be featured as a supporter of the film. We are already halfway done with the film’s production. To complete the film by the end of 2024, we need to raise $200,000 now.

 

Come on board and get recognized for your support! A tax-deductible donation of $50,000 or more will credit you as one of the film’s executive* producers. All other backers will be named in the end credits of the film unless they wish to donate anonymously. Being credited for bringing this film to the screen will be recognized by the community at large.

 

Contact us to learn more about our contribution tiers, from a “special thanks” in the finished film all the way to the top.

*As an executive producer your financial contribution will be a significant factor to make this film happen. While you support the production and work with the director and producer of the film, the final editorial control remains with the director and the production company.

Contact us for more information 

All donations are tax-deductible. My production company Archipelago Productions LLC has teamed up with The Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly known as IFP). This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serves as a fiscal sponsor. Every donation counts.

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What is going on with Plum Island?

Story

A high-security research laboratory made Plum Island off-limits to the public for decades, allowing nature to thrive. The island has become an important stopover for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway and a haven for biodiversity, considered an essential means to fight climate change. Today, Plum Island sustains one of the most significant habitats on the East Coast: Seals, dolphins, turtles, and other animals flourish there, as do rare plants. There are also historical buildings, from a lighthouse to a military fort, and the Montaukett Indian Nation used to hunt and fish on the island.

When the government decided to move the research lab to Kansas, it stipulated that the picturesque island with a storied past was to be auctioned to the highest bidder, the proceeds earmarked to pay for the move. This decision caused a thunderous ripple effect: Environmentalists, conservationists, historical societies, businesses, and impassioned individuals rallied and campaigned to stop the sale - growing to a coalition of over 120 organizations.

IIn December 2020, they succeeded in preventing the sale - only to learn that that this is not the end of the story, but its real beginning. What will turn out as the best option for Plum Island’s future, and who will make the decision? This will be a the core of our film.  Take a look at sample scenes of our film and get to know some of our main protagonists: 

Moods

Watch sample scenes and get to know some of our protagonists

Team

Time is of essence for this project. We want to release the film before a final decision about the future of Plum Island is made. That way, the film will inform the public - more than 23 million people in the New York/ Connecticut metropolitan area - about the fate of Plum Island, so that people can voice their opinions and get involved, and provide inspiration to the many communities struggling with similar questions elsewhere. As a financial supporter, you can make that happen.

 

Contact us today to learn more about becoming involved with the film, or make a tax-deductible donation now.

Who is making this film?

Director/Producer

Thomas Halaczinsky is a German-American documentary director, based in Greenport, Long Island. Between 2020 and 2022 he produced and directed the three-part documentary series ARCHIPELAGO NEW YORK for the European network ARTE and national German broadcaster ZDF. The series focuses on how nature negotiates and sustains its existence in the New York metropolis. It was an official selection of the 2022 International Ocean Film Festival in San Francisco; won an Excellence Award at the Nature Without Borders Film Festival and was awarded Best Science Film at the International Blue Water Film Festival. Thomas is also an accomplished documentary cinematographer. Between 2003 and 2023, Thomas produced and directed three documentaries that followed Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlander, as she revisited her life story beginning at age 83: DON'T CALL IT HEIMWEH (2004); LATE RETURN (2011); and ARRIVED: MARGOT FRIEDLANDER, BERLIN. DON'T CALL IT HEIMWEH was selected as the opening film at the 2005 International Jewish Film Festival in Berlin. Thomas also produced feature films, amongst them two features directed by Peter Lilienthal. In 1996, he won an ACE award for his contribution to the EMMY Award-winning film CALLING THE GHOST.

Producer/Writer

Petrina Engelke is a seasoned journalist, writer and producer who is credited on Halaczinsky’s ARCHIPELAGO NEW YORK as a producer. She co-directed the short documentary film “New York Farm City” (2011), about rooftop farms in New York City with Raul Mandru. As a writer, Petrina just finished her fourth book (to be published in spring 2024): a take on American food following the famed Route 66, with interviews and stories by her and recipes by well-known German chef Gabi Frankemoelle. So far, Petrina’s books about the United States have been published in Germany. A permanent resident of the United States, Petrina lives in Greenport, New York.

Additional Crew

Aaron Tomlinson is a two-time Emmy-nominated director of photography who has been working for the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” since 2009. A seasoned broadcast photographer, Aaron has contributed to documentaries about high-profile public figures such as Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Carl Icahn, and four U.S. presidents. He has also worked with renowned broadcast journalists from Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather to Anderson Cooper and on countless investigative news reports around the world. Aaron lives in Southold, the town to which Plum Island belongs. As an an avid sailor, he brings an in-depth knowledge of the seascape and islands off Long Island and has extensive experience filming on the water.

Bill Moulton is an award-winning advertising creative, director and video producer . With 20+ years creating visual campaigns for clients like Dell, Levis and Warner Bros Music, he recently launched a production studio in Greenport in 2020. Today he develops and produces film and video projects in partnership with companies and non-profit organizations, offering creative, video production and post-production services. He also created Greenie Supply & Tackle, a treasure map vending machine that encourages people to go on adventures in local landscapes. Bill lives in East Marion, Long Island.

Scott Bluedorn, born and raised in East Hampton, is a Sag Harbor-based artist, illustrator and designer who works across media including drawing, painting, printmaking, installation, collage, and assemblage. He creates surreal imagery inspired by maritime history, cultural anthropology, myth, supernatural themes, and the natural world to distill a visual world he deems a “maritime cosmology”.

Gisburg, (aka Gisburg Smialek), is a composer, singer, and music editor originally from Salzburg, Austria. She has been creating music for film since 2003 (for example High Life by Leila Yomtoob, or I Did by Pedro Patrizio, and her work also has been used in music recordings and podcasts. She has been a member of the sound for film union Local 700 since 1996. Gisburg attended Berlin University of the Arts as a guest student for composition and modern music theater with Dieter Schnebel and Witold Szalonek and for visual arts with Eva Maria Schön. Gisburg has lived in New York since 1992.

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