Kickstarting “Leaves”

Drawing by Robin Richardson.

Robin Richardson, filmmaker since 15 (and now pushing to fund his SUNY Purchase junior thesis student film on Kickstarter, with 17 days to go), says that his latest planned work “is about the corruption and consumption of a small community caused by a dark force which empties the people within it of their souls.”

He admits, in his online pitch for All The Broken Leaves that he’s working in the realm of allegory.

“The inner conflict and relationship between a young mother and her daughter will bring to surface the image of redemption and the strength of family,” he further explains, leaving the expansive for the more personal. “The film serves as a metaphor for the apathetic disposition of those who find themselves consumed by drugs.”


Richardson picked up his avocation while part of the late Indie Program, run in its final years by his father, Russell. His animated short, Making Friends — about the meeting of two blobs — won its category at the 2007 Reel Teens Festival in Hunter. In 2008, a 44-second stop animation collaboration with Kaela Smith Chaves, Humans, played at the Woodstock Film Festival. In 2009, the young man won first prize at the Barcelona International Film Festival.

His latest work, with a big budget of $1,200 (and only $700 to go in its kickstarter campaign, as of press time), is set to shoot with a SAG cast in and around Woodstock next month, for needed completion by April, 2012. Richardson’s Indie friends Will Lytle and Joseph Bacci will be handling set and prop design and cinematography, respectively.

All the Broken Leaves is a magical realist tale set in a town much like Woodstock, where many of the denizens seem wholly unconnected and lost. The arrival of a young mother and her daughter explodes this world, reunites a family, and shows a way to reclaim your soul,” his plot synopsis continues. “Though this may be read as a scary fable of an enchanted town, the author explicitly relates it to the real life effects of drug dependence in a small community: the loss of feeling, initiative, and the sense that you are trapped in a flat, lifeless world. Only the love and innocent solidarity of a close family can ‘break the spell’. The film uses images of nature gone wrong — wind, storms, grasping trees and elemental forces.”

Privately, the filmmaker, and his father, say there’s much of the young man’s own experience, and that of those who know Woodstock, its Green, its longstanding challenges, in what’s being created, from storyboard concepts on down.

Talk about tying the personal to the global, and beyond…++


For more on this project, contact Robin Richardson on Facebook, or go directly to his Kickstarter page at


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