Red Star

Santa Monica, California | Film Feature


Michelle Kantor

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $25,000 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

148 supporters | followers

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Fifty years ago, Peter Kantor made history. He escaped Communist Czechoslovakia by swimming the river to freedom. His wife and son fled after the Soviet Invasion of 1968, reuniting in New York. RED STAR will retrace their escape and lives from behind the Iron Curtain.

In Partnership With

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story

RED STAR is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize the way history is documented. With our access to living historical figures, Peter and Jana Kantor, our team will combine today's cutting edge technology with traditional documentary filmmaking methods, to provide real-time interactive audience experience during production. During our intercontinental journey, our followers can log onto Periscope for up-to-the-moment dailies, insights, and opportunities to collaborate with cast and crew. It's an exciting time to connect audiences with the subjects and filmmakers, and RED STAR will lead the charge. RED STAR is also a personal film. Director and Producer Michelle Kantor, the youngest daughter of the film's subjects, is finally making her family's dream of sharing their incredible history with a global audience a reality.  Previous iterations of this project include vintage home movies shot by the new immigrants when they reunited in New York in the late sixties. Stylistically speaking, RED STAR will combine observational, participatory, performative, and even experimental styles of filmmaking to reflect the different levels of consciousness of a person moving from oppression to liberation. Spanning half a century of one man’s life, this is not a simple talking heads documentary. RED STAR thoroughly immerses viewers into the mindset of a political prisoner, it shocks and suprises, and will will work closely with the Kantors to tell their subjective sides of the story in a thoroughly entertaining, engaging and visually gorgeous way.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

G-Technology® Hard Drive ($1000)

Costs $1,000

G-Technology® is the gold standard for storage solutions specifically designed for content creators. We’ll get a storage grant from them when we get the Green Light!

G-Technology® Hard Drive ($1000)

Costs $1,000

G-Technology® is the gold standard for storage solutions specifically designed for content creators. We’ll get a storage grant from them when we get the Green Light!

G-Technology® Hard Drive ($1000)

Costs $1,000

G-Technology® is the gold standard for storage solutions specifically designed for content creators. We’ll get a storage grant from them when we get the Green Light!

G-Technology® Hard Drive ($1000)

Costs $1,000

G-Technology® is the gold standard for storage solutions specifically designed for content creators. We’ll get a storage grant from them when we get the Green Light!

B Camera

Costs $4,000

Dedicated for supplemental footage and second unit shooting in SF, LA, NYC and Denver.


Costs $4,000

We have to fly our cast and bare bones crew to Eastern Europe. Miles are possible!

Lavalier Wireless Microphone Set

Costs $700

Great documentaries require excellent audio.

General Liability Insurance

Costs $1,000

Keepin' it real.

On The Ground Transportation

Costs $2,000

For a travelogue film, we will need to transport our crew across three different countries.

Craft Services Food

Costs $1,200

Production is tough, arduous, physical work. Help feed our crew.

Line and Field Producer

Costs $1,100

Keeping us organized and running logistics.


Costs $5,000

A professional cinematographer to capture this film.


Costs $2,000

Our crew will need to sleep!

About This Team

Michelle Kantor, Director and Executive Producer

Director and Executive Producer Michelle Kantor is the youngest daughter of political refugees who fled Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Cinefemme, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization for women directors, recently funding by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Donor Circle for the Arts. Her award-winning independent films explore non-mainstream points of view, intriguing historical subjects, and the mysteries of consciousness. She has produced and directed documentaries for renowned circus performers at Teatro Zinzanni, including "Antipodiste." Michelle's distinctions include the Goldfarb Award for Best Student Film, Thunen Memorial Scholarship, and Best Music Video at LA Femme Film Festival 2014 for "Highway to Yodel-Ay-Hee-Huuu." She has an MFA from San Francisco State University, and BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to her independent films, Michelle works as an experienced production professional in blockbuster feature films, indies, reality television and scripted network television. Her credits include work for HBO, The History Channel, Sony, Universal, and NASA. Michelle is also a certified paralegal, mother, and accomplished writer and artist. She is currently developing two projects about her family's historic escape from behind the Iron Curtain, an interactive documentary chronicling her father's first return in 50 years, as well as a commercial feature length narrative. She is a member of WIF and AWD.


Links to work:




Documentary: Antipodiste


Mayra Azanza, Producer

Mayra Azanza is a three-time Emmy award nominee for her production work in original programming for television. Her productions include Galaxy Confidencial, Historias Detrás, Momentos, and many other special features, have been shown nationally and internationally and are highly recognized in the sports community. She has also worked on independent productions, from commercials to soap operas, as well as live LA Lakers Pre and Post game shows. Mayra has worked as a reporter for the newspaper La Opinión in Spanish, and producer for Canal 22 in Los Angeles. She has a BA in Marketing from the Universidad de León in Mexico and a minor in Hispanic Journalism from UCLA.


Katrina Parks, Producer


Katrina Parks is the acclaimed producer/director of “ The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound.” an historical documentary about how over 100,000 railroad station waitresses opened up the American West and the workplace to women. The film received a nomination from the James Beard Society and has been broadcast on over a dozen PBS stations across the country. Katrina has also produced and written documentary and reality programs for networks including A&E, Discovery, Food Network, Fox, History, PBS, Planet Green, The Learning Channel and Travel Channel. She has received grants from state humanities councils, museums and foundations for her documentary projects. She has a BFA from the University of New Mexico in painting and drawing, and an MFA from San Francisco State University in Film Production. She is a board member of the non-profit Cinefemme and a member of WIF, the PGA and the IDA.


Kimby Caplan, DP


Kimby Caplan is an award-winning cinematographer whose work has aired on PBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates. Her documentaries and short films have been shown in festivals across the country and internationally. Her films, as a Director and as a Director of Photography, have won awards in all genres. Caplan has just completed principal photography on a feature documentary about Cuban Exiles in America, "CUBAMERICAN" featuring Andy Garcia which has been invited to the Miami Film Festival. She is the recipient of a 2005 Student Academy Award in the documentary category for LISTEN, which also received a Juror's First Place at the Black Maria Film Festival, and a Silver Remi Award from Houston Worldfest. Her 35mm short Song of David was invited to Cannes to screen in their shorts corner in 2008. Another 35mm short lensed by Caplan won the Best Horror Short at the 2009 Cape Fear Film Festival in North Carolina. Her current project as a Cinematographer is Transients, a short funded by the Loreen Arbus Foundation. Caplan is a graduate of the American Film Institute and resides in Los Angeles.


Colby Palmer, EVP Giantsource, Web Developer


Colby Palmer is a technologist and developer, currently EVP Technology & Development at Giantsource, Inc., known for architecting high-traffic application platforms and leading technology teams. He is also a developer who works mostly with Python, Django and HTML5 web applications. His work has been featured in most major technology publications including TechCrunch, Daring Fireball, PandoDaily, and In 2014 he became EVP Technology and Development of Giantsource, a Los-Angeles based design and development shop focused on the entertainment industry. In 2013, he joined Whalerock Industries (then called BermanBraun) as Head of Technology, managing and re-imagining their in-house publishing platform. In 2012, he co-founded Eventup, a marketplace for booking event venues. Eventup raised a seed round of ~$2 million and is still active today. In 2010 he was brought on at Myspace to build a unique in-stream advertising platform. He then went on to help create Foundry, Myspace's brand community management tool, and was instrumental in executing audition campaigns for American Idol and other national programs. As co-founder of design/development agency Skunkworks Digital, he designed and led the execution of platforms and apps used by companies like BeachMint, NowLive and the MAGIC fashion convention, as well as the upcoming social fan club network Lifee. He is the creator of, one of the original iPhone-dedicated Web apps for Twitter, which developed into a full-browser version currently most popular with users of the service.


Chloe Shriner, Intern




Rory Gory


Rory Gory is a queer, feminist, award-winning filmmaker behind Rory Gory Pictures, whose feature film debut The Audience is coming to VOD in 2015. Rory received a BFA in Experimental Film from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which was completed at Universität der Künste Berlin, as well as a Certificate in Digital Filmmaking from Boston University. When not writing or making films, Rory is the voice of the Alliance of Women Directors on social media, and books indie films at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles.


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Heide Honeycutt

Patrick Graham

Tanida Graham

Destri Martino

Helenna Santos

Rachel Goldberg

Current Team