The Lemuria Project Turns Imaginations of Ailing Children into Reality

Photographer James Anshutz’s new promo video for the Lemuria Project simultaneously gives hope to sick kids while making adults cry-faced everywhere.

Anshutz has been working hard from his loft in Chinatown to build the project, which grants cancer-stricken children a chance to conceive, design, produce, and star in real-life renderings of their imagination, complete with prop design, makeup, wardrobe, and CGI effects.

“Each child has faced such dire circumstances at an early age,” Anshutz says in the video, “and it’s forced them into deep and rich, vibrant fantasies. Our purpose is to put a production team at their fingertips so that they can tell their story.”

Check out Xander’s trip on a dragon or lymphoblastic leukemia-conquering Queen Kaela’s transformation.


Anshutz is the program’s director and photographer. He produced the video in anticipation of Lemuria’s upcoming crowd funding campaign in March, in which he hopes to raise $175,000 to bring eight-to-10 kids together for one, larger collaboration, rather than individually, “so they can build a storyline for the film and children’s book they will be creating,” he said in an email. He’s hoping to begin production and filming in the summer.

Children aged seven to 13, with a life-threatening condition, can get involved by having a parent submit their character and story, while other kids (and creative adults) can get involved by volunteering. There is never any cost to participating families. “That’s why we are trying to raise funds,” Anshutz says. “Those families are already swimming in their medical debt and could really use a fun break from their serious and heavy norm.”

Lemuria, by the way, according to Anshutz, is believed to be an ancient civilization in the Pacific, similar to Atlantis. “Many stories tell of a land of peace and serenity, where all the creatures lived in harmony and the people were all said to have mystic powers and abilities,” he says. “Many followers believe that Hawaii is actually the last remnants of Lemuria above water. Once I heard the name, I felt it. [...] These children will help us find Lemuria.”

Visit Lemuria’s website for information on how you can be involved and support the Lemuria Project.


Photo of Xander, courtesy the Lemuria Project.


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