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by Indiewire
August 29, 2013 10:22 AM
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Project of the Day: A Cartographer Headed to California in 1847 Heads 'Off Track'

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

"Off Track"

Tweetable Logline: 

California 1847, A cartographer, driven by greed, learns to change his life after witnessing death at a Cahuilla tribe.

Elevator Pitch:

As the Mexican-American War rages, rumors of gold lead cartographer Patrick O’Sullivan to desert the army in search of riches in the unmapped regions of California. He and his companions find themselves lost and near death when they stumble upon an unlikely guide – Pul, a Shaman of the Cahuilla tribe. As Patrick uses Pul to search for gold he discovers that the shaman has his own motives assisting him map the land. This discovery redirects Patrick’s egotistic journey into a historical opportunity to focus his life on a mission greater than himself.

Production Team:

Director: João Paulo ("J.P.") Jacobsen
Screenwriter: Juan Rubalcava
Producers: Drew Diamond*, Priscilla Spencer, and Daniel Leeds
*2013 Producer of "A Second Chance", 2013 student Oscar winner for best documentary.
Cinematographer: Carolina Costa
Production Designer: Flora Ortega
Editor: David Aristizabal*
*2013 Director of "A Second Chance", 2013 student Oscar winner for best documentary.

Jay Tavare, The Native American celebrity actor, plays lead role - Some of Jay's most memorable on-screen roles are:
Pathfinder (Marcus Nispel, 2007) as Black Wing, with Karl Urban and Clancy Brown 
The Missing (Ron Howard, 2003) as Kayitah, with Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones 
Cold Mountain (Anthony Minghella, 2003) as Swimmer, Jude Law's Cherokee half-brother and fellow Confederate army warrior 
Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002) as Matthew Osceola, the enigmatic Seminole orchid thief opposite Meryl Streep 
Into the West (Steven Spielberg, 2005 mini-series) as Chief Prairie Fire opposite Keri Russell 
Street Fighter (1994) as Vega, the devilishly handsome and lethal Spanish Ninja
Unbowed (Nanci Rossov, 2000) as the defiant warrior, Waka Mani *Winner* Best Actor in the American Indian Film Festival 
CSI Miami season finale*, Going Ballistic (2009) as Manny Ortega

About the Production:

"I have always been a student of history, fascinated by what the past can teach us and amazed by how I see it repeated in the present day. The time period surrounding the Mexican-American War is the perfect backdrop for a story about greed, exploration, and personal discovery. 

"The movie doesn't offer easy answers but raises compelling questions about personal responsibility and an individual's relationship with society at large. The film is a Psychological Western; it is not a story about heroic feats, but a tale of how an unexpected encounter can change direction of our lives." -- J.P. Jacobsen

Current Status:


For more information and to support this project:

Film Website
Kickstarter Campaign

If you have an in-the-works project and you'd like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!


  • Charisse | October 4, 2013 9:00 PMReply


  • Cica miranda | October 4, 2013 4:30 PMReply


  • Ednaldo | October 4, 2013 2:56 PMReply

    vote sim!

  • GRAÇA VALÉRIA | October 4, 2013 8:38 AMReply


  • J Dominguez | October 3, 2013 9:46 PMReply


  • Jackie Plattner | October 3, 2013 8:38 PMReply

    Love to see this amazing work

  • Jennifer Smalling | October 3, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    I can't wait I have been a Jay Tavare fan and a good friend since forever (lol). Jay's great body of work speaks for itself. Jay bring his passion into all his characters he plays I know his old fans and the new ones want be disappointed.

  • Alan Cunha | October 3, 2013 2:40 PMReply

    Chique demais

  • dawn severight | October 3, 2013 2:29 PMReply


  • Antonio Zago | October 3, 2013 1:03 PMReply

    Muito bom

  • MarceloCunha | October 3, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    Corrigir Danielle

  • DANIELLE H H CUNHA | October 3, 2013 11:51 AMReply

    Vera Good

  • Ingrid | October 3, 2013 7:41 AMReply


  • Silvana Cuenca | October 2, 2013 9:52 PMReply

    Very good

  • Erica McLarty | October 2, 2013 7:02 PMReply

    I love learning about Native American History and seeing Native actors play Native characters!

  • Julia | October 2, 2013 6:49 PMReply

    Perfect choice.

  • marcia jara | October 2, 2013 6:30 PMReply

    I fully enjoyed the idea of this work.

  • Flávio starosta | October 2, 2013 5:58 PMReply

    I am impressed! Good luck

  • Luiz Armando Freire | October 2, 2013 4:33 PMReply

    Original theme, this is. Very sofisticated. Congratulations to all participants.

  • Carlos Bandeira | October 2, 2013 3:29 PMReply

    The Best !

  • Carlos | October 2, 2013 2:17 PMReply


  • Tony Price | October 2, 2013 12:22 PMReply

    Hopefully there'll be some mention of the San Patricio deserters who joined the Mexican side en masse.

  • Melody Santiago | October 1, 2013 11:10 PMReply

    I love this!

  • LJ | October 1, 2013 10:32 PMReply

    I am impressed! Good luck.

  • Jane Tennant | October 1, 2013 9:06 PMReply

    A fresh viewpoint on a piece of under documented history? Sounds very interesting.

  • Sue | October 1, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    Ok, I am interested!

  • Aurelio Charão | October 1, 2013 8:14 PMReply

    Off Track seems to be interesting. History, Philosophy. I'am hooked.

  • Janelia Richardson | October 1, 2013 7:46 PMReply

    I'd love to see Off Track we need more movies that teach as well as entertains about our history.

  • linda albano | October 1, 2013 7:45 PMReply

    loved it

  • Lea Ann Lewis | October 1, 2013 7:44 PMReply

    What an extremely important subject matter that will educate & enlighten! I'm thrilled to know this movie has become a reality for all of us to see:)

  • Maria Brasero | October 1, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    This is an amazing project!

  • Lisa R. | October 1, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    I'd love to see "Off Track". We need more motion pictures about our heritage in History of the West.

  • Michael D F Dorsey Sr | October 1, 2013 1:50 PMReply

    I have loved movies about the West and the people who explored it. The story of the Lewis & Clark mapping expeditions, the gold rushes, it is all HISTORY, I never get tired of learning about THE WEST.

  • Elizabeth Grinszpan | October 1, 2013 1:46 PMReply


  • Kathleen Staley | October 1, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    fascinating subject and exciting project- vote yes for me

  • moni martinez | October 1, 2013 1:24 PMReply

    this is awsome loved it

  • Nelson Spencer | October 1, 2013 12:49 PMReply

    Great film

  • Vanessa Guedes | October 1, 2013 11:24 AMReply


  • Cindy Pain | September 6, 2013 2:06 AMReply

    A film that educates the public on historical information that they may have never learned or discovered any other way; is always a winner in my book. You have an incredible start on this film, great actors and team and I wish you the best success of going forward.

  • Robin Foster Osorio-Pedraza | September 2, 2013 7:44 PMReply

    I had a problem with my email so I was unable to vote and "confirm" this week, but I'm ready for next week and will be voting for "Off Track". I, like many other movie/television viewers, love anything historical and now seems to be a time of the "new" Western as evidenced by the success of several recent and current movies and TV series falling within this category. In addition you have the multi-talented, experienced and accomplished Jay Tavare starring in this film. Jay researches his roles diligently in order to bring the most realism possible to the viewer whether on the Big or Small screen, no matter the size of the Film Project/Acting Role, he gives his all. Jay is a good person and generous humanitarian. I follow all of his work that I possibly can because he doesn't disappoint the viewer. For these reasons, I believe "Off Track" is destined for success and should be chosen. Thank you.

  • Gladiston Justini | September 2, 2013 1:05 PMReply

    Very good!!!

  • deborah | September 2, 2013 11:24 AMReply