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20 years

U.S. TV producer seeks “off-grid” families living in Costa Rica

(Photo by Pinar Istek / La Voz de Guanacaste)

(Photo by Pinar Istek / La Voz de Guanacaste)

By Emiliana Garcia / La Voz de Guanacaste

October 10th, 2014 (La Voz) Sometimes they’re called “hermits,” “crazies” or “visionaries.” They are people that, by choice or necessity, live isolated from everyone else. They build their own house, raise their own animals, grow their fruits and vegetables, educate their children without taking them to a school and they don’t have anything to do with technology, living without television, internet or cell phones.

The production company Espiritus Productions, based in Los Angeles, is looking for families living in Costa Rica fitting that profile.

Espiritus Productions is working to create an “observation” documentary in the reality show style, though serious, which portrays the experiences and challenges of living without any outside resources.

“I’m looking for American families who are homesteading in Costa Rica, aiming for self-sufficiency,”

said Barbara Stephans to The Voice of Guanacaste. Stephans is in charge of developing the project and casting for Costa Rica, once the families are found.

Stephans, who has the months of October and November to find the families, was very clear on what type of profile they are looking for

“[American families or individuals] that live in foreign countries, giving up technology and comforts to be more in touch with nature. Families and individuals, living remotely, better if they live in the forest, with little interaction with people outside where they live. They grow and kill their own food, build natural homes, they have an unusual life, and they live off the grid and want to be self-sufficient.”

Although there is no confirmed date for the show’s broadcast, Stephans said that there are several U.S. TV channels interested in seeing the pilot episode.

Espiritus Productions is a production company whose directors, Bill and Michel Katz, have a long history in documentaries. They have worked with broadcasters such as the Discovery Channel, AMC and National Geographic, among others. Their executive director, Bill Katz, has made and overseen more than 300 films on diverse subjects including history, religion, science, medicine, popular culture and contemporary events.

For those families that are interested in sharing their philosophy and lifestyle with the rest of the world, Stephans says that there will be monetary compensation but could not specify how much. She also said that they are searching in other countries such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

Their searched is based on a new tendency seen on social networks, such as Facebook, in which more and more Americans are showing interest in starting a new life in other countries.

“We find pages that have expats going to other countries where it is cheaper to buy land, grow your own food, and raise your own animals. Americans go to other countries just for that. There are so many Facebook pages.”

Perhaps the neighbor you criticize or admire could become a TV star.

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  • Kathleen Noah

    If they are living “off the grid”, away from technology, you would do better out looking with a machete.

  • disgusted

    Talamanca head south near the border, Look for smoke keep walking.. They are there been living off the grid for centuries. .

  • jz100

    Actually, if “they” (the target subjects of the documentary) are living off the grid, with no technology, how are they going to read this Internet article?

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