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Local director wants to raise $1 million for cancer research

Local film director/writer Travis Cluff is using his low-budget movie “Gold Fools,” shot in and around Fresno with local actors, to raise $1 million for cancer research.He originally hoped to sell a few thousand copies of the movie to friends and family to take care of some debuts but now the goal is to sell of 100,000 copies of the movie for charity.

“My personal belief, in a leap of faith, if someone is willing to give up something that is important to them that will benefit others, then unknown opportunities and blessing wait right around the corner,” Cluff says at a press conference earlier this afternoon. “This is my leap of faith.”

Cluff went on the Sept. 2, 2009, edition of the ABC competition show “Wipeout” with hopes of winning enough money to help him recoup financially after being pulled into a Ponzi scheme. The $50,000 won helped him pay off bills. That made it easier for him to decide to do something philanthropic with money made from the movie.

“ ‘Gold Fools’ is my gift to the world,” Cluff says.

Cluff says he would be willing to go door-to-door if it would help but the plan is to make the movie available through the web site. Each copy of the movies will cost $20 and can be purchased at

The money will be donated to Huntsman Cancer Institute that’s part of the University of Utah Health Care system. It provides academic and clinical training for future physicians and researchers. Cluff says there’s no particular reason cancer research has been targeted for the financial gift but that it just seemed like a very important cause to support.

“Gold Fools” follows a successful sales and family man who after losing his job leads his friends on a gold panning expedition in the mountains of Sonora. He hopes to change his financial luck but there may be forces against him. The feature film hasn’t be submitted for a rating — because of the high cost to have the board rate the movie — but Cluff guarantees it is PG in nature. Although there are no specific religious elements, he compares the tone to movies like “Fireproof.”

The film debuted here in July 2012 with a screening at the Clovis North Performing Arts Center.

Responses to "Local director wants to raise $1 million for cancer research"

terry nickell says:

travis, just to let you know, i didnt read that you were raising one million for your self too. this article is worded in a way that makes it look like you are donating all money to charity. should say only half. other half is going to you. which is gooood !!! butt this article is deceptive. btw can you comp me a movie or two for the pick and short shovel ? your pal, terry

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