I am a writer and filmmaker and when I moved to New York from Australia I was shocked by the insidious violence in the society where ordinary people can get shot just walking down the street. The violence seemed to me to stem from a great fear in the community – fear of neighbors, fear of communities – based on the racial divides in the US – sometimes even fear of family members. I saw this fear everywhere – on the subways, in the neighborhoods, in people’s conversations. It seemed to me that Americans have been brought up in a dense climate of fear perpetuated by the government and the media. As a filmmaker and writer I thought the best way to try to change this climate of fear would be through entertainment – namely a film which would get widespread distribution and hopefully show people there is another way to live. So I wrote a feature film script called “Declaration of Peace”. The main premise in the film – which no-one else had thought of – was for churches to encourage people to turn in their guns. I sent the script out to many people in an effort to raise awareness about the film. One of those people was a New York reporter, who lives in Brooklyn and later I found that Brooklyn churches were starting to encourage people to hand in guns at churches. I also sent the script to Mayor Bloomberg’s office as I felt that he might be interested in funding the film. Though he refused to contribute, I believe the idea was passed on to the New York police as they have followed up on it as well. In the light of the latest atrocity I feel that if Bloomberg had been prepared to fund my film several years ago, maybe it would have made a difference by now. So I am trying to raise the money to do the budget and pre-production for the film as I believe it has the potential to make a difference right across America and save lives, especially those of our young people.
What We Need & What You Get
Funding raised will go into the budget and pre-production of the film. Of course making a feature film is an expensive business but if we do it in stages we can go step by step and people who care about making a difference, as I do, can be involved at each step of the way. The answer to guns is a community answer and I hope people will get involved in the making of "Declaration of Peace" so that, as well as making the film, we will also build a community of caring across America.
Those who contribute will be acknowledged in the film's credits and you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference to the lives of many people across the country, not just for now, but for ever.
The potential to change American society from a violent, fear-based one to one based on peace and justice for all is great. The most effective way to reach millions of people is through film. If we all band together we can make a huge difference which we may not be able to do on our own. It has always been my belief that we are all here to help each other. Let's get together and help make America a better place for us all to live.
Other Ways You Can Help
I realise that not everyone is able to contribute financially and that is fine too. But it would be great if you could get the word out by whatever means possible to tell as many people as possible about a film which is trying to make a difference.