Hug an atheist
About this campaign:
My name is Sylvia, I'm a Belgian filmmaker living in England and I’m an atheist. I’m often gobsmacked at how atheism is generally perceived in the US. When I read stories like Jessica Ahlquist’s or Damon Fowler’s I just sit here in disbelief and find myself outraged.
Unlike my US friends, I can openly talk about it without the fear of persecution or the fear of losing my job, my friends or my family. It’s a cause I find myself passionate about so I’ve been wondering for a while what can I do. I’m a filmmaker. With that in mind, I would dearly love to make a film about atheism in the USA. More specifically about the people, the stories of people who have come out as atheists, the stories of people who are actively campaigning and the struggles they’ve had to deal with. I’d like to make a documentary that shows that “we are just people too, trying to live a good decent life”.
The final product will be a 50 minute documentary film with extra information and interviews on the Hug an Atheist website on the people involved, a diary, …
I’m hoping it will help fellow atheists, and organizations as the SSA, CFI, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, … I want to show that atheists aren’t people that one should be so afraid of or that Christians should hate. It is my sincere hope the documentary will find its way to religious organizations and help them be a bit more open towards people who may not share their beliefs, but do share many values.
Several people are already supporting this project and are enthusiastically involved, including a few well known atheists such as Greta Christina, Hemant Mehta and Roy Speckhardt. We’ve also already been asked to submit the film when it is completed to the Atheist Film Festival.
What we need, what you get:
This is a project fuelled by passion. Myself and everyone involved want to make this documentary a reality because we truly care about this and we will all make very significant contributions to this project.
The total budget for this documentary is $50.000, $27.000 of which we want to raise here. The production crew is donating their time, expertise and the use of equipment because they believe in this project.
The raised $27.000 will be used to get this project going properly and cover some of the main costs such as travel, some equipment, legal fees, expenses and copyright licences. This money will ensure the film gets professionally made and will cover the initial distribution of the film. Any funds we can raise above the $27.000 will only help the project reach further, and will be completely used to promote and distribute the film to an even wider audience. The more we raise, the bigger and better the project will be!
Our aim is start filming in September and complete the project in the Spring of 2013.
Your contribution will be used solely for the betterment of this film and not for any profits. If you care about this cause, please help out in any way you can. We are aware there are many other atheist, humanist and secular organizations and projects that are more than worthy of your funding too. We just hope that you will consider ours as Hug an Atheist aims to help others reach a wider audience.
Many documentaries focus on the differences between atheists and religions and go a long way in explaining why atheists don’t belief. Although these discussions are needed and have done a great deal to highlight the existence of atheists, they often highlight conflicts and problems.
Hug an atheist is not setting out to ignore the problems and challenges people face, but the project aims to highlight the positives: how atheists too have emotions, love, morals,... By featuring regular people going through some key moments in life (such as marriage, grief, celebrations, ...) , the project aims to show how atheists are more alike than religious people might think. Hopefully this might contribute towards a society where one doesn’t have to be afraid to say they are not religious.
Other ways to help:
You can help us, not just by donating, but also by sharing this campaign anywhere you can, as often as you can. Follow and share Hug an Atheist on Twitter. Check out our website, read the blog and share our website with your friends and family on Facebook. Check out our YouTube channel, where as the project grows we will add more clips.
When will the film be released?
We aim to release the film in June 2013
Can I donate anonymously?
Yes! We understand that many atheists may not yet feel comfortable being “out”, so if you prefer your name not to be mentioned, just let me know. Or if you prefer a nickname, screen name, ... that’s possible too!
What payment forms are accepted?
Indiegogo accepts PayPal and major credit cards
What if you don’t reach your funding goal?
If we don’t reach our goal, your money will be refunded and the project will go back to the drawing board.
You’re in the UK, why do you care about atheists in the USA?
I care because I do not want my friends and their friends to live in fear of losing their jobs, losing their family and their friends over the misconception that so many people have regarding their non-belief. Like anyone who cares about anything, it doesn’t matter where you are, if you truly care, you want to make a difference somehow. This is how I want to help make a difference.
As a UK filmmaker, I also have the advantage of not being seen as part of the issues raised. Hopefully this might result in some of the religious people being interviewed, to be more open and less hostile.
And the USA is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. All over the world, atheists are persecuted, jailed and even sentenced to death for their beliefs. One step at a time...
Creator & Director