One day, everything will be free: distribution, not so much
I'm launching this funding campaign to ask for your support with sending a recently-finished documentary to international film festivals.
One day, everything will be free is a feature-length documentary about an ecological restoration project run by a utopian community located in one of the most politically complicated and environmentally degraded terrains in the world—in an area referred to locally as "the wasteland."
The movie explores the motivations, contradictions, and broader implications of Sadhana Forest Haiti, an unlikely reforestation community organized around an alternative, cashless economy in an area of Haiti devastated by soil erosion and social immobility.
All too familiar are those documentaries delivering concise, articulate narratives on the seemingly catastrophic and unsolvable problems with contemporary society—and especially our relationship to the natural world. Yet, what remains lacking is a grasp of the significant individuals and organizations making an effort to meaningfully address these critical issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and ineffective or dependency-inducing international aid. As such, there is an urgent need for documentaries that look critically and dynamically at the models which have offered significant and vibrant approaches toward addressing these pressing environmental and social concerns.
Throughout the summer of 2012, I lived at Sadhana Forest Haiti and filmed numerous interviews with people in and outside of the community. My motivation was to better understand this community and convey the deeper implications of their work to a wider public. The resulting documentary has now been screened in a small number of previews and has already received extremely positive critical feedback. See here and here.
My feeling was that the best way I could support the critical and timely work being done by Sadhana Forest would be by independently producing an objective and analytical documentary about their initiative. The motivation was not to produce propaganda about the community, but instead to mindfully reflect on their greater implications. As author Dave Pollard has generously commented: "[The film] just puts everything out there: the criticisms, the doubts, the successes, and the sheer indeterminability of success of this immensely important and novel project, and leaves it for the viewer to observe and decide."
What is needed:
I'm now totally finished with the production of the documentary but very much need the support of a larger community in order to send the video to film festivals and promote it to a wider audience. Ultimately, I will be happy to make the video freely available as an online resource. But at this stage, in order to develop visibility and to allow for it to be presented in relation to other projects, it is absolutely critical to first go through the process of submitting the film to festivals. However, the cost of sending a documentary for consideration in international festivals is not something I am able to afford at the moment.
Your support will greatly enable this documentary to reach a global audience and to spark a larger, much needed conversation about the Sadhana Forest community and ecological restoration in general.
My primary need is for support with covering the festival fees; any additional funds received will go toward:
- Subtitles in Haitian Creole, French, and Spanish
- Printing movie posters and postcards
- Marketing and advertising
- Legal fees
- Updating and maintaining the website and social media networks
- Additional festival fees
- Travelling to Haiti to screen the film in Anse-a-Pitre and Port-au-Prince
Other Ways You Can Help
There are many ways that you can support this project beyond just a financial contribution:
- Make some noise about this fundraising campaign! Share it with your friends on Facebook, but also write them nice emails asking for their support or encouragement.
- Organize a preview screening of the film in your community. For details, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Request a press copy and write a reflection about the film on your blog
- Contribute your input on ways in which the film could be promoted and reach larger audiences
- Help out with a translation of the film so that it can be screened in front of more diverse audiences
- I'm totally open to your suggestions and happy to have more collaborators on this endeavor!
Thank you for your support!