DEFAULT: the Student Loan Documentary - the Feature

watch the 27-minute PBS version for FREE and help us finish the New, feature-length

In partnership with
This campaign is fiscally sponsored by San Francisco Film Society and all donations are tax deductible.

We're going for a Feature!
(and releasing the Short for Free)

Thanks to all of your contributions we were able to finish the short version of Default: the Student Loan Documentary last year.  The 27-minute film was released on PBS late October 2011 and has since gone on to screen at over 142 public broadcasting stations, screened at over 200 college campuses and events, featured in over 200 media outlets including The Nation, Forbes, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and the trailer has been viewed over 100,000 times online.

And with all the successes of the short, we've decided to get on the road and complete production for the feature-length, and you can help us once again.

Watch it, give us your feedback, share it with your friends and contribute if you can.

The Film

When we started the project back in 2007 little to no attention was being giving to the Student Debt issue.  Alan Collinge in Seattle (StudentLoanJustice.org) and Robert Applebaum in New York (of Forgive Student Debt to Stimulate the Economy, now StudentDebtCrisis.org) were two lone voices calling for change.  We were fortunate to be able to connect with them and our adventure began.

Default is a film about economic fairness and social mobility. It also deals with broken dreams and how our value of ourselves is often intertwined with the money we have (or lack of). Education is the best way to help people out of poverty and to level the field. What happens when education becomes so expensive that only those fortunate enough to already have lots of money can actually go to college? How can we deal with the fact that we invested in ourselves only to end up in a worst financial situation than when we started? How can we move forward and heal our broken system?

Because we were limited by funding, we could only produce a 27-minute piece on the subject of student loans. As we screened the short on campuses around the country we were asked time and again to expand on the topic of the cost of college. We were also asked for guidance on how to get involved with the movement to bring about change.

Default will keep the approachable style of the short film, making it possible to explain complex financial matters to anyone watching it, by using clear sound bites, eloquent speakers, graphics, animations and compelling stories. It will also keep its focus on the emotional toll student debt takes on those who cannot pay back their loans, showing the effect it has on relationships, families and the larger community.

What We Need

The $34,250 goal will be all we need to complete production on a new, feature-length version, that will include all the production costs and us traveling to 4-5 cities, including trips back to Washington DC, New York City and Seattle.

Our minimum threshold for this campaign is $4,250, which will allow us to release the short for free, beyond this campaign.  If we're unable to meet this minimum threshold, we will donate the funds received to a non-profit voted on by the donors.


We would love to get your feedback on the short as we're making the new version.  Send your thoughts to feedback@defaultmovie.com


Other Ways You Can Help

There's plenty of ways to help if you're unable to contribute financially:

  • Do you have Air-miles or Hotel points?  We can definitely use them and would go towards are travel expenses.
  • Spread the Word!  use IndieGogo's sharing tools on your social media sites, and affiliated networks

Thank you, thank you!!!

Team on This Campaign: