As a confusing, turbulent 2016 comes to an end and we face an uncertain future ahead with the approaching new year, it’s safe to say that things are changing. The world is changing. People are changing. On top of everything, film distribution is changing as well. Award-winning film “Love is All You Need?” is shaking up the self-distribution field a bit and taking heed of both political and cultural current events by doing things a little differently and donating all of their traditional film distribution profits to charities. Based on a viral short film, director and co-writer Kim Rocco Shields has created a $1 million fund for the film to be distributed to 20 nonprofits that partnered with her during the “Love is All You Need?” MovieMent tour. The film toured 20 cities in recognition of the true events depicted in the film - a film that asks us: what would happen if being straight was a sin and sexual "norms" as we know them were flipped? How do we live if we can't love? Once the film reaches 1 million views, the fund will be activated and the proceeds will be disbursed to the nonprofits. This is a timely film with quite the inspiring charitable initiative. Check out Shields' exclusive interview with PR Newswire and read more about the film over at www.loveisallyouneedthemovie.com. Make sure to watch over on iTunes to contribute to the right kind of change we all need in this country!
Sometimes finding a way to realistically help abused or neglected children is a challenge. Apart from adoption or donating large amounts of money, what more can we do? Actually, sometimes a little can go a very long way in these situations. Act for Kids is an Australian organisation that is involved in working with groups of kids that require attention and help due to abuse. Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees of Act for Kids have developed 3D printed Monster Crayons that are, well, just that - crayons in the shape of monsters! And they are hoping this product will become a source of income for their charity. With art being a big part of an abused child’s therapy, the crayons are also influential to the children themselves. You can read more about their crowdfunding campaign here and back it on Pozible now. Cute, inspirational, magical, and downright charitable, what more can you ask for in a product?
James Franco, the actor that seems to do it all x10, is opening a nonprofit film studio that combines making films, teaching students and benefiting charity. The Art of Elysium charity will combine with Franco’s Rabbit Bandini production banner to support film endeavors of both students and professionals. All proceeds from these efforts will be donated to Art of Elysium. The intent is to create a source of funds for the charity, a favorite among many other A-list celebrities. “This is students and charity coming together to make their own thing, a new thing,” Franco said. Read more about the collaboration of film and charity here.
If you feel a bit unheard or misunderstood, it turns out you are not alone. There are many that would listen given the chance, but they may be hearing things at different frequencies. One of the humans that wants to get us all listening a bit more to the planet and its outsiders is Actor / Activist Adrian Grenier, who is on a quest to find the Lonely Whale. This lonely whale has been calling out for his whole life in the Pacific Ocean at a frequency that no other whales can receive.
I will admit that I was initially skeptical about the idea of supporting a famous actor in a quest for a whale that at first glance seemed a bit trivial in the grand scheme of the world’s problems. Also, as the most Independent of outfits, it is difficult for Indie Street to support a successful Hollywood Actor when there are so many other more “needy” artists out there raising funds.
But in this case, I am thankful that my experience with Adrian’s campaign did not end with me as a typical Indie hater. I decided to attend an event where he was scheduled to speak about his journey through the crowdfunding campaign. I mostly went because my friends Dani & Alex (Founders of Big Vision Empty Wallet) were throwing the event and those ladies are always doing awesome things to help foster independent creators.
To keep this concise, I wanted to mention a few quotes from Adrian during the conversation, that not only swayed me and our support for the project, but also swayed my general opinion of this human being, well, as a human being.
1. The story touched his heart, and will touch yours.
Hollywood Actors have hearts too, and I know he is trained in a craft of persuasion, but I am skilled in poker and reading people, and I’d bet the house that he has a genuine care for this whale and the message it represents. In comparison to any other A-list Actor kickstarter campaigns that I have come across this is the most selfless I have come across.
Adrian: “A whale that is swimming in the pacific all alone calling out constantly and never once receiving a response…I have never come across a project that has so immediately captured my heart.”
2. It’s a relatable story.
Relatable is a word that is thrown around a lot in the realm of story telling, but it is a rare occasion that something in the real natural world (during present day life) can be so organically captivating and relatable. So, for this reason alone, we hope this film gets funded so the story can be told in almost real time.
Adrian: “Unless you are a robot or a sociopath, you are going to feel soemthing about this story, because we can all relate to what it must be like to be in the abyss, in the darkness with no friends…being misunderstood, being an outsider.
3. There are ACTUAL big picture implications.
This was where I was mostly apprehensive about the project going in. The lonely whale, however, will not only bring to light concerns of ocean noise pollution, but may have an even larger positive sociological impact. There are certainly many human beings in our society who feel like they are speaking at 52 hz when the rest of the world is only receiving signals at 15-20. Within this age of connectivity, our youth are growing more and more disconnected to each other, and it is a truly important problem that we should try to investigate through whatever means necessary. Hopefully through getting the youth excited about a lonely whale that they relate to, it can slowly begin a culture change toward acceptance of natural differences.
Adrian: “there is something deeper about that, having tolerance and understanding for otherness, putting yourself in the shoes, or fins, of someone else, so that we can start to listen to not only what the lonely whale is trying to say…but also what the planet is trying to say that we are ignoring or not listening too."
So the short of it is, Indie Street will be supporting Adrian and the project and you should to! After re-analysis, this Indie producer’s humble opinion is that the story of the lonely whale is a personal one, and one that is very personal to Adrian as well. It may be that Adrian has always spoken at 52 hz in the land of Hollywood, and none of the other actor trophy fish or executive whales really understood what he was trying to say. Through his budding career as a documentary producer, he is starting to be heard by the minnows like you and me, and that is probably who he was trying to reach in the first place.
- Jay Webb, Indie Street
A powerful campaign that we urge you to be a part of...1300 children needlessly die everyday from malaria, and you can save one just by buying a film ticket. We are very proud of our IndieStreet partnering filmmaker, Sylvia Caminer, for the film release and this amazing campaign. The Documentary, "Tanzania: A Journey Within" partners up with Malaria No More to donate enough from each ticket sale to provide life-saving malaria medicine for a child in need. It's this type of brave and creative promotional campaigns that Independent filmmakers need to work into their projects to rise above the rest.
Visit the Street Stories WebSite…. where Depaul UK helps young people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged. In the new project 'Street Stories', Rob Dabank of BBC and some famous Street artists depict the stories of some of the homeless youth. You can buy some amazing screen prints from the artists to help ensure that their stories don't end up on the street.
So I guess we should listen. IndieStreet loves brilliant human curation of film, and Scorsese is unsurpassed as a cinephile and film historian. His collaboration with The Criterion Collection on World Cinema Project is a merger of masters, and the first volume of classics does not disappoint. Check out the PopMatters Review here. We highly suggest you read more about the restoration mission of Scorsese's Organization, World Cinema foundation. Major Streetcreds!
Are you a freelance creative but in between jobs? Creative Cares is a Non Profit Organization that connects designers, Indie filmmakers, photographers, and artists to Non-profits in their community that can benefit from their craft. Not only will they connect you with something you feel is a worthy cause, you will probably make some connections with amazing individuals who will want to promote your awesome work (and heart) to others they know. You Win, an NPO wins, and society wins.