End of Daze: a living manifesto for SOCIALISM
"End of Daze: a living manifesto for SOCIALISM" aims to unite U.S. Leftists across organizations in a vision for how to take on capitalism and climate change. What would a revolution towards a planned economy look like? How do we get there? At what cost? From the creator of BrokenOnAllSides.com
Inclusion StatementThe movie will cover anti-oppression struggles through diverse members of the socialist movement of many races, ethnicities, identities. The film team includes Five Mualimm-ak (Black, Jewish), Phoebe Titus (♀), James Sacco (Latino, non-binary and gay), and Fe Echavarria (♀Latinx).
About The Project
We will be making a film that could change the course of human history. Or, it could be another misstep on the way to annihilation! Either way, I feel a responsibility to attempt to strengthen the U.S. Left and our prospect for revolution in the way I know best-- using storytelling and screening tours to bring us together.
Oil is peaking, ice is melting, the rich are profiting, and humans are dying. We know that climate change could end humanity on the planet within generations. We have a small window to reverse the fossil fuel/factory economy, to prevent climate disasters and the endless streams and famine, disease, wars, and refugees that would follow. This documentary explores Socialism as the answer to our future. But what do we mean by socialism? And how to we get there? How do our movements center anti-racism, feminism, and fighting all forms of oppression? What are some concrete ways Leftists can work together now, at a time when the Left is so small and in disarray?
In this 60min* documentary, I’ll interview socialists and revolutionaries from a variety of U.S. organizations and affiliations, in an attempt to begin to answer these questions. I will then tour the film around the U.S., and each screening can include a panel afterwards with locals from various socialist/revolutionary orgs.
The proof of my potential for success lies in a similar project, BrokenOnAllSides.com. That film and organizing tour had a hand in turning the tide in fighting mass incarceration, and it brought together diverse audiences of activists and advocates in the screening tours I organized from coast to coast.
(Above image from Broken On All Sides debut in NYC.)
We will make this as a guerilla film, by any means necessary. But to make it high quality, it will need some financial investment. And to make sure it’s completed timely, as our fight needs organizing tools desperately, I’ll need money to make sure I have time to dedicate to this as producer/director. This is the first funding pledge, to get the process going. I aim to fundraise again to complete the film, and also to raise money for the screening tour, as needed. Please dig deep and share with comrades and contacts who would find this project worthwhile.
And if you are a Socialist, please send us your feedback on this project at: http://bitly.com/SocDocSurvey
(Above image, Director Matt in Oaxaca, Mexico.)
Here’s a breakdown of some of the costs the money will go towards:
- My labor as writer, director, producer, editor: $30/hr for about 20 hours a week, for 9 months = $22,680.
- Original Animation by Phoebe Titus, crucial to explaining (and making exciting) history and theory: $5-10,000
- Music licensing, composition: $3-5,000
- Consulting & Associate Producers: $2-4,000
- Researchers/Assistant Editors: $1-2,000
Tour money: $30-40,000
TOTAL is $63,680 to $83,680. For this initial funding drive, I’d like to raise at least $10,560.
Above two images (and top image) are actual storyboards by Animator, Phoebe Titus for this project. Below is a piece of art by Director Matt Pillischer.
*Some people have asked, "Why only 60 minutes? And how can you take all that on in such a short time?" These are great questions that I've thought a lot about:
The center of this project is about uniting people who believe that we need to take on capitalism in order to halt the worst effects of climate change and the Anthropecene period.
It will aim to unify existing self-identified "revolutionaries," and aim to bring other progressives on board, so it's a relatively small audience and I accept that. (That actually makes things easier in terms of "marketing.")
I've already received emails from people who are concerned this is "preaching to the choir," or "too radical to speak to the Center." But we don't have an effective choir if we're all singing different songs or singing the same song but starting in different keys! It also only requires a small percentage of dedicated, well-organized, and fierce people to influence large masses of people who are waiting for leadership. The audience for this film, small though it may be, is an audience with tremendous potential to influence masses of people if it is well-organized, and on the same page. They represent the best organizers, the best political thinkers, often already deeply involved in their communities and activism.
For these reasons, I will not focus more than a quarter of the film reviewing the worst aspects of capitalism and the dire threat of climate change. The bulk of the film will use interviews and speeches from people famous and non-famous, a diverse set of radical voices from anarchist to progressive, to Green to communist, to explore various paths forward for change and unity. That is what I can do best, and this is what I think is desperately needed. Other films can speak to the Center, can unify people seeking halfway measures. We will not compromise when it comes to our future.
However, even this vision will be extremely hard to do in an hour. But in my experience with Broken On All Sides, and other film viewing/activist meetings, I have seen that you need to limit the film time to 1 hour so that there can be healthy time for discussion afterwards (an hour or so) without the entire event being too long.
To allow people to further explore concepts and organizations, I envision including a lot of extended interviews or even short "offshoot" films on the website socialismdoc.com. Additionally, I hope to put links to other films that do a more broad overview of climate change, capitalism, or other things only briefly covered in End of Daze. I could use your help collecting a bibliography of materials to go there, so please contribute ideas, and share your work. Thanks for your feedback and support already, and looking forward to working with you in the upcoming year to make this film.
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About This Team
Matt Pillischer (WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER) is a socialist organizer, a filmmaker, an artist, a JD, and a Dad (being a father drives him to leave a good world for his son). He is creator of the acclaimed documentary, Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. Matt successfully crowd- and self-funded Broken On All Sides, which he went on to tour coast to coast and internationally, from inside prisons to governmental agencies to high schools & universities. He is on the Advisory Board for The Center for Returning Citizens and has collaborated with many criminal justice reformers and abolitionists, including Michelle Alexander. Previously, Matt was Director of Racial & Social Justice at YWCA Delaware, creating rapid response networks against hate and programming for returning citizens. Matt is trained as a lawyer and has worked with legal aid services and as a mediator. For his whole life, Matt has been a visual & performing artist and musician. He fell in love with filmmaking at Bennington College as a way to bring together all the arts. Since then, he became a socialist and an activist, and has used filmmaking as a tool for social justice. Matt was formerly in the International Socialist Organization for many years and is currently unaffiliated, interested in projects that can build and unite the revolutionary Left such as this one.
Five Mualimm-ak (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER), a film Producer, Consultant, and Writer, has worked on documentaries such as Rikers an American Jail, America Divided, and many other productions using his direct experience to guide filmmakers to understanding the conditions of confinement & the collateral consequences of incarceration for millions of Americans. Five served 12 years incarcerated & several of those in solitary confinement. Born in Ethiopia, he came to this country at a young age, lived in different cities across the country with his family, who were committed activists in the Civil Rights era. Born into a family of abolitionists, Five's activism & film production has led him to receive international attention.
Phoebe Titus (ANIMATOR) is an artist & animator, currently based in Vancouver, BC. She has brought her talents to award-winning feature and short films as well as animated backgrounds for live-action productions *(including a production of The Hobbit, which required each image to gain approval for licensing through Middle-earth Enterprises.) She has worked with Matt Pillischer multiple times over the years on film & social justice projects.
Alex Vittum (MUSICAL COMPOSER) is an electronic musician and percussionist based in Oakland, CA. His work combines electronic and acoustic percussion as well as synthesized and sample-based sounds. His solo project Intervales is a collection of ambient techno songs that evoke the experiences of his New England ancestors. He also composes music for TV and Film and has been working with Matt Pillischer for over 20 years.
Fe Echavarria (CONSULTING PRODUCER) is a Latinx anarchist from Wilmington, DE, where she works in finance for a national, privately held nonprofit organization. In the late 70s, her parents and 6-year-old brother immigrated from Colombia, seeking safer conditions and better opportunities, due to the perils of the Colombian conflict that began in 1964 and continues today. She is a grassroots organizer focusing on CPTSD/PTSD, addiction, criminal justice reform including the legalization of cannabis, racial and social justice, and food insecurity. In 2017, she successfully championed efforts to reform the Delaware medical cannabis laws to remove access barriers for qualifying patients with CPTSD/PTSD. She previously served as Treasurer for the Delaware chapter of NORML and was a member of the Kerri Evelyn Harris for U.S. Senate campaign. She is a current member of the Wilmington chapter of Food Not Bombs. Her mission in her political involvement is to fight for the civil & human rights and equity of all individuals in America and to continue pushing the conversation to the left.
James Sacco (CONSULTING PRODUCER), a Latino from Miami, FL, based in San Francisco, works as a biomedical researcher. During his graduate studies he was an organized socialist activist, reporting on and participating in efforts to keep majority black and Latino Philadelphia public schools open, against austerity measures. He was active in queer activist and artistic circles in Miami, promoting transgender anti-discrimination protections at the grassroots level. In San Francisco, he is involved with queer-focused HIV/AIDS organizations working with vulnerable and underserved populations.
Nicky Steidel (CONSULTING PRODUCER) is a human being currently based in Philadelphia, PA. He founded the Young Democratic Socialists chapter at Princeton University and is a semi-active member of the Democratic Socialists of America. In addition, he has been a DJ of punk rock and other eclectic sounds at WPRB 103.3FM, a research assistant for the author/activist Michelle Alexander, and is currently attempting to involve himself in rank-and-file organizing in the logistics sector.