Obama, the power shift and investing in Films for Change

The inauguration of President Barack Obama has shown us two things: First, that the desire for positive change can manifest itself as an unstoppable force of hope and optimism. Second, that millions of ordinary people coming together to pool their energy and resources can ultimately overpower a legion of vested interests who are working to protect the status quo from which they benefit, and they can overcome a mass of ordinary people who have simply given up hope and given away their power.

On a smaller, personal scale, the past year has shown me that those of us who dream of living lightly and prospering in a greener, more sustainable world are becoming a similar unstoppable force. Every time I have shown my film or spoken to a group — be it a gym full of schoolchildren, a room full of corporate executives, a church congregation or a gathering of the eco-converted like me — I have seen peoples’ eyes light up and their passion fire up when presented with real, practical, inspiring alternatives to some of our society’s socially, economically and environmentally harmful practices.

People around the world are waking up and standing up, demanding better and, most importantly, offering their energy and resources to build something better, lighter and more lasting. My own little piece of proof: more than 50 groups have now been to public screenings of my first film Be the Change. Their feedback has been incredibly positive. More than 700 people have ordered copies of the DVD for themselves, as gifts, and to organize their own screenings. They are thanking me for bringing to them signs of hope. They are also expressing gratitude for not letting them off the hook; for making it clear that real, positive change only happens when every one of us does something – when words come with action.

I was recently invited to bring Be the Change to a film festival in Los Angeles. I accepted! More than that, I am now working hard to set up a Living Lightly West Coast Tour that will take me from Los Angeles to Vancouver, showing my film, speaking and doing more filming and interviewing for my second film (see below).

I want to keep bringing Be the Change to people, because it feels good and it feels right. I want to keep making films that inspire and empower. I want to make long films, short videos, podcasts, video blogs, whatever I can do to share solutions, build energy and catalyze action. And I want you to join me on this exciting journey! Indeed, I need you to join me!

Today, I launch my campaign to raise the $80,000 needed to finance the next phase of my Living Lightly Project. Like President Obama, I want to raise the required money not through a small number of big donors to whom I will be forever beholden, nor through government grants requiring me to do more report writing than filmmaking. No, I want to fund my Films for Change campaign one small donation at a time. I want 1,000 donations of $80, or 2,000 donations of $40. Of course, I won’t say no to larger donations – just keep it under a million, okay? If you believe it is essential to have passionate, independent voices telling honest, unvarnished stories, I ask you to step up, join in and become a committed supporter of Films for Change through the Living Lightly Producers Circle.

When you join the Producers Circle, you won’t get a sticker, a pen or a certificate. Instead, you will get an experience and join a community. In the short term, you will get a chance to participate in the making of my next big film, and what could be more appropriate? It’s called (for now at least) Powerful.

Powerful: Energy Security for Everyone, is a film about energy and power. Powerful will showcase the remarkable achievements and inspiring examples of people and communities promoting clean energy, renewable energy, wise use of energy, and getting empowered and re-energized in the process. It is about taking back, or perhaps discovering for the first time, the power to do more and to be more and to work within a community to accomplish more together. You can watch the trailer by CLICKING HERE.

The viewer will join me as I explore how fossil fuels and nuclear have been granted an undeserved second life by our governments – with public money – and yet renewable energy and conservation continue to receive crumbs. I am sure we can do better. I am sure we have the power to achieve a cleaner, healthier, high-employment future, and I am sure the pursuit of this future will re-energize us as individuals, strengthen our communities and revitalize politics for the common good.

I have gone a long way on a shoestring, with most of what I need already filmed, but now I need your help to complete Powerful by June. Contributions are already streaming in, but so are the bills for filming, editing, equipment, legal clearances, etc. You can help me stay ahead and keep Powerful moving towards a late-spring release by CLICKING HERE now.

But contributing money is not where your involvement ends. No way. You’ll have fun actually watching the film being made, and even more fun giving your feedback on “chapters” of the film as they get made, via the website. Members of the Producers Circle will receive a brief email notifying them whenever a new segment is ready for your viewing and comments. If you are near Ottawa, you will even be invited to a viewing of a rough cut, and possibly a focus group screening or two. I want you to get as much as possible out of your contribution.

By signing on now to be a supporter, I will regularly inform you of progress, I will send you links to some rough cuts and clips taken from the evolving film, and I will offer you a chance to offer comments and even attend a focus group session. I want to involve supporters as much as possible in the process of making the film.

Please join me in making Films for Change, today.

David Chernushenko

2 Responses to “Obama, the power shift and investing in Films for Change”

  1. Patricia Tessier Says:

    I share your passion, drive and belief in that we, as a human race, can make the right choices to prosper economically while respecting the environmental and human health. I would be pleased to provided any value add to your film and endeavor. Let me know the process and if there are any additional support I can bring.

    I understand you also met with my colleague Ben Sorensen, whom forwarded this to me.

    Kind regards,

  2. Biocleanbocl Says:

    Great blog! Really interesting content :D Good job!

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