News from Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: November 2011
Dear Kickstarter supporters,
Winter is upon us, and the latter half of 2011 has been a roller coaster ride for Ai Weiwei. Shortly after being named ArtReview magazine's most powerful person in the art world, he was served with a $2.4 million tax evasion charge by the Chinese government. Though fans and supporters contributed over half of the bill in solidarity, the government has rejected his claims for appeal. As the ongoing drama continues, Weiwei has said, "If a country resorts to silencing its people with sham laws, you win the battles, because you have power, but you’ve lost the war.” In an attempt to localize Weiwei's global cause and empower each person to keep his voice a loud part of the digital conversation, we have launched a Never Retreat. Retweet! campaign on Twitter and Facebook. We know his ability to freely express himself online is fragile, and never guaranteed, and so we encourage each and every one of you to get involved, be engaged, and speak out. Let us continue Ai Weiwei's example: @AWWNeverSorry. Never Retreat. Retweet!
Despite the uncertainty, Weiwei continues to be lauded in the art, human rights, and pop culture arena, recently awarded WSJ's Magazine's Art Innovator of the Year, the Bianca Jagger Award for Courage, and as one of GQ Magazine's Men of the Year in their upcoming December issue.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is thisclose to completion and anticipating an early 2012 premiere. Thank you for your continued support and patience throughout this unpredictable journey!
More recent highlights:
CNN recently spoke to director Alison Klayman about Weiwei’s fame in China, his mastery of the internet, and how since 2008, she has gone behind-the-scenes to tell a humanizing portrait of Ai Weiwei’s very public persona. “It’s really about how his life is his art. It’s about his activities, how he gives interviews very freely. He does not self-censor what he thinks.”
Ai Weiwei made the cover of the November 21, 2011 edition of Newsweek Magazine. In it, he speaks out against his detention, being kept in isolation, and cut off from any interactions. “I really wished someone could beat me, because at least that’s human contact. Then you can see some anger. But to dismiss emotion, to be cut off from any reason, or anger, or fear, psychologically that’s very threatening.”
On November 10, Twitter founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey introduced a special presentation of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry selects to the staff at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. It was so surreal to be sharing an inside look at Weiwei’s use of their tool in China. Happy that Twitter staff was excited about the film, and about our “Never Retreat. Retweet!” campaign.
- How do you balance compelling storytelling with activism? On Thursday, Nov. 3, Alison Klayman joined a panel of acclaimed filmmakers to explore this and more as part of DOC NYC. Co-sponsored by Chicken & Egg, read their post-panel thoughts here!
- On October 19, Alison Klayman gave a special presentation on Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry at PopTech 2011: The World Rebalancing. In an interview on the Poptech blog, she shared the challenges of “acting in Weiwei’s shoes” and the evolution of the film’s narrative. “How do I convey to people who might not be familiar with the subtleties of how things work in China, what is subversive, what is dangerous? How do you show somebody at a computer and make it feel like — this is big, you know? Like he’s doing something intense.”
- Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry was one of eight films participating in The Good Pitch Europe on Oct. 25. It's a one-day live innovative forum where filmmakers pitch their films and outreach campaigns to experts from NGOs, foundations, brands and media.
- On stands now: In a bold new collaboration with W Magazine, Ai Weiwei remotely art directed a photo shoot in New York for the November art issue. The scenes spoke to his own confinement — a woman is captured, handcuffed and hooded by two menacing figures and taken to Rikers Island, where they watch her shower.
We continue to add oil (加油!) and look forward to keeping you posted on more updates about Weiwei and the film.
Never Retreat. Retweet!
Never Sorry team
pledged of $20,000 goal
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Mar 28, 2011 - May 28, 2011 (60 days)
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Receive the DVD edition of the film when it becomes available.
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Receive an official AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and a digital download of the film when it becomes available. Includes international shipping.
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Receive a digital download of the film, an official AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and 10 snazzy, collectible NEVER SORRY buttons. Pictured at left and includes international shipping.
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Receive a limited edition DVD set of Ai Weiwei films, which includes AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, AI WEIWEI: NEW YORK PHOTOGRAPHS and a limited edition run of a disc of NEVER SORRY deleted scenes bundled with an AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and collectible buttons.
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Receive the tee, buttons, download, the NEVER SORRY DVD and two 8 x10 limited edition photographs of Ai Weiwei (edition of 20) signed by director Alison Klayman. We'll bundle all of these goodies in a chic NEVER SORRY tote bag and you will also get a special 'thank you' in the film's credits because we're very, very grateful.
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Receive everything at the $500 level and two tickets to a private screening in New York or Los Angeles (transportation and lodging not included).
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0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
Receive everything at the $1000 level and 2 unique original hand-made porcelain sunflower seeds (packaging by the artist) from Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds (2010), at the Tate Modern.
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3 backers Limited (1 of 4 left)
Receive everything from the $2500 level, plus the limited edition DVD set of Ai Weiwei films and two fine arts catalogs signed by Ai Weiwei as a thank you for being one of Alison's and Weiwei's biggest fans! You will also be listed in the credits as a member of the Producer's Circle and receive Producer Circle updates, mailings and bonus clips.
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