CITIZEN WEALTH is a feature length documentary about controversial ACORN founder and former chief-organizer Wade Rathke.
“We stand for a People's Platform, as old as our country, and as young as our dreams…. We will wait no longer for the crumbs at America's door. We will not be meek, but mighty... We are the masses of many, not the forces of few… We will continue our fight until the American way is just one way, until we have shared the wealth, until we have won our freedom. This is not a simple vision, but a detailed plan." - Acorn People’s Platform. 1978.
ABOUT THIS FILM: CITIZEN WEALTH is a feature documentary that follows controversial ACORN founder and Labor and Community Organizer Wade Rathke over the course of three years, while looking back at his 40-year career on the front lines of the war for economic justice. The film is equally a history lesson, a look at the state of organizing and social movements today and an intimate character study of a man that even his enemies have described as 'the most talented political organizer of his generation'.
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) was the controversial organization that succeeded in registering millions of voters in the run-up to the 2008 election and fought and won victories for low and moderate-income families totalling billions of dollars in areas of community reinvestment, living wage legislation, and predatory lending reform. ACORN became a major news story during the 2008 election and its aftermath when accusations of voter registration fraud, embezzlement (by Rathke's brother) and other illegal activity were levelled against it. The organization had much of its funding stripped and declared bankruptcy in 2010. While CITIZEN WEALTH aims to set the record straight on what actually happened to ACORN, the film also looks at Rathke's current endeavours with his fledgling Acorn International and discusses what the future for community, labor and political organizing has to be.
Loosely based on his 2009 book, CITIZEN WEALTH follows Rathke around the United States, Canada and Central America, features interviews with high profile organizers and academics, and contains newly discovered and highly relevant archival footage stretching back through the history of ACORN and Rathke's long involvement in organizing for change.
OUR GOAL: CITIZEN WEALTH aims to be an entertaining and eye-opening documentary about a much misunderstood organization and political figure. As an organizer, Wade Rathke spent 40 years behind the scenes strategizing and motivating a huge base of community activists. The film intends to lift the curtain and show a true portrait of a complicated and fascinating man. Rathke's controversial approach to organizing had many supporters as well as many detractors, even wIthin ACORN itself. We aim to let both sides tell their story. The film also aims to explore the issues that need to be organized around in order for economic justice for low and moderate income families to be won. CITIZEN WEALTH tackles housing reform, living wages, social security, predatory lending and many other issues that have become lightning rods in the current political and economic climate.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT: Our goal is to have a rough cut of the film by July 2013 and a finished film to premiere in 2014. We've set the goal of $30k to help keep us on schedule although it will cost much more than that to complete the film and deliver it to a distributor. Upcoming costs include production expenses, editing, music, color correction, audio mixing, and archival research and licensing, among other things.
We believe in the importance of setting the record straight on ACORN. We have unprecedented access to the founder of ACORN and have already rescued and transfered over 40 hours of never-before-seen archival footage from the last four decades.
Just as ACORN was a member-based organization built on mass participation, we are crowd sourcing this part of the budget in order to engage as many people as we can, in whatever capacity possible. The more supporters we have right now, the wider the reach of the film will be once it's ready to be shown. Please help support this film with whatever size donation you're able to make and together we'll speak truth to power!
Twitter - @citizenwealth
WHAT WE NEED TO FINISH THIS FILM: The first shots of this film were taken in 2008 at the very last ACORN national convention. Since 2010 we have been shooting regularly with Wade and are now in the 'home stretch' of production and the beginning stages of post production. So far we have been working out of a $40,000 budget provided by a foundation grant and a couple of private investments. This money is now spent and we are in need of funds to continue with the following:
1. FINAL PRINCIPAL SHOOTING: We need $5,000 for the final production shoots for the film, which are scheduled to take place in April-June 2013.
2. ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: We have already worked out agreements for a great deal of our archival material, but we need another $7,500 to complete research and licensing of outstanding materials.
3. GRAPHICS: We need $7,500 to pay our talented graphics artists who are working for well below their usual rates!
4. MUSIC: We need $10,000 for our original music, which along with a score, will contain new versions of classic organizing and labor songs performed by some of our most talented contemporary artists.
Joey Carey is a New York based filmmaker. As a founder and principal at Sundial Pictures, he served as executive producer on Dee Rees' Pariah (Focus Features), David Gelb's smash hit documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Magnolia), and Matt Ross’ 28 Hotel Rooms (Millennium Ent.). As a director Carey made the short documentary Searching for Tupac and the 2006 documentary Greasy Rider about vegetable oil based fuel, which features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Yoko Ono, and Morgan Freeman. He also directed the Iggy & the Stooges reunion concert documentary Raw Power Live – In the Hands of the Fans.
Nick Taylor is a British/Canadian filmmaker and editor based in Toronto. As an editor, he cut Ron Mann's award winning feature documentary Know Your Mushrooms and has been rewarded with Gemini and Canadian Screen Award nominations for his television work on such series as Top Chef Canada. As a director he has helmed several music videos and directed Mirth and Madness (2010) a short documentary about the improvising music collective the Woodchopper's Association. Citizen Wealth is his first feature film as a director.
Directors: Nick Taylor & Joey Carey
Producer: Joey Carey
Executive Producer: Stefan Nowicki (Sundial Pictures)
Co-Producer: Tobe Carey (Willow Mixed Media)
Editor: Nick Taylor
Graphics/Animation: Osiel Garcia
Camera: Joey Carey, Nick Taylor, Elijah Marchand
Music: Original score: Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit. Songs from 'Citizen Wealth' produced and arranged by Christopher Sandes and Nick Taylor. Music Clearance Supervisor: Jay Anderson.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We will make our absolute best effort to deliver your rewards in a timely fashion in accordance with the dates we list on our Kickstarter page. However, as with any creative project, there are unforeseen challenges that we may have to problem-solve – challenges that could potentially hinder our delivery of your rewards.
If we don't get into our top film festival or if we can't license 100% of the footage and photos that we want, we may have some delays with finishing the film and making good on our rewards, but we will keep everyone apprised as we make progress towards a final cut of the film.
We’ll keep you posted with our regular Kickstarter updates, informing you of any snags in our plans to get you your fun perks!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Thanks! Every contribution counts! You'll receive updates "from the field" exclusive for Kickstarter supporters!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
A "Special Thanks" credit on the official CITIZEN WEALTH website plus exclusive updates for Kickstarter supporters!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
The above rewards PLUS: A Digital Download of the completed film upon release!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
The above reward PLUS: A Blu-Ray/DVD copy of the film signed by the directors and a copy of the film's poster!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
The above rewards PLUS: A digital download of the soundtrack from the film! The music from CITIZEN WEALTH will include new versions of classic organizing songs as performed by some of today’s best artists!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
The above rewards PLUS: 1) A copy of Wade Rathke's book CITIZEN WEALTH, signed by the author! 2) A "Special Thanks" credit in film's end credits and a credit on IMDB!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
The above rewards PLUS: A Sundial Pictures DVD Boxset including JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI, PARIAH, LITTLE BIRDS, 28 HOTEL ROOMS and IGGY & THE STOOGES - Raw Power Live.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
The above rewards PLUS: 1) A vintage ACORN T-Shirt (while supplies last) or an ACORN CANADA T-Shirt! 2) A limited-edition screen printed poster! 3) Wade Rathke will personally sign his book to you!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)
All of the above rewards PLUS: A special VIP invitation to a screening of CITIZEN WEALTH! (Travel, accommodations not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)
The above rewards PLUS: An invitation to lunch with Wade Rathke in New Orleans! Share a meal with Wade and pick his brain, either at his own Fair Grinds coffee shop, or another local New Orleans restaurant! (Date and location TBD. Travel, accommodation not included.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
One original George Holz photo print of "Marianna in Doorframe" Jeffersonville, NY 2011 - Edition 3/25 Archival Pigment Print. See the image here: http://georgeholz.com/#/EXHIBITION/PERSONAL%20WORKS/3/thumbsEstimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
All of the above rewards PLUS: Spend an afternoon with Wade in Little Rock, AR! Take a tour of the original ACORN neighborhoods and appear with Wade on KABF Radio - the Voice of the People! (Date TBD. Travel and accommodation not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (7 left of 8)
All of the above rewards PLUS: We will help organize a screening of Citizen Wealth in your own community with Wade and at least one of the directors attending! (only continental US, or Canada within 150km of a major city.) The screening will include a lengthy reception and Q and A!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)
All of the above rewards PLUS: 1) Travel with Wade on an ACORN International trip! Spend 3-4 days with Wade, watching him at work in India, Honduras, or another country where ACORN International operates! (We'll cover flight and basic accommodation, organizer-style!) 2) An Associate Producer credit on IMDB.com, on the website, and in the finished film! * Donors at this level or above should talk with us about the opportunity to come on board the film as an official Executive Producer.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)