Thanks to all of you, we did it! We hit our $35,000 goal and still have two and a half days to go before our deadline. Maybe we will even make a little extra, which we can use of course! :)
For those of you who donated after Update #4, I want to say again how moving and surprising this campaign has been. The response we've gotten has given me deep faith in the project and what it has to say. Especially gratifying has been hearing both from people who lived through those times - sharing their stories (see one below) - and from young dancers today who are still dealing with the issues of masculinity and homophobia depicted in TEST.
Also for those of you who joined later, I've re-attached the dance clip sent out before that was a big hit. I've attached a new treat, too: a music file of one of Ceiri Torjussen's "extra" compositions for the film (as per Werner Herzog's recommendation, which I heard at a lecture at Amherst College, I asked Ceiri to make a "bucket" of music into which I could dip now and then; this extra piece is one of my favorites in the bucket. It's sad and haunting, and a little creepy).
Lastly, I asked Christian Charette, a backer of this project via Kickstarter, if I could use in a blogpost his messages to me, which I found very moving. I'd like to share them here with you as well.
The first message:
I lived in San Francisco from 1982 to 1992 and lost my best friend Alan Renoud to AIDS in 1986 after a 15-month battle. (His name is on one of the original 1,920 AIDS quilt panels first displayed on the Mall in WDC. ) I remember the numerous vigils at the hospital where one had to wear gowns and masks for fear of catching the disease and friends being afraid of touching Alan (and if they did, quickly excusing themselves to go wash their hands); of getting a call in the middle of the night telling me that he had died and when I showed up an hour later seeing all his meager belongings already in an orange garbage bag; of closing his eyes; of telling his folks that their only child had just died; of spreading his ashes from the Neptune Society boat around Angel Island. For all of us who lived while others died...
Feel free to use my comments any way you want. I am proud to be a gay man. If Alan had not been diagnosed we would have become lovers. Instead we became best friends. Because of him, I joined FrontRunners, the gay running club. When he ran for president while dying of AIDS, I ran for VP and became president when he died.
Good luck with your project. I have never donated to something like this before. You hit a raw nerve. For all the Alans in this world, the story needs to be told. Why he got AIDS and not I, God only knows.
So, I'll be in touch some time after the campaign has ended to check on who wants to have his or her "thank you" be "in memory of" rather than in your own name. It's an option, if you like.
Thanks again to all of you!