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Help us capture the dedication and sacrifice made by four scientists in their struggle to bring us solutions to the climate crisis.

The Race To Save The World is a new documentary film, from the Emmy-winning producers of American Winter and Taxicab Confessions, that follows the unwavering commitment and determination of four groups of scientists who are working on alternative energy solutions. 

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-From Director, Joe Gantz

Hello.  I am making THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD because I am worried about what will happen if we don’t take action to combat global warming as quickly and aggressively as possible.  As I see it, climate change has already battered our planet a couple times in the last few weeks alone.  And there is a tremendous amount of personal tragedy, on an enormous scale, coming down the pike if we don’t all come together to fight the continued use of fossil fuels.  We must do everything we can to turn back the tide of this carbon-spewing, profit-over-people, world of ours.

There are millions of people out there who don’t believe that our planet is in danger, and millions more who can’t bear to wrap their mind around the frightening future that scientists are predicting.  But if we are going to have any hope of solving the climate change crisis, we need to find a way to reach those people.

My specialty is capturing life-in-progress, creating authentic, personal stories.   And by personalizing this subject, and telling the story through the experiences of four scientists – without making the film preachy or political—I think we will be able to reach people who have tuned out this issue and help bring folks together to start seriously addressing climate change.  

THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD is about scientists struggling against long odds to create alternative energy solutions that can move our planet towards a sustainable future.  Viewers will be drawn to these stories of technical innovation and single-minded passion, and they will get inspired to think about what they can do.  And that’s the goal, for everyone to come together to make the profound changes necessary to save this blue, green precious world of ours from the chaos and tragedy of global warming.  Because there is no second option and there is no time to waste.

Warm regards and thanks for any help you can give, Joe

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Many experts believe that the technology exists today for the world to power itself 80 to 100 percent with renewable energy, and that if we built the infrastructure needed, the cost of using alternative energy would be the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels.  What is missing, unfortunately, is the will to make the changes necessary to create this sustainable future.

There are many doom and gloom environmental documentaries about the destruction of our planet.  These films are completely accurate in their portrayal of the effects of global warming, but they often end up preaching to the choir.  The Race To Save The World is different from other environmental films because we are following these scientists from a personal perspective, showing how their journey to find solutions to our world's greatest challenge affects their relationships and their families.  

The Race to Save the World will show the scientists perfecting their technologies, raising the huge amount of funds needed to get their alternative energy solutions out there, and the film will explore the personal issues that arise when someone in the family is obsessed with developing a technology that can have enormous consequences for the future of our planet.

Over the past few months I made three trips around the country interviewing scientists for the film, and we are now ready to begin production on The Race to Save the World.  We are anxious to get started!

Here is some information about the four scientists/teams we will be following, and their alternative energy technologies:

Gia & Abe Schneider (Natel Energy) – LOW IMPACT HYDROPOWER

* Gia & Abe are on the verge of commercializing a revolutionary hydropower concept invented by their father, that can create energy in hydro environments where there are relatively short drops, like smaller rivers and even irrigation ditches that are in every state and in every country.  Founded by the MIT alumni brother and sister team, Natel Energy is launching a new hydropower product that enables cost-effective production with low impact on the environment, distributed baseload energy from existing low dams, irrigation canals, and other waterways.  How much energy could their hydro technology create at full scale with full funding? They estimate 7GW just with existing infrastructures, 100GW more with new builds on existing waterways, and through other means, the total high-end estimate is 300GW.  To put that in perspective, the US uses about 100GW of power, so you could power the whole US with just hydro alone.

Dr. Leo D. DiDomenico (Giant Leap Technologies) – CONCENTRATED SOLAR

* Leo left his government job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs where he worked on projects like solar lasers for deep space communications in 2005, and dedicated his life to creating a breakthrough concentrated photovoltaic technology.  Leo’s concept radically changes the physics behind solar power, focusing on using optics and mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a very small area of photovoltaic cells, eliminating large tracking systems (the systems with solar panels that are based on solar concepts from decades ago).  His technology would generate twice the electricity for half the cost.

Rob Lamkin (Cool Earth Solar) – INFLATABLE SOLAR COLLECTORS

* Rob is on a quest to provide a highly efficient, low-cost solar energy system out of very inexpensive thin film plastics.  Most of today's solar energy systems take the form of flat panels or heavy mirrors focused on solar collectors, and these require significant amounts of heavy, expensive materials.  Rob’s company has developed inflated solar concentrators that are made of inexpensive materials, a design that radically reduces cost and manufacturing time.  The innovative design of the tube-shaped concentrators made of plastic film—similar to that used commercially for packaging products such as potato chips— are key because when inflated with air, the concentrator naturally forms a shape that focuses sunlight onto a PV cell placed at the focal point.  A single cell in his inflatable concentrator generates up to 30 times the electricity of a solar cell without a concentrator.

Gary Spirnak (Solaren, Inc.) – SPACE SOLAR POWER

* Gary is working on sending solar panels into Earth's orbit where they can collect energy from the sun 24 hours a day.  A satellite would convert energy into radio waves and beam them down to a receiving station on Earth for terrestrial electricity usage.  The company has a contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California to deliver 200 megawatts of power for at least 15 years starting in 2016.  The plan is to provide at least 200 megawatts of continuous power, estimated as the average usage of 150,000 homes.  If Gary can raise the large amount of funding required to successfully build and launch into space the patented satellites his company has developed, this project would be the first implementation of space-based solar power.

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Each of these scientists is working day and night to create clean, renewable energy that is cheaper than energy from fossil fuels, so that the dominoes of this carbon-spewing world of ours will begin to fall.  By focusing on these very driven characters and strong, personal story arcs, The Race to Save the World has the potential to draw a new audience into believing in and working towards a sustainable energy future.  


HOW KICKSTARTER FUNDS WILL BE USED

We need your help to get the cameras rolling!  We have finished pre-production and are ready to start filming.

The funding of this campaign is essential to enable us to begin principal photography. $50,000 is the minimum that we need to cover early production costs. We plan to start shooting before the end of 2013 and we expect to shoot for 10 to 12 months.

NOTE:  If we can go beyond our minimum $50,000 goal, it would put us in an even better position to cover ongoing production costs as we produce this film.

Crowdfunding makes sense for this project because we want to raise the funds needed to start shooting, but we also want to connect with a strong community of folks who are concerned about the environment and climate change issues and are actively engaged in the fight to create a safer, more sustainable, world for our families and future generations.  We believe it takes everyone working together to achieve the momentous shift necessary to solve climate change.  

Every contribution helps, and we appreciate each and every one of you for assisting us to make a film that will inspire folks to do their part to move this planet towards a renewable energy future.

OUR TRACK RECORD

Our last film, American Winter, was funded entirely from grants, individual donations, and crowdfunding.  American Winter follows eight families struggling in the wake of the economic crisis and highlights the human impact of rising poverty and wealth inequality, and the disappearing middle class in America. This film was completed in January 2013 and aired on HBO in March, followed by broadcasts in a number of countries around the world to date.  The film has won several awards and most recently was nominated for a prestigious Ridenhour Prize, recognizing acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society.  In June, the families featured in American Winter were invited to testify at a U.S. Senate Hearing about the shrinking middle class and the state of the American Dream, moderated by Senators Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren. The nationwide outreach efforts for American Winter –including hundreds of screenings of the film in communities across the country-- are ongoing as we work together with partners to promote economic justice for families.

ONE OF THE REWARDS WE ARE OFFERING TO BACKERS IS THIS “THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD” T-SHIRT DESIGNED BY KRISTYN HUME, THE AMAZING ARTIST WHO CREATED ALL OF THE GRAPHICS USED IN AMERICAN WINTER.

$125 backers will get this limited edition THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD T-Shirt, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
$125 backers will get this limited edition THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD T-Shirt, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.

GET INVOLVED IN THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD

Make a donation, spread the word through social media, and please help us tell the world about the incredible work these men and women are doing to try to find the desperately needed solutions to global warming.

And THANK YOU for joining us on this journey to make THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD!

FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS:

WEBSITE:  www.theracetosavetheworld.com

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/TheRaceFilm

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/racetosave

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have been making documentaries for many years and for our last film, American Winter, we ran two successful Kickstarter campaigns. So we have a track record that people can trust. However, we know that making a documentary film --especially one that is life-in-progress-- is filled with uncertainties and challenges that can't be predicted. That's where our experience can really help. We hope our backers will come along on this journey with us, and we will do our very best to make a powerful film that can open both hearts and minds to creating a sustainable energy future. So come on board, and help us make this film happen!

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