A documentary about the power of ordinary citizens to change the planet. Based on the book by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé.
A documentary about the power of ordinary citizens to change the planet. Based on the book by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé. Read more
About this project
Ordinary People Can Change the Planet.
Hope's Edge is a documentary exploring the power of ordinary citizens around the world who defy the widely held belief that hunger is a problem of scarcity best left to corporate agriculture and "experts" to solve. Based on the insightful and empowering book by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, this film demonstrates the social, political, and economic patterns that enable hunger to exist in a world of abundance while inspiring real and transformative change.
Every day, we push our planet closer to hope's edge - the point when honest hope for a peaceful and sustainable planet will no longer be possible. But the people and movements featured in this film continue to expand the edge of hope, defying our notions of what is truly possible when people come together, shift their ways of thinking, and stand up for what they believe in. We meet people who refuse to be bystanders of history and fight every day for the life they want. Honest hope is MOVEMENT.
In West Africa, women come together to challenge gender norms, fight for land, and demonstrate the power of traditional farming to combat hunger.
In Brazil, landless families occupy unused land to force the government to meet the needs of its people.
In India, farmers say "no" to industrialized agriculture and its destructive impacts and prosper from organic alternatives.
And in the United States, people work to build a more inclusive food economy, defying the notion that large-scale chemical-intensive farming is the only way to feed our hungry planet.
By supporting this project, YOU are helping to bring these stories to the forefront and support efforts on the ground that drive real and positive change. YOU are helping to defend the democratic process and shape institutions that respond to the needs of ALL people, not just the wealthy few.
Funds raised from this campaign will cover costs for the first phase of production in Ghana and the United States. Funds will cover:
- Transportation: two round-trip tickets to Ghana and mid-Western U.S. plus local transportation ($5,000)
- Accommodations: in Ghana and the U.S., one month each location ($2,500)
- Translators in Ghana ($500)
- Camera and Sound Equipment ($2,250)
- Insurance and Medical Expenses ($1,000)
- Option Fee and Story Rights ($2,250)
- Supplies ($750)
- Stipends: for director and videographer ($1,800)
- Meals and Water ($1,000)
- Kickstarter Fees ($2,000)
- Contingencies: ~5% of budget ($950)
Total Phase I Production Budget = $20,000
Stretch Goal: Any money we raise over the goal will go toward production costs to film in India and Brazil and help us complete this film sooner! We will also be able to invest in better equipment, allowing us to produce a higher quality film. With $50,000, we can complete production for Hope’s Edge. This may seem like a lot, but it is a shoestring budget for a documentary film!
Additionally, we will be able to generate short videos that can be used by the non-profit organizations and movements featured in Hope’s Edge for their own fundraising and promotional purposes.
For too long, the problem of hunger has been positioned in a context of scarcity. Researchers are predicting that the world's population will reach 9.1 billion people, requiring food production to double to feed the planet by 2050. However, a framework of scarcity ignores the fact that we currently produce enough food to supply 2,900 calories to every person on the planet today, with over a billion tons of food going to waste annually while millions suffer from chronic hunger. The problem, therefore, is not a natural phenomenon of scarcity, but of human choices that maintain the status quo and contribute to needless suffering.
This is not just a film about world hunger and its man-made roots. It is meant to show that the choices we make or do not make, whether conscious or not, matter. No human is absolved from the responsibility to fight for a better world. We are all agents of change, no matter the circumstance. You do not need to be an "expert" or in a position of authority to make a difference.
Luis Medina is an M.A. candidate in Food Studies at New York University and is the Director and Producer of Hope’s Edge. An optimist at heart, Luis is driven by a passion for changing the world and debunking the debilitating misconceptions around hunger and poverty that govern our planet. In his first semester at NYU, Luis was assigned to read Hope’s Edge as part of a contemporary issues course. He was immediately struck by not only how positive and eye-opening the book was, but how relevant the messages were from a book written over a decade prior. After reading Hope’s Edge, he knew he needed to make a film to bring this powerful and transformative story to a wider audience. Not originally a filmmaker, Luis holds a B.A. in Accounting from St. Joseph’s College and is currently the Operations and Finance Manager for Edible Schoolyard NYC, a non-profit organization inspired by the vision of Alice Waters that every child should receive a hands-on "edible education."
This project is based on the book Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé. Published in 2002, the book seeks to answer the question: "why are we as a society creating a world that as individuals we abhor?" The Lappés argue that we as individuals do not see the ways that our everyday choices contribute to needless suffering. Consequently, we are absolved from the responsibility for our actions and can continue on as passive consumers trapped by misguided perceptions of our world. Further, the authors assert that we cannot see ourselves as agents of change because we fear what is unknown to us; challenging popular wisdom and the "experts" and risking social isolation is frightening.
Although the book is nearly fifteen years old, the messages are still relevant today. People want to make a positive difference in the world, but so many of the big issues we face, from climate change to global hunger, are overwhelming and paralyzing. Hope's Edge is a source of comfort and hope that a better world is possible, but the only way we can move forward in the right direction is by stepping out of our comfort zones and taking action, no matter how small it might seem.
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Risks and challenges
There are inherent risks with any documentary film, especially when filming overseas and the filmmakers are coming in as outsiders. Trust takes time to develop. However, we are committed to doing what is takes to build that trust with the people and communities in our film and approach them with the upmost respect and integrity.
There are, of course, challenges beyond our control, such as poor weather and other logistical challenges that can arise. We are confident we can overcome such challenges should they occur.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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