This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, November 28 2018 5:00 PM UTC +00:00.
PUSH is a documentary exploring the new unlivable cities, from WG Film and the award-winning documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gertten
***Trailer in French, Spanish, German and Italian below
Have you wondered why year after year the cost of our homes continues to rise in cities? Have you noticed how you and your neighbors are paying more for smaller spaces? The answer we get usually blames inflation and claims that this is the natural result of living in an urban area.
But the truth is far more complicated.
The truth is that our neighborhoods are facing a threat that goes beyond gentrification, inflation or urbanization. Our incomes aren’t keeping up with the increase in housing prices, forcing us out of the neighborhoods we have called home for so long. Yet, as we move further away, new buildings stand vacant in the heart of cities. Instead of being the shelter we desperately need, these empty monuments to capitalism house money instead of people.
These developments in our neighborhoods are far from natural. This is what we explore in PUSH. We follow Leilani Farha, who has been appointed by the UN to find out why governments are not complying with the agreement that they have signed - that all people have the right to adequate and safe housing. It is a human right. Leilani guides us on her quest to understand who’s getting squeezed, who’s getting rich and why housing has become one of today’s most pressing world issues.
From Barcelona to Toronto, PUSH sheds light on our increasingly unlivable cities, a new kind of faceless landlord and an escalating crisis that has an effect on all of us.
As Leilani guides us through the complexities of the growing global housing crisis, she investigates the corporations behind the massive spike in housing costs. One such corporation is The Blackstone Group, an American multinational equity fund. Companies like Blackstone use strategies specifically designed to increase profits for their investors at the expense of tenant and middle class families around the world. This global housing crisis we now face is the direct result of prioritizing profit over people.
The interests of a few have taken over the needs of the many. Now it is time for us to push back.
For us at WG Film, documentaries are tools for change. They have the ability to reveal hidden structures and agendas in our society. With this mindset, we’ve made films that have made a real impact and sparked discussions all over the world. Films like Bikes vs Cars, Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas, BANANAS!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, which led to sales of Fairtrade bananas doubling in Sweden. Like our previous films, the topic for PUSH is relevant for many – and urgent. Huge things are happening as you read these words. There is a global battle between tenants and a new kind of global landlords, hedge funds and private equity funds, and it affects us all. The film will reveal the structures of this battle, and provide a language for the discussion that needs to happen.
The $50,000 we’re aiming for is needed for post-production and outreach. We now have all of our filming complete and are finalizing the editing process. This will be followed by all of the final touches - like the sound design, graphics and very crucially, subtitles. We want this film to reach as wide an audience as possible. If we have a Spanish version, a French version, a Portuguese version, and so on, the amount of communities we can reach with the film increases exponentially, along with its impact.
We also need money to spread the word and help our neighbors understand why they can't afford to buy a home. Contributions will also towards international media coverage, community outreach, facilitating screenings with politicians, and getting our film to festivals and TV channels. The donations will also be used to maintain an active and effective social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and to maintain and update the PUSH website.
This topic affects all of us, which makes it urgent for us to spread our message far and wide. We need voices, and a lot of them. We need the money to be heard - the most important step to creating change. With PUSH we will give you the tools to empower you to start a conversation. Words are the most powerful tools we have to fight the corporations who have deliberately denied us the language to understand and explain this crisis. Getting any message out costs money. Getting out a message about the hidden side of the financial industry costs even more. We are pushing back against an industry with billions of dollars at their disposal. Help us share our cause, whether it’s with $1 or $100, a tweet, or a Facebook post. One small action makes a big difference!
Risks and challenges
Often times on Kickstarter, the projects you back come along with a risk of non-completion or failure. PUSH is a little different. Because we already have completed the vast majority of the film, we need your support to be able to finish it up. Most of your money will be used to spread the word and reach the larger audiences. This means it’s a low-risk contribution with an expected fruitful outcome, should we successfully reach our funding goal, of course. Unlike many other pledges on Kickstarter, we will be able to deliver most of your rewards almost instantaneously (depending on the pledge of your choice). This owes to the favorable position your contribution will put us into, allowing us to successfully launch the project!
However, due to copyright-imposed restrictions, we do not own all distribution rights to the film in certain territories of the world, which means that we will need to request for an additional permission to send out the finished film. Fortunately, so far our distributors have generously allowed us to send out the film to our Kickstarter backers!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter