My name is Taylor Roesch and I am currently filming a documentary on human gene patenting. David Koepsell (Author of Who Owns You?) and I have been filming this documentary since last October. So far, we have filmed interviews in New York, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia. We have interviewed patent attorneys, genetic counselors, and the one and only James Watson! With over 35 hours of footage shot, we have a lot of good stuff but a lot more is needed to make this film something special!
Our film focuses on a recent court case between the ACLU and Myriad Genetics, the holder of the patents on the gene that causes breast cancer. Last month, the judge ruled that these patents were invalid. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/03/us-judge-rejects-breast-cancer-g.html But Myriad Genetics is challenging the case and it will be years before there is any final resolution. If we can help spotlight this issue in the public square, it will help build public support for the lower court's decision, and perhaps the Appellate Court and Supreme Court will uphold the recent decision. We have interviewed the lead ACLU attorneys involved in the case as well as other experts in law and science.
This case was recently featured on 60 Minutes!
But there is more at stake than this one case, over 20% of the human genome has been patented. While the ACLU case highlights this problem, there are still many questions about whether it will invalidate all of these sorts of gene patents.
We have some great people willing to help us as you can see from our trailer but there are still a lot of costs involved in finishing the film. We need additional funds to conduct more interviews in Chicago, Berkeley CA, and The Netherlands. After we finish filming this summer, post production will begin and a final product should be ready by December 2010. We have financed much of the work ourselves, but we will need at least $3,000.00 to complete this important film. Any money you can contribute will go a long way to getting this documentary done and this issue heard.
- (45 days)