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A documentary film following climate activist Ken Ward as he puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry.
A documentary film following climate activist Ken Ward as he puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry.
269 backers pledged $20,699 to help bring this project to life.

About

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THANK YOU! Help us with our STRETCH Goal of $25,000. Additional funds will help us hire award winning editor Greg Snider to help us with story consulting!  If you raise your pledge by $9 or make a first time gift of any level, you'll get a personally signed postcard from Ken Ward!

THE RELUCTANT RADICAL is a feature length documentary film about climate activist Ken Ward. Ken breaks the law as a last resort, putting himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations. After twenty years working as a successful environmental organizer, Ken came to the conclusion that the standard tools of political lobbying and consumer education are inadequate to address the crisis of climate change. Beginning in 2000, Ken began to read all the available scientific literature about climate change. His research led him to become increasingly alarmed by both the scientific evidence, and the repercussions for civilization as we know it. Ken's efforts to push for a crisis level response from environmental organizations have been unsuccessful and he now embraces direct action civil disobedience as the most effective political tool to deal with catastrophic circumstances.

 THE RELUCTANT RADICAL follows Ken for a year and a half through a series of direct actions, culminating with his participation in the coordinated #Shut it Down action. On October 11, 2016, Ken and four other climate activists manually turned off all the pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S., stopping the flow of oil equivalent to 15% of daily U.S. oil consumption. (More info about the film here: https://www.thereluctantradicalmovie.com/)

Producer/Director Lindsey Grayzel and Co-Producer Deia Schlosberg were two of four independent filmmakers to be arrested and charged with crimes for filming climate activists on October 11th. Their charges have now been dropped/ suspended. The two filmmakers bonded over their parallel experiences and have now joined forces to finish telling Ken's story through this film.

LINDSEY GRAYZEL  Producer/Director, Editor 

Lindsey began her career as an editor in 1994, and made the transition to producing and directing in 1999. Her passion for documentary stories has led her to a successful freelance career producing documentary and educational videos for non-profit organizations, local and state governments, and museums. Recent projects include films for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Dougy Center, Kenai Fjords National Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Whether she is working for a client or pursuing an independent project, Lindsey is thrilled to be dedicating her storytelling talents on projects she feels make a positive impact in the world.

DEIA SCHLOSBERG  Co-Producer

Deia runs Pale Blue Dot Media, a production company based in Harlem, NY. She recently co-produced AWAKE, A DREAM FROM STANDING ROCK, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, 2017. Deia produced Josh Fox's, HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN'T CHANGE (2016), which premiered at Sundance and screens on HBO and other services. She also co-produced and directed COLD LOVE, a look at adventurer Lonnie Dupre's 25-plus-year career of exploring the world's coldest places and the climate change impacts that he's witnessed first-hand by doing so. Deia earned an MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University in Bozeman, where she produced and directed BACKYARD, which looks at the human cost of fracking. The film won two student Emmys (Best Documentary, Bricker Humanitarian Award), and screened at film festivals around the world. ​ ​

MARK ORTON Music Composer 

Composer Mark Orton, Sundance Institute Alum and founding member of the genre-bending acoustic chamber ensemble Tin Hat, has written original scores or contributed music to numerous films including THE GOOD GIRL, SWEET LAND, EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, BUCK, THE REVISIONARIES, MINE, Fernando Meirelles’ 360, and Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA. Recent projects include the features PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, and MY OLD LADY along with Ken Burns' THE ROOSEVELTS and Laika Studios’ THE BOXTROLLS. As an arranger, he has worked with artists including Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Mike Patton, and Madeline Peyroux. He has a long history working with radio as well, from avant garde radio-drama to This American Life and All Things Considered. 

Every day brings new awareness that climate change will be the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced, yet we live within a political reality that is incapable of calling for the radical action needed to avert catastrophe. Too many people feel disheartened, fearful and devoid of hope. Yet the consequences of not acting are far too great to let the difficulty of our mission deter us. Our subject, Ken Ward, speaks openly and honestly about his own despair, yet meets it with a determination to act. We hope that this film will force audiences to wrestle with their own despair, their hopes, fears, actions and inaction. Perhaps most importantly, we want to give them the opportunity to do that reckoning in the company of others.

  

Having both been arrested while filming climate activists, the filmmakers are keenly aware that there are powerful political and economic forces driving the suppression of stories about dissent. In order to bring you these stories, we need help from the community. Making a film is an expensive endeavor, but when the burden is shared among a large community, small donations can make a big difference. 98% of this story has already been filmed. We are in the midst of editing and are raising money to pay for costly yet crucial post production needs including final editing, a musical score, post production sound mix, and color correction. 

Please contribute at whatever level feels appropriate to you, but know that every donation helps tremendously. Just as importantly, please share this kickstarter with your friends, family and colleagues. A major factor in people deciding to contribute is seeing that their friends are involved, so whether it’s one dollar or one like, you can help drive others to the campaign -- and that’s what can make this a success!

 

Canada-U.S. oil pipelines resume operations after activists halt flow http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-canada-pipelines-idUSKCN12C21E 

Here’s How Easy It Is to Sabotage America’s Energy Grid http://fortune.com/2016/10/12/climate-activists-sabotage/

Climate Direct Action: Activists Halt Flow of Tar Sands Oil by Shutting Off Valves of Five Pipelines https://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/12/climate_direct_action_activists_halt_flow

Documentary film-makers face decades in prison for taping oil pipeline protests 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/20/north-dakota-oil-pipeline-protest-film-makers-face-prison

Josh Fox and Deia Schlosberg: Raising the Stakes on Climate Change http://www.kboo.org/media/53422-josh-fox-and-deia-schlosberg-raising-stakes-climate-change Charges dropped against filmmakers arrested while taping pipeline protest http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pipeline-filmmaker-arrests-20161107-story.html

Risks and challenges

RISKS

Well, hopefully the multiple felonies were the worst of it...

But not receiving funding is always a risk. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so if we fall short of the target, we get zilch. The film will get made no matter what, but we want to make sure it's as powerful and compelling as it can possibly be. To make that happen, we need funds to finish the final edit and for music composition, post sound mix, and graphics.

CHALLENGES

The biggest challenge will be making sure THE RELUCTANT RADICAL has the broadest impact it can as fast as it can. The impacts of climate change don't care about post production schedules. That said, there's a fine balance between getting the story OUT THERE, and making sure it's done in the strongest way possible.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    STRETCH GOAL BACKER

    A signed postcard by Ken Ward, facebook thank you and eternal gratitude!

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    Climate Champ

    Facebook thank you and eternal gratitude!

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    Moral Clarity

    Ringtone of Ken stating, "We need moral clarity here. We need sides to be drawn. Are you for burning fossil fuels and ending the world, or are you against it? Which is it?"

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    The Sheer Weight of Truth

    Ringtone of Ken saying, "This thing is all going to collapse at some point under the sheer weight of truth, and we don't know when that will happen, so we have to just keep hammering away however we can, even in small boats."

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    Radical by Necessity

    Download film + choice of ringtone

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Fighting for Each Other

    Download film + choice of ringtone
    PLUS Wen Stephenson's book, featuring prominent climate activists including Ken, "What We're Fighting for Now is Each Other," signed by Ken.

    “In this powerful treatise, Wen Stephenson chronicles the convergence of climate activism and human rights struggles in frontline communities viewed through a climate justice lens. He convincingly presents climate change as the definitive global environmental justice issue of our day.”
    —Robert D. Bullard, author of Dumping in Dixie and co-author of The Wrong Complexion for Protection

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    Her Animals

    Download film + choice of ringtone
    PLUS Emily Johnston's book of poems about wrestling with climate change, "Her Animals," signed by Emily, fellow valve-turner in the #ShutItDown action.

    "Emily Johnston's Her Animals is an extraordinary exploration of what it can mean to think, truly think, about our relation to the planet and to ourselves. The austere beauty of its language, the spiritual use of its white spaces, the boldness of its imagination, the piercing truth of its sense of creatures great and small which we have destroyed and are destroying, is matched by the author's honest self-implication." --Alicia Ostriker, author of No Heaven

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    Filming the Movement

    Download film + choice of ringtone
    PLUS Thule Perspektiv Compact Sling DSLR Camera Bag

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    Hollywood Theater VIP

    Download film + choice of ringtone
    PLUS 1 ticket to the Portland, OR premiere, VIP seating, after party invitation, backstage tour of The Hollywood Theater. Transportation and lodging not included.

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    2x Hollywood Theater VIPs

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    PLUS 2 tickets to Portland premiere, VIP seating, after party, backstage tour of The Hollywood Theater. Transportation and lodging not included.

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    Good Food & Good Company

    Download film + choice of ringtone
    PLUS 2 people attend garden dinner party on June 25th at Lindsey's house in Portland, Oregon with Ken. Delicious Lebanese vegetarian dinner and beverages served. Transportation and lodging not included.

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    NYC Private Fine Cut Screening

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    PLUS Fine Cut Sneak Peek screening at private screening room in NYC with refreshments provided. Deia to host screening and Q&A after the film.

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    Associate Producer

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    PLUS official Associate Producer credit in film

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Funding period

- (36 days)