WE ARE two artists, filmmakers, and environmental activists. Beth Stephens is an art professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, and Annie Sprinkle is a sexologist with a Ph.D. in human sexuality. We are head-over-heels in love with the Earth, and grateful for the many pleasures and sustenance that nature gives us. We are movers and shakers in the budding Ecosex movement and we’d love to collaborate with YOU.
WHY KICKSTARTER AND WHY NOW Goodbye Gauley Mountain is currently in the most expensive phases of postproduction. Even though it is not totally finished people are clamoring to show it. Our film will be featured as a sneak preview in the Q Doc Film Festival, May 17 in Portland, Oregon. This is the most immediate reason that it is vital for us to reach our funding goal. But even more importantly, time is not on the side of the mountains that we love. This leaves us with a sense of urgency about releasing the film this summer to spread the word and help bring an end to the most destructive form of mining ever practiced.
Russ McSpadden of Earth First News previewed our film and wrote, “Goodbye Gauley Mountain is without compare, the sexiest nature documentary and one of the most profound films to deal with the beauty and tragedy of the Appalachian Mountains in the age of King Coal.” Read Russ's review here.
We utilize humor, performance art, queer strategies and an ecosex wedding to the Appalachian Mountains to bring attention to the devastating environmental and social crisis caused by a highly destructive form of coal mining called “mountain top removal.” While there are other great documentaries on this topic, our film will reach new audiences and expand consciousness about the Earth's vulnerability beyond mainstream film viewers. In addition to environmentalists, our film speaks to GLBTQI communities, sexologists, adult entertainment workers, conceptual artists, academics, alt media people, ecosexuals and others who aren't usually involved in environmental issues.
WATCH OUR 2 ½ MINUTE TRAILER and you’ll see the high quality, dramatic footage, that exposes what coal corporations try to keep hidden. Beth narrates the full-length version. She was born and raised in West Virginia and her family has been in the coal business for generations. She was raised just few miles upstream from majestic Gauley Mountain, which is now being destroyed at an alarming rate by mountain top removal mining. This film is her love song for this beloved, magnificent birthplace. You will meet Beth’s family, see historical films, home movies and family photographs. You’ll also meet West Virginians on both sides of the issues, attend protests and counter protests to experience the struggle in the coalfields. You will discover what ecosexuality is about, and how changing the metaphor from ‘Earth as mother’ to ‘Earth as lover’ can create a paradigm shift that garners more love and appreciation for nature. We believe that this work can potentially help stop some of the murderous destruction of the land, water and Earth’s inhabitants. See the trailer.
WHAT WE NEED and WHY We started out making a short film with a low budget, then quickly realized we had something important and special to share. The project grew, and so did our costs. We have put $47,000.00 into the film; our own money, grant money, and money from a few fundraisers. We need to raise the last $10,780 to complete the film and begin distributing it. These monies will go towards the sound mix ($1500), capturing high definition video and making all of the clips consistent with one another ($3000), color correction ($2500), designing and creating the titles ($500), Quicktime mastering ($300), DVD authoring and then printing the DVD’s ($2000) plus fees to cover the 5% Kickstarter hosting fee, and 5-10% credit card fees ($980). Any support you give us will go directly to one of these areas and if you desire, you can designate which one.
OUR TRACK RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF Based on the successes of our past projects, we are confident that this film will play at hundreds of national and international film festivals of all kinds. We'll also have screenings at universities, colleges, in museums, art galleries, and even around campfires. Besides being booked for a sneak preview at the Portland Q Docs in May, we have also been invited to screen the film in several other film festivals including the Subversive Film Festival in Zagreb, Croatia, and at the Exteresa Art Actual in Mexico City. We have not even sent out a press release and we’ve gotten Press. We have even accepted an invitation to show the unfinished film at UC Santa Cruz for the Education for Sustainable Living Program, (sneak peak). Eventually we hope to post the film online for everyone to see. We also intend to screen Goodbye Gauley Mountain in private homes and community centers to raise funds for environmental causes while driving cross-country during our August road trip to West Virginia on our way to visit Beth's family and our friends, and the communities depicted in the film.
With your generous backing, we can spread the word about mountain top removal and tell folks what they can do to help save the mountains that we all love. Up until now this has been a labor of love, but in order to finish we have to hire some hard-core professionals to work on tight schedule. We don’t expect to make a profit on this film; it’s eclectic, quirky, queer, and sexy. But if we do, we’ll spread the love with the folks who have generously donated their work, time and talents to this project.
BE A BACKER AND YOU SHALL BE RICHLY REWARDED Knowing you are a part of the rapidly growing ecosex movement will be the best reward of all, but we also have lots of goodies to exchange for your backing! Ecosex strategies hold potential to help change the course of environmental destruction caused by resource extraction. Goodbye Gauley Mountain is intended to generate hope and to seed the belief that we can still save some mountains if we act now.
Please remember that if we don't raise the full amount of our goal, we don't get any funding. Help us get this important story out into the world. Thank you so much for any support.
Risks and challenges
We embraced many challenges in our three-year quest to make this film. We learned to climb trees for tree-sit protests, we shot footage at anti-MTR rallies in West Virginia, we defused tense encounters with state troopers by serenading them with the beautiful state song, “The West Virginia Hills,” and we negotiated passage through angry miners blockading the dirt road into the campground that hosted the social justice camp we love. We've professionally edited over 50 hours of footage to a 68 tight minutes, created a trailer, and launched the movie's website. We’ve done all of this through a mix of day jobs, grants, gifts, and private fundraisers. Its been a lot of hard work, but well worth it for this labor of love. Our only concern at this point is raising the last of the post production funds. We want this film to be ready for its sneak preview on May 17th. Finishing this film is an absolutely realistic goal. As you can see from our extensive websites, we always finish what we start!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)