The Next, Best West - www.thenextbestwest.com - is a feature documentary that explores our changing relationship with the land that sustains us. The Next, Best West tells the story of how the conventional American conception of progress has steered our exploitation of the Western landscape, and takes you to three places where a vibrant new conception of progress presages a better future.
The Next, Best West shows how our relationship to the landscape has evolved over the last hundred and fifty years. Now, modern pioneers are reinventing our collective understanding of progress. Through what they do every day, they are helping to redefine our relationship to the landscape.
The Next, Best West focuses on three stories from different corners of the American West. In Eastern Montana, the American Prairie Foundation is embarking on perhaps the largest single ecosystem regeneration effort in American History. Their aim; to connect three million acres of prairie wildlife reserves, and restore this swath of America's Great Plains to the grandeur Lewis & Clark witnessed.
“We all want progress,” said C.S. Lewis, “but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” This wisdom is demonstrated in the Elwha River Restoration project, which includes what will be the nation's largest dam removal to date, slated to begin in September 2011. A biologist from the local Elwha Klallam Tribe, and others involved in the project, share their decades-long story.
In southern Colorado, we go out on the range with a ranching family that is living a new approach to making a living off the land, one that uses livestock to heal damaged places and takes a 500-year-view of the future. They are on the land everyday and have used decades of knowledge about the land, weather, vegetation, and wildlife to shape how they live their lives and conduct their business.
This film is designed to show some of the hope and inspiration out there, rather than dwell on the doom and gloom of environmental reality. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to look beyond just how much we recycle, how much organic food we buy, and if we changed our lightbulbs to compact fluorescents. With fewer open spaces and more people, more nutrient-deprived farmlands and more people to feed, we need to rethink how we interact with the landscape, and let that be a guide for how we live our lives.
Why a Kickstarter Fund Drive?
We have raised just enough funds to complete the production process. This fund drive, if successful, will allow us to complete the post-production phase and stay on target for a Spring 2011 release.
While we would of course welcome large contribution pledges, lots of small pledges go a long way toward reaching our goal. So we wanted to give YOU the chance kick in whatever makes sense for you. Kickstarter provides a convenient way to consolidate and simplify the fundraising campaign so we can keep some focus on moving the project along.
How will we spend the funds?
As the film has been shot in its entirety, these funds will be spent explicitly on the post-production process, including scoring the film, color work, narration (Our narrator is Emily Freidman, http://www.emilybfriedman.com), and final archival and research needs. We also hope these funds can help complete graphics work needed for DVD production and distribution. The majority of the editing process will be conducted in-kind by the production team, but we cannot do it all!
How far along is the project, when will it be completed?
With all on the ground shooting completed, we have moved well into the post-production phase and are editing as we speak. We expect a completed film in early spring of 2011.
Are donations tax deductible?
Contributions from $1000 and up can be tax-deductible. Contact us at email@example.com for more details.
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