About this project
What is TreeStory?
TreeStory is an innovative film with an ambitious plan to reconnect people to nature. Using a timeless form of activism: story-telling, it will explore the dramatic changes that can happen to people thanks to an experience with one important tree in their life.
Inspired by the felling of her favorite childhood tree, an African woman single-handedly creates a project to plant a billion trees worldwide.
A heroin addict overcomes a lifetime addiction and tells us it is because of a tree.
Humans need trees - whether we realize it or not, and TreeStory aims to fundamentally alter how we relate to them. Moving beyond seeing trees as resources, TreeStory will pose the question, what is a tree and what does it have to do with me? TreeStory is a film of heroic stories from around the world that will inspire activism by making it personal.
A famous cellist discovers the mahogany used to build his instrument is now endangered and sets out to do something about it.
A scientist receives a dowry gift of a tree. Inspired by it, he creates a reserve in Indonesia that is the last remaining home for Orangutans.
Why is such a film so critically needed now? For every second you’ve been reading these words, the earth has lost an area of forest the size of two football fields - tribal people all over the world are losing their land. If we keep on, the lungs of the planet will die and so will all of us who depend on them.
The problem can seem overwhelming. What can turn this tide? A change in consciousness is needed. In the face of overwhelming environmental problems, TreeStory will give people hope and inspire activism as only good stories can.
TreeStory explores the relationship between humans and trees from every conceivable angle: the scientific, the mythical, the practical, the cultural and the spiritual. Powered by powerful, personal stories, inspired by our oldest companions, TreeStory will change the way you see trees, and yourself, for good.
Everyone has a TreeStory
We have heard the stories of individuals fighting corporate greed; we have seen heroes standing up to protect their environment. What we are yet to experience is a film that directly connects the person on the screen with the person in the theatre. A film that shows how trees are as essential to the tribe in the rainforest fighting for its survival as they are to a person walking the sidewalks of New York.
What can happen when we tell a story about a special tree in our life? We've been asking people to do that. We've asked farmers and bankers, inner-city kids and people dying in hospitals, scientists, mythologists, priests, and loggers. And we are finding that by connecting people personally to one tree in their life a door opens for them to connect with and protect the forests around them.
TreeStory will collaborate with our audience to tell its stories. We will feature tree stories submitted on our Website. In addition our tree heroes include:
Alan Featherstone Watson – The activist who planted a million trees after accidently ring barking a spruce to death in his youth. We tell the story of ‘Trees for Life’ – Alan’s 250-year vision to reforest the highlands of Scotland.
Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, eminent tree biologist, who was married in the crown of a Fig tree, takes us into Cedar Creek prison in Washington where she’s training prisoners to become tree arborists.
Michael Meade, mythologist will take us to the original garden of Eden to tell us a revitalized story of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.
Plus many more…
An experienced team
My last feature, The Heart of the Game, about a girl’s basketball team was a surprise hit, distributed by Miramax and praised by Ebert and Roeper as “an Oscar level piece of work.” I have produced 90 other short films for causes from the environment to women’s issues to the arts. But I have long felt that the most important stories today are environmental ones. That is why I have dedicated myself to TreeStory, a film I think can awaken a lot of people to our interdependence with nature. I have built a team that includes Larry Estes, the “quiet godfather of independent film,” producer Vicki Dunakin whose latest film Underground Rome was aired by National Geographic, singer-songwriter Pete Droge and Andy Shilabear the award winning cinematographer of the Planet Earth series.
The trees are calling for help
Now we (and the trees!) need your support. Thanks to the money from this Kickstarter campaign will be able to complete the critical research and development phase of our project in advance of shooting this year.
Let's change the way we see trees, and ourselves, for good. The trees need us now. For detailed information on the film, please visit our website www.treestorymovie.com
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