We are documenting the stories of immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow companies and create jobs in the U.S. because of current policy. As Congress debates immigration reform this summer, now is the time to tell these stories and to amplify awareness. This reform can have a major impact on the future of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this country.
When many think "immigration reform," they think undocumented workers. While this is a large and important part of the discussion, we must also look at the part of the equation in which many entrepreneurs struggle against the legal channels despite that the outcome of their research and innovation has been proven to create jobs and a net positive on the U.S. economy.
Foreign students in the U.S. who would be among the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs here instead are finding other countries increasingly welcoming—we are educating talented people to go elsewhere and in turn putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage.
By sharing the stories of students and entrepreneurs alongside the views of policy makers, we aim to create awareness about the current system, and investigate where the need for reform is, even picking apart the currently proposed bill. This documentary and web-series will be informative—describing and clarifying the reform process while maintaining an understanding of the deeply human nature of the issue.
This is more than statistics, numbers, bullet points on a list or sound-bites from the media. Help us show the lives, aspirations and achievements of innovators and the path they take to creating the next Intel, Yahoo, Google, and eBay.
This documentary will have free episodic web releases along its way to producing the final feature. Curating and fact-pairing crowd-sourced submissions of stories through the web may be used further supplement content—the use of a website will enable many additional stories to be told that might not otherwise be possible in the final film.
We'll also be exploring innovative web interfaces to engage more dynamically with the video content.
Due to the episodic nature of the content, social media will be use to track and engender response from the broader community as well as to solicit additional stories!
We are going to release an episode a week culminating in the feature-length film premiere this fall.
By funding this, you will help be a part of something that can change perceptions and inform legislation. With your help we will be able to reach a broader community who will then have a clearer understanding of the intricacies of the issues and individuals involved.
Creating a documentary requires time, energy, money and equipment! With your help we will be able to dedicate the time this issue deserves to tell stories nationally and internationally (and traveling is even more expensive when you've got equipment to bring) with dependable tools.
Our current aging equipment has been responsible for numerous technical malfunctions that have put our work at risk in addition to placing limitations on what conditions we may shoot in and what shots we may take as envisioned. Even when we return from the field triumphant, our computer struggles with the video we feed it.
We are scrappy and used to operating with constraints, but the fact remains that we can operate more nimbly as a small team and save time in turning around content on a timely issue with better-suited, higher-quality, and current equipment at our disposal.
To operate with versatility and achieve the creative vision we have for this project—with the goal of eventual television and festival submission—we need your help.
If instead of a Kickstarter pledge, you would be interested in donating equipment to our cause, or say, are a large camera company that would rather we use and advertise using your equipment than that of another company, do tell!
Should we raise past our goal, that will enable us to obtain even better equipment sure to sustain us for projects to come and travel more to maximize the number of stories we can tell. Every dollar counts!
Dollars aside, you can help spread our mission for free by tweeting out this link and by encouraging your friends to visit our page. Join us in using this image below as your Facebook profile picture to help spread the word!
Let's show the world that America is Open for Business.
Risks and challenges
It is important to get these stories and information out while the topic is hot in Washington. Additional resources will allow us to better meet this runway.
We will address this by releasing episodic content over the course of production, which will ultimately aggregate and be remixed with supplementary content into a final feature-length documentary.
Cris' background working with the White House video team has prepared him for quick turnaround cycles on creating and promoting public policy-related content. He has also worked to design web interfaces for Boston-area startups and the metaLAB (at) Harvard.
Zheela's experience as a project manager and organizer at Yale and MIT has given her expertise in keeping a project on time and on budget.
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