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In the 1960's young men said no to war and changed not only their lives, but also American history.
In the 1960's young men said no to war and changed not only their lives, but also American history.
179 backers pledged $15,455 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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About the Film 

The Draft and the Vietnam Generation will be a 60-minute video documentary that features men from diverse backgrounds who opposed the Vietnam War and defied the draft.

The draft forced young men to ask themselves if they were willing to kill and die in a war half way around the world. 

If you were unwilling to fight in what you felt was an unjust war, you had to decide what to do.  Should you fake a medical illness, go to college, flee the country for Canada, or challenge the draft by going to prison?

Many simply refused to go. An estimated 570,000 young men openly violated the draft laws and 3,250 were imprisoned for such violations.  Anger over the draft helped fuel one of America’s most vibrant anti-war movements that helped end the Vietnam War

The Draft and the Vietnam Generation  -- photo by Fred Lonidier
The Draft and the Vietnam Generation -- photo by Fred Lonidier

For those of us who lived through the Vietnam War the draft was not an abstract public policy; it affected our families and communities. 

The decisions those young men made about the draft raise relevant questions for today. What is a just war? Do you have a duty to serve your country? What is your duty to oppose your own government, when it is conducting an illegal and immoral war? 

Today we fight our wars very differently. Less than 1% of eligible Americans fight in our foreign wars, in part due to the fact there is no draft, nor will there be one anytime soon-- a legacy of the resistance to the Vietnam war. 

I want to make The Draft and the Vietnam Generation to show this critical period of American history through the eyes of young people who rejected war and became a force to be reckoned with. 

My hope is that this documentary will spark a new conversation about our pro-war policies and inspire a new generation of peace activists. For more information and updates about this documentary, please visit www.thedraftproject.com

                                                            Beth Sanders

                                                            Producer/Director

The Draft and the Vietnam Generation -- photo by Fred Lonidier
The Draft and the Vietnam Generation -- photo by Fred Lonidier

Why this Kickstarter campaign? 

There is an urgency to this documentary now. The youth of the 1960s are now in their 60’s. Realizing they won’t be around forever, I’ve started shooting interviews.

I’ve also lined up interviewees across the country to capture the diverse response to the draft. However, to continue I need financing to cover the cost of travel, a modest salary for me and a cinematographer. This will enable us to shoot most of the photography for this documentary.

The traditional sources of funding documentaries have dried up. For my past documentaries I supplemented foundation grants by going into debt and getting repaid through sales to the educational market. 

Unfortunately, this strategy is no longer viable. Foundation money has virtually dried up. The educational market has become extremely precarious for several reasons, such as pirating of material on You Tube.

At the urging of several colleagues, I’m initiating this Kickstarter campaign to kick start my project and then if it is successful I will launch a second Kickstarter campaign to finish the documentary. 

With financing in place, The Draft and the Vietnam Generation will be available for free. Pirating will be a welcomed form of distribution! 

The success of this plan depends on attracting enough folks who are willing to give $25-$75 to make this project happen. I will need to reach thousands of people to succeed. The question is can I do the necessary outreach with less than 150 friends and family contacts? 

That’s where you come in. You can help reach people beyond my small circle. Please tell your friends about this campaign. It’s another form of grassroots organizing, which many of you are old pros at. 

Please feel free to email me if you have any comments or questions. I’d love to hear from you.  Contact.

Let the adventure begin!

How Kickstarter Works 

When you make a pledge to contribute to this campaign, you will only be charged if we reach our goal. If we don’t reach our goal, Kickstarter will not take anything from your account. In appreciation of your support, I am offering rewards. A gift of $25 or more enables you to be the first to view the finished documentary. Yeah! 

If you would like to make a tax-deductible gift, Kickstarter is not set up to do that. You can make a tax-deductible gift by donating to our fiscal sponsor, Northwest Film Forum. Just click here

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help and your generosity in the making of The Draft and the Vietnam Generation.

                                                            Beth Sanders  

                                                            Producer/Director

Risks and challenges

There are few obstacles to shooting the photography for this documentary. Inspired by Studs Terkel, who narrated my last documentary, The Draft and the Vietnam Generation will essential rely on the oral histories of a number of individuals who opposed the draft and the Vietnam War. If one person becomes unavailable for shooting, there are others with compelling stories to interview.

The biggest challenge will be selecting from a number of potential interviewees the few to include in the final documentary.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A big fat THANK YOU shout out on our Facebook page and website to show our appreciation.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD a week before the film's official release and the prior reward.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    All of the above plus a thank you POSTCARD with images from the 1960’s signed by the Director.

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    BEHIND-THE-SCENES PASS: password protected link to web exclusive videos and all prior rewards.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A DVD mailed to your home plus previous rewards.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Personal PHONE CALL from director to say thanks as well as previous rewards.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A very cool downloadable PRODUCTION STILL and all prior rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PARTY! Two tickets to pre-screening party with Director plus two tickets to Seattle premiere (travel not included). Don’t forget all prior rewards will be yours.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PRIVATE SCREENING with Q & A with the Director. Host a screening for your buddies and Beth will call in for Q & A on the phone or Skype. Let the fun begin!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in the film's credit roll! And yes, you will receive all previous rewards.

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Funding period

- (31 days)