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How will humans cope environmentally, socially and economically with an ever-growing global population?  Are there too many of us?
How will humans cope environmentally, socially and economically with an ever-growing global population? Are there too many of us?
56 backers pledged $10,465 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Hi.  My name is Jane Turville and I’m the writer, producer and director of THE PEOPLE PROBLEM.  The film is a four-part series that will be marketed to public broadcasting stations in North America as well as international venues.  Material from the four-hour series will also be used to create a 90-minute documentary suitable for public screenings and film festivals.  Our goal is to broadcast the film in Spring 2015.

 Why make a film on population?

For many years I’ve believed that over-population is a big problem.  Many of my friends and colleagues also believe this to be true. 

It seems that, while we believe that super-populations are unsustainable, we don’t like to discuss population growth.  We shift the conversation to other issues. I think this happens for two reasons.

First, is fear.  Many ideas float around regarding over-population.  Everything from remaining childless for the sake of the planet, placing limits on health access for seniors, and building walls to eliminate immigration.  All of these ideas have one thing in common.  They all diminish personal choice.  Most of us (including myself) value the freedom to choose your own destiny as a basic human right. Yet, people fear that talking about population growth is, in fact, a discussion on the removal of this basic human right.

Second, most population information is presented through numbers, charts and graphs.  While the information is compelling, it’s really hard to take data presented in this form and apply it to yourself.  So, it’s easy to conclude that it’s someone else’s issue and that responsibility lies elsewhere.

So, what can a film do?

THE PEOPLE PROBLEM poses the question “Are there too many of us?”  And, while I don’t intend to arrive at a definitive answer, the film will present population issues in a way that (a) alleviates fear about discussing population and (b) translates compelling data into stories that resonate with mainstream citizens.

How will the film achieve this?

Using the nesting basket sustainability model as a framework, the film will weave interviews with professionals into the stories of three families located in America, Brazil and China.  Set up like this, data explained by professionals is immediately illustrated through each family’s story.  By bringing the data into homes located in diverse countries, and showing data’s real-world applications for real families, the film will help viewers relate with statistical information and at the same time, bring to light the role of affluence and consumerism in population issues, dispelling the myth that it is a third world problem.   In order to lay a foundation for the discussion, we’ll also take a look at population throughout history.  What have the dynamics been and just how did we get to where we are today?

What is the nesting basket theory of sustainability?

In this model, the first basket represents earth’s natural systems, which should be healthy and abundant.  The second basket rests inside the first and represents society, which thrives only when nested in a healthy environment.  The third basket nests in the social basket and represents the economy, which remains stable when the baskets it rests in are strong.  This structure achieves the balance required for a sustainable society.

How will money from this campaign be spent?

THE PEOPLE PROBLEM is just getting started, making this Kickstarter campaign the financial boost needed to “kickstart” the project.  I am asking for $10,000 which will provide the funding for (a) my attendance at three population conferences to conduct research and meet potential interviewees, (b) external hard drives to store footage, and (c) development and launch the film’s website. 

Why should I support this project?

To be blunt, I need your support. And, quite frankly, if humans are going to make educated decisions about the environment, social issues and economies, population has to be part of the conversation.  We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.  We shouldn’t shrug it off as someone else’s problem.  If you want to be the catalyst that brings a balanced discussion into homes, churches, classrooms, and boardrooms, you should support this project.

Are there too many of us?  Is there truly a “people problem?”  If you’re interested in getting the conversation going, please make a contribution today.

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The director’s deep appreciation, your name listed on the website donor list and an invitation to the premiere screening.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The above PLUS credit on the film and a transcript of the four-hour series and 90 minute documentary.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above PLUS a DVD of the 90 minute documentary

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above PLUS the DVD set featuring the four-hour series.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above PLUS a special DVD featuring entire interviews with population professionals featured in the film.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above PLUS set of books written by professionals interviewed in the film.

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

    All of the above signed by director, narrator and authors PLUS a collection of the directors favorite DVDs with a sustainability focus.

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

    All of the above PLUS a personal session with director on incorporating sustainable practices into your lifestyle.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the above PLUS dinner for you and four others with the film producers.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    All of the above PLUS director will visit your town to do screening of the 90 minute documentary + talk on sustainability and population and how it directly relates to your community.

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Funding period

- (45 days)