Project at a glance:
Purpose: To create a film about one small stand against Japanese-American Internment, which will be a part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of this tragic and still-time-relevant event.
Logline: The true story of Erwin Cossentine, president of La Sierra College, and his efforts to free Japanese-American students interned during World War II.
Distribution: One Small Stand will be officially featured at the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II remembrance event in October, 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Concurrently, the film will be submitted to many of the top film festivals around the world, followed by wide distribution on streaming services, on internet channels, and will play long-term at prominent museums and cultural centers across the United States.
Crew: A team of award-winning, professional filmmakers will fill key roles on the crew. They will be assisted by film students from La Sierra University’s Department of Film and Television Production.
Cast: While we’re not ready to release the cast list, we can say that SAG actors, some of whom you may recognize, will play lead roles.
Within months of the Pearl Harbor attack, all Japanese Americans living within 100 miles of the Pacific Coast were ordered to relocate to internment camps. When the internment order was given several Japanese Americans were studying at La Sierra College, a small liberal arts school in Riverside, California. Erwin Cossentine, president of the college, decided to take a stand. For weeks he appealed to the War Relocation Authority, the F.B.I, and the military, to save his students. When his efforts failed, a bus and soldiers arrived to relocate the students to a processing center and then, later, to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming.
Cossentine and the entire student body gathered on the lawn to say good-bye to the students they’d come to know and love. Cossentine made a speech about the injustice of the internment, prayed that God would take care of his students, and then promised them that he would get them out of the camps.
One Small Stand will follow Cossentine—one of the few Americans to actively oppose the Japanese-American internment—as he worked tirelessly to free his students. The film will also follow the Japanese-American students, vividly portraying the harsh conditions and humiliations they endured in the camps before Cossentine was able to rescue them.
Why we want to tell this story:
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” is not a tired cliché—it’s a universal truth.
The vast majority of people now feel that the Japanese-American internment was wrong. Yet when we look at the world around us, it’s easy to see how vast social injustice could revive itself at any moment. In 2014, the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia expressed the same feeling, stating in a speech “you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”
Thankfully, there is something we can all do to help prevent something like this from happening again: keep the stories alive about those who took one small stand.
Why we need your support:
Many of us involved with this project, including the director, producers, and most of the crew, are volunteering our time and expertise. This means that your generosity will go completely to the costs we cannot eliminate.
Shooting a WWII period film is not cheap. To make everything look authentic, we will have a lot of expenses for wardrobe, hair, locations, period vehicles, props, and more.
Your thoughtful generosity will also help us distribute this film to the widest possible audience to generate the largest social impact. The film is already scheduled to play at the United Nations and other prominent venues. We also anticipate submitting One Small Stand to many of the top film festivals around the world. Such festivals garner significant attention, ensuring that the maximum number of people will view this film and hear its important relevant-today message.
Donors have already contributed substantial gifts to get this project started. We now ask for your help to finish our fundraising and take part in telling this inspiring story to the world.
Distribution at the United Nations:
We feel very humbled and honored that a global human rights organization, after reviewing the screenplay for One Small Stand, wants to feature this film at its Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II remembrance event scheduled for October 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Your support of this project will help us make a film worthy of being shown on the world stage. Thank you for becoming a part of this important project and for your role in making sure that what happened to the Japanese-American students in the film never will be forgotten or happen again.
Risks and challenges
As always, films are tricky. They require lots of resources and talented people to come together to make magic happen. Therefore, there is always a risk that a film might not come together.
However, we are confident that this film will be made and made well. The constellation of talent and resources that has coalesced around this project over the past several months is truly exciting and humbling. What's more, the potential for wider distribution at museums and festivals has infused all of us involved with a high level of energy, purpose, and determination.
This film will be made. And with your help, we will have all the resources we need to make this project something truly special.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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