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Watch a ten-year journey through the lives of five New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina unfold on screen in Forced Change.
Watch a ten-year journey through the lives of five New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina unfold on screen in Forced Change.
Watch a ten-year journey through the lives of five New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina unfold on screen in Forced Change.
313 backers pledged $34,547 to help bring this project to life.

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Channel Nonfiction
Channel Nonfiction
 
The Frisky
The Frisky

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans, revealing just how poorly our country had prepared for natural disasters, and the terrifying power of Mother Nature. But what most Americans haven’t seen is the long-term fallout from the devastation...until now. The new documentary FORCED CHANGE uses the tragedy and trail of destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina as a reason to follow five individuals from New Orleans who survived the storm, and shares their decade-long struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together.

This is a film ten years in the making, a retrospective following five people who left New Orleans after the hurricane and never returned home. The film captures critical moments at crossroads in uprooted lives and delivers an unflinching view of the difficult choices real people have to make in the wake of disaster.  Along the way, the documentary explores universal themes, from the meaning of “home” to how to cope with unimaginable tragedy.  FORCED CHANGE is a story of frailty, strength and what it means to be human.

 Lorne and Lovie

Lorne and Lovie created what they thought would be a lasting home in New Orleans.  But the damage of Hurricane Katrina uprooted their entire family and continues to challenge them and their children.
Lorne and Lovie created what they thought would be a lasting home in New Orleans. But the damage of Hurricane Katrina uprooted their entire family and continues to challenge them and their children.

Chris

Chris returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and realized he needed to start a new life somewhere else.  He knew the heartbreak of seeing his beloved city destroyed had to have a silver lining somewhere else…but where?
Chris returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and realized he needed to start a new life somewhere else. He knew the heartbreak of seeing his beloved city destroyed had to have a silver lining somewhere else…but where?

Janna 

Janna lost everything she owned to Hurricane Katrina.  After much struggle and movement, she now lives in rural Louisiana with a new family, a new life.  Will she ever return?
Janna lost everything she owned to Hurricane Katrina. After much struggle and movement, she now lives in rural Louisiana with a new family, a new life. Will she ever return?

Marcus

The fun-loving type, Marcus attended a hurricane party when Katrina struck. The old Marcus would have scoffed at the idea of leaving his beloved city for the suburbs. But sometimes change is good.
The fun-loving type, Marcus attended a hurricane party when Katrina struck. The old Marcus would have scoffed at the idea of leaving his beloved city for the suburbs. But sometimes change is good.

Hello Kickstarters!  Rennik Soholt - Director & Creator of FORCED CHANGE here.

This film is my passion project, a story I have been filming since 2005.  And it's more than just a film to me.  I used to live New Orleans, and had belongings in storage in the city when Hurricane Katrina hit.  Like the rest of the world, I watched the city being drowned by floodwater from afar on the news.  It was heartbreaking to see, and made even worse knowing that some of my close friends decided to stay behind and to weather the storm.  I had no idea if they were alive or dead.

So I had to act.  I grabbed a camera and headed to New Orleans. From the moment I arrived, the devastation blew me away.  For a city where people expect the worst, roll with the punches, and keep their heads up with drinks in their hands...this was different. 

Once I found out my friends were alive and relatively unscathed, I put on boots, gloves, goggles and a mask.  I helped people move their rotten refrigerators outside, bail containers of murky swamp water out of their living rooms, and just did what I could to help.  And all the while, I filmed as much as I could. 

With devastation so complete, I knew I would have to follow these stories.  What I witnessed was bigger than what people were seeing on the news. Nearly all of the people I filmed were leaving the city.  They wanted to get out…NOW.  

And I wanted to know why.

Here are their stories, which I’ve been filming for the past decade.  These are people whose lives have been changed.  I have captured their settlement into new, unknown communities, their struggles as they've worked to renovate their former homes and the new relationships they've been able to build.  They all started anew.  And I want to tell their stories for the first time.

Thanks for your support, it means the world to me.

- Rennik

FORCED CHANGE tells a dynamic story that I have been honored to be part of for the past 9-plus years!  But the point of filming all of this is to be able to share it with people like you.  Bringing FORCED CHANGE to Kickstarter makes you a part of our team. YOU are our audience!  By backing our project, you are letting us know that you are eagerly awaiting the release of this film, and are making it possible for us to bring it directly to you.

If you didn't already know, Kickstarter is run by a unique "all-or-nothing" approach to funding. Projects must reach their goal or they get nothing. This means, if we don’t raise our goal, we lose everything.  These funds are the minimum of what we need to get through post production.  Your generous support is essential and we are so appreciative that you took the time to consider this campaign. 

If you're looking for other ways to support the film, but are not in a place to make a financial contribution, you can spread the word to your friends, family or social network.  The more people are aware of FORCED CHANGE, the better chance we have of meeting our goal.

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: 

https://www.facebook.com/forcedchangedocumentary

https://twitter.com/ForcedChangeDoc

http://instagram.com/forcedchangedocumentary

 Rennik Soholt / Director, Producer

Rennik Soholt is the singular creative vision behind Forced Change - a driven storyteller whose dual passion for film and the human condition have led him to seek out unique and touching stories to develop and share with his audiences.

Born and raised in California, Rennik studied Psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Once his time at college was complete, Rennik chose a less traditional path, traveling around the country and the world while supporting his filmmaking career by working various odd jobs. Whether waiting tables, teaching English to adults in Buenos Aires, selling avocados on the street, or running sessions as a counselor at a locked-down mental health facility, Rennik was always a consummate artist, constantly looking for, and experiencing, the human stories that ultimately would shape his unique voice.

He used these real experiences to focus his knack for storytelling through the medium of film, and has spent the last twelve years producing and directing high-quality and immersive visual content in over twenty-five countries across five continents. His work can be found on PBS, CNN, Travel Channel, Nat Geo, History, Discovery Channel and ABC.

Rennik has recently complemented his television career with long-form and topical documentary work. Forced Change is his first full-length feature film.

Jared Andrukanis / Co-Producer

Jared Andrukanis is a two-time Emmy Award-winning Producer who has worked on a broad range of documentary series for multiple networks including CNN, PBS, Travel Channel, and Discovery. In addition to his work for broadcast television, he has extensive experience developing and creating high-quality and engaging short-form content for distribution through new media platforms.

Tanya Barringer / Line Producer

Tanya Barringer is a freelance Line Producer based in London and New York City. Over the past nine years she has worked as a producer in a variety of projects from short films to independent features as well as live and corporate events and television series. She is also an active member of New York Women in Film and Television.

Amy Drakeman

Amy's background is in clinical Social Work, having previously managed transitional housing case managers and a street outreach team in Upper Manhattan. She is ecstatic to be a part of the Forced Change team, doing anything she can for the project while also working towards directing and producing her own independent documentary.

Making a documentary that captures these important lives over many years is a long process that adds up fast financially. I am turning to Kickstarter for your help. Your donations will go to the final stages of completing this film:  final filming & post-production.  Here is a simple breakdown of where every essential dollar will go.

$4,000 - Filming / After well over 9 years of filming, we only have 1 or 2 shoots left before filming is complete.  This will cover the last phases of production, from travel to equipment rental to food costs.

$20,500 - Editing / FORCED CHANGE has gone through many editing processes and part-time editors who were willing to give their time to help me find and hone this story over the years.  Now this money will pay for a substantial portion of a single editor's salary to take what has been edited so far and finish it.

$2,500 - Composer and Music Rights / This will not only cover the payment to a composer to score the film, it will cover recording and any potential music rights that need clearing.

$3,000 - Color Correction & Sound Mixing / The film will need to go through a final professional sound mixing and color correction.

Here is a general overview of our entire budget, so you can see how your donations are directly affecting our bottom line and helping us finish the film.

All money contributed will go directly to these costs. While this is not the very end of the line to finally getting the film ready to be released, you will have carried me right to the edge. I am confident that I will then be able to raise any necessary finishing funds to make this film a reality.  Thank you!

We have many exciting rewards to offer for backing FORCED CHANGE.

Get an unpublished digital copy of the memoir, A Rooftop Above Reality by Jared Andrukanis and read what it was like to "ride out" Hurricane Katrina. We also have commemorative FORCED CHANGE pens and Mardi Gras:  Queens of New Orleans Calendars, highlighting some of New Orleans' top Mardi Gras Queens. Or book a Skype session with Rennik Soholt, the director of FORCED CHANGE, and find out how he kept up the momentum for 10 years!

Also see our newly designed FORCED CHANGE Crew T-shirts!  In comfortable black or cool white.  Come and get them!

TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION Your donation is tax deductible!!! Forced Change is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions on behalf of Forced Change are payable to IDA and are tax deductible less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.

Channel Nonfiction
Channel Nonfiction

Risks and challenges

Our biggest risk and challenge is time and it is constantly ticking away. We are following a strict timeline for post-production of FORCED CHANGE to be completed in time for the film to be eligible for distribution during the 10th anniversary of Katrina. If we miss this window, then we risk FORCED CHANGE coming out after the demand for Katrina coverage has ended and viewers will overlook our story as they may think they have seen similar films. Basically, we'll be late to the party. This pressure to finish quickly is an extreme challenge.

As a successful television producer and director, I am aware of and have been able to coordinate what is needed to visually tell this story. But I am also all too familiar with the unexpected setbacks that productions face. So, making FORCED CHANGE, my own independent documentary, is a personal risk. I am spearheading the project because I am confident that the finished product will be worth every exhausting production trip and anxiety-provoking edit session.

I hope that you too are able to see the great potential this story has and will consider backing it. If you have any questions or want further information on anything, then please do reach out to me as I would be excited to tell you as much as you are willing to hear about what has been my passion project for over 9 years.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    PART OF THE TEAM:
    You are now part of the Forced Change team and will receive all future updates from this campaign. Welcome! (Tax deductible)

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    YOU ARE AMAZING:
    Your contribution means the world to us and we are eternally thankful. We will also make sure to update you about the campaign and the film (Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    SOCIAL SHOUTOUT:
    All contributions of $15 or more will receive a personal shout out on the Forced Change Facebook page. If you donate within the first 72 hours of the campaign, you'll get a shout out on the Forced Change Twitter page + the Forced Change Facebook page. PLUS You Are Amazing (Tax deductible)

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    MARDI GRAS BEADS (New Reward):
    Did you make it to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year? Well, if you didn't, you can still have a piece of this year's Mardi Gras celebrations. Get some beautiful, authentic 2015 Mardi Gras beads direct from New Orleans! PLUS You Are Amazing (Tax Deductible)

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    DIGITAL RECIPES + FILM PICTURES!:
    Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? Get an exclusive recipe ebook of the Forced Change cast and crew’s favorite New Orleans style dishes, from Jambalaya to Red Beans and Rice! You will also receive a selection of exclusive, downloadable digital stills from the film. PLUS of course the Social Shoutout (Tax deductible)

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    A BEAUTIFUL FILM PRINT:
    Get a 4 X 6 print from the film + a hand-written note on the back about its place in our film. Small but beautiful, f'sho! PLUS a Social Shoutout (amount over $2 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    DIGITAL STREAMING OF THE FILM:
    Be the very first viewers of the final cut of FORCED CHANGE through a password protected online link that will be open for a limited time. PLUS the Social Shoutout (Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DIGITAL STREAMING OF THE FILM +EXTRA/BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE:
    Be the very first viewers of the final cut of Forced Change through a password protected online link that will be open for a limited time. You will also be privy to special, never before seen footage, which includes extra scenes not in the film and some behind-the scenes footage. PLUS Digital Recipes + pdf film stills and Social Shoutout (Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    DIGITAL STREAMING + PEN & WRITTEN THANKS:
    Be the first viewers of the final cut of Forced Change through a password protected online link that will be open for a limited time + receive a Forced Change pen and a hand written thank you card from the Director! PLUS the Social Shoutout (Tax deductible)

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    UNPUBLISHED KATRINA MEMOIR:
    Want a firsthand account of what it was like to be in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? Like to read? Ever steal a boat to paddle around the flooded streets of your neighborhood? You’ll get a downloadable digital copy of the unpublished memoir A ROOFTOP ABOVE REALITY. Written by FORCED CHANGE Co-Producer and Katrina evacuee Jared Andrukanis, this full length memoir follows the timeline of the hurricane from the mandatory evacuation order to the ensuing flood through the actions of five friends who decided to remain behind in New Orleans and face Katrina. This never-before-published book is exclusive to the FORCED CHANGE Kickstarter - get your copy now! (amount over $10 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FILM:
    Watch Forced Change! Receive an exclusive, High Definition digital download of the film for your home collection to enjoy again and again. PLUS Recipe ebook, digital stills, and the Social Shoutout, of course (amount over $10 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    OWN THE DVD:
    Receive and own the physical DVD of Forced Change upon commercial release of the film signed by the Director himself. Add the film to your personal home collection and watch it again and again! PLUS Recipe ebook, digital stills, and the Social Shoutout, of course (amount over $10 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF FILM + KATRINA MEMOIR:
    Receive an exclusive, High Definition digital download of the film + the exclusive digital eBook, A ROOFTOP ABOVE REALITY by Jared Andrukanis. PLUS Recipe ebook, digital stills. and the Social Shout Out, fo'sho! (amount over $20 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD + OFFICIAL CREW T-SHIRT:
    Receive an exclusive, High Definition digital download of the film + The Official FORCED CHANGE T-shirt. This one-of-a-kind, originally designed T-shirt is in limited supply, so get it while you can! PLUS Recipe ebook, digital stills, and you'll receive the Social Shoutout (amount over $25 is Tax deductible)

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    OWN THE DVD + EXCLUSIVE MARDI GRAS CALENDAR:
    Receive the physical DVD upon commercial release, signed by the Director, + an exclusive WWOZ calendar featuring the Mardi Gras Indian Queens, noting all New Orleans' holidays! Now THAT'S New Orleans! PLUS the Social Shoutout (amount over $20 is Tax deductible)

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    MEMORIAL FORCED CHANGE PICTURE BOOK + OWN THE DVD:
    Get this original FORCED CHANGE picture book with an array of pictures from the film, behind-the-sceens, pictures of the cast and the crew and much more! This is a great collector's item that will last. And receive the physical DVD upon commercial release, signed by the Director. Plus the Social Shoutout and our eternal thank you (amount over $30 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SIGNED CONCERT POSTER + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD:
    Get a special, limited edition Terence Blanchard E-Collective concert poster from the one and only New Orleans jazz venue, Snug Harbor. Signed by all 5 members of this exciting new jazz ensemble for their performance Thursday, December 4th, 2014, this is a true collector's item from this amazing musician and New Orleans native. Now this IS New Orleans! And receive an exclusive, High Definition digital download of the film. Plus the Social Shoutout and our eternal thank you (amount over $15 is Tax deductible)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE PACKAGE!:
    Own the official DVD of the film signed by the Director, an autographed exclusive, one-of-a-kind Forced Change Poster, the Official Forced Change Crew T-shirt, the Forced Change pen + the Beautiful Film Print. PLUS a Social Shoutout and our heartfelt thanks (amount over $50 is Tax deductible)

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    SKYPE SESSION + THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE PACKAGE:
    Receive a personal Skype session with the Director where you can ask all your questions about the making of the film or receive advice on your own personal film project. Want to break into the business? Get the inside scoop. Rennik has been doing it for a long time! Plus get the Ultimate Bundle Package which includes the DVD, the film poster, the t-shirt, the pen + the print from the film. PLUS the Social Shoutout and our heartfelt thanks! (amount over $50 is Tax deductible)

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    NEW ORLEANS-STYLE FEAST WITH THE DIRECTOR + THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE PACKAGE:
    Join the Director for an incredible, authentic New Orleans-style feast in New York…cooked by New Orleanians! You'll be enjoying real gumbo and jambalaya while sipping Abita and chatting to the director and his friends from New Orleans. This is truly a New Orleans experience right in the heart of NYC. Travel and accommodations not included for those outside New York. Plus get the Ultimate Bundle Package which includes the DVD, the film poster, the t-shirt, the pen + the print from the film. You'll also get a Social Shoutout, don't worry. Yeah, you right! (amount over $50 is Tax deductible)

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    NEW ORLEANS-STYLE FEAST WITH THE DIRECTOR + SPECIAL THANKS CREDITS + THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE PACKAGE:
    Join the Director for an incredible, authentic New Orleans-style feast in New York…cooked by New Orleanians! You'll be enjoying real gumbo and jambalaya while sipping Abita and chatting to the Director and his friends from New Orleans. This is truly a New Orleans experience right in the heart of NYC. Travel and accommodations not included for those outside New York. PLUS have your name always associated with FORCED CHANGE by having it displayed in the credits of the film as 'Special Thanks.' You deserve it and we are very thankful! Plus get the Ultimate Bundle Package which includes the DVD, the film poster, the t-shirt, the pen + the print from the film. You'll obviously get all the Social Shout out we can. Yeah, you right! (Tax deductible)

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

    GUEST OF HONOR PACKAGE + THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE PACKAGE!
    Two tickets to the official screening of FORCED CHANGE in New York City (travel and lodging not included). Meet Director Rennik Soholt and many of the people who worked so incredibly hard to make this film a reality. And come celebrate with the crew after the screening! PLUS have your name always associated with FORCED CHANGE by having it displayed in the credits of the film as 'Special Thanks.' PLUS get the Ultimate Bundle Package which includes the DVD, the film poster, the t-shirt, the pen + the print from the film. PLUS tons of Social Shoutout, of course (Tax deductible)

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
    Wow! Thank you so much for believing in FORCED CHANGE! You are part of the team. You will be credited on the film as an Associate Producer! PLUS get four tickets to the New York City premier of FORCED CHANGE (travel and lodging not included) and access to the after party with the filmmakers!! PLUS The Ultimate Bundle Package!!! Shucks, for this much help, I'll call you myself!!!! (Tax deductible)

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Funding period

- (31 days)