WOW everyone. Thank you!! With your support and generosity, we've raised more than 150% of our first goal. We can't thank you enough!
This is only the beginning. Everything we raise now through campaign's end will help us have an even broader reach and deeper impact, so keep sharing!
#TimeforUnrest is a global campaign launching this September to use Jennifer Brea's new feature documentary, Unrest to catalyze massive change. The campaign will fuel the growing movement for more recognition, education, research, and funding for ME.
The campaign involves traditional theatrical releases in the US & UK and screenings at medical schools, research labs, foundations, halls of government, and communities around the world, as well as grassroots mobilizations and calls to action.
OUR AMBITIOUS KICKSTARTER GOAL
We need to raise at least $100,000 to launch Unrest in September. And $200,000 to sustain our campaign through the end of 2017.
But to achieve our campaign goals, this is only the beginning. The more we raise, the longer our campaign can run, the deeper the work we can do, and the bigger the impact we can achieve.
Contributions made to Kickstarter count towards our all-or-nothing goal. However, they are not tax-deductible. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so through one of our fiscal sponsors.
(Note: donations made outside of Kickstarter will not count toward our all-or-nothing goal but are very much appreciated!)
When Jennifer Brea was 28, she came down with a mysterious high fever that left her bedridden and looking for answers. At first, doctors couldn’t diagnose her. They said nothing was wrong - that it was all in her head. But it turned out she has a disease called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a disease that affects millions of people around the world, 80% of whom are women, leaving them homebound or bedbound, robbed of the lives they previously knew.
Currently, there are only experimental treatments and no cure. Many patients are still disbelieved by doctors when their symptoms present. 80% are undiagnosed and it takes an average of five years to get a diagnosis. And for decades, there has been shockingly little public investment made to support scientific research.
That’s why, from bed, Jen decided to make Unrest - a film that shows her journey and the journey of others around the globe - to change the landscape of how ME is understood, accepted, and treated, and ultimately to accelerate the search for a cure.
At festivals worldwide, we’ve seen firsthand the potential this film has to change the way people think about chronic illnesses, about gender bias in medicine, about a disease that’s far too often stigmatized and misunderstood.
Now, we need to bring the film to the places it can have the most impact: medical schools and hospitals, universities and research institutions, campuses and community groups across the globe!
And we can only do this work with your help. So thank you for donating what you can and sharing this campaign far and wide!
Through sustained calls-to-action worldwide, #TimeforUnrest aims to:
- Gain mass and strategic recognition of ME as a debilitating illness suffered by millions;
- Mobilize a community of ME patients and allies to advocate on behalf of those with ME and other complex illnesses;
- Promote knowledgeable and empathetic care for ME within the medical community;
- Inspire new scientists and funders to enter the research field
We also hope the campaign and the film will have these broader impacts:
- Raise awareness of chronic illness & invisible disability
- Raise awareness of gender inequalities in medicine. From the lack of female experimental subjects, to bias in diagnosis & treatment, to the way that diseases that disproportionately affect women are underfunded, the story of ME's neglect is a part of this larger story.
- Bridge silos between researchers, doctors, and patient communities so that we can better understand how to diagnose, treat, and distinguish between ME and potentially related diseases (e.g., chronic Lyme, fibromyalgia, postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS), mast cell activation disorder, and Ehler's Danlos Syndrome).
#TimeForUnrest is a global campaign, with a particular emphasis on the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. It will involve both traditional theatrical release (US and UK) and community screenings all around the world.
WHAT YOUR FUNDS HELP SUPPORT
- Impact campaign teams in the US, UK and Australia organize high-profile screenings at major government, medical and research institutions and build relationships with organizations in the ME community, medical community, disability rights, women's health, and healthcare communities
- Community screenings teams to handle both incoming requests and lead outreach to screen Unrest on campus and at medical schools
- Publicists in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London to help create national conversations about ME
- Scientific outreach consultant to help us understand how best to engage and collaborate with scientists around the globe
- Creation of materials, including film discussion guides and educational material
- Editing of short-form content
- Travel to support impact campaign team's outreach efforts.
Unrest premiered this January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for editing. It has since screened at SxSW, CPH:DOX, HotDocs, River Run (Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature), Nashville Film Festival (Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature), and the Sheffield Doc/Fest (Illuminate Award), among other festivals. Additionally, it was selected for the first-ever Sundance Creative Distribution Fellowship, which is helping expand its distribution worldwide!
It will be released in theaters and for community and campus screenings beginning in Fall 2017. In the US, it will be broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens in early 2018.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), often called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a systemic neuroimmune condition characterized by post-exertional malaise (a severe worsening of symptoms after even minimal exertion). It causes dysregulation of both the immune system and the nervous system. The effects of ME are devastating enough to leave 25% of patients housebound or bedbound. For moderate to severe patients, living with ME is like living with late-stage cancer, advanced AIDS, or congestive heart failure for decades.
It is estimated that at least 1,000,000 Americans, 250,000 British people, 100,000 Australians, and 400,000 Canadians have ME. An estimated 75-85% of them are women and 80-90% of them are undiagnosed.
Common symptoms include significant physical or mental fatigue, post-exertional malaise (a perverse response to normal exertion), debilitating pain, sleep dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, neurological impairment, sensory sensitivity and severe immune dysfunction. Many ME patients also have postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS).
Here is description of the components that make up all of our reward bundles. Have questions? Contact us here.
- Wall of Thanks - Add your name to our website's Wall of Thanks
- Campaign Launch - #TimeforUnrest launches this September in a big way. Add your name to our top secret campaign launch!
- The B-Side - There is so much beautiful content we couldn't include in the film. The B-Side is a collection of deleted scenes and storylines from Unrest, digitally delivered.
- It's About Science - We sat down with a half dozen medical and scientific experts over the course of shooting Unrest. We'll be releasing some of this content online during our impact campaign, but this is your chance to go into even greater depth.
- My Thanks - Get a personal video shout-out or word of encouragement from Jen, delivered to you or a loved one.
- More Knowledge, More Power, More Bear! - Emmy® Award-winning composer Bear McCreary wrote the original score for Unrest, his first for a documentary! You’ve heard his work in Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, The Walking Dead, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and many more.
- A Moment in Time (for Unrest) - A limited-edition, personalized piece of Unrest history with an Unrest poster from the Sundance Film Festival and a handwritten note to you from Jen.
- Ticket to a Screening of Unrest w/ Director Q&A – This reward can be redeemed virtually or for theatrical screenings in select cities this September & October: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London
- License for one Unrest Community Screening - To use or to donate back to the campaign. Your screening date will need to be approved to prevent overlapping events in the same city or town, so if you are looking to screen on a specific date, or have any questions at all about community screenings, please email: Carla Fleisher, Film Sprout firstname.lastname@example.org (US & Worldwide) or Rebecca Ashdown, Together Films email@example.com (UK). The film can be screened using this license anytime between now and forever (again, subject to date availability).
- Transcript of Unrest in a Foreign Language, Signed by the Director. If you chose this reward, you can indicate the language(s) you hope Unrest will be translated into. And then from among the languages we are able to translate, you'll be able to chose your transcript. We hope it will be your preferred or native language, but cannot make this guarantee before seeing how many people select this reward and where the strongest interest lies.
- Signed photo of sound designer Jim LeBrecht and Jennifer Brea - celebrate diversity and accessibility!
- A DVD of Unrest, Signed by the Director. When you receive your reward survey, you can indicate if you'd like this to be made out to yourself or another person and if desired, with a specific sentiment.
- Director's Talk. Jen will fly with the film and/or virtual reality experience and deliver a Q&A or talk to your gathering. Travel for Jen + companion not included. Please contact us before selecting this reward to discuss availability as well as travel requirements.
Risks and challenges
Achieving social, cultural and political change is hard. It requires strong storytelling, deep community organizing, and long-term commitment. It took decades to get where we are and it will take years to achieve the change we aim for. We don't know how long the road will be, but #TimeforUnrest has the potential to be a catalyst for that change.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)