About this project
WE DID IT! THANK YOU!
In a flood of support from early backers here on Kickstarter, we reached our initial goal of $80,000 in two unforgettable days. That paid for closed captioning for the hearing impaired, our musical score, licensing archival photographs, and part of our editor's time. But we still needed to reach $200,000 to complete our budget, unlock our NEH grant, and finish the film.
So we kept going, and together we surpassed that second goal, too. AMAZING. I am honored to be part of such a powerful and dedicated community. Now our team can stop fundraising on other fronts and immediately focus on completing the film, so that you can see WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN in theaters and film festivals by the middle of 2017.
We'll be updating backers via Kickstarter, but please also visit us on our home planet at www.worldsofukl.com, where you can sign up for progress reports as we move through production and into the edit room. If you missed this campaign, you can also make a tax-deductible contribution there anytime.
WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN
As a kid I was blessed with parents who loved books, and especially lucky that Ursula K. Le Guin was one of the names on the shelf. I spent hours immersed in the legendary author’s fantastical worlds. Le Guin's work remained important to me as I grew up into a documentary filmmaker who was challenged, in my work, to explore the other worlds we brush past every day. I kept coming back to the story of that great writer-magician who first set me on the path.
Now I'm here to ask for your help in completing WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN, my feature documentary about Le Guin's life, work, and legacy.
For the past seven years, I’ve had the tremendous honor of filming dozens of hours with Ms. Le Guin, now 86. My exceptional team includes post-production supervisor Camille Servan-Schreiber (The Rape of Europa), cinematographer Andrew Black (Fahrenheit 911, Weather Underground), and consulting producer Jason Cohn, co-director of the Peabody Award-winning American Masters film EAMES: The Architect and the Painter.
The time for this film is now. This summer, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN a prestigious production grant of $600,000 out of our total budget of $800,000. That gave us an enormous push toward completing the hour-long documentary, which is aimed for broad public television, web, DVD, and educational distribution. Then, thanks to the incredible support of backers, we raised the rest of what we needed here on Kickstarter. We're not wasting any time — our team is already hard at work on the final stretch of production.
Please stay in touch! To follow our progress once the the Kickstarter ends, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit www.worldsofukl.com.
About Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the frontier of American letters until the sheer excellence of her work finally forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature. By elevating science fiction from mind candy to serious speculation, she opened doors for younger mainstream writers like Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and Jonathan Lethem to explore fantastic elements in their work.
In the film, we'll accompany Le Guin on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. To tell this story, the film reaches into the past as well as the future – to a childhood steeped in the myths and stories of disappeared Native peoples Le Guin absorbed as the daughter of prominent California anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and author Theodora Kroeber.
Le Guin's story allows audiences to reflect on science fiction’s unique role in American culture, as a conduit for our utopian dreams, apocalyptic fears, and tempestuous romance with technology. More than ever, we need to perform the kinds of thought experiments that Le Guin pioneered, to ask how we should behave as our technologies transform us beyond the wildest dreams of our grandparents.
We're working toward an enduring, thoughtful, and gorgeous documentary by the middle of 2017. Thank you for reading, for contributing, and for spreading the word, through all of your worlds, about WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN.
P.S. You can learn much more about Ursula K. Le Guin on her website: http://ursulakleguin.com/ArwenCurryDocumentary.html
Spread the word! Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, old-fashioned email and older-fashioned word-of-mouth to spread the word about WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN. The more fans and potential fans know about the film, the stronger our community becomes.
Some of Our Great Rewards:
-You can add a DVD of the finished film to any rewards pack of more than $45 by upping your pledge by $30. Once you up your pledge, send me a message with the word "DVD" as the first (or only) word. I will write you back to confirm!
If you just want the DVD, you can try TIU'AK ENNBE ENNBE'S PACK. For $30 you'll get a DVD of the finished film, the pin, updates, and a shout-out on social media. We will send out DVDs after theatrical release and broadcast: best estimate Sept. 2017. The DVD will be distributed internationally and with subtitles in multiple languages. -You can obtain a silkscreened wall poster of Ursula's hand-drawn map of the Earthsea archipelago by adding $50 to your pledge of more than $25. Just send me a message with the word "MAP" after you up your pledge. The map will be suitable for framing: black ink on white art paper, unsigned.
-Add a WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN onesie (size 6-12 months, yellow or blue) to any pledge of $25 and up for an additional $40. Message me to let me know once you'e upped your pledge!
Arwen Curry (Director & Producer) has spent her career working on films about game-changing creative Americans. She was Associate Producer and Archivist of the PBS American Masters film EAMES: The Architect and the Painter (2011). She also associate-produced American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco (2013), and the acclaimed HBO film Regarding Susan Sontag (2014). Between 2012 and 2014, Arwen worked on five 30-minute science and technology documentaries for San Francisco's PBS member station KQED, on subjects ranging from reawakening extinct species to the new era of space exploration. Her short documentary Stuffed took viewers into the lives and homes of compulsive hoarders to better understand our connection to the things we own. She is an SF Bay Area native and a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied documentary film with Jon Else (The Day After Trinity), Debbie Hoffmann and Frances Reid (The Times of Harvey Milk). Arwen was editor of the punk magazine Maximum Rock'n'Roll from 1998 to 2004. She also writes for magazines, radio, and film.
Jason Cohn (Consulting Producer) is the producer, writer and director of the Peabody Award-winning EAMES: The Architect and the Painter which aired nationally on PBS American Masters in 2011, following a successful theatrical release. His short documentary, Bible Belt Atheist premiered on the New York Times Op-Docs channel in 2015. Jason has produced segments for the PBS program Frontline World, associate-produced for Frontline and field produced for the award-winning PBS series Remaking American Medicine. He was the writer of The Secrets of J. Edgar Hoover for the National Geographic Channel and Ending AIDS for PBS. He was the Los Angeles bureau news producer for the Japan Broadcast Corporation (NHK). His radio reports have been heard on nationally syndicated public radio programs like Pacific Time and Beyond Computers. He has written National Affairs for Rolling Stone magazine and his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and other major periodicals.
Camille Servan-Schreiber (Post-Production Supervisor) has worked in documentary film since 1998 and has received numerous awards including a Golden Spire Award from the San Francisco Film Festival. Her latest project, Bible Belt Atheist, premiered in 2015 on The New York Times OpDocs channel. She recently produced American Jerusalem: Jews and The Making of San Francisco. She was a producer of EAMES: The Architect and the Painter, directed and produced The Secrets of J. Edgar Hoover for National Geographic and co-produced The Nobel: Visions of a Century for KQED. She also produced and filmed three segments of the PBS series The New Heroes and three segments of Frontline World for PBS. She received a broadband Emmy nomination for France: Soundtrack to a Riot. Camille was a field producer on The Rape of Europa for PBS and on Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution for American Masters.
Andrew Black (Director of Photography) shoots acclaimed features and documentaries, including Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 and Sicko. He shot the Academy Award-nominated The Weather Underground by Sam Green and Bill Siegel. His work has appeared on many broadcast venues, most recently in a national PBS broadcast of Bill Siegel’s The Trials of Muhammad Ali and the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary 50 Children by Steven Pressman. Every year, Andy films the Emmy Award-winning The New Environmentalists, a PBS show that features environmentalists from around the world. Other recent credits include Jacob Kornbluth’s Inequality For All and the national Emmy Award-winning series Years of Living Dangerously for National Geographic. With Sam Green, he co-created an exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California entitled A Cinematic Study of Fog. Mr. Black works all over the world and lives in San Francisco, California.
Nina Goodby (Associate Producer) is a producer and editor based in Oakland, California. She has shepherded documentaries to PBS and HBO, produced videos for the New York Times, and worked as a radio producer at WNYC in New York. She studied documentary filmmaking at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Risks and challenges
As an experienced documentary maker, I know that production problems do arise, from schmutz on the lens to the high cost of a key archival photograph. To some extent, filmmaking is always a challenge, because of the myriad costs and complexities of the task. Many hands are needed to bring a documentary to the big (or small, or smaller) screen.
But this is also what makes the process exhilarating — by bringing together enthusiastic, likeminded people, a filmmaker can create something that she could never accomplish alone. That’s why I’m so excited to join with other Le Guin fans to help finish the film. Together, I know we can bring her story to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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