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This documentary tells the story of an unlikely conversation on a topic of grave importance, and how it changed two foes into friends.
This documentary tells the story of an unlikely conversation on a topic of grave importance, and how it changed two foes into friends.
This documentary tells the story of an unlikely conversation on a topic of grave importance, and how it changed two foes into friends.
1,596 backers pledged AU$ 147,233 to help bring this project to life.

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Islam and the Future of Tolerance: The Movie

AU$ 147,233

1,596

Islam and the Future of Tolerance is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of an unlikely conversation on a topic of grave importance, and how it changed two foes into friends. This film chronicles the initial clash and ultimate collaboration between the prominent atheist author and neuroscientist Sam Harris and the former Islamist Maajid Nawaz. Together they immortalised their dialogue in the critically acclaimed Islam and the Future of Tolerance, published by Harvard University Press in 2016. Their collaboration has galvanised a movement in which courageous voices speak up (and speak louder) about the need for reform to correct Islam’s incompatibilities with 21st-century liberal values. This film will expand that conversation globally.

 

 

 

 

 

Why we’re making this film 

In 2016, Think Inc., a premier intellectual events company, introduced the story of Islam and the Future of Tolerance in Australia with the controversial and highly anticipated tour of Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. Audiences quickly realised that the conversation needed to be broader—to look at facts, discuss ideas, and collaborate toward a future of hope and achievement. Out of a desire to challenge intellectual comfort and a thirst for democratising the dialogue between society’s innovators and the people who benefit from them, Think Inc. has teamed up with the award-winning filmmaker Jay Shapiro to bring you Islam and the Future of Tolerance: The Movie.

What is this documentary about? 

On September 10, 2001, Sam Harris was studying neuroscience in California, and Maajid Nawaz was in Egypt working as a top recruiter for one of the biggest Islamist organisations in the world, pushing for an Islamic caliphate. The next day sent them down paths that would converge 15 years later in an unlikely collaboration.

Harris entered life as a public intellectual after 9/11 and soon found himself regarded as a leading voice of the “New Atheist” movement, along with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett. He spent much of the next decade writing books such as The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape and publicly engaging religious scholars and apologists in highly contentious conversations.

Meanwhile, Nawaz was arrested and thrown into an Egyptian prison, where he spent four years before beginning his slow journey out of radical Islamism. By the time he emerged, he had decided to dedicate his life’s work to reforming Islam from within. He started Quilliam, a counter-terrorism think tank.

The two men clashed for the first time in 2010, at a restaurant in Manhattan, after Nawaz had participated in a debate where he argued that “Islam is a religion of peace.” The conversation broke down before it began. Harris and Nawaz butted heads and walked away.

Five years later, Harris reached out to Nawaz, unsure of the outcome. They began to engage in a conversation about the viability of prospects for reforming Islam. Their conversation proved so fruitful that they published the dialogue as a short book.

Facing death threats, boycotts, and criticism from the conservative right and the regressive left, the two decided to take the conversation public in a series of joint appearances across Australia.

The film will not only explore the contents of their crucial conversation but also reflect on the very nature of conversation itself—and on how this crucial one succeeded.

Featuring footage of the public events; the original, never-before-heard phone conversations; licensed footage of debates and news appearances; animation; and in-depth filming with both Harris and Nawaz, this documentary will weave together their biographies in an engaging format as it illustrates nuanced arguments that expose both the religious right’s ideology and the regressive left’s roadblocks to progress.

Ultimately, the film offers hope that conversation can succeed. It will serve as an inspiration—that two people starting out so far apart could find common cause—and a call to action. If the choice is always between conversation and violence, this film is a plea for the former.

 

 

 

Our vision for the movie

Fans of Harris and Nawaz are accustomed to seeing the two men onstage or on TV. This film will present a unique view, deploying cinematic and stylized aesthetics to intimately engage the audience through interviews with both men while illustrating and punctuating key moments with animation, archival footage, and recreations. It will end with a flourish as new and important voices enter the conversation.

Advance praise

 

 

 

The team

Suzi Jamil and Desh Amila are the founders of Think Inc., a young Australian-based initiative dedicated to the promotion of intellectual discourse through world-class events.

Suzi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Juris Doctor from the University of New South Wales. She has more than five years’ experience as a professional communicator.

Desh has more than 11 years’ experience as an event producer and holds a degree in Film Production from Deakin University.

Launched in 2013, Think Inc. has become a platform for promoting big ideas; stimulating and engaging independent, rational thinking; and celebrating scientific discovery. Think Inc. has hosted Neil deGrasse Tyson, Steve Wozniak, Edward Snowden, Brian Greene, and other eminent thinkers.

 Jay Shapiro is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in New York. While earning his degree at Clark University, he was awarded a fellowship to produce a documentary in West Africa titled Like Me, I Am Here. Over the next decade, his work enjoyed success at prestigious film festivals such as Toronto, Tribeca, RiverRun, and DOC NYC. His major directorial debut, Opposite Field, followed the journey of the first African team to play in the Little League World Series. It was bought by Netflix for digital distribution and has been shown in television markets around the world. It was featured in the New York Times and on ABC, ESPN, and CNN International. Shapiro recently directed All Rise, a feature-length documentary about the complexities of international law, which was filmed in 11 countries and privately screened at the United Nations.

Advisors: 

Susan MacKinnon

Susan MacKinnon is a passionate advocate for the documentary industry. She has worked as an independent producer for more than 26 years, winning numerous international awards and much critical acclaim for her documentaries.

Sonya Pemberton

Sonya Pemberton is one of Australia’s leading television producers, specialising in science. She has written and directed more than 60 hours of broadcast documentary and executive produced dozens of award-winning factual series and one-off programs.

Dr Meredith Doig

Rationalist Society of Australia President Meredith Doig, PhD is a professional company director and consultant who focuses on governance and executive team effectiveness (board reviews, potential assessment, executive coaching). She is a facilitator of the Company Directors Course for the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a moderator with the Cranlana Programme on Ethics and the Good Society.

Technology

We are using cutting-edge technology to make the film: the new RED WEAPON 8K camera with HELIUM CMOS for breathtaking b-roll and stunning 4K-quality RED cameras.

Timeline

February 2016 

  • Filming of the speaking tour, Think Inc. presents An Evening with Sam Harris, featuring Maajid Nawaz—completed
  • October 2016 Filming with Sam Harris—completed 
  • Filming with Dave Rubin—completed 
  • Filming with Ayaan Hirsi Ali—completed

December 2016 

  • Filming with Maajid Nawaz—completed

February 2017 

  • Filming with Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz—TBC 
  • Filming with additional guests—TBC

February 2017 

  • Official trailer 
  • Editing begins

March 2017 

  • Theatrical trailer 
  • Submission to film festivals

April 2017 

  • First cut of the movie

May 2017 

  • Test screening in NYC, LA, London, Sydney, and Melbourne (limited audience) 
  • Second draft edit

Why we need you

This vital project arose out of an unlikely conversation between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. We believe that the fruits of their collaboration should be shared as widely as possible. Every person involved in this project is passionate about this cause. We have managed to accomplish a lot on a tiny budget, but much work remains to be done. The $100,000 we hope to raise through Kickstarter will go toward the sound production and final editing of the film in Australia. 

Breakdown of the cost 

 

 

Risks and challenges

We are a small company based in Australia, so the logistics are very tricky for us—not least because our two stars live on different continents. Think Inc. is an events company, and this is a project outside our usual tasks. We are working tirelessly to get it up and running.

In a world where 72 hours’ worth of content is created every minute on YouTube alone, we are entering a competitive and saturated market. Our goal is to get our film in front of people and hold their attention for the full 90 minutes in order to truly have an impact.

We are first-time filmmakers, and though we have no doubt about our ability, we don’t yet have a reputation.

The topic of this documentary is highly controversial, and we understand that we may end up being targets. That’s a risk we are willing to take.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $8

    Reward #1

    Thanks for standing with us! With this package, you will receive regular updates about the film, its production, and its release.

    Includes:
    • Regular updates
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    Estimated delivery
    138 backers
    AU$
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About $19

    Reward #2

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a mention on our website, and an HD stream of the completed film.

    Includes:
    • Regular updates
    • Mention on our website
    • A HD stream link of the film, once it's complete
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    625 backers
    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About $38

    Reward #3

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a mention on our website plus a mention in the film credits and a 4K video stream of the completed film.

    Includes:
    • Regular updates
    • Mention on our website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    397 backers
    AU$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $76

    Reward #4

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a mention on our website plus a mention in the film credits. Also a 4K video stream of the completed film, plus 4K video stream of the extended interviews with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dave Rubin (1.5 hours of original footage).

    Includes:
    • Mention on our website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    192 backers
    AU$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 150 or more About $113

    Reward #5

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a mention on our website plus a mention in the film credits and a 4K video stream of the completed film. You also receive a thank-you card from the team, a copy of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance, and two Sam Harris stickers and one Four Horsemen sticker.

    Includes:
    • Mention on our website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • Sticker Pack (3 stickers: 2 Sam Harris quotes & 1 Four Horsemen)
    • Thank you card from the team
    • The Book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    67 backers
    AU$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 300 or more About $227

    Reward #6

    Everything from Package 5, plus a DVD of the completed film plus 4K video stream of the extended interviews with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dave Rubin (1.5 hours of original footage) and a Sam Harris A3 quote poster (200GSM with matte finish).

    Includes:
    • Mention on our website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • Limited edition DVD of the film, once it's complete
    • Sticker Pack (3 stickers: 2 Sam Harris quotes & 1 Four Horsemen)
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Thank you card from the team
    • The Book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Regular updates
    • Sam Harris A3 quote poster (200GSM with matte finish)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    31 backers
    AU$
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About $378

    Reward #7

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a mention on our website plus a mention in the film credits and a 4K video stream and a DVD of the completed film plus 4K video stream of the extended interviews with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dave Rubin (1.5 hours of original footage). You also receive a thank-you card from the team, a copy of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance, a digital link to the original soundtrack of the film and a Four Horsemen poster (A3 with glossy finish).

    Includes:
    • Mention on our website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • Limited edition DVD of the film, once it's complete
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Thank you card from the team
    • The Book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Link to download the original soundtrack of the film
    • Four Horsemen poster (A3 with glossy finish).
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $755

    Reward #8

    Everything from package 7, but your DVD and book will be personally signed by Sam and Maajid and you will also receive a special mention on the website. You’ll also receive a Sam Harris 2015 Australian tour T-shirt, a Think Inc. hoodie, an End of Faith Cap and a Four Horsemen poster (A3 with glossy finish)

    Includes:
    • Special mention on website
    • Mention in film credits
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • Limited edition signed DVD
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Thank you card from the team
    • Sam Harris 2015 Australian tour T-shirt
    • Think Inc. Hoodie
    • End of Faith Cap
    • Link to download the original soundtrack of the film
    • Four Horsemen poster (A3 with glossy finish).
    • A signed copy of the book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5,000 or more About $3,776

    Reward #9

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a special mention on our website plus a mention in the film credits and a 4K video stream and a DVD of the completed film, signed by Sam and Maajid, plus 4K video stream of the extended interviews with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dave Rubin (1.5 hours of original footage). You also receive a thank-you card from Sam and Maajid, a signed copy of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance, a digital link to the original soundtrack of the film, a Four Horsemen t-shirt, a Think Inc. hoodie and t-shirt, and an End of Faith Cap.

    You’ll also receive signed copies of the following books:
    The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)
    Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)
    The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)
    Lying (2011)
    Free Will (2012)
    Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (2014)
    Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism (2012)

    Finally, you’ll receive a one-hour Skype session with the producers and the director of the film.

    Includes:
    • Special mention on website
    • Link to download the original soundtrack of the film
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • Limited edition signed DVD
    • A thank you note from Sam and Maajid
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Four Horsemen t-shirt
    • Think Inc. t-shirt
    • Think Inc. Hoodie
    • End of Faith Cap
    • A signed copy of the book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Signed copies of all of Sam and Maajid's books
    • Skype with the Director and Producers of the film
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10,000 or more About $7,551

    Conversation Changer

    With this package, you will receive regular updates, a special mention on our website plus executive producer credit for the film credits and a 4K video stream and a DVD of the completed film, signed by Sam and Maajid, plus 4K video stream of the extended interviews with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dave Rubin (1.5 hours of original footage). You also receive a thank-you card from Sam and Maajid, a signed copy of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance, a digital link to the original soundtrack of the film, a Sam Harris End of Faith Halfsleeve x Think Inc. collaboration t-shirt, a Think Inc. hoodie and t-shirt, and an End of Faith Cap.

    You’ll also receive signed copies of the following books:
    The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)
    Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)
    The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)
    Lying (2011)
    Free Will (2012)
    Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (2014)
    Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism (2012)

    Finally, you’ll receive Twitter shoutout by Sam Harris, and the opportunity to have dinner with Sam and Maajid in NYC or LA after a preview of the film in that city.

    Includes:
    • Mention in film credits
    • Special mention on website
    • A 4K digital stream link of the film, once it's complete
    • A thank you note from Sam and Maajid
    • Limited edition signed DVD
    • 4K stream of the extended interviews Sam, Maajid, Ayaan and Dave
    • Think Inc. t-shirt
    • Think Inc. Hoodie
    • End of Faith Cap
    • Sam Harris End of Faith Halfsleeve x Think Inc. collab t-shirt
    • Link to download the original soundtrack of the film
    • An @ mention by Sam Harris on Twitter
    • A signed copy of the book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    • Signed copies of all of Sam and Maajid's books
    • Executive Producer credit
    • Dinner with Sam and Maajid
    • Regular updates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)