Two freedom fighters from the Libyan revolution join the Syrian uprising against Assad and capture it all on film, with your help
This Is Your Chance to Be Part of the Arab Spring
Have you wanted to do something to help the Arab Spring but weren't sure how? This is your chance.
In September, 2012 two famous freedom fighters from the Libyan revolution, American Matthew VanDyke and Libyan Masood Bwisir, will travel together to Syria and join the rebels on the front line against the dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The mission? Make a groundbreaking and unique documentary film about the Syrian revolution and the Arab Spring that will be released on the internet for free to a potential audience of millions (similar to the method used to distribute the film Kony 2012).
The film will be coupled with a massive public relations campaign to promote the film, and by doing so also focus the world's attention on the struggle for freedom in Syria.
The film will be released on the internet in both English and English with Arabic subtitles. It will also be distributed on the streets in several Arab countries. The message of the film is to inspire and motivate people to protest for freedom in their own countries, propelling the Arab Spring forward into the next phase.
What makes this film so unique?
The film is one-of-a-kind because of the three main subjects:
- Matthew VanDyke - An American from Baltimore, MD, USA. VanDyke had worked in the region for years as a journalist and documentary filmmaker, and had many friends in Libya. When they took up arms against the Gaddafi regime, VanDyke went to help. He fought in the Libyan revolution and was captured by Gaddafi's forces. He spent nearly 6 months as a prisoner of war in two of Libya's most notorious prisons, being psychologically tortured in solitary confinement. With the help of other prisoners he escaped prison and returned to combat on the front lines. Only when Gaddafi was killed and the war ended did he come home. Matthew VanDyke is an experienced documentary filmmaker who has filmed in the Arab world for years, including Syria before the war. He filmed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while working as an embedded journalist with the US military, and also filmed while he was fighting in Libya. His background and experience is ideally suited to this project. More information about Matthew VanDyke can be found at his website here.
- Masood Bwisir - A famous Libyan rebel musician who was one of the first in Benghazi to rise up against Gaddafi on February 17, 2011, Masood would fight, sing, and play his guitar on the front lines during the Libyan revolution. His songs became some of the theme songs of the revolution, and his presence on the front line rallied his fellow Libyan freedom fighters during combat. Wounded by a gunshot to the leg in Sirte, he returned to the same exact place he was shot later that day and returned fire at the enemy. Masood Bwisir was very popular with the other rebel fighters during the Libyan revolution and will undoubtedly be very popular in Syria as he rallies the rebels on the front lines there as well. More information about Masood Bwisir can be found in this Time.com article here.
- Syrian freedom fighters - VanDyke and Bwisir will be in Syria as combat veterans of the Libyan revolution, and as such will have a far deeper understanding and level of interaction with the Syrian rebels than journalists ever could, bringing the stories of these brave men and women to a worldwide audience.
What is the purpose of this project and what will VanDyke and Bwisir be doing in Syria?
The primary purpose of this project is to film a documentary that does the following:
- Tell an in-depth story of the Syrian revolution from the front lines of the war in a very human, moving, and distinctive way
- Film the Syrian revolution from an insider's perspective that other journalists or filmmakers are unable to do
- Film Masood Bwisir entertaining and improving rebel morale with his famous revolution songs, including new ones or variations of his Libya songs modified for the Syrian revolution
- Film the interaction between Syrian rebels and their Libyan revolution counterparts
- Examine the interaction between an American veteran of the Libyan revolution and Syrian rebels who may or may not have a favorable view of America and Americans
- Discover the truth of who the fighters are, what their beliefs are, and what they are fighting for
- Show what combat is like on the front lines of the Syrian revolution
- Most importantly, generate an incredible amount of publicity for the film to raise awareness of the conflict in Syria and inspire others around the world to protest for their freedom as well
This last point cannot be emphasized enough. Part of the budget has been set aside specifically for funding a publicity campaign for the film, which as a side-effect will publicize the Syrian revolution as well.
Exceeding the $19,500 funding goal might allow for an even more extensive publicity campaign for the film to draw international media attention to the film and its subject matter, so please continue to contribute even after the minimum $19,500 requirement is reached.
Raising $50,000 or even $100,000 would allow for a tremendous publicity campaign for the film!
How will the money be spent?
100% of the $19,500 budget is being spent on expenses related to filming in Syria (film and safety equipment, travel, expenses on the ground) and the promotion of the film after it is released in October 2012. This budget does not include salaries or any monetary compensation while filming in Syria or for post-production of the film - Matthew VanDyke and Masood Bwisir are not doing this project for money.
Everyone who contributes $25 or more gets their name in the credits section of the film and on the website, forever becoming part of the Arab Spring!
For more information, including flyers (in English, Arabic, and French) you can distribute via email or print to help promote the film, and a personal appeal from Matthew VanDyke, please visit: http://www.matthewvandyke.com/syria/
Masood Bwisir singing his song "My Nation Will Remain Strong" during the Libyan revolution