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A documentary film that explores the probability that we're heading for a mass societal collapse, and how human wisdom can save us.

Thanks so much for visiting our page, and viewing our pledge video and trailer. We're so excited to embark on the remainder of this film with your support! For more information about the film and who the team is, here are a couple of links, as well as some additional info below!

Sapience website

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube and Vimeo

Flickr

This Kickstarter campaign is in association with: 

LPZ Media, LLC.

http://www.lpzmedia.com

***

Synopsis

Driven by a lust for infinite economic growth on a planet of finite resources, our way of life is coursing toward catastrophe. But the danger is largely masked. In a highly mediated world where swelling numbers of people spend more time in front of screens than they do with other people, or in nature, our reckless pursuit of wealth has had disastrous consequences for the future of humanity.

Potent voices from all corners of the globe increasingly warn that even if you are lucky enough to find short-term shelter amidst our sundered society on an increasingly exhausted, discordant planet, you will not easily survive amidst social collapse, mass extinctions and human suffering.

Ignorance is bliss. But it is becoming extremely dangerous.

No matter how comfortable you are, no matter how much money you've got, no matter how privileged your perch, the threat of the coming collapse is acutely personal.

Instead of building walls of concrete and technology to mask growing social and environmental decline, we must seek a new accord with nature and with the rest of humanity, especially those outside the golden circle of rich nations. We must shift our worldview to accept the reality of our social and ecological ruptures – and acknowledge our collective identity crises.

Thought leaders, intellectuals, and the wise around the world have unanimously diagnosed our way of life with a terminal illness. The disease is ignorance. The symptom is social and environmental collapse. And the remedy is wisdom:

Wisdom that evolved into a canon of responsible codes of conduct fertilized our prosperity within nature for centuries. But many of those ideas have been erased. Could regaining this wisdom, which nurtured us for millennia, save us from the coming collapse?

To answer these questions, we must find guides capable of mining the time before we turned against nature and ourselves. These are the thinkers who have diagnosed our plight. With them, we will seek the path to re-engaging the inherent wisdom that led humanity to prosperity, and to our title of Homo Sapien – The Wise Being.

***

The Wise People (subjects)

In 1977, Dr. Helen Caldicott founded the organization Physicians for Social Responsibility, which brought together over 20,000 doctors dedicated  to informing others about the risks associated with nuclear energy. Four years later, she was featured in a short documentary called If You Love This Planet, which later won an Academy Award. In 2011, Dr. Helen Caldicott spoke about the true consequences of Japan’s nuclear disaster as a response to her outrage of the mainstream media’s downplaying of the event.

Ernest Callenbach is an American writer best known for his ecotopian novels which spurred a cult environmental movement in the seventies. In 1975, Callenbach authored Ecotopia, a utopian novel about a country formed from states in the Pacific North West of the United States. The book had an important impact on the emerging “green” counterculture movement, and presented many predictions about the future. He has since continued to dedicate his non-fiction books to the subject of sustainability.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer prize winning author and journalist whose major focus rests on issues of war and politics in America, as well as the Middle East. He is an outspoken critic of capitalism and the American right (which he associates with the Christian fundamentalist movement). His latest book demonstrates how the liberal class and its institutions, have willingly become enslaved to corporations and their respective agendas.

Dacher Keltner is an upbeat voice in the world of science and psychology. His book, Born to Be Good, uses scientific studies to back up the claim of this title. With dominant cultural ideas about man being inherently greedy; having evolved into homo economicus, and being wired to consume, Keltner uses his scientific findings about compassion and awe (among others) to prove that our positive qualities are what ensure our survival, and that humans are inherently compassionate beings. Keltner is a professor at University of California, Berkeley and director of The Greater Good Science Center.

John Perkins is a writer, best-selling author and activist, who spent a decade working as an “economic hitman”. As a chief economist for an engineering/consulting corporation throughout the seventies, he was responsible for pressuring third world countries into serving a US agenda; relenquishing control over their precious resources, at a cost to both their economy and national welfare. Ever since, Perkins has been outspoken about the corruption and greed behind our economic system, as well as on the topics of sustainability, philanthropy, and spiritual wisdom.

Clayton-Thomas Muller is an indigenous activist from the Cree Nation in Manitoba, Canada. After years of grassroots organizing within various indigenous communities, Muller has become one of the central figures in the Indigenous Environmental Network. His campaigning has mainly focused on re-framing the Alberta tar sands as more than an environmental issue; but also an active, disastrous threat to the livelihood of indigenous communities in Alberta and British Columbia.

Micah White is a senior editor at Adbusters, the international culture jammer magazine credited with sparking the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a recent article for the UK Guardian, he received widespread attention for coining the critique of "clicktivism," a kind of online activism that he argues erodes the revolutionary possibility of bottom-up social movements. White also criticizes consumerism and its counterpart, the massive advertising industry, which breeds what he refers to as "junk thought”, a metaphor for the pollution of our mental environments by the quantity of commercial information bombarding us each day.

***

FAQ

What is Ignorance? 

Deep down, we all realize there's something gravely wrong with the world, but instead of confronting these challenges and finding solutions to them, we have learned over time to actively ignore them. Ignorance is not about being uneducated or unaware of the issues. Ignorance is better described as knowing the issues – but actively ignoring them.

What is Collapse? 

Collapse is a term that was popularized by Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, and more recently, Collapse. Collapse describes the moment in which a society becomes unsustainable and the social, ecologic and economic foundations fall.

There has been a dozen or so human civilizations that have collapsed in the past; including the Roman empire, the Mayan civilization, Easter Island, and others. Unlike these past civilizations who were isolated in small parts of the world however, if our current globalized civilization were to collapse, it would affect human beings all over the planet.

Why are we at risk of a Collapse?

Our world is facing what's referred to as the triple crisis, a series of connected threats that many - like our wise person Clayton-Thomas Muller - predict could lead us to a point of collapse: 

1. The end of cheap energy (fossil fuels) is approaching, and forcing energy companies to take desperate measures to drill for new oil, gas and coal. Examples are in the news everyday; drilling in the arctic, hydraulic fracking, mountain top removal and the Canadian Tar Sands project.

2. We are attempting to maintain a destructive economic model that's based on infinite growth on a finite planet. 

3. Our planet is facing an ecological collapse unprecedented in human history. Species are dying at a rate that has not occurred since the extinction of the dinosaurs, and scientific evidence is mounting that humans actions are to blame.

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is a collection of knowledge stored in our ancestry, and passed down through hundreds of generations. Wisdom is the ability to observe the lessons learned through time, and to think critically about what implications a decision might have on future generations. 

It's like a safety net, allowing us to think long-term and avoid setting a catastrophic trap for our children, and their children. Anthropologists named our species Homo Sapien - meaning "The Wise People" - as a result of their observations of this unique human ability and characteristic.

Why are we making this film?

We all believe that we're living in an incredibly unique time in human history, where our species is literally at a crossroads. We can choose to continue to follow our destructive path, potentially leading to our demise, or a better, wiser path. We've been watching and supporting the growing movements around the world, including the Arab Spring, Occupy, and more. Our dream would be to add this film to this growing, global mobilization of people standing up to the powers that be, and demanding an end to the "status quo". It's time to wake up, rub our eyes of the ignorance that blinds us, and create the world we want to live in.

What's the stool of wisdom?

The first person to donate $5000 or more will get our stool of wisdom. This has been the stool that each wise person has sat on for their interview shoots, through our entire production. Each wise person has also autographed the stool afterwards, making it a souvenir not only of the film itself, but of the signatures of some of the greatest thinkers and activists of our time.

About Amy Shackleton, our favourite local artist whose rewards you can see in the $2500, $5000 and $10,000 reward categories:

Check out this awesome timelapse video of Amy's painting technique:

http://youtu.be/6yVhTyPaaLQ?hd=1

Her website:

http://www.amyshackleton.com/

What am I supporting with my pledge?

Two more interviews: you'll help us finish the remainder of this film. We've done 7 interviews with the subjects you see listed above, and plan to do 2 more. 

Transcription: we'll need to transcribe the additional shoots. 

Live action sequences: in addition to high quality stock footage or b-roll, we plan to shoot supporting live action sequences to further push the visual quality and uniqueness of this documentary.

Motion graphic sequences: as you saw in our teaser trailer (at the top of the description), we'll be creating several animated sequences like the story of Chocco by Ernest Callenbach, only featuring different dialogue segments and wise people in the film.

Visual FX: as you saw in our teaser trailer (at the top of the description), we want to push the status quo of documentary filmmaking, and feature each of our subjects in their very own, 3D-tracked CG environment.

Post-production; editing, colour correction, etc.: we'll need to edit the remainder of the film, apply colour correction, and other standard post-production steps to bring the film to its' final state, including sound design and music composition.

What if you don't reach your goal?

Remember that you'll only donate your pledge once, and if, we reach our goal of $60,000. So if you support this film, make a pledge, and help it reach the tipping point! 

As we said, we'll keep in touch throughout the progression of this campaign, and the film itself. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

the Thought Makers

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    NERDFIGHTERS UNITE! *Please select this reward if you're a Nerdfighter!* Pledging more then $5?!? We'll still hook you up with the appropriate rewards you see in the list below, but we need you to select this reward when pledging so we are able to count your awesomenesses... Remember, this is an opportunity for the NERDFIGHTERS to help produce their first ever feature film. If 1000 of you or more pledge, Nerdfighters will be credited as an Executive Producer and we'll be animating a sweet Nerdfighter logo for the credits so every viewer will feel your awesomeness! DFTBA!

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    Wisdom Package: You'll get a personal thank you tweet from the crew, a mention on our website, and enrollment in our exclusive, secret Sapience newsletter with production updates! You'll also be credited as a contributor in the film.

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    NERDFIGHTERS UNITE! *Please select this reward if you're a Nerdfighter and want us to make a "What is a Nerdfighter?" Thought Bubble for the VlogBrothers! *Pledging more then $50?? We'll still hook you up with the appropriate rewards you see in the list below, but we need you to select this reward when pledging so we are able to count your awesomenesses... Remember, if 100 Nerdfighters or more pledge this amount Thought Bubble will make the most awesome Nerdfighter video ever. DFTBA!

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    THE WISE BEING: You'll receive a signed, exclusive Sapience art book, containing production art, stories and photos from the crew, plus all previous rewards.

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    THE SAPIENT: You'll be invited to partake in a monthly conference call with the creators of the film with news, updates and Q&A. You'll also receive a specially-selected library of autographed books by our 'wise people', plus all previous rewards.

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    THE SUPER SAPIENT: You'll be invited to a personal screening of the film in Toronto. Dinner, drinks and your hotel stay will be covered, and you'll also receive a book of art from our favourite local artist, Amy Shackleton (see more about Amy in the project description). Plus all previous rewards.

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    THE MASTER SAPIENT: You'll be invited to a personal screening of the film in Toronto as above. You'll be invited to spend a day on set shooting one of our remaining interviews, you'll be credited as Associate Producer on the film, and you'll receive a personalized* original 22" x 30" painting, valued at $2000, from our favourite local artist, Amy Shackleton. Plus, all previous rewards. *Note: Amy Shackleton would create an original urban landscape painting, with her newest drip technique, that's tailored to your taste. She would collaborate with you to determine the best colour, location and subject matter for your painting too! (See more about Amy in the project description).

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    THE EAGER SAPIENT: As the first person to pledge $5000 or more, you'll receive the raddest gift we have: The Stool of Wisdom. This special stool has been autographed by every one of our 'wise people', and has been used as the seat for each wise person's interview. You'll have a stool that's been signed and sat on by some of the greatest thinkers of our time, and there's only one available. Plus, you'll receive the reward package associated with the amount you pledge, and all previous rewards.

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    THE SAPIENT AMONG SAPIENTS: You'll get a gorgeous personalized* original 30" x 45" painting, valued at $4000 from our favourite local artist, Amy Shackleton, you'll be credited Executive Producer on the film, plus all previous rewards. *Note: Amy Shackleton would create an original urban landscape painting, with her newest drip technique, that's tailored to your taste. She would collaborate with you to determine the best colour, location and subject matter for your painting too! (See more about Amy in the project description).

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