By Creating Freedom Project | Jul 20, 2012
An independent film series about freedom, power and control, with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva and many more.
What is Creating Freedom?
Based on years of research, Creating Freedom draws together some of the most illuminating, challenging, and inspiring ideas from the world’s leading thinkers and activists. In a society with great inequality, the dominant ideas tend to be the ones that benefit those with the resources to spread them. This is your chance to help spread a different set of ideas: ideas that will educate and inspire us to create a fairer, wiser, more beautiful world.
This independently-produced documentary series explores the relationship between freedom and power in modern society, synthesising a wide-ranging analysis of the education system, the media, PR, democracy, and economics to offer an alternative perspective on today’s situation and the future we’re creating. Creating Freedom blurs the line between art and activism; it aims to be a catalyst for self-education, creativity and social change.
What stage is the project at?
After three years in the making, we have completed the first film in the series, “The Lottery of Birth”. It will premiere at one of the world’s leading film festivals later in the year. We’re still deciding on the details of its distribution, but it will ultimately be freely available online.
We’ve already done a lot of work on the second film in the series, including a number of fascinating interviews. Up to this point, the project has been funded primarily by the artwork of one of the directors (www.raoulmartinez.com), and made possible by the generous commitment of everyone involved, and many a favour along the way called in by both the producer/directors. But to finish the second film, and do justice to the vision we have for it, we need your help.
What are the films about?
Noam Chomsky once said:
“For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.”
The films in this series take up this “urgent task” of understanding society’s mechanisms of control, while also going beyond to explore plausible visions of a better world.
Episode One—The Lottery of Birth: From birth onwards our minds are a battleground of competing forces. The outcome of this battle determines the society we create. It is a film about the cultural, educational, and commercial forces that shape our identities, often in ways that limit both our personal and political freedom.
Episode Two—One Dollar One Vote (working title): The modern religion of market fundamentalism has created a society in which one-person-one-vote has been replaced by one-dollar-one-vote. and in which the new ethical system is one of selfishness and greed. Where Christian scripture begins with Adam, the scripture of this new religion begins with economist Adam Smith. To understand how this modern faith, and its mechanisms of control, have spread and changed our world, we explore the relationship between PR, media, politics and democracy.
How can I help?
Since we released the trailer for the first film, the response to the project has been amazing. Many people excited about the series have contacted us, asking how they can support it. Here’s how you can help…
First and foremost we need to reach our fund-raising goal to cover all the costs of the second film. We are passionate about making a valuable, important and beautiful series of films. Even a small contribution will be much appreciated. This will be a project for the people, powered by the people.
Second, you can help us by spreading the word about the project by sharing the following links:
Creating Freedom – Fundraising: http://vimeo.com/creatingfreedom/fundraiser
And third, if you have a talent that you think would be helpful on the project, and you’d like to do some work for us, get in touch.
Who are we?
The series is produced and directed by Raoul Martinez and Joshua van Praag.
Raoul is an artist, writer, and documentarian. His portraits have been selected for exhibition in London’s National Portrait Gallery, and he has painted leading figures in the arts and academia as well as a series of symbolic works. At the age of seventeen he left college to become an apprentice to an international portrait painter, and to study a syllabus of his own making with the aim of questioning his beliefs and the forces that had shaped him. A deep interest in philosophy soon broadened into a study of psychology, economics, politics and history. ‘Creating Freedom’ is his first documentary series. He is currently writing a book of the same name.
Josh began working in film in his native Britain at the age of sixteen. In 1998 he moved to New York City where he began working as a lighting technician on independent features. Over the next ten years, he travelled the world, collaborating on more than forty films under directors like Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci, Woody Allen and Wong Kar-Wai. In 2005, Josh wrote and directed his first short film, The Dig, which went on to win the jury prize and the award for best director at the New York Independent Film Festival. As a member of the Media Working Group at Occupy Wall Street, Josh helped found the movement’s first video production collective, Occupy TVNY.