Making friends is as important to us as making documentaries. Doing both at the same time makes us very happy.
So we are thrilled that Guerrilla Foundation and La Fondation Pour Les Générations Futures have both given us grants to make our introductory episode in Athens. Please take a closer look at them. They are kindred spirits. They see the same problems as us. They are looking for solutions in similar places.
We have also received our first individual donations. Some lovely people have given us money out of their own pockets. Wow. They have been moved to back an idea, and that moves us. We’re grateful and touched
Thanks to these friends and foundations we now have around €20,000 to plan, shoot and edit our Athenian episode.
That might seem like a lot of money but it goes super quickly, even with our frugal mindset, on things like travel, accommodation, camera and sound equipment, professional crew, and local hired help. We’ll be shooting for five days straight in Athens, which involves a mountain of work to get us there, to do the research, to shoot everything that needs to be shot, and then edit a finished product that we hope will inspire the changes we dream about.
We have the perfect moment to compare democracy as originally imagined with what it has now become - something imposed on us rather than composed by us.
We’ll explore these themes in the city that gave us our word for government by the people - to the backdrop of the democratic mirage which is the European Parliament elections.
It’s the perfect place to explore the origins of deliberative democracy, at a perfect time to expose how its ideals have been corrupted by elections, with the perfect people to show us what a revival of people-powered democracy can look like.
Though we describe our Athens episode as ‘introductory’, this will be our third film. When Citizens Assemble featured Ireland’s ground-breaking Citizens’ Assembly and the deliberations leading up to the country’s historic referendum on abortion. Then Extinction Rebellion commissioned us to make Welcome To The Rebellion, a film giving the background to its demands for a UK citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice. We hope there will be more to come from that collaboration, budgets permitting.
Become a quiet hero of democracy
So, if you don’t mind us asking: “Will you be our friend too?”
Conventional foundations and media organisations have been slow to support this project, even ones promoting themselves as funding radical progressive change and justice. We get that what we’re doing can be hard to wrap your head around - we’re the naive kids calling out the naked emperor that is representative democracy. Elections don’t work. The system’s bust. Not many people really want to hear that. It sounds too tricky and threatening, especially to those in power.
We won’t hide it - we’re promoting radical ideas about how democracy could be, in fact how it has to be if we’re to bring the peaceful changes to our societies that we urgently need. There’s a place in that future for everyone, if they can only imagine it.
Better democracy works best when everyone comes along for the ride. Participation can not be exclusive. Guerrilla Foundation and La Fondation Pour Les Générations Futures are good friends who understand this.
We like to meet more soulmates like them, and more pals like you.
If you or your friends could help fund our next production please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, or ευχαριστώ as our friends in Athens say.