Independent Filmmaker Seeks Your Help to 'Heal America'

One of the most appealing aspects of the new media is the immediate and passionate involvement of the reader, a dynamic in which the audience is as active and important as the originator of information. Since I started writing for Big Hollywood, my arguments have been constantly encouraged, dismissed, challenged. The highly intelligent and engaged readership of this great blog has thereby helped to crystallize and clarify my ideas the way no “polite” or silently detached audience ever could.

So it is with great excitement that I present to you a bold new project of mine–one that I think will inspire and challenge you as much as you’ve inspired and challenged me over the years.

Naturally, I am looking forward to the scrutiny and feedback that this teaser trailer and the premise of the film will induce, and I hope that you will be moved to support and make this film possible.

Heal America is a feature film documentary following the legendary homeless activist Ted Hayes on his journey to heal racial and generational wounds in our society. Many know Ted from his work with the homeless on skid row in Downtown L.A.

After living with the homeless for eight years, in 1993 Ted Hayes founded The Dome Village, a groundbreaking homeless shelter that addressed the problem of homelessness in an original politically incorrect way – by nurturing the spirit of responsibility and self-reliance. A true inspiration for several generations of the downtrodden, Ted is living proof of how one man can positively transform his desperate surroundings.

I met Ted Hayes years ago while making The Wounded Warrior (www.thewoundedwarrior.com), a documentary about the far reaching consequences of the Civil War. We talked a lot about how most of the racial and social issues today are a result of wounds inherited from our troubled past and how much of it can be healed by simply acknowledging where and how and why the wound was inflicted.

Wherever true healing was needed–for the wounds of slavery and segregation, the conflicts between natives and settlers, or many subtle cultural clashes besides–there was an exploitation of pain in order to serve a specific political purpose and establish a fraudulent voting pattern. An entire industry of race hustlers, “social justice” witch doctors, professional class warfare agitators and ambulance chasers flourished from festering wounds whose causes had never been addressed with honesty.

In this distorted reality, good people are still being labeled racist while real racists prosper from the confusion and fuel it. Any attempt to address issues of social, racial, or cultural division with the objective of bringing us together as one people is met with hostility and finger-pointing from one side and denial from the other. Honest dialogue quickly degenerates into a blame game and a guilt trip.

Heal America shows what can happen by cutting through the veneer of political correctness and confessing one’s shortcomings without fear or self-pity. It is more than a documentary. It is a journey and a movement — one that ultimately begins with you…

The devotion of our small crew to this project has enabled us to film it on bare bones budget. The best way to fund this project, we’ve concluded, is by directly involving the very community we hope to reach with the film. A brilliant new website–kickstarter.com–makes this involvement easy and exciting, and we’ve launched a funding campaign on the site through which you can contribute to Heal America in a matter of seconds.

Here’s how it works. On our Kickstarter page, you can pledge a donation of any size, for rewards ranging from DVDs to posters to private meetings with Ted Hayes and invitations to the premier. Your donation is only charged if we reach our fundraising goal in the allotted time (38 more days). By becoming a “backer” you not only help us continue filming but also showcase your support in a very important way for the promotion of the film and its message.

Every little bit counts. This is new media at its best, relying on strength in numbers to circumvent the usual elite channels for the sake of a heterodox and genuinely edgy work.

I hope you’ll check out the site, tell all your friends, and follow the project through updates I’ll be posting here.

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