Journey across America searching for what divides and unites us


Last month, I began a new chapter in my life, directing an interactive documentary film called, Story of America: A Nation Divided.
To raise start-up funds, we've launched a crowd-funding campaign to which I hope you can contribute. Our goal is to raise 60 thousand dollars in 60 days and I think we have a good chance of succeeding (check our progress here).


I've been seeking remedies to America's social and political division for six years now. From the making of 9500 Liberty, to the creation of the Coffee Party, my experiences at the intersection of new media and politics have helped me to grow as a person. Today, I feel equipped and also compelled to engage in a process driven by dialogue and storytelling to serve the American public.

Story of America is a documentary video series that will be developed into a feature film (9500 Liberty was released theatrically and picked up by MTV Networks after more than 100 short videos were shared via the web during production). This interactive approach is our attempt to use storytelling and dialogue to help unite America and articulate a new national identity reflecting our core values, the reality of America today, and significant changes in America since the founding.

Inspired by the work of WPA photographers during the Great Depression, I plan to travel with a team of filmmakers across America investigating the various and significant ways in which we are divided. For example, one focus will be on how the financial crisis affected our lives differently and led to a deeper economic division in America. Another series will be on the history of the Southern Strategy and exploitation of racial resentment in elections. Another will be on how different communities have crafted starkly different immigration policies.

Throughout 2013, we will be filming, and then organizing public screenings in towns and cities across the U.S., inviting the audience to become part of the dialogue and narrative. By inviting people to share their own stories through our web platforms, we will help to ensure the voices of everyday Americans are part of the national conversation in 2013.

We launched in November with a series of videos called Battleground Virginia and one of our videos about the long lines at polling stations in Prince William County was featured in the Washington Post. You can watch our edited videos and read inspiring stories already submitted by our users on our website.

I hope you can support this project and share it with your friends.

Thanks, always, for your encouragement and interest!

Annabel

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