I have started production on a new feature length documentary, “They Will Not Replace Us,” about American anti-immigrant prejudice. The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 18, 2018, was the catalyst for this project.
The film will be funded in three ways: crowdfunding; private donors; and, grants from foundations and social justice organizations.
I am seeing five thousand dollars here on GoFundMe for the pre and initial production of the film. Additional funding will finance further production, post-production, marketing, and the educational outreach that is essential to this project. In total, the budget for the entire project, including the production and marketing of the film, and the educational outreach is eighty five thousand dollars.
The one-hour documentary, produced by Arcadian Arts, is the first part of an ongoing project, which includes screenings of the film and Q&A sessions with students in middle schools, high schools and college across the United States.
Although the film will be shown at film festivals and featured on several online streaming platforms, the goal is to reach as many young people as possible through local screenings and presentations.
It’s important these stories be told now so that they won’t be forgotten. In a few years, there will be no more living holocaust survivors. Our younger generations need to learn from history so they won’t repeat the same mistakes. They can and will make a difference. But first they need to know the truth about the dark forces that have always been at play in America. Those same dark forces that have enabled the Trump presidency.
I was born just after the Holocaust and it has shadowed my entire life. The son of Jews who survived the Depression and World War II, racism and prejudice have been my mortal enemies. Today, I’m saddened that I now have to confront them on a daily basis. That’s why I’m putting all my other work aside. I am compelling to use my talent as a filmmaker to tell story of life and death urgency.
I’ve produced hundreds of mini-docs and three feature length documentaries with musicians. But now, in the final chapters of my life, it’s imperative for me to confront the issues that have become an ongoing nightmare for anyone with a conscience.
I moved to Tucson after a life in New York and to my surprise, found out that I had relocated to ground zero in the border and immigration wars. Tucson is sixty-eight miles from Mexico so I’ve met many people involved in this ongoing battle for human dignity. My recent films have focused on these issues.
In addition to archive video and historical photographs, the film will feature interviews with historians, journalists, religious leaders, activists, government officials, and children.
This initial crowdfunding will allow me to continue my research for the project, and begin interviews in Tucson and Washington, D.C.
Because Arcadian Arts, a 501 c 3 non-profit is producing this project, all contributions are tax-deductible. If you’d like written documentation for your contribution, email me.
Thanks so much for your support of my work.
- Rona Payne
- Peter Basch
- Paul Campagnoli
- Stephanie Castillo
- Christian Rosselli