I first heard about Liberation News Service from Verandah Porche, a brilliant poet, during an interview for a documentary series I produced called Beyond Bernie: Searching for Vermont's Political Identity. https://www.vermontpbs.org/beyondbernie/
I was captivated by the story of this alternative news service, called the 'Associated Press of the underground media' that provided news for and featured news from hundreds of underground papers around the world from 1967-1981. The people involved and their passion for journalism and frankly, the dramatic roller coaster ride of its rise and eventual demise added to its draw. I had never heard of this news service and was surprised to learn that its story had never been told. So, with the backdrop of the current clash between media and government, I was determined to tell the story of LNS--my first independent feature-length documentary, titled Under the Ground: The Story of Liberation News Service.
Working part-time (and solo) on this project has taken me over a year to interview over 35 people across the country, collect the archival material and eventually edit a cut.
I am now at a critical crossroads as I need funding to secure the rights for the substantial amount of archival material necessary to bring this story to life for broadcast and web release. I know this is not a great time to do the rounds with a cup in my hand but I have applied for film grants and although I have not been successful to date, I am continuing to pursue this option. This is not the route I had planned but my only recourse to share this important story as soon as possible is with the help of crowdfunding.
All funds I raise for Under the Ground will go directly to the individuals, film stock libraries, media companies and animators from whom I need to purchase the rights to broadcast their images. Without these, the story of LNS cannot be told. I truly believe that sharing the story of LNS is important, especially during this time of strain between government and media.
I truly appreciate any help you can offer to bring this story to fruition so it can be shared not just with students, journalists, history buffs, and mediaphiles, but with anyone who is interested in a compelling and rarely heard story about the fourth estate and its legacy today.
Here is a link to the film trailer...NOTE: it is an abbreviated sample of the look and content. So not everyone appears in the trailer.
I thank you so much in advance for your support. And please...spread the word.
Yours, "in the struggle",
- Nicholas DeMartino
- Alice Embree
- James Retherford
- Gilles Lajeunesse