Amplify Flint Water Crisis Stories
My home, Flint, Michigan, is in crisis. Contaminated lead water has poisoned a city of majority black and poor residents. The health, economic, and social ripple effects of this tragedy will be felt for generations to come. And in the midst of all of this, Flintstones are doing incredible work to solve these issues, provide support to the community, and make radical change happen from the ground up.
Join me and my team of collaborators in launching a documentary series to capture the stories of the families, children, and community leaders of Flint.
From Feb. 13-20, I will travel home with co-filmmakers Mandy Hubbard and Sukhi Sanghera, with Dacia Saenz providing story and post-production support. We have already connected with over a dozen residents and community leaders who are eager to share their stories.
(Above: The Flint River was switched to as cost-saving water source from the more expensive Detroit water supply.)
Among these stories are parents of young children who are getting tested for lead poisoning, a resident whose damaged pipes make her home unsellable, my own affected family members, and volunteers who are delivering water to undocumented residents turned away at water pickup sites.
(Above: We'll also be exploring the impact of the water crisis on small businesses like the coney island diner above.)
The money from this fundraiser will help cover flight and car rental costs for the three of us to get to Flint, and to pay artists who are collaborating with us for their music, poetry, and art. I will also be donating to all organizations who are providing support on this documentary. Any additional funds from this campaign will be donated to local water relief efforts.
As a supporter, you will receive special updates throughout the project and will be listed as film sponsor on all credits.
I love this city. I know its heart. Join our team, the residents and community members bravely sharing thier experience, and amplify the human stories at the center of this American tragedy.
If you are a Flint resident interested in sharing your story in this documentary, please send us a message.
If you work at a media outlet, we are also looking for media partners interested in publishing the finished video series.
Sara McCaslin is a social justice filmmaker and visual storyteller from Flint, Michigan. She serves as editor for Home Care InSight, a magazine for Washington State caregivers covering health, poverty, and social issues. See previous works»
Sukhi Sanghera is an award winning documentarian and film editor, is dedicated to making films about people living in the margins of society. She is passionate about documentary filmmaking and has completed works on arranged marriages, post 9/11 backlash against Sikh and Muslim Americans, and the prison industrial complex.
Mandy Hubbard is an educator and an award winning documentary filmmaker. She believes in the power of storytelling and media making to create social change, and is passionate about helping others share their stories.
Organizations and water relief effots to support:
We've just released a short clip of Flint youth activist Camryn Banks speaking on the water crisis, "They've destroyed a generation of children."
In the past few months, we have be diving into the hours of rich interviews and footage from our February filmmaking trip.
Here's what we have planned:
This week, we will be traveling back to Flint for another round of filming and followup interviews with our main subjects.
When we return, we will be finishing up editing and showing the documentary series to the people in the film and focus groups for feedback.
By this October, you can expect to see the documentary released online in a short episode format!
Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout this process. We could not do this without you and we are so grateful for the love around this film.
More updates coming soon!
Here are some quick highlights:
-24 interviews held in 6 days with Flint residents, families, leaders, and artists.
-Documented and marched with Jesse Jackson and Flint residents to the Flint water tower
-Learned about Flint's rich community work, like Edible Flint using community gardens to fight lead poisoning with robust nutrition.
-Collaborated with Flint artists to create 2 original musical pieces and 2 spoken word poems
- Collaborated with 5 graffiti artists at Flint's Gallery on the Go to create an 8 ft x 20 ft mural (with donations from Seattle's Art Primo and Home Depot) that will be used at community water events and on display in downtown Flint!
-King 5 will be interviewing us about the documentary this Saturday
-Awesome volunteers are helping us transcribe those interviews this weekend
-Mandy, Sukhi, Dacia and I will be taking an editing weekend retreat in March so that we can quickly produce cuts of the documentary!
-We will be sharing rough cuts with everyone we interviewed, so that they can have feedback and be included as producers on the documentary.
I cannot thank you enough for helping us even get this far. It is a profound privilege for me to utilize my tools and crafts to collaborate with Flint leaders back home. I am deeply honored to work with you, my co-filmmakers Mandy, Sukhi, Dacia and others that are joining on, and all the relationships we've formed in Flint who have jumped in headfirst to make this project a reality.
I cannot wait to share more updates with you! Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!
Much love, Sara
We are collaborating with some incredible leaders, artists, and families sharing about their powerful community work during this water crisis.
If you'd like to follow live updates as the project comes together, join us on our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1732812596953493/
I am so grateful for the love and support you have given this project. I know that we can create something truly powerful together.
Funds with this new goal will go to Flint artists, musicians, and spoken word artists who have already expressed interest in contributing work they are creating about the water crisis to the project.
Thank you for supporting and sharing this effort to collaboratively share stories and solutions with Flint residents!