Help blind filmmaker finish film

$7,295 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 111 people in 43 months
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My name is David Block.  For over 20 years, I have worked as a documentary producer/director as well as a journalist. To date I have made six documentaries, which were televised and screened at film festivals. Two of them have won multiple film festival awards - "Abandoned Heroes" and "Dancing Outside the Box". I am also legally blind, but my partial blindness has never prevented me from excelling in this visual field.

www.blindfilmmaker.com/documentaries

I decided to make documentaries in June 1990 after the New York Times published an article I wrote about goalball, a team sport played worldwide by blind and visually impaired people. I realized that once someone finishes reading an article, he/she will throw out the paper and forget its content. Because of the power of imagery, a documentary does not become outdated so quickly.

Now I am working on my 7th documentary (title TBD).  This film demonstrates how therapy horses help people with physical and emotional challenges raise their self- esteem and enjoy an improved quality of life.

The intended audiences include people with disabilities and their able-bodied family members, physical therapists, and directors of equestrian facilities. Even some people who work with horses every day are unaware how something as simple as riding, grooming or walking alongside a horse can provide countless benefits to people who are suffering from physical or emotional hardship because of the calm, steadfast presence horses often project.  Viewers of the film will learn how horseback riding helped people with Cerebral Palsy learn to walk, and people with Autism started talking for the first time. 

Usually when I make documentaries, I use my social security money to start shooting the film. Because of my partial blindness, I have a hard time raising money in the early stages of production because people are skeptical about my abilities. After I make a sample reel, people then realize that my film is on its way to completion, so then I typically receive small donations from individuals. These donations do not cover all the costs. I still have to use my social security income and money I make from freelance writing. Freelance journalism does not provide me with steady income.

In the past, I have had to struggle by raising money primarily from people I know, while having to borrow funds. I hope that this campaign will make the process of completing this documentary a lot easier. 

A remainder of eight thousand dollars is needed to achieve the following goals:

1. Finish this documentary -
I work with a professional film crew and editor and they need to get paid! My editor is still owed $3,000.00 and one of my camera people is still owed $200.00 for the work to date, and we're just getting started!  Going forward, I will need to continue to pay my editor, as well as pay a composer for music, pay a professional sound mixer and professional colorist, pay for additional shooting.

2. Produce DVDs -
To send to festivals and screening opportunities, as well as to sell to libraries, universities, and other educational outlets so that tens of thousands of people will have the opportunity to learn about the healing power of horses. DVDs are also good to hand out at events or even cocktail parties, anything to get the message out!  

3. Distribute the documentary -
Submit it to film festivals through the U.S. and other parts of the world like I have my other films. If I can afford to attend festivals, it not only helps the film, but spreads information. I will talk to audiences and explain how I, a legally blind person, was able to succeed in a visual field. This will inspire other people with disabilities to strive to undertake challenges that they may have otherwise lacked the confidence to do.    

Any amount is helpful, even a few dollars!
If you are unable to make a financial contribution, you can still be an asset. Please help get the word out about my documentary via Facebook, Twitter etc., or better yet, just use the Indiegogo share tools.

I have never shied away from a project, no matter how long or difficult it becomes. It took me nine years and ten months to make Abandoned Heroes. There was no way I was going to quit. Although I anticipate this film about Therapy Horses being completed within a year, please know that I would never even consider walking away from it. My films consistently demonstrate compassion, shatter stereotypes, champion people with disabilities, and educate the public about their abilities while telling a riveting story.  

This is your opportunity to participate in a project that could help tens of thousands of people.
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Hi Funders: We reached a huge milestone! Gift Horses will air on WHYY TV 12 in Philadelphia March 26 4:30 p.m. Here's more info: http://pw.myersinfosys.com/whyy/hour?language=en&time_zone=America%2FNew_York&month=3&day=26&year=2017&time=16%3A30
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Dear Donors: Gift Horses won the following honor from InDieFest:

Humanitarian Award
Dear David:

Congratulations!

We have received the judges’ results for the IndieFEST Film Awards 2016 Humanitarian Award and we are excited to inform you that you have won:

Humanitarian Honorable Mention



Gift Horses





YOUR WIN IS POSTED:

You can see the results posted at:

Theindiefest.com/humanitarian-award/humanitarian-award-2016-honorable-mention-winners/

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Gift Horses is over a year old and it still has life.
I just learned from IndieFest that it is in the running for a humanitarian award.
The goal of the Humanitarian Award is to honor filmmakers who are bringing awareness to issues of Ecological, Political, Social Justice, Health and Wellness, Animals, Wildlife, Conservation, Global and Spiritual importance. I'm not worried whether or not Gift Horses wins the award. I'm glad that the film is still out there. It screened in half a dozen film festivals last year and this year other film festivals might screen it, too. I'll keep you posted.
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Great News! Gift Horses just received another honor. Here is the email that IndieFEST just sent me. Your donations made this moment possible: Thank you. (I included part of the email, not all if it.)

Dear David:

Congratulations!

On behalf of the staff and judges, I am pleased to inform you that you have been nominated as a finalist for the 2016 IndieFEST Film Awards Humanitarian Award.

David Block (USA), Gift Horses

IndieFEST Season: April 2016


Nominees for this award all come from the staff and judges’ recommendations of the films that have been screened for that year.

The goal of the Humanitarian Award is to honor filmmakers who are bringing awareness to issues of Ecological, Political, Social Justice, Health and Wellness, Animals, Wildlife, Conservation, Global and Spiritual importance.
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Read a Previous Update
Marcy Laver
42 months ago
2
2

David is uniquely gifted in his ability to bring the misconceptions about those with disabilities into the consciousness of those who hold such misconceptions. He has gathered a remarkable team with whom to work and share his vision for enlightenment through documentary production. Do visit his website. You will be amazed and unable to resist watching all of his work. Everyone in our society benefits from his efforts !

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$7,295 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 111 people in 43 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created December 30, 2014
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DB
$100
Deborah Block
31 months ago
2
2

From Deborah Block & Doug Smullens

$300
Anonymous
31 months ago
1
1
UL
$75
Uri and Sue Langer
31 months ago
1
1

Another excellent David Block film! Good luck from Uri and Sue Langer.

$50
Alan Wright
31 months ago
1
1

Block -- we are looking forward to seeing the final edition. Good luck with your last week of the 2015 school year.

FC
$10
Freddi Carlip
31 months ago
1
1

I wish you success David. All the best...

TM

David, we are so very impressed with your work! I am sorry I didn't get to meet with you at the APSE Conference when Gail McCown tried to connect us. Please accept our donation to support your ongoing work!

$25
Marc A. Gallo
32 months ago
1
1

Good Luck!

Marcy Laver
42 months ago
2
2

David is uniquely gifted in his ability to bring the misconceptions about those with disabilities into the consciousness of those who hold such misconceptions. He has gathered a remarkable team with whom to work and share his vision for enlightenment through documentary production. Do visit his website. You will be amazed and unable to resist watching all of his work. Everyone in our society benefits from his efforts !

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