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I, Pastafari Documentary

$8,418 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 322 people in 8 months
In the beginning, there was pasta.

My name is Mike and I am an American independent documentary filmmaker currently living in The Netherlands.  For almost the past two years I’ve been working on a project about The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Right now, I’m at the point where I need to bring in some talented professionals to help me finish up the film. I'll need to hire an editor, animator, and sound engineer who can help turn the approximately 90 minute rough cut I have currently, into a really compelling and appealing 52 minute cut to submit film festivals and share with potential distributors. I’ll also need funds to buy footage rights and music licenses so I don’t get sued. Oh, and I’ll need a lawyer & insurance to make sure I do it all by the book.  Making a movie isn’t cheap, but today more than ever we need the story of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to bring sanity back into the world. Read about the film below, and hopefully you'll agree. 

WHAT IS THE CHURCH OF THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER?

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With millions of believers worldwide, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the world’s fastest growing religion. Followers of the faith, Pastafarians, have been preaching the message of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) ever since The Prophet Bobby Henderson’s Open Letter to the Kansas School Board captivated the internet in 2005.  As a response to a decision by the Kansas Public School Board to teach Intelligent Design alongside Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in public school biology classes statewide, Mr. Henderson applauded the decision to teach alternative theories. However, if intelligent design is to be taught as a theory equal in merit to evolution, then it would only be fair to teach other beliefs of the origins of life as well. Specifically, his belief and the belief of his fellow Pastafarians: that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe a few thousand years ago. 

"We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.  None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it."  - The Prophet Bobby Henderson

Pastafarians acknowledge that there is overwhelming observable evidence that shows the universe is likely billions of years old, however they believe this evidence was put in place by The FSM in order to trick scientists. They also believe that the dramatic increase in the earth’s average temperature over the last 200 years is caused by the reduction in the Pirate population, since the correlation between the two is undeniable. Not convinced? See the chart below.  

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With this irrefutable evidence in hand, their holy mission is to increase the pirate population to combat climate change (more pirates = cooler planet). Successful completion of this mission grants them access to the Pastafarian concept of Heaven, where a beer volcano and a stripper factory await them. Pastafarian Hell also contains a beer volcano and a stripper factory, but the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases. 

Like any religion, the stories in their holy scriptures can be interpreted in many different ways. Many non-believers (anyone who is not a Pastafarian) often interpret the teachings of Pastafarianism as nothing more than a satire of other religions. Because of this, Pastafarians all over the world face discrimination and oppression, merely because their beliefs are not accepted by the larger religious community.

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The film begins In January 2016, when The Netherlands grants official recognition to the "Kerk van het Vliegend Spaghettimonster". With this recognition, Mienke, Sam, Mathé, Dirk Jan, and other members of the church began their crusade to get access to the same rights Dutch law affords other recognized religions...starting with the right to wear religious headwear in their driver’s license photos.

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Battling in Dutch courts, their lawyer Derk Venema makes the case that Pastafarianism is just as rational a belief system as any other religion, therefore Pastafarians should be able to express their faith in the same way as all other religions. Who decides what a “real religion” is anyway? 

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In a small town outside Berlin, Germany, Rüdiger Weida, aka Bruder Spaghettus, fights a similar fight. As the leader of the "Kirche des Fliegenden Spaghettimonster", he would also like to share in the rights of the other Churches in Germany: to post a sign showing the time and location of his weekly faith service, Noodlemass, held at the first physical Pastafarian Church. In Full Pirate Regalia (the chosen attire of the German Pastafarians) he faithfully evangelizes the teachings of the FSM. 

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Like any other religion, Pastafarians have a supernatural deity, a prophet, lessons of morality written in holy scriptures, and a large flock of followers. Unlike other religions, Pastafarianism seems to have forgone the hate, bigotry, violence, and instead focuses their faith on one simple dogma: there is no dogma. This explains why some Pastafarians choose to dress like Pirates, while others choose wearing a colander to express their religious identity. Wearing the Colander was not a commandment from their Noodly God, it was a divine revelation to Niko Alm, member of the Austrian Parliament, and the first person to successfully win the right to express his Pastafarian faith in his driver’s license photo. 

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While other religions are conflicted with fitting the morality of their scriptures as it was written in ancient times with the ethics of today, the Pastafarians ethical teachings evolve as society evolves. They do not hate those who have different beliefs, they do not judge on basis of sexual preference, and their God does not require sacrifice. These loose moral guidelines are highlighted in their version of the Ten Commandments, the Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts . 

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Is it a satire?  That’s up to interpretation.
While the existence of a complex carbohydrate deity seems ridiculous, is it any more ridiculous than the story of Noah’s Ark or 7 days of creation? Joseph Smith using magical seer stones to interpret the Book of Mormon from golden plates? 72 virgins? Xenu & Thetans? 

I, PASTAFARI is a story about a few brave Pastafarians evangelizing the message of the FSM, while fighting against intolerant skeptics for the freedom to access religious privileges in law granted to other “real” religions. Along the way, Pastafarians expose inequality, injustice, false equivalency, and combat anti-intellectualism, all while simply eating pasta and drinking beer. R’amen. 

WHY IS THIS STORY RELEVANT TODAY?

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Progressives vs. Conservatives. Globalism vs. Nationalism. The Religious Right vs. The Liberal Elite.   We find ourselves today in the midst of a war on multiple fronts. While they may appear to be separate conflicts, they all share a common core. In this way, it is only one conflict: fact vs. belief.  This battle is not a new one. Different manifestations of it have plagued mankind for millennia. To end it, we simply need to align on what a ‘fact’ actually is. 

How then do we decide, which claims to accept as fact?

Do they exist in an old book? If so, which old book? Are they the claims given to you by the powerful, those who deem to benefit the most from the ‘facts’ they provide? Or, perhaps, is it those claims based on overwhelming observable evidence? Those claims able to withstand the dissemination of a diverse field of experts, and free to be adjusted when additional evidence is collected, or more compelling arguments are made? 

Since the Enlightenment of the 18th century, science has consistently proven the most effective tool to propel society forward. It has cured disease, taken us to the moon, and exponentially improved our quality of life. Despite how far science has brought us, recently, we seem to be regressing. The amount of people that have been convinced science is just another "system of belief", has gotten too big to ignore. 

When science is just another opinion, the opinions of the powerful become our facts....our "alternative facts".  All is not lost. The antidote to "alternative facts" and "fake news" is science.

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When we all share a common definition for ‘fact’, there is no reason to doubt vaccines prevent disease, or that human activity impacts climate. It’s no longer rational to accept that murdering infidels will grant you free admission to paradise. If only we were all educated enough to utter two simple words, PROVE IT, it’s possible many of today’s distressing headlines would disappear. Only when we once again share a common basis for fact can we stop arguing with each other and start debating realistic solutions on how to fix the woes of the world. 

The challenge is, using scientific fact to debate with those who have no understanding of science, and those who clench onto their own set of ‘alternative facts’, is incredibly difficult. Not only is it unproductive, it is prone to contentious interaction, which seems to have driven us all further apart. The unfortunate reality is, we all don't have access to a quality education, or have the means to travel and experience different cultures for our own.  Those who are the most vulnerable in society therefore often are the most susceptible to such alternative facts.  This, I think, is the root of many of todays conflicts.  

As long as we see each other as “the liberal elite” vs. “the religious right”, progress stands still.  Perhaps it’s time to try a different approach.  Perhaps preaching the gospel of science from our pulpit is not the best approach. This is why I decided to make I, Pastafari. 

Instead of engaging in the endless unproductive argument prone cycle that only ends with a statement like, “you just got to have faith” or "believe me",  perhaps humor can entice those who forgo facts in favor of belief to critically think for themselves. If logic and reason can’t break through, perhaps the story of the FSM can. While our values and belief systems may differ more now than ever, humor is something we can still allappreciate. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Below is a rough estimate of some of the costs I hope to cover with your generous contributions.  If I can cover these costs I'll be able to to create a solid festival cut of the film, which will then be used to try to get into film festivals in order to hopefully attract wider distribution.  

- 4000  for a qualified and experience film EDITOR
- 3500 for an ANIMATOR to create an animation for the reading of the "Open Letter". 
- 2000 for a SOUND ENGINEER to mix the films audio
- 500 for FILM FESTIVAL FEES
- 1000 for PROMOTION & MARKETING (Posters, Social Media ads, etc) 
- 3500 to clear music for use and/or to hire a composer to create a custom sound for the film. 
- 3500 to clear archival footage and other clips
- 2000 for a LAWYER to make sure everything is cleared properly
 
These costs are subject to change based on the curve balls post production can hurl at you, but your contribution will make bringing this film to the masses a reality.

May Pesto Be Upon You!

-Mike
www.ipastafaridoc.com 
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The film is almost complete! The sound is being mixed, the color is being corrected, and my lawyer is helping me make sure the film will be clear for distribution. I'll be starting to submit to film festivals this month, with a focus on documentary friendly festivals based in the US. The hope is to get accepted to a few, have a few amazing screenings packed with colanders and pirates, and hopefully attract distributors to help make sure the masses can one day see I, Pastafari!

How can you help even more than you already have? Well that's a great question! One of the things that will attract both festival directors and distributors is clear evidence that there is a large audience eager to see this film. The best way to showcase that, is social media followers and trailer views. Soooooo, if you haven't already, please follow the films social media pages (instagram/facebook/twitter) they all have the same handle: @ipastafaridoc. This weekend I will be posting the finalized trailer to all 3 social media accounts....please share like you've never shared before! With 30 million Pastafarians worldwide (feels like a correct estimate) showing festivals/distributors that there is an audience for this film hopefully will be easy.

The attached image is me praying to His noodliness that you will follow the film on social media and help me evangelize His word, as it is only through Him (and you.....well mostly you) that this little project actually made it to the finish line! Thanks again for your support, and may you never run out of sauce.
RAmen.
-Mike
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Unfortunately, we found out Mienke lost her appeal this week. She is considering taking the case further to the European Court of Human Rights. The good news is, international media has picked up the story, so many more millions will have the chance to be touched by his noodly appendage.

https://www.newsweek.com/court-rules-against-church-flying-spaghetti-monster-members-request-wear-1076871
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Wow. I’m blown away by all the support this little project has gotten so far! It reinforces my belief that now more than ever, the world is hungry for the carbohydrate laden message of the FSM. With the almost $6K raised so far from your generous contributions, I will be able to hire a decent editor AND commission a 2 minute animation to bring to life the reading of “The Open Letter to the Kansas School Board”. These are two HUGE steps towards finishing this film! From there I’ll still need to license clips and music, hire a sound engineer and a clearance lawyer, and pay for film festival fees and promotional materials... therefore I’ve raised the films goal from $5K to $10K.

Thank you so much for your donation and for joining me on this journey to bring rationality back into the world at a time when it seems sparse. If you’re up to help me take this project even further, please share this GoFundMe campaign to your friends so they may also be touched by His noodley appendage.

ProvHerbs 3:28 - You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget the pirates with whom you ate pasta.

R'Amen
Mike
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Raised by 322 people in 8 months
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