A Documentary Film
“Let Us Put Our Minds Together And See What Life We Can Make For Our Children.” ~Sitting Bull
“Warrior Lawyers” is a very important and unique 60 minute documentary on Native American Role Models. No documentary of this kind has ever been produced nor broadcast. It will be an excellent educational resource for youth, adults, families and communities that will help make a very positive difference in the lives American Indians across our country for years to come, and help build bridges of understanding, dialogue and unity between Natives and non-Natives. The filmmakers are seeking 501 (c) 3 tax deductible donations to bring this extremely impactful film and its messages to public awareness.
The United States and Native Americans in particular, are facing an education crisis. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Indian Affairs:
- Native American school children are at or near the greatest risks of receiving poor education and underperforming at the elementary and secondary levels relative to other minorities and to the general US school-age population
- Drop-out rates for Native American high school students are amongst the highest in the country
- American Indians have higher rates of teenage pregnancies, suicides and drug abuse problems compared to other population groups
- College and graduate school attendance rates rank lowest amongst Native American students
One can feel very hopeless, despairing and even confused reading these troubling statistics. However, as this powerful, in-depth and personal documentary will reveal, there are students and communities that are beating these odds and paving a new path for future generations of Native Americans. The one hour documentary will focus on the personal stories of a group of diverse Midwestern Native American students on the cusp of reaching their dreams of obtaining a law degree and becoming “Warrior Lawyers.” Practicing Native attorneys, who have already succeeded in their challenging journey of securing a graduate education, will also share their experiences.
This compelling documentary will explore the complex dynamics behind WHY this country and Native American students in particular, are still facing an educational crisis of monumental proportions in the 21st Century and WHAT can be done to fix it. Viewers will see firsthand HOW current Native American students are maneuvering through entrenched systemic barriers and other challenges such as poverty, discrimination, cultural identity issues and historical trauma, to accomplish their educational graduate dreams. Native American and non-Native educational and legal professionals, tribal leaders, elders, scholarship and mentoring program directors and youth organizers will also be interviewed to further shed light on the causes and solutions pertaining to the Native American educational crisis.
In addition, interviewees will offer insight into the major legal issues facing Indian country today such as sovereignty, nation building, treaties, discrimination, violence on the reservation and foster care. They will share how as practicing lawyers, they are proactively working to help create social change at the community, state and national levels as well as to foster justice and healing today and for future generations of Native Americans. These role models will particularly inspire Native Youth to aim higher in their educational aspirations and show them pathways towards success while concurrently maintaining their Native heritage.
The documentary will be divided into categories or headings in order to organize the material most effectively and facilitate understanding of the major themes of the program. No narration will be utilized as it is believed that interviewees can tell their own stories best directly. This type of program structure helps increase the personal and emotional nature of the topics presented as well as the possibility of empathic understanding by the viewer.
AUDIENCE & DISTRIBUTION
This documentary will benefit a large and diverse target audience of both Native American and non-Native viewers. It has potential to reach millions of people on a national and international scale. The completed documentary will be distributed nationally to the Public Broadcast System (PBS), which also reaches audiences in Canada. Other distribution outlets will include domestic and foreign cable television stations as well as the educational market, which encompasses such entities as the public library and school systems, universities/ colleges, nonprofits as well as Native American Tribes and community organizations. A portion of the proceeds from the distribution of the program will be given back to Native American communities and organizations that address the issues in the documentary.
Furthermore, through the organization of free public screenings/Q&A’s, the documentary will be utilized as a wide sweeping community educational tool and resource. A special study guide will be created in conjunction with the documentary and will be available to schools and other educational institutions.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Audrey Geyer – Executive Producer/Director. Audrey is an independent video producer/director and the Founder of Visions, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 company located in metro Detroit. Her responsibilities include fundraising, producing, directing, co-editing, scriptwriting, distribution, marketing and educational community outreach initiatives. For over 15 years, Audrey has focused on the production of public affairs documentaries for PBS, cable TV, the educational markets and foreign territories, which tell the stories of communities under-represented in the US mainstream media. Her most recent one hour documentary on Native Americans, “Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience,” is currently airing nationally on PBS with distribution from Vision Maker Media and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Visions has received PBS underwriter support for this project from numerous individual, corporate and tribal Sponsors such as Andra Rush, Dakkota Systems, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The documentary has also been distributed widely throughout the educational markets and reviewed by prominent national publications such as Booklist and the School Library Journal.
Audrey has her B.A. in film/video studies from the University of Michigan and a Masters Degree in Social Work from NYU, which helps bring a unique and in-depth understanding of social affairs issues to Visions’ documentaries. View “Our Fires Still Burn” at https://vimeo.com/103901657 (password is geyeraudrey). A Trailer of the program is also available at www.OurFiresStillBurn.com.
William B. Evo, J.D. - Producer. Bill has worked with some of the Tribes in Michigan in the past in an advisory consulting role. He was the co-creator, producer and player in “Ice Warriors – It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over,” a documentary film about the Detroit Red Wings Alumni hockey team’s epic trip to Russia to play seven games in ten days. He also wrote and co-produced the theme song for the movie. He has held numerous executive positions and has coached and consulted businesses in a multitude of capacities and industries including entertainment, professional sports, advertising, mobile technology, healthcare, telecommunications, law and others. He has significant experience in strategic and visionary roles as well as start-up endeavors with an emphasis on the commercialization process including fundraising and market positioning. Bill is an attorney, former professional hockey player, sports and entertainment agent and past president of the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL.
PROJECT BUDGET / DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS
The estimated budget for the one hour documentary is $225,000 with $55,000 already donated. (Please see budget categories below). Donors not specifically affiliated with the interviewees in the documentary will be recognized as Sponsors in the PBS broadcasts of the program, with the highest contributors being acknowledged most prominently. (Sponsorship is PBS’s means of advertising). In addition to assisting in the production of a very important and groundbreaking documentary project, donors will have the opportunity to reach millions of viewers through the recognition of their financial contribution both on a local and national level. A donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated. Kindly send your tax deductible donation to: Audrey Geyer, Visions – PO Box 1265, Brighton MI 48116. Please make checks payable to Visions. A credit card donation can be made on our web site at www.OurFiresStillBurn.com. Visions’ non-profit license number is MICS 40644 and Federal Tax ID number is 38-3765082.
Pre-production costs: $20,000
(Includes Production Planning, Research & Interview Preparation)
Production costs: $70,000
(Includes Director, Producer, Cameraperson,
Travel/lodging & HD Camera/Lighting Equipment)
Post-production costs: $60,000
(Includes Director, Editor, Producer, Music, HD Edit System & Archival Film/Photos)
BROADCAST PREPARATION: $15,000
(Includes Errors & Omissions Insurance, Trailer Production, Technical Evaluation, Transcript & Closed Captioning)
DISTRIBUTION/PROMOTIONAL COSTS: $60,000
(Includes Development, Marketing, Distribution & Civic Engagement)
TOTAL ESTIMATED PRODUCTION COST: $225,000
($55,000 has already been donated)
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this funding proposal. Your generous financial contribution in support of this unique and critically important social affairs project will make a very positive difference in the lives of Native Americans across our country for years to come and help build bridges between Natives and non-Natives.
Audrey Geyer - (810) 772-9628; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Evo – (248) 924 – 7354; email@example.com
Visions is a 501(c) 3 Nonprofit Company